Author's Note: This is my official rewrite of the one story I almost completed – Crushing Butterflies and Gift-wrap. It is VERY different – new title, new main character, new characters… there are only slight similarities with the plot, and the idea of a few people with psychic abilities living in a space together, finding out about their abilities and developing them… and a darker side to their salvation.

The Devil's Advocates

By Kim Wilson

Prologue

The First Time…

The tiny nine year old girl could only peek timidly through the wall that was her wispy blonde hair and up at the boy who was standing before her, a rather dark smirk overcoming his features. She let out a small whimper, inaudible to anyone but herself and the boy stood over her, using his extra inches to intimidate her. At the sound of her fright, his smirk grew even larger, and his eyes flashed dangerously.

The girl tried to take a step backwards, thinking of a way to escape him, but there was nowhere to go. They were enclosed in a circle of children, who were close enough to see what was going on (their curiosity overpowering their will to behave), but far away enough that if any adult caught them; they could scatter quickly and escape the scene. The girl in the middle had no chance of escaping. She was caught, not only by the bodies around them, but by the boy's dark, accusing eyes.

"Evangeline…" he hissed, dragging her name out as long as it would go and making her cringe in the process before bringing his face closer to hers and sneering at the blatantly obvious fear in her face; she didn't even try to hide it. "Did your mum even brush your hair this morning? Was she drunk again?"

It was amazing what knowledge nine year olds could pick up from their gossiping parents. The little girl dropped her eyes to her feet, silently willing him to stop talking and just let her go. Why couldn't the children at school just leave her alone?

"Maybe she hit you again. She's nothing but a worthless drunk."

Definitely words picked up from his parents. Did he even know what they meant? Evie just tried to hide her eyes even more, trying to mentally block out his words. And yet, they still created a spark of anger within her – she could never get used to the harsh words of her classmates.

"She should just go and die somewhere. We'd all be better off."

The spark grew bigger and she felt a flash of anger run through her, her body tensed and she squeezed her eyes shut. The boy didn't notice, but carried on with his ruthless rant, now attempting to entertain the small crowd that had gathered around them.

"Your mum's well stupid; a stupid, silly drunk who has no friends. She's gonna go to hell, you know." Now those sounded more like the words of a nine year old.

The anger was still building as Evie lifted her head and gave the boy an icy glare that made him shiver involuntarily. The pale blue eyes latched onto him and would not shift; they flickered ever so slightly as her anger reached its maximum level, taking over her entire conscious, and all of it directed at the young boy in front of her, the boy who had taken it upon himself to make Evie feel like the world wanted to swallow her up. She didn't care as much about that – but no one insulted her mother.

She could almost feel her anger pushing out from her eyes, like millions of tiny little hands, rushing towards the boy, who was now looking at her in fear.

How do you like it, little boy?

And suddenly, Evie could feel herself falling, falling, the anger still roaring around her body, trying to find its escape. Her eyes began closing as they peered up at the sky above the playground, white clouds drifting lazily across her vision – these were the last things she saw before everything went black.

And normally, that would be the end. Evangeline would wake up, and the boy would get into trouble for bullying her so much that she fainted. However, in the case of Evangeline Kate Rodgers – that was not the end. She opened her eyes, only to be confronted with the sight of her own body laying on the ground before her, and the children crowding around it, trying to see whether Evie was ok (Not that they cared, but it was more gossip if she wasn't ok, something else to bully her for).

And suddenly, panic began to rise up from her stomach as she attempted to look down at herself, and saw only thin air. If she was here, but her body was on the ground… didn't that mean she was dead? A ghost? In her head, she heard her breathing quicken, and yet, it didn't really happen – she had no breath.

What on earth happened? Could she really have died from... anger? Was that even possible?

She tried to calm herself down as she tried to gain sight of her body, but the crowd of children had grown even larger, now with a few teachers mixed in, trying to restore peace and get to the hurt child. The boy who had been taunting her only moments before was now stood in front of her body, trembling in sheer fright, his face as pallid as a new piece of paper. It gave Evie a sense of achievement to watch the fear flood through his entire body.

And then, a feeling.

It was as though she was being pulled towards the crowd of children – towards the middle of the crowd. She glanced down and caught sight of a tiny shimmering piece of thread, waving around nonchalantly. It was almost invisible, she saw it only out of the corner of the eye, before the pulling sensation became even stronger and she was quickly being taken back to her body.

As she reached her still form, she saw the thread laying on the ground, connected in some invisible way to her physical side. As soon as she was near enough to touch her body, she did so, and was suddenly pulled into a world of darkness.

Until she opened her eyes, and this time she was staring up at the sky. Slightly dazed, she glanced down at herself, now, thankfully, finding a body attached to her that had not been there moments before. She stood up, the children around her quickly moving aside so that the teachers could finally come to her aid, checking her over, making sure she was unhurt, and regarding the frightened boy who was still stood in front of her, with something akin to disappointment. Evie could only let herself be pulled to the safety of the school building, silent and reserved as she thought about what had happened.

Had it been a dream?

Somehow, she didn't think so.