Twisted Miracles

Twisted Miracles by A. J. Larrieu Read Free Book Online

Book: Twisted Miracles by A. J. Larrieu Read Free Book Online
Authors: A. J. Larrieu
knew that I’d killed him.
    * * *
    I didn’t know how I was so certain that I’d killed Andrew, but that final surge of energy must have come from somewhere. It took a few minutes for everyone in the classroom to realize he’d collapsed, and a few more for someone to figure out he wasn’t breathing. When the dark-haired girl standing on the other side of him shrieked, “He’s dead!” I panicked and ran. For hours I wandered the campus, trying to convince myself it wasn’t possible, but I just kept circling back to the feeling of his fingers on my bare shoulder, the burst of power. Finally, I went to Lionel.
    “It doesn’t work that way, Cassie,” he’d said. “You can’t suck the life out of somebody. You had an adrenaline rush, that’s all.”
    “You didn’t feel what I felt.”
    “Sugar, I’m sure it was just a natural tragedy. That was a horrible thing to go through. Maybe his heart was already weak...”
    I didn’t believe him. I knew what had happened. No matter how much the Tanners tried to convince me, I was certain Andrew’s death was my fault. All I could think about was how he’d been planning to ask me out moments before, how he’d touched my bare shoulder and died, as if I were an electrified fence.
    The coroner chalked his death up to a combination of heat exhaustion and shock. I went through the memorial service in stone-faced silence, waiting for someone to point at me and scream, “Murderer!” I wanted it to happen. I wanted to pay. No one noticed me.
    Cindy Cepello, the woman who’d jumped, had a profound religious conversion and started showing up all over the place. She went on radio talk shows and gushed about how God had saved her and how she had a duty to spread his Word. She spoke at churches and high schools and senior centers all over the city, then all over the state, then all over the country. I saw her face everywhere—on television, on flyers on the street—and every time I did I had to fight down nausea. She told everyone she’d been saved by her guardian angel, claimed she’d felt feathered wings around her as the angel swooped down and broke her fall.
    I had panic attacks every time I saw her. The doctors gave me sedatives, and I took them every night. They dulled my powers. Trying to use them was like trying to run in a dream—a thick, impotent feeling. I was glad of it. I never wanted to mindmove again. I thought about confessing to the police, but what could I say? There was nowhere for the guilt to go but deeper into my head, and that’s where it went. Shane and Mina tried to help, telling me it couldn’t be my fault, but it only made things worse. I needed someone to believe me; I needed to pay. Finally, after weeks of too many pills, I left.
    I didn’t say goodbye; I didn’t explain. I just left one day and didn’t come back. I knew Shane would try to get in touch with me. We had too much history for him not to try to bring me back, but I refused to hear him. The pills made it easier.
    I spent the next five years forgetting what I was, but I hadn’t known until now that the Tanners had always been there in my head, a safe place to land if I ever got desperate. As I lay there in Mina’s old room, soothed by the faint ghost of her presence, the thought of never seeing her again overwhelmed me, and I buried my face in one of her oversized orange pillows and sobbed until I fell asleep.
    At 4:00 a.m. I woke up as if an explosion had gone off in my ear. It was her.

Chapter Four
    I shot out of bed like a startled squirrel and hit my knee on the footboard. It hurt, but I hardly noticed; I was focused on the feeling of Mina’s mind with everything I had. I couldn’t tell if she was trying to reach me or just broadcasting, but I could hear her. I untangled myself from the sheets and ran out of the room, calling for Shane in my mind, my socks slipping on the cypress floors. He was up by the time I made it to the stairway in the hall, racing down the steps as

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