Watcher of the Realms Chapter 12

Watcher of the Realms BannerYou’ve entered the world of The Realm Jumpers. The adventure with Riley and his trusty gang continues…

Chapter 12

The roar of the garage door opening had me rolling out of bed.

“Oh crap.” I forgot Jeff was coming home this morning with a kid the Iowa Kurators had saved.

I threw my comforter over the safe I hauled up here last night. That was only a few hours ago, and I’d fallen smack into bed I was so wiped out.

In and out of my little bathroom in record time, then I bolted down the steps and out the garage to the side door that led into the kitchen.

I turned the knob and pulled the door open. Hinges pinged. Wood cracked. Splinters rained down on my head.

“Whoa!” I ducked. Was the house caving in on me?

“Riley?” Janet called out from the living room. “Is that you?”

“Um. Yes, ma’am.” I stepped inside and propped the door up best I could. “Coming.” How was I going to hide the fact I just ripped the back door totally off its hinges?

Braeden sauntered in, shoveling a spoonful of cereal into his mouth.

I shifted the door so it looked more natural.

“Yeah. That’s going to help.”

“Honey, I—” Janet stopped abruptly in the entryway from the living room.

The door fell back with a loud clap.

Too bad disappearing wasn’t one of my powers. Here only a week, and I was already destroying their house. They were going kick me out for sure.

“What’s goin’ on?” she asked with a smile.

Braeden snickered.

I coughed through whatever it was choking me. “Um. Good morning?”

Janet laughed into her hand and glanced at Braeden.

“I’m sorry, ma’am. I—um—I guess I have a power.”

“I should say so.”

“Hey guys, what’s—” Jeff rounded the corner and stopped beside Janet. “What happened?”

“It’s fine, dear. Seems Riley has a little strength to his grip.”

“And he can heal,” Braeden said.

I glared at him.

“What?” Janet stepped forward.

“Shouldn’t we—um—where’s Tish? That’s her name, right?” Yeah. Shift the focus. Off. Of. Me. I’d melt soon if my cheeks burned any hotter.

What I really wanted to do was pound on Braeden for laughing and ratting me out. We’d agreed we’d wait until things shook out with the safe to tell them everything.

“Tish’s in her room,” Jeff said. “And won’t come out.”

“Poor thing.” Janet inspected the door. “You ripped this right off the hinges. Should I even check your room?”

“No.” Both Braeden and I answered at the same time.

“Oh boy.” Janet narrowed her eyes. “I smell trouble.”

“It’s fine,” I said. “The room’s fine.”

Surprisingly the room really was fine. Which was a total miracle because I’d shattered two glasses and crumpled Braeden’s baseball bat last night. I was actually kind of scared to touch anyone right now.

“What do you mean Tish won’t come out of her room?”

“It happens sometimes,” Jeff said. “They pulled her from a pretty scary scene.”

“And she remembers?” I asked, almost thankful I didn’t.

Sort of. Okay, maybe not. I didn’t like not knowing about myself. If there was a way to just know about me and not the bad stuff the scientists did to me, that’d be perfect.

“It’ll take some time.” Jeff opened the fridge. “Man. I’m hungry. Talk about a long drive.”

I didn’t like that she was all alone in her room, though. Strange house. Strange people. Scared. That didn’t sit right with me.

A blast of hot air came in through the open door. Braeden chuckled again. It was really starting to bug me.

“I’ll help fix the door.” I lifted it up and propped it against the outside of the house. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay, honey. You’re not the first to have extra strength.” Janet winked at me. “But we can’t have all the air conditioned air leaking out.”

“On it,” Jeff said. “If I can con a super omelet from you while I’m fixing it.”

“Deal.”

“I think I can help with Tish.” I ran out the open door into the garage and up my stairs.

That little stuffed monkey we’d found in my bag might come in handy right now. I pulled it out and hustled back down the stairs.

Jeff was already outside with his tool belt on working the door in its place. “You really know how to fix it?”

“Comes with the territory. Strength is the most common thing these scientists try for, so I’ve repaired a few doors in my day. And working up at the school leaves me plenty of broken things to fix.”

“The school?” I stopped beside him. “The one I might go to?”

“What’s this might stuff?” He stopped what he was doing. “Don’t want to go to school?”

“No, sir. I mean, yes, sir, I do. But can I? With no past I figured—”

“Hey, kiddo. This is what we do. We’ll get you all settled and ready. I kind of figured you’d be in a hurry to start school considering how fast you learn.”

“I am. I—well—with this new thing.” I held up my hands. “I don’t want to hurt anyone.”

“You won’t. We’ll get it under control. For now, the main thing to remember is to just slow down. Stay focused and you’ll be fine. We’ll practice as soon as I get things under control with this.” He pounded the door.

“Cool. Um that school. It seems expensive. I don’t want to—”

“Free tuition since I work there.” He grinned. “And don’t worry about that stuff. Have fun and play some soccer for a while. You’ve been through enough. No need to worry. Okay?”

“Yes, sir.” Wow. He was like a dad, wasn’t he? Cool.

“You might have to use the front door until this is fixed.”

“No problem, sir.” I hustled around the front and bolted inside. Fine by me. Didn’t want to talk to Braeden or face any more questions from Janet. As long as she stayed out of my room until I could hide the safe better we’d be fine.

I stopped in front of Tish’s door and held my hand up to knock. “Now, don’t break it,” I whispered to my hand.

Really? I was telling myself not to pound through the wood?

Hopefully it worked.

I held my breath and knocked lightly. Sweet! It didn’t break down.

“Tish?”

I heard sniffles coming from inside her room.

“Are you in there?”

The door creaked open and a short girl with huge blue eyes looked up at me. She stepped back, her eyes widening even more.

It sucked being tall sometimes.

I fell to my knees, but it didn’t help, I was still taller than her. “This better?”

She wiped her eyes. “I know you.”

“You do?” I inched forward. “I don’t know you.”

“I’m Tish.” She cocked her head. “I saw you in a dream.”

That’s right, Janet had mentioned this girl had visions. “What’d you see?”

She glanced around and smiled. “This.” Her eyes lit up, and she opened her door wider. There was one bag on the bed next to a pink pillow with Hello Kitty on it.

“You like Hello Kitty?”

She nodded.

I held up my stuffed monkey. “Got room for my friend?”

She squealed and snatched it from my hand then hugged it tight. “Can I have it?”

“For a while.” I grinned, inching in, still on my knees. “He’s my lucky monkey.”

“What’s his name?”

“Alastair.”

She swayed as she hugged him. “Alastair. I love him!”

“Means Defender of Mankind. So, you’re safe with him.” I sat on my heels in front of her. “You’re safe here, too.”

“I miss my other bed.” She hopped up next to her bag.

I sat beside to her and patted the mattress. “This one’s nice, too.”

Holding Alastair close, she climbed on my lap and nestled her forehead to my neck. “You’re so big. But not scary.” She toyed with the light fur between the monkey’s big purple eyes. “We’re going to be friends.”

I rocked her silently for a few seconds, while she stared at the stuffed toy. Funny how this tiny girl made me feel comfortable. At ease. Almost felt familiar. I got that a lot with things, like I knew them but how or why was just out of reach.

It was really beginning to bug me, too. If only I could remember. Something. Anything. Maybe that safe held some answers. Maybe it was my ticket to remembering!

“You hungry?” I asked.

She nodded.

“I think Janet’s making food.”

“Is she my new mommy?”

I remembered asking the same thing when Janet found me. “Maybe. But you don’t have to worry about that now.”

“She’s nice.”

“Yep.”

“Jeff, he’s my new daddy. He kept me safe.”

“From what?”

“The bad men. Bad, bad men chased after us.”

I eased her up more. “Bad men?”

“I saw them coming first, though. So we played a game of hide and seek.” She sat straight up and grinned. “And we won.”

“I bet you always win that game.”

“Yep.” She nodded. One of her front teeth was missing. “But not with you.”

“I am pretty good at it.”

She grinned. “That’s because you’re like me.”

“I am, huh?” I hoisted her into my arms and stood up.

“Er…will be. I’m not sure. I didn’t see that part.”

“What do you mean?”

“Don’t worry. I won’t let them get us.” She peered up into my eyes. “We’re too important.”

~~~~~~

Join us Wednesday for Chapter 13 of Watcher of the Realms. Be sure to subscribe to the site to not miss a single chapter of Riley’s adventures.

A big thank you to Sizzling PR for the Realm Jumper graphics.

CLICK HERE to see previous chapters.

See you soon….

Posted in Realm Jumpers | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Watcher of the Realms Chapter 11

Watcher of the Realms Banner

You’ve entered the world of The Realm Jumpers. The adventure with Riley and his trusty gang continues…

Chapter 11

“Oh, you did not bring Hope.” Braeden shook his head. “Dang it, Riley.”

“Like anyone can tell her no.” I hoisted him up. He was as good as new. “And you’re welcome by the way.”

He raised his hand and patted his side. “Nice work, man. Why didn’t you tell us?”

“Was going to when Jeff got back.”

“He just found out last night at the game,” Hope said.

“Ahhh, you healed her arm!” Braeden grinned. “Okay, time to go. Both of you.”

“No chance.” I stood straight. “What are you doing here? I can help.”

We can!” She backhanded me.

“Hope can’t be a part of this.”

“I so am! I saw what you did. You froze those guys.”

He stepped toward her. “Yeah.”

“And if you don’t let me stay, I’ll tell.”

He growled. “I can fix that.”

The guy on the ground groaned and rolled over. Braeden knelt beside him and grabbed his face. “You were just leaving. This isn’t a safe place for you to live. Find another. You didn’t see us here. You don’t remember anything from tonight.”

The guy’s face went blank, and he sagged a little.

“Come on,” Braeden said. “Get going.”

The bum stood and started wandering away from the house in a daze.

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” Hope yelled. Her shrill voice made me duck.

Braden did, too, then he pointed at her. “See. She’s gone.” He reached for her, but she dodged him.

“No way. You’re not touching me, freak.”

I pushed his arm down. “She knows about me. It’s cool.”

She stuck out her tongue. “Now. What’s up with the army duds?”

“Mom’s gonna kill me.” He ran his hands through his dark, buzz-cut hair. “Come on.”

We followed him into the house. “Looking for anything that might tell us more about you.”

“Wait. This is the house you found me at?” I looked around. “I thought it felt familiar.”

“You were taken from this dump?”

“It was fine before we hit it,” Braeden said. “Kinda leveled it, huh?”

We turned into another room. Looked to be a kitchen—what was left of it anyway.

“Just one floor, which doesn’t make sense. But I can’t find a way down.”

“What’s out back?” I looked through the windows.

“Fenced in yard. Shed. Dog house. From what I can tell. We snatched and grabbed you quick. Not safe to come back for a while after we debunk a lab.”

“Debunk, huh?”

He nodded as he opened a closet door. “Pantry.”

“Let’s check out the shed,” I said, leading toward the door.

I pushed it open and stepped into a huge backyard. The moon spilled rows of sculptures lining the two side walls.

“So, telekinesis. Mind control?” I said to Braeden as we crept toward the shed.

“Yep. It’s a form of telepathy, I can’t read minds, but I can control them. As long as I’m touching them somehow.”

“Cool.”

“So not. You try dating a chick with that power.”

“Can’t control it?” I asked.

“Working on that.” He grinned.

I crept to the shed door and cracked it open. Braeden flashed a light into the small space. Lawn mower, bike, and a tarp over something in the middle. Braeden glanced at me.

I yanked off the cloth to find a desk. It was small, wooden, and totally cleaned off. I opened all the drawers but there wasn’t anything in them.

“Check under the drawers,” Hope said.

“What?”

“It’s in, like, every spy movie ever made.” She crossed her eyes at me. “Check beneath the drawer. And see if there’s a false panel or something.”

“This isn’t a movie, dork,” Braeden said.

“Wait a minute.” She crept around me and got onto her knees. She swiped the ground and knocked on it. “Jack pot.”

“Okay, maybe the little brat is coming in handy,” Braeden said.

We pushed the desk away and found a small square patch of wood beneath it. Braeden flashed the light on it. There was a hook in the corner. I tugged on it and the door shifted.

“Sweet. So it is like a movie!” Hope glared at Braeden.

“We really should come back with the team.” Braeden looked at me. “We don’t know what’s down there.”

“They’ll be pissed you came here without them,” I said.

“Way past that.”

“Then we might as well check it out,” Hope said. “Since we’re here and all ready in trouble.”

“If we find something, maybe they’ll be less mad?” I asked.

“All the power to this place is out.” Braeden flashed his light in every direction around us. “So, it should be okay. No cameras or anything.”

“That’s why you wear the mask?” I asked.

“Need the whole anonymity thing considering we come in and bust heads.”

“You and the Kurators. This is what you do,” I said, repeating to him what he’d said to me when he’d broken me out. “What was done for you.”

“Exactly.” He winked.

“Who were these people that worked here?” Hope asked.

“Evil mad scientists,” he said. “And they were working on our boy here.”

Hope looked at me with wide eyes. “So, you lied about coming from up north?”

“Yep,” Braeden answered for me. “Don’t be pissed at him, though, we made him. Everyone has to get a new life after we find them. And this one right here is something special. So, unless you want me to melt your brain, keep your trap shut.”

“Braeden!” I smacked his shoulder.

“What is it with her? Jeez?” Braeden pulled the wooden square up and flashed his light down. “Ladder.” He lay on his stomach and looked into the darkness, flashing his light. “Empty. Couple of things at the far end. Looks clear.”

He hopped up and climbed down the ladder. Hope and I followed.

“Got an extra one of those lights in your pockets?” I asked him.

He pulled out a tiny mag light and clicked it on. “Have fun.”

“Got any candy in one of those pockets? I’m hungry,” Hope said.

Braeden shook his head then trotted off to what looked like a desk in the far part of the room. The space was huge. And empty. There was a red bulls eye in the middle of the floor in the main empty space.

Target for what, though?

The walls were cement, and so was the ceiling. My light spilled over a door off to the right. Hope hustled over and peeked in. “Bathroom.”

Behind us there was a little sink and a set of cupboards lining a wall, so I checked them out. Empty. Other than a tiny refrigerator beneath the sink it was cleaned out, too.

“What the heck kinds place is this? Bomb shelter or something?”

“Might be.” I’d read about those. This did appear similar.

“Got something.” Braeden’s voice echoed.

He’d opened the bottom drawer of a second desk in the corner and revealed a safe.

“Any idea how to open it?”

“Back at the house we can.” Braeden opened the middle desk drawer. “Now we have to figure out how we’re getting it home.

The black safe wasn’t more than two cubic feet, but more than likely very heavy. “We could call Janet.”

“And let them know we’ve come here. Alone?”

“You mean we weren’t going to tell them at all?” I asked.

“No use ticking them off until we find something worth telling them about.”

“A safe is worth telling.”

“Unless it’s empty like everything else here.” He glanced around. “The Council Triad isn’t gonna officially let us come here for weeks, maybe months, after a hit as big as we’ve done.”

“The Council Triad?” I asked.

“They govern us Kurators. And like I said. They suck. They’re slow like bread. Archaic and will be royally pissed if they find out what we’ve done. So, we might as well see what’s in here first so we have a peace offering to give them when they find out what we’ve done.”

“Great,” I whispered. “These guys are in charge? They can hurt us if we do something wrong?”

The room got super quiet. Braeden and Hope stared at me.

“What?”

“Riley, man,” Braeden said. “You aren’t going to get zapped if you do something wrong. You’re not a lab rat anymore. Okay?”

Sometimes I still felt like one. Still felt like something big was going to happen if I did one thing wrong. Or someone might take my new friends away.

“I vote for running to Janet and hope she’s as cool about this as I think she’ll be,” Hope said. “Dude. She’s awesome. She’ll totally get this.”

“She might. But Jeff’s the one we have to get on board.”

“Let’s vote.” Hope raised her hand. “All in favor of telling Janet and getting her to help us open this, raise your hand.”

“You’re a dork,” Braeden said. “We’re not voting. You’re not part of this.”

“Oh, why, cuz I’m just a normal human? Not some super hero with wicked cool powers.” Her shoulders sagged. “I want a power!”

“Let’s just get out of here. This place is making me nervous. We’ll get this thing home and then we’ll figure it out.” I hoisted the safe into my arms. “It’s not that heavy we’ll figure out a way to prop it on a bike and—”

“You did not just pick that up like it was a bag of cotton candy.” Braeden’s eyes about bugged out of his sockets.

I looked at Hope, and hers were the same way.

“What?” I said, holding the safe.

“I couldn’t budge that thing,” Braeden said, pushing my shoulder. “Are you kidding me right now?”

“Holy crap.” Hope stepped away.

Braeden snickered. “Guess you have another power!”

~~~~~~

Join us Monday for Chapter 12 of Watcher of the Realms. Be sure to subscribe to the site to not miss a single chapter of Riley’s adventures.

A big thank you to Sizzling PR for the Realm Jumper graphics.

CLICK HERE to see previous chapters.

See you soon….

Posted in Realm Jumpers | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Watcher of the Realms Chapter 10

Watcher of the Realms Banner

You’ve entered the world of The Realm Jumpers. The adventure with Riley and his trusty gang continues…

Chapter 10

Something clunked outside my window and I bolted out of bed. The book I was reading flopped out of my hand onto the hardwood floor.

“Crap,” I heard someone say outside my window.

And then Hope’s face appeared. “Hi!” she said, waving.

I hoisted up the window. “I’ve always wanted to try this.” She looked over her shoulder. “It’s higher than I thought. Give me a hand.”

I helped her through, but her front foot clipped the sill, and she fell forward. Her forehead knocked my chest. She grabbed my waist, but it was too late. We both went down. Not so much from the fall, but because we both started laughing so hard.

“What the heck are you doing?”

“Snuck out.” She yelled out, then slapped her hand over her mouth.

“You’re crazy.”

She shrugged and stood up. “Whatcha doin’?” She glanced at the bed. “Reading? Over summer break? You really are a nerd.”

She had no idea that was how I learned everything. I really wanted to tell her. She was my friend. I could trust that, right? I’d already decided to tell Janet about how I healed two people the second Jeff got back from his trip to Iowa. Maybe Hope could be in on that?

I glanced at my phone. It was almost eleven o’clock. “What’re you doing out so late?”

“Thought you’d wanna practice Spin the Bottle, you know, before the next pool party at Christian’s.”

“What—I—we—”

“You know I like messing with you to get you all flustered, right?” She smacked my shoulder then did an exaggerated shiver. “As if I’d ever play that stupid game. Let alone kiss you. Blech. It’d be like kissin’ my brother.”

I didn’t want to kiss anyone. When Christian had brought up that game called Spin the Bottle, I had to Google it. And nope. I was not going to play that game any time soon.

“Wanna play Angry Birds?” She held up her phone. “I know you’re still learning that phone of yours, but—”

Something clanked in the garage below us. She froze and looked at me.

“Crap.” Braeden’s voice filtered through the floorboards.

“Come on,” I whispered.

We snuck down the side stairs and into the garage. There he was, pushing his bike out.

Needed a little help with the whole stealth factor, though, for how loud he was. I glanced around and the lights at the house were off.

“What’s he doing?” Hope whispered.

“You better go home. I’m going to follow him.”

“No way. I’m in.” She silently clapped her hands then covered her mouth. “Today rules.”

“You don’t have your bike.” Braeden hopped on his once he met the end of our driveway. I didn’t have a bike yet, so Jeff’s tiny one would have to do. “I’ll see ya tomorrow.”

I glanced over my shoulder but she was gone. Dang it.

I eased out of the garage, Braeden still in my sights, and then pedaled down the street. My knees practically hit the handlebars.

Braeden turned the corner at the end of our block. Hope darted out from behind her garage, wearing a shiny black helmet.

She bolted ahead of me, and I took off after her.

The lights lining the street cast an eerie, dim shade of murky yellow across the sidewalk. It was barely enough to see much, but we kept after Braeden. Turn after turn. I couldn’t believe he didn’t hear us, especially with Hope’s chain squawking like a dying bird.

Her bike was white with purple wrap around the handlebars. If it weren’t for the little frilly things flying from the ends of the grips, it would have been cool looking.

Even though she played soccer as tough as most boys, she was still a girl.

Braeden hopped the curb up ahead. It looked like it led to a field of some sort.

He veered off and stopped by a tree. His backpack slid from his shoulder, and he dug something out.

“What’s he doing?”

“Not sure.” It was too dark to see much. But we couldn’t chance getting closer.

He fidgeted for a while with something around his waist—oh, it was the straps that held his gun and things. Holy crap.

“Hope. You really should go.”

“No way. This is awes. Let’s get closer.”

I put my arm out keeping her in place. “He’ll see.”

“Holy creep factor with your foster bro, buddy. What the heck is he doing?”

I scanned the area. Didn’t see any houses or anything. Behind us was a barren highway and up ahead a wall of darkness. Probably trees. And that’s where Braeden was headed, now on foot and wearing a black hood-thing over his head and face.

Hope and I parked our bikes near his and chased after him. The moon was out, but it didn’t give much light. Just enough shadow to make everything look super creepy.

Other than a few birds chirping, it was totally silent. No wind. No nothing.

Hope grabbed my hand. “Man, it’s dark out here.”

“Wanna stay with the bikes?”

“No way. Epic creep factor levels back there. Where are we?”

“No clue. I’ve only lived in this town a few days.”

“I’ve never been here.”

Braeden paused, his back against a tree trunk. He looked around then took off running.

We broke through the trees to find a house. It wasn’t much bigger than the house I was staying at now, but there was something familiar about it. The windows were blown out. The paint was peeling. Black soot coated the walls by the windows. A fence poked out from the side. Probably a back yard.

Braeden snuck a peek in the window then hustled to the next one. He was holding something dark in his hand. A few steps later, he was around the corner and out of sight. We took off after him. When I got to the window he’d peeked in, I did the same.

A desk was tipped upside down. File cabinet on its side. Lamp smashed on the floor.

“I can’t see,” Hope said, trying to pull herself up.

“Nothing to see. Come on.” I tugged her to the corner. Braeden was making his way through the blown apart front door.

The destroyed wood crackled beneath his weight.

Shuffling and a grunt sounded. Braeden came flying out of the door and crashed onto his back. A dark figure ran out and dove for him.

Funny thing, though. He froze.

Mid-air.

Arms out to the side. Totally hanging there.

Braeden rolled away, and the guy dropped, landing right where Braeden had been.

“Did you see that?” Hope said.

Braeden rolled back and smacked the guy in the face with his elbow, then jumped to his feet.

“This is our place,” the creep yelled. “Get your own!”

“Who else—”

Another guy lurched from the door and tackled Braeden onto his side. That time he yelped. He was in pain. Hurt. I bolted around the corner and ripped the guy off my foster brother.

“Riley?” Braeden grunted as he grabbed his side. “Whoa!” He waved his hand, and I turned.

The first guy he’d tackled was suspended in mid-air again right by me. His eyes were all bug-like. Veins bulged along his forehead. Dirt covered his face. His hair was all knotty.

And he kinda smelled like barf.

Braeden moved his hand, and the guy slammed into the rocky ground.

He didn’t move again.

The other guy ran off. Hope stayed at the corner of the house, watching.

“You okay?”

“You jerk. You followed me.”

“Good thing.” I reached for him. “Come on.”

“Can’t. Landed on a friggin’ rock,” he said with a short breath. “Felt something pop. Mom’s gonna be so pissed.”

“How’d you…do that?” I pointed to the guy.

“Now you know what my power is.” He coughed. “Crap.”

I knelt before him. “I guess I better show you mine, then.”

~~~~~~

Join us Friday for Chapter 11 of Watcher of the Realms. Be sure to subscribe to the site to not miss a single chapter of Riley’s adventures.

A big thank you to Sizzling PR for the Realm Jumper graphics.

CLICK HERE to see previous chapters.

See you soon….

Posted in Realm Jumpers | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Watcher of the Realms Chapter 9

Watcher of the Realms Banner

You’ve entered the world of The Realm Jumpers. The adventure with Riley and his trusty gang of genetic misfits continues…

Chapter 9

Hope flicked my ear. “What’s up with you?”

I poked her side. “Other than annoying friends flicking me?”

She laughed. “See, you’re getting a sense of humor. You’re a quick study.”

“Humpf.”

“So, this is what your bad mood looks like? Nice to know.” She hopped up from stiff waiting room chair. “Come on.”

I wasn’t in a bad mood, but sitting here waiting for her X-ray was totally boring.

“Honey, where are you two goin’?” Janet asked.

“Can we run get a soda?”

“That’s fine. I’ll text your phone if they call for us before you’re back.”

Hope grabbed my hand and tugged me behind her. For someone so small she was strong. “Look.” She pointed to an empty wheelchair. “Give me a ride?”

I glanced around. “I’m sure that’s not—”

She hopped onto it. “Just down the hall. Super fast. I’ve always wanted to do this. Please?”

“Since you said please,” I said, laughing.

I gave it a good push and we went soaring down the hallway. “Yes,” Hope squealed.

I saw a turn coming up and took it. The hallway was long enough to get some good momentum. Hope grabbed the handles. Her giggles bounced off the walls.

Totally fun!

A nurse’s station came into view so I slowed down. Two people shuffled around behind the desks. One walked out with a tray of something.

Sure didn’t like the bleach smell here. Felt like it was soaking into my skin, and it gave me a queasy feeling in my stomach like I’d eaten too many PBJs. I wasn’t sure how I knew it, but I didn’t like hospitals.

Why were they so white, too? That made the smell worse.

We snuck by the station, and I took off again.

“There!” She pointed to the right. “Go that way.”

I did and she pointed left. “Soda.”

“How come your aunt and uncle didn’t bring you here?”

Hope slouched. “Doesn’t matter.”

“Sure it does.” I steered the chair toward the soda machine.

“They’re—they—um—they didn’t come home last night.”

“What?” I stopped the chair.

She hopped up and got a can of Pepsi for each of us then sat back down. “Faster this time.”

“Wait. What—”

“Doesn’t matter. Okay? I—Janet—takes care of me.”

“You called your aunt and uncle crazy once. Are they sick?”

“Look. Are you gonna drive or what?” She pounded on the chair handle.

“Why won’t you tell me? You make me tell you stuff about me. It’s only fair.”

“I’ve created a monster.”

“Okay.” I gripped the handles behind her. “Hold on!”

She squealed when I popped a wheelie, and a giggle spilled out from the room beside the soda machine. I leaned over and peeked in.

A tiny girl lay in her bed watching us. She was bald and holding a teddy bear. “Hi.” She waved and that’s when I saw a cast on her right arm.

It was pink. Jeez. It was like every girl—except Hope—had to have pink.

“Hi,” I said.

“Lemme see,” Hope said, and I pulled the chair to the door.

“Whatcha doin’?” the girl asked.

“Playing.” Holy cow, I was playing! Like a normal kid!

She giggled again.

I wheeled Hope into the room as I looked around. She was all alone. “Where’s your mom?” Hope asked.

“Had to work.”

“What’s wrong with you?”

She held up her casted arm. “Broke.”

She couldn’t have been more than seven or eight years old. Why was she bald?

I glanced at the whiteboard on the wall. Breathing exercises every hour. Scar massage. PT—whatever that was—two times per day. This little girl had a lot more going on than a broken arm.

Hope got out of her chair and stepped up to the bed. “Cute bear.”

The girl’s eyes drifted closed then opened in a slow blink. She had dark circles under her eyes. And suddenly looked so tired.

Hope nodded to the cast around the girl’s wrist. “Want some practice?”

“We should go,” I whispered.

Suddenly, I didn’t feel very safe at all. This was a total stranger. I’d healed someone once. I had no idea what I was doing. What if I hurt her?

“What better place to practice than a hospital? People are sick and hurting. You can help.”

“Leaving now.”

“No time for your new humor and awesome new language skills. Come on.” She grabbed my hand. “She’s just a little girl.”

I glanced at the tiny thing lying in her bed. Her eyes were closed and she was breathing evenly. She’d fallen asleep despite Hope squawking around like a crazy person.

I could practice or walk out. I should walk. This girl shouldn’t be my test subject. But then again I could help her. Make her feel better. That’d be good.

Didn’t seem fair, though. What if I hurt her more? Made a mistake?

I glanced at the doorway. “Watch for someone.”

Hope quietly jumped up and down then hustled to the doorway and gave me a thumbs up.

“Okay, little girl, just stay sleeping.” I reached over and touched the tips of the fingers protruding from her cast. I got a better view of her and saw there was a scar along her scalp. It was super long, too. Wonder what happened to her.

I wasn’t really sure what to do, so I kept touching her fingers. No warmth or anything. No tingling. Nothing.

“Working?” Hope whispered.

“I don’t know how to turn it on.” Maybe what happened with Hope was a fluke. Or something else entirely.

We couldn’t have both imagined it. Maybe this really was a power of mine. That’d be pretty cool.

At least until everyone found out what a freak I was. No more playing like a normal kid if that happened. What if they kicked me off the soccer team? Maybe I shouldn’t do this. I—

“Hurry. Nurse down the hall, coming this way.”

“Crap.” I squeezed the fingers a little harder. The girl whimpered.

Then the heat turned on. The tips of my fingers brightened. Started out pink like the shirt on the teddy bear she held. The heat bubbled. It leaked into the girl’s fingertips, too.

Yes. It’s working.

The girl whimpered, and I pulled away. Her cheeks were rosy now. Not that pale yucky color. And the dark circles under her eyes weren’t as bad.

“Crap,” Hope said a little too loud. “Janet’s texting me.”

I hadn’t felt my phone vibrate, but I pulled it out and there were two texts. Oh man. I must have been really focused to miss those.

“Come on.” She grabbed my arm and we pushed the empty wheelchair down the hallway, opposite the nurse barging down the hall.

We hid around the corner, both breathing heavy.

“You did it. Didn’t you?” Hope whispered. “Healed her?”

I looked at my hands. “They glowed again. She kinda made a noise, too.”

“And she looked better.” She sat back in the wheelchair. “Okay. Time to get an x-ray of my arm. Maybe that’ll tell us something, right? I mean. Would it show up if it was broken?”

I pushed her toward the waiting room Janet was in. “I read up on x-rays last night. Might show something. But probably won’t help me figure out what I did to you.”

“And the girl.”

Yep. Might be time to tell Janet what happened. Because I needed to find out exactly what I was.

~~~~~~

Join us Wednesday for Chapter 10 of Watcher of the Realms. Be sure to subscribe to the site to not miss a single chapter of Riley’s adventures.

A big thank you to Sizzling PR for the Realm Jumper graphics.

CLICK HERE to see previous chapters

See you soon….

Posted in Realm Jumpers | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Watcher of the Realms Chapter 8

Watcher of the Realms Banner

You’ve entered the world of The Realm Jumpers. The adventure with Riley and his trusty gang of genetic misfits continues…

Chapter 8

“Their striker is killing us. Riley, get in there and kick that speed of yours into gear.” Coach clapped his hands.

Even though it was a hot night, I jumped up and down to work out the chill that’d settled in. I’d been sitting the bench the whole first half. There wasn’t anything worse than watching the game from the bench as far as I was concerned.

I quickly got possession of the ball and passed it off, then broke away. Brian, Eric, and Anthony worked to free me up and once I had the ball again, I charged the goal.

Screaming from the crowd pumped me up. I could do this. I could—

A guy rammed into me from the side. Totally illegal, but the ref didn’t call it. I spun to shield from the steal, but he was quick. And the ball was gone.

Hope busted up the guy’s charge and kicked it out of our end. The other forward took off after the ball.

No way. I turned on the speed, my heart exploded into a sprint, and my muscles burned. This one was mine. The rest of the team was up field, only this guy and a couple of defenders to deal with.

No problem.

I beat him to the ball, dribbled it down, dodging his probes and busted free. I kicked and it went in right above the goalie’s head.

“Yes!” I clapped my hands once and turned to get back into position. A gaggle of people swarmed me.

Pats on my back, good jobs, and hugs—all that was for me? My teammates were so excited. High fives. Everything. In practice they just let me be if I scored.

“See, Bean Pole. Knew you could do it.” She punched my gut and took off to her position. “Now, keep that ball on your end!”

And we did. At least until the last minute.

Tied at two their striker made it past me, and I was chasing him down when I saw one of their guys charging Hope.

Laser-focused on the ball, ready to defend it, she didn’t see him coming. He saw her, though, and by the look in his eyes he didn’t plan on stopping.

She’d shut him down a few times tonight. He was out for payback.

“Hope!” She didn’t hear me. I was too far away.

I heard the collision from where I was. The crowd gasped. Hope rolled onto her back, holding her arm.

My speed suddenly kicked in again. A roaring heat in my chest ignited. Pounding. Pain.

This guy was going to pay.

He hurt my friend.

He broke the rules.

The guy spun in my direction. My fist went right for his jaw. The contact sent a jolt up my forearm and straight into my shoulder.

Whistles blew.

People screamed.

I fisted his shirt, lifted him then slammed him back down, into the grass. “You do not hurt people like that.”

Not my friend.

Not a girl.

“Riley!” Hope yelled through clenched teeth. “Don’t.”

Too late. Arms curled around mine and yanked me away from the kid.

“He did it on purpose,” Christian yelled. “Hope. You okay?”

Something had cracked. I’d heard it. That jerk hurt my friend. My best friend. My only friend.

Coach knelt beside Hope. Tears streamed down her face. “Anthony, you’re in. Come on, Hope. Can you stand?”

“Yeah.”

“You,” Coach yelled at me. “You’re out.”

“Sir—”

“Help me get her off the field. You’re done for the night.”

“Done for a couple games is more like it,” one of the refs said.

“What about him?” I pointed at the guy who tackled Hope.

His coach yanked him toward the sideline.

“You’re both done. Get off the field. Now!” The ref whistled.

I hurried to Coach and Hope and said, “I’ve got her, sir.”

He nailed me with a stare. “Act like I’m ripping you a new one, son, because I should be. But honestly that guy has been playing dirty all night. I don’t condone what you did, but I’m mighty proud of you for sticking up for your players.” He coughed and raised his voice. “You hear me, boy? Take the bench and stay out of my sight!”

Hope snickered through the tears as I grabbed her good arm to steer her off the field.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

“So not. But like Coach said, thank you. You flattened him so good my arm didn’t hurt so bad for a second.” She flinched. “For a second.”

“Medical people are headed this way.” I sat her down then kneeled before her. “Let me see. It sounded bad.”

She pounded the bench with her good hand. “I’m out for a while, aren’t I? This sucks rotten eggs!”

“Gross.”

“Figure of speech, Bean.”

I held her bad arm steady. I hated that she was in pain. If there was some way I could take it away from her I would. Actually, I felt like punching that kid again. This was his fault. He did this on purpose. I should go back over—

Crack.

“Ow!” She punched me. “What are you—” Her eyes widened. “Riley!”

My hands burned, hot. They were kind of red, too. As in glowing.

Had to be a reflection of something. The sun had set a bit ago, so it wasn’t a weird glare from it. Or the lights above.

What the heck?

“It’s warm,” she whispered. “Riley. Ow. Wait—it—feels better!”

Crack.

She flinched and looked at me. “Was that—”

“Your bone.” I released her hand and jumped to my feet. “That was your bone.”

I’d healed her.

~~~~~~

Join us Monday for Chapter 9 of Watcher of the Realms. Be sure to subscribe to the site to not miss a single chapter of Riley’s adventures.

A big thank you to Sizzling PR for the Realm Jumper graphics.

CLICK HERE to see previous chapters.

See you soon….

Posted in Realm Jumpers | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment