Children of the Earth

Alexine and Brogan are what people call abnormals. They have the power to manipulate fire, water, earth, and air. Alexine is A 16-year-old girl who goes to TYTC. Brogan is a 35-year-old man who lives in Chicago. When the leader of the abnormals asks Brogan to be a double agent the two of them meet up and they discover that not all is as it seems

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14. 10 Nerissa

Nerissa felt bad. It wasn’t often that she felt sorry for doing something, but she felt bad now. She wasn’t really even sure what she had done wrong. The red haired grouchy girl was now mad at her. All she had done was look at her. Although, when Nerissa had looked at her she had seen that the girl, Alexine, had a bad passed. She didn’t know what had happened to the girl. Nerissa wasn’t a witch, she couldn’t look at someone and read their mind. She could just tell by looking at the girl that she was sad. Alexine was sad. And she had walls. Big ones. Alexine did not like how Nerissa had looked at her. And now Nerissa felt bad.

It was weird here. There was something off about the place. Maybe it was just Nerissa and how she had never been anywhere but to southside of Chicago, or there was something very wrong with the place called TYTC.

“You don’t know what you are talking about.” Nerissa told herself as she sat on the bed that was now her own.

“No.” Nerissa said to herself. She trusted her instinct. They have never done her wrong before.

“What?” it was Mara. She looked at Nerissa from the bunk above her.

“Thinking out loud.” Nerissa said without looking at her.

“Okay.” Mara went back to doing whatever she was doing. Nerissa wondered again who the person Mara always talked to was. Nerissa couldn’t count how many times Mara started talking to someone that wasn’t really there. Nerissa had been by Mara ever since they met and Mara talked more to that person than she had to Nerissa. Although, Nerissa was okay with Mara not speaking to her. Everything that Mara said gave Nerissa the creeps. Mara barely spoke to anyone but the invisible person. She wasn’t like Nerissa. She didn’t talk to herself, she had conversations with someone. Obviously someone she was close to, or someone she cared about. Nerissa couldn’t imagine Mara caring for someone.

“Why are you two just sitting here?” Adriana stood next to the bunk. She was taking the bunk next to theirs with the girl named Harleen, or Harley. The new girl had a brother. A twin. Nerissa had not met him yet but she had heard them mention him. Thinking of Harley and her twin reminded her of her foster siblings. She wondered where they all were right now. She thought about them all. Cristina. She had always been mean to Nerissa. Nerissa had a feeling of hate every time she thought of her. The others weren’t all that memorable.

Except Liam. Thinking of him made Nerissa happy and calm. Thinking that he was somewhere out there in the world made her sad. Nerissa never knew her parents, Liam knew his. They were murdered. One of his sisters was separated from him and the other had just disappeared. Liam had talked very fondly of the sister that disappeared, but Nerissa could not remember her name. Liam had said she had reminded him of her. That was probably the reason Liam hovered her so much. Liam was about in his twenties. Nerissa smiled to herself imagining him as an adult.

“Hey? Earth to crazies.” it was Adriana again. She stood with her arms crossed. Harley stood next to her like Adriana was her life and she would jump infront of a bullet for her. Almost like a dog. “Time to go eat.” Adriana and Harley started to walk. Nerissa stood and followed.

Adriana stopped and stared at Mara. “Now, Mara.” she said strictly and rather slowly. Like she was talking to a child or a disabled person.

“Oh.” Mara said like she was a child or a disabled person. Adriana and Harley walked side by side. Nerissa stood and stared at Mara as she climbed down the later. Nerissa couldn’t believe it. She had noticed it before, but she haddn’t really thought about it. Mara was playing with Adriana. Adriana had told Nerissa Mara would play with her. Turns out Mara had been playing with Adriana. Adriana said that Mara had no brains and that she was merely a psycho thug that hung around.

One of the first things Nerissa noticed about Mara was her cunningness and ability to get in someone’s head. Every time Adriana was around, all that was gone and Mara was suddenly brainless. Mara was playing dumb. Why? Nerissa didn’t know why she was asking herself this. She already knew. The first thing Mara tried to do when Nerissa walked into that room was get leverage on her. She succeeded. Mara knew Nerissa wasn’t who she said she was. Nerissa would bet she knew she was not truly loyal to Than. But Nerissa now knew one of Mara’s secrets. Now Nerissa was gaining leverage. Not nearly as much as Mara did, but she was moving up.

“Why do you do that?” Nerissa asked her.

Mara looked at her and smiled. “Do what?” she asked with her head tilted.

Nerissa searched for words. “Act like that around her.” she explained.

Mara sighed. “Your a smart girl.” she stepped closer to Nerissa. “You already know. Don’t you?” she whispered in her face.

“Okay. I do.” Nerissa admitted.

“Then why do you waste time with questions?” Mara asked with his arms crossed.

Nerissa showed no expression. “Why do you let her treat you like that?” Nerissa asked.

“It will all be worth it on the end.” Mara said in a sinister voice.

“End?” Nerissa asked.

“Yes. The best part. The end. There is always an ending.” Mara said smiling.

Nerissa nodded. Nerissa guessed Adriana’s end was coming. She nodded to the door that Adriana had exited out of. “Her end?”

“See? Smart girl.” Mara said with open arms. “But.” She put up a finger. “Don’t get any ideas.” Mara leaned forward. Inches away from Nerissa’s face. “I know. You may have fooled everyone else, but you can’t fool me.” Mara whispered harshly. “I seen it right away with the other three. They displeased me and they payed for it. I know what you and your little friend are doing and this is what will happen.” Mara paused and Nerissa listened with a blank expression. “As of now you and your friend are mine and you will do what I say.” Mara threatened. “Understood?”

Nerissa got right back in Mara’s face. “I belong to no one.” Nerissa said strictly and harshly. Then she laughed. “It looks like we have ourselves in a little predicament, but trust me when I say…” Nerissa looked at Mara, and her face made her smile bigger. “I. Will. Break you.” Nerissa was a few inches taller than Mara. From the angle Nerissa was looking down at Mara made the strange girl look small. In that position Mara didn’t look like the psycho killer she was. Mara’s face was hysterical. She was clearly stunned. Disoriented. Obviously no one had ever spoken to her like that before.

Mara fixed herself up. She took a step back from Nerissa and put a hand on her hip and flipped her hair back. “I believe you. We don’t need any problems here.”

“We don’t.” Nerissa nodded in agreement. Nerissa could tell Mara crashed a little inside after she said that. In some weird way, Nerissa appreciated that.

“I still have the upper hand.” Mara said quickly. “Don’t forget that.” Mara and Nerissa then walked to the door. Mara was right. She did have a bigger advantage over Nerissa and Brogan. For some weird reason, Nerissa wasn’t that worried about it.

Mara then started to mumble to her invisible friend. Nerissa couldn’t make out the words. They were spoken to quickly and quietly. “-Mistakes-” was all Nerissa could make out.

The girls walked in silence. Mara walked about a foot in front of her and a little over a yard to her right. Mara walked like she was walking through hellfire. And if there were people in the hall, Nerissa would bet they would avoid walking by her like she was the devil. “Who do you talk to?” Nerissa asked. Mara made an annoyed noise, this wasn’t the first time se had asked this questioned. “Is it someone you killed?” Nerissa questioned.

Now Mara was mad. She stopped walking and pulled Nerissa’s wrist and grabbed her jaw with her other hand. “Stop asking that question!” she yelled in her face. Nerissa twisted her wrist and pulled it down, freeing it from Mara’s grasp. She then slapped her hand away from her face.

Both of them started walking again. “Do you regret killing her?” Nerissa asked. She wasn’t sure why she said her. Nerissa knew that Mara had killed her mother. Maybe Mara was talking to her mom.

“Him.” Mara said quietly but in an angry tone.

Nerissa nodded slowly. “Him.” she repeated. Now Nerissa had no clue who it could be. Mara struggled to stay walking in front of Nerissa. Mara’s legs were rather short. They had to move quickly and work hard to stay in front of Nerissa’s long legs. Nerissa did not try to walk faster. She took the same long, confident strides she always took. She felt as if it sent off a cinematic meaning. Nerissa couldn’t help but smirk.

The two of them entered a big room filled with teenagers. There were trainers standing around the sides watching the kids and talking to each other. Nerissa imagined it was how school was like. That thought made Nerissa feel sad in a way. She spotted Brogan. He was looking at her. Then he glanced at Mara who stood a yard or two from Nerissa. Mara looked angry. More than usual. Brogan seen this and then looked back at Nerissa. Nerissa decided then to walk into the line to get food. Brogan started to walk to her. Nerissa found a tall kid and stood next to him to hide from Brogan. Nerissa lost him. And Mara. That wasn’t a bad thing.

“Hey. don’t you know how lines work?” the guy that Nerissa hid behind asked.

Nerissa looked at him for a second. “What?”

“You just budged.” he told her. Nerissa then recognized him. It was the blonde boy that had spoken to her in the training room. He stood a good four or five inches taller than her. His eyes were brown and they had a strange way of revealing the jerk he was. “But I guess I can let it slide.” he said smirking at her.

Nerissa rolled her eyes and turned away from him looking at the room around her. There were tables scattered randomly around the bright room. It was loud. The room was filled with laughter and other loud voices.

“Will you be sitting with us?” the blonde boy asked.

Nerissa fround and turned to him. “Why would I-” then Nerissa seen what he was talking about. In a far corner there was a table. At the table sat Alexine, two of her friends, Harley, her brother, and Adriana. Nerissa’s heart dropped. All the people she didn’t want to be by at the same table. Why did Adriana decide to sit by Alexine? Alexine didn’t look to happy about the seating either. It would be a tight fit. There were nine of them and about eight seats. Nerissa thought about sitting with any of the other people in the room. She doubted Adriana would allow that. It was barely twenty-four hours and Nerissa couldn’t handle this ‘just do what the girl says to make things easier’ thing. Since when did she take the easy way out? Nerissa scanned all the faces in the room. She suddenly felt lost. She felt as though she was looking at the room through a tunnel. It was a terrible feeling.

“You okay?” it was the blonde boy.

Nerissa winced at his voice. “Yeah. I’m fine.” she answered, pulling herself back together.

“Okay. Well. The lines moving now.” he gestured at the trays in front of her. She took one and a grumpy old lady put a pile of something on her tray. “My names Caden.” the blonde boy introduced himself. Nerissa nodded, she felt noshes. “Okay, well I’m going to go over here now. Caden then walked past her and to the table in the corner.

The room spun and she almost fell over. Someone grabbed her arm and steadied her. It was Brogan. “You okay?” he asked worried.

Nerissa took a few steps and she was back. Sort of. “Yeah. I’m great.” she said not trying to hide the fact that she was not really fine.

Mara pushed past the two of them. She looked like she wanted to burn everyone. Brogan watched Mara walk away. “Why do you feel the need to make everyone around you angry?” Brogan asked.

“I don’t make everyone angry. And she threatened me first.” Nerissa defended herself. She was back to normal now.

“What?!” Brogan hissed in her ear.

“Tell you later.” Nerissa walked to the table. As she weaved through the tables kids sitting at them stopped talking and stared at her. Some jaws dropped and some just stared. Nerissa stopped in front of the table. There were three spots open. One next to Harley’s strange brother, another next to Adriana, and the last by the boy Nerissa had seen with Alexine. He looked like he was sweet. He had dark hair and light blue eyes. He had a strong facial structure and a dark eyelashes. He was rather good looking Nerissa thought. Nerissa decided to take a seat by him, because she was definitely not sitting next to the other two.

He stared at her when she sat down. Nerissa smiled at him. “Hey.” she greeted. Nerissa realized Alexine was staring at her too, but not in the same way as the boy was.

“Hi.” the boy greeted back. Alexine was staring at Nerissa like she was mad at her for talking to the boy. Nerissa wondered if they were together. “I’m Sam.” they dark haired boy told her.

“Nerissa.” she said kindly. Mara then sat down. Mara sent her best glare at Nerissa. The glare could have made a normal person cry.

Alexine stood up fast and walked over to Nerissa. She put her mouth to her ear. “How did you know?” she hissed.

Nerissa looked at Alexine in confusion. Then she remembered. “Oh. It worked?” Nerissa felt proud of herself.

“How did you know?” she asked again.

Nerissa shrugged. “I didn’t know. I was guessing.” Nerissa answered. Nerissa then realized Mara was listening.

“No. You weren't guessing. You knew. I know you-”

“Shut-up.” Nerissa hissed. Mara was listening. Nerissa was aware that it would not be safe for Alexine if people found out what she was, and Mara knowing about it would make things much worse for both of them.

“Excuse me?” Alexine looked very offended.

Nerissa put her mouth to Alexine’s ear and whispered in a voice so Nerissa was sure Alexine would be the only one to hear, “Anymore words and the deranged girl to your right will know what you are and things won’t go to swell for either of us.”

Alexine pulled her head back and processed what Nerissa had told her. Alexine then looked over to Mara. Mara watched the two of them with an expressionless face. Alexine then stood back up and sat back down. Mara stared at Nerissa, she was trying to figure out what they had been talking about. It was strange. Being in a battle with someone like Mara. Also a little thrilling.

“Since when did you four get so popular?” asked a nerdy looking boy. He was thin with shaggy hair. Big glasses sat crooked on his face.

“Not sure, William.” Alexine said, glancing at Adriana, Mara, Harley, Louie, and Nerissa. William’s gaze shifted over the five of them. His eyes stopped on Nerissa and they didn’t look away. It was well over ten seconds when Nerissa got unconvertible.

“What is your name?” He asked her. His voice was strange, like he was talking in the eighteenth century.

“Um...Nerissa.” she answered slowly.

That put a smile on his face. “Nerissa.” he repeated. He played with his hands as he spoke. “Did you know you have a greek name? It means sea nymph. Also, Nerissa is a character in Shakespeare’s play, ‘The Merchant of Venice’.” he rambled. And Nerissa thought the people where she came from were weird.

Nerissa nodded. “Cool.” she said, not exactly knowing what else to say.

Nerissa thought he was done talking, but he wasn’t done yet. “Though you remind me more of Portia or Jessica.” William finished. Nerissa stared at him. He then walked away.

All of them watched him walk away. “What the hell is a sea nymph?” Caden asked.

“No idea.” Alexine answered.

“That was a new experience.” Nerissa sighed to no one in particular.

Caden leaned over to look at her and fround. “You can’t tell me you have never been hit on before.”

Nerissa laughed. “Well yeah, but Shakespeare isn’t brought up often.”

There was silence for a few seconds, then Sam laughed a little. Nerissa watched a small smirk creep onto Alexine’s face. For a second Alexine and Nerissa made eye contact. Nerissa almost filnched. Alexine looked oddly familiar. Nerissa thought hard but could not put a finger on it.

Alexine realized Nerissa was staring at her. She stopped smiling. “What?” she asked.

Nerissa shook her head. “Nothing.”

Time went on. The brunette girl, Rose, did most of the talking. For the most part she did enough talking for all of them. Adriana sweet talked all four of the kids from TYTC, and for most of them, it worked. All but Alexine bought Adriana’s act. Nerissa didn’t have to be Nerissa to see that. Alexine made it very clear she disliked Adriana and what she was saying.

It went on like that. Rose rambled. Adriana smiled and made friendly conversation. Alexine made sly, rude comments at Adriana. The rest of us didn’t talk much, except when Mara muttered to her invisible friend. Mara spoke quietly, but still audible to the people at the table. It didn’t bother Adriana, Harley, Louie, and Nerissa when Mara spoke. Sam and Rose were to polite to ask, Alexine didn’t care enough to ask.

Caden on the other hand, decided to speak. “Who’s that girl talking to?” he asked/laughed. Mara’s fiery eyes snapped to Caden and Caden’s smirk disappeared. Mara’s glare silenced the whole table. Harley and her brother, Louie, seemed to lean away. Trying to get as far away as possible. Rose seemed scared, Nerissa didn’t blame her. And the rest of them watched closely, knowing better than to speak. Mara looked like she was about to say something, but she side glanced at Adriana and said nothing.

Adriana got a smug look on her face. Probably thinking she has control over Mara, or “she will watch her mouth when I am around”. But Nerissa knew that Mara was just playing her game. Making Adriana think she had control. Nerissa had to hand it to her. Adriana truly believed with all her heart that Mara was hers, that was very clear.

“Sorry.” Caden said to Mara.

Mara said nothing. Instead, Adriana spoke, “She accepts your apology,” Adriana smiled. “Don’t mind her. She talks to her dead boyfriend. If only we could bring back the dead.” Right as Adriana said it Nerissa felt every muscle in her body freeze. “Kale? Wasn’t it?” Adriana asked Mara. Mara went pale, she was trying to hold herself together. She was trying hard. Mara’s hand was twitching, she clenched her fist and then let it go. Nerissa was surprised how well Mara was able to control herself. Then her nose and lip started to twitch. She looked like an animal. A wild, hungry animal.

Mara then took a sharp breath in and let it out, “Yes. Kale was his name. And I don’t want him back, Adriana. I sent him away and I don’t regret it.” Mara’s voice was harsh to the ears, Nerissa wanted to plug her ears to make it go away.

“You killed him?” Rose asked, her voice was shaky and it was almost a whisper. Mara responded with a smile. Adriana looked shaken. Nerissa wondered if Mara had blown her cover, but Mara didn’t seem that worried.

“Move out!” a loud voice yelled over all the kids talking. All at once everyone stood up and rushed to put their trays away. Nerissa followed the crowd. She tried to find Alexine. Nerissa spotted her strangely familiar red hair in the crowd. Nerissa followed it. She had to know where she had seen her before. Nerissa had to know. She felt a hand on her arm and it pulled her in the opposite direction. It was Adriana. Nerissa pulled away from her and followed Alexine.

In the hallway Nerissa was able to weave through all the people to get to Alexine. Nerissa pulled Alexine away from her friends and to the side of the hall. Alexine watched her friends continue down the hallway, they had not relized she had been snached.

“What do you want.” Alexine said harshly. Glaring at Nerissa.

“Where are you from?” Nerissa asked.

“What?”

“Where were you born?” Nerissa asked.

“Why?” Alexine asked.

“Please. Just answer.”

Alexine looked at her hard. “Washington.” she answered.

“The state?” Nerissa questioned.

“Yeah.” Alexine sighed. “Now can you tell me why you are interrogating me?”

Alexine’s answer troubled Nerissa. Nerissa had never even been to Washington. She had never been out of Chicago. “Do you have any family from Illinois?” Nerissa asked desperately.

Alexine looked troubled now. “I don’t know.” she said almost sadly.

Nerissa thought hard. “Have I met you before?” Nerissa asked, not being able to think of anything else.

“Dout it.” Alexine shrugged. “Now will you tell me why you are asking?”

“I know you.” Nerissa was sure she had met her before. The red hair and light eyes were to familiar. Something about her. “Or at least I think I do. Anything else you can think of?” Nerissa asked.

Alexine shook her head. “No. I’m going to leave now.” Alexine started to walk away.

It was a lie. Nerissa new there was something. There had to be. Nerissa grabbed her arm. Alexine’s head spun around. “What?” she yelled in Nerissa’s face. Nerissa was not good at detecting when someone was annoyed with her, but Alexine made it very clear. “I don’t know you! I’ve been here for six years! Less or more! Hell, I don’t even know!” Alexine hollered. People in the halls turned their heads but seemed to walk faster. Alexine’s eyes were filled with distrust. She didn’t trust Nerissa. It took Nerissa by surprise when she realized this.

Nerissa suddenly felt sadness. Not because Alexine didn’t trust her, Nerissa realized how much pain she was giving Alexine by asking these questions. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you.” Nerissa apologized. Alexine’s face changed suddenly. And Nerissa almost forgot how to breath. Liam. The resemblance was to clear. Nerissa’s older foster brother. Same hair, same eyes, same nose, same lips. The last time Nerissa seen Liam he had a face full freckles. Alexine had close to none. That was the only difference.

“What are you looking at?” Alexine asked harshly. Nerissa realized she must have been staring at her for a while.

“Liam.” Nerissa whispered. That was the only word that Nerissa could get out of her mouth.

Alexine took a step back. “What?”

“Do you know him?” Nerissa asked.

“That’s my brother’s name.” Alexine’s voice cracked as she said it. She looked as if she would cry.

“He’s my brother too.” Nerissa tried to explain.

“What?” Alexine’s face was full of confusion.

“Foster brother.” Nerissa told her.

“Oh.” Alexine looked at her feet. Before the only thing Alexine had wanted was for Nerissa to go away. Now it seemed like she was desperate to talk to her. “He is okay?” she asked.

“Yeah.” Nerissa answered. “The last time I seen him at least.”

“Can we talk somewhere?” Alexine asked.

“Of course.” Nerissa followed Alexine down the hall. She lead Nerissa Back the bunk room Nerissa slept in. There was a sign on the door that said, ‘19G’.

“This is my bunk room.” Alexine told her.

“Mine too.” Nerissa said looking around the blank room.

Alexine nodded. “Great.” she said in a disgusted voice. Nerissa stopped. She looked at Alexine. “Why do you look at me like that? Everytime I say something you look at me like you're trying to read my mind.”

“Because I am reading your mind.” Nerissa told her smiling.

“Abnormals can’t do that.” Alexine said her voice coated with dout.

Nerissa laughed a little. “I wasn’t serious.” Nerissa poused. “I’m not sure. It’s something I taught myself how to do.”

“How do you do it?” Alexine asked curiously.

She shrugged. “Facial expressions. Body language. That kind of stuff I guess.”

“That kind of stuff doesn’t tell you about a person.” Alexine said doubtfully.

“It does if you are good enough at it.” Nerissa razed her eyebrows at Alexine.

“Okay then.” Alexine sat down on a random bed. Nerissa sat on the opposite one facing her. “Do that on me.”

“Okay.” Nerissa nodded. “You're a hard one.”

“See you can’t.” Alexine laughed.

“And because you are a hard one to read tells me that you like to keep your emotions to yourself. All of you emotions pile up on you and it makes you feel weak. You fear being weak so you build walls to hide your weakness from the rest of the world.” Nerissa poused. Alexine was still. She was clearly shocked. That told Nerissa that she was right. “Tell me when you want me to stop.” Nerissa watched Alexine carefully.

Alexine shook her head looking at the ceiling. “Nope. Keep going.”

“You want me to stop. You don’t want to here the truth. You don’t want to tell me to stop because you see that as weakness.” Nerissa was speaking faster than she had been before. “So since you want me to stop I will shift the gears and tell you a little something about myself.” Nerissa poused. Alexine held her gaze. “I don’t like being underestimated. Don’t tell me I’m not capable of something.”

Alexine laughed. “If you weren’t so arrogant I bet we would be good friends.” Alexine told her.

“You see it as arrogance?” Nerissa asked.

“Yeah.” Alexine crossed her arms.

Nerissa smirked. “I can see how you think that.” Nerissa sighed. “Jeez. You can’t even be self-confident in this world without being called names.”

Alexine laughed harshly. “Self-confident?”

Nerissa nodded. “I know what I am capable of. I know what I can do, and I know who I am.” Nerissa stood up. “But, I can see how you could call it arrogance.”

Nerissa walked towards the door. “Your crazy.” Alexine called after her.

Nerissa turned around. “Me crazy?” Nerissa laughed. “I could introduce you to some crazy people.”

“I bet you could.” Alexine was smirking. Nerissa took pride in this.

“You know what’s funny?” Nerissa asked.

“What’s funny?” Alexine asked.

“Liam always talked about how funny and sweet you were.” Nerissa said, standing at the door. “I’m having a hard time seeing how that was ever true.”

Alexine laughed. “That’s funny to you?” she asked.

“A little.” Nerissa smirked. “What really gets me is how he used to tell me how similar I was to his sister.”

“Maybe he was talking about my other sister.” Alexine shrugged.

“Pretty sure he said Alex. Assuming that’s you.”

“Well this was fun. We should talk more often.” Alexine told Nerissa. Nerissa didn’t hear any sarcasm in her voice.

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