a sneak peek at two of the characters from upcoming 'Enter the Supernatural'. Set a few months before Paranormal.
It was a hot summer’s day. The earth beneath my feet was dry and cracked. I was sketching an elephant which was standing barely a hundred feet away from me. I finished the last details and stood up. It was then that I noticed a shape in the corner of my vision. I turned my head slowly and almost screamed. A lion.
What was it doing here? It appeared not to notice me: it was sitting on the ground in the shade of a tree, its tail lashing and its tan-coloured chest rising and falling. I wondered if I could get away without catching its attention. I backed slowly away, never taking my eyes off the lion, forgetting that there was a tree behind me.
I tripped and fell, barely containing the cry of pain which threatened to escape my lips. The lion saw me. It stood up and began to walk towards me. I was frozen by fear. I couldn’t outrun it anyway. I sat there thinking I was about to die, when suddenly a tall, striking boy with dark hair and tanned skin appeared right in front of the lion. I fainted.
When I came to, the guy who had stepped out in front of the lion was crouched before me. He had warm brown eyes which regarded me almost cautiously.
“Where’s the lion?” I asked.
“It went away,” he said, in a soft voice which somehow reminded me of the feathers in the pillows used years ago from films I had seen at the cinema.
“You’re very lucky,” I said, pushing myself up into a sitting position. “It could have killed you.”
“I made it go away actually.”
I snorted. “Er, no you didn’t.”
“Yes, I did.”
“And how did you do that?” I asked, folding my arms and raising an eyebrow.
The boy frowned.
“Can you keep a secret?” he asked in a low voice.
I looked around. I couldn’t see anybody.
“Um, yes,” I replied.
The boy leant forwards to murmur something in my ear. His proximity made me shiver slightly.
“I’ve got ... supernatural powers.”
He leant back and watched me carefully.
I burst into laughter.
The boy frowned.
“Don’t you believe me? I mean, who else could walk up to a lion and make it go away.”
“I didn’t see it go away, remember? Someone could have come and shot it - I hope they didn’t, but they might have done.”
“There’s no body.”
“It could’ve been carried away,” I pointed out.
“There’s no blood.”
“That’s perfectly possible.”
The boy seemed exasperated. “Just believe me, okay?”
“Why would I do that?”
The boy looked straight into my eyes, seemingly into my mind. His eyes were a wonderful brown colour.
“Because no one else ever has.”
“Have you told anyone else? And there’s a reason people don’t believe you: the supernatural doesn’t exist.”
“All right.” The boy seemed to change tactic. “Think of your favourite colour or animal or anything. Just think a word.”
Blue, I thought.
“Blue,” the boy said.
“What?!” I yelled, though whispering for some strange reason.
“That’s what you were thinking, wasn’t it?”
“But ... how do you know?” I spluttered. “How could you possibly know?”
“D’you believe me now?”
“No! This is some joke! You’ve set this up with my dad or one of my friends.”
The boy sighed.
“Why am I trying so hard?” he asked himself.
‘It’s not a joke,’ came a foreign voice in my head - the boy’s voice.
“What?! How did that happen? I don’t believe this! This can’t be real! I must be dreaming.”
“Would you like me to pinch you?” the boy asked drily. “Look, just accept it, okay? I know it’s a shock but I don’t have any friends and it really would be nice if I weren’t so lonely all the time.”
“You’re lonely?” I asked, my caring side instantly getting the better of me.
“But ... telepathic!” I said, going back to being shocked. “I don’t believe in people who are telepathic: they’re just not real.”
“They, um, evidently are.”
“But...” I spluttered. I trailed off, unable to come up with any more excuses. Unless I was going crazy, this boy could actually read and respond to thoughts.
“Would you prefer it if I went away?” the boy asked sadly. “I suppose I’d understand if you couldn’t take it.”
I sighed, defeated.
“No,” I replied. “I believe you and I ... think I can take it. It’s just so weird though.”
The boy nodded.
“What’s your name?” I asked.
“Well, I’d best be off.”
Rory stood up.
“Wait. If I believe in some supernatural powers, I don’t see why I don’t believe there could be more. Which means you probably (somehow) saved my life.” I smiled. “Thank you.”
Rory smiled too. “You’re welcome.”
He'd saved my life.
I couldn't quite believe that - it didn't help that I'd been unconscious during the action, whatever he'd done. I wanted to see him again: it was over a week since I'd last seen him and he'd intrigued me so much (although at the time, I'd mostly been shocked).
A fortnight after the incident, when I'd started to think that maybe I would never see him again (after all, South Africa's a big place and there was no evidence that he lived near me or the place where I'd met him), I was surprised to bump into him at the edge of the nearby river. I'd been wandering around, as usual, sometimes thinking about stuff - contemplating life, that sort of thing - and sometimes not and in the shade of a tall tree that I probably should have known the name of, I'd found him.
"Rory?" I'd asked in surprise.
He'd looked glad to see me. "Oh, hey Charlotte."
"I haven't seen you in a while."
"I know. Two weeks pass awfully slowly."
"I guess," I said, shrugging.
"It does when you don't have any friends," Rory said bitterly.
"Oh, that's right: you said you were lonely. Why is that?"
"Have you forgotten what happened when we met?"
I shook my head. "I suppose I'm still in a state of semi-disbelief."
"It did happen, you know. I don't get why you're not worried or afraid."
"Well, you didn't exactly use your 'talents' in a bad way, did you?"
"I could have done," he pointed out.
"But you didn't."
"In fact, what's stopping me now?"
"What is?" I asked, hoping that my instinct, which was telling me he was a good person, was right.
Rory frowned. "You're really not scared of me?"
"I guess not," I replied. "Although, I should be, shouldn't I?"
"I don't know. It depends on what you think should scare you. If having your mind invaded by a boy who you barely know isn't one of those things, then no."
"Would I feel it if you did?" I asked curiously.
Rory looked startled.
"No. But why aren't you terrified at just the concept?"
"I've no idea," I replied.
"Um, you're really weird."
"I know. I'm surprising myself."
Rory looked at his watch. "I guess it's time I went."
Rory looked bewildered. "What?"
"Is there some way I can contact you?"
"Oh, I can give you my mobile number. But if I'm nearby, you can give me a shout."
I pulled out my phone from my pocket and handed it to him.
He typed in a number and saved it in my contacts. Handing me it back, looking very confused, he said, "I'll see you round, Charlotte."
"I'll text you," I told him as he walked away, shaking his head slightly in wonder. I was amazed too. Why wasn't I scared of him? Some part of me felt safe around him, like he was someone I could trust but I had no idea where this had come from and what evidence it had to back up its feelings.
I should be more careful next time, I thought to myself. Just in case he does abuse his 'talents'.