West

After discovery of her ability to command the weather, Seraphina West realizes that her talent is too great to control and begins to seek help at the Safe House, a place for people with gifts such as hers. Others are seeking to take advantage of Seraphina’s impressive talent, leading to the disappearance of her close friend Lizabeth as well as the mention of Seraphina’s lineage linked to the first West Wind decedent. As Seraphina’s powers grow increasingly unstable, and not willing to risk the new friendships forged in the Safe House, she turns to the aid of Elderidge, a knowledgeable man who is willing to help her overcome her talent’s control, but soon Seraphina wonders if she will be able to pay the price…
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5. Chapter Five

Tucker pulled Seraphina through the long hallway, past the mismatched wallpaper lined with portraits of people. They entered a study, a room  lined with nothing but book shelves upon bookshelves, reaching the ceiling from the flooring. Piles cluttered the floor, forcing Seraphina to watch her step, but Tucker seemed to know exactly what he was looking for.

 

            His fingers danced for a moment before picking a book from a far off shelf. He blew on it’s cover, removing the fine layer of dust, and set it on a light wood desk. Tucker flipped through the pages, and Seraphina watched tentatively at the photos that passed by. Some were old enough to be in black and white, with grainy lenses that distorted the faces of young people they portrayed.

 

            Finally he landed the on the page he was looking for; it was a picture of a young girl, perhaps seven years old. Her flaming red hair fell limp against her follow cheeks and an innocent aura. The girl’s name was listed below in beautiful calligraphy: Crimson Rose.

 

            “She was a past occupant of the Safe House,” Tucker sighed, his voice heavy. “Crimson was a great friend of mine, with a power similar to yours, actually.”

 

            “Where is she now?” Seraphina asked, looking over the photograph. There was something so familiar about this girl, as if she was no more than a distant memory. Seraphina continued to flip through the ancient pages, each page telling a new story, and the legacy every person left behind.

 

            “She is, uh,” Tucker paused, running his fingers through his golden hair, “gone.”  Seraphina stopped turning the page, her hand frozen.

 

            “I’m so sorry,” Seraphina said, quick to apologize. “Had I known, I would have never brought it up,” she added hurriedly. “If it is any consolation, I know how you feel.”

 

            “There is no need to apologize,” Tucker sighed, turning the page. His eyes wandered the next page, and then he flipped to the next one. “I’m sure she is in a better place.”

 

            He paused on another sheet, a roster form complete with more than 50 names.  The handwriting was as neat as all the other pages, as if written by the same person. Each date varied, however, a couple spanning a hundred years. There was no possible way any human being could live that long.

 

            “This is the Safe House history,” Tucker said, and then tapped the picture below the roster. The photograph captured the image of at least twenty or so people painting the house they stood in right now. Of course, the small Safe House, was the only building in the picture, unlike the current house which was squished in between office buildings.        

 

            There was one woman in the picture that stood out to Seraphina. She had youthful features, with circlets of auburn hair hanging to her shoulders and a tall stature of pride. Yet, the woman’s eyes told a different story. They were wise, beyond her appearance of few years.

 

            “She was the founder,” Tucker interrupted Seraphina’s thoughts as he pointed to the woman. “Petunia Avon was her name. She started this house more than one hundred years ago.”

 

            “Did she have a talent too?” Seraphina asked, accidently locking eyes with Tucker. He had beautiful olive colored eyes that sparkled under the light, glimmering with life. Tucker’s  eyes flinched, looking back to the book.

 

            “Everyone has a talent,” Tucker replied, “Phenomenal artists for the eyes or mind, athletic role models, performers that even convince emotions that it is true,” he listed them out. “Ours are just different. Practically dangerous and misunderstood, but they special in a diverse spectrum.”

 

            Seraphina raised an eyebrow, but that was quickly followed with a smile. Tucker seemed intelligent with a positive outlook on life. His words were confusing and yet seemed to make perfect sense.

 

            “Sorry,” he added, “Addy says that overcomplicate things. I can simplify my words, if you want.”

 

            “No, you use words well,” Seraphina responded, “You speak unlike anyone I have heard.” Seraphina had said the same thing about Elderidge and now look where she was. Yet, Tucker had a friendly disposition, and was welcoming to her; unlike Elderidge who was arrogant.

 

            “Thanks,” Tucker smiled back, revealing lovely teeth. He shook his head, to get out of a daze and continued. “Anyway, Petunia had the ability to stay young for all eternity.”

 

            “Is she still at the Safe House,” Seraphina asked, running her finger along the corner of the page. If the house’s founding was more than one hundred years ago, she expected not, or at the most an elderly lady in a wheel chair.

 

            “Hopefully in a better place,” Tucker sighed, “She had the ability to stay young, that doesn’t mean she lives forever.”  Seraphina looked at him, confused. She could stay young forever, but she was… gone? Tucker laughed softly, but began to elaborate. “As long as she was alive, Petunia would appear to be young. She died of a disease two years ago.”

 

            “Oh,” Seraphina whispered. Desperate to change the subject, she added, “When did you come to the Safe House?” Tucker almost answer, but paused, quickly calculating on his fingers.

 

            “Almost seven years ago,” Tucker replied cautiously, as if not wanting to be wrong. “When Crimson and I first arrived together, they were bunking at least five to a room. You can imagine that with the size of this house, there was a lot of people.”

 

            “I have only seen four people ever since I have been here,” Seraphina mused, her eyes wandering distantly. “That doesn’t make sense.”

 

            “When Petunia died, people started vanishing. One day they were here, the next they weren’t,” Tucker replied. Both of them were confused, thinking over the possibilities. Tucker seemed to know as little as Seraphina did.

 

            “Is Tucker filling your head with Safe House tall tales?” came another voice. Seraphina turned and her eyes widened. How could he be here?

 

            It was the boy from the hospital: the one who had lost a loved one and broke down crying. Perhaps he had similar story to Serphina, although he would have expected her younger sister to be clinging to him. The little girl wasn’t even here.

 

             He came over, patting Tucker on the back like an older brother would.

 

            “Tall tales? People disappeared, Kempton” Tucker shot back to the other guy, rolling his eyes. “First someone picked off the people with stronger powers, and then the weaker vanished until we were left with the five of us.”

 

            “You’re just concerned because your girlfriend ran away,” the other boy, Kempton, teased. He slammed the book on the desk shut, picking it up and beginning to put it back on the shelf. “Crimson is coming back to you. You need to stop messing with your conspiracy theory.”

 

            “It’s not a conspiracy theory,” Tucker replied, clearly infuriated by Kempton’s remark. “Crimson was the last to disappear before the abductions stopped. She would never have left in the middle of the night without telling me.” Tucker’s fist clenched, but then his muscles relaxing, his fingers tapping on the table to calm down.

 

            “She dumped you, Tucker,” Kempton added.

 

            “I’m Seraphina,” Seraphina stepped in, to relieve Tucker of his comments. She shook Kempton’s hands, her mind suddenly beginning to fog. Kempton’s pure blue eyes sparkled, gold flecks speckling their center. His well defined features were beautiful with tanned skin and shaggy brown hair that aligned his face.

 

            “I’m Kempton,” he replied, his voice was silky to match his suave persona.

 

            Tucker quickly noticed Seraphina’s glazed over eyes, unblinking and looking deeply towards Kempton. He shoved Kempton: the eye connection breaking. Seraphina returned to normal, pressing  her hand against her forehead.

 

            “What just happened?” Seraphina whispered, sliding into the swivel desk chair. Her mind had just blanked, as if she had previously blacked out.

 

            “Kempton just tried to brain wash you,” Tucker said flatly. “That is his talent. To this day, I don’t know exactly what he looks like,” Tucker added with a laugh. Kempton ignored that, putting his around Seraphina’s shoulder and guided her towards the door.

 

            “We need to show you where you will be spending the night,” Kemptonsaid as her led her down the hallway. “I’m sure Annisa and Addy have prepared your bedroom by now.”

 

            Seraphina looked to Tucker, who sauntered behind them as they walked down the corridor. He nodded reassuringly, and went back into the library to look over the book again. Tucker and Crimson had been close to one another, and her leave upset him greatly. Perhaps all the disappearances were just false images he used to persuade himself that Crimson would have never left him. But then again, maybe the abductions did happen.

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