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Sunday Scribble – “April NaNo 2016”

April NaNo 2016
Excerpt 4

Sierra replayed the practice simulation over in her mind. Willow was improving her focus on her surroundings. The girl generally got distracted easily with the more powerful senses of whatever animal she transformed into, but she was usually able to keep a good focus on the main goal of the practice. All she needed to do was practice multitasking, to remember the main goal and keep an eye on whatever other threat may pop up in the meantime.

Roy did well with that. He was almost the opposite, in fact. While he kept the focus of the simulation in mind, it was almost an afterthought in regards to him constantly checking out what was going on around him. Part of it, Sierra believed, was due to his paranoia about his powers. He hated being caught by surprise due to not only his nerves making him drip, but also because of his powers protecting him on their own.

Sierra had an inkling that his powers were growing and that Roy may be scrambling to catch up.

The security systems warned her of someone coming toward her room and she waited for the expected knocking.

“Come in, Ian,” she called. He slithered in his pool of shadows under the door crack rather than walk across the threshold.

“Evening,” he said as he settled in his solid, human form at the end of her bed. She gave him a smile from her computer chair as a greeting before waiting patiently for him to speak his mind.

“How are you?” was his question instead.

She raised an eyebrow in slight perplexity before saying, “I’m doing just fine, thank you. And you?”

“Not bad, thanks,” he said.

“Was there something in particular you wanted?”

“Am I interrupting you from something?”

“Not really,” Sierra admitted. “I was replaying Roy’s and Willow’s latest practice simulation.” He glanced at her powered down computer, a ripple of darkness making his brows furrow in confusion. “I was replaying it in my mind.”

“Ah.” He nodded. “Everything seem okay?”

“Yes, I suppose,” Sierra said. “They’re both improving and doing their best, although I am a touch worried that Roy’s powers are growing too quickly for him to keep up.”

“Is this about his gene reacting to his surroundings and emotions rather than his will?” Ian asked, to which Sierra nodded. “Perhaps we should have him practice keeping his emotions calm, such as you with your yoga.”

She blinked, having not thought of the idea. “That would be good. I’ll invite him to join me once in a while.”

“Maybe I can as well?” Ian asked.

“You want to do yoga?” Sierra said. With a slight smile, she teased, “Forgive me, but you seem to be flexible enough.”

He childishly stuck his tongue out at her. “Yes, as a shadow I am. It will be a challenge to keep myself in my solid form. And I’ll be able to hang out with you more.”

“Now, why would you want to do that?” Sierra meant to continue teasing her friend, but he grew serious.

“Because I never did when we were students,” he said, “and I regret that. If you’ll have my friendship, I will gladly give it.”

“I had believed I already had it,” Sierra said.

“Well, yes, you do,” Ian said, running a hand through his mess of dark hair. “I want to continue giving it by getting to know you better, if that makes more sense.”

“It does,” Sierra said. “You’ll have to understand, though… I’m not used to just hanging out for the sake of it. My mind is always working. Relaxing with a friend is a bit of a foreign concept.”

He gave her a fanged smile. “Not for long, I hope.”

Sierra was saved from responding by both of their cell phones beeping from receiving text messages. Rather, Sierra’s beeped. She raised an eyebrow at Ian for having the sound of ducks quacking as his text tone.

He was unabashed as he looked at the message and said what Sierra already knew from mentally reading her own. “Vanessa and Faith are almost home with the new students. Perhaps we should get the rooms ready.”

Sierra stood up. “Two more boys’ rooms and another girl’s, yes?”

“That’s right. It’s about time, too. Roy and I are seriously outnumbered here.” Ian mimicked her, standing up and heading toward the door. Instead of disappearing via his shadows, he held open the door for Sierra. With a jester’s bow, he said, “After you, my lady.”

“Thank you,” Sierra said with a soft shake of her head at his antics. “Perhaps we should warn Roy and Willow as well?”

“Nah, let’s let it be a surprise,” Ian said.

“Ian…”

“Of course we’re going to tell them. Get ready for a full house again, Sierra.”

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Posted by on April 24, 2016 in Scribbles

 

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Sunday Scribble – “April NaNo 2016”

April NaNo 2016
Excerpt 3

Oh, good God, there were more of them.

Claudia couldn’t believe the handful of new students that had appeared at the high school in the past month. There was that little chatterbox of a freshman who seemed to believe that everyone in the world was her friend and rainbows sprouted from wherever she walked. Claudia had the misfortune to have home economics with the girl. Her parents must have been hippies to name her Willow. Who names their child after a tree?

As if Willow wasn’t loud enough, there was Eddie, a literal dancing fool. The kid couldn’t walk straight, always doing some sort of jazz square or waltz or foxtrot, and Claudia vaguely wondered if he would be able to pass a sobriety test. She could always tell when Eddie was coming down the hallway. If his dancing steps weren’t loud enough, his voice certainly was. He was almost always humming, at the very least, if not belting out some lyric from a Broadway show.

Nathan didn’t seem too bad, but he was a bit terrifying. He was a looker, that much Claudia and the rest of the high school’s straight gals and gay guys noticed right off the bat. Tall, broad-shouldered, recruited to the football team the moment he set foot into the school, Nathan was the epitome of the strong, silent type of guy that starred in all the good romance novels. Add in sandy-brown hair and steel-blue eyes, and Nathan would never have trouble finding a date on Saturday nights.

He was always just staring, though, at almost nothing in particular if he wasn’t listening in on the other Exception School’s freaks’ conversations. He stuck close to the others, barely speaking, but being an intimidating bodyguard all the same. Claudia would love a chance to talk to him just one-on-one, but she wasn’t sure how to get his attention or drag him away from the others.

Perhaps Heather would know something…

Heather, for the most part, seemed to be the most normal of the lot. In fact, Claudia would have almost felt threatened by her if Heather didn’t hang around such obvious social outcasts. Heather spoke when she needed to, kept her head high as she sauntered through the hallways, and seemed to hang out with Roy and the others just out of loyalty to the Exceptional School. If there was a link in that chain that could be weakened and broken, it may very well be Heather.

Maybe Heather was the key to figuring out what exactly went behind the walls of the Exceptional School for Exceptional Students. At the very least, maybe Claudia could get Nathan’s cell phone number.

Claudia watched through her locker mirror as Heather, with Willow yakking the older girl’s ear off, gathered her belongings from her own locker across the hall. Claudia willed for Willow to take off and find someone else to talk about some birds that were hanging around the school yards – seriously, the little freshman must think she’s Snow White or something – so Claudia could talk to Heather alone.

Someone from up above must have been watching out for Claudia, although even she didn’t know why, for Eddie soon appeared and offered to walk with Willow to her next class. Claudia raised an eyebrow at seeing the pair nearly skip down the hallway. Were the freaks from the Exceptional School dating? How snobby can you be? Was no one at the regular high school good enough for either of them?

Claudia shook her head. Those thoughts weren’t important right now. Instead, she needed to focus on what she was going to say to Heather. Claudia, after being sure her makeup was touched up, slammed her locker in time to see Heather finish up her own business.

With her fake bright smile, Claudia said, “Hi, Heather! Not sure if you remember my name—”

“Claudia Henderson,” Heather said with a nod. “We’re in the same math class.”

“Right.” Claudia kept her smile plastered on her face. “Not sure if you would have known my name. We haven’t really gotten a chance to get acquainted yet.”

“Can’t really talk while math goes on,” Heather said with a shrug. “What’s up?”

“I was thinking of how cheerleader tryouts are coming up soon,” Claudia said. “I’m one of the captains of the squad, and you look to be in the perfect shape to help us out this year. Thought I’d extend the invite.”

“Hm.” Heather didn’t seem too thrilled, which Claudia took as a personal insult. Most of the girls in the high school were ecstatic for cheerleader tryouts. Besides helping the school keep its spirit and whatever, it beat going to the gym to stay in shape.

“Or even the dance team,” Claudia added, hoping that one of the programs she was on would appeal to Heather.

“Not a dancer.” Heather shook her head. “Eddie may be glad to hear that, though. He was the guy who just danced down the hallway with Willow, the girl I was speaking to before you introduced yourself.”

Claudia gave a thoughtful hum to Heather’s words. “Yeah, I’ve definitely seen them around.” She half-hoped that Eddie wouldn’t try out for the dance team and was honestly regretting saying anything. Heather may tell the guy, and Claudia may be stuck seeing him after school twice a week. The dance team could always use more guys, but with the way he moved, Eddie may outshine the rest of them.

“I don’t know,” Heather said. “Maybe I’ll check out the cheerleader tryouts.”

“Perfect!” Claudia said. “They’re after school on Friday right in the gymnasium. You don’t need to do a routine or anything, just show up and show us what you can do.”

Heather nodded and gave Claudia a crooked smile. “Alright then. Thanks.”

“No problem!” Claudia faked a glance at the clock in the hallway and said, “Ah, we better run to our classes. It was great talking to you!”

She dashed off and gave Heather a backwards wave, planning on slipping her number into the other girl’s locker before the end of the day. Going around the corner, Claudia ran smack into someone’s arms.

“Whoa, hey…! I know I’m charming, but you don’t have to literally fall for me,” was the cheeky, and somewhat cute, line from the guy.

Claudia straightened herself out of his arms and smoothed her outfit. “Ugh, sorry Andrew. Mr. Peterson will have a field day if I’m late to his class again.”

“I’ll walk with ya.” Andrew fell in step beside Claudia, his hands casually folded behind his head. Every two steps Claudia took was only one for him.

“And your class?” Claudia asked rhetorically.

He shrugged. “It’s Davidson’s class and she loves me. She doesn’t care when I’m late.”

Claudia rolled her eyes and laughed. “How a little nerd like you manages to get everyone wrapped around his finger is beyond me.”

“Not exactly everyone.” He wiggled his eyebrows at her, and she shook her head. “Besides you, there is another who has resisted my charms so far and it’s quite perplexing. Maybe you can give me some insight as to the female mind…?”

“Stop with the theatrics,” Claudia said. “Any girl who doesn’t want to go out with you is one smart cookie.”

“That’s the thing,” Andrew said. “She hasn’t said no, per se. She just… hasn’t gotten back in touch with me. I thought things were going great when we were first talking. I was flirting, she was receptive, I was charming, she was falling—”

“Is there a point to this?” Claudia asked.

“Yes,” Andrew said. “This is the first time I’m going after a girl from the Exceptional School, so give me some pointers—”

“Heather?” Claudia stopped short and Andrew almost tripped over his own feet to stop with her.

“No, not Heather, although she is a damn fine-lookin—”

“You’re going after the freshman?” Claudia deadpanned.

“They’re usually easier.” Andrew shrugged. “Besides, Willow’s cute, both in looks and in eagerness. Almost like a puppy. But she hasn’t contacted me since I gave her my number.”

“Well, I’m going to see Heather later,” Claudia said. “Trying to convince her to join the cheerleaders, maybe get a little inside on the Exceptional School, you know? I’ll see if she can put in a word for you.”

“Aw, Claudia, that’s so nice of you.” Andrew grinned. “What do you want?”

Claudia dug a chemistry worksheet out of her bag as she paused outside of Mr. Peterson’s door. “It’s due last period. Give it to me at lunch?”

Andrew snatched the sheet with a salute. “Got it. See ya later!”

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2016 in Scribbles

 

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Sunday Scribble – “April NaNo 2016”

April NaNo 2016
Excerpt 2

There was another one.

Claudia stared at the new sophomore, a gangly guy who looked as if he hadn’t yet grown into his skinny limbs. His hair was blue of all things and she almost dismissed him for being a hippie wannabe. He kept his eyes downcast when he wasn’t focused on his own belongings, always just going his own way without glancing at anyone else.

That was what made her seek him out. It wasn’t often at all that a boy didn’t look her way, and she felt slighted. Fortunately for her, maybe not so for him, the pair had the same lunch and she freely took a seat across from him at his table in the corner of the cafeteria.

With a bright smile, she introduced herself. “Hello there! I’m Claudia Henderson. And you?”

He faltered, his roast beef sandwich halfway to his open mouth, one eyebrow arched in confusion. After a second, he composed himself and simply said, “Roy Kingsley.”

“It’s a pleasure.” Claudia made sure to smile again before stabbing a chicken nugget with her fork. She allowed the silence to overtake the pair for a few minutes, letting Roy fall into a sense of security, before asking, “How long have you been here? I don’t remember seeing you around often.”

“Just got here this week,” Roy said.

She waited for him to elaborate, but when he didn’t, she had no problem prompting him. “Where are you from?”

“Ohio,” was the stilted response.

“Wow.” Claudia feigned interest. “What brought you over here to the east coast?”

“The schools, really,” Roy said after a moment. This time Claudia stared at him until he fidgeted in his seat, drained a quarter of his water bottle, and continued speaking. “I’m, uh, enrolled in the Exceptional School for Exceptional Students.”

Color her surprised. Roy didn’t seem particularly gifted in anything, least of all social skills.

“My parents tried to get me in there,” Claudia said, doing her best not to show how annoyed she was at being declined admission. At that point, she hadn’t known exactly what the school was about, but the idea of not being good enough for their precious student body was enough to make her blood boil. At least she could fish for information from Roy. “What do you do at that school?”

His pause was long enough to make her think he either hadn’t heard her or was ignoring her on purpose. Before she could berate him for either reason, Roy said, “It’s weird to explain.”

“We go to a public high school,” she drawled with a quirked smile. “What could be weirder?”

He finally held her gaze, his blue eyes steely enough to startle her, before he cleaned up his tray and capped his water bottle. “Plenty of things. Excuse me.”

Roy dumped his trash and disappeared from the cafeteria before Claudia blinked. After a moment, she stood up herself and did her best not to scowl at anyone who so much as glanced her way. How embarrassing to be left alone, ditched, at the lunch table! Roy would definitely get a piece of her mind the next time she saw him.

Maybe she wasn’t being entirely fair to him. Roy was a new guy, after all. Claudia took a deep breath and tried to be reasonable. Perhaps he was just shy, which was understandable – most boys were shy in her presence. It was just the effect she had on them, and Roy had seemed to be sweating near his hairline. Maybe he really needed the bathroom. He had chugged a whole water bottle, after all. She could give him another chance.

With her head held high, she cleaned up her own lunch, fully intending on pretending that Roy’s and her conversation had mutually ended, and left the cafeteria to wander the halls until her next class.

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2016 in Scribbles

 

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Sunday Scribble – “April NaNo 2016”

Here is an unedited excerpt from my Camp NaNo project. Not entirely positive where it’s going to end up, but it’s fun so far! Enjoy!

April NaNo 2016
Excerpt 1

It was called the Exceptional School for Exceptional Students and, by all outward appearances, seemed to be a standard boarding school for the gifted children of the world. Enrollment was by invitation only and the school had gained a few enemies of well-to-do families when their children apparently did not make the cut.

Not many truly knew what the school was about. Much of it was hush-hush, kept on the down-low, from the outside world. Many reporters attempted to contact Dr. Elizabeth Jacobs, the headmistress of the school and a well-known scientist in the fields of biology and physics. In the very few interviews she had granted, all she said about the school was that it was a home for higher learning for hand-picked students.

Higher learning indeed. The students of ESES, typically teenagers, were all enrolled in the local city’s high school for their education. It became curious that the teenagers were enrolled in a place that touted higher learning while also in the public education system. The teenagers, when asked, tended to stick to similar responses as to why they were learning algebra and taking physical education with the rest of their peers:

“The Exceptional School is teaching us skills about how to deal with the world, not just the standard subjects in high school.”

“The simplest way to describe our school is that we practice how to navigate in the real world.”

“You kidding? Learning algebra is way easier than the practice I have to do at ESES.”

“High school P.E. is a walk in the park compared to the activities I’m scheduled for at Exceptional.”

Not much else is typically shared. Most of the ESES students tend to band together, seemingly aloof from the rest of the high school populace, earning a few snobby reputations and not many desire to get closer to them. A few try, and a few ESES students are pleasant enough to become friends with those unaffiliated with ESES, but many tend to stay clear.

At least, that was what all the rumors foretold of the Exceptional School for Exceptional Students, and there seemed to be no evidence proving the rumors otherwise. It was with these skeptical thoughts that led Roy Kingsley into deciding whether or not he should go.

He glanced across the table in one of the meeting rooms of the foster house at the woman who came from the Exception School. Vanessa Tucker stared back at him impassively, her green eyes bright against her black skin, apparently waiting with the patience of a saint for him to make up his mind.

“What happens if I say no?” Roy asked.

“You could very well lose control,” was the immediate response. He leaned back from the table at her words and she continued. “We both know what you can do. It will only grow and if you do not keep up with its growth, you will fall behind and get lost.”

“And the Exceptional School can help with that?”

“That is what the Exceptional School does,” Vanessa said. “It is why the school was built, to help those like us.”

“How do you know what I’m like?” Roy asked, his voice quiet.

“Some of our kind have physical evidence.” Vanessa pointed to Roy’s navy-blue hair, and the teen slunk lower into his chair. “Those who do not, however, still share the same activated super gene that grants us our differences from the rest of humankind. That is how we were able to track you down.”

“That’s weird.”

“Perhaps.” Vanessa shrugged. “Nevertheless, we found you and we’re offering you a much better home and education than you would ever get here in the Ohio foster system.” She paused, allowing her words to sink in, before giving Roy a sad smile. “Where do you believe you’ll go after you age out of the system?”

He glared at her, but she wasn’t deterred.

“Roy,” her words were almost gentle, “we both know that you won’t be adopted, not with the medical bills that surround you. You will have the best care available at the Exceptional School for Exceptional Students, and you will never age out of it. The ESES will always be there for its students.”

Roy took deep breaths and trying not to show how Vanessa’s words stung. Of course he had realized long ago that he wouldn’t ever be adopted. He was too much work for a normal pair of middle-class parents. Not only did his blue hair turn off most couples, seeing how he needed to always have water on hand made sure they never took a second look at him.

“I, uh…” He swallowed the lump in his throat as his eyes took another look at the packet of information about the school that Vanessa had given him when they had first sat down together. “I guess I really don’t have too many options…”

“Is that a yes?”

Roy looked back up at Vanessa, her expression schooled into mostly a poker face. A hint of a smile curled on her lips.

He nodded once. “Yes, I guess it is.”

“Wonderful!” Vanessa clapped her hands, making Roy jump with her sudden exaggerated movements, and she stood up from her seat. Her chair scraped noisily across the floor and she took long strides towards the door. Roy heard Vanessa call out to his foster mother, no doubt to get the paperwork rolling so he would officially be under the Exceptional School’s care rather than Ohio’s foster system. He heaved a sigh before getting up himself, grabbing the packet of information before going to join Vanessa.

He probably should start thinking about what to pack.

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2016 in Scribbles

 

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