I GOT A PROMO

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So as of today, I have free promotion going on at Amazon. I will give you a link.cropped-index.jpg

It is another installment of the Journal Series of Prince, Fleana, Katrina, and Marion. The book on sale are the first four entries of their journal where they were experimented on by Ecosystems Corporation and trying to not fail out of school. I’ve been hard at work with other entries and have a few published. Check ’em if you would. Here’s the link: https://www.amazon.com/JOURNAL-ENTRIES-Journal-Xavier-McDougle-ebook/dp/B07124GDKG/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1496606407&sr=8-9&keywords=xavier+mcdougle

Go get a free copy before June 8th.

POWER PLAY & THE JOURNAL SERIES OF PRINCE, FLEANA, KATRINA, AND MARION

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It’s finally out! The second installment of my series LEVELS, POWER PLAY, is finally available to read on amazon.com, and as a result I have some more good news, I am launching a mini series titled THE JOURNAL SERIES OF PRINCE, FLEANA, KATRINA, AND MARION at Wattpad.com under my screenname Levelskid. And I am going to share a chapter with you. To read more please visit Wattpad or if you want to read my second novel, go to amazon.com and search POWER PLAY by Xavier McDougle for $6.99, but if you act now until Oct 6, you can get it for free. Well, here comes another installment of the quirky adventures of Prince, Fleana, Katrina, and Marion:

ROBOTIC SERVANT

I. FLEANA

I was studying for one of Mrs. Rosethorne’s exams with Prince, Katrina, and Marion, and I have to admit it was a bit of a challenge. English was never my best subject. Give me a gross Biology textbook any day. I guess I should’ve invited Zach, Alicia, and Asa over, especially since Alicia was Mrs. Rosethorne’s daughter, but I didn’t want them to see me struggling like this and I knew Mrs. Rosethorne wouldn’t help Alicia any more than us, in fact I think she might make it worse us for even thinking about it. Technically, we were supposed to take it a week ago, but considering we got busted for cheating the last time, the school had decided we should do all of our work from that week over again without the psionics so we were in the middle of catch up. It’s as exhausting as it sounds.
I heard someone knocking on the door.
Katrina lifted her eyes in annoyance. “Answer it.”
I inhaled a column of air, and blast the door open.
Some man with a raised hand stood at my doorway. He wasn’t someone I knew so I guessed he must’ve been new to our building complex. His eyes told me he was angry, but cautious as if he were afraid we might hurt him. It was a common thought among the humans here. At least that’s what Kat told me. I didn’t need to feel their emotions to validate that.
I continued writing. “My mom’s not home.”
“Yeah, I know. I, uh, talked to her in the hallway.” He told me.
I raised an eyebrow. “Did you? Are you surprised that’s she’s my mother?”
Even without looking I could tell he was blushing. My mom looked young, about twenty-six physically, but she’s actually over a hundred years old. I’m not making this up. BioticAbiotics age differently. I would be much younger, which is saying a lot since I look like a tall ten year old at eighteen, but apparently how you age depends on the environment around you, and the environment around me is way worse than when my mom was a kid.
Anyway, our rotund neighbor coughed in his palm. “Um, yes, well I moved in from across the door–”
“And I’m guessing you’re not here to deliver a fruit basket.” Katrina batted her eyelashes and put on her best fake smile. Her sarcastic looks are easy to pull off with how much eyeliner she wears.
The man’s face turned red. “Look! I heard the rumors about all the weird stuff that has been happening since you got here and I came to tell you to stay away from my room.”
I wanted to ask why did he move here in the first place but my mom taught me manners, but honestly, the rumors were all true. I don’t know why my friends’ and my families’ attract all the weird stuff we do, but we had all grown to accept it. Didn’t help much with neighbor relations though.
“Alright,” Prince said. “but I don’t think it’ll help much.”
“What’s that mean?” The guy looked defensive, but I could sense he was ready to crap himself.
“Didn’t you hear about the curse?” I added in my spookiest voice.
“What curse?”
“Everyone who has ever lived across my door will always leave because something bad happened to them.” Then I changed my tone back to its normal sunny self. “Or something very funny!”
“Y-you’re full of it! There’s no curse!”
“Probably not, but weird things do happen, and lot’s of people have come and gone.” Marion told him. “Be careful man.”
“Y-you people stay away from me!”
He slammed the door behind him, and I heard his feet thump against the floor.
“He needs to lose some weight. Can’t be good for him.”

II. KATRINA

I would love to say that we were just screwing with our neighbor about the curse, but we were seriously not sure if the curse was fake or not. For as long as I could remember weird stuff has happened and it always strikes whoever lived across Fleana’s door and it always had something do with at least one of our families.
Trust me it didn’t take long to for it to strike the new guy. I was listening to some music, trying to keep the temptation to read someone’s mind out of mind when my sister walked into my room.
“I wasn’t reading you’re mind.” I told her.
Her tone sounded like she didn’t believe me. “This came for you.”
She dumped a package on my lap.
“Is this the–” I stammered.
“I don’t care what it is. Just keep out of my head.”
“Like I want to know what snack you’re in the mood for.”
I took the package and walked over to Marion’s room next door.
“Hey, Solar.” I knocked. “The package came.”
The wrong Solar answered the door.
“Oh, hi Flare.”
Marion’s dad was a pretty imposing guy. He was six feet tall, hardly blinked, and speaks in a low monotone. He was basically a taller, more stoic version of my friend.
He eyed my package. “So what’s inside this package?”
“Just an art project.” I said, hugging the package tighter than I meant to.
“May I see this project.”
“Sure, but it’s in pieces.”
I slid my finger across the tape, the electricity I generated cutting through it like a buzzsaw, and showed him the contents.
Flare sneered and poked at the bronze and golden gears. “What’s that supposed to be?”
If I could blush, my face would’ve been totally red. “A-a robotic servant.”
Flare’s sneer deepened, but he called his son
Marion came barreling to the door. A few strands of his hair were burned. Being a core, Marion was hard to burn, but given enough heat something was bound to get singed.
“Matthew gave you a fiery noogie?” I guessed.
He brushed the burned strands with his fingers. “Yeah. He thought I took his phone and wouldn’t stop until I give it to him. He laid off when I told him to try using the house phone to call it. It turned out that his phone was in his back pocket the whole time.”
“What does my sister see in the guy?”
“At least he said sorry. Anyway, the package here? Awesome! Let’s put it together.” He looked at the instructions and frowned. “Maybe we should let Prince put it together. We need a super brain just to read this.”

III. MARION

Prince fixed the servant up in no time. He put the thing together like it was a puzzle meant for kids. He didn’t even need to look at the instructions.
“And there we go. One servant up and almost running.” He finally said, clapping his hands together. “Now all we need is some power.”
Electricity began arcing across Katrina’s fingers as she prepared to fire.
“But not a storm sized one.”
Katrina dropped her palm. “You’re no fun.”
“So where do we get this power?” I asked.
“Lookie, Lookie!” Fleana found a power chord sticking right out of its…
“The thing gets power out of it’s butt!”
“What kind of machine gets nutrients out of it’s rear end!” Katrina complained.
“Hey!” Fleana sounded genuinely offended. “Don’t be rude! You’ll hurt its feelings.”
“So you’re empathic to machines now?”
“I don’t know. Maybe. Anyway, I’m just gonna plug this in.”
Fleana shoved the chord into the socket and the servant’s eyes lit up, probably enjoying the meal he’s eating.
“Well, we got a minute,” I said. “now what?”
After a brief pause, Katrina finally said. “Wanna play some video games?”
“Eh.” I shrugged, and the four of us headed toward my room.

“Is it my turn yet?” Fleana whined.
Katrina didn’t look away from the screen. “You just lost. It’s my turn.”
Fleana groaned. “Can someone at least give me a drink?”
Just then I heard clanking down the hall, some ruffling in the fridge. I’d assumed it was my dad or Matthew, but last time I checked they didn’t make clanking noises, not that I know of anyway.
Something came marching down the hallway toward my room, and emerging from the darkness that is my hallway with a drink on a tray was the robotic servant. It was six feet tall with a golden body. It was a simple design, a human body with a top hat, but something about it just seemed…uncanny?
The servant hunched and pushed the tray toward Fleana. Fleana smiled, which even apathetically, I didn’t understand how she managed it, and took the orange juice.
“Thank you.” She said nervously.
“What are your orders?” It asked.
Katrina was trying hard to keep a smile on her face. “No, that’s okay. We don’t need anything.”
The servant just stood there motionless. It’s eyes were trained on Katrina as if it were waiting for another order.
Matthew peaked his head through my door, his eyebrows arched. “What in the world is that thing?”
Prince pushed passed him. “Excuse me.”
He sipped his orange juice and turned his head toward the servant. He didn’t seem bothered by the fact that there was a creepy robotic servant standing next to him.
When his glass was finally empty, he said. “The servant’s up.”
I rolled my eyes. “No duh genius. How long has it been up?”
“I don’t know about an hour or so.”
“What?!” Fleana snapped.
“And when were you planning on telling us that?” Katrina dropped the remote just as her character got killed.
“Right after he cleaned my bathroom!” Prince turned livid.
“Uh, guys?” Matthew interrupted, but Prince was on a roll.
“My dad told me we can’t keep it in our room–”
“Hey?”
“But I couldn’t concentrate on anything if the bathroom is–”
“Guys!”
“What is it Matthew?” Katrina glared at him.
He pointed at the space where the servant stood. “Robot’s just left.”

IV. PRINCE

We spotted the servant heading to the next floor, apparently with a goal in mind. Matthew, Katrina, Fleana, Marion, and I didn’t stop it so much as watch it.
“What’s it doing now?” Matthew asked. “Spikes, did you give it another order?”
“No. Wait–” I thought for a second. “No.”
“Then what’s it doing?”
“I don’t know, bro,” Marion told him. “how about we try following it?”
A few sparks danced across Matthew’s fingers, but if Marion felt intimidated, he couldn’t show it.
We found our servant knocking on our neighbor’s door, the one who visited earlier. Our neighbor finally opened the door. He was dressed in a white tank top and boxer shorts.
He slanted his eyebrows. “What!”
The servant then snatched him by the ankle and started tossing him around the room like a pillow. Our neighbor was screaming in agony as his body got more battered and bruised.
“Oh my God, you’ve created a monster.” Matthew still had his eyes on our neighbor.
“We didn’t create it,” Fleana explained, shrugging. “We just sort of put it together. And by we I mean him.”
I glared at her.
“Somebody get over here and help me!” Our neighbor shouted, but his voice sounded like background noises.
My dad walked out of our room holding a sheet of paper. “Good you here. Son have you read this warning when you–” He finally noticed our neighbor being flung around. “Oh, I guess you have.”
“What warning?” I asked.
Dad held up the paper. “This product has been banned in over twenty-five countries and under the troposphere due to attacks on humans. You should never build your own servant.”
“Well, that explains why we got it dirt cheap.” Fleana giggled.
“Yeah and now we unleashed it in the apartment, and there’s nothing we could do to stop it.” I said.
“Yeah, unless, y’know you flip the off switch on its back.” Dad pointed at it’s back where an obvious switch labeled “on/off” sat. “Blowing it up works too by the way, but let’s spare the insurance this time.”
“Um, sure, just hold on a sec.” Marion fearlessly walked up to the servant and flipped the switch to off. Too bad he flipped it when the robot was in mid swing. Our neighbor went soaring into my door. I’m pretty sure his arm wasn’t supposed to bend that way.
“Oh God. Oh God.” He moaned.
“Hey, Ralph.” My dad said. “Are you alright?”
“Do I look like I’m alright?!”
“Yes.”
I offered him my hand, but he recoiled at me.
“Do not touch me!” He shrieked. “I’ll get myself up.”
I’ll be honest that hurt a little bit, but I still kept my hand out, mostly because I knew he couldn’t get up. He couldn’t use his dislocated arm so he tried rolling on his belly, but I guess the size of his gut kept him in place. Finally, he relented and let me help him.
“So do you believe in the curse now?” Fleana asked.
Ralph’s face got red. “No.”
“You’re lying.”
“You don’t know that.”
“I have the psionic ability to sense emotions. Though trust me, it doesn’t take an empath to see that.”
“That’s…even for you that’s weird, right?”
“Sort of.” Katrina told him. “So I guess you’ll be moving soon.”
“Oh no. That’s what you want me to do.”
“We do?” Fleana raised an eyebrow.
“Yeah, I bet you set this up just to scare me off.”
“We did?” Katrina knitted her eyebrows.
“Well, if you think I’m going to be scared off by you freaks, you have another thing coming. I paid for this room, and I’m not leaving until I want to.”
“Aight, cool.” Marion told him.
“We’ll try not to bother you.” My dad said politely.
“Yesssss.” Ralph hissed. He slinked back to his room, not taking his eyes off us until he was behind his door.
“So Ralph’s his name?” Katrina pondered. “He seems nice.”

POWER PLAY EXCERPT

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So I am close to finishing editing my second novel, Power Play, so I thought I share an excerpt. Enjoy fellow readers, writers, and novelists.

CHAPTER ONE
PRINCE

     Katrina raised her hand, her fingers arcing with electricity, and blasted one of the dummies we had set up around the junkyard. The blast had looked bigger than usual. I wondered if she had been eating her veggies or something and I was thinking that maybe I should try some of her mother’s cooking. It may have helped me out with my little problem.

Marion eyed another dummy and flexed his palm. Flames started to curl off the tips of his fingers and formed into a ball. He lobbed it at another dummy, causing it to erupt into a small bonfire.

Fleana smiled, reveling in the display of fireworks. I felt the wind picking up and my heart raced as the next dummy levitated five feet in the air. Fleana twitched her nose and the dummy went sky high.

You might be wondering why we were abusing a couple of poor, defenseless dummies. Even more importantly, you may be wondering how a couple of teenagers have superpowers. Well, its kind of a long story and it would probably take all day to catch you up on how all this nonsense, which quite frankly is still new to us, happened. Fortunately, I have time on my hands. We’re what you call BioticAbiotics—living nonliving things. This stuff sort of comes with the territory. Don’t worry, you’ll catch on. Technically, our “powers” were supposed to be used to support the planet so that everything including us could survive, but my friends and I use them kind of like a super power.

Fleana trained her eyes on me. “You sure you don’t want to try this?”

I shifted my feet. My pals had been trying to convince me for a week to try using my abilities. “I don’t know guys I’m just not feeling it.”

“It’s been three months now, Spikes. You have to try,” Katrina reasoned. “we need to practice for the new school we’ll be attending. I heard Level Placement is brutal.”

I guess I should explain. My friends and I would be attending Levels Academy in two days—A school that both our parents and older siblings had attended for BioticAbiotics. I shuddered thinking about a school full of hormonal teenagers that were just like us. I certainly wasn’t looking forward to it after what happened just three months ago. I just couldn’t imagine the reactions from the students and faculty.

What happened? Well, I’m going to make this short and simple: Three months ago, my friends and I had no idea what we even were, so when our powers (BioticAbiotics call them traits or characteristics) had actually showed up, we sort of panicked, not unlike anything else that happens during puberty. Don’t get me wrong, it was cool and all, but we managed to get into serious trouble with them. When our parents had finally told us what was going on with us, let’s just say that in hindsight, blowing up the lab we were born in was probably not the best way of getting information. Word of our actions had hit the local news across town and unless they had poor reception in the troposphere, I’m pretty sure most of the student body and faculty had heard of our blunder. And here I thought I was done with all the embarrassing stuff that happens in school.

Attending Levels meant that my friends and I were going to meet some challenges, but my biggest challenge would be getting my traits to work properly. What can I say? Some people mature slower than others even if you were born at the same time.

“Okay, I’ll try.” I told them.

I thrust out my palm but nothing happened. On my second try, my hand grew cold and a ball of steam condensed in my palm. It was the first solid ball I had made in the past two weeks. I lobbed it a dummy causing frost to cake over it. Despite it working sometimes, my power were pretty meager at that point. Nowhere near as big and powerful as my pals’.

I turned my head to my friends. “How’s that?”

“Not bad,” Fleana said encouragingly. “but it needs a little more oomph!”

Fleana was a part time cheerleader. She’s always positive and sometimes, if you’re not watching carefully enough, that’s how she often gets away with things. You wouldn’t suspect her to do any wrong. Thankfully, that part of her rarely shows up.
I went to try again with much better results. The next dummy turned into a popsicle.

Fleana clapped merrily. “There you go! Try again!”

So I did that for about three more times, which is more effort than I put in three months, and made the dummies I shot into miniature snowmen. My friends cheered, encouraging me to keep going, but the moment was short lived. On my next try, nothing happened. I tried several more times but no luck. I shook my head.

Kat came up to me and placed her hand on my back. “It’s okay. It’ll show up again. It’s better to try and fail than to not try at all.”

That’s Katrina for you. Always sensible, always responsible, and she always has a sweet spot when it comes to wounded puppies.

“I know, I know,” I said. “I just wish it would show up before school starts.”

“When it happens, it happens.” Marion reasoned. “You can’t rush these things.”

If you ever needed a level head to talk to then Marion’s your man. He always seems to be on top of things, never worried about anything.

Fleana looked at her watch and her eyes widened. “It’s late! I have to get home or mom will kill me!”

She jumped in the air and flew straight to our apartment. Flying’s become Fleana’s main source of transportation even when it’s not necessary. Our apartment was only a couple blocks away and Surrealton’s so small that driving from one place to another is seen as redundant.

“Show off.” Kat said. “But it is getting late. We should get going.” I heard her mutter. “Mom would be checking off supplies again.”

We began marching home, prepared to face the challenge of packing for school.

When I walked through the doors of my apartment room, my dad looked up from his paper and asked. “Where have you been?”

I told him. “With my friends at the junkyard.”

“Getting in some training before school, huh? Good thinking you might wanna bulk up. Standards are much higher now than from the time I went there.”

That didn’t make me feel much better. I had lied to my dad a week earlier about my abilities developing past latency. I was hoping they would’ve developed any day now so that it wouldn’t have to be such a lie. Obviously, that hadn’t been the case so it just left me in a worse spot.

The phone rang and dad picked it up. “Hello…yes…oh, okay. He’ll be there in the morning.”

He hung up. “That was Dr. Norman. He wants to do one final check up tomorrow morning. You okay going by yourself?”

“Sure.” I said.

Dr. Norman was the family doctor for my friends and me ever since the day we were born in Solarana Labs as asexual test tube babies. It’s kind of a weird story. A couple of months ago, I had accidentally frozen his arm when he tried to give me a shot, but thankfully he had forgiven me for that. Not a lot of people would.

As I walked down the hallway to my room, I bumped into my older brother, Nathan. He held my backpack in his hand.
He dropped it into my arms and it weighed a ton. “Here, everything’s accounted for.”

“Thanks bro. But I could’ve done that myself.” I grunted.

“Oh, I know. I just wanted to save you the trouble.”

Translation: he wanted me to reflect good on him. Nathan was going to be a teacher’s assistant at my new school for college credit and well, he’s a bit of an overachiever. He’s always pushing me to do my best. Not that I didn’t appreciate his help or anything, but it can be a bit overbearing sometimes and with my traits still on the fritz, I just wasn’t looking forward to one of his lectures about how eating more vegetables or ice cubes or whatever is essential to the proper functioning of traits. Older siblings can be a pain, even if they’re adopted.

After dinner, I slumped onto my bed hoping things would get better by tomorrow. But somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew things were about to get a whole lot worse somehow.

JOURNAL ENTRY #4

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Entry #4

I. FLEANA

     I know you must get tired of reading my friends and me entries. Trust me, we don’t like doing these any more than you do reading them, but, on the other hand, why are you read them? It’s not like a teacher is forcing you to read these are they? If they were then we could relate. Okay, before we continue this tale, I thought I should let you know that my friends and me are going to do something a little different while writing. Why? Because we’re artists…and we’re bored. So throughout this entry, we’ll give out little footnotes of useless information about our lives. It seems to me that our ADD has become an asset. Let’s begin

So if you had read the last entry, you would know that our parents had found out about our secret powers. (1. Let the record show that this is the fastest time we had ever caved) And…they were okay with it, and that’s what bothered me. I thought this would be one of those rare times mom would turn into a demon and start swearing on grandma’s grave that she would be the one to put her there, but she didn’t. She just leaned back into the couch and continued reading her paper. I knew that screaming and yelling wasn’t my mother’s style, and that something like that had happened before but…I don’t know. Maybe the fact that she was getting used to weird stuff that keeps happening to me is very unsettling. The one I should have been worried about is my sister, Susan whom my mom made me tell what happened.

“What?” She screamed.

“I can read people’s emotions, now. Don’t worry, it’s only temporary.” I explained hoping that would calm her down. Being an empath comes with the perk of knowing how to deal with people. (2. I can also make people not hate me, but I didn’t use it on her) “At least that’s what Spikes says.”

“How does Prince,” She turned toward him and raised an eyebrow. “know that?”

“You know Einstein?” Marion asked not shaken by my sister’s glare. (3. My ability does not work on Marion because apathy blocks empathy, fortunately it goes both ways)

“Yeah?”

“Smarter than that guy.”

A lot of mixed emotions emanated around the room, most of them same—confusion, wary, worry. Believe me it took a lot not to be overwhelmed.

“Well, how did this,” Matthew, Marion’s brother, waved his hand toward Katrina, Prince, Marion, and me. “happen?” (4. Matthew isn’t the sharpest tack in the box. He’s not dumb, but he certainly isn’t quick. Don’t tell him I said that)

“Well, Prince was thinking,” Kat began tying her long, blonde hair into a ponytail as she was preparing to paint that afternoon. (5. She literally knows what Prince is thinking) “our grandparents used solar radiation; you know that stuff that affects BioticAbiotics’ molecules, to enhance a specific part of our cerebral cortex.”

“Wow, that’s—“

“Complicated. We know but that’s the small thing. The big thing is what are you going to do about it?”

“Well, what can we do?” Caroline, Katrina’s sister said. (6. Caroline is dating Matthew. Guess who has the brains?) “We’ll just have to wait for it to wear off like last time.”

And our families broke. While they all headed back to their rooms and apartments, my friends and headed downstairs to the front office and then down to the basement. The doorman gave a funny look, but otherwise didn’t bother us. Most of the humans didn’t. It was only until now that I knew why. Our family’s history and what we are.

II. KATRINA

(7. I’m not enjoying this.) Well, I was painting the perfect depiction of how I felt that afternoon: A moody Kat and her three closest friends being crushed under the word “expectation”. (8. Kat can also be my initials. Katrina Angela Tropical. Really creative, right? More than what my grandfather named mom)

“What do you guys think?” I asked not turning around.

Prince came over to act like he’s actually inspecting my painting. I knew he’s not “That’s an accurate depiction of trials and turmoil.”

“Don’t try to hard, Spikes.”

He shrugged and went back to what he was doing. He was hard at work building a lair for us underneath the apartment (We needed the privacy). Dr. Norman (9. Dr. Norman is the family doctor) gave us the equipment to build it. He didn’t ask us why we were doing it like any responsible doctor would, but then again we didn’t question him.

Prince, Fleana, and Marion had finally finished what they were doing. They were covered in grease and oil while my face was smeared with painting oil. Yes, I didn’t help them with the project but I did have my part in the process.

“Alright, everything is in order,” Prince said clapping his hands. “Now all we need is some power.”

I stuck out my finger, not really looking at where I was aiming, and shot lightning at the computer screen, starting it. (10. I’m packing major voltage. A thousand volts to each finger tip actually)

“Oh, yeah! Now we’re talking!” Fleana pumped her fist.

“What was that?” I heard Mom yell at the top of the stairs. The doorman must’ve told her we were down there.

“Nothing mom, just a project.” I told her.

“Okay, dear. Just come and eat dinner after you’re done with your project.”

(11. Mom doesn’t take my capabilities very seriously) (12. My friends and I haven’t given anybody much reason to take our capabilities seriously)

They say artists never amount to much. That we’re just wasting our time with “projects” and mean nothing to this world, but what is the meaning of life anyway? People live, they have experiences, they die. Simple as that. Art is what makes it fun, enjoyable, gives us movies, cartoons, and video games to occupy our time with. But alas, coming from someone like me, it is often ignored no matter how right I am. It seems like the only ones who ever did seem to take us seriously are the people we don’t like such as Mrs. Rosethorne and…

“Hello, darlings.” Our evil grandparents…sitting right there on the computer screen. They were all sitting in fancy black chairs. On the table in front of them sat tea and rice cakes like they were just having a nice conversation. Grandpa smirked at me, his mouth resembling mine.

“What do you want now grandpa?” I said pretending to paint.

“Just to say hello.”

“How in the world did you get on our computer monitor that we just set it up?” Prince asked in a more pondering tone than an angry one.

“That’s not important.” Clarissa, Fleana’s grandmother, sat back in her chair and aimed her eyes at Fleana. “Listen—“

“We’re not doing anything you say!” Fleana shouted. “We’re just going to end up screwed. Or experimented on.”

“Smart girl.” Thomas, Marion’s grandfather, acknowledged. “Maybe she is your granddaughter.”

Clarissa did not look amused. “You got it all wrong, dear. I was just going to tell you that we’ll be checking on you from time to time just to make sure everything is all right.”

“Geez, thanks for the concern,” I said sarcastically. “Don’t let monitor hit you where the Lord split ya.”

“Alright, love. I love you too.” Grandpa said.

III. MARION

I bet you were thinking that our grandparents popping up on computer screen freaked us out. Maybe just a little bit. It didn’t really. (13. Their checking up on us is the closest thing to loving us for as long as we’ve known them) Basically, we just went about lives like usual. Word got out about our abilities we couldn’t cheat anymore. Just as well, it started to leave bad tastes in our mouths. We were hoping the lair we built would help out in our lives but it turns out we didn’t need it. Mrs. Rosethorne handed us our next papers with what I thought was a smirk. We got B’s and in green text was “The journals have helping I see. Good that means I’m going to have to make things a lot harder from now on. P.S. you have three days of detention for cheating.” It was bittersweet and I’m pretty sure she’s smiling because she had busted us for cheating, but at least we knew that we’re were getting used to life here. We made life easier for ourselves. (14. For the first time in a long time, we felt like we were succeeding rather failing. Baby steps) Plus since we fessed up to our teachers about what happened, they understood and helped us understand our assignments better, they gave us a chance to redo our papers, and for the most part didn’t punish us as hard as we thought they would. We still had a lot more work to do to catch up with the other…more attentive students, but it was good to know that we were on the right track.

IV. PRINCE

     My friends there had told most of the story. Don’t worry as a writer I’ll think of something. Yeah, well, things are starting to look up. Instead of treating us like freaks like our old school would’ve done, people treated our condition like it was no big deal. We didn’t get a chance to see what their reaction would have been when we had the ability to combine our traits so I didn’t know whether to attributed it to open mindedness or the simple acceptance of our lives being abnormal due to being born in a test tube. Some were even sympathetic; others were curious. But personally, I think it’s cool we have these powers and I knew that we’ll enjoy it while it lasts. (15. This school is still a mystery) But, more importantly, I’m starting to warm up to the idea of writing in this journal. It’s pretty cool chronicling the everyday happenings in our lives. Anyway, until next time. (16. Our story isn’t over)

JOURNAL ENTRY #3

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Entry #3

I. MARION

     I was pondering over what our grandparents had done to us…this time. I’m still kind of trembling from the time they used the transference machine on my friends and me, allowing us to combine our traits. Good thing that wore off. Well, first off, I would like to point out that they, our grandparents, were lying. The Cerebral Enhancer didn’t make our lives any easier just more complicated than it already is. And second, what the Cerebral Enhancer really did was jumbled up all the molecules in our brains (if you’re human, you should know that our brains are a little different from yours) and rearranged them so that now we have some psionic powers. It had something to do with solar radiation, the substance that can affect us living nonliving things (term: BioticAbiotic) in unpredictable ways or at least that’s what Spikes theorized. Considering what we had been through already, it’s not too hard to believe. At least we knew it was temporary. In short, Prince is really smart, Fleana is really empathetic, Kat’s a mind reader, and me well I just don’t care. No really I don’t care. That machine made me apathetic. Don’t worry we could turn it off whenever we feel like it, but I had to admit not being able to get depressed, upset, or bored is awesome except for the fact that I was incapable of being happy or excited either.

     What made life harder was hiding it from our families, but it’s not like we wanted to keep it a secret. Trust me, if we had our way, we would’ve ratted our grandparents out faster than you can say, “You snitch.” But that wouldn’t do us any good since they would often move their location to somewhere else after something big like this happens and it’s not like they haven’t pull this stunt before so we knew what to do. Wait until it wears off. Until then we sought out to use our new abilities.

II. Prince

     In case you were wondering, Spikes is my nickname because of my hair. My only asset other than my new big brain that no one could know about. And if you’re also wondering why I’m not using really big words right now, well don’t you think I’m smart enough to dumb down my speech? My friends had been asking me that a lot as if they didn’t think my intelligence was for real. They could feel others emotions, not feel emotions, read minds, and they have hard believing that I was really smart now? Anyway, our affliction had helped to improve our grades a little bit in all our classes, except maybe for gym class but thankfully we could already hold our own in that class even though we had to walk home with a couple of new bruises every now and then. Keeping them secret however was a whole other thing. Teachers were starting to get suspicious, especially our least favorite teacher Mrs. Rosethorne.

“Mr. BorealisAustralis, Miss Mammatus, Mr. Solar, and Miss Tropical can I see you for a moment?” She asked us after class.

My first thought was here we go again, but this time she had to do it without being a bearer of bad news. She showed us our sparkling new grade, an A+. “That’s quite a turnaround. I’ve talked with your other teachers and they’ve said much the same thing. I have noticed that your entries has also improved.”
I had thought ahead earlier and instead of giving her this entry and the last one, we gave her some fake ones to grade. I had hoped that they were real enough to take the heat of our trail. That didn’t seem like the case.

“Yeah, I guess when things settle down a bit,” Fleana said, a cocky smile spreading across her face. “Things get easier.”

Mrs. Rosethorne didn’t look impressed like a normal teacher should be or even proud that her teaching skills “improved” few of the worst students in her class. “Yes, except I don’t believe this turnaround could have happened naturally. There’s only one explanation: you cheated.”

“What?” Katrina hands were clenched and arcing with electricity. She looked guilty as charged. I couldn’t blame her. If there was anyone that could ever guess our secret, it was Mrs. Rosethorne…and our parents…and maybe our older siblings but that’s only if we’re not careful. “Do you have any proof?”

“No,” Mrs. Rosethorne said calmly but I knew trouble was coming. “but I would be happy to let you know that cheating will not be tolerated in this school and once a student or students is suspected of it, every teacher and faculty member will be watching you very closely no matter how good or just plain clueless a student you are. So I suggest either you come out with it or there will be blood on your hands.”

“We’re not cheaters.”

“Fine. Don’t say I didn’t warn you or gave you the chance.”

I didn’t like the sound of that. Now, to be honest with you, we would rather tear own our arms off than cheat, especially since they would grow back, but when our grandparents gave us those abilities we just had to use them. We didn’t think it would constitute cheating. I mean, what were we supposed to do? We were failing and we didn’t know how to do stop it. We had to do something. I didn’t want to stay in school for the next twelve or so years (that actua might not be an exaggeration). And it’s not like we could come clean to Mrs. Rosethorne of people. It’s not really a better option at that point.

III. Fleana

You know natural disasters are just as scary for us BioticAbiotics as for any humans out there. In fact, it’s probably scarier since it’s our job to prevent them from happening in the first place. As you can tell, standards had skyrocketed for BioticAbiotic education in the twenty-first century, and it’s not like humans are helping us much. While we didn’t face any natural disasters (outside of gym that is), it did feel like a storm was brewing all over school. Mrs. Rosethorne was right. Teachers were watching us even our own siblings, who were TA’s, were. They must’ve heard from someone that we were cheaters, and if I wasn’t careful…I would hate to be brought home to my mother by the collar by my sister, Susan.

     Every time there was a pop quiz teachers would switch tests so as to trip us up, any time a question was asked we had to answer them, every time we were at our lockers someone was looking over our shoulders. There was no escape. Just like a natural disaster. For the whole day, we kept clean. We were almost in the clear. No one could pin anything on us. A little longer and we were home free until the moment when Kat, of all people, almost blew it in biology.

     “How much volts does a storm your age need?” Our teacher, Mr. Watt, asked.

     “500,000 volts.” Kat answered while looking out the window.

     “Correct. Which atmosphere do clouds normally stay?”

     “Troposphere.”

     “Correct. What did I have for dinner last night?”

     “Two slices of pizza and two glasses of water vapor.” She said right before noticing her little error.

     Everyone turned their heads toward her. Mrs. Rosethorne, who had just walked in to ask Mr. Watt something, had a smug look on her face. How could Kat have been so stupid? And why did she had to do something stupid in front of an entire classroom? I thought I was going to be sick.

     “Miss Tropical, how did you know that?” Mr. Watt asked.

     “Um…” Kat stammered and then sighed. “Truth is I looked at your phone, but trust me there was nothing to see in there. Maybe you shouldn’t take topless shots.”

     The class chuckled and Kat bought herself a detention, but at least everyone bought it, but I knew just from looking at her expression that that’s not going to stop Mrs. Rosethorne. Once there’s blood in the water, the sharks will feast.

IV. Katrina

     Yeah, it’s true that I almost blew it, and yes, I knew that this was going to end badly, but I didn’t really deserve this type of punishment from my friends.

“I get it. I messed up.” I told them after they raped me with their words. “It’s not like anyone found out.”

“No, it’s worse!” Fleana’s face was red. “You gave Mrs. Rosethorne a taste of blood, Kat. You might as well have signed our death warrants.”

“Fleana’s right.” Marion said. He must’ve been using apathy to control his emotions. “Once she nips us, she’ll never leave us alone.”

“I get it!” I yelled. “But come on, it’s not like any one’s gonna guess that I’m a mind reader, Fleana’s mood reader, Prince’s a genius, and you are apathetic. No one could possibly guess what our grandparents had done to us!”

Right as I finished my tirade, I heard a tiny voice said “Message sent!”

“What was that?” I asked.

“It sounded like it came from Fleana’s backpack.” Prince said.

“Oh, no.”

Fleana’s eyes widened in horror as she pulled out a smartphone sized tablet from her backpack that was crunched under her. She held up the phone and showed us a message of our entire conversation being sent straight to our parents.

“What do we do?” Fleana shrieked. “Mom is never going to trust me again! And I worked so hard to earn it back the first time!”

“Guys, there’s only two options left.” Prince explained. “Either we get home and erase the message on our parents’ tablets or we fess up.”

“We’ll decide that depending on whether we get home first,” I said, hefting my backpack over my shoulder. “Let’s go before the bus leaves!”

We got home and were fortunate or unfortunate, depending on how you look at it, that our parents were conveniently together in my living room. The choice was clear.

“Guys, we have to tell you something.” I began.

“Well, go ahead dear.” My mother said looking up from her paper and meeting my eyes.

Flare, Cloud, and Aurora also looked up, but otherwise didn’t let on that they knew anything.

We told them everything that had happened for the past few days. I hadn’t expected us to break this early, but what can we say. Sometimes you’re as tough as nails; other times you’re as soft as pillows, but the truth will always set you free.

“Oh, good.” Cloud, Fleana’s mother, said. “That means I can still trust you to tell me the truth, sweetie.”

“You knew?” Fleana looked like she was trying to shrink. Sadly that wasn’t one of the abilities the Cerebral Enhancer gave her.

“I think we’ve had this conversation before, you know, the time I had to tell you what you are.”

“Yeah, smooth move on butt dialing us.” Aurora, Prince’s dad, said waving his tablet.

I would love to tell you where this crazy story is going to lead off into, but it’s late. Catch our never ending nightmare next time.