Ainnsley lives in a world, where the paranormal doesn't exist. Much like our world...except that she is about to find out, it is VERY real, indeed. When her friend comes to her, claiming she can control gravity, Ainnsley has a sort of mental break-down...and realizes that she has a power much more terrifying than gravity. She's an out of control Illusionist - for lack of a better term - if she wants you to believe you're getting stabbed, you WILL believe that you're getting stabbed.
The two fri
“Hello?” I heard a singsong voice coo, as something swung, back and forth in front of my eyes. I blinked myself back into reality, as my fake reality steamed away, crushed by normal life. “Earth to Ainnsley!”
“Hmm?” My eyes focused on the face of my closest friend, Margaret, who was looking at me with a well-known accusatory look; her eyebrow cocked up, and lips turned down in a frown. “Oh, sorry. Was I daydreaming again?”
The easy smile, that I loved, lit up her face. “Aren’t you always?”
“Sorry.” I smiled, weakly. “What were you talking about this time? Your new Manga of the week?” I cocked an eyebrow.
She stared. “You know me too well.”
I chuckled, knowing full well, that she wasn’t lying. “So what’s the name of this one?”
“Trace.” She said, easily, staring out at the trees dancing, and turning in the wind. I waited for her to elaborate. She didn’t.
“And . . . ?”
“It’s really sad.” She said, in the same tone, as the wind ran its course, over to us, running its cold, invisible fingers through her short, dark blonde hair, throwing it around her face, barely missing her bright blue eyes. This was the reason I tied my long, copper coloured hair back, no matter how much Margaret insisted that my hair was beautiful, and needed to be left down, so the delicate curls could frame my lightly sun-kissed face, and compliment my golden-brown eyes.
She shrugged. “It’s a long story.”
I frowned; it was very unlike Margaret to not want to repeat herself. On a normal day, she would do it gladly, three or four times. And this was proof that I knew her too well. “Hey, what’s wrong? You’re not talking.” I mock-gasped. “Uh-oh, you’re not talking, are you feeling alright?” I pressed a hand to her forehead, pretending to take her temperature. “I think you’re burning up. We should get you to a doctor, right away!”
“No, I’m fine; I’m just . . . Just trying to concentrate.” She pushed my hand away.
I laughed, half out of surprise, half out of amusement, and tried to put my hand back on her forehead. “Seriously, you’re concentrating? I really think something’s wrong –”
“Don’t!” She snapped, slapping my hand away, with a little bit too much force.
I stared at her. I’ve known her since I was three. And in all those fourteen years, she has never –ever– snapped at me. Sure her voice had gotten firm when she was thoroughly convinced she was right, but that’s it.
“Okay, fine.” I mumbled, and turned around, my feet making a harsh scraping noise on the park bench seat, then faced towards the sky, feeling the sun caress my skin, and then I drifted back into the world that I spent eighty-five percent of my time wandering. A place where what I say, goes; what I want, I get; what I love, is under my command.
I’ve always had an impossibly active imagination. It was so active, that it stretched into everything I did. It’s why people thought I was smart, but I wasn’t, I was just imaginative enough to figure out how to work things out. Take me to IKEA, and I’d have no trouble at all!
After an immeasurable amount of time passed, in my Dreamland, I blinked my way back and turned to face Margaret. If I looked closely, I could see that she wasn’t just staring blankly off into space like she normally did (one of the many things we had in common), but she was actually concentrating. Someone who had just met her, wouldn’t have been able to tell, but, for me, after close inspection of her face, I could see her lips pointing slightly downwards, and a crease between her eyebrows.
“Okay, I can’t hold it in any longer:What’s. Wrong?”
The crease between her eyebrows flattened out, and her lips returned to their normal, straight line. No smile. She sighed, and looked at me, seeming to contemplate something. “If I tell you something, do you promise not to tell anyone?”
I looked at her like she was insane. “Duh! What? Do you not trust me? Have I not kept all of your secrets? Like that one time you were with that boy, and the la –”
“Okay! I get it, you’re the best friend any girl could ever dream of having!” She cut me off, loudly, throwing her hands around in what could only be described as a ‘shhh’ gesture.
“Damn straight.” I nodded, then got back on topic. “So what are you hiding from me?”
“I don’t want you to get angry . . .”
She drifted off, indicating that I agree enthusiastically with her. And agree enthusiastically with her, I did. “Of course, I wouldn’t, you know that.” This wasn’t exactly true, she knew full well, that if she kept something serious from me, I’d feel extremely betrayed.
“I can . . . do things.” She said, clearly struggling for words.
I narrowed my eyes, and nodded my head slowly. “Yes . . . you can . . .”
She shook her head, and sighed, with anger. “No, I mean, I can do things other people can’t!”
“What? The incredible ability to annoy your closest friend by leaving her hanging? I think we already established that.”
She huffed, and turned away from me, her eyes dancing over the sky, and then grazing over my empty soda can. She grabbed it and shoved it in my face. I went cross-eyed, trying to get it into focus. “Watch this can.” She demanded.
“I don’t think I have a choice.” I mumbled.
She smiled as she put the can down on the table, then, she stared, intently at it, as if all the secrets of the world were hidden in there, and she had to figure out how to get them out.
“Uh, Marg –”
She cut me off with a loud ‘shh!’ my mouth snapped shut. I knew Margaret was a bit on the weird side (another thing we had in common), but I had never been worried that she was close to losing her mind, or already had . . . until now.
“Maggie . . .”
And that’s when it happened.
The can rattled. My eyebrows creased, there hadn’t been a breeze, not even a soft one, so, unless Margaret had blown –really hard – on that can, then it just moved on its own. I slowly looked up, hoping this was one of her jokes, and she’d have that evil smile playing with her full lips, but when my eyes reached her face, it was screwed up in concentration.
“Um . . .” I mumbled. But, whatever I might have said next was forgotten, as the can shot up, and hovered in the space between our faces – causing a scream to bubble and burn its way up my throat – Margaret smiled, tiredly, relief colouring the lines around her mouth, and calming the area around her eyes.
And then she looked at me, and the can dropped, with a deafeningclangon the park bench. I gaped at Margaret, as she looked at me, calmly, waiting for me to remember how to use my mouth again. It took me longer than I expected.
“What the hell was that?!” I said, angrily, probably louder than I should have, but at that moment, I couldn’t control my voice, and I couldn’t care less.
Margaret gave me a blank-calm look that I wanted to strangle off her pretty face. I expected her to say something like: ‘Ha, gotcha! Just kidding, Ash!’, but instead, she said:
“I can control gravity.” And the way she said it; calm and collected, with the slightest hint of excitement colouring her voice, was not doing wonders for my temper.
I stared at her, my eyes narrowed slightly, while still wide, eyebrows creased, and mouth slightly open. “It’s happened . . . it’s finally happened.” I mumbled, quietly, blank astonishment singing loud in my voice.
Margaret’s eyebrows creased. “What’s finally happened?”
“You’ve goneinsane.” I shrieked at her, then I picked up my army green, badge-clad satchel bag and jumped off the bench, trying to make a dramatic escape.
“Ainnsley! Wait, stop. Ash,stop!” Margaret grabbed my arm and turned me to face her. Her breathing was heavy, and fast, combating my shaky little gasps.
“Let go of me, you’ve gone crazy!” I stuttered and tripped over my words.
She shook her head. “No I haven’t. You saw what I just did. Yousaw.”
“No, it wasn’t real, it must have been a trick. You learnt a magic trick, or . . . or something and its gone to your brain.”
“No, it wasn’t. Please, believe me.” She whispered the last three words, her eyes screaming at me, pleading with me that I believe.
I shook my head slowly and blinked away tears. I looked at her, studying the features I grew to know anywhere. This girl was my best friend. The one who knew every one of my secrets. The one who I went through everything with. And it nearly broke my heart, because, for the first time ever . . . I didn’t trust her.
“It’s just too much to comprehend right now.” I said, low. It was a lie. What I really wanted to say was that it was too much to comprehendever.
She smiled, sadly. “You always use big words under pressure.”
I looked away, blinking away another round of tears. I felt her iron grip loosen, and her hand drop. She was giving up. Whether she was giving up on making me believe or giving up on . . .me, I didn’t know. But I didn’t want to stick around to ask.
“I’ll call you later.” I mumbled, more out of habit than truth, and then turned on my heel, and walked away, quickly, putting some distance between us. The walked home was boring and spent most of it drifting in and out of Dreamland.
“Brock, I’m home!” I called as I dropped my keys in the key bowl. I stood in the threshold, waiting for an answer.
“Welcome home! We’re having takeout for dinner, tonight!” my older brother’s voice called from somewhere in the west of the house.
I sighed and leant against the door. “Again?”
“It’s your favourite.” He replied in a singsong voice.
“Not when we have it every second night.” I yelled back, hostility spilling out into my voice. I sighed again and dropped my head, closing my eyes, and rubbing my temples, as if that would make everything better.
“Hey, are you alright?” Brock's voice said, closer this time. I looked up, and he was leaning against the door jam of the lounge room. My parents died when I was ten, and poor eighteen year old Brock was left with me. He raised me to be the person I was, because, even when our parents were alive, it didn’t seem like it, because they spent most of their time at a business party, or something.
I smiled, weakly. “Yeah, I’m just tired.”
He narrowed his eyes. The only bad thing about him being not only a brother, but a father and a friend, was that he knew me too well. “How’s Maggie?”
“Completely insane.” I said slowly, my eyes glazing over. I made my way towards the stairs.
Brock laughed. “So no difference then?”
“Nup.” I mumbled, playing along.
He chuckled again.
“Listen, I’m really tired, so I’m going to go and lie down. Wake me up when dinner’s here, m’kay?” I smiled, slightly.
His eyebrows creased again. “Yeah, sure, call me if you need anything.”
“Yep.” I mumbled, then stomped up the stairs. The second my door was closed, I sighed and leant against it. A headache burned its way through my brain, destroying all rational thoughts in the process. I threw my bag on my desk, took three big bounds and collapsed, face-down into my pile of blankets and pillows (my sorry excuse for a bed). And then I drifted off into my Dreamland with a sigh of contentment.
And that’s when it happened.
What was it? I didn’t know exactly.
What I did know, is I didn’t like it.
And I didn’t know how to make it stop.