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Nancy Brar

He was devestatingly handsome. His spiked up dark hair fell in his dark eyes, his skin was the color of bronze and his body was muscular, shoulders broad and hands large and calloused. Rielly sat quietly in the back corner, studying him, thinking that there was something different about him. He was not like any of the other Norse Gods in Til-a-bury castle. He seemed tougher, more thoughtful, but not untouched by the world, like the others were.

"Ohmygod!" gushed the girl in front of her and leaned forward in her seat to have a better look at him. Rielly rolled her eyes and sat back comfortably in her seat, and tugged at her kilt, then bit her lip as she took her pencil and her hands began to draw a neat minature of the boy.

"He is soooo hot, Tammy!" the girl in front of her squirmed in her seat and rocked her desk back and forth. Tammy, Melissande's best friend and the most popular girl in school,already leaned forward, licked her lips in a seductive gesture and smiled a sultry smile.

"Back off, girlfriend," she told her friend. "This one is mine." Melissande's disappointment showed on her pretty face. But her face brightened when Tammy said, "You can have my boyfriend. I won't be needing him anymore." Rielly snorted in disgust at that comment. How could Tammy so easily use and manipulate people, then dispose of them when they no longer came in use to her? She glared at Tammy angrily.

"Bitch," Rielly muttered and went back to her drawing. Soon his face appeared out of that white pristine paper, his features jumping out off the page, startlingly clear. She looked up at him again and frowned. She closed my book, slamming it down hard and threw it under her desk. Then Rielly began to use her power. She held her breath, and soon the walls she had put up in her mind to block off people's thoughts from coming in, were down. She closed her eyes and blindly searched through the thoughts that were falling into my mind, for his.

"I hate Tammy for doing this. Why does she always get the good looking guys?"

"Hmmm...he looks cute..."

"I forgot to lock the door today...what if the dog gets out?"

"I hate being grounded...."

"I wish I was dead...."

"God give me strength...God give me strength...God give me strength..."

"Why did Mama have to die? I thought she deserved to live."

"Hey...I don't like the way Tammy's looking at the new guy. She better not be thinking of dumping me. Maybe I'll dump her first!"

Finally she touched his thoughts and then his mind. She was inside him now, feeling his emotions, feeling his thoughts, feeling everything. It was dark and scary, a winding circuit of blackness and then a tiny light standing calmly at the end of the tunnel and then a flash...and then she saw him.

He was wary, like an old alley cat, and cagey as if things were held inside of him. She felt a pinch of his fear, and a nagging anxiousness, a feeling of need. Then as she swam deeper into the pool of his feelings she felt a well of great power, fast and harsh, a reality undefined from a dream world. Then she was outside of him. It happened so quickly, dizziness overtook her and she grimaced. Blinking, she finally felt the world fall into her vision properly. And the new boy was standing straight in front of her. That was when Rielly remembered that there was an empty seat beside her.

He was staring at her intensely as if he too was reading her thoughts, but Rielly couldn't feel him in her mind. Then the connection was broken. "Yoohoo!" Tammy called out to him, patting the seat next to her. Reilly waited for him to run quickly to Tammy's side. He didn't. Instead he ignored her and sat in the desk beside Rielly's.

He was definitely different, Reilly thought, to turn down gorgeous Tammy's open invitation. Tammy was glaring at him, as if she was wondering how he had dared to turn her down in front of the whole of Mr. Shaw's English Class. Reilly shook her head and she scowled, when she realized that was exactly what Tammy was thinking. Reilly closed her eyes and blocked all of the thoughts away from her mind and shuddered.

She did not like having shallow, self centered Tammy Delaware's thoughts in her mind. That was why she hated having this power; all of her others she enjoyed; the power to be inside animals and become them, the power to move things around the room, to be able to make things happen at her whim.

Then she turned her attention back to the boy beside and frowned. Why had he chosen to sit beside her? Not once in all of her years of being at Till-a-bury town and attending Till-a-bury Castle had anyone approached her or sat beside her. They thought her strange, because her father and her lived at the edge of the woods, outside of town, really. And her father's working as a garageman who never spoke to anyone, not even his own daughter, made the town folk especially suspicious of her family. Even if it was only her father and her.
Her father didn't even know about her powers. Rielly never thought to tell him. It was not like he would have said anything in response, she reflected bitterly.

"Miss Dogwood?" Reilly blinked, then she remembered Mr. Shaw always took attendance in the middle of class. She waved at him and he nodded in acknowledgement. Mr. Shaw was probably the oldest teacher at Til-a-bury Castle, over seventy years old, half blind and a little deaf. He was an "Ancient" man. That was how Rielly thought of him, anyway.

"Dogwood?" Tammy said out loud and snickered. "Isn't that some kind of weed or something?" Rielly knew Tammy was bothering her because the new boy had sat beside her and not Tammy.

"What about Delaware?", Rielly surprised herself by saying.

"Isn't that some kind of tupperware brand?" Tammy shot her a look with daggers in it.

"Hey shut up, okay Dog?" Tammy answered back angrily. Rielly smiled at her sweetly.

"At least I don't have a 'plastic' personality, Tammy Tupperware." Some people snickered at that. Mr. Shaw didn't hear their sparring. Tammy opened her mouth in outrage, then closed it as she realized she didn't have any comback to that. She harrumphed instead. Melissande was giggling, until Tammy sent her a glare that effectively silenced her. "Sorry," she mumbled, but there was laughter in her voice. Rielly relaxed. Tammy didn't have the brains to win any verbal contest with her.

"Hey," an unfamiliar voice said beside her. Rielly looked up in surprise. The new boy was talking to her.

"You really put her out of business. Good work." Rielly smiled.

"Thanks," she muttered, embarrassed. Rielly didn't usually get singled out by Tammy Delaware, and she didn't usually say anything back, but today something had snapped inside of her. Rielly knew the new boy was talking to her only because he had no one else to talk to. Rielly was an outcast and probably the easiest person to talk with. People hated what they didn't understand. And they definitely didn't understand her.
Rielly was right. By Lunch time word had spread about the new boy. He was eating at the popular kid's table in the caf. And she discovered his name. It was Linck Benton.

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