A Darker Shade Of Pale

Details and a record of the characters exploits, successes and failures within the Parallel Worlds.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:49 am

There were some awful memories.
Black took them from her and locked them away in a place where he kept such things.
She would never remember them to their entirety, but he would.
In his dreams sometimes, such memories would leak out into his subconscious mind and he would awake with a start having had horrendous nightmares.

He walked stoically alongside the gurney as the Infinity paramedics wheeled Susan Wallace towards the conveyor.
As he looked down he saw Nikki’s old photo in his hand.
He looked across to Wallace’s sleeping face then back to the photo. Did Nikki’s expression seem pleased? “I’ll always love you,” he whispered to it and screwed the photo up tossing it into a bin as he passed.

Looking once more at Susan he sighed.
And he knew that he would gladly take away a million such terrible memories from this woman.

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A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by arcanus » Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:15 pm

Juneau, Alaska - Homeline
The clandestine nature of the previous night continued at a pace, having acquired his funds he awaited the call, when it came he was directed to another location and then another and so on.
In the shadier grey worlds such things were common, however it was a little irksome that he had to go through it.

Eventually he found himself outside The Red Dog Saloon where he encountered a slight man, the man quickly ushered him to a boat.
Three hours later he found himself aboard a small plane heading for Wakes Island, icy wind swirled beyond the cockpit window, brooding grey clouds surrounded them as far as the eye could see.

He could stabilise the plane to avoid the horrendous turbulence, however it didn’t concern him overly, instead he looked ahead to see through the swirling shades of grey.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:15 am

His destination brought up memories that he had filed away many years ago. Pheonix, as UNIC had designated his home worldline.......

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:20 am

UNIC Designation: Pheonix

Quantum: 4

Washington DC, 1950 LWT (Local World Time – 27 Years behind Homeline)

“Mrs Mustenen, you’re nearly there….” The midwife said encouragingly, “just one more strong push…”
Chaya Mustenen’s dark brown eyes looked pleadingly into the equally dark ones of the midwife, but she knew there would be no help, no respite.
“It’s all down to you honey, now come on, push!”
Chaya’s knuckles whitened as she gripped the small rail at the sides of the bed, her knees parting further and she bore down with the muscles of her distended abdomen, squeezing, pushing, forcing the new life within her out into the world.

**

Stark white walls and pale green linoleum floor was all Petrick Mustenen had looked at for the past five hours.
Five hours of purgatory as far as he was concerned.
He was a man for whom taking a life was no harder a life-experience than blowing his nose, however waiting on the outcome of crating one was proving to be hellish.
He was sitting on one of the plain wooden chairs that lined the wall of the sterile white corridor nest to the entrance to the maternity ward, with his head in his hands like a man condemned.
He hated the waiting, the not knowing what was happening. And he felt that he was superfluous to the whole thing, almost in the way.
America! Here he was just an annoyance to the hospital staff. At least back home in Finland he would have been allowed to go in and sit with his wife, encourage her, hold her hand and share the experience.

The door opened and a nurse poked he head out.
“Mr Mustenen,” she beamed, “you can come in now.”
Petrick almost leaped from his seat and followed the nurse in through the door, glancing back only briefly at the four other men waiting outside the ward.
Two were other expectant fathers, but the other two were men who worked for Petrick’s boss and colleagues of his who claimed to have nothing better to do so had agreed to hang around here for hours on end.
Petrick wondered what their real motive had been.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:21 am

Entering the small ward where two more nurses were tucking in the sheets and making Chaya more comfortable in the bed.
Petrick gave his wife a furtive smile to which she returned a weak one of her own.
The midwife gently lifted a bundle of cloth from a small cot at the bottom of the bed and carried ot across the room to Petrick who had remained nervously by the door as though he was reday to make a run for it if things got too much for him.
As she offered the bundle across he saw amongst the folds of material a round, red face with puffy eyes and a thin smattering of black hair.
“Congratulations, Mr Mustenen, you have a bouncing little boy,” the midwife said as she placed the baby in his eager arms.
He looked at the child and his heart was filled with the sort of joy he couldn’t describe.
Glancing to Chaya he saw her eyes glistening with happy tears in the artificial lights and returned her broad grin.
The midwife looked to them and asked, “Do you have a name for him?”

How stupid Petrick felt, of course the child should have a name. All this time and he hadn’t given it a thought. “I….?”
“Yes,” Chaya said confidently, as though challenging Petrick to say otherwise. “He will be called Caleb, after my father.”
CHaya had said it with such finality that Petrick didn’t really have the desire or where-with-all to disagree and so just nodded his head. “Yes, and Toumas after mine. He’ll be Caleb Toumas Mustenen.”

Suddenly the baby started to cry, a harsh distressed cry that immediately got the midwife back over and grabbed the child from his father.
“Perhaps he didn’t like the name!” Petrick joked nervously.
Quickly the midwife checked the child over and could find nothing obviously wrong with him but still the child cried.
“Oh shit!” a junior nurse called out in surprise, drawing attention and stern disapproving looks from her fellow nurse and the midwife. She was standing in a pool of blood, drips feeding into it from the steel bed frame. The young nurse looked confused.
The midwife’s face blanched and she thrust the screaming child into her father’s arms and dashed over to the mother.
Chaya too looked confused, having not seen the bright red puddle beneath her bed.
Whipping back the sheets the midwife and everyone else in the room saw that the mattress was now a bright crimson colour.
“Oh shit!” the midwife exclaimed before pulling herself together and calling an instruction for the nurse to fetch a doctor immediately.
The baby stopped its hysterical crying as soon as the doctor entered the room and both father and midwife cast the child an odd look, but dismissed the timing as pure coincidence.

**

The doctor stepped through the doorway into the patient family room.
“Mr Mustenen?”
Petrick stood with a nod to the doctor.
“Your wife lost a lot of blood. There were some post-delivery complications. I’m ever so sorry…”
Petrick didn’t hear what else the doctor said as although he seemed to be standing there blankly staring at the opposite wall, inside he was screaming: “Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!”

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:53 am

UNIC Designation: Pheonix

Quantum: 4

Miami, Florida, USA, 1965 LWT (Local World Time – 27 Years behind Homeline)
The black Lincoln pulled to a halt outside Leewood Elementary School in the Kendal district of Miami-Dade.
A man in a smart suit, with long black “winkle-picker” shoes stepped out and placed his fedora on his head, adjusting the headpiece and then his tie before subconsciously checking the pistol he carried in a shoulder-holster was still there.
The man was tall and dark haired, with piercing blue eyes and a genuinely friendly smile that bellied the stone-cold killer that he really was, or at least he used to be before the birth of his son.
Despite his ‘retirement’ from his former life, his bright eyes still swept over the other people gathered outside the kindergarten, looking for threats but he found himself smiling at the few he knew.
“Good morning Mr Mustenen!” a shrill little voice called out and Petrick turned to see a small figure with a head full of deep red ringlets and wearing small round glasses that magnified her almond shaped hazel eyes.
“Hi Maggie,” Petrick replied jovially as the little girl skipped towards him, leaving her mother and pulling the back door of Petrick’s car open.
“Hello Cal,” Maggie Shaw said.
Caleb Mustenen looked across the car to Maggie. She was his best friend.
He’d only been here for a couple of months, since moving down from Washington DC.
“Look!” Maggie said excitedly pointing to a gap in her top row of teeth.
“It came out last night, I got a dollar for it!” she announced proudly.
“Cool!” Caleb responded with a broad smile of his own, showing a gap in his lower teeth. “I got a dollar too!”
Maggie’s eyes widened like saucers. “Last night?”
Caleb nodded enthusiastically as he slid across the seat dragging his school bag with him.
“That is so cool!” Maggie turned to her mother who was having some dull conversation with Caleb’s dad about ‘those idiots in congress’ or some such rubbish.
“Mommy? Mommy?” Maggie said trying to catch her mother’s attention.
Mommy wasn’t listening.
Maggie stepped out in front of the car walking around Caleb’s dad. “Mommy!” she said.
Caleb stiffened, darted between his father and Mrs Shaw and grabbed Maggie’s hair, pulling with all his strength.
Maggie yelped and stumbled, falling to the hard road by the kerbside grazing her knee and the palms of her hands.
A fraction of a second later a large blue truck thundered past, clipping the wing-mirror of Petrick’s car with a resounding thump.
Petrick Mustenen and Lucy Shaw stood in horrified stupefaction as Petrick’s wing mirror lay spinning in the road, its reflective surface shattered into tiny fragments.

Maggie wailed, getting up and holding her grazed hands up to her mother.
“Caleb!” Petrick wasn’t sure if he should admonish his son or not.
“Oh my god, Petrick!” Lucy said in horror as she hugged at Maggie. “That truck would have hit her. Thank you Caleb,” she added turning to the boy and giving him a grateful smile.
Caleb just nodded casually at her as though partly nonplussed and partly embarrassed.
“Come on darling,” Lucy said taking Maggie’s hand. “Let’s see if Mrs Cairnes has got some magic cream we can put on your hands.”
She led Maggie away towards the school yard.
“Shit, Caleb, well done my boy,” Petrick said in Finnish, his head shaking in disbelief.
“How did you see that truck and we didn’t?”
It was a rhetorical question and Caleb knew that – even if he didn’t know what rhetorical meant. So he didn’t tell his father that he had seen it happen last night, in a dream.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:26 am

UNIC Designation: Pheonix

Quantum: 4

Miami, Florida, USA, April 23rd 1966 LWT (Local World Time – 27 Years behind Homeline)
Emilio Desousa watched the young 2nd grader enter the refectory.
The boy was immaculately dressed and clean and something about that bothered Emilio. It went against his own rebellious code of conduct.
The big (some might say overweight ) 4th grade boy tapped Jethro Luckett’s arm and once he had the boy’s attention, he nodded silently towards the younger lad.
Jethro, another boy of too many burgers gave the sort of sadistic grin someone might display while they quietly pulled the legs off of a spider.
The 2nd grade boy didn’t join the queue for lunch, he merely grabbed a couple of bananas from a fruit bowl, dropped some coins on the counter which the old woman behind the till accepted without counting, and then walked back out of the refectory again.

All around them children were sitting noisily chatting and eating their lunch and so Emilio and Jethro were able to leave the dining hall unnoticed.
Unnoticed that was, except for miss Harrison, the new second-grade tutor.

Caleb Mustenen was one of her quiet students, who sat somewhere in the middle of her classroom where he wouldn’t get caught up in the naughtier goings-on at the back of the class and where he wouldn’t gain the notice of the teacher by sitting at the front. Or so he thought.
Unfortunately Caleb had caught her attention because the answers he gave in both his verbal and written responses were both technically correct, no not correct – exact, and were intellectually mature beyond his seven years.
Yet he wasn’t just a bookish nerd either. Almost like he flicked a switch in his head he could go from swat to jock and back again.
Miss Harrison had, out of chance, watched Caleb enter and leave again and was about to turn back to her own lunch when she saw the other two boys cast furtive glances about the room before hurrying after Caleb.
Normally Miss Harrison wouldn’t make much of it, but Emilio Desousa had lost a brother in one of the first engagements of the war in Vietnam. Since then the boy had gone off the rails and was always in trouble.
With a sigh Miss Harrison followed in the wake of the three boys.

Caleb found Maggie sitting on her own in their classroom, finishing off the last mouthful of her sandwich.
The half-Finn, half-Israeli boy studied her from behind, watching the way her shoulders rose and fell, listening to her breathing, and noticed that her carrot coloured hair had darkened somewhat compared to how it had been a year ago.
Having finished her sandwich Maggie Shaw threw her lunchbox in her bag and turned for the door.
“Oh!” she said, startled. “What are you doing here?”
Caleb gave a sheepish grin. “You’re going to the sports-hall to practice gym, right?”
“Yeah, how did you know?”
Her head was cocked to one side and she seemed to be looking at him through only her right eye. It reminded Caleb of a flame coloured crow.
“You’ve been on about it all week and you think you won’t make the team.”
“Never said that!” Maggie pouted.
“No, but you think it.”
Maggie thought he sounded like her mother, always saying she knew what Maggie was thinking and it annoyed her, but somehow Cal always did seem to know exactly what was on her mind.
“Come on, I’ll help you practice,” he said.
She smiled her radiant smile and grabbed his hand, pulling him down the corridor.

“Hello?” Emilio Desousa whispered suspiciously as he and Jethro peered out of the third grade classroom door watching Caleb and Maggie rushing in the opposite direction.
“C’mon Jeth!” he said as he walked quickly in the younger kid’s wake.

Miss Harrison frowned as she looked down the two empty corridors. Damn!
Then she saw Caleb and Maggie Shaw cross the far end of the left-hand corridor, shortly followed by Emilio and Jethro.
She briskly followed.

The hall was dark and when Caleb flicked on the lights the two were greeted by a light wooden glossy floor, marked out for the school basketball team and surrounded by several tiers of seats. The hall was already laid out with mats and apparatus ready for the gym try-outs tomorrow.
Maggie gulped.
“I’ll get changed,” Maggie said rushing for the girl’s locker room.
Caleb hopped up onto the low beam and sat there, legs swinging while he ate his banana. “What you doing here, amigo?” Emilio barked in his best tough-guy voice.
Caleb was startled by the sudden noise and nearly lost his balance causing the two fourth-graders to laugh.
“What do you want, Emilio?” Caleb asked calmly as he jumped down from the beam. “I know who you are,” Cal shrugged in answer to Emilio’s quizzical look.
“You annoy me,” the Mexican boy said. “You’re too tidy! So me an’ my hombre here are going to scruff you up a bit. You dint ought to go round lookin’ so square!”
“Hey, where’s your girlfriend?” Jethro jeered. “You come here for some kissy-kissy?” he chuckled at his own joke.
“She’s not my girlfriend,” Caleb blurted almost automatically and the statement annoyed him. It was a knee-jerk response and now he had a moment to analyse it he realised it came from a natural aversion, common to his peers, about having anything to do with girls.
Although only seven and far too young to be worrying about having a girlfriend, he decided that if he had to have one then he would want her to be like Maggie, and therefore, logically, he would be happy if Maggie was his girlfriend.
But either way, what the heck business was it of Jethro’s?
“Mind your own!” Caleb said annoyed.
“Ooooo! Check out the mighty wiener!” Jethro mocked, stepping back with a theatrical look of horror on his face.
“Go away, Maggie wants to practice her gym.”
“No one tells us to go away,” Emilio said and shoved Caleb in the chest.
The smaller boy fell backwards onto the mat.
“Jeth – rough him up a bit!”
Jethro lunged forward grabbing Caleb’s leg and dragging the boy along the floor.
Caleb tried to kick out at the older boy but his position on the floor made it difficult.

Jethro stopped as he dragged Caleb alongside Emilio.
The Mexican boy crouched down and grabbed Caleb’s crumpled shirt, popping some of the buttons.
“Hey!” a high pitched voice shrilled from the far end of the hall as Maggie Shaw, now dressed in her leotard ran across to help Caleb.
Jethro released the boy’s leg and rushed to intercept the girl.
He managed to grab her arm and then get his own arms around her, pinning her in a bear hug.
“Let me go!” Maggie screamed, kicking and wriggling.
“Hee, hee!” Emilio chuckled as he watched Jethro struggling to contain the little red-haired hell-cat.
Caleb scrambled to his feet.
“Get off her!” he yelled.
Emilio answered his shout by punching him in the stomach, then as Caleb doubled over he grabbed the back of his shirt and threw the boy to the floor before sitting on him.
Caleb grunted as the air was pushed from his lungs when the fat Mexican boy dropped all his weight on his back.
He struggled and fought but was pinned.
Emilio grabbed the boy by the hair and slammed his face into the green waffle-backed mat. “Sit still,” he barked tersely.

Maggie screamed as she flayed around.
“Shut her up, esse!” Emilio called and Jethro used his weight advantage to yank the girl into a position where he could get his hand across her mouth.

Caleb was struggling to breathe now. “Get off me, Emilio,” he hissed, but the older boy merely forced more of his weight down.
Then Cal spotted Maggie’s frightened face and something inside him broke loose like a lion suddenly released from a cage.
He snarled as he pushed himself upward off the mat enough to enable him to turn and get his arms into a more usable position. He remembered what his dada had said on his first day of school. “If someone starts picking on you, just hit them as hard as you can in the balls!”
So, despite the awkward angle, he did.
Emilio yelped and rolled off Caleb but the blow hadn’t been overly powerful and the Mexican recovered from the shock of it quickly.
“You little shit!” the boy swore as he grabbed the now standing Caleb by his collar and dragged him close enough to slap.
“Stop it! Get off me!” Caleb squeaked at Emilio but the boy just gave him another slap.
As his head turned from the blow Caleb saw Jethro holding onto Maggie and saw the tears on her cheeks and his anger flared again.
“Let her go, you asshole!” he growled trying to pull away from Emilio but the hefty ten year old was a lot stronger and had no problem holding on.
“Ouch!” Jethro suddenly yelped as he yanked his hand away from Maggie! “She bit me!” the boy said incredulously.
His face was screwed up in a mixture of pain and anger and he lashed out, striking Maggie a backhand across her face.
She went down with a shrill cry, tears pouring down her cheeks.
Caleb surged towards Jethro and almost pulled Emilio over but the bigger boy yanked him back by his collar like he was a dog being brought to heel.
“Get off!” Caleb roared at his captor, his anger at boiling point and as he said the words he felt that anger solidify and take form inside him as some enormous force. That force was suddenly expelled from his body in an almighty whoosh, and Emilio was plucked from the floor like an ant being brushed aside.

**

Where had those boys gone? Miss Harrison regretted being new to the school and not having bothered to find her way around every part of the building. All right, it was quite a big building, but not that big! She’d kept up with them and then the boys had just vanished. She had doubled back on herself and checked all the classrooms and even gone outside but there was no sign of any of them.
Then, just as the tall, slender brunette was about to head back to the hall for her lunch she heard a muffled scream.
She instantly turned for the corridor to her right. It was deceptive as the passageway appeared to continue on to the door at the end, but in truth there was a wall which could be walked around to gain entrance to the sports hall and the entrance was hidden from here.
Miss Harrison yanked the sports hall doors open and what she saw took her breath away.

Caleb Mustenen roared at Emilio Desousa and the boy was thrown across the room where he crashed into the upper row of seating with a resounding crunch and lay motionless seemingly folded in half across the seat-back.
Miss Harrison stood, mouth agape and eyes wide in bewilderment and terror.

Caleb Mustenen didn’t know how, but he knew he’d just willed that to happen. There was a savage look on his face, completely unbefitting a seven year old boy as he turned to face Jethro and reached out as though to grab him by the throat. Although more than thirty feet away Jethro choaked and grasped at his own throat and began to struggle for breath. Then, with a slight movement of his hand Caleb lifted Jethro off the ground.
He rose, feet flailing uselessly as some unseen power tightened like a noose on his neck, causing his eyes to bulge and his face to turn a strange shade of puse.

Finally her voice came back to her. “CALEB!” Miss Harrison screamed furiously.
Caleb’s concentration broke and Jethro fell almost twelve feet back to the soft gymnastics mat where he lay gasping for breath and shaking with shock.
Caleb looked horrified and blinked rapidly looking first at Miss Harrison who was rushing towards Emilio and then at Maggie who was staring blankly, like a startled rabbit caught in the headlights.
Caleb deflated ashamedly and burst into tears, running to hide behind the vaulting box.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:17 pm

When Petrick Mustenen arrived at Leewood Elementary school there were several police cars and an ambulance in the parking lot.
He had received the message that there had been an incident at school and now his mind was summoning up all sorts of things.

When he entered the sports hall, as directed by a young police officer, he was so relieved to see Caleb sitting in one of the spectator seats next to Maggie Shaw that he laughed aloud causing several of the nearby teachers to scowl disapprovingly at him.
He ignored their looks and rushed over to Caleb and wrapped his arms around the boy.
“Thank god you’re ok,” he said and smiled at Maggie. “Hey Mags, where’s your mother?”
“She’s shopping. They haven’t found her yet,” the girl said in a monotone voice, very unlike her.
“You okay?” the man asked concern creeping into his tone. “What happened?” This last he asked of Caleb as he released the boy.
“Maggie just wanted to practise gym. And those boys got hurt.”
Petrick was about to say something but the sound of someone clearing their throat behind him made him turn.
“Hello, Mr Mustenen,” Miss Harrison said in cautious tones.”
“Uh, hello?”
“Hi, we met at the beginning of the semester. I’m your son’s teacher. Em, can I have a word with you in private?”
confused, Petrick shrugged, “Yeah, sure,” he said, then “Wait there son,” to Caleb.
“Can’t we just go home?” the boy asked his father in Fluent Finnish, shocking the young teacher who was momentarily distracted by the fat until she saw the paramedics with the gurney and Emilio Desousa strapped to it.
“In a moment,” Petrick responded in the same language before following Miss Harrison out into the quiet corridor.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:19 pm

Barbara Harrison led Petrick to a deserted classroom and closed the door.
She didn’t really know how to broach the subject as it was quite a sensitive matter – and one that carried a lot of scepticism with it.
“Err…. Mr Mustenen, what language was that?” she decided to ask knowing full well she was just avoiding the inevitable.
“Finnish,” Petrick stated.
Caleb speaks Finnish, at his age?”
“Yes, it is my native tongue. He also speaks Hebrew, but not so well. That was his mother’s language but she’s dead and I can only teach him what I know, which is far from perfect.” Petrick was animated and seemed to enjoy speaking about his son’s abilities.
“That’s incredible,” she stated and saw an opening for the real point of this conversation.
“Mr Mustenen, that’s quite a talent for a boy his age to speak two additional languages.”
“He’s a clever boy,” Petrick agreed.
“Indeed. Erm… have you noticed any other talents he may have?”
“How do you mean?” Petrick asked truly unsure of what the attractive school teacher was getting at.
Barbara sighed. “I saw him, Mr Mustenen.”
Petrick picked up on the accusatory tone in her voice but was still baffled as to what she was accusing.
He suddenly felt like he was a naughty schoolboy being told off by teacher. It was a feeling he didn’t like.
“What are you talking about?” he snapped getting angry at the woman’s patronising expression and poise. Her mannerisms might work when she is telling off one of the seven year olds in her class but certainly had a detrimental effect on the man’s attitude towards her.
“He’s a psyche, Mr Mustenen! Your son is a Psychic – he has powers.”
“What?” this time Mustenen was incredulous.
“I saw him cast a boy nearly twice his weight across the hall then lift another boy by his throat clean off the floor even though he was more than twenty or thirty feet away from him!” she stared hard at the man now and noticed the way his face paled.
“You shouldn’t believe the things you read in some of those papers, Miss Harrison. All those stories about people reading minds and moving cars with just their thoughts is utter rubbish and you should feel embarrassed!” Petrick accused bitterly.
The trouble was, there was a nagging doubt in his own mind.
Of course, there were stories everywhere, in the more sensationalist rags and the conspiracy theorists loved the subject of psychics in their midst.

Many tales had come out of the war of Hitler having formed a division devoted to psychic research and that they had succeeded, just too late to put the psychic soldier to good use.
Then there were stories about Russia, the new enemy, and the United States both developing secret programs researching the subject.
Together with the old tales of legend from England of St George stopping the dragon in mid-flight before sending a giant sword hundreds of feet into the air to pierce its heart, and Norse tales of great battles between Loki and Thor which could be attributed to psychic powers. The Celts had flying ships that were powered by a lode-stone, an obelisk carved in runes and imbued with psychic energy.
Or so the legends went. All of this fanned the flames of rumour.
And all the time there were stories in the newspapers of people claiming to have witnessed the said phenomenon, and just like the images of Jesus Christ the Saviour that appeared in stains on someone’s bedroom ceiling, of in the leaves of some Mexican farmer’s cabbage patch, they were all pretty much discredited.
Yet in the back of Petrick’s mind there was a nagging little voice pointing at hints and memories which could mean that Miss Harrison was right.
There were small things like Caleb’s favourite teddy somehow managing to end up in his cot was he was small, despite Petrick having put the thing out of reach himself. Then there was the time he’d lost Caleb in a shopping mall, he had somehow heard the boy crying for him, yet no one else seemed to notice.
There were more obvious times too, like him dreaming about Maggie getting hit by a truck then saving her when it was about to come true. Caleb hadn’t told him this, it came from Lucy Shaw who had mentioned the story Maggie had told her. It was said in passing, along with a request for Caleb to dream up the lottery numbers, but it had stuck in his head for some time.
In fact, Pterick could even relate the day Caleb was born. When he had thought about that day, when the pain of Chaya’s death had allowed him to actually think about the events of that day, Petrick had been convinced that Caleb had known his mother was in danger and had tried to tell them. His sudden silence the moment the doctor had arrived was spooky, but the Finn remembered everything being so hectic that he’d not taken the apparent coincidence in.

“It’s not rubbish, Mr Mustenen,” Miss Harrison was saying. “I know what I saw and I have to report it.”
“Report it?” Petrick asked in bewilderment. “Who to?”
“Principle Chalk, of course.”
Principle Chalk, of course, Petrick mused. How typical of a teacher to regard the school principal as the supreme authority in all things.
“Fine, you tell the Principal if you feel you have to, but he’s not going to believe you. I don’t damned well believe you!”
With that the Finn turned away and walked out.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:19 pm

Petrick Mustenen drove home, slowly, his mind occupied with today’s unbelievable events more than the road. He kept glancing in the mirror at Caleb and wondering whether he was reading his mind right now, or not.
In the end he pulled the car over on a quiet suburban street and turned to face his son.
“Cal, I need to ask you something, and I need you to tell me the truth.”
“What is it dad?”
Caleb looked so much like an ordinary seven year old boy, his innocent eyes full of excitement, a small figuring of a knight in one hand and a dragon in the other.
Petrick considered dropping the subject but silently scolded himself for being a coward.
“Cal,” he paused lost for the right words all of a sudden. “Can you do things? Unusual things?”
“Like what?”
“I don’t know, move things with your thoughts, read people’s minds, you know?”
“Oh!” Caleb sounded surprised. “Yes.”
It was said with such obvious certainty and a tone that said – of course, didn’t you know?
“Really?” now it was Petrick’s turn to sound surprised. He had to admit he’d been expecting, no, wanting the boy to say no.
“I can do some things, Dad.”
“Like what?”
Caleb looked around the car for something small, and then noticed the figures in his hands.
Closing his eyes he concentrated on the knight, picturing it moving up off his hand and floating across to his father.
He opened his eyes and concentrated.
The knight rose, gliding through the air towards Petrick’s astonished face.
The man grabbed the knight from the air and looked at it as though he had never seen it before.
Petrick looked from the figurine to his son and he saw the concern on the boy’s face.
“That’s incredible!” Petrick half whispered, his smile genuine. “Just incredible!”
“I can do more!” Caleb said enthusiastically.
“So I gather, Caleb. What did you do to those boys?”
Cal’s face fell.
“I didn’t mean to, they got me so mad and it just happened. I didn’t know I could move something that big. I’m sorry dad.”
“Cal, calm down. You say you got angry and did that?”
Cal nodded.
“My god, son! What you can do is amazing, but people won’t understand that, they’ll just be frightened by something they don’t comprehend.”
Petrick sighed and pulled out a cigarette from his pack.
Caleb grinned, closed his eyes picturing the end of the cigarette and before Petrick could get a match out of the box in his hand the end was aglow.
Petrick took the smoke out of his mouth and peered at the end then looked wide-eyed at the boy who gave him a sheepish smirk.
“Shit!” Petrick shook his head in disbelief. “Cal, you’ve got to keep a lid on this, you understand? And no more getting angry.”
“I’ll try not to, dad.”

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