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(491 words)


“Take me with you,” she said. “I’ll try harder, I promise.”


“But can you Sherrie? Sometimes our kind only have a little of the talent. Sometimes what we can do without trying, is all we’ll ever do,” said her brother.


“I know that Ken, but I’ve done better. Remember when I read Mr Whittaker, when I knew what he was doing with those boys?”


Ken nodded. “Alright sis. As soon as Mum and Uncle Jimmy have gone to sleep, I’ll come get you. Go to bed dressed and leave your boots by the window. I’ll organise everything else.”


Sherrie smiled and hugged her big brother. “Thank you Ken, you won’t regret this.”


“I’ll hold you to that,” said Ken as hugged her back and tousled her auburn hair.


Sounds of his mother and uncle drifted up from the front parlour. Ken turned toward the back of the house. His father had installed a second set of stairs that led to the kitchen. In his socks, he crept down, by-passing the third step from the bottom - it always squeaked.


Ken stopped at the kitchen door, listening to the adults in the parlour. Their voices muffled so he couldn’t make out the words. The door to the parlour opened. Ken ducked behind the open kitchen door so he’d remain hidden. Uncle Jimmy’s voice carried down the hallway. “Easy now Margret, don’t get yourself all worked up. I’ll just get me a drink and then we’ll see if we can’t decide on what’s best for the two of them.”


Pushing himself further into the corner, Ken prayed Jimmy wouldn’t notice him. He heard the fridge door open and close, followed by the gas escaping as Jimmy pulled the top from a beer. Ken listened as Jim gulped down the amber fluid. The glass bottle clattered against the bench top.


Ken held his breath. He thought Jim must have turned back toward the door by now, ready to head back to the parlour.


“What are you doing up at this time of night, Sherrie?” Ken heard his Uncle ask.


Ken watched as Sherrie stepped past the corner he hid in, toward their Uncle. “I was thirsty Uncle Jim. I thought I’d just grab a quick drink of water.”


“Make it quick missy,” said Jim. “If your Mum catches you down here, she’ll tan your hide.”


Ken inched forward to peek past the doorframe. He could see his sister bend down to get a clean glass from the cupboard. Her short nightgown didn’t hide the pink panties she wore. Ken’s view was blocked as Uncle Jim stood between his sister and the doorway.


Jim placed an unopened beer on the table. “You’re almost thirteen now, aren’t you Sherrie?”


“Please Uncle Jim, don’t do that,” came his sisters frightened voice.


Ken didn’t remember stepping out from behind the door or grabbing Uncle Jim’s neck. He did remember using his talent to snap it like a twig.


Summary of story progressing (99 words)


They escape into the night, heading into the back streets of the city, melting into the underground world of the psychically gifted. Struggling to stay one step ahead of Zeb, a talented and powerful underworld leader, who has no qualms in selling his own kind to outsiders - if the price is right.


Through Sherrie’s ability to read minds, the two barely escape a plot which would have seen Ken sold to a mercenary force and Sherrie becoming Zeb’s consort.


During a psychic battle, Ken and Sherrie escape, but find they can never be free from Zeb’s psychic network.