A Sample from The Truth of Feeling
A Short Story Featuring Kaitlyn from Caught: Book One of the Oneiros Log
You know those movies where the girls in high school meet a pretty boy, but said boy has some secret? You know how she learns the boy is some sort of monster, or maybe just some jerk, but this girl chooses to fall in love and try to save him or be with him?
Those girls are stupid. In real life, if you meet a monster, you do what I do, you put him away, or you kill him. Even if it messes you up. Those moronic, doe-eyed girls who swoon as they read about forbidden love wouldn’t have the first clue what to do if said boy sprouted fangs. What’s worse, those fantasy stories that tell young women they should strive to change those bad boys for the better are really just doing a fantastic job of teaching young women how to be victims.
I was victim once. Remember how I said girls should do what I did? I didn’t just put my monster away; I ruined him, and I think ruining him might have messed me up even worse, and that’s saying something. I was 13. He was supposed to be take care of me and my mother. Instead, he made me into a freak. I don’t mean that figuratively. I don’t look any different, but I can say with complete certainty that there are only five other people on earth who are anything like me.
We were all experimented on. You wanna know the real messed up part? I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. I have issues, but at least I know what to do with a monster when I see one.
Take Emma Franks, who was sitting next to me chattering away for I don’t know how long. She’s a nice girl, Emma, but she’s unfortunately like a lot of girls I go to high school with.
“What?” I looked at her while we sat on an outdoor bench at school. My friends and I have been living in Baltimore for the last two years, and Sal, I call him my caretaker, forces me to go to school as if I’m going to be anything but what he is when I grow up. I mean, it’s not like “empath” is a common skill someone puts on a fast-food application.
“I asked if you think Tony likes me?” She waggled her fingers at a boy, saving me the trouble of asking who Tony is.
Here’s the down side to my powers. I’m afraid to turn them off. What happened to us to make what we can do possible, they call it Breaking. It’s a good word for it. I have powers, therefore I’m broken. I’m broken because I’m afraid if I don’t use my powers, I’ll go back to the girl I was before I met Sal. I’m messed up now, but I was actually worse before. I’d really rather not explain it much more than that.
Tony’s raging hormones slapped me in the face. “He wants to have sex with you.”
“So he likes me?” Emma asked.
“Those terms are in no way related,” I said.
Did I mention I was originally raised by a genius? Most girls like Emma had a pretty normal life. I can’t really blame her or even her parents because high school is where a young girl learns social skills. They learn about boys and dresses. I was a long-term experiment. Sal saved me; now I’m a super hero in training. Well, I would be if Sal would stop treating me like I’m still the 13-year-old girl I was when he met me.
“I don’t think he likes you.” It was the kindest way I could think of to break the news to her.
Oh no, I thought to myself.
“I’m going to see if he wants to hang out with us,” she said. “Ouch! What’s with the grip?”
Well it’s either I break your wrist or he breaks your heart, I thought to myself. “You said we could catch a movie.” I poured on as much disappointment into my words as I could.
“Remember?” I used my power to send her a bit of excitement. I can pretty much make anyone feel whatever I want, but I only give Emma a bit of motivation. No one should ever be controlled. I’ll never do that again, not after my stepfather. I just wanted her to stay away from what’s-his-name until his hormone engine throttles down a bit. “We talked last week about going to see—“ Crap! I don’t even watch movies! What’s out? “Something new.”
“I did want to see He’s Not Right for You.”
The smile I plastered on my face must have been the most fake smile in the history of the planet, but she bought it. I saved the girl from a broken heart. Do I get a medal? Is Sal going to start letting me train? No! I get punished by being forced to watch some teen romance chick flick. There’s truly no justice in the world.
“Sure,” I replied.
“Hey! We could invite Tony!”
I promised myself I’d never hide my emotions again. I did that before I got my powers. My powers came when I started letting them out. So I feel no shame in admitting I slammed my palm against my forehead.