Chapter Two - The Man in Black
Binding: standard (rank 1)
Sean had noticed his laptop had finish loading but opted to close it instead. He held the book between his fingers as he walked over to the kitchen. His eyes scanned the page left and right, truly reading every word, soaking up every detail as he felt his stomach grumble. His hands searched along the fridge for a takeout menu as he finally picked one and ripped it off, using it as an impromptu book mark. He set the book down on the kitchen counter, grabbed a glass and filled it with milk, pulled a sleeve of cookies out of a bag and quickly slid the book under his arm as he rushed back to the couch. He had already read half of chapter two when he set the food down onto the coffee table and quickly went back to reading.
… Sarah screamed as she stood there looking at the man in black. Party decorations had been strewn about the small apartment as she saw her parents laying there on the ground slumped against the wall. There were no wounds and blood had been spilt but they clearly had been killed, their eyes rolled back into their heads as the man in black began to laugh at Sarah.
“They really thought they could hide you here didn’t they. Last place we’d look for them. Last place we’d find you. Well my dear girl, I’m sorry to have to do this but you’ve left me with no choice. You could’ve been great given your pedigree. Alas we’ll never know.”
The man in black flicked his fingers as the books and magazines in the room began to swirl together until they formed a large paper tiger. The papered beast snarled at Sarah, its teeth bared as the girl stood still in terror. She couldn’t believe what was happening or why her parents would be murdered like this. All she could o was look into the gaunt face of the man in black.
Suddenly the door to her apartment burst open and another paper tiger lunged at the man in black’s tiger. The two beasts snarled and rolled around as a man with wild grey hair, and even wilder beard and shabby clothe stepped through the door holding a large leather bound book.
“Salvador you will not win tonight!” he screamed as he opened his book and began to scribble something on one of its empty sheets. A fist made of ink suddenly appeared as it went flying towards the man in black who simply smirked. From under his black trench coat he pulled out his own book, holding it up as it blocked the fist before he started to scribble something on his book. He suddenly disappeared only to reappear on the window sill.
“We’ll meet again Sarah Serif!” he yelled as he jumped out the window. As he did his paper tiger turned into nothing more than a pile of loose sheets.
Sarah ran to the wild haired man as she hugged him tight, her hand clutching his brown ragged clothes as she kept muttering thank you.
“Easy now Sarah come on we got to get out of here before anyone suspects anything.” As he explained this the man scribbled into his book. Sarah looked as she saw the word ‘fix the apartment on 38 Cherry Drive Room 218.’ When she looked back the mess and debris were all gone and the apartment was back to its state ready for her birthday.
“Yes, Mister Banick how did you that.”
“It’s simple Sarah, I’m a Wordsmith. Someday you’ll be able to do this as well.”
“How will I be able to do this?”
He leaned over and whispered in Sarah’s ear. “Because you’re one too.”
Sean was surprised at how into the book he was getting at. He felt his body sink into the couch deeper as he couldn’t put it down. His eyes were a little heavy but he forced himself to trudge on. He kept thinking in his minds how much harm could one more chapter do?
Chapter Four - The Academy
Inhibit Senses: standard (rank 1)
Sarah wasn’t enjoying the ship ride much. The rough waves were doing things to her stomach she never could imagine. Whenever she tried to look off the boat she’d become even more sick. She wasn’t surprised Douglas was halfway bent over the railing waving good bye at his large family as they all screamed so loud Sarah could still here them as the ship pulled deep into the Irish sea.
“Well since you’re from Glasgow guess you don’t see the ocean much? Douglas sat down beside Sarah as he patted her shoulder. “Don’t worry, when my dad took me on my first boating trip I was just like you. Course that was back when I was four.”
“Well thanks for trying to cheer me up. And thanks for your dad for pointing me to the right pier.”
“Aw well pops doesn’t like to see kids wandering around the harbor. Besides I’m kind of thankful we bumped into you. I ain’t from some fancy smithing family, no blood in me. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to make any friends.”
“Well you’re a friendly guy Douglas! I’d be shocked if you didn’t have a ton of friends by the end of the year.”
“Aw thanks Sarah. Ok time to get up its worse when you sit still.”
“Oh hey we didn’t greet these two yet!” A girl with brown skin and dark hair with a small group of enthusiastic kids their age suddenly ran up to Sarah and Douglas.
“Hell, let me introduce myself, I’m Padma Siddiqi”
“Douglas Aberdeen here.”
“Well nice to meet you Douglas and of course we know who you are Sarah. Your parents were quite the celebrities in the smithing world. Sad to hear what happened to them. Anyways this little group has known each other since pre school and we know some families don’t have the luxury of meeting people before hand so we’re operating as a welcoming committee for…”
Padma was cut off when a dark hair girl flanked by a boy with equally jet black hair stood beside her. “Welcoming losers like this norm here?” She pointed at Douglas as his face got red.
“Who are you calling a norm?”
“You, of no significant last name, now don’t think any of you mean anything. As usual members of the Cortez family are going to run the Archives this year.” The two of them walked off with their entourage in tow as Sarah scowled at them from behind their backs.
“Ramona and Rodrigo Cortez. Think they run this place. Don’t worry I’m sure we’ll all get along even if we don’t include them.
The ship’s PA system suddenly went off as it said “all first years please report to the front of the deck. The kids were all confused as they all quickly ran to the front. As they stood there they could hear the waves crashing the boat. As the mist parted in front of them was the large white tower of the The Junior Archive Academy of England. Padma, Douglas and Sarah simply stood there in awe.
The imagery was vivid in Sean’s mind. He kept turning page after page reading quicker and quicker as he seemed unable to get enough of the story. The world tuned out slowly, first he barely saw the room anymore but instead he was imagining he was on that ship himself. The soft humming of the laptop, the dripping from a faucet, none of it registered. Sean sat in still silence engrossed in the novel.
Chapter Fourteen – Writing from the Past
Emotion Control: standard (rank 1)
… Sarah was upset as she hid in the old store room at the Academy. How come her parents never told her who they were or what she was? Everyone else seemed to know her parents better than she did. The simple hard working mother and father now seemed like a distant illusion after hearing about their triumphs at stopping the Red Ink Society from gaining power around the world. In her anger she grabbed at one of the books that was collecting dust and tore out a blank sheet. She proceeded to take out her fountain pen and scribbled on it.
“Show me my father and my mother!”
Just as she wrote that she looked up and saw her parents standing there. They were smiling at her, arms open as she couldn’t believe it. Had she conjured up these images? However part of them felt so real to her, she ran up and began to hug them. Mixtures of anger and happiness filled he as she buried her tear filled face against them.
“Why didn’t you tell me about this? Why?”
The ghostly images of her parents didn’t respond. They didn’t talk. They simply hugged Sarah holding her close when suddenly the disappeared causing Sarah to drop to her knees on the ground.
“The Tome of Wishes, a deadly artifact indeed.” Sarah looked around and saw the headmaster Heimdall looking down at her.
Sarah stepped towards Zutro as he kept speaking about the tome in his hand, “it grants you the wishes you write on paper but not the ability to use that wish. You see young Sarah power is pointless without ability which is why we study here at the Academy.”
“I’m sorry Headmaster. I was just upset when I learned so much from my parents off hand.”
“You do have every right to be angry. But please understand your parents did what they did to protect you and protect you they did. Now do not touch this book again. Many men have been lost in its pages.
Having lost his father at a young age Sean understood what Sarah was going through. As he kept reading on he wondered how she had the strength to continue. He thought about his own life, how he poured himself into school, into working, to try and forget about his passing. He reached for a tissue as he wiped an errant tear from the corner of his eye.
Chapter Twenty Four – Secret Staircase
Invisibility: standard (rank 1)
… Padma tried to convince Sarah to not leave the dormitory as Douglas had his fists up trying to egg her on.
“Sarah it’s much too dangerous to go!”
“Padma we’re the only ones who know where the Secret Staircase is.”
“We should tell a teacher.”
“But if we did it’ll be too late!
“No worries guys, I do have this afterall.”
Sarah pulled put the jacket from her closet as she put it on over her, suddenly she disappeared from sight as she said to her friends.
“Wish me luck.”
Unknown to Sean as he sat riveted to the story was the girl in the corner of the room. She was standing there, stock still except for her fingers wiggling in the air. She hid in a shadow in the corner where the light fixtures failed to meet. As she watched Sean’s reaction she gave a wide grin. If there’s nothing the girl liked more it was a captive audience.
Knowing Your Audience
Telepathy: standard (rank 1)
The girl continued to stand in the corner as she watched Sean’s every reaction. Her mind was racing as she collected his thoughts slowly. In his lulled state the girl found it easy to probe and pick at the deepest recesses of his mind.
“Yes.. bullying… will use that…”
With each new tidbit of information she twisted and moved her fingers in the air, her stare intense from the darkness as she built the plot of the story. She envisioned each step moments before he turned the page.
“A lost father… could be interesting…”
Soon it’s as if Sean’s mind was an open page. She plunged into the depths of his psyche, drudging the best and worst memories as they flooded her own mind. From them she picked out the most vivid images and transformed them into the text in the novel.
“A final show down… yes we will see that…”
Chapter Twenty Six – Enter Salvador
Telekinesis: standard (rank 1)
“… you’re just a girl Sarah! How do you hope to beat me, the world’s greatest wordsmith!”
Salvador waved his hands over the Tome of Wishes as the paper flew out. Snarling paper beasts appeared in front of Salvador as he scoffed at her.
“Shouldn’t have let me get this tome Sarah Serif because now you’ll be joining your parents in death!” Salvador laughed heartily as he flipped the pages out of the Tome of Wishes, creating an army of paper warriors wielding swords and axes as they stared down Sarah Serif.
“Now my minions go forth, destroy Sarah Serif!”
However the warriors simply stood there, growling as they suddenly turned on Salvador.
“Don’t you know Salvador! The tome of wishes gives you what you want, but not the means to handle it. You got your army but no way to control them.” Sarah pulled her fingers up as she tried to wiggle them, her pen that had been knocked out from across the room flying through the air as it started to write on the warrior. The orders ‘attack Salvador’ etched on as they soon turned on their creator and started to march.
The girl in the corner kept twiddling her fingers as she watched Sean keep reading. Sean didn’t notice it but the pages he had yet to read were blank. The girl twitched her eyes, her mind concentrating on delicately peeling the pages apart while ink slowly scribed the upcoming events of the story. She watched on as Sean tried to turn a page but suddenly fell out of the couch, clutching his chest. She finally stepped out of the shadows.
Bio Vampire: standard (rank 1)
Sean clutched his chest, he heaved, he tried to pull himself back up but he couldn’t. He first saw the book in front of him, sprawled open on the last chapter before a pair of feet appeared. H e looked up at the girl standing above him as she smiled wickedly down at him.
“Hmmm, yes it is. I guess it was a little too obvious to write the protagonist to look like myself but as any good writer does they take from their own life experience.” She starts to walk over to Sean as she uses her foot to roll him onto his back, pressing her heels down onto his throat as he looks up at him.
“Let’s get some facts straight before we continue. One you’re going to die. Why? Because someone paid me to kill you, plain and simple. Two, how much of that story was based on my own life? Well quite a bit, of course it was made to look a little rosier. Three, yes I am a wordsmith. We do exist as sort of a secret society away from your prying eyes. Four, you might be wondering why you’re so weak. Well turns out the ink I use have some special properties. The reader of it has a bit of their own natural energy diminished. Reading it for a while, you barely feel it. Keep reading it, and well, you get to where you’re at.”
Sean choked and gagged as he felt the foot dig deeper against him, “I’ve only been reading for a few hours!”
“Have you?” Sarah tipped over the glass of milk which had gone sour and chunky as Sean stared at it in horror.
“You mostly did this to yourself though I have had to sneak in every few days to add to the novel but more or less you ignored the calls to your house, answered the e-mails asking where you were and pretty much remained engrossed in my story. It’s been a few days now and the muscle atrophy and bone deterioration aren’t noticeable but when your heart stops working on man.”
Sean stared up at her as she barely spat out “why didn’t you just shoot me or suffocate me with some pages then you sick bitch!”
“Well, because I am what I am. Believe me if you grew up in my world you wouldn’t be normal either. Besides anyone can stab someone with a knife, isn’t it more fun to know you died because of a really great story?”
With those words she twisted her heel into Sean’s throat as he suddenly slumped dead. Picking up her book Sarah slowly walked out and closed the door escaping into the night.