Ben. That is my name. I'm sixteen but people always tell me I look and talk like I'm nineteen. I have crew cut blond hair, long hair is just impractical. I'm tall and wiry. My thick glasses get me the classic "nerd" stereotype. My eyes are piercing and blue. I consider myself a kind of thinker. There is a reason for that because right now I was sitting in a chess tournament, the semi-final match. The basketball court had been converted into a field of mind play. I liked the irony off that, I don’t consider sports very intellectual. I had cornered his king and just delivered the checkmate blow. That was my favorite moment when all my complex plans boil down to that satisfying word: Checkmate.
I stretched my hand out for a “good game” moment but the tall freckle ridden kid stomped away. Oh well, I glanced at the couple people in the stands. Kaley wasn’t among them. Kaley is a red-headed, fabulously beautiful girl who I was crushing on. But where another teenager might call it love I know it’s just part of puberty. Knowing that still doesn’t make the feelings any less real when I see that fantastic smiling face. No amount of intellectually saves me from stammering then. I got up from my desk and headed for the drinking fountain. The wind must have been blowing strangely because I could have sworn I heard my name: Ben. I looked up then I shook my head at myself. I hit the button and was about to thrust my mouth into the stream when I saw something in the fountain.
It wasn’t anything beautiful but it drew me like a fly to a light. It was a piece of grey granite, its pieces of quartz glimmered. I touched it. Immediately a strange sensation spread through my finger and through my body. I felt my skin harden, not into sheer rock but into tiny scales. They were grey and moved when I moved. I was to stunned to scream. I just looked at them as if studying a bug. It was a little weird. I looked up and to my shock I was not at North Merman School. I was in a room with a group of similarly stunned looking teens. The scales started to fade but I could feel them. Like a second skin. I could access them at any time. Yep it’s official. I am dreaming. Hmm, usually I don’t figure it out while I’m in a dream though.