Seizure by Kathy Reichs Read Free Book Online

Book: Seizure by Kathy Reichs Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kathy Reichs
hadn’t brought them today? What would have happened?
    My haphazard wandering brought me to the clubhouse entrance at the end of the lawn. To my left, a garden bench was tucked among a stand of dogwoods. I hurried to it and sat. Perhaps alone, in the shade, I could pull myself together.
    Calm. Breathe.
    Data bombarded from all directions, demanding attention. The world was etched in crystalline detail. Slowly, carefully, I sifted through the sensory muddle.
    I could see individual blades of grass, the stitching on my classmates’ clothing. Could smell a perfume of oleanders, human sweat, iced shellfish, and bruschetta. Could hear whispers, the clink of silverware, the crunch of gravel underfoot. Could taste ocean spray on the wind. Could feel the gentle weight of the sliver necklace hanging from my neck.
    It was incredible.
    For the first time that day, I didn’t feel overwhelmed by insecurity. These snobs couldn’t do what I could. Couldn’t even fathom the experience.
    Confidence restored, I decided to take another spin around the yard.
    Without straining, my ears teased snippets of conversation from the general din. Had anyone noticed my fit? Was anyone watching my movements?
    No and yes. Though my flare had gone undetected, plenty was being said about me. Classmates spoke behind their hands. The words weren’t pleasant.
    My good mood evaporated.
    To be fair, I’ve never been part of the “in” crowd. No Viral is. Bolton preppies mock us relentlessly. They call us things like peasants, or island refugees. They know we aren’t rich, and never let us forget it.
    Tuning in that afternoon, I discovered that recent events had made me even less popular, which I hadn’t thought possible.
    To many Bolton students, I was “that girl.” As in, “that girl who broke into Claybourne Manor.” Or “that girl who got Chance arrested.” But I had other titles as well. “The young girl” or “the little kid.” Or my favorite: “the science weirdo.”
    From what I could eavesdrop, I was practically a villain. The blue bloods were horrified that a boat kid from Morris had taken down members of their circle.
    Stories reached me, burned my ears. Wild tales straying far from the truth. I couldn’t believe some of the rumors. Everyone had an opinion, none complimentary.
    Disheartened, I tried to shut out the whispers.
    Focus on another sense. Try your nose.
    I drew air through my nostrils, careful not to snort. Usually I could ferret a few scents from the breeze. Fresh-cut grass. A cloying perfume. Creed? Sweaty underarms. Melting butter.
    Good. Safe, familiar scents.
    Then the odors changed. New smells entered my perception. Trace odors, lurking just below the top layer. Undefined and faint, the aromas were difficult to pin down. Yet recognition danced on the tip of my consciousness.
    My mind tried to dissect the new olfactory input. Failed. To put it more clearly: my nose stopped making sense.
    That sour tang wafting from the red-dressed debutante talking with her boyfriend. Was that . . . nervousness ?
    And the dull vinegary smell oozing from the toddler by the koi pond, the one randomly dropping pebbles into the water. If forced to pick a label, I’d go with . . . boredom .
    I couldn’t explain it, but I smelled . . . something. And my brain was insisting on the connections. I dug deeper.
    A door banged open in my brain. Thousands of trace scents poured through.
    Dropping to a knee, I grabbed my head with both hands. The torrent of information was more than I could bear. Straining and quivering, I tried to shake off my flare. I had to make it stop.
    The power receded. My senses normalized. It was over.
    I pulled off my sunglasses and rubbed my eyes, feeling like I’d been through a ringer. When my lids opened, the Tripod of Skank was three feet away.
    Courtney Holt. Ashley Bodford. Madison Dunkle.
    Three spoiled brats playing at princess. My personal nightmare.
    They didn’t like me, and I

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