by Kyle May
by Kyle May
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Word Count: 1,237
Damien T. Taylor
Mr. Berk entered the classroom with a long droopy smile, his trademark among the students of Grant High. He wore the same expression the first time he introduced himself to my freshman English class and ever since I’ve been fond of him. He was one of the few who looked past my memorization abilities—a gem to most of my teachers—and admired the creativity that most overlooked. He was the one who talked me into joining creative writing instead of signing up for the typical English three, bolstering my passion for turning the aspects of my dreams loose on the page. He was my mentor, and without realizing it, he helped me keep my inner demons in check.
With a massive yawn, he greeted the class and began with the day’s lesson. On most days I listened intently, but today I had other, more pressing thoughts, one being the images from last night’s dream: the black carriage stealing away a multitude of mourning souls. If the souls represented human lives and the carriage driver was the murderer, then I knew, at the very least, that a serial killer had just invaded our little town. The only question was, was he was like Morgan and me? Was he a psychic? My fingers trembled at the thought, not with fear but excitement. I’d like to think that chasing after dangerous people, and bringing a swift end to the evil things they did was a goal Morgan and I had formed out of righteousness, and a need to see powers like ours stripped from the hands of criminals.
I had liked to think that I was a decent human being but I knew better than that. There was something about the psychic powers my sister and me, and the unknown numbers of other psychics possessed, that brought out the darkest parts of human nature. It wasn’t righting the wrongs that made hunting evil psychics fun. It was the hunting itself. What good we found in doing so was merely a crutch, a means to justify our addiction.
Clenching my fingers over the edge the desk, I fought to regain control and ward off the evil intentions that clouded my focus.
I may be a monster, but not here. In school I was normal. I’m a high school student. I’m Travis Foster. As my body calmed, I became overly aware of my surroundings. My classmates were staring at me, Mr. Berk as well.
“Travis… do you have anything to read to the class today?”
Almost immediately I leaped from my chair, causing the small desk in front of me to tilt and fall over. The roar of the classroom stung my ears. If I had been white, my face would have turned bright red. In those moments, I was always glad that I wasn’t.
After my disaster in creative writing, I wanted nothing more than to go home, crawl under the sheets of my bed and slip back into my dreams. I wanted to return to the realm of my powers, but that wasn't what the day had planned for me. By sixth period the warm sensation behind my ears had dissipated, replaced by a new tingling sensation.
After all, sixth period was when I got to see Katie, a girl I had dreamt about a few months back. Her hair was a little longer in my dream, and her features just slightly more mature. The two of us were standing outside a classroom in the science hall, and she was confessing her love for me. As much as I call this strange precognitive dreaming a curse, it does have its benefits.
Judging by the difference between her appearance now and how she looked in my dream, anywhere from a few months to a year could have passed. A year in comparison to one’s entire lifespan is rather short, but when it’s the difference between a girl being some freshman you tutor during your free period and the first girl to ever ask you out it can seem like a lifetime.
Talking to her in the brief moments we passed by one another eased the tension, however. She seemed so small, though I was a beanstalk. Six feet four inches is hardly the average size for a teenager. Her long hair was a dark shade, somewhere between copper blonde and brunette. It might have been my adolescent heart, racing out of control over the first person to ever take an interest in me, but she seemed more beautiful than a sunset.
Taking my seat next to her, I told her to take out her textbook as I jokingly mocked her ponytail. In truth, I loved it. I loved how her wavy hair somehow seemed perfect, and how it somehow made her porcelain face even more beautiful. But I wasn’t going to tell her things like that, not until the time was right. For now, I had a role to play, the role of a cool, confident; sarcastic upperclassman who would make her heart bend and break until she mustered the courage to approach me.
She giggled at my snide remarks like a nervous freshie and took out her English book so we could start. The classroom had twenty students and only three tutors. Though I spent a fair amount of time with Katie, it never felt like enough.
Inevitably I was drawn away, taken by another whiny freshman who couldn’t take two, add it to two, and get four. All in all, it was a relatively painful task. Typically I liked dealing with freshmen, but under these circumstances, the helplessness was becoming aggravating.
The class session was almost over when Katie grabbed my attention, for what I thought would be another English question. I plopped down next to her. “Have you ever liked anyone?” It was an innocent enough question that could've meant nothing. Even if it had, it wouldn’t have mattered at that point. If anything, it meant my time in cupid's purgatory was being cut short. My only question was why.
I don’t think I’m one who enjoys bragging all that often. I have my strengths and flaws, but something that had unwavering faith in was the accuracy of my precognition. My dreams were never wrong, never off. What I saw happening always happened as I saw they would, exactly as I saw them. Sometimes they required a bit of deduction to understand, especially when psychics were involved.
Too dumbfounded by the sudden shift in the timeline of my well-foreseen romance I was slow to come up with an answer.
“Yes… I suppose I’ve liked girls before.” My late reply was filled with hidden anxiety. I couldn’t stop saying it over to myself, a year, she looked a full year older in my dream. “Why do you want to know?”
“No reason,” Her broad grin told me that she was interested in my answer, but I wasn’t going to chase it any further today. To regain some control of the situation I flicked her nose and made small talk until the bell rang. The classroom cleared out fast, leaving the other tutors and me to clean up before gathering our books to exit. I was the last one to step out of the doorway shaking my head and thinking, what in the world was going on.