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Authors: Amanda McGee

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BOOK: Extraordinary
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“Well I can’t. I ate way too much. How are you able to function after all of that?”

“Mom says I eat like a man.”

“You can sure put away some nachos. It is clear that you have an excellent metabolism. I hate you a little.”

“I’m fine with that,” Sadie said with a giggle. “I’m confident enough to say you’ll come around sooner or later.”

I studied her. Her hair pulled back from her face by her extra-large sunglasses resting atop her head, Sadie gave a genuine smile to each person that passed. Even more surprising, they all smiled back. Some even waved and said “Hello.” I wondered if she knew the power she had.

Although I was certain her remark was meant as a joke, her words could not have been truer. I could never be angry with Sadie, much less hate her. Watching the reactions of everyone she met, I imagined no one else could either.

Our chatter faded to my subtle groans on the drive home. I let Sadie drive since it seemed she could consume copious amounts of food and not feel stuffed. I, on the other hand, never knew when to stop and left each visit to Mike’s in agony. This trip was no different.

Gwen Stefani sang of her love of others’ bathwater, strangely reminding me of my dream.

“So, I may have left out a bit of that dream I was talking about,” I said, curious what Sadie’s reaction would be. “The one where I saw you and Blaze.”

“I love hearing about dreams! Shoot!”

“There was this guy. I didn’t recognize him but I can’t get him out of my head.”

“I had a dream about a bear, you win,” she said as we both once again giggled like children.

I wondered if this was what life with Sadie would have been like? I had never disliked being an only child but a sister was like having a best friend that lived with you.

“He was so beautiful. It’s no wonder my mind keeps him around.”

“What’s he like? Details!”

“He just stood there. I wasn’t afraid of what was happening around me because all I saw was him.”

I became lost in the memory of the stranger’s eyes and how I longed to reach out to him. He mesmerized, enraptured, and fascinated me. My inner teenager launched into a barrage of cartwheels while on the outside I could manage nothing more than silent, unmoving wonder.

“That’s it!” she exclaimed, startling me. “That’s your magic! Your, I mean, our mom had magic journals and you have magic dreams.”

Sadie bobbed up and down in her seat like she had just won the lottery and could afford to save the planet, or something Sadie-like. Her reaction was similar to the one I had expected Kate to have, minus the planet saving. Aunt Leah seemed calm, I was skeptical, and Kate was traumatized. Yet, Sadie stood alone with her optimistic jubilation. Thank heavens, because without Sadie I might have been comatose on the side of the road or curled up in the corner of my living room.

“What kind of power is a dream? Everyone has dreams.”

“Yes, but not everyone dreams of people they don’t know exist and then has them turn out to be relatives. Maybe the guy you see is a relative too.”

“God I hope not. I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to have romantic thoughts about your cousin.”

“I will be the first to confess this is all very surreal. But you gotta admit it is intriguing.”

“But let’s say you’re right and this is some ability of mine, I thought the point of separating us was to keep our magic hidden. My dreams started before you got here and Blaze hasn’t even showed up yet. How is that possible?”

I could almost hear the wheels inside of her head spinning at an accelerated rate. I recognized the process quite well. Her expressions rotated between puzzled and hopeful and something resembling distress.

Is she searching for an answer or just a happy one?

“Aunt Leah said a person’s true magical nature cannot be suppressed,” I said, reasoning out loud.

“No one took your power,” Sadie added. “They just dimmed it a bit. Like you said, true power cannot be suppressed. Maybe your power has nothing to do with us. Maybe we don’t have any.”

“Or maybe this is insane.”

“That too.”

Maybe she was right, as far as solutions go that was about the best we could expect considering the circumstances. Mom’s abilities were taken from her when she came here but she never lost her genetic enchantment. Ours were never taken, just hidden.

“Wait,” Sadie blurted. “If you think technically, you spent time with both me and Blaze.”

“Blaze was around while Mom was pregnant with me and I was around while she was pregnant with you.”

“Right, so since you are the only one that was with both of us you got a little dose of magic activation.”

“So, I’ve got residual magic? Not all but some? What are we saying? Are you hearing this?”

Days before thoughts like this would have been dismissed as fictional absurdity but if magic was real then the belief that an unborn baby could have an effect on the outside world was not a stretch.

“I think I may go deaf from the loud thoughts in my head,” I said. “I was an over-thinker before but now half of my thoughts aren’t even logical.”

“This is our life now, Alex. Get used to it.”

“Sadie!” I screamed.

A truck sped through the intersection and crashed into the passenger side of my car. We skidded into the grass on the opposite side of the intersection. Tires squealed and metal twisted as if the two cars were becoming one. Glass shattered across my face and body, my head slammed into the panel between the front and back windows.

Sadie cried in pain and I could sense the fear growing inside her. The sound of her calling out to me cut deeper than the glass that had slashed through my arms and legs. I was helpless. I could not save her.

Blood began to stream down my right cheek. I lifted my hand to cover the bleeding but the darkness closed in around me until there was nothing but silence.

“Alex, what’s wrong?”

My eyes opened and my brain registered that there was no damage to the car or me. Several yards in front of us, we were approaching the intersection where I’d imagined the accident taking place.

“Sadie, stop!”

Sadie slammed on the brakes with no hesitation. Seconds later, a truck sped through the intersection, never attempting to stop.

My apparition
had saved us.

Sadie clutched her chest, wide-eyed and breathless.

“How did you know? I didn’t even see him!”

I couldn’t think of what to say because I had the same questions.

How did I see the accident before it happened? It felt so real—the truck slamming into my side of the car, the throbbing in my head, the gashes on my face and arms. Sadie’s fear radiated within me as if it were my own.

But it wasn’t real.

“Alex! What just happened?”

Sadie grabbed my arm and shook me. I could sense her hand, and my body reacted to her frantic push and pull, yet, inside, I was paralyzed.

How is this possible? Another power? Why is this happening now? We could have been seriously hurt!

My thoughts raced but my heart held onto the unforgettable terror. My own worries had been clumped together with Sadie’s. I had two sets of frightened emotions to sift through.

I do not want this. I certainly don’t need it. This is too much.

“Alex!” Sadie screamed.

“I—I saw it,” I said. “Not really saw, well, yeah I saw that truck slam into us.”

“But you weren’t asleep this time,” she said as we idled in the middle of the road.

“It was just…so…real.”

How will I survive this?

 

 

 

****

 

 

 

Chapter Six

 

“One day you will know. Try to understand.”

When Mom spoke these words, the last words she ever uttered, she was weak and in severe pain. At the time I did not recognize her plea and, quite frankly, it had managed to go unnoticed. Now, her meaning was devastatingly clear.

With each revelation, the need for more information on what was happening and what to expect began to overpower Sadie and me. Searching for information on something you never knew to exist and was a struggle to believe, yet it had been dictating your entire life was not likely to be found scribbled on notepaper in a kitchen drawer.

So Sadie and I decided the attic was the logical place to start.

Though I experienced some guilt reading Mom’s journal, plundering through the attic evoked little to no remorse on my part.

“Clearly all bets are off for leading a normal life,” I said, standing knee-deep in papers and photographs.

“What is normal?” Sadie asked. “Normal is boring!”

“But it’s easy.”

Normal to me was my mother and the life we had built for ourselves. After her death, I contemplated my fears of the future while ignoring the people who stopped by in the days after the funeral to pay their respects. Their concern was appreciated but considering the one person I loved most was gone, I could not muster anything more than silent gratitude. They were friends and acquaintances of hers, not mine.

Looking back, I felt silly for digging myself into a hole of depression when all the while caring faces surrounded me. Now that Sadie was here, the fear had diminished.

“All I’m finding is dust and cobwebs,” I said. “I have sneezed a hundred times and I still don’t even know what I’m looking for.”

“Somehow I don’t think there’s a piece of paper here with the answers we want.”

“Of course not! That’d be too easy. Our information likes to catch us off-guard and scare us to death.”

Joking about magic dreams was one thing but having a premonition and see it unfold was a different ballgame.

Our near death experience had opened our eyes to the importance of understanding our history and abilities. A bit of research seemed like a good, if not presumptuous, first step.

“Maybe you are the only magical one,” Sadie said. “So far there is nothing exceptional about me.”

She was wrong. She was exceptional, magic power or not. However, if Sadie possessed a supernatural gift we had yet to uncover it.

“My so-called abilities just come along out of the blue,” I said. “Maybe instead of searching for journals, we should explore what we know.”

We had dwelt on the unexplainable magic and the unknown origins of our own mother but we hadn’t stopped to understand what we had experienced for ourselves. I had not found my apparent ability in stacks of papers so why assume that Sadie would?

“Okay, so we know that your dreams have a way of coming true,” she said.

“I dreamed of you and Blaze before I knew you but I wouldn’t say it actually came true. Last I checked we haven’t been sucked into a tornado of Christmas lights,” I said, then realizing I hadn’t s
hared that part of my dream. “So assuming we aren’t insane, maybe my dreams show significant aspects of my life that I could not see otherwise.”

“Like a foreshadowing?” Sadie asked. 

“Maybe,” I said. “Almost as if they illustrate an upcoming event or meeting.”

“What do you think your visions show?” she asked.

“I have only had one—the truck. So, danger?”

“That couldn’t have been the only dangerous situation you’ve faced so I wonder why it waited until now to present itself? Are you sure you didn’t have one before and maybe didn’t recognize it?”

“Oh, I’d have known. It’s not something you can miss. It was like my mind became a video projector that was set on warp speed.”

“What did it look like?”

“Like a series of images flickering in my head.”

“Like one of those flip books? You know…the ones where the pictures look like they’re moving?”

“It was a bit more advanced but yeah,” I said. “Thankfully, the right images came through or else we could have been hurt.”

“Maybe my being here has activated another side of your magic. We know that it’s real and we think we know the purpose of your abilities, maybe now you have to learn to live with them. Control them.”

“How can I?” I asked. “From what I felt in the car last night, these visions happen fast. I don’t think they’re something I can control.”

That moment had played on a loop in my head every moment since. I could remember every detail as if the accident had been real.

“Warnings! My visions are warnings, my dreams are foreshadowing.”

“So, you’re like psychic. You can’t tell me this isn’t the coolest thing ever.”

Sadie froze, staring at me like I was the most popular attraction in the carnival sideshow tent.

“What? No excited dancing or bouncing around?”

“We should do tests!” she shrieked.

“Tests on what? Me?”

Through flashes of darkness, I saw the second step of the ladder break. Sadie tumbled seven or eight feet to the floor below. The table against the wall shuddered as her head crashed into the sharp corner. Sadie was never able to brace herself or make a sound but I could sense her terror and pain. Then she was unconscious.

BOOK: Extraordinary
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