Young E has lost a friend whom she loved dearly. E and eight other people have special powers. They were sent by the Master to protect humans, but, the humans have turned against them. Can E use her powers to protect her friends?


3. A Single Rose Brings An Explosion

I wake up at about eight o’clock later that night. My hair curled by itself because of the humidity. I look up, Axel is there lying on his cot beside me. He doesn’t know that I am awake. I think about how Axel has always been my best friend. He was with me through the worst of this. I smile to myself and roll over on my side, propping my head up with my elbow. I make it known to him that I am awake by whispering “ Axel? You up?” He looks at me with his wonderful smile. “Yeah, couldn’t sleep.” He hands me a plastic container. I sit up and grin “ Knew I could count on you hmm…” Inside is a perfect slice of cherry pie. “ I feel like I owe you my life,” I say with my mouth full. Axel chuckled, his voice deep. “ You better hold off the pie and get some sleep or you're going to lose tomorrow.” He winks at me and I grin “ You wish! I’ll go to sleep in a minute.” Axel eventually dozed off.  When I lay down I fall into a dream…

    It is my mother. I cannot tell how but my dream self, my former self knows it. She has glossy luxurious brown hair that reaches her waist. Her hazel eyes are deep and easy to get lost in. I am only one year old lying on the floor as she laughs and plays with me. I giggle and she laughs. Her singsong voice delights anyone listening. But, then as I was enjoying the memory it becomes dark. My father starts yelling at her. I can’t understand why. I catch a few words like “ fault” and “she is gone” as well as a few nasty names being called. Otherwise, I don’t understand what is happening. My father advances on her and she stands her ground. If it wasn’t my father, I would have thought that this could have soon been a murder scene. He grabs her wrist and she yanks it away from his steely grasp. If not in a deep slumber, I would have gasped. I have never seen my father lay a hand on anyone if not in kindness. My mother picks me up and starts to walk away. He grabs her shoulder and yanks her around to face him. The next part was confusing. He looks at me as if looking me in the eye and starts saying my nickname. “E!” “E!” At least four times before I come to reality.


I gasp and spring into a sitting position as if I had been underwater for a long time. My body is thrown into a fit of coughing. The sun streams through the blinds making it hard to see. I was at least noon. I wipe my forehead, sweat beading off my limbs. Someone is patting my back. Henry. The others are gathered around me. Grace is next to me wearing her light purple swimsuit with white flowers. “ Are you OK?” She asks me. “ Yeah, I’m... I’m fine. What time is it?” “About eleven thirty. You might want to go get ready, we are going down to the beach and then later to your competition.” “Oh yeah! I forgot! K I will meet you all down at the car. Convertible right?” I say suddenly filled with energy. “Yup! Love ya, hurry down!” She calls on the way out. I love grace with her upbeat and girly attitude. The rest leave and I head into the girls shower room. I curl my hair and put on my pink swim suit that is a fifties style and only shows a small section of my upper stomach. I loved the fifty’s styles. I also add a light beige kimono over that along with my flip-flops and sunglasses. I have to admit, I look awesome. I glance one last time into the mirror before grabbing my swim bag and heading out of the cot room. I am so excited.

I head out to see two convertibles parked by one another. One is pink with a white stripe down the front. The other is neon green with a black stripe. Provided by our trainers to go places on brake days, like today. The pink one that is closest to me is filled with Grace in the drivers seat, Mia in the passenger seat, and Viper sitting in the back seat. The green one next to it has Axel in the drivers, Thomas in the passenger and Henry in the back. I climb in next to Viper. “ Let’s do this!” I yell. Grace grins and turns the radio full blast. People from both cars give various whoops and we are rolling.

After a few minutes we are on a highway passing by the coast. Nobody is on the road with us. I unbuckle and slide up on top of the seat. I throw my hands up and let the wind throw my perfectly curled hair. I feel the warm embrace of the sunshine on my skin. Axel looks at me and wolf-whistles. I laugh at him and he chuckles. Viper comes up and sits next to me.

Finally we are at the beach, towels are laid, sunscreen applied and umbrellas are propped. Grace and I are next to each other tanning. The boys and Viper are playing in the water. Axel, Henry, Thomas and Viper are

eventually calling Grace and I over. I look up and they are frantically waving their arms like lunatics. I give in and head out. “ Whatever, you all are going to be eaten by sharks!” Grace calls after me. We play and splash in the cool water. Playing water volleyball and swimming out farther into the crystal blue water.

“Lets just blow the competition ‘till tomorrow,” Thomas says. We all agree to have a bonfire later when the sun goes down.

The sun goes down in a magnificent flurry of dandelion yellow, florida orange and burning fire red. The bonfire blazes sparks wisping off into the air. We are all sitting on logs. After a while of scary stories a peaceful silence falls on us. “ I love you guys.” Viper says. A chorus of “ same” and “you too” comes from the mouths of the rest of us. “ I think it’s time to talk about what is ahead of us. I know that we have a big task ahead of us. The threat in the east grows ever bigger. I don’t know if I can handle losing another one of you after Beldon.” A tear blooms in my eye. Another one glistens in Viper’s. She whips it with her palm before it falls. Fynn looks at me in the eyes and I shake my head. The heads of the people in our group fall. Hearts wrenched at the thought of our fallen member. A fist clutches my own. “ No matter what I love you guys.” Silence crushes us no longer peaceful but grief-stricken and heart broken. “ I have been thinking about leaving.” Frozen and taken back I slowly raise my head to put a face to the male voice. Henry.  “ I don’t think I can do this-” “ Henry…” I cut him off but he puts up a hand and pushes on. “ No. I can’t lose anyone else. I can’t take this anymore. I am not strong enough.” He looks me in the eyes as if they were a portal to my soul. Boring into me.              “ Especially you.” The words surprise me but at the same time are like a punch to the gut. This time I let the tears fall. “ E, you have always been there for me. You are beautiful, lovely, funny, and perfect. I have wanted to say this to you for such a long time.” His eyes are filled with pain and adoration at the same time. “ Henry, please…” He gets up and walks over to his bag and pulls out a small clear plastic bag. Sealed inside is a dried, flattened rose. Tears are falling in a slow steady stream from my blue eyes. The others are watching, none daring to say a thing. “ This is a rose that I was going to give to you the night of our first mission together.” My hand rises

slowly to my mouth. I remember that night perfectly. Beldon. I think. That night Beldon had taken me out in the night to show me the stars. We had been sitting on the hill in the middle of the forest on a blanket when he had kissed me. I loved that moment, relished every second. I thought that Beldon and I were going to last forever. I am sobbing by this point.

Axel was the first person to know. Then Grace and Fynn but Viper and Thomas didn’t know about it. A few seconds after the kiss broke we thought we heard a noise and saw a shadow in the trees fleeing. It all fell into place like the pieces to a puzzle.

Henry was the shadow. He had come to give me the rose. “ As you know for reasons that I am sure now is not appropriate to share I didn’t get to give this to you.” Henry reaches over the fire and hands the rose to me. I look at it with sorrow, unable to find words to fit the situation. “ I know that I am not the one that you like right now.” He glances at Axel when he says this. “ But, if one day you are lonely, find this rose and I will be there for you, when you think of me.” I finally look up at him. I meet his eyes and look into them. “ Beldon is gone but, that doesn’t make me love him any less. You are my friend, that doesn’t make me love you any less. Thank you Henry.”

Tears are continuing down my cheeks. “ Henry, I love you for this but you can’t leave. We need you. You are one of the best our team has. Watching you leave would be like losing another one of our own. None of us can handle that. Not anymore. You, and this rose, it would just make it harder to let you go. It isn’t over. We all feel the pain. I mean this in no rude way and not to ruin the moment but what makes you so special?” He only looks down. This fuels the flare of anger now raging inside of me. I push on. “The rest of us feel the same pain Henry, especially me and we are staying and doing our job to protect the people. There is not some special ‘Henry’ rule that exempts you from the hard parts!” I am on my feet now. The fire’s glow illuminating my face. The tears are gone and rage and sorrow boils in my stomach. “ You know what Im done. I am taking the car back. Viper, Grace either come with me or ride with the boys back.” And with that I storm away. Grace follows me first, then Viper, but, I am the one driving this time.

When we get back to the cot room we file in and I slam the door. We change and I slam myself on my cot sobbing. Grace is stroking my hair and Viper is rubbing my back. Soon my sobs are reduced to shaky breathing and they both drift off. I stay awake until about an hour later. Axel walks into the room. He sits on his cot next to mine, and runs his fingers through my hair like Grace did. Axel has always been close to me so it isn’t weird. He sighs and looks at me. “ Henry and Thomas are down in the breakfast area. Henry had some sort of breakdown after you left. He hasn’t said anything or moved one bit.” I know that I should feel bad but I honestly don’t. “Is he staying?” I ask, exhausted. “Yeah, I think so. Are you OK?” I sigh and answer a simple, “ No, not really.”I say not having the energy to lie. “ You’ll be OK. You should get some sleep, you look like the Lion King.” He says with a grin, trying to cheer me up. I give a small laugh and lay my head down, slipping off into a dark dreamless abyss.

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