My mind racing, I hurried to the car and rapidly told dad my suspicions. He stared at the kids, occasionally glancing in the direction of the sirens.
“Okay, those are the kids. What do you want me to do about it?” he asked. I thought quickly, since we didn’t have much time let. The girl and the little boy both had abilities, that much I was sure of. However, they now had no parents. And they would probably grow up in foster families, separate from each other, and I had a strong feeling that separating them was a bad idea. They needed each other.
“Well?” dad pressed, and I waved at him.
“I’m thinking!” I said, trying to come up with an answer. If the kids got separated then they would grow up without support, without any idea of why they had these abilities or gifts. They would probably think they were crazy, or they would grow up wrong and end up as psychopaths. If that happened, we would probably have to find them and take care of them, and that thought made me queasy.
Of course, if they stayed together somehow, they would be able to take care of each other, and they would learn all the right things. They would grow up to be hunters like dad and me. That would really be great.
But how would they actually learn to be hunters? There weren’t a whole lot, especially in this area, and they’re families probably weren’t hunters.
“Think faster, Cassie,” dad growled. I nodded, distracted. Then it hit me. The only way they would be able to stay together and grow up to be hunters were if they stayed with us. Dad wouldn’t like the idea, but it was the only way.
As soon as the idea occurred to me I latched onto it as tightly as I could. It was perfect. I just had to convince dad, and the kids, to go along with it.
“Dad, we have to stay here,” I said, walking away from the car.
“Cassie, what’re you blabbering about,” dad said, slamming his door shut loudly and following me back to the yard. I waved for him to be quiet and turned to the little girl.
She was probably about six or seven, and while she had been crying a short while before, she wasn’t anymore. She just stared at her home burning down, with her parents inside, and rocked back and forth.
“Hey,” I said, gently touching her shoulder. She jumped, startled, then relaxed when she saw it was just the woman who had pulled her out of the fire. “What’s your name?”
“Katey,” she said quietly. I smiled at her.
“Katey, I need you to listen very carefully to me, because your entire life depends on it,” I told her. She looked up at me, a very serious expression on her face.
“You got rid of the angry thing on the roof, didn’t you,” she said. Surprised, I nodded. She probably meant the demon.
“Yes, and now you have to come with me and my dad, or you’re going to be taken to a bad home,” I said. I didn’t like dumbing things down for children or lying, because most of the time they understood it just fine, but what I was planning was a little bit complicated for a six year old. “You’ll be safe if you come with me.”
The girl nodded, cocking her head sideways.
“You’re afraid for me,” she commented. I raised an eyebrow, then nodded. With this last statement, I understood what her ability was. She could sense strong emotions, which was why she’d known the demon was there.
Once I made sure the girl understood, I moved on to the boys. It didn’t take me very long to convince the boys, since the older boy was older and understood more. Then I hurried back to dad to let him in on the plan. He didn’t like it, but I had expected that and I laid down a good argument for him. By the time the first fire engine arrived we had gotten the three kids into the back of the Pontiac and were driving away.