• I watched with disinterest as my teacher chewed out Blob, the dud of our class. You see, Bob, better known as Blob, looked like he was close to two hundred pounds of fat and flab, with a lisp and math issues. Plus, he’d been held back about three times.
    Let me explain the present situation, you see, my name is Jaycobi. I’m a girl thank you very much, and I’m currently attending Mt. Shasta High. I’m only thirteen, but I just started my sophomore year here at my new school in this dead town. Again, allow me to explain. I started school a year earlier than everybody else, seeing as I was reading at a fifth grade level at age four, and then got bumped up again as a freshman, skipping that year entirely, and now I’m a thirteen-year-old sophomore, and a year ahead of all my friends.
    Oh, and one more thing you should know about me, I’m a telepath-preminitionist with mind control. I’ll explain later.
    Anyway, back to the present. Blob had pulled another of his “stunts” as I like to call them, throwing a box of tissues at the back of our teacher’s head, only to have her turn around and get smacked in the face. Way to go, Blob. I snickered along with everyone else as Blob turned bright red, and Mrs. Gemmi turned on me.
    “Is there some joke you’d like to share with us, Ms. Hound?” She practically spat in my face.
    “Yes ma’m.” I replied, throwing her off guard. “A tissue box just hit you in the face.” The room got dead quiet, no-one stood up to Mrs. Gemmi. She looked about eighty years old, and had a nasty temper. It was her turn to turn red, with fury.
    “MS. HOUND YOU WILL GO TO THE PRINCIPLES OFFICE, AND NOT COME BOCK WITHOUT A SIGNED SLIP SAYING YOU’VE LEARNED SOME MANNERS!” I decided I’d gone too far, and that maybe, Mrs. Gemmi should use a couple of the peppermints in my locker.
    “Yes m’am.” I said, and sauntered out with my traditional “emo” bag slung over my shoulder.
    I stood outside the door and concentrated all my thoughts on Mrs. Gemmi’s nasty breath and wrinkled face, telling her to let me back in and not call the office.
    “Ms. Hound, you may come back inside now, and sit down. I over-reacted, I’m sorry.” Mrs. Gemmi was apologizing in that weird I-don’t-know-why-I’m-doing-this voice my victims usually took on under my control.
    I came back in, smiling evilly. Mrs. Gemmi was one of the easier ones to control. She tried (and failed) to teach me grammar I didn’t already know. My step dad, John Occlude, on the other hand, was a near impossibility for me to influence.
    I sat back down, and knew I was wearing that smug look Mom hates. Several of my classmates turned to look at me as if I was a mutant freak about to eat their head’s off. Oh well. I thought. At least I’m not totally socially outcast. Yup, dating the foreign exchange student from Italy had its upsides. I mean, not only was he extremely good-looking, but, like me, he could listen to other people’s thoughts. But, unlike me, he couldn’t see into the future… or have mind control.
    I remember when he first came to our school, I wasn’t really paying attention, too busy trying to find something edible in my school lunch (hadn’t had time to make one that morning) when I “heard” a thought something like this;
    Wow, these people have nothing going through their heads but how their going to get their hands on their next bunch of weed…
    Not to mention it was in an Italian accent. And he had this weird aura type thing that just kind of drew me to him…
    I sighed contently. Then I looked up and realized while I’d been wandering mentally, I’d been asked a question.
    “Ms. Hound, I really hope you’ve been listening.” Mrs. Gemmi spoke in her normal I’m-an-old-fart-with-no-life voice. Everyone’s eyes where on me.
    “Of course I have.” I replied smoothly. I searched around desperately in the hope that someone in my class had, in fact, been listening. Then, I found it. Jackpot!
    “We’re having a quiz tomorrow on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.” She looked shocked. Ha, ha! Score one, Jaycobi. She sighed and shook her head.
    “Well, at least someone was paying attention.” She turned back to the board and wrote down our homework. Review Romeo an Juliet, and work in our Grammar workbook, page 45. All of it was due tomorrow. The bell rang, and we all started packing up and leaving for lunch break.
    “Ms. Hound? I’d like you to stay here for a few minutes before you go to lunch.” Oh no. I thought with slight unease. Am I losing my touch??? “Please,” she said. “Sit back down in your seat.” I obeyed. I wasn’t worried, or anything like that. I just wanted to get home and grab a sandwich before next period... or so I was trying to tell myself. I knew what was coming. She was going to ask me if everything at home was okay, if she should talk to my parents. It had happened to me at least once a year since I’d started first grade.
    “I’d like you to tell me why I didn’t call the office earlier.” Well, that was unexpected. s**t… now what? Oh yeah, that was me controlling your mind with telekinetic powers. Oh, did you know I can also see into the future and hear your thoughts? I don’t think so. “Because you… didn’t… want to?” I supplied meekly.
    “Ha! You silly child! It’s because I finally realized why you do those things.” Oh great. Here it came…
    “It’s obvious you have a bad home life!” She looked proud of herself for coming to this assumption. “Does either of your parents abuse you in anyway?” I stared at her for awhile, then raised my eyebrows...
    “Trust me, even if they did, I wouldn’t be talking to you about it.” She looked crestfallen. “No, they don’t.”
    “Are you sure?” She asked. Wow, it’s amazing how easy it was for people to get on my nerves…
    “Positive. I think I’d know if I was being abused, or neglected for that matter.” I’d heard where her thoughts where going. Wow, nosey b***h.
    “Alright. You can leave then.” Now she looked majorly puzzled and upset. Oh well. “Make sure you finish your homework!” She called to me as I walked away. Like I’d ever missed an assignment before…


    I walked into the lunch room and began my mental search for my personal Romeo, Alphonse Valentino. My favorite demon in human form. I smiled to myself just thinking of him. Of course, I called him Al. I liked it. It reminded me of my favorite Manga.
    There he was. I turned and walked out of the cafeteria. He was outside sitting at the picnic table out front under the tree eating his usual tomato and mayonnaise sandwich. I broke out in a huge smile waved and walked toward him a little bit faster. He was sitting with the one guy-friend he’d made, and my groupies: the hoes, emos, Goths and punks of our school. I sat between him and my best friend, Rose. I turned me face toward Al’s, and he kissed me, right there, in front of everyone. You see, unlike me previous boyfriends, he wasn’t ashamed to show how he felt for me in front of others.
    “Oh. My. God, you two! Get a room!” Rose said, throwing a roll at my head. We broke apart laughing and I stuck my tongue out at her. She was smiling like crazy, so was everyone else there… even Kevin, who was usually so depressed he was hard to hang out with. This is weird… I thought. Why is everyone so happy? Did I miss something? I looked at Al with a question forming on my lips. Right as I was about to speak, he pressed his lips to mine again. Then, I heard it. He was moving here… permanently!!! He broke away again and re-told me the good news, so people wouldn’t think I was a telepath...
    “My parents thought it would be a good idea for me to move here permanently.” I made a squee sound and hugged him.
    “That’s awesome!” I said, leaning back a little bit. “Dude, we should totally throw a party or something!” As I listened, I realized my peers had been planning a surprise party for him. Oops… there went the surprise… hey! Idea! I focused intently on the people surrounding me at the lunch table and made it so they didn’t remember what I’d just said. There. All better.
    “That’s awesome!” I said again. Though, I was the only one at the table who knew it was the second time, accept for Al. I listened to the people at my table. And heard the same thing over and over: Don’t suggest a party, don’t suggest a party! Alright, alright… geeze… I smiled and hugged him even harder. “I’m so happy you can stay longer than just this year!”
    “I know!” Rose said. “Too bad there aren’t a couple of you…” I glared at her and she got it through her head to stop talking. She’d been about to say “Too bad there aren’t a couple of you hot Italian guys to stay here, it would make my dating options so much more fun!” I sighed. Sometimes, rolling with the hoes had its downsides…

    After school I started the walk across town to my house, hating ever step that brought me closer to the hell I called home. As I walked, I listened to the minds around me. No-one was paying attention to me. I kept walking, listening to other people’s problems. It still shocked me to this day to think that people who had almost perfect lives always made such big deals out of little things. I really like Danny, I wonder if he’ll ask me the dance? That was the main worry of one of my closer friends in Spanish class. Who cares if Danny asks you or not?! For Pete’s sake, people! You don’t even know the guy. I’d almost said back. But, no. That would be rude. So instead I’d replied, He’d be an idiot not to. I continued walking, wishing I could at least live in a normal house.
    On top of being a telepath, a preminitionist, and having limited mind control, I had to put up with an abusive step-father and a back boneless mother. My mom had walked out on my dad when I was three, and taken me with her. I had hardly talked to her since she met my step-father when I was six. She said she had left because my dad was abusive, but I remember. And I always know when someone lies to me. She left because she was having an affair with the guy next-door. They called him Smoky. Smoky left my mom half naked in a ditch on the side of the road with me knocked out from his fist to my head on the side of a highway. That’s where the step-father had found us; Mom, half naked and half dead, me, filthy and unconscious.
    As they say, you don’t really know someone until you live with them. Mom and It, as I liked to call my step-father, had had a picture perfect dating relationship. They dated for two years, he popped the question, she said yes and, the kid from the previous marriage got to be a flower girl. They all moved in together, and, as it turns out, It has issues. It is a completely different guy than the one you fell for, Mom. It likes to watch people of the female gender, be hurt. To watch the look of pain that crosses their face in time with the blows to their stomachs, the look of betrayal. The feeling of taking a woman’s heart, and screwing it over to where it no longer has the capacity to love, or understand the concept of being loved.
    That is the short version of my home life. And people wonder why I cut myself on occasion?
    I heaved yet another sigh, and went around the last turn to my street. Why was it that I always ended up dragging my feet when I approached this section of road? Was it some sub-conscious thing that tried to tell my feet to avoid the black clouds coming up on the curb? I wiped all emotion from my face as I went down the sidewalk leading to the front door, dreading the moment of truth when I would step inside and see Mom passed out of the couch with another hangover, It at the fridge, grabbing yet another bottle of vodka. I took a deep breath and turned the doorknob. I walked in and realized I wasn’t the screaming wasn’t in mine, or somebody else’s, head.
    Apparently, this wasn’t one of the relatively calm days I’d been picturing. This was the World War III I’d been afraid of walking into. They were both screaming at the top of their lungs, and I had to duck as one of them (not sure witch) threw a vase across the room. I bolted. I knew what was coming. He would hit Mom, Mom would collapse, and he would beat her within inches of unconsciousness. Then, he would come after me and hit me in places unlikely to be seen by the public eye, stomach, thigh, back… and then, when he stopped hitting me, he would go back to mom, drag her into their bed, or, if he was really upset just leave her where she was, and quench his sexual needs…
    I hid in my room, trying not to fall into an all-out panic attack. I pulled out the iPod I’d been given for my birthday by my friends, put in the headphones, and blasted Broken Home by Papa Roach until I almost couldn’t hear Mom’s and It’s scream out match. But they were pretty loud.
    Finally I gave up and decided to just listen to what they were fighting about. I paused my music and cocked my head to one side, like I was listening through and invisible door, and “heard” what was going on. Mom was mad because Jon had drunk the last beer and Jon was saying it was her fault for not buying more. Wow, they were touchy.
    I blocked them out using the mental barrier Al had showed to me. It worked a lot better than I would’ve thought. Just then I heard my mom cry out and something heavy hitting the floor. All of a sudden it was deadly silent throughout the entire house, I was glad I’d paused my music. A few seconds later I heard someone stomping down the hall toward my room. Just then Jon slammed the door wide open and just stood there. We stared at each other for a few seconds… until he smiled.
    This wasn’t your average dad-like smile; he looked seriously out of his mind. His eyes had a wild look in them, almost like an animal. I need to know what he’s thinking I kept trying to convince myself. Find out what he wants so that you can fight him off all the better. Oh yeah, self. What a brilliant idea! Let’s see what Mr. Psycho has running through his mind, shall we? I sighed internally and let my protective shields down.
    His thoughts hit me like a maglev train at full speed. He was bored of mom, and was very interested in what I had hidden in my underwear. I had to get out of there… now.
    Just as the last of his plans came into my mental view, he lunged at me. I had my back to my bed, which is under my window. I braced my right foot against the bed frame and jumped up, kicking him right in the middle of his chest with my left foot. He fell on his back on my floor. I jumped onto my bed and opened the window. I had just gotten it open when he grabbed me around my waist and shoulders from behind. I screamed and kicked, hit, bit, and clawed at whatever part of him I could get at. The same thought kept running through my mind.
    I will not let him defile me like this.
    I kicked my heel into his groin, but he didn’t even flinch. What the heck is wrong with this guy? I tried slamming my elbow into his face. That seemed to do it. His grip relaxed just enough for me to squirm out of his arms. I jumped for the now open window, forgetting about the screen. Luckily, the window screens in our house are made to just pop out so you don’t get trapped if, say, your house is on fire… or your deranged step-father is trying to rape you.
    Al, Al, oh God, Al! where are you?!
    I sent out a mental search team looking for the best person I could think of to help me. Oh, God, where was he? He hadn’t thought about any plans to go somewhere out of range at school, and he would’ve told me if he’d had plans… Oh, God! Where was he?!
    I’m here, what is it?
    I almost started crying as his reassuring thought finally reached me. We didn’t need cell phones. We had a connection that went way beyond your average High school couple.
    Where are you? I asked him.
    I’m at Kevin’s place. What’s wrong? I could feel his concern; his emotions came to me through the connection.
    I’ll explain when I get there. I promise.
    Kevin lived about two blocks from the high school. I live about two blocks from the elementary school, on the exact other side of town. I’d been running ever since my feet had hit the ground in front of my window, and but now I was almost half way to Kevin’s house.
    It usually takes me about ten minutes to walk home from school. I was at Kevin’s in three minutes flat. I burst through the front door, and directly into Kevin. I hugged him tightly, and then looked up over his shoulder to see Al standing there, concern clear on his face. I stepped around Kevin and practically collapsed onto Al. I started sobbing, and re-lived the event in my mind so he would know what had happened to make me run like a bat out of hell. He helped me over to the living room couch, and held me close. By now, Kevin had figured that something was seriously wrong.
    Okay… Jaycobi is sobbing… I’ve never seen her shed one tear before… I’ll try to find some chocolate. I couldn’t help myself. I started laughing, which soon turned into hiccups. Al looked at me like I was loosing it. I probably was. I just snuggled closer to him on the couch. It’s a good thing Kevin’s parents are in Redding today. I mentally said to Al.
    Tell me about it. Al “said” back. I was focused on trying not to snot on his sweater when Kevin came back with a Hershey’s milk chocolate bar.
    “Here, my mom keeps these around for when she and Dad argue.” He said, handing the chocolate to me.
    “Thanks.” Al said, taking it from his hand. I stared up at him in disbelief.
    “Uh, I think that’s my candy bar.” I said after a few seconds of uncomfortable silence. Kevin raised his eyebrows at him.
    Why the heck did he just take her chocolate? Kevin wondered. I looked at Al asking the same with my eyes and mind.
    “You need to tell me exactly why he did that, I mean, shouldn’t we be calling the police?” Al asked.
    Oh, you mean calling a bunch of It’s buddies to tell them that he’s a perv? Do you know how much money he gives those guys so that they won’t rat him out to the Social Service people?! I was crying again. God, I hated my mom’s husband.
    I know, I know. But I’m serious! We should be calling the… Al thought at me.
    No. He will know it was me. He’ll start hitting me harder. You don’t know him. He could kill my mom. I thought back.
    “Fine then, we won’t call the police.” Al looked thoroughly upset. He was even crossing his arms.
    “I’m confused. Is there something I should know?” Crap. I’d forgotten about Kevin. He didn’t know about the whole mind thing.
    “No, it’s nothing. I promise.” Al was practically in a state of insanity. Holy crap, I’d never even guessed how much I meant to him.
    “Do you think he should know?” Al looked about as surprised by my question as I did. Kevin just looked confused.
    “Maybe it would be best…” Now Al was deep in thought, and I was catching all of it.
    It’s about time we told somebody, but is Kevin the right somebody? He doesn’t actually talk all that much as far as gossip goes, we’re way too close for him to want to bring me harm… the kids practically in love with Jay…
    “Yeah, I think we should.” He said after a few long minutes.
    “We should what?” Exclaimed Kevin
    “Kevin, you need to listen to me.” I said in my hey-this-is-serious-so-shut-up voice. “Al and I need to tell you something, but you cannot, under any circumstances, tell anyone else, got it?” He nodded, looking sort of pale.
    “Jay and I are telepathic.” Al said when I went to open my mouth to explain. “And Jay has some mind control.” Kevin looked like he was about to start laughing, then did. Loudly.
    “Are you kidding me? That’s it?!” Now he was almost rolling on the ground he was laughing so hard. “Alright, if you guys are telepathic, what am I thinking right… now?” I can tell you every single speaking part from Moulin Rouge off the top of my head right now.
    “You can tell us every single speaking part from Moulin Rouge off the top of your head right now.” I said.
    “I didn’t know you liked Moulin Rouge,” exclaimed Al at the same time. “You should’ve said something!”
    Kevin stopped laughing.
    “How did you… whoa. You guys are serious!”
    “No s**t?” I could tell Al was pissed. He only ever cussed when he was really upset. For some reason, it felt good that someone other than Al knew our “little secret”.