Authors: Tabi Slick
For The Extraordinarily Talented
Copyright © 2016 by Tabi Slick
All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the author.
The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
To my critical inner voice.
For without it this novel would have been finished years ago.
Firstly, I would like to thank my parents for raising me and instilling in me a thirst for literature. I know I did not make it very easy for you at times, but I am so thankful that you didn’t give up on me. I now understand the struggle of persevering and the delight in overcoming this obstacle.
I would also like to thank my older sister, Elesha, for all of her advice throughout this novel and also for inspiring me to write. She was the first to pave the path for me and her writings influenced me to write my own at a young age.
Thank you to my husband, Devin, for his continued support during this writing process. It has been fundamental and I hope you enjoyed this adventure as much as I did.
A huge thanks goes out to my brother, Gabe, for all of his hard work he put into researching and brainstorming ideas. I am so thankful for the time he took out of his own schedule to listen to my shenanigans and for helping me out when I didn’t know which way to take the story. This novel would not exist without him!
A thank you also goes out to my friend, Ben, who kindly took the time to edit this novel. I appreciate all of your feedback and efforts in getting this story into tip-top shape!
Last, but not least, I would like to thank Amazon for making it possible to get my work out there into the reading world. With your services I have been able to make my dream come true.
I prefer the cold,
it reminds me every second
that I am still human.
I prefer being human,
it reminds me
that I cannot take responsibility
for the supernatural;
the nature in which we have no control
over where our imaginations take us.
I tried to push the images that were racing through my head away. I didn’t want to see their faces…the faces of the murdered and the slaughtered.
These were the faces of innocent people whose blood had been shed. But
How could this happen?
The floating bodies, hanging in mid-air...my insides screamed that this couldn’t happen!
But it had.
So, what did it mean? Did it mean that the things we had established as being inconceivable superstitions were actually
And if there truly was a god, then how could he have created such amazing beings only to allow them to be so cruel?
Were we to blame?
Had we truly become the demons that haunted our dreams?
When the flight landed I felt a part of me tear at the seams and scream to be back in the air where at least there was a chance of us crashing and blowing up.
“Welcome to Oklahoma City airport…!" A way too animatedly cheerful southern voice announced over the loudspeaker.
I cringed at the sound and had the intense desire to tell the voice to shove it.
So, how did I, Izara Torvik, the most popular girl in school get here? How did I get pulled out of the most prestigious school in New York? Well, it all started when my monstrous demon of a father, Varin Torvik, had the nerve to announce his marriage to his mistress only minutes after the death of our mother. When this imposter moved into our house she immediately started making passive-aggressive attempts to disrespect my recently deceased mother’s taste as well as snide remarks about how she would have better raised my twin brother Kain and I. How disgusting! As
I would want to be raised by a skank like her.
Anyway, Kain kept going to our father and telling him about all the disrespectful comments and how she would act when he wasn’t around, but our father wouldn’t listen to any of it. So, one evening, while this lady went on flapping her mouth, Kain couldn’t take it anymore. He stormed into father’s office and demanded that he kick her out on her ass. Obviously, our father did not agree to this and so Kain punched him square in the face. It didn’t help matters that all I could do was laugh at the whole spectacle. For that,
of us were kicked out of our home and sentenced to boarding school in Oklahoma where we would begin our Sophomore year of high school.
I hated leaving my friends, especially since the cutest guy in school was about to ask me out. It all got worse when I found out that I had been elected to be the president of our school’s drama club, which I had to decline due to the upcoming deportation of my entire existence from everything that I knew and loved. What harder price was there to pay?
“Come on, Izzy, let’s get outta here,” Kain said, interrupting my thoughts.
“Ugh!” I groaned, grabbing my bag from the overhead compartment, “I don’t want to even step foot in Oklahoma. Why would they even name a state ‘red people’ anyway? It’s not even intelligent since people aren’t actually the color of cranberries.”
“You complain too much,” he replied.
“Oh yeah, I forgot, you’re used to being shipped off to strange places,” I laughed, remembering all of the different places he had been because father couldn’t handle his moodiness, “Where was the last camp father sent you off to?”
Kain just rolled his eyes.
Kain and I were as different as two siblings could possibly be. Minus the identical crystal blue eyes, heart shaped faces, pale complexion, and jet black hair, we were nothing alike. I was outgoing, social, and hung out with the popular crowd. Kain, on the other hand, was moody and would constantly get into fights at school. That is, when he actually attended. He had a much harder time controlling the temper and moodiness that we had unfortunately inherited from our father. He was also apparently a basketball
, although he never would join the school’s team, probably because he couldn’t get along with anyone at school. As different as we were, no one could deny how much we actually did look alike. Our eyes and pitch black hair were usually the first things people noticed about us. No one could believe that they were natural, but they both were and we had our father to thank for it.
We stepped out of the smallest airport I had ever seen in my life only to be welcomed by the most deserted city ever. What happened to all the people? Did they get hit by tornadoes so often that they couldn’t even keep the population up?
“Who’s picking us up?” I asked.
“Some dude named Shane Walker,” Kain replied, “Sounds like some cowboy name from Bonanza.”
“How do we know him?” I asked.
“Some old business partner of dad’s, or something,” he shrugged, “dad didn’t say much about it.”
Just great. We were thousands of miles away from our father and he was still going to try and control us. He was probably like all the other guys he worked with; slime bags with money.
Suddenly, some guy hopped out of an old styled vehicle labeled “Park Ranger” and stood on the sidewalk in front of us. He took out a piece of paper reading “Varin’s kids” and held it up. Kain and I both exchanged looks of complete shock.
“A park ranger?” Kain mouthed.
I shrugged, obviously just as confused as Kain was.
This didn’t make any sense. Our father had worked for a finance company and then decided to have a midlife crisis and pick up fashion and now was a multimillionaire due to this weird obsession for clothing models. How did a park ranger fit into that picture?
“You Shane Walker?” Kain asked.
“Sure am!” The man replied in a heavy drawl.
not like dad.
“Ya’ll must be Varin’s kids,” he commented.
“Yeah, I’m Izzy and this is my brother Kain,” I replied, in the most convincingly friendly voice.
“Nice to meetcha,” he smiled.
The goal was to get on this guy’s good side so as to not cause future difficulties, whatever those might be. I was in uncharted territory and had no idea what was going to happen. But I knew that this guy was going to drive Kain insane and so I wanted to counteract the unpleasantness that might occur if my brother got pissed off. I could feel Kain’s blood boil every time this guy spoke and that worried me.
“Well,” he replied, motioning for the car, “let’s get some road on us.”
No way was I going to sit in the back. Kain could have the cage, but definitely not me. I quickly opened the door to the front and sat down. Of course Kain didn’t really care and opted for the back seat anyways. Probably because he knew that it would be awkward in the front. He was right. The drive was horribly uncomfortable and annoying. This dude played some honky tonk music for hours on end while I tried to smile and keep up some small talk. I knew I was in hillbilly country, but this was too much!
It took us forever to get to the exact part of the middle of nowhere where the ranger lived, about half an hour away from a town that was hardly even a block in New York! Just one stoplight and that was it.
After passing farm after farm, ranch after deserted ranch we finally pulled into a short country drive leading up to a quaint two story brick house. It was actually cute, if you were into the homey western sort of thing.
“Home sweet home, for a bit,” he announced, “that is, until ya’ll head off to the school. Let’s get yer bags and be off. The missus has been waitin’ all day to meetcha.”
The western theme continued on the inside of the house with the stuffed deer head hanging above a plaid sofa, which was next to a round metal fireplace thing. The walls were covered in family photos along with some really bad paintings of cows and other farm animals. They really should’ve considered using an interior decorator.
“Welcome, kids!” A petite Asian woman exclaimed as she came into the front room.
She had the longest, straight chocolate brown hair I had ever seen.
“Come in, make yourselves at home. Glad you both got here safely.
Lee!” She called over her shoulder.
“Coming!” Called a deep voice from the other room.
I immediately liked this lady. She seemed so sweet! I wasn’t used to such friendly people and she seemed genuinely happy to see us. Her persona gave off a comfortable vibe that was irresistible.
“Thank you so much for having us,” I smiled.
“Oh, it’s our pleasure! It’s so nice to meet you. I’m Sara,” she said, giving me a welcoming hug, “you must be Izara and Kain. Did I pronounce that right?”
“Yes, perfectly. It’s nice to meet you too!” I replied, a bit surprised by being hugged by this lady I had just met.
!” Sara called again, just as a tall boy entered the room.
My mouth immediately dropped as my eyes gazed upon the hottest looking guy I had ever seen in my life. He was definitely Asian, but his wavy brown hair had blond highlights that actually looked natural and his eyes were much lighter than I would’ve expected...almost gold. And his face! I couldn’t help but stare at his extraordinarily poetic face that made me almost embarrassed to look at it. Kain smirked behind me and came forward, outstretching his hand to greet the godlike figure of a man.
“I’m Kain,” he said, filling the awkward silence.
“Nice to meet you,” the handsome guy replied, shaking hands with Kain.
The guy named Lee’s voice melted from his lips, curling butterflies in my stomach. I was speechless.
“This is my sis, Izzy,” Kain said, rolling his eyes, “who is...currently without words.”
! I cried to myself.
“Hi, I’m Izara!” I replied, “I mean Izzy, short for Izara.”
Nice. Now I was being redundant. Then I just stood there, shifting from one foot to the other like a complete idiot. How could I be so mute right now?
“Alrighty, well let’s get you two settled into your rooms,” Shane said, breaking the silence.
I began gathering my bags, hoping to be able to finally relax after the long flight.
“Let me get that,” Lee said, grabbing the bag from my hands and flashing me an unnaturally brilliant grin.
“Thanks,” I managed to gasp, just barely able to tear my eyes away before he could notice me eying his toned arms that swung my suitcase so effortlessly over his shoulder.
“Lee, show her where the guest room is,” Sara said, as she gestured for Kain to follow her up the stairs, “Kain, you’ll be staying in Lee’s room which is over here.”
“Let’s go,” Lee said, heading towards the hallway.
I followed behind him, allowing my eyes to wonder about the house. There was a nice dining room just past the staircase that looked as if it led off to the kitchen and another room just down a small hallway, which I guessed was Shane Walker’s office or something from what I could see through the half opened door. We walked down a short ways and stopped in front of a couple of doors.
“So, that’s the bathroom and this is your room,” he said, opening the second door and leading us inside.
I entered the tiny room which was entirely decorated in sunflowers, all the way from the comforter and matching curtains to the pictures on the wall. I was sensing that somebody was a fan of the old fashioned decor.
“Thanks,” I said, smiling.
I really had to figure out how to form an entire sentence soon.
He smiled back, sending another swarm of butterflies to torment my insides.
“So, where are you from?" He asked, leaning against the dresser.
“New York,” I replied, “have you been?”
He shook his head no.
“What about you?” I asked.
“North Korea,” he replied.
He saw my face melt into a surprised look and laughed.
“Kidding,” he smiled, “I was born here in Oklahoma.”
“Oh, cool,” I replied, “I wouldn't have guessed that. You don’t seem to have one of those southern accents.”
“Yeah, I try,” Lee added, “So, what made you come all the way from New York to study at Tompkin’s Academy?”
“It’s a long story,” I shrugged, not really knowing where to start.
“How’s it coming in here?” Shane asked, poking his head through the doorway.
“Just showing her around,” Lee replied, “better let you get settled in.”
“Dinner’ll be ready here in a little bit, so don’t be long,” Shane announced.
“Sure,” I replied, as they left the room.
After unpacking a few of my things, I left the room and went to the living room. Kain was sitting with Lee playing video games, laughing and talking about whatever guys talked about. I stood there for a moment and then decided to go find everyone else. I headed towards the kitchen, which welcomed me with the most amazing smell. I entered the kitchen to find Sara busily making a home cooked meal.
“Can I help you with anything? I offered.
“Oh,” Sara replied, “well the food is just about ready...maybe you could set the table?”
“Sure,” I said.
“The plates are in that cupboard over there next to the glasses,” Sara said, “and the silverware is in this drawer.”
After gathering the plates and necessary utensils, I went to the dining room and began setting the table. I could hear the boys’ game going on in the next room and it seemed like they were really getting along, which was weird because Kain hardly got along with anyone. Just then Shane came in, inhaling the intoxicating smells that were drifting from the kitchen.
“Mmm nothing like fried chicken!" He chuckled, “Let’s see what’s playing on the stereo.”
He switched on an outdated radio next to the table that started blaring some sort of country music. I refrained from bursting out into tears of laughter, reminding myself that I
in Oklahoma so country music would be expected.