I give him a doubtful look, and the unicorn pillow flies at my head. I slam it back, and he grins, slides off the bed, and smacks me full force. I grab for it but miss, and he hits me again twice before letting me catch it. St. Clair doubles over in laughter and I whack him on the back. He tries to reclaim it, but I hold on and we wrestle back and forth until he lets go. The force throws me onto the bed, dizzy and sweaty.
St. Clair flops down beside me, breathing heavily. He’s lying so close that his hair tickles the side of my face. Our arms are almost touching. Almost. I try to exhale, but I no longer know how to breathe. And then I remember I’m not wearing a bra.
A few seconds passed. She sat down on the dock beside me.
“When I was your age,” she said, “I tried something similar with my parents.”
“Miss Peregrine, I really don’t feel like talking right now.”
Sometimes Miss Peregrine couldn’t be argued with.
There are too many worlds in my head – Palomino High School, The Store, the Gathering- all with their own confusing laws of nature, gravitational strengths, and speeds of light, and really all I want to do is reach escape velocity, bust out into space, and form my own planet tweaked just how I want it.
Planet Frank. Invitation only.
Kiersten makes a face. “This game is vile. And I’m starving.” She’s sitting next to me on our basement sofa and shifts closer to nudge my knee with hers. Kiersten lives an hour away and doesn’t usually spend her Saturdays with us, but her girlfriend is teaching in Japan for six weeks and she’s at loose ends.
“Come on, pause your ridiculously buff alter ego and get some lunch with me.”
Friday’s Page 69 ~ WANDER: A Johnny Wander Travelogue Collection
“I’m real,” I said. “I swear to God. Do you want to see my driver’s license?”
“You’re one of them,” she said. Shestarted backing toward the door, fumbling around in her purse for something. “You broke the rules. You can’t do what you did.”
I walked toward her, my hands out, trying to calm her down.
“Don’t come any closer!”
At first she thought it was their eyes. The oldest photos had that old-timey stare thing going, but something was strange about the newer ones too. Then it hit her: the people weren’t looking at the camera. Or anything, maybe. They were staring into space. Almost like they looked… beyond. It was true in every picture, even though the photos clearly spanned decades. Opal found it unnverving.