He smiled at me, and we let the silence fall back in place, enveloping us in a peaceful quiet, where it was easy to just think and be ourselves. After maybe an hour later, I stood up. My stomach growled.

   "Are you hungry?" Carson asked, standing up too.

   "Obviously," I said pointing to my stomach. It had been louder than the birds. "Well, do you want to walk back and grab my car? Or do you just want to walk someplace and get food?" He asked.

   "What is all this talk about walking?" I asked sarcastically, stretching my stiff legs.

   "Well how else are we going to get anywhere?" he asked, obviously not getting what I was trying to get at.

   "Seriously?" I asked incredulously, as I had done the first day. I looked around, making sure we were the only ones here. "Come on," I said, starting to walk back to the trail.

   "What are you planning now?" he almost whined, and I couldn't help but laugh.

   We came to the long dirt trail that we had ran down earlier. I picked a single blade of grass from the earth, and held my hand, palm out and facing the other side of the road. Doing one last check to be sure that we were alone, I started to feel the familiar tingle of molecules rearranging and duplicating themselves to my command. In a minute, we had a new shiny third generation Toyata Prius hybrid. It was just like the one I'd seen in a car dealer ship. 

   I looked at Carson with a triumphant smile, only to realize that his jaw was dropped.

   "What?" I asked him, wondering if someone had really been watching while I did that. I looked around again, checking for the eighth time.

   "You... ? You can shift grass into a car?! That's.... impossible. I thought objects like that, like cars, couldn't be made, just changed.... This defies everything I've heard and learned. You're... I've never heard of anyone doing that before," He explained, or tried to. I was still confused.

   I mean, I'd run into the occasional Shifter like me, and knew that they couldn't do it.... I've never run into an Advanced Shifter, though, so I didn't know if I was the only one who could do it.

   "I don't quite understand. Don't bother to explain it though; I'm sure it'll just make me more confused. Come on, get in," I instructed, still a little confused.

   "It'll work?" He asked, shocked again.

   "Yes. Now shut up. You're creeping me out by all this," I told him, starting the car.

   "Fine," Carson mumbled. He was still in awe.

   I started driving down the dirt drive, a little fast, and stopping when we reached the road.

   The sun was no longer quite as clear, but it was still there. A few minutes later, I was pulling into my driveway.

   "Have you ever driven before?" Carson asked me.

   "Um... Once. I was being chased by a Silver Liner in southern California. I needed a fast car, and at the time, I didn't know I could do this, so I stole someone's fancy sports car. It ended up totaled, and I felt bad about it, so about a week later I came back and left a new car exactly like the old one and a note apologizing for taking it. Of course, I didn't sign the note; that would've been plain stupid."

   "Wow. How many times have you had to run from them?"

   "Not counting the Escape?" I asked. He nodded, so I continued. "Um... about eight or nine times. I'm so distracted by the surviving part that I lost count after a while," I told him, peering at him from the corner of my eye. He was definitely shocked.

   "You are a legend in the making," He exclaimed, still mystified. I laughed, flattered by his insane words, and got out of the car.

   "No, I'm serious. I've met other Shifters before and they said that they've maybe gotten away twice. They said that if they got caught a third time, they probably wouldn't be able to make it. And you... You've escaped nine times and you're still going. And for only driving once before, you're pretty good. A little fast, maybe, but good all the same. You really are a legend in the making. Maybe not even in the making- maybe just a legend!" He said as I walked inside, still laughing.

   "I'm not a legend in the making, or a legend. I'm just doing my best to survive- doing what no one else will. It's not as easy as it looks. How many times have you had to run?" I asked, trying to change the subject off of myself.

   "Not nearly as many times as you have, that's for sure. Maybe three. But I move around a lot, not really giving them a chance to find me. I try to be very unpredictable, so they can't get to where I'm heading next before I get there.

   "I usually stick to bigger cities so it's harder to tell when there's a new person in town," He explained..

   "I'm opposite," I stated nonchalantly.  He looked at me questioningly, so I clarified for him. "I stick to small towns because they're not as commonly known and it takes longer for them to find me, allowing me stay longer. Plus, I've never liked huge crowds... they make me nervous."

   His previous words sounded in my head again, fully sinking in. I took a scooted back a foot as I realized what that could mean.

   "If you stick to larger cities, why are you here in Coldwater?" I asked, suddenly harsh and guarded.

   "Wha-? Oh... I get it," He sighed. "Something just told me I needed to be here- a driving force or something. I don't know," He said. I wasn't convinced.

   "Are you sure it wasn't a someone telling you to come here?" I asked him, voice cold as the coming snow.

   "Seattle, I'm positive that I wasn't told to come here by anyone. If I was a Silver Liner, I would have you pinned where your sitting, and we would be fighting right now. Is there anything I can do to make you believe me?" he pleaded.

   I knew I hurt him, and I didn't like it. But I had to be sure. I couldn't let my guard down with him because I couldn't see him. That's it!

   "Only one," I said, slightly shaking my head. "The only way I can honestly trust you is if you make me see every compulsionist the way I see everyone else. But, you... I want to see you differently. I don't want to know anything that you don't want me to know. I just want to know that it's you, that it will always be you and that you're not a Silver Liner. That's it. It's the only way I can ever truly trust you," I told him. I realized that I had been whispering, and that tears were escaping the safety of my eyes, flowing relentlessly down my cheeks.


The End

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