Thursday, April 11, 2013

SNOW BRIGHT by Summer Day: "Jack Hunter" #FOUR

Jack Hunter
    “Did you bring it?” Sara asked Jack excitedly.
    Jack handed Sara the powerful stone she’d asked for, one that could only be found at the foot of the mountains. It was a good excuse to become a tiger but the changing process was uncomfortable, verging on excruciating. He needed a special reason, or a special person, to go through it to say the least. Jack suddenly felt faint and headed outside. After he threw up, he guzzled some extra water.
    “Gross,” Sara said when Jack returned.
    I did it all for you, Jack thought, as if you’d even notice. Sara had her hair pinned up in braids and her glasses firmly on. She was ready to work. Her formula notes cluttered the small table in the van.
    “I don’t understand it, half of them are missing. I wonder if…” It occurred to her that Lavinia might have them but she couldn’t worry about that now. “We have to find a way for you to change easily, without any pain.”    
    “Yeah, that would be good,” was all Jack said.  It had never occurred to the teenagers that they might be able to stop changing altogether.
     Jack had met Sara at the East LA children’s home when they were very young. No one knew how they got there. At the home, they’d been constantly ostracized for being different. But they were both smart; Sara excelled at Chemistry and played piano and Jack was great at Math and sports which is how they got out of the home and ended up at Sloan on full scholarships. They both hated the social snobbery at the school, were bored with the cliques, and that made them bond instantly.
   “Thanks,” Sara said. She had over a dozen formulas in her head but they needed this special stone - only found at the foot of the mountains - to practise on. She was very glad she hadn’t written everything down, just her alterations to those ridiculous romance formulas Reddie Hood was begging her to fix. Sara had told Red they were only for fun and not long lasting, but this didn’t appear to bother Red.
    Together, Sarah and Jack spent the night – or until the early hours of the morning – testing Sara’s merge formulas and finally changing the stone to soda to fire and back again. It was an amazing new trick, even Sara was impressed. They had never pulled it off so quickly and seamlessly before. They took turns doing the shifting and moving of the objects in the van; practise made perfect. Soon they might even be powerful enough to change each other and to merge quickly. They both knew, anything amazing, any mad skills, took real effort. It was just like putting a ball in the hoop, Jack thought, you had to practice.
    He and Sara had been working on a shifting move that would allow Sara to shift and Jack to move objects (the skill each of them lacked), making them the most powerful duo at Sloan, protecting them against people like Lavinia.
     It had occurred to Sara that Jack had been quite enthusiastic about hanging out with her after school, but she figured he was just as interested as her to learn more about their combined powers. She had no idea he liked her. Not yet.
    Of course it had never occurred to Lavinia when she arrived home, partially invisible, out of breath and tired, that Jack was also a foster child. Both he and Sara had shared the children’s home and had a common bond that would not be broken.
    As Lavinia plunged into a hot bubble bath and flicked her cell to silent, she knew just two things, one: Sara had befriended Jack, two: Jack was hers. Hadn’t she scrawled Mrs Lavinia Hunter all over her English Literature notes?   
   After Lavinia was dressed in her pajamas and robe, her cell charged, she texted:
   Ring ring in my phone how can I find Sara Bright a new home?
   Lavinia, you already have; look around you, work your magic. Jack could like you more than her. All it would take is something fan-tas-tic!
    The next day at school, Jack couldn’t help but notice Lavinia at basketball practise. Lavinia made sure of it. She prettied herself up and used her most powerful, forceful potion. It could take hours… or days to work. She’d keep offering him drinks any chance she got. Lavinia also manipulated the basketball which was totally against school rules. Every shot of Jack’s went through the net. He was the highest scorer; the hero of the hour.
     Lavinia dreamed of the perfect dress for homecoming dance. She drew it in her mind and knew it would magically appear in her wardrobe by tomorrow night. When Lavinia had her moment, at the dance, Sara would be standing alone, like a stalker and the whole school would turn against her.
     Lavinia smiled at Jack through her pom poms which he thought was funny. She never smiled at anyone else. Her nose was so far up in the air, it was hard not to laugh. Lavinia misinterpreted Jack’s smile in return. He was just being polite but she determined to get Jack to like her, more than like her. To that end, she texted:
     Ring ring on my cell how do I make Jack my dance partner do tell?
     Lavinia dear, it’s not as easy as you think. You’ll have to make him another drink. Oh, and get Sara Bright out of the picture… if you know what I mean.
      I don’t, not really Lavinia texted back. It was all becoming slightly confusing.
     Then use your imagination. Sara Bright is your only rival; make sun into snow, turn a wave tidal.
     How would she ever convince him to drink a new potion? Especially a love potion like the one she’d devised? And how could she make it last through homecoming? Of course, it never occurred to Lavinia that love bought was not love at all. Lavinia didn’t care.  
      Jack was a shifter, who knew what her skills could make him do? Shifters were unpredictable.
     Lavinia knew she was a girl who waltzed by using technology to replace real ability. She wore her skirts short and hung around with other mean girls who pretended to be nice and weren’t.  She aced chemical romance class but deep down, she knew Jack would avoid her if he could. It was obvious he only had eyes for Sara freaking Bright.  
      Jack Hunter waved at Sara in the crowd. He was going to ask Sara to come to homecoming dance with him, Lavinia could see it. He was determined. It was time for them to get real – start acting like normal teenagers, less like freaks, at least for one night. Those were Jack’s exact thoughts.
       Lavinia fumed inside.
       What a stalker, Jack thought as he glanced at her. He didn’t like mean little rich girls who’d been gifted with everything including mediocre talent.