Chapter Eight: Emma
The week progressed, and so did Emma and Vivian’s powers. Emma learned to control the speed and direction her objects flew. She also discovered how to stop an object in mid-flight. Vivian was able to focus on Meg and Emma’s minds so she could enter their heads in a crowded room without adding other people to the conversation.
Meg still hadn’t learned her true power, but Emma knew it would only be a matter of time. Each time Meg tried and failed at a new skill, Emma was there to encourage her. It wasn’t hard to see Meg’s confidence dwindle with every unsuccessful attempt; usually things came easy for Meg.
The delay didn’t make sense to Emma. Why did she and Vivian receive their powers so quickly, but not Meg?
“Hey Meg, come look at this!” Vivian shouted from the living room. Emma shook her head and watched Vivian run down the hall toward Meg’s bedroom. A moment later, she and Meg bounded into the room.
Emma grinned when Meg saw the couch moving without anyone around it. “Over here,” she called. Emma saw Meg from the corner of her eyes as she continued moving her index finger to the right. The couch followed in her lead.
Meg’s face was filled with surprise and excitement, but above all, confusion was apparent. She gave her friends a questioning look.
“We’re rearranging the furniture to create harmony. It’s called feng shui,” Vivian explained.
Emma laughed. “We’re also practicing our powers,” she added. “Where should we put the couch?”
Meg nodded her head in awe. “Impressive,” she complimented. “Is it hard to move heavy objects?” she asked.
Emma considered the question before she answered. “No, it isn’t difficult,” she replied. “When I move objects I don’t have to use any muscles, so I don’t have to worry about having body strength.”
Meg nodded, and then she let out her breath. “I have the best idea!” she exclaimed. “See if you can move me with your mind.”
Vivian jumped up and down in excitement. “Good idea! See if you can move me, too, Em!”
Emma shook her head. “No way! That is too dangerous!” she declared.
Viv grinned. “That’s why you need to practice!” she insisted.
“Besides,” Meg added, “someday you might need to know that skill.” Emma sighed. She knew Meg had a good point. “Fine,” she resigned. “But if I’m practicing on anyone it’s going to be Vivian. I’m not going to risk hurting the Keeper.”
Meg frowned as Vivian shouted, “Yes!” Viv stood in the middle of the living room. “Try to keep an equal balance on all sides of your body. I’m not sure how, or if, this will work,” Emma cautioned. Vivian squared her shoulders and took a deep breath. “I’m ready,” she said.
Emma sighed again. “I’m not,” she said. To levitate spoons was one thing, but lifting human beings with her mind was much more challenging. Emma imagined the spoon shattering against the kitchen wall and cringed. Would Viv have the same fate?
“You can do this,” Vivian reassured her friend. “I’ve watched you before, and I trust you.” Emma closed her eyes and cleared her mind. Then, without a sound, her eyelids opened, and Emma lifted her finger with slow precision.
Viv’s body began to wobble, so Emma steadied her hand. “Equal balance,” she reminded her friend. “Each leg needs to carry equal weight.” Vivian nodded and shifted her body. “Got it,” she assured her friends.
Emma continued lifting her finger, and soon, Vivian was hovering above the floor. She held her arms out beside her for balance. “This is awesome,” she cheered. Emma led her finger down until Vivian’s feet touched the carpet.
“Okay, enough practice. Meg, it’s your turn,” Vivian commanded. Meg looked at Emma for instructions. Emma shrugged. “You’re up,” she said.
Viv couldn’t describe the experience she had to Meg. She had never floated before, and it was weird to know one of her best friends was the one controlling it. “Just try it,” Viv suggested. “It’s just like you’re flying.”
Getting Meg to float proved to be a lot easier than Emma expected, and she felt a lot more confidence in her ability to control objects with her mind. Em loved making her friends happy, and she was proud to master a new level of her skill. Practicing levitation turned out to be a lot of fun, and her friends were more than willing to be her guinea pigs. The rest of the night, the girls had fun floating around the room, and none of them worried about the following days.
The first day back at college was interesting for the girls. While researching for an essay in the library, Emma found a whole section on supernatural powers and people who believed in them. She checked out a book written by a scientist and researched its information instead, which was a first for Emma.
In the book, the author spoke of a precious jewel that could only be found in the deepest caves. It was so rare that treasure hunters searched far and wide in the caves. Some hunters lost their lives, and their ghosts were rumored to still dwell in the underground tunnels. According to the book, the rare jewel was never found.
Emma continued to read when the class ended, and she remained in the library until she completed the book. She was surprised by how intrigued the book made her.
Upon finishing the material, Emma had learned the histories of some famous treasure hunters and their unsuccessful attempts with the jewel. She also read about some of the experiences some hunters had in the cave. One man reported hearing voices and feeling like he was being watched, even though he was the only one in the cave at that time. Emma related his experience with the encounter she and her friends had in the woods.
Even though the book’s tale read like a make-believe story, Emma wanted to gain as much information as she could about the rare jewel. She wondered if it had something to do with the gem Meg protected, so Emma went to the supernatural section again to find another book by the scientist. This time, Emma wasn’t the only one there.
A boy with black hair nodded at Emma as she walked down the aisle. He was tall and lanky, but Emma thought he had a cute face. She smiled and looked away in case her cheeks turned red from shyness.
“I wouldn’t expect to see you in the supernatural section,” the boy told Emma. She turned and looked at him. The boy smiled, glad to have her attention.
“My name is Levi. We’re in the same accounting class,” he explained. Emma blushed, embarrassed not to remember him. “Sorry,” she said. “I’m Emma.”
Levi asked her what she was looking for, and Emma made up an assignment. “I’m researching an important artifact from history, and I found a book earlier about a jewel that treasure hunters searched years for,” she told him, hoping he would buy her excuse for being interested in magical things.
“You should read a book called Beyond the Caves. It’s by a scientist who studied a jewel like that,” Levi offered. Emma’s heart accelerated. “I read that one earlier today,” she said. “How do you know about that stuff?”
Levi’s cheeks reddened. “I’m a history major,” he said. “I’m kind of fascinated with looking up things from the past and trying to figure out unsolved mysteries,” he revealed. Emma nodded her head. “That’s cool,” she said.
Levi laughed and rolled his eyes. “It’s okay. I know I’m a history dork,” he joked. “When’s your assignment due?”
Emma considered her answer for a second and said, “I have one week to research so I can write the essay during next week.” She figured Levi would offer to help her since he knew how to research the past, so Emma wasn’t surprised when he suggested another book.
“Have you read Deep Dwellers? It’s a follow-up book to Beyond the Caves.” Emma shook her head. “I came over here to find another book,” she said. Levi took a book off the shelf and handed it to her. “Look no further,” he said.
Emma looked down at the book in her hands. “Deep Dwellers,” she read aloud. “Thanks Levi,” she said and smiled gratefully. Levi blushed. “No problem,” he said and cleared his throat. “Well I guess I’ll see you tomorrow. In accounting, I mean,” he added awkwardly. Emma laughed. “Okay I’ll see you later then,” she said.
Emma checked out the book and went to the cafeteria to read, but she couldn’t help but think about Levi. Was it just a coincidence he knew about the jewel, or was he a member of the Brotherhood in disguise?
Emma pictured Levi’s face in her mind and tried to remember if he was in her accounting class, but it was impossible to know for sure. There were plenty of people in her class, and she wouldn’t know until the next class if Levi was one of them. Emma smiled as she imagined Levi’s red cheeks when he stumbled over saying goodbye. He was cute, she decided.
Emma wondered whether she should tell her friends about Levi or not. She hadn’t forgotten Olivia and Devin’s warning about others. She also doubted Levi was a member of the Brotherhood because he acted shy and uncertain. Levi’s behavior was the opposite of Cameron and Jonathan’s attitude from the woods. He’s just a helpful guy, Emma thought.
She decided to wait to tell Meg and Vivian anything until she knew if Levi was a threat. After all, he only suggested a book for me to read, she thought. What harm is that?