School let out early at Alamo Elementary due to Principal Dudu mysteriously fainting in his office. The police were called in to make sure drugs or other foul play were not involved. The school was already empty and had been for over an hour, but Maria had to wait for her Uncle. She was outside on the steps that led to the faculty parking area. The door opened behind her, Uncle Joe walked out carrying his brief case. He was a teacher for the second grade at Alamo. You’d think that having an Uncle be a teacher at the same school would make things easier but it didn’t. It made students think Maria could be a possible spy that would tell on other students if they did something wrong. Some would even call her a narc.

“You ready?” Uncle Joe said to Maria. She looked up at him with a forced fake smile that had dead eyes behind it. She really didn’t know how to be or feel around him, she felt that the best way was to just not to over do it, yet she felt like right now she was over doing it. 

“Yep.” She said. Uncle Joe was a good man, and he went out of his way to make Maria feel better at home but she just wasn’t in the mood to really try. At least not right now. Adjusting to this new life would take time. Igee appeared at her shoulder hovering looking up at Uncle Joe.

“So your auntie likes dark meat and a fro huh?” Igee said. Maria let Uncle Joe go down the stairs first then she followed behind him. She didn’t respond to Igee. “That wasn’t an insult ya know. After all I come from Africa, a place where dark skin is everywhere? Just trying to lighten the mood with you bein all gothic n shit.” 

Maria walked behind Uncle Joe who slowed looking back behind him with a gentle smile. 

“So the buzz in school is Principal Dudu called you to the office before he fainted. Did you see anything?” He asked. She looked down at her feet shifting her lips to the side before biting down. Her hair slid forward covering her face.

“Nope. He fainted before I got there. I never went to the office.” She pulled her long black hair away from her face placing it behind her ear. Uncle Joe slowed allowing her pace beside him. He wore a large Afro. His green eyes stood out with his very dark shiny skin. He was muscular and was considered a hunk around school with the female staff and even the female students who had crushes on him. But he never let his eyes wander, his true love was Jennifer his wife and no other. 

“So what you’re saying is that the Principal called you to the office and you skipped out on him?” Uncle Joe’s face hid the disappointment of the possibility. 

“Aw come the fuck on Dark Gable, is this guy for real?” Igee said flying up near Uncle Joe’s face, Maria looked nervous seeing Igee do that. He noticed it and laughed. “Relax Little Shit, he can’t see me. No one can save for other supernatural ones! I already done told you this! I tell ya what, I fuckin hope I don’t have to repeat a lot of shit. Dreadlock said you were smart, his ass so far lied! Get with the program Little Shit!” 

Maria squinted her eyes looking angrily at Igee. She felt that he was making fun of the fact that Dreadlock used to fondly called her Little Sister. 

“Stop calling me that!” She said furiously, Igee laughed seeing that she was mad. He floated alongside Uncle Joe crossing his legs in mock meditation with his arms put at his side palms facing upward, and first finger and thumb touching from both hands.

“The first thing you must learn Little Shit is to rear that ugly temper of yours! If you try fighting with anger or let something bother you during a battle you won’t ever see your first blow job on prom night in high school.” He giggled.

Maria rolled her eyes at Igee.

“You’re a gross pervert talking to a twelve year old girl like that!” She said. His wings began to flutter quickly moving him in front of Maria, he was laughing heartily now holding his stomach.

“An Igee don’t have a dick or a pussy, and we don’t have sexual desires, and I’m glad about that too. To me it’s part of what makes you humans so weak, your sexual devices, you can become slaves to them! It’s my job to say whatever the fuck I want to you so you learn to not let it bother your stupid ass! Get with it Little Shit and stop crying like a bitch!” He flew around her head quickly,  it annoyed Maria greatly, he was doing it on purpose. She tried ignoring him she could not. 

“You little blue bastard!” She yelled, what he said to her and what he was doing she could no longer contain herself, summoning her death scythe she started swinging it at Igee who mocked her dodging her strikes.

“I allowed you to strike me with the blade the first time to prove that I was an ally not a demon or enemy. Damn you’re a stupid bitch!” He buzzed about like a fly as Maria tried to cut him down with the death scythe. She followed Igee about desperate to cut him just once. Finally Igee stopped bringing his arms out in protest. “Stop!” He yelled catching Maria off guard. She backed up and pulled her next attack. “Look behind you and tell me what you see!” He said. Maria turned seeing Uncle Joe frozen his arm was extended toward the drivers side door about to open it, she was further away from him and did not realize it until now. The birds in the sky hung suspended in the sky. The trees no longer blew in the wind, there was only silence. 

“You have been trying to cut at me now for the past minute. You failed miserably. Look at your anger! You know that you can not harm me yet you strive with foolish enthusiasm in the attempt! The longer you hold an area suspended in time the worse those humans memories become and it is harder for them to catch up the time outside of the battle area! Although a minute is harmless just know that if you are ever suitable enough to battle you must make them quick, or the humans that are stuck in your battle area will suffer mentally if the battle takes too long! You cannot exceed fifteen minutes, remember that.” Igee said calmly before fluttering back to the car. He wasn’t even mad, he was just testing Maria. She was aware now that he was not impressed. Igee disappeared, she put her sword away, the birds flew across the sky and the wind blew again. The sound of the car door opening followed by Uncle Joe realizing that Maria was where she thought she was supposed to be. He heard her footsteps behind him, he turned startled. 

“What?”  Uncle Joe said slightly laughing wondering how he could have mistaken where he thought Maria should be. “Man you are like a cat! I thought for sure you were on the other side of the car!” He scratched his head. Maria looked at Uncle Joe confused not knowing what to say. 

“Eh… sorry.” Was what she decided to say.

“Hmm?” Uncle Joe replied not expecting a response back from Maria, it was just an awkward response to an awkward response.



*****

Maria ran through the forest a white blindfold was tied around her face. Igee was holding onto her back, she ran at inhuman speeds easily dodging trees and branches without slowing.

“Good, attached to living and dead you are. Sense you can all things around you.” Igee was mocking a famous science fiction characters voice and mannerisms. Looking over Maria’s shoulder he pointed at a thick tall tree that stood about fifty feet high. “Scale that you must.” He said enjoying his impression. Maria picked up speed scaling the tree knowing where to grab and place her feet in seconds, before she reached the top Igee looked around. “Leap from the top you must. Then show what I have taught that is new, you must do.” 

Maria made it to the top of the tree leaping high into the sky, summoning her death scythe she started to go toward the ground. Her body slowed down her momentum until she just stayed fixed in the air. Igee leapt off of her back excited. “You did it Little Shit, you did it!”

He was excited about a technique he had been teaching her for the past few weeks. Igee told Maria that she could adjust the time stream around her making her body speed up or slow down. Slowing down time for her body would help her stay suspended in the air, it wasn’t flight but it would help her in uncertain situations. 

“Release it! Do it in increments as you work your weapon!” 

Maria went from being suspended in the air to falling as heavy as a rock. She sped up time. She landed her body slowed for only a second then sped up as she swung her scythe from side to side while stepping forward. Spinning around she slowed halfway before picking up speed again bringing her scythe around in a slashing motion. She did a quick crisscrossing motion her blade cutting furiously through the air before she brought it downward striking the ground.

“Stop!” Igee said delighted. “You have learned how to manipulate time space around your body, well I taught you. But this will help make your fighting rhythm harder to predict tonyour enemies. Damn I’m a good teacher!”

Maria placed the base of her weapon on the ground. She saw a squirrel a few feet in front of her frozen in time. Closing her eyes she started to focus. Igee called to her but she wasn’t listening. Taking deep slow breaths she relaxed hearing the squirrels heartbeat then opened her eyes. She saw that the squirrel was gone, she smiled privately. 

“What the fuck were you just doing?” Igee flew up getting in Maria’s face. She learned not to be that flustered girl that she was six months ago. She was used to this now.

“Nothing.” She said. 

“Nothing? I swore I felt something! And whatever it was you’d be smart to not fuck with things you don’t understand kiddo!” He moved to the left, then to the right keeping motion with Maria’s head as she attempted to look away. 

“I didn’t do shit!” She said rolling her eyes. Igee shook his head in protest then started to giggle to prove he was not amused.

“Just remember kid, if you fuck up? It’s on you!

***


Maria was quiet on the drive to school, she knew something was up. Instead of  Uncle Joe driving her like usual, which made sense, Aunt Jenn decided to. Aunt Jenn had honey brown wavy haired, she always pulled back into a bun. Her face was very ethnic looking, dark eyebrows, dark eyes, thin nose but full lips. She was built thicker unlike her mother. Both women however were very short. Aunt Jenn sat on pillow when she drove for a better view. Her voice even when she spoke softly was aggressive and strong, she tended to be more of the aggressive type unlike her husband Joe who was more soft spoken and gentle, Aunt Jenn most certainly was more abrasive but still had a generous kind side to her. She was just a no nonsense type of person. She waited to speak trying to think of what she wanted to say to Maria, and Maria knew something was up.

“I just wanted to see how you were feeling. I mean your psychiatrist says I should let you make the first moves when you’re ready, but it’s been six months and you still don’t talk to me.” She looked over at Maria then pulled up to a stop sign. Looking around she frustratingly fought for the right thing to say as she turned the corner. Meanwhile Maria said nothing. But Maria knew exactly what was going on inside of Aunt Jenn’s head, that was another new gift she discovered that she had. She could read the minds of others. Igee said this gift may or may not work against humanities, and for certain it wouldn’t against supernatural types. Once she learned this gift she found herself quieter than she usually was because she would get in the habit of just listening to people’s thoughts. She knew that Aunt Jenn was really trying to find some way to bond and it was commendable. “Shit. I’m failing you Rosa.” Aunt Jenn said to herself, Maria was touched by this, she glanced out of the passenger side window.

“I appreciate everything you and Uncle Joe have been doing to make me feel more comfortable here. But I just need time to myself to heal over all of the things I’ve been through.” Aunt Jenn was surprised by Maria’s sudden choice to speak. “Mom would be proud of what you and Uncle Joe are doing.” Maria finished. She kept her stare out of the window, she didn’t want things to get all mushy.

Aunt Jenn nodded her head, her eyes watering she fought not to cry. 

“Thank you.” She managed to say to Maria then decided to just stay quiet the remainder of the drive to school. Aunt Jenn pulled into the student drop off lane, Maria opened the door when the vehicle stopped and got out. 

“Maria!” Aunt Jenn yelled out, Maria turned and leaned looking into the car. “You look so much like your mother.” Her face had a bit of melancholy to it as she smiled. Maria forced a smile then walked off from the car going into her school. The hallway was crowded with students hustling to get to the cafeteria for breakfast. This was always an awkward time for Maria. Most of the kids had groups or at least one other person to talk to, Maria walked alone. Walking into the cafeteria she got into the line to wait to get her food, Maggie walked up with two of her friends all of which stared at Maria with a challenge. Maria stared back causing Maggie to stop. 

“What are you looking at Goth wanna be? Black shirt, black pants, black lipstick? Only lame O’s do that!” Maggie said taunting Maria, Maggie’s girlfriends laughed to add insult to injury. Maria started reading Maggie’s thoughts, she knew all of the cruel things she was thinking about in regards to Maria, things she wasn’t even saying but could have. Balling her hand into a fist Maria started to take a step toward Maggie. 

“It’s not polite to read other people’s thoughts without good reason ya know?” Igee said popping in out of thin air floating beside Maria’s head. “That’s trespassing…” 

“That bitch trespasses all the time with me, I honestly didn’t see a problem with it.” Maria’s voice was barbarous. “I could just fuck that bitch up!” 

“Ah but then you’d be disappointing Dreadlock now wouldn’t you? If you hadn’t read her thoughts would you be as mad as you are now?”

“Maybe…” 

“Take a cold shower kid.” Igee said coldly. Warning lights began flashing all over the cafeteria. Everyone knew what it was, it was part of life know.

-We have an incoming battle between two humanities! Please head to the below shelters now!- A robotic voice said over the speakers in the cafeteria. There had been so many false alarms. Everyone went back to what they were doing until the alarms went off again. 

-Warning! Incoming humanite battle!- The robotic voice said over the school intercom. There was a sound like a bomb dropping from the sky coming close above the school. A loud impact right outside the cafeteria window that destroyed half of the playground sent everyone into a panic. Protective metal shutters quickly came over the windows before Maria got a chance to see what was going on outside. Children had already scattered, screaming as they ran for the underground shelters that were designed for such situations. Maria watched Maggie running and for some reason it disgusted her. 

“I wish she would just fucking die!” Maria said under her breath. She unsheathed her death scythe freezing everything around her. All of the commotion stopped. The look of fear on everyone’s face frozen in time. Maria walked up to Maggie. “Just look how ugly she is when she cries! I mean damn!” Maria said gloating. She heard fighting still going on outside. “I thought everyone was supposed to be stopped?” She said looking at Igee.

“Well see, magic and science might be polar opposites but they are still connected at the hip. You can’t have one without the other, so this little trick ain’t gonna work on humanities.” Igee smiled wickedly. “So you really want to have your first test with an elite humanite?” He was egging her on.

Maria frowned thinking Igee felt that she wasn’t ready. Maybe she wasn’t, but she was ready to find out.

(Issue #5 Finale blogging soon!) 

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