Okay, this is the re-write of The Ties That Bind. It's been years since I've even looked at that story and I hate it. I want to flame myself. Despite the extreme pain The Ties That Bind brings me, I'm not going to let two years of work go completely down the drain, I've got two note books full and half the abomination finished before the anvil of real life landed on my head, so I've started to rewrite it (more like keeping some characters and a few plot points). Updates will be sporadic as being a responsible adult sucks arse.

Beta'd and proof read by Mother Dearest :D

Edited 15/07/12


Chapter One:

To most people there is only reality. One where you are born, grow up, reproduce, grow old and die. I guess then, depending on one's faith, there are three options: you move on to either heaven, hell or cease to exist. I guess there is also the option of reincarnation, but it doesn't really count, considering one is re-entering that one reality.

There isn't just the one reality though. There is probably an infinite amount, all spiralling above us. You see, this reality, our reality is the bottom of the pile. We're known as the worst possible life to the others that are aware of us, the trash heap where they don't hesitate to flush their rubbish too. Be it objects, beasties or people.

There are those who are like me, who have some ancestor who was from or had some connection to another reality, enabling us to see and manipulate the energy that flows through all worlds.

I used to think I was normal, sure I saw strange things flash from the corners of my eyes, but I thought: so did everyone else.

Until I turned thirteen.

The whole world seemed to explode into colour, rampaging across the sky, swirling through the ground, spiralling through everything. All those flashes I'd seen from the corner of my eyes suddenly gained mass, became more than mere shadow, became creatures from fantasy.

I thought I'd finally snapped; that I was crazy. I almost told my dad, but he'd only just remarried and even though I wasn't impressed, he didn't deserve to have a crazy daughter.

So I tried to ignore it, hope it went away, that maybe if I got a bit more sleep , drank a bit more water, that maybe it was just an hallucination and in the morning it would all be fine.

It didn't.

It was in the middle of the Christmas holidays, a bright summer's day when I was fourteen and needed to get out of the house, away from the new baby. I took our little dog for a walk. Over the past year I'd gotten quite good at ignoring all the strange things that only I could see. You know; deny, deny, deny.

There was this plant, at the back of the park where all the cool kids hung out, that freaked me out. I had no idea why. (Deny, deny, deny) So this one day, I was wondering what all the fuss was about smoking and figured I'd ask for a try. This meant passing the creepy bush (ignore it).

That, however, wasn't possible as, I shit you not; the damn bush ate my dog. I kind of just stood there staring. All this time it seemed the strangeness wanted as little to do with me as I did with it.

It was the first time I'd really looked at the world around me, the strange swirls and whirls of colour that existed in everything. I focused on the plant, the murky green and blood red that spiked through the leaves and stems, the tendrils of bright green that swayed from the plant reaching a foot into the air, to the grey/brown/red slowly being absorbed into the core of the thing.

I was angry. Sure the damn dog was an annoyance, but that damn plant ate it! All I remember next it was reaching out with the mesh of colours that swirl around me, that I had spent the year studiously ignoring, and forced them into the plant. I have no idea of what I was trying to achieve but the bush caught fire and it was good enough for me.

It was after that incident that I stopped pussy-footing around, and tried to see what I could do. Seeing as I was able to burn the plant, I figured fire would be the best place to start.

Wrong.

After several burns, losing half an eyebrow and a few scorch marks on the carpet that cumulated into the curtains catching on fire, I came to the conclusion that fire wasn't for me. It took almost drowning twice, a month of bad hair days and strong breezes with a skirt and one dead garden bed for me to realize that:

This was harder then it looked

I had no talent

But at least I could do something

It turned out that while I sucked at using the elements and my energy, using the energy of nature was a lot easier.

With a little bit of creative weaving of the local energy I could direct people towards and away from certain areas; a real life saver when Sophie my step mum noticed the scorch marks. In time sensing what was around me via the natural energy became a second nature.

I found that I could use a little bit of my own energy to manipulate someone else's. Throw off their depth perception, make them perceive myself as a completely different person. I could affect them in various different ways, dizziness, hunger, sleepiness. It was all limited to my imagination.

An interesting side effect I'd noticed was that if I used too much of my energy I'd begin to get tired and irritable. My concentration would just vanish and I'd get dizzy. It only took the one fainting spell for me learn to recognize the signs of overuse. Both dad and Sophie are mother hens and being bed ridden while they fuss gets really old, really quick.

Of course the more I practiced, the better I got. On bad days I'd find a quiet spot to people watch. All it took was a few little pokes to mess with someone's balance and trip them up, or just slightly alter how they saw the world so they kept bumping into things. It wasn't a very nice thing to do, but I wasn't in a very nice mood.

By the time I hit sixteen, things were progressing normally. I argued with dad and Sophie about how late I could stay up and 'no, how could I have used up all the downloads', stayed up too late, slept in till afternoon, played my music too loud, finally snuck off behind the big old gum tree, procrastinated over homework, bitched about boys and school with my friends, kept experimenting with my strange abilities, may have discovered telekinesis – though it's quite hit and miss.

I'd only run into a few of the strange creatures that slid in and out of the shadows. They payed me a bit more attention now that my energy field was growing. Thankfully they still left me alone and I was quite happy to return the favour.

I thought things would continue like they were. I'd keep just living my life how I wanted, ignoring any and all lectures from the parental units/teachers/figures of authority. That I would quietly expand my abilities, get a handle on that telekinesis without destroying anything, finish high school, drop out of uni, go travel the world. Maybe find someone who could do what I do.

Once again on a stinking hot day in the middle of the Christmas holidays, coming home from the swimming pool I was blindsided. When a plain white peado-van pulls up next to you, one has the right to be suspicious. I didn't even have a chance to layer a damn dizzy field before I was whacked upside the head by an intense disorientation wave interwoven with strong triggers of trust and safety. All I remember is a hand grabbing me and vomiting before passing out.

Those people like me? It turns out that they found me first.