The girls seemed to fight all the way through October. Thomas never figured out why but they made up at Halloween. Guess Miranda was right, girls just fight.
Between classes, Thomas was heading to the vending machines until Kellen showed up and pulled him into a nearby empty classroom. He ducked low and told Thomas to do the same. "What's going on?" Thomas whispered as he ducked down.
"Caleb and Liam are coming this way," Kellen said. The three of them have been hunting me all day. They haven't caught me yet, and I don't want you taking the fall for me."
Jeff and the brothers were opportunistic bullies; they seldom went out of their way to pick on anyone without good reason. "What'd you do to them?" Thomas asked suspiciously.
"I may have thrown some eggs at them from the rooftop. And may have missed and thus peered over the side to get a better view. Before I could throw more, with real accuracy, a janitor came up there for a smoke. So they saw my face, I missed all my shots and long story short here we are hiding."
"All the shots?"
"I'm a mind reader, not an ace marksmen, and I was throwing blindly so they wouldn't see me."
Thomas sighed and waited for the brothers to pass by the classroom before standing up. "It's time for some payback, check this out," He said
Shortly after the brothers walked past the door, Thomas stood up and focused on one of them. Using his TK, he grabbed the back Caleb's boxers and yanked them up high as he could. Caleb yelped and jumped up, after readjusting his boxers he started arguing with Liam. Before long the two were shoving each other and then rolling around on the ground wrestling.
After a few minutes, a security guard came by and broke it up and escorted them away. Thomas and Kellen came out of the classroom after that laughing.
"That was pretty great."
"I got one more trick up my sleeve, check this out." Thomas then led him to the vending machine where he pulled out a handful of small change. He tossed it at the machine, and the coins stopped and floated in the air. They turned side face and rolled in line, one at a time, through the coin slot. "Neat trick huh. I been practicing. Figure, since I can only lift coins might as well make it fun, being that it's otherwise useless... Although, I will master the art of making a sandwich in the kitchen all the way from my bedroom."
"Now that sounds like an ability worth having."
The bell rang a moment later.
"This was pretty fun we should hang out sometime after school," Thomas suggested.
"We should," Kellen agreed. "I live in the Ivory Thorn apartments across the river."
"I know the place, you should be on my bus."
"I don't take the bus, I ride my bike, the isolation is nice.
"Alright how about we hang out this weekend? Say Saturday afternoon?"
"Sure, my apartment is 23 C. Come over anytime, it's the ground floor by the way."
Thomas was in a cheery mood all day after pranking the twins with Kellen. After school on the ride home, Normia asked him what he was so cheery about.
"I took your advice," He said. "Got a little payback on the twins, Liam, and Caleb gave one a secret wedgy, and he blamed his brother and they started fighting."
"Nice, well two down one to go. What do you have planned for that other guy?" Normia asked.
"Nothing really, two out of three isn't bad at all."
"Yea well keep using your TK you should get stronger over time and practice."
Come Saturday, after eating lunch, Thomas walked over the Ivory Thorn apartments. When he found Kellen’s apartment, he knocked on the door. A minute later a heavyset woman with brown locks of hair answered the door. He smiled a little nervous, fearing he may have gotten the wrong apartment somehow, and asked, "Hi is uh, is Kellen home?"
"He's in the back, fixin up them neighbor girl's bicycle. Just go around the apartments you'll see 'em." The woman said.
Behind the apartments was a small park with some swings, a red Merry Go Round, and a half basketball court. Kellen was in the court fixing the gears on a pink bike for a little girl. He finished up just as Thomas approached him and the girl rode off after thanking him.
"The local children’s Mechanic," Thomas joked.
Kellen gathered his few tools up and headed for the apartments. "I only had one bicycle my entire life. When it broke, my dad taught me how to fix it. The next time it was up to me to fix it all by myself, I took my time until I got my Tome. Then I really needed my bike fixed. It was a wonderful distraction from everything as I took it far away from minds as I could.
"Anyway, every time my bike breaks, I fix it, and it's broken a lot over the years. Most of my parts at this point come from everyone around the apartments or even in the suburbs over by the Martin Bridge. We can't afford a new bike or new parts, and I got pretty great at bicycles, I can fix any of them or build one from scratch. I just lack the parts."
"So it's like a Franken-Bike?"
Kellen slugged him on the arm, hard. Then told him to wait outside while he put the tools in the house. He returned a few minutes later with his bike and a skateboard. The tires on the bike seem to be the only things that were from the original piece. Everything else, from the handlebars down to the chain looked like it came from another bike.
"Let's go down to the old factory to hang, it's funner there," Kellen said handing Thomas the skateboard.
He took it but said, "I don't know how to skate, nor do I have a bike. I sorta walked here."
"Right I forgot, hold on."
Kellen went back inside and was gone for several minutes this time. When he returned he did so with an arm full of protective sports pads for knees, elbows and even wrists. He took a look at Thomas and said, "You know what we'll both just walk there." He went back inside the house a third time and came out with his backpack and finally they headed for the old factory.
"So what's it like having TK?" Kellen asked after a little while of silent walking.
"It's alright, but it's nothing like in the movies. I mean I can lift up to ten pounds tops so far, but I doubt I'll ever get stronger than that. What's reading minds like?"
"At first, it was the worst thing that ever happened to me. I would lay awake all night hearing voices in my head keeping me from sleeping. And I couldn't tell the difference between when people were saying stuff or thinking it. But we recently got the internet and I been doing a lot of research into this and even communicating with some scientists on like forums.
"Of course, they all think it's a hypothetical scenario but they have been helping me learn and understand this ability with their own theories and ideas. I've so far learned how to lower the radius of my telepathy or increase it at will. I often keep it lowered of course. And I can isolate minds now too, that’s how I avoided the bullies so well."
"That's awesome. Where are we going anyways?"
"To the parking lot of the old factory."
"Why are we going there?"
"It was shut down some time ago, and now it's abandoned."
Thomas rolled his eyes in annoyance, "No I mean what’s there for us to do?"
"Oh! Yea I want to see if you can learn to skate, using only your TK."
They said nothing more the rest of the walk, and when they got to the flat concrete parking lot Kellen pulled out the padding from his bag, helmet included. Thomas argued a little bit but put all of it on, positive he looked like a dork. "Alright now how the hell am I to do this?" Thomas asked doubtfully.
"Well first get on the skateboard," Kellen answered.
And so he did. "Now what?"
"Now use your TK to push yourself forward. Umm here hold on." Kellen rushed over to him and put his hands on his back. He slowly started pushing him around while Thomas wobbled on the board struggling for balance. He stopped pushing him after a couple of minutes then stepped back again.
"Alright now try mimicking that force of me pushing your back and moving you on the board."
Thomas did but got nowhere he wasn't strong enough to push himself when not in motion. So he kicked at the ground and got himself moving slowly. Then used his TK to push himself faster. The result was him slipping off the board and flying face first for the ground.
Suddenly he was grateful for the padding, especially the wrist guard and helmet. He got back to his feet and said, "That doesn't count as my first attempt." Then he was back on the board, trying again.
They were out there for hours that first day going on even into the dark. But soon enough they were hungry, and it was time to go home.
"Where'd you get this idea anyways?" Thomas asked.
"From an anime, this like seventeen-year-old skates around on rooftops and hops great distances all with using his wind magic. He can even fly by raising the board up from under him."
"I wish I could fly."
"Maybe you'll get stronger and can try it."
Kellen gifted Thomas with the skateboard so he could practice more on his own; which he did at home later in the evening when he had nothing better to do. During school, he would hang out with the girls, and sometimes on the weekend they would just chill at random spots around town, sometimes getting into mischief. After school when homework wasn't piled over his head, Thomas would hang out with Kellen.
The boys would play video games at Kellen’s apartment. On the day's where the weather was better Thomas invited the girls over, and they would go to the park to hit some baseballs far as they could. Because Thomas had the TK, he was usually the one pitching, and Normia would catch the ball before it got too far. She could teleport as high up in the air as she needed then teleport back down safely before gravity dragged her down.
Things were going great until Winter break. It seemed that's when all of Thomas' friends were busiest. Normia went to Spring Grove with her boyfriend. Kellen was spending the holidays in Montana with his family. And Miranda's aunt was roping her into some remote ski trip.
Bored Thomas decided to take a random trip down to the river bank. When he got there, he saw life sized ice penguins floating down the river from further ahead. Curious he walked to the outskirts of the city following the river upstream.
His journey took him to a little girl sitting on a throne of ice. She had pale skin, a silver blue dress, and long Icy-blue hair. She zapped a cobalt beam of ice from her hand at the river. Where the beam hit the water froze and formed into the ice penguins, he saw floating downstream.
Unable to contain himself he approached the child and said, "Wow that's really awesome."
The girl turned to him and smiled and said, "I'm an ice mage! And a princess of winter! Watch." She then conjured an ice sculpture in her image with her holding a scepter and a crown on her head. "What can you do?"
The question caught him off guard, "I can umm..." He looked around, only snow surrounded them. He used his TK to roll up three separate snowballs and then put them on top of one another in a small snowman. "I can move objects without ever touching them... And make horrible snowmen."
The child raised her hands in the air, and the snows on the ground started forming above her into a giant ball. The massive snowball then hovered over above Thomas and fell. He dived out of the way just before it crushed him. He turned toward the girl to confront her, but she had already formed several rods of ice above her head and launched them one after the other at Thomas.
He used his TK to push some of them away, but the rest smacked him hard all over and knocked him down into the snow. He sat up quick as he could to find the girl had formed a lance of ice and was preparing to skewer him with it. Then a figure appeared behind her in a wisp of thin grey light.
"Siera Enough!" The hooded figure commanded her.
Siera pouted but tossed the ice lace into the river. Thomas got up cautiously and stared at the hooded figure. From his appearance, he wasn't much older than Thomas. He had white hair and tanned skin hidden under his hoodie sweater. He locked his amber eyes with Thomas for a moment before grabbing the girl by the shoulder, and the two disappeared in a wisp of grey light.