Many months had passed since the death of Tarik’s father, although to him it was a certifiable murder. But now it all made sense to him why his father always had them on the run, he was running from the man with the chains. Tarik felt that the man with the chains had something to do with the death of his mother as well. Tarik was sure to follow his fathers advice, he remained on the move continuously making sure never to make friends or stand out attracting attention. Just days after the loss of his father he started to become aware that much like his father he was different from ordinary humans. It wasn’t prevalent at first but now things started to happen to him, very obvious changes. For starters he found that had become stronger, much stronger. Strong enough to go against the chained one? No. But he was strong enough to easily break a mans arm who tried to touch him while he slept in the alley, broke his arm like a twig. Some stranger saw Tarik sleeping in the alley, and thinking he was an easy victim he reached down grabbing him by the arm pulling him up, pushing him against the wall kissing the little boy. Tarik reached over grabbing the pervert by the arm breaking the bone in his forearm before tossing him easily many feet away to the ground. Tarik stared at his hand in disbelief, did he just do that? What was he becoming? “Do not be afraid child…” Said a voice inside Tarik’s head, he turned seeing a man dressed in black clothes of a church Deacon. Tarik squinted his eyes mistrusting. “How can you do that?” He said stepping back raising his guard protectively, ready to use his newfound strength. “I mean you no harm young one” the Deacons voice still rang out in Tarik’s mind. “You, you speak in my mind like my father did once” Tarik said confused. Although this man surprised him, there was no feeling of any threat that came from him. On the contrary Tarik could see the kindness in his eyes, something about his presence put him at ease. “That means your father was one of us, a gifted one. I can sense that you are as well” the Deacon smiled kindly. “Let me introduce myself, I am Deacon Marino, head of the Church of Glory” Tarik lowered his guard. “But how do you talk like that?” He asked. “All of the Gifted can communicate telepathically, close your mouth, open your mind. Focus on the inner voice” Deacon Marino said kindly. “But…” Was the only word that Tarik got out before Deacon Marino put his finger to his mouth with a gentle shush followed by a smile. “Tell me my young friend, what is your name?” The Deacon’s mouth was closed, a gentle smile upon his lips. Tarik struggled a moment his eyes remained on the Deacon. Deacon Marino smiled intently his face a motivating factor coaching Tarik on. “My name is Tarik” the young boy said, his words were stalled, the volume of his voice softer. Deacon Marino laughed. “Good! See you did it Tarik!” He said causing Tarik to feel good about himself, he hadn’t smiled since the death of his father, the smiled wiped from his face Deacon Marino saw it instantly. He walked up to Tarik who had lowered his head in sadness embracing the boy. “I’m sorry that you had to endure whatever evil that one so innocent was forced to face! Let my healing power bring your heart some solace.” The Deacon held Tarik close as his body began to glow a red hue. Tarik slowly started to feel his body drifting, he felt weightless, his mind free of clutter. He exhaled softly leaning against the Deacon truly feeling comforted. “How are you doing this?” Tarik asked. “I am a healer child it is my gift” Deacon Marino said, there was love in how he said it. He genuinely cared for his fellow man, his was proud that his gift could help others. Deacon Marino released his grip lowering his arms, the red halo around his body quickly faded, Tarik opened his eyes slowly his heart felt lighter, no burden was there. “What you’re feeling is only temporary, but it will be enough until we can get you to sanctuary”
“Sanctuary?” Tarik replied not even realizing that he was now speaking all of his responses telepathically, Deacon Marino was proud of the fact that Tarik was now easily speaking without voice but he chose not to say anything.
“Yes sanctuary. It is a place the gifted can go to be safe, and to learn. I have a friend, Judge Moses, he can help you Tarik, he can teach you about your gift and how you can best use it”
Tarik was no longer afraid, more than likely it was whatever Deacon Marino did to him. What the Deacon said sounded enticing, a thought disrupted him. “I’m being hunted!” He said glancing around. Deacon Marino smiled patting Tarik on the shoulder.
“We all are my son, we all are” He placed his arm around Tarik’s shoulder as they walked out of the alley.

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