You open your eyes.
You’ve been on the phone for a while now, just listening to the endless ramblings of your mother, who hasn’t stopped talking since she answered your call.
“You need to keep checking, because there was that programme on the telly yesterday about…”
Your arm is starting to cramp from holding the phone for too long, and you are desperate for her to pause for breath so you can cut in and end the extremely one sided conversation.
“So then I picked up my bag, told her exactly what I thought of her attitude and almost let slip what’s been going on between her husband and Loraine, but that’s blackmail material for another time…”
You twirl a pen round your fingers, bored. You start thinking of excuses to go – work to do for tomorrow, going out with friends, tidying your room. Anything will do.
“Oh, and a little birdie tells me you got your first orb! Congratulations!”
You jerk upright, dropping the pen in shock. Your mother knows about this?
“I mean, I know its come… quite late for you, especially since your cousins came a year or two ago, but this is great news! I’ll finally be able to take you to the family gatherings! Though you might not look forward to that as much as I would… oh never mind, this is great! Jack should be around somewhere, so keep an eye out. He’s hard to miss, but he certainly won’t miss you! Haha… well give him my love, I’ll be able to drop round next week or something, give you a few things, and I guess I can help with any explaining that Jack doesn’t want to cover. Not that he can’t, but I guess a lot of it is a bit sensitive for him – so if he doesn’t want to go there, don’t push it, okay? Well, I’m sorry hun but I’ve got to go, so many people to tell! Your cousins have missed you terribly, just so you know. See you soon and don’t get yourself killed. Bye!”
The phone clicks off and you are left to silence. Your mother had known about the orbs all along, but as usual had kept up her constant stream of babble so you couldn’t get a word in edgeways to question her about it. But from all that, it wasn’t entirely useless. There were other people out there who knew about the orbs. You can learn about them, to control them. No more random teleporting.
And your cousins. You can hardly remember them; it’s been so long since you last saw them. You remember that they’re around your age, a few years either way, but what they might look like now is a mystery to you. Every time you had asked to go and see them, or more recently why you hadn’t seen them, everybody had just either skimmed over the topic or, when you pushed harder to find out, just straight-out blanked you. But now the tables have turned. Weird, to say the least.
And who the hell is Jack?
This is all too confusing right now. You stand up out of the chair, take of your top and jeans and climb into bed. Just before you turn out the lights, you look at the bracelet again. The green orbs just sit there, doing nothing – just how you would want it. But then something changes.
The metal orb between the two green ones starts to shake. The green orbs push away from it, like they are being repelled. You immediately think of magnets, but the middle orb is pushing away from your skin too. The bracelet jerks, pulling you into a sitting position, shaking your arm like a rag doll. You hear your joints clicking, and wince. That can’t be good.
The middle orb starts to shine, basking the room in its glow. This had happened when the other two orbs had appeared – but this was different. It was between the other two, like it was out of pattern. And the light wasn’t green.
An orange orb settled between your two green ones, and a cold chill settled across your soldiers and down your back. It is there for a moment, and then disappears.
You close your eyes.