Walking in Slow Motion

Axi is just a normal girl in a gifted family. She isn't amazingly pretty, or intelligent, or popular. She's just a girl who gets bullied in school because her sister's dating the most dreamed-about guy there: and he's two years old than her.
Then she meets Seymour, a friend she never knew was always right beside her. When their teacher walks out of class, Axi begs him to teach her film editing-- a talent nobody in her family has.
But Seymour's teaching brings a new responsibility. In the middle of her first editing session, Axi discovers that she has skills. Special skills. Supernatural skills...
Who is Axi? WHAT is she? And will she ever be the same again...?
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7. Tears

I put my hands over my mouth, then realize I am blocking my air supply. I try to take deep breaths and wind my arms around my torso instead. Tears appear unbidden at the corners of my eyes. "Help," I whimper.

I look around me in panic. What is this? What is happening to me? Am I drugged? Did Seymour do it? More tears spring to my eyes. I knew nobody would ever be my friend. The friendship of Seymour... a hoax. Fraud. Traitor. Why did I think he would want to teach me film, anyway?

"Seymour isn't a traitor."

I blink away my vision-blurring tears and stare at the little girl who just spoke.

"W-what?"

"Seymour isn't a traitor." The little girl looks at me matter-of-factly, waiting for me to wipe away my tears.

"How... how do you..." I realize then that she is solid, not transparent, and her voice sounds normal, like mine does. "Who are you?"

"Gizzy," she says. "Well, Gizisibps really. But I don't know what my parents were thinking when they numbered my name. They could have done a change. But no, they had to leave me with Gizisibps." She blinks, satisfied that her explanation is more than sufficient. "I think Gizzy suits me though."

"Well... Gizzy," I say, "I don't really understand anything right now. I know that you're probably just a figure of my drugged imagination, but--"

"Weren't you listening?" Gizzy shakes her head. "Seymour isn't a traitor." She blinks at my expression, a mixture of confusion, panic, fear, kindness and curiosity, and sighs. "I think I have a lot of explaining to do. Come. This way."

I can hear her muttering to herself as I get up and follow her. "Why did they... newbie... can't do... protect... what if... told me I was... Chantal... I can't have two... no way... just a beginner..."

"I'm sorry," I say, curiosity getting the better of me, "but I couldn't help hearing you... talking."

"Yeah, yeah, I mutter to myself, I'm crazy," Gizzy says boredly and mechanically, as if she's reading the line off a script.

"No, no," I say hurriedly. "It's just..." I fall silent. What can I ask, really? Who's Chantal? Protect whom? Two what? The questions just seem too ridiculous.

"Here. This way." Gizzy leads me off the street into a small alley. I nearly follow her, but then I feel it. It's dark. Just dark. And... rough. Ugly. Like a disfigured bear spotted with rotten eggs. But more of a feeling.

I choke. Gizzy stops to ask me what's wrong.

"I... is it safe? There's... a bear, I dunno, maybe not, but there's something... it's like rotten eggs. Rotten eggs. In fur. And it's all black, Gizzy. All black!"

"Shhh, shhhh," Gizzy says, stroking my back. "It's just... a panic attack. Don't worry, Axi. There's no bear. There's nothing. Really. Come on."

I swallow back my sudden attack of tears and sit with Gizzy on an overturned crate.

Gizzy folds her hands in her lap. "Now. I don't have much time, so hurry. Ask me."

I take a deep breath. "I don't... I don't know what to say. Maybe you could just start from the beginning?"

"Okay." Gizzy clears her throat. "Well... Axi. I don't know how to explain it to you. I know your name because it's stored. Stored in a database."

I was almost afraid to ask. "A... a database of what? Mental people? Insane? Do I have some kind of syndrome?" My eyes began to wander around the alley, like a nervous tic.

Gizzy shakes her head. "No. Axi, look at me." She cups my face in her hands, and forces me to look at her. I think it's strange that I have to rely on this little girl to help me focus. Then again, I know that Gizzy is no ordinary girl. Which, of course, begs the question...

"Axi. There's a reason you have dark hair while the rest of your family doesn't. There is a reason for your teasing, your difficult social life. And that reason is..." Gizzy takes a breath, like she's steadying herself.

I couldn't stand the suspense, even just one second of it. I wanted to know what the reason was so I could smash it in the face.

"Is..." I prompt.

"Is because you are--"

That's when the wall smashes into a million pieces behind me. Before I drown in screams I register it with such intense shock, I can't breathe.

It's the horrifying bear from my vision.

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