I’m Calli Courtnae, sixteen year old average Junior with nothing really special or noteworthy about me, that is, if you don’t count the fact that I can read lips. I had an accident in middle school and lost my hearing for a while. I gained a full appreciation for the five senses during that time learning how to lipread and once my hearing was restored I learned more through the lips of others than I ever thought possible.
My parents are both doctors and being their only child I grew up in a home where large words and clinical terms floated across the air with ease. I am fascinated with the medical field and will pursue a PhD of my own someday. The only problem living with two extremely intellectual adults is I have little tolerance for idiots, like the athletic jocks at my school. Not all athletes are jocks, but all jocks are jerks, both male and female.
I’m a rather lack-luster athlete on the school track team. I never won a race in the 100m or even came close until one fateful day when something within me changed and I sprinted first to the finish line breaking the World records. It seemed absolutely impossible that I was the fastest human on the face of the earth, but according to my running time, I was. This event marked a new beginning in my life and I’m still unsure whether it’s a good thing or not.
You see, I was quickly scooped up by a trainer who whisked me away from Ohio to a training facility in the Rocky Mountains of Montana with Olympic dreams flying through my head. Those dreams were squashed almost immediately when I learned a most shocking fact; superhuman abilities and powers exist in the world and I’m just the latest individual to have a superpower surface. Other powers that exist are mind reading, future sight, healing, super-smell, and because of these abilities they attract the unwanted attentions of Shadow Demons that seek out people of powers. I’m a ‘Runner’ and I’m surrounded by arrogant jocks that are all insanely beautiful and paranoid that I’m a spy working for the government. I don’t know why they would instantly suspect me as being a traitor, I just got here. I have a lot to learn.
Earlier today, I participated in a time trial with other fellow Runners and found I am the slowest of the group, the newbie, a ‘muck’. I’m still unsure what that slang term means but it’s not the worst reference to be called around here; being called a ‘human’ is the ultimate insult. Imagine that.
An even more distressing bit of information has just arisen; because I finished last in the race I will be placed on a delivery team that has been assigned to transport a valuable magical diamond to a group of Healers who can kill with their thoughts. When I questioned the logic in this decision I was told that the Runners Clan never sends a team that consists of only the best athletes. What if that team was captured and killed? The clan would lose their top members. Evidently a group representing the three levels of speed from within the clan (fastest, slowest and one average), are always selected for each assignment. As the group leader explained this to me my mind couldn’t get past her choice of words, “Captured or killed.”
I'm sitting in a room similar to the locker room back at my high school in Ohio with a small group of girls who are unaware I can read their lips and their nasty whisperings from across the room. The other half of the team, the guys, entered the room. The team leader, Chris Harding, settled his eyes on me and my insides withered. I had run into him a couple of times since arriving at the facility and he clearly didn’t like me or my presence here. For some reason he felt that I was a Healer not a Runner, I had overheard, or rather read his lips, when he adamantly insisted I was in the wrong place and didn’t belong here. My trainer explained to me when I arrived that no one holds more than one power or ability and she reassured me that the Seers foresaw my Running ability surfacing. Chris was confused, that’s all.
So, here I am, feeling completely inadequate, not the superhuman Runner that I supposedly am, about to embark on a journey with the world’s most unpleasant athletes that could very well end in my demise.
That’s how my day started. I hope it will end on a different note; however, as my mother always says, “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.”
P.S. To read more about Calli, check out the Unaltered Series by Lorena Angell.