Read Speak No Evil-Gifted 6 Online

Authors: Marilyn Kaye

Tags: #Juvenile Fiction, #Fantasy & Magic, #School & Education

Speak No Evil-Gifted 6 (5 page)

BOOK: Speak No Evil-Gifted 6
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‘You’re suffering from Acute Faculative Allomorphy, Carter, commonly known as shape-shifting,’ Dr Paley said.

Carter took his eyes off the screen and looked at the doctor. His whole body began to tremble.

Dr Paley came out from behind his desk and drew another chair closer to Carter. He placed a warm hand gently on Carter’s shoulder.

‘Don’t get upset, Carter. You’re going to be all right. You’re safe here, nobody is going to hurt you. As I told you this morning, you have a gift. It’s a very unusual gift – very few cases have been recorded, and these cases have been kept secret. My own interest in extraordinary abilities has given me access to information that has long been hidden from the public.’

His voice was calming, and Carter stopped shaking. But was he really safe? How could he be sure?

The doctor continued. ‘You must know by now that uncommon gifts like this exist. Think about your classmates.’

Carter stiffened. He could hear Madame’s voice. ‘Never tell, never tell.’ He’d told Serena, and he’d been sent away from the class.

It was almost as if Dr Paley could read his thoughts. ‘You’re not in trouble, Carter. No one is going to hurt you, or any of your classmates. I know everything because I’ve been talking with Madame. She has always suspected that you too may have some kind of special ability. We both have your best interests at heart. We want to help you.’

The words rang true, and Carter had always trusted Madame.

‘I’ve learned from Madame that many of your classmates’ gifts arose through extreme situations – a trauma, a crisis of some sort – and I believe this may be true of you too. We need to know why you became a shape-shifter. From your reaction in watching the tape I could see you were shocked, but I don’t think that was the first time you’ve ever shifted. Your state of amnesia has erased all memories of your gift. But the explanation for your ability is buried deep within your subconscious. I can’t reach you through traditional hypnotic procedures, so I need to try something else.’

Carter’s eyes followed the doctor as he rose and went to the white cabinet in the corner of the room. He opened a drawer.

‘I’m going to give you an injection. It’s perfectly safe – it’s just a sedative which will help you to relax completely and allow you to overcome the inhibitions which are preventing you from speaking. Hopefully, you will recover some memories and be able to tell me about your past. Would you roll up your sleeve, please?’

It was a direct order. Carter had to obey. But Dr Paley must have sensed the fear that engulfed him, because his voice became even more soothing.

‘You’ll only feel a little prick, and retrieving the memories shouldn’t be painful. You may not even remember what you tell me. But I’m taping you so you’ll be able to watch it all later. I’m keeping no secrets from you. You have to trust me, and you must not fight the need to express yourself.’

It was just as Dr Paley said – the injection was just a little sting in his arm, and then he felt nothing.

‘We’re going back in time, to six months ago. Close your eyes, Carter.’

Carter closed his eyes, but what he saw wasn’t darkness. At first he thought he was dreaming, because he could see the boy of his dreams. But then it was if he was inside the boy, and it wasn’t a dream. The boy was him.

He looked around, and everything he saw was familiar and comforting. The room held a sofa, two armchairs, a bookcase. At one end of the room, there was a large wooden table and chairs. On the floor, there was a colourful rug. There were windows, and through the windows he could see flowers.

He knew this house. He knew about things he couldn’t even see, like the basketball hoop over the garage that held two cars. He knew that through the archway there was a big kitchen. He knew that if he went past the table and through another archway he’d be in a hallway, and off the hallway were three bedrooms. One of those bedrooms belonged to him.

Someone was singing. He could hear a woman’s voice drifting out from another room. He knew the voice. It belonged to his mother.

A man sat in one of the armchairs with a newspaper in his hands. He knew this man. He was called ‘Dad’.

The man looked at him. ‘I’m sorry, Paul. It’s just not possible.’

Paul. That was the boy’s name. Not Carter, Paul.

My name is Paul.

He knew what his father was talking about too. Paul had just asked him if they could buy one of the puppies that had been born to their neighbour’s dog.

‘But it’s so tiny, Dad. And Mrs Robbins says he won’t get much bigger.’

His father smiled, but he shook his head. ‘Your mother is allergic to dog hair, Paul. It wouldn’t matter whether the dog was big or small. Your mother can’t visit the Robbins’s house for more than a few minutes. If we had a dog living in this house, even if you kept him in your room, she’d get ill. You wouldn’t want that.’

‘No,’ Paul said. He turned to see his mother standing in the archway.

‘I’m so sorry, sweetie-pie,’ she said. That was her special name for him, ‘sweetie-pie’. He was grateful for the fact that she never used it when any of his friends were around. Not that he had many friends, not yet. They’d just moved here a few weeks ago.

They moved a lot. Every now and then, serious men came to talk to his parents. Soon after that, they would move. Years ago Paul had asked his father who the men were, and why they were always moving. His father told him that the men were from the government, and they were protecting them. They were part of something called a ‘witness protection programme’. His parents had witnessed a crime, and so had Paul, even though he couldn’t remember it. He’d only been four at the time. But ever since then they all had to be protected from the criminals, who had never been caught. His parents told Paul they had nothing to worry about as long as they did what the government men told them to do. And Paul didn’t worry, because he trusted his father and his mother.

Right now though, his mother looked a little worried. But it had nothing to do with criminals.

‘Sweetie-pie, I hope you don’t hate me for this,’ she said.

‘I don’t hate you, Mom,’ Paul replied.

‘I’m going to see a specialist next week,’ she told him. ‘Maybe there’s a new medicine for my allergy.’

‘Thanks, Mom,’ Paul said. ‘But it’s OK, I don’t have to have a dog. How about a couple of gerbils?’

‘That might be just fine,’ his mother said. ‘I’ll ask the doctor.’ She looked at her watch. ‘I need to run to the supermarket before dinner. Paul, could you empty the dishwasher?’

‘Sure.’ He went into the kitchen. Just as he opened the dishwasher door, he heard a knock on the front door. His mother must have opened it, because he heard her cry out.

‘What do you want?’

Then his father’s voice: ‘What do you think you’re doing?’

And then a horrible loud bang, followed by the sound of a body falling down. Then another bang, and another body hit the floor.

A gruff voice muttered, ‘We gotta find the kid.’

Paul heard the footsteps coming down the hall. He knew they wouldn’t find anyone in the bedrooms, and the next place they’d look would be the kitchen. Frantically, he looked around for a place to hide.

He ran into the little pantry and shut the door. But there was no lock to keep the men from opening it, and he could hear them coming.

His parents couldn’t help him. There was no escape. In seconds the men would open the door and shoot him, just as they had shot his mother and his father. Danger – he was in terrible danger. There had to be some way,
some way
to save himself. If only he could become invisible . . .

He couldn’t. But he could do something else. He didn’t know he could do it – it just happened, and when it did, it felt like the most completely natural reaction he could have to the situation.

And when one of the men pulled the door to the pantry open, he didn’t see Paul. He couldn’t even see the small gerbil hiding behind a box of cereal.

From way off in the distance came the sound of sirens.

‘The neighbours must have heard the shots,’ a man said. ‘Let’s get out of here.’

From behind the box, Paul waited until he couldn’t hear any voices. Then, slowly, he crept out of the pantry.

How odd the kitchen suddenly seemed to him. Such a big space . . . he knew he could scamper across it but he was afraid to move too quickly. He could imagine the sight he would encounter in the living room, and he wasn’t ready for that. He wasn’t ready for anything. Huge structures loomed ominously over him. He knew what they were – a refrigerator, a dishwasher – but his perspective made them frightening. He inched his way across the cold linoleum floor, and he’d almost reached the archway when the door to the living room burst open.

Frantically, he ran behind the stove. Peering out, he saw men in police uniforms. They were holding guns.

If he ran out the way he was, would they shoot him? He couldn’t turn back into himself, not while he was behind the stove – he wouldn’t fit into the space, he’d be crushed. And if he ran out and then transformed, the police might think he was one of the bad guys and kill him.

He heard one of them speak. ‘We need an ambulance immediately.’

Enormous boot-clad feet were directly in front of him. ‘Kitchen’s clear,’ a voice rang out.

Another voice. ‘Bedrooms and bathroom are clear.’

And then another voice. ‘It looks bad. I’m not getting a pulse on either of them.’

Paul knew who they were talking about.

He stayed where he was. Time passed. There were new voices, new sounds.

‘The house wasn’t ransacked. This doesn’t look like a burglary. Someone had it in for these folks.’

‘They must have been pros. We’re not going to find any fingerprints.’

‘Headquarters says don’t touch anything, they’re calling in the FBI.’


‘No idea.’

‘Can we move the bodies?’


Bodies. Paul knew what that meant. His parents were dead.

He remained behind the stove, and he had no idea how long he was there. There were more voices, more sounds. And then, finally, there was silence.

He came out, and moved into the living room. There were some dark stains on the carpet, and he sniffed them. Blood. His parents’ blood. Vaguely, he wondered why he wasn’t crying. Maybe gerbils couldn’t cry.

And now what was he supposed to do?


HEN MADAME RETURNED TO the class, she was visibly excited.

‘Good news, class! I’ve just had a conversation with Doctor Paley. Carter has had a breakthrough. He’s talking!’

‘What’s he saying?’ Tracey asked.

‘He’s just beginning to remember who he is, where he came from. Doctor Paley couldn’t talk long, so I don’t have any details yet.’

‘Is he talking about us?’ Jenna wanted to know.

‘Doctor Paley didn’t say.’ Madame’s eyes swept the room. ‘Class, I know you’re all concerned, not only for Carter but for your own safety as well. And I can understand that. But Doctor Paley is a medical person, a specialist. He accepts the possibilities of abilities that cannot be explained by science. He is a man of integrity. I trust him, and I believe he can help us.’

Jenna wasn’t satisfied with that. ‘But what if Carter starts talking to other people at Harmony House? Some of the kids who stay there are bad news.’

The bell rang. ‘I’ll bring this concern up with Doctor Paley,’ Madame promised as she dismissed them.

As she rose from her desk, Amanda was hoping that Jenna might have forgotten about their after-school plans. No such luck. Jenna made it to the doorway first, and practically blocked Amanda from leaving.

‘Let’s go.’

‘I need to stop by my locker,’ Amanda protested. She didn’t really, but she’d do anything to postpone this adventure. She had a sudden inspiration. ‘I’ll meet you by the back entrance.’

Jenna looked at her sceptically, but she nodded and took off. Ken joined Amanda, and they walked together to her locker.

‘That’s really cool, what you’re doing,’ Ken said. ‘Are you scared?’

‘A little nervous,’ Amanda admitted. ‘I don’t know if it’ll work. And even if I can take someone over, I always worry about being able to get back into myself.’

‘Want me to come along with you guys?’

Of course, she would love to have him come along, but she knew it wasn’t a good idea. Jenna would only entertain him with tales of Amanda’s selfishness.

She smiled sweetly. ‘It’s so nice of you to offer, Ken. But if you’re there, it might make it harder for me to take over someone.’


This was risky, but she had to take a chance. She lowered her eyes demurely. ‘Because I have to concentrate really hard to do it. And if you’re there . . . well, it might be hard to concentrate on anyone else.’

Was she coming on too strong? She cast a sidelong glance at him. It was hard to say, but she could swear she saw a little blush creep up his face. Then he smiled. Unfortunately, he wasn’t looking at her any more.

BOOK: Speak No Evil-Gifted 6
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