Wednesday, December 30, 2009


1p s y · c h i c
Pronunciation: \ˈsī-kik\
1 : of or relating to the psyche : psychogenic
2 : lying outside the sphere of physical science or knowledge : immaterial, moral, or spiritual in origin or force
3 : sensitive to nonphysical or supernatural forces and influences : marked by extraordinary or mysterious sensitivity, perception, or u n d e r s t a n d i n g . . .

A fourteen year old boy, whose name was Valyrie Thompson (though his friends, family and everyone else he ever met referred to him as Val) walked as fast as he could to the bus stop, seeing that the twenty-six foot construction yellow machine had already arrived and was preparing to leave. He considered running, but this early in the morning? That would make his morning cramps worse than they already were.

“Wait! Driver, waaaaait...!” He yelled over the engine, reaching out his hand and he walked just a little bit faster and jumped onto the bus just before the doors closed. He let out a sigh of relief and headed towards the back of the bus, avoiding eye contact with everyone who was staring at him—most likely for his odd taste in fashion. His gray hair, which was a result of his mother smoking around him far to often as an infant, his gray hoodie and dark gray pants, and most likely the oddest gray thing about him, his left eye. He couldn’t help that it was that way and had been since he was only two years of age. He would wear a blue contact in that eye if he could, but his father only said “No son, they’re too expensive.” and proceeded to finish his paperwork when Val had asked if he could buy a pair a few months ago.

“Val! Over here,” a familiar voice said. Val looked up to see his blonde counterpart, DJ, sitting in the very corner on the right side of the bus all alone with his sideways hat and sloppy posture. The gray-haired boy smiled at his general presence and sat down next to him.

“It really cold outside,” said Val, examining DJ’s choice in clothes, which was a plain black t-shirt, Adidas shorts and his usual sneakers. “How on earth are you not cold?”

DJ shrugged. “I just never get cold. Except that one time…”

Val laughed, recalling the winter that the boy was referencing. They were eight and nine years old and their mothers had insisted that they wear as many layers of thick winter coats as possible, but DJ—or Daniel, as he was called then—had refused. Three hours later he came back inside and had come down with pneumonia. The gray haired boy shook his head and laughed.

“How ‘bout you? You always wear that damn hoodie. Even when it’s more than a hundred degrees outside! How long have you even had that thing?”

“Three years. And those sneakers?”


“My point proven.” Val smirked, crossing his arms in a way that said ‘I’m right, you’re wrong’, because he had always been a show-off like that. Always. Not a day had gone by since the first time he could speak that he hadn’t smirked and folded his arms in that manner, or at the very least pointed out that he had been correct and the opponent not. Perhaps it was his personality, or how he was raised, or a combination of both—we’ll never know, and we’ll most likely never care either.

Half an hour later the yellow bus stopped at the entrance of an enormous high school. It was made almost entirely out of sandy colored bricks, with a sign positioned just outside of the door that read in big, bold, confident letters: “Fourside High School.” Just like most schools in the state of Oregon, it was named after what street it was on, or at least which street it was closest to that had the catchiest name. Val stood up, not taking his eyes off of the flood of students competing against each other just for entrance into such a building.

“Val, move!” DJ said, pushing his out of the seat and into the isle. “Don’t stare off into space the whole time like you did last year!”

“I won’t, I promise.” Val muttered, following the stream of children to the front door. A clear, glass front door, just like most high schools had. And a tastefully chosen tile pattern on the floor as well, just like most high schools. And frighteningly enthusiastic ads and signs and posters covered the doors of the classrooms, just like most high schools. So, if you wanted so say, this was a completely ordinary high school. I’m not going to say that you can’t call it that, but I don’t suggest it either. After all, you haven’t even read a mere chapter of this book, so you have to right to be jumping to conclusions—not that you are.

I’m not even going to bother writing about Val and DJ’s first day of high school. Basically, it was awful. It made Val phsycically sick to his stomach and DJ couldn’t believe how awful the curriculum they had provide the teachers with was. And not to mention the atrocious attitudes of about…say, ninety-five percent of the student? That sounds right. The entire school was rotten. They’d been washed over with some belief that it was cool to be that way. But, despite the fact that everyone there was like that, there was a popular clique. Just like it elementary and middle school. Even preschool, at least it was that way for those two. For the entirety of their educational lives, there had always been a popular clique of corrupted children (and I use the term ‘corrupted’ as lightly as possible, because just being a stuck up brat isn’t quite as awful as some other things that children were doing in 2008.) and neither Val nor DJ had even been a part of it, and they didn’t want to. Those two’s motto was ‘popularity sucks’. Because if you narrow it down, popularity really does suck. And it does awful things to perfectly fine children. At least those two were resisting it. Because if not them, then who? Your mother, perhaps. Or no one... could you image a world where no one rebelled, ever, even if they had a good cause? Well, thankfully, we live in a world full or rebellion, as well as awful high schools. And so far, Fourside gets the award for being the worst school anyone has ever seen.

On the walk home, Val and DJ strolled down the street in silence. At least…they would have, had a perky blonde girl, who had half of her hair covering half of her face and the other half in a ponytail that went down to her waist, hadn’t interrupted their silence.

“Hey kid, I noticed you have a gray eye.” She said, looking at Val. And he shrugged.

“Yeah. What of it?”

“Well…I can’t explain it all right now. At all. I have a bus to catch in…say… two minutes? Basically, if you have a gray eye, actually… never mind. You go to Fourside, right? Meet me at lunch tomorrow. I’ll explain it then.”

“Wow…she seems pretty ADD, huh?” DJ laughed as she ran off.

“Yeah, seems like it…” Val smiled, taking a silver key out of the pocket on his hoodie and jamming it into the deadbolt. "See you tomorrow!"


Next day, at lunch.

Val and DJ had managed to make their way through the cafeteria with two plates, both of which had a minimal amount of disgusting food. Finding the girl, whose name was Kelly, took a while, but not as long as they had expected.

"Okay, so..." DJ said, tossing his food around with a plastic fork. "What about his gray eye?"

Kelly took a deep breath. "You really want me to explain this?"

Both of the boys nodded.

"Okay, so if you have a gray eye, it means you're psychic. Basically. Depending on how old you were when it lost color pretty much tells you what specific type of psychic you have. There's only three kinds, telepathy, telekinesis, and speaking to the dead. Telepathy is when you're two, telekinesis is three and speaking to the undead is eight."

"...Go on..."

"Okay... if you're a girl, your left eye goes gray and it's the opposite if you're a boy. Anyways, I go to this after-school program called PA4K..."

"PA4K?" Val raised an eyebrow. "What does that stand for?"

" Nothing. Really." Kelly winced. "Anyways, PA4K basically trains you, and this is gonna sound really lame, to learn to use your powers so you can better the community."

DJ burst out laughing.

"I said it was gonna be lame!" Kelly insisted. "Anyways, it's really expensive for my family, so I need to get at least two people to go so we'll get a fifty percent discount. I bet you're gonna say no, but I'm dead serious, this place rocks. It's one of the best-- no, the best programs or organizations or anything I've ever gone to and it'll totally be worth your money."

"I dunno..." the gray haired boy murmured.

"Oh, please please please?" Kelly whined.

"How much does it cost? Is it really that expensive?"

Kelly shook her head. "Nah, my family just ends up with minimum wage jobs. It's really only like a hundred bucks for the term and fifty for the summer camp..."

"That is expensive though."

"Dude! There a private schools that cost three hundred and fifty dollars just for a month."

"I...huh. That's true."

So Val went home that day, unsure of whether or not to go to the after-school program he found out about not even three hours ago.

He did.

Val took a step inside the lobby of PA4K, and just by glancing at the general appearance of it gave off the sudden feeling that it was not your average after-school program. There were literally hundreds of photos and posters of psychic mediums, over half of which were signed by said psychic medium. Two couches faced each other on the left and right sides of the room. The left one was a mellow floral pattern and had been sewn together and patched up to the point that the very fact you could tell it was a floral pattern was a miracle. The other one was a black leather sofa, the kind you would expect to see at a fancy dinner party (though one thing set it apart from a couch at a dinner party. Namely, the sunflower that had been embroidered on either arm of it.) The carpeting was a blueish gray, a particular shade that matched not only Val but the grayish-blue wall.

"Oh, new kids!" A cheery, somewhat high pitched voice said from behind the gray-haired boy and the blond girl. They turned around to see a girl who was presumably in her early twenties, had pink highlights in her brunette hair, thick-rimmed glasses, a plain black t shirt, one hand in the back pocket of her skinny jeans and the other holding a cup of hot chocolate from a nearby Starbuck's. "New kids are always so exciting... you're Valyrie, right? The telekinetic kid?"

Val nodded. "And you would be..."

"Kivi Jones. I will defiantly not be your teacher though... you'll probably get Aidan and Nadia. Anyways, school starts in fourty-five minutes, so just do whatever. But pick a good seat, 'cause this place is gonna get friggin' packed soon."

"Oh god," Kelly smirked. "Can I show him around? Please?"
Kivi thought about whether she should let the two children run around an expensive wearhouse that had lots and lots of easily breakable machines in it. "...sounds good. Just get your asses back in room seven when school starts!"
"I will, I promise," Kelly smiled, grabbing Val's hand a leading him into the first and only hall of the entire building. the walls were a very, very light sky blue and had been written all over in marker by past students, and well as teachers and volunteers. The wall opposite of the signed one had three doors, which Kelly described as "two spare rooms and the janitor's closet."
"But...those look like pretty big rooms." Val muttered. "Are you sure it can really be called a closet?"
"Yes I'm sure...oh oh oh, did I ever tell you about our janitor?"
Val shook his head.
"Okay, well, she's pretty cool... her name is Marissa Lee Emerson but everyone here calls her by her initials 'cause it sounds like Emily. Last term she had this awesome neon green Chelsea hawk... I mean, she might still have it, but I dunno. Anyway, she always uses this brand of cleaning stuff that smells really fruity."
"Sounds cool."
"Oh, she is." said Kelly, who, at that point in time, was seemingly abandoning Val in the hallway and moving on to what Kivi had referred to as room seven. It was a much more open room than the lobby or the hallway, and not just in floorspace... somehow the walls seemed higher up as well. Beanbags were strewn about the floor in an orderly fashion, the left corner was occupied by a platform on which a drum set, two microphones and a few amplifiers sat, and probably the most curious part of the entire room, a rack of guitars on to the right that covered the entire bottom half of the wall.
" why are there so many...?"
"Oh, guitars? Some of those are basses too, genius. Anyways, you want the long story or the short one?"
Val shrugged. "Long one...?
"Okay, so the girl who founded this place, her name is Alexandria but we all call her Alex. Her brother's name is Alexander, but everyone he knows calls him Alex too... so that's pretty confusing sometimes. Anyways, Alexander had to move to Europe so he could go to college and get a job, but he had this collection of guitars and basses. He gave them to Alexandria and told her to do whatever she wants with them, so she just kept them. But then, when she got guardianship over her cousin Xander, whose name is also Alexander, she had to turn the room she was keeping them in into his room. So she decided to keep them here and let everyone play them if we wanted too. Eventually, a group of friends who went to the summer camp together started a band and played at lunch every day, so it just kind of became tradition to do that... of course, we don't have lunch except for during the summer camp, but still, it's pretty damn fun."
"Sure sounds fun..." Val muttered. "You talk a lot, also."
"Oh, but I just can't help it!" Kelly squealed, "there's just so much to talk about in this world! I mean, really. And it doesn't help that you talk so little..."
"That's only because I have nothing to talk about."
"Yeah, well..." Kelly glanced at the clock hanging above the doorway. "Shit. All the kids are gonna be here soon, and that lobby's tiny. I think we should go back now..."
"Whatever you say, crazy woman."
"I'm not crazy!" Kelly shouted as they walked back to the lobby and sat on the coffee table in between the two couches. Just as they sat down, they heard the bells on the door jingle as two girls walked in. The slightly taller one had dark brown hair, almost black, that was perfectly straight on her right side but messy, uncared for and spiky on the other. She was wearing a black hoodie and cargo pants that she cut off just below the knees and had turned into an odd variation of capris. The other girl had short blue hair that she kept in a small ponytail and was wearing a cut up tank top over a one-armed shirt, an armwarmer on the side without a sleeve, a miniskirt that apparently used to be a pair of jeans and striped leggings.
"Name please," Kivi said, whipping out a pen and hovering over the check list for who had arrived that day.
"Eliza and Madi."
"Oh, you're back!" the brunette laughed. "I thought your parents couldn't afford it?"
"Well, yeah..." Madi, the one who was wearing the tank top and one armed shirt, frowned. "At least, my parents. But Eliza's mom got a second job and paid for me."
"Well, that's a fine example of good sportsmanship." Kivi said, checking Elizabeth Kerr and Madison Score off of the list as the made their way to the lobby and sat on the black leather couch.
"Oh, Madi, your eyeliner looks awful!" Kelly wailed. "Do you need to borrow a mirror?"
Eliza and Madi exchanged glances. "Yeah, no thanks. I have
Catoptrophobia...?" Val said to himself. "What's that?"
"Fear or mirrors." Madi sighed.
"And...exactly why are you afraid of mirrors?"
"Bloody Mary! That shit is scary, okay?"
Val gave her a strange look. "You don't actually believe in that stuff, do you?"
"Of course not. I'm not stupid. But still..."
"Um, Madi," Eliza muttered. "You do realize you have to do that willingly, right?"
"But Eliza, it's just so weird and creepy..."
The girl with half-combed hair sighed, crossed her arms, and closed her eyes. "Kelly, can I see that mirror?"
Kelly nodded, digging inside of her pockets and pulling out a flimsy plastic makeup mirror. Eliza held it up to her face, glanced at Madi, then back at the mirror.
"Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary..."
"See?" Eliza tossed the mirror back to it's owner. "Nothing happened."
"Yeah, well...fine."

"So, anyways..." Kelly muttered, trying to start a conversation. "Anyone here like seashells? I totally love seashells. I mean, they look cool and they're easy to find! You just go to the beach and pick 'em up. So easy!"
"Kelly." Val said, tossing his head to the side and staring right into her colored eye. "You talk. So. Much."
"That's why we like her!" Eliza giggled, jumping off of the sofa and tackling the eldest girl.
"Whoa whoa whoa, Lizzy..." Kelly said slowly, shrugging her off and putting her hands in the air as a shield. "...what did I say about glomping me?"
"To not too..." Eliza raised an eyebrow. "What did I say about calling me Elizabeth, Lizzy, Elli or Beth?
"Not too!" Madi shouted, pointing her index finger towards the ceiling.
"Biiiingo." Eliza smiled, offering a high-five to her accomplice. And just as those two rested their hands either in their laps or their pockets, the bells on the back of the door jingled and and a young blond girl--no older than eight-- walked in the door as her mother waved goodbye.
"Name please," Kivi said, digging through her recently made pile of garbage for the sign-in sheet.
"Amelia," The girl said, hardly even muttering her name as she leaped into the lobby. "Who wants a lollipop?"
Eliza violently flailed her hand in the air and Amelia tossed her a strawberry flavored lollipop.
"Wait, so you, give out free candy?" Val said, a bewildered tone in his voice.
"Yup!" Amelia giggled, sitting on the empty couch across from the others. "I have lollipops, Starburst, gumdrops, M&Ms, KitKats, Pocky, chocolate, saltwater taffy and--"
Kelly raised an eyebrow. "Since when were you allowed to have chocolate? I though you were allergic to that stuff. and you don't just get over allergies, you know?"
Amelia shrugged. "Mom lets me have it! And she's super-worried about allergies and stuff..."
The elder blond sighed, reaching a hand out towards the pink backpack that was now lying on the floor. "Give me a few M&Ms. Like, the green ones... twenty of 'em. No-- twenty five, you got that? And if you mix a blue on in there or something, I'm not gonna give you that dollar I owe you! never mind. I want a lollipop. A raspberry one. And it has to have a clear wrapper, I don't like the other brand. And don't give me a chewed up one, either!"
"Okay okay okay!" Amelia laughed, digging for the clear-wrapped raspberry lollipop without a chewed stick. "Jesus Christ, could you talk any more?"
"I have ADD, dammit!" Kelly whined, unwrapping her lollipop and tossing the wrapper on Val's head.
Eliza laughed. "Nice hat."
"Nice hat."
"Nice. Hat."
And with that, Madi burst out laughing and so did Kelly, while Val only stared and the girl with half-combed hair in utter confusion.
About half and hour later the laughing died down and the lobby filled up, and every child was anxious about the first day of the after-school program. Everyone (aside from Eliza and Madi, they were having a conversation) watched the clock tick time away as the Aidan, Nadia, Jami and Kivi all examined a clipboard in great detail to make sure everything went perfectly. As the air filled itself with a nervous feeling, Val sat by himself in a room full of people, wishing that he had never agreed to go to PA4K.
"Okay," Kivi said, placing the clipboard in Aidan's hands. "Telepathic kids follow Jami, mediums follow me and telekinetics follow Aidan and Nadia."
So all forty-three children marched down the hall and took a seat in their assigned rooms-- Eliza in the telepathic, Kelly in the "speaking to the undead"--simply because they had no better name for it than medium, Val and Madi in the telekinetic and Amelia mysteriously gone.
"Okay then," the taller of the two, presumably Nadia, said, leaning against a massive as well as blindingly bright whiteboard. "Um... first we have to organize groups because everything will be a million times easier that way."
"Yeah yeah yeah. How many kids do we have this time....?" Aidan muttered, standing on her toes and counting every student individually. "Huh... i think we should put them in groups of three. What do you think, Nadia?"
She nodded. "Okay guys, you know what to do. Right?"
So Val scanned the room, looking for at least one vaguely normal person to be on a team with. But, of course, the closest he got was Madi. He walked over to her, scratched his head, and said:
"Everyone here is weird."
"Yeah?" She smirked, crossing her arms. "Deal with it. Or get used to it. Something like that."
"It smells funny, too." Val muttered, leaning on the wall.
"That's MLE's fault. Complain to her. And didn't Aidan and Nadia say the teams were supposed to be three people...?"
The boy shrugged. "I guess. But don't look at me, okay? I just came over here because everyone else is weird."
Midway through that sentence an auburn-haired girl with one green eye and one gray one sat down next to him. As soon as Val finished his sentence, she said "I'm Belleanthrea Silvarious McLaughlin the Third."
"I'm Madi." Madi said with a bored tone.
"I'm... Val." Val said, with an even more bored tone. "And...yeah. I'll just be calling you Bell."
"Oh, fantastic! So... how old are you guys?"
"Fourteen." They both said in unison.
"Oh! I'm Twelve."
Val and Madi exchanged glances and sighed. "You can be quiet now," Madi said.
"Oh no, am I to loud or something? I hope not! What is it? Am I talking to fast? I'll slow down if you need me too--"
"Just. Be. Quiet."
"Okay kids..." Nadia said, seeing that they had all seated themselves in groups. "For the new ones, let's get one thing clear. You are psychokinetic. And that's Greek. and it literally means mind movement. So, basically, you can move anything just by looking at it. Obviously weight still applies and all that, so you can't lift anything twice as heavy that you could normally. I say twice as heavy because it doesn't put a strain on you physically, so it's easier to move."
"Any questions?" Aidan asked. Of course, everyone shook their heads.
"Okay then!" Nadia smiled, rising from her seat and pointing to it. "Anyone care to try it out?"