Freak of Nature (The Lost Witch Trilogy #1)

BOOK: Freak of Nature (The Lost Witch Trilogy #1)
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Freak of Nature

By
Katie Lee O’Guinn

Book 1 in the Lost Witch Trilogy

 

To my beloved little Chitlins, You bring me joy, purpose and love. This book is for you.

 

This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places and events are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owner.

Chapter 1
- Priorities

“For the millionth time, I’m not a witch,” Sarah said as calmly and rationally as she humanly could.

Lena Hudson stared unbelievingly at her niece and rolled her eyes. She was a short, curvy woman, with a long almost beaky nose.

“You’re a witch.
Just saying you’re not doesn’t make it true. Honestly Sarah, you’d think you’d be excited about it,” Lena said.

“If you want to see me excited, invite Billie Joe Armstrong to dinner,” she said and blew a wayward lock of red hair out of her eyes. She glanced behind her at the door and inched closer hoping she could actually get through it before this conversation escalated into all-out war.

“Like the lead singer of Green Day would come anywhere near Huntingdon Pennsylvania or you for that matter. Forget your crappy music and listen to me. You’re eighteen years old now Sarah, stop acting like a child and come tonight. We can teach you how to make your power stronger,” Lena said, her pale brown eyebrows coming down into a harsh V. She ran her hands anxiously through her short cap of mousy brown hair and looked almost scared for a moment.

Sarah huffed out a breath and grabbed her backpack, slipping it on her shoulder and opening the door as quickly as she could. She didn’t have time for this.

“Thanks, but no thanks. I’ve done the research, Lena. I have psychokinesis with a few other talents thrown in. It’s actually very normal. Most people have some form of it just to a lesser degree. Google it.”

Lena
hissed out a breath and started to look seriously mad. “I think I know a little more about you than Google. You’re being childish and I’ve just about lost my patience with you.”

Sarah walked out the door and lifted a hand in a carefree wave.
Having the same conversation with Lena over and over was a pain, but it was better than the alternative. Actually going to her aunt’s freak show she called a
meeting
.
As if
. Three emotionally disturbed women, one creeper guy that gave her the willies every single time she saw him and her dear old aunt. No thank you. She was already weird enough as it was. She didn’t need to label herself a witch. She could just imagine what the food tasted like in the State Mental ward.
Gag.

Sarah walked the three blocks to Huntingdon High. She passed the shop windows and glanced at her reflection with a slight frown.
She looked pretty much the same as always. She might have grown a little taller over the summer and since she’d started running, she’d gone from average, to thin and toned. Her long wavy red hair still fell in waves around her face and down her back and her green eyes were still staring back at her the same way they always had. Bleak, tired and expectant. What she was waiting for she didn’t know yet.

She couldn’t wait for this year to be over.
Just one more year with her aunt and she’d be gone the day after graduation. Living with the constant pressure from her aunt to join in her strange activities was wearing on her. When she had been a kid, Lena had been different. Almost manically energetic and fun as if she were trying to prove to everyone that she could take care of Sarah better than anyone else. When she realized that no one really cared one way or another, she relaxed into who she really was: A woman who had custody of her niece but spent the majority of her time and money on herself and her own pursuits, leaving Sarah to her own devices most of the time.

Sarah hadn’t minded.
She didn’t enjoy Lena’s company that much and spent most of her time engrossed in books. Friends came and went in elementary school, but when Sarah reached Jr. High she changed and everyone stayed far, far away from her. She had made her peace with being an outcast but she couldn’t say she enjoyed it.

It was the first day of her senior year and she was not excited about it.
She quickly passed groups of kids walking in packs. Some people called out hello, but most of them ignored her,
or pretended to
. It wasn’t easy to ignore Sarah Hudson. Her large green eyes, pale freckled skin and serious smile made people stare, but it was more than that. It was as if people couldn’t help but stare. Sarah had grown used to it. She ignored it mainly, because when someone got curious and came closer they usually wished they hadn’t.

Sarah sang the lyrics to Green Day’s song
, I Walk Alone
, softly as she passed the last group of teenagers and tried to ignore the blatant stares of a few jocks. The faint sound of a wolf whistle made her grind her teeth in irritation.
Idiot.
He might be brave enough to whistle but there was no way he’d actually engage her in conversation. What a wimp.

She shook off the sudden blast of emptiness and tried for a little tolerance.
She knew why they didn’t,
couldn’t
come up to her. What kept people back at a safe distance was the invisible force of energy that she was unable to ditch. When people approached her, it was almost as if they were hit by a large dose of static electricity. Her teachers at school were the best at dealing with it. If people would just give it ten or fifteen minutes, they got used to the feeling and were able to ignore it. Most people weren’t patient though. Her science partner from last year, Jill Cavanaugh had gotten so used to her that she barely winced when she sat down next to her. That didn’t mean that she had ever once been invited to Jill’s pool parties though. Luckily for her, no one had tried to analyze her. She accepted her fate as an outcast and people left her alone. The alternative was being recognized as what she really was.
A freak of nature.

Sarah put her back pack in her locker and headed for first period, English.
Her English classes were always her favorite and she knew she was lucky to have gotten Mr. Terrence. She’d had him last year for Creative Writing. He was a large black man with a booming laugh and a gift for poetry. Unlike everyone else, he always smiled at her and if he noticed
her strange energy he never held it against her.

She sat down in a seat in the front row and immediately tried to drown out the back ground noise of students and the announcements coming across the intercom. She took a piece of gum out of her purse and
flipped her hair over her shoulder but stopped when she felt a warm breeze slide down her head and back as if someone had reached out and touched her. No,
caressed
her. Sarah shivered and slowly turned around and found her eyes locked with a boy she’d never seen before. He looked tall and strong, like an athlete. His wavy dark blond hair had to have been professionally styled and his eyes glinted silver at her. His high cheek bones and strong jaw line would have all the girls drooling within seconds. He looked solemnly back at her, not flinching and not looking away. Just looking at her as if he had every right to.

Sarah swallowed and turned slowly back to the front of the class.
And then she felt it again. That slow warm breeze, moving from the top of her head down her back, but this time it wrapped around her and moved to her mouth as if it were a kiss. She shivered uncontrollably again and licked her lips. This was no coincidence. Something was going on. She closed her eyes and tried to use the energy she carried around with her as a shield to move out from her body and move it towards the back of the room and the new boy. She had to know if he was the one touching her.

“I’m Zane Miner.
You must be Sarah Hudson.”

Sarah opened her eyes and whipped her head up to see the new boy standing directly beside her. This was just weird.
Boys hadn’t come up to her voluntarily since before she had turned thirteen. They sure liked to stare at her, but actually engaging her in conversation without stuttering and tripping over themselves was a rarity. Sarah stared up into Zane’s direct, clear gray eyes and smiled as she felt the warm breeze wrap around her again.

“And how would you know what my name is?” she asked with a raised eyebrow and a polite smile.

Zane snagged the desk behind him and pulled it closer to hers, sitting down and leaning closer.

“I asked.”

Sarah swallowed and bit her lip.
Holy crap.
This guy was actually talking to her, possibly flirting with her and best of all, not wincing and falling over himself to get away from her. This was
not
normal.


Hmmm.
So did you just move into town?” she asked, keeping her eye out for Mr. Terence. She sighed in relief as he strode into the classroom. Thank heavens. He would start class and she could have forty-five minutes to re-group and figure out this new guy. But just as Mr. Terrence was about to open his mouth, Zane turned his head and stared hard at the teacher. All of a sudden, his books and papers fell out of his arms, making a huge mess. A few kids jumped up to help Mr. Terrence as a cloud of what possibly sounded like profanity floated softly through the air. Sarah turned back to Zane, looking at him suspiciously.

Zane grinned and scooted even closer to her seat.
“Yeah, I’m new in town. My mom and I moved in with my grandma just this last weekend. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s so we’ll be around for a while.”

Sarah forgot Mr. Terrence and focused completely on Zane.
“You wouldn’t happen to be Agnes Adam’s grandson would you? I was so sad when they closed the book store. It’s my favorite place in town.”

Zane smiled and nodded. “The Noble Barn was my grandma’s pride and joy.
My mom’s opening it back up today.”

Sarah smiled in pleasure. The Noble Barn had been a haven for her for the last few years since her aunt had gone loony. Her smile turned to a frown though when she felt Zane slide his foot across the floor and touch hers.
Sarah immediately felt a warmth slide up her leg. She closed her eyes as she concentrated on the feeling and used her senses to follow the feeling back to its source. She felt the warmth go back down her leg and through her foot and into Zane. Her eyes flew open and locked with Zane’s as she followed the path and felt a part of her energy move up the boy and wrap around his torso. She swallowed as she realized Zane was grinning at her.

“Well that settles it.
What are you doing after school?”

Sarah felt herself blush and slid her foot away from Zane’s.
“Um, I’ve got the usual. Homework, chores and stuff.”

Zane shook his head and reached over and touched his finger to the back of her hand.
A small spark erupted from the contact and she gasped and jerked her hand away, staring at him.

Zane leaned back away from her and took out his pen and notebook.
“Forget your stuff. Let’s hang out.”

Sarah raised her eyebrows and shook her head slowly.
“I don’t even know you.”

Zane shook his head and smiled.
“You mean you don’t know me
yet.

Sarah swallowed nervously and looked away.
Who was this guy?
He not only ignored her electrical fence he seemed drawn to it.

Sarah had never been so relieved when Mr. Terrence threw the pile of papers on his desk and glared at the classroom.
“Open your laptops and let’s get started on Beowulf.”

A half an hour later and
with ten minutes left of class, Sarah glanced down at where Zane had touched her hand and noticed a mark that hadn’t been there before. Almost like a smudge from a pen or something. She licked her finger and rubbed at the spot but it didn’t fade. She brought her hand closer to her face and stared at the mark. It was a very small bird. She brought her hand closer to her face and squinted. The detail was so precise she could see the individual feathers.
No. Way
. She lowered her hand to the desk and turned her head slowly to look at the boy she had done her very best to ignore for the last half hour. He was staring right at her, not smiling and not frowning, just looking at her as if he could read her mind.
Or like he was trying to.

She stared back for a moment and then raised her hand.
She wasn’t ready for this. She had to process this last half hour before she was pressured into hanging out with a guy who could tattoo her hand just by touching her. This was getting too crazy even for her.

“Yes Sarah?”
Mr. Terence asked.

“May I be excused from class early?
I’m not feeling well.”

Mr. Terrence looked at her doubtfully but waved his hand in acquiescence.

“Um Mr. Terrence?
Can Sarah show me to my next class on her way to the office? I’m not sure where it is and it’s my first day here,” Zane said.

Mr. Terrence smiled kindly at Zane and looked sharply at Sarah.
“Excellent idea. Off you go.”

Sarah gro
aned quietly as she put her laptop away and grabbed her purse. As she reached the door, Zane put his hand on the small of her back, giving a slight but not unpleasant shock. He opened the door for her and then continued down the hallway with her. His hand remaining on her back in either a protective manner or a proprietary manner, she couldn’t tell which.

“You’re touching me. People don’t touch me,” Sarah muttered with a dark frown.

BOOK: Freak of Nature (The Lost Witch Trilogy #1)
2.65Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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