First person narrative mode, changing narrators with each new chapter. Set in a North American high school setting. Three clairsentiently psychic siblings confront, for the first time in their lives, someone as odd and inexplicable as they were. He's an eccentric new student, being manipulated by a mysterious and shady organization. He doesn't play nice, however, it seems he's just a mere scout sent to assess whether the triplets are a threat. Eventually, someone winds up dead and the school goes into lock-down.
Chapter I: The New Kid
They say three's company. They also say three is a grouping riddled with bad teamwork. I'm never sure which is more true. My sisters are identical twins, but I was born with them. I'm their fraternal third wheel. And if that doesn't make us abnormal enough, well, let's just say we've always suspected that we're some kind of government experiment. Now, I've heard of odd connections between identical twins, but hey, I don't look a thing like my sisters. For one thing, I'm male.
If we're some lab test, why were we put in the foster care? I just don't understand. Innocent, inconspicuous country folk who couldn't have children of their own. And why split up triplets? They kept us together, bless them. And then we got put into the usual public school system. It serves well enough, considering we're not geniuses. But we come off that way. Sharing everything and all.
So, it was the end of gym class. Just boys. We walked back into the change room in school t-shirts and gym shorts. It smells like every fiber of wood in the benches had been saturated with sweat over the years.
This isn't the best place to make conversation. But I know why I took Grade Eleven gym. It was because between my sisters and I, we were already taking every other remotely academic option open to us. Why take Introduction to Anthropology, Sociology and Psychology, when Clarice was already taking it for me? It was that kind of a connection. At night, experiences flowed between us like data in a network.
That's why I didn't always like gym class. It indirectly exposed my sisters to the cruder side of men. Especially the change room. My classmates became foul-mouthed demons. They spoke of their girlfriends, their dirty jokes, their notions of sexuality, their exploits and their abusive vices in a vile light. And every conversation was laced with homophobia.
Speaking of homophobia, it didn't help that my best friend was now dating my sister, Priscilla. Waking up, I always enjoyed sifting through the new information I had gleaned. But now it was tainted. He'd be breathing down a neck that seemed like mine. Reaching his hand across a back that wasn't mine for a bra I wasn't wearing. Being part of our collective isn't always a boon. We knew every time we touched ourselves, too. It was nearly incestuous. But I suppose it is a small price to pay for the connection and abilities.
"So, Nate, you gonna tap that snatch of yours soon?" some dumb jock asked him. Markus. He had a brown buzz cut that looked like his mother had run it over with a lawn mower. Yeah, such a thick skull. A nose too fat for his broad face.
"Sure, umm... soon," Nate answered nervously. Of course, he didn't know the words would be in Priscilla's head by the next morning.
I laughed. Maybe a bit too high-pitched for any laugh that should leave my lips away from my close circle of friends.
"Hey, Frederic, that girl's your sister, isn't she?" Someone down the bench, smart enough to have spoken up about it.
"Yeah," I said, pulling up my pants and tightening a belt I only needed to wear as a fashion accessory. "We're triplets."
Markus stuttered, and I thought he was about to apologize. Then he looked me in the eye, "Have they gotten any?"
Any what? Any selfish jerks who only care about sex? Not yet. Not with me on watch, I mused, thoughtfully. "How should I know?"
"I dunno," Markus said, grinning. "You getting any?"
My eyes darted to Nate. He broke into laughter. I grinned. Not my kind of conversation. Not my kind of friend. And not my kind of honesty, "Do birds fly?"
"Uh... sure. What does that have to do with this?"
And now the boys were laughing at him. Not at me and my answer. Better him than me, right? I mean, with a cheerleader on his arm, better his reputation than mine.
I should find out soon, a thought invaded my mind. I turned around, expecting to see that one of my sisters had done a faux-pas and walked into the boys' change room. But it wasn't one of them. And it hadn't come through the wall. I can't read minds without help.
"What's wrong, Rick?" Nate asked. People called me that as a short from of 'Frederic' rather than 'Richard'.
"Nothing," I lied. "I hope."
The one who'd spoken up about my sisters was done changing. He walked past us and stopped as I slid off my t-shirt. And he looked me up and down. I didn't know his name. I'd never seen him before.
Is he checking me out? That's gonna end with Markus's fist up his nose. I reached nervously for my other shirt, the one that wasn't soaked in musky sweat.
"What'cha doin' new kid?" Markus asked. The ridicule was ready. The usual words were surely beneath his lips: queer, faggot, cocksucker. I'm not one of them, as far as I know, but I thought Markus was inhumane. Regardless of whether the new kid's eyes were undressing me or not.
There was nearly nothing but bones beneath his skin. His eyes were deep in his eye sockets and his face was long like that of a horse. They seemed to look through me, not at me. Maybe into me.
Markus's doubts were vanishing. He wasn't the only one. The tension in the air, the homophobia that shadowed this new student, it was ready to erupt.
Eyes blinked casually, "What class does your other sister have next?"
My thoughts sighed. Grade Eleven Pre-University Level English, with me. We were lucky enough to take some mandatory classes together. I cocked my head to one side inquisitively, "Why do you ask?"
"Just tell me, Frederic. Or I'll tell them what you don't want them to know."
What the heck is this guy talking about? I'm not like him.
"Not that, you dickhead."
Are you reading my mind?
His thoughts bore into me, Yes, Frederic.
I gaped in stunned silence as he walked away.
"Dude, what was that about?" Markus asked.
"Yeah, Rick, what was he on?" Nate joked.
That's what I'd like to know. Mind-reading without a partner. I can't do that, if he's even like us. I must tell them about him! I wanted to be in telepathic range of my sisters as fast as possible. And I felt telepathetic, if that is even a word.
"Close your mouth, dude," Markus instructed. "He'll think you want him to shove it in there."
"Riiiight," I said, rolling my eyes at Markus. Damn jock. What a fucktard. I put my arm over Nate's shoulder, my bag hanging loosely off my other arm. Then I turned playfully over my own shoulder, and put an edge of sarcasm into my voice, "C'mon, Nate, let's go give head in the little boys' room."
I said it in such a way that most of the remaining guys in the change room were now laughing at Markus's homophobia and my flamboyant mockery. They all knew Nate and I were just friends. They knew he was dating. I bet they knew I had a budding crush on Lucia Holmes. Heck, she knew!