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Authors: Amanda McGee

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BOOK: Extraordinary
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Reality snapped back into focus, pushing a gasp from my lungs. I grabbed her arm just as she took her first step onto the ladder.

“Skip the second step,” I said, still holding onto her arm.

Sadie hurried down the ladder, avoiding the step as directed, and began her usual buoyant chatter. I remained in the attic analyzing what had happened and waiting for Sadie’s brain to realize something had happened at all.

“Wait…did…you had another vision didn’t you?” Sadie gasped. “I could have broken my neck!”

“You are fine,” I said, descending the ladder.


My second vision only increased Sadie’s desire to provoke another one. She escorted me—I mean, dragged me—to the front yard and, despite the look of determination on her face, the mission before us seemed mostly unattainable and entirely dim-witted. I could not fathom how she intended to test my magic powers.

“So what’s the plan?” I asked, half expecting her to say ‘Jump off the roof and tell me if you see it beforehand.’

“I can’t figure out how to cause danger without you being in danger.”

No sooner did the smile form on my face and the laughter began to vibrate throughout my body did I realize she was not joking.

Sadie took a few laps around me, undoubtedly constructing a way to safely endanger me.

“Rarr,” she said, grabbing me from behind.

“I don’t think it works that way. Plus, you are the least terrifying person I know.”

With a look of intense deliberation, Sadie walked in circles around me. I humored her by not leaving or mocking her methods, but my patience was thinning. An unwelcome visitor seemed to sympathize with my plight. A bee buzzed around Sadie’s head, distracting her from her task and allowing me a moment to relax. Sadie swatted at the insect a few times, huffing and puffing in annoyance, then ceased fire. Her hands came to rest on her hips and her head tilted to the right, contemplating. Her eyes peered up at me. She had an idea.

“No, I won’t let it sting me, Sadie.”

Her snicker was interrupted by the unforgiving harassment of the tiny bee. The persistent insect managed to get the best of her and she threw her hands up in defeat. Sadie glared and yelled, “Stop!”

As if this particular bee understood English, it froze in mid-air.

“Sadie, what did you do?”

“Now stop bothering me,” she said with a wave of her hand.

Under her spell, the bee obliged. It flew off toward the nearby trees.

My mouth hung open so wide I feared I would trip over it. Unable to have any other reaction, I waited for Sadie’s.

She’s going to explode. Oh, she’s going to trip hard.

“I hypnotized that bee. I have a power, too! It’s weird. I don’t really get it. But it’s mine.”

Yep, there she goes

Sadie flitted about the yard with the grace of a ballerina and the animation of a child hopped up on birthday cake. Rather than point out how insane our lives had become, I joined in the celebration and flitted about as well. Only, my flitting was not as graceful and endearing, so I called it off.

“I’m willing to bet there is more to it than insect control,” I said. “Sadie, be still. I can’t concentrate when you get like that.”

Her exhilaration took on a life of its own and once again, I was grateful my neighbors were half a mile away.

“Sorry,” she said. “It’s just all so exciting. I have a sister and a brother and a strange magic power, my mind can’t process all this excitement!”

The astonishing part of it all was that she was not the least bit out of breath. After fifteen minutes of darting across the lawn, there was not a hair out of place or a labored gasp to be heard. She could eat like a very large man and was in great shape.

We are so weird

“Yours is easier to test,” I said. “Let’s figure you out first.”

Sadie’s discovery came at the perfect time. I was a few seconds away from being asked to rush into oncoming traffic.

Again, Sadie came to a halt opposite me, but this time the serious expression on her lively face caused me to crack a smile. She ignored my teasing chuckles, concentrated deeply or, as it looked on my end, stared me down. With a raise of her dainty hand, my body fell still and my gaze mirrored hers, reaching deep into her eyes.

Her hand swayed from side to side and, in complete synchronization, my body did the same. Sadie motioned her hand up and down and I complied with an identical head nod.

“Bark like a dog,” she said.

“Yeah right,” I said, cracking under the weight of the hilarious charade.

“You were just fooling me?”

Sadie’s voice carried such disappointment that I began to feel guilty for my gag, which had never happened to me before. Under normal circumstances she probably would have been the first to find the humor in the situation, but this time my joke was deemed heartless. The moment was about Sadie and her curiosity for her newfound ability not my incessant need to make light of situations.

“Come on, I have an idea,” I said.

I strolled to the edge of the yard in search of another insect to test our hypothesis on and redeem myself. With every passing moment, the oddities I faced decreased in shock value. Scouring the lawn for insects to practice magic powers on was just another day in the life of the Ryan clan.

“Here,” I said, presenting her with a ladybug. “Try it on her.”

Sadie looked up at me through thick lashes that touched her crinkled brows.

“You won’t hurt it, Sadie.”

Sadie took a moment to deliberate and then approached the ladybug with caution.

“I don’t know what I did before,” she said.

“Just concentrate. You can do it.”

The ladybug fluttered off my hand before Sadie could refute my request. The ladybug’s wings fluttered but it hovered motionless. Sadie had stopped the bug’s escape with a stern gesture I could only describe as the well-known signal for “stop.”

She waved her hand but it did not move.

“I killed it,” she said.

“The ladybug is floating in mid-air; somehow I doubt its dead.”

Sadie studied the unsuspecting insect as she walked towards it. The ladybug mirrored Sadie’s every advance, floating backwards with each step she took.

Without a single blink, Sadie’s hazel eyes followed the insect while it hovered in my direction and came to rest on my hand.

I couldn’t help but marvel as again and again, she experimented with the unlikely test subject making it move as she pleased. After several minutes, a satisfied grin spread across her face. Sadie waved her hand one last time and shooed the ladybug back to the very leaf it had been plucked from.

“That was amazing.”

“I didn’t even have to say anything,” she said. “It moved with just my thoughts.”

Well, we have definitely traveled upward on the strange-and-exciting meter.

Most people spent their summer vacations relaxing or traveling. As the sun shone above, maintaining the balmy temperature we were accustomed to that time of year, Sadie and I began our break from school or, in my case, hibernating, by finding our magical powers.

“Welcome to Club Enchanted,” I said. “Mark my words, this summer is sure to be one for the record books.”

Our lives had gone from ordinary to actually extraordinary.

“My mind has a mind of its own and you can control minds,” I said.

These tongue-twisting facts did not alarm me. The weirder our lives became the more I began to relish this peculiar turn of events.
Okay, I was still scared half to death but it was starting to get interesting.

“No one will ever believe this,” she said with a smile that reached from ear to ear.

“That’s why we can’t tell anyone,” I said. “It was hard enough for us to believe and we have seen it for ourselves.”

“What about your friend, Kate?”

“I’m relieved that she already knows some of this. As for the rest, I haven’t decided how to approach it so I just let our conversations center around you.”

“How do you think she will react?”

“I can usually predict Kate’s responses but this is all so science-fiction it’s hard to say for sure. But one thing I do know, there’s no way to keep it from her.”

Sadie insisted that we continue to experiment but I knew she was still scheming to invoke a vision. Though I was curious about it myself, impending danger was something I preferred to delay at any cost.

“You still haven’t admitted it.”

“Admitted what?” I asked.

“How amazing this all is.”

“I assumed it went without saying,” I said. “I just wasn’t as keen on diving in headfirst as you were.”

Since the day we met, our “powers” had begun to take effect. The magic nonsense wasn’t nonsense after all. The universe was filled with events that couldn’t be explained but because something was difficult to accept as truth did not mean it was false. My once healthy mother, who never even had allergies, died of cancer at the age of forty-three—sometimes there was no explanation.

Aunt Leah said she took the information on faith. I was beginning to understand why certain occurrences couldn’t be denied even when your brain told you otherwise. Faith was trusting in something that may surpass your ability to cognitively process it.

Nevertheless, at times, faith was present to justify your belief and, in our case, decrease panic and anxiety.

“I thought you’d be a little bolder,” Sadie said. “No offense, but you really should lighten up.”

Okay, that is twice she has said that

“Come with me,” I said, taking her hand. “I want to show you something.”

Since we were already at the edge of the woods, I decided to share my special place with Sadie.

We walked in silence down the trail I had frequented on a regular basis since I was a child. There was a handful of times that I’d invited a guest along—specifically, Kate—but having Sadie next to me was just as comfortable as being alone.

I was partial to drifting around with no destination in mind. That was the point, to get away and be lost for a while.  Life was something I could not control no matter how hard I tried. This always proved contradictory to my controlling, analytical personality. These strolls were my chance to break away from the world and myself.

“The woods? You wanted to show me the woods?”

“I can’t even account for all the time I have spent wandering through these trees. This is one of the few places I don’t obsess over every little thing. Where I can just…be.”

“Wonder why that is? What is it about this place that lets you relax when the rest of the world won’t?”

“I guess because it’s something I’ve done most of my life. Mom would let me walk the trail alone even when I was little. I felt grown-up and in control and capable. She trusted that I would find my way back and I always did.”

“Do you think that’s why she didn’t tell you about us before she died? She knew you’d find your way on your own?”

“I don’t know if it’s that complex but it seems I didn’t know my mother very well so it’s possible.”

An unexpected shudder ignited in my chest, rippling down my body. I sensed that someone was watching us. Not in a new super-powered way but in a normal made-the-hair-on-my-neck-stand-up way. Without a vision of approaching peril to knock me half-unconscious I was more inquisitive than troubled about the goose bumps descending the length of my arms.

“Alex,” Sadie said, clenching my arm.

Spinning around, I saw two green lights flickering in the distance. Between the trees and heavy shade, the glow was motionless, resembling two eyes staring back at us.

“I can’t tell what it is,” Sadie said, squinting.

The sun had begun its decent into the horizon thereby providing little illumination. Our path was revealed but what hid behind the unusual glow remained a mystery.

Sadie’s petite body slid closer to mine. Her tanned shoulder a stark contrast against my pale arm though our apprehension was matching.

“Umm, let’s go back to the house,” I said, turning her away from the discomforting glow.

“No way! Let’s see what it is.”

Before I could process Sadie’s gutsy statement, she had already started to jog towards the lights.

“Sadie!” I said, chasing after her.

Sadie stopped mere feet from the tree line that veiled the mysterious source of the illumination. She stared into the two lights as if she were in a trance. Panicked, I waved my hand in front of her face.

“Sadie! Are you insane?”

“It’s not going to hurt us. You would’ve had a vision.”

“Not necessarily. Maybe it just hasn’t decided to kill us yet?”

“It’s gone!” Sadie gasped.

“Good, let’s go. This is a lot for one day.”

My curiosity convinced me to take one last glance but there was still no sign of the unusual lights. A shuffle of leaves and crackle of limbs propelled me into a frantic power walk, pushing Sadie to speed up.  For all we knew it could have been large fireflies. We traveled the rest of the way home in a full-on jog just in case.

BOOK: Extraordinary
6.65Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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