Elayne threw her now empty suitcase on the ground of her new apartment. This would be the place she could now call home…for now. Until Cygnus came. He always found her in the end. But hopefully, the six months of staying in a city for no more than a week would throw him off for a while. She needed time to relax and calm down.
She fell onto the couch with burn marks on the bottom. She could finally breathe. Maybe, by the time Cygnus arrived, she will have become stronger. Finally able to take him down. Maybe resting would give her the majority of her powers back. She flexed her fingers and remembered the telepathic conversation she’d had on the airport.
The woman on the plane sitting right next to her, had not looked like she had a Connect ability. She looked too plain, with ashy hair and tan skin and brown eyes.
Most people call Connect ESP. Very few humans have it. Usually, those who do have it are either clairvoyant, can see the future, telekinetic, or pick up information or vibes through touch. But those who do have it always have telepathy and can communicate with supernatural beings, like monsters or ghosts.
Or witches and wizards.
Elayne had sensed it the moment they sat down. All supernatural beings can tell whenever someone has a Connect. And so she sent a quick message to the woman, just to make sure. Hello? Can you hear me?
The poor woman suddenly sat ramrod straight, like she’d been shocked. Then she turned jerkily and stared at Elayne. Was that you? she asked.
Elayne nodded. Yeah, of course. What’re you doing here? Oh, and please turn around. It’s creepy to look at someone like that without talking.
The woman blew a strand of gray-blonde hair from her face and turned around. I’m visiting my daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. She has cancer.
Who does? Elayne asked.
My granddaughter. Josie.
Elayne closed her green eyes momentarily, the one part of her body she couldn’t disguise or create an illusion for. I’m so sorry, she thought.
Don’t be. It’s just the way things are, the woman replied.
Elayne wondered how that woman could be so calm, when one of her family members could die so easily. It irked her, somehow.
Suddenly, a sharp set of rapping came upon her door. Elayne leapt from the couch, energy flowing through her. Cygnus? Is that him? She forced herself to move towards the door. “Who is it?” she asked. She hadn’t spoken for so long that her voice was raspy and not quite there. She couldn’t even remember the last time she’d talked aloud.
“I’m Peg, and this is my son Ritchie. We’re your neighbors.”
Elayne closed her eyes and drooped her head. Not again. I can’t bear another Polly and Joel. She swung the door open. Outside was a small woman with frizzy blonde hair, and a boy of around nine with short blonde waves.
Suddenly, she just knew. The little boy, Ritchie, had a Connect. She wasn’t sure what kind, but it was strong. The vibe of his ability poured off him in waves. It was one of the strongest vibes she’d ever gotten.
Peg smiled at her. “Hello! We just wanted to welcome you to the neighborhood, so we baked you some sugar cookies!” She nearly threw a foil wrapped plate at Elayne. “What’s your name?” Peg asked.
Elayne managed to find her voice again. “Elayne,” she answered.
“It’s so nice to meet you. Hey, Ritchie, can you say hi?” Peg nudged her son.
Ritchie glanced up at Elayne shyly. It was in that moment that Elayne knew Ritchie understood as well. He knew she wasn’t human, She prayed he wouldn’t reveal it. She couldn’t bear anyone knowing about her.
Thankfully, he was able to keep his mouth shut. “Hello,” he said while waving.
Peg sighed. “He’s so shy. All right, Ritchie. Let’s get back, sweetie.” She took her son’s hand, and walked into the apartment next door.
To be continued