Home > The Strange Power (Dark Visions #1)(15)

The Strange Power (Dark Visions #1)(15)
Author: L.J. Smith

Her right hand was still moving, like a disembodied hand from a science fiction movie, without her mind having any idea of where it was going to go next. It didn't seem part of her. It was horrible.

And the drawing-the drawing was even more horrible. It was . .. grotesque.

The lines were a little wobbly, but the picture perfectly recognizable. It was her own face. Her face-with an extra eye in the forehead.

The eye had dark lashes all around, so it looked almost insectlike. It was wide and staring and unbelievably repulsive. Kaitlyn's left hand flew to her own forehead as if to make sure there was nothing there.

Only skin puckered with worry. She rubbed hard.

So much for remote vision. She'd bet anything Fawn wasn't out there concentrating on a picture like this.

Kaitlyn was about to sit up and tell Joyce that she'd ruined the experiment when the screaming began.

It was very loud even though it seemed to be coming from far away. The rhythm sounded almost like a baby's crying-the frantic, desperate howls of an abandoned infant-but the voice was much deeper.

Kait dropped the clipboard and vaulted out of the chair. She darted around the folding screen.

Joyce was opening the door to the back lab. Everyone else was staring, apparently frozen. Kait dashed up behind Joyce-just as the screaming stopped.

"Calm down! Just calm down!" Marisol was saying. She was standing in front of the blue-Mohawk guy, who was cringing against the wall. His eyes were wild, his mouth loose and wet with saliva. He seemed to be crying now.

"How long?" Joyce said to Marisol, approaching the Mohawk guy with hands outstretched in an I-mean-no-harm gesture.

Marisol turned. "About forty-five seconds."

"Oh, my God," Joyce said.

"What happened?" Kaitlyn burst out. She couldn't stand to watch this college-age guy cry anymore. "What is going on here? What's wrong with him?"

"Kaitlyn, please," Joyce said in a harassed voice.

Kaitlyn looked around the room-and saw that the door to the steel room was opening. Gabriel stepped out with a sneer on his arrogant, handsome face.

"I warned you," he said coldly to Joyce's back.

"This volunteer is a psychic," Joyce said in a thin voice.

"Not psychic enough, obviously," Gabriel said.

"You don't care at all, do you?" a voice said from behind Kaitlyn. She felt herself start-she hadn't heard Rob walk up.

"Rob-" Joyce said, but just then the Mohawk guy made a movement as if to dash away, and she broke off, fully occupied in restraining him.

"I said, you really don't care," Rob was saying, stalking up to face Gabriel. To Kait he looked like a golden avenging angel-but she was worried about him. In contrast to Rob's light, Gabriel looked like dangerous darkness. For one thing, Gabriel had been in jail; if it came to a fight, Kaitlyn would bet he'd fight dirty. And for another, he'd obviously done something to that volunteer. He might do it to Rob.

"I didn't arrange this experiment," Gabriel was saying in a frightening voice.

"No, but you didn't stop it, either," Rob snapped.

"I warned them."

"You could have just said no."

"Why should I? I told them what might happen. After that, it's their problem."

"Well, now it's my problem, too."

They were snarling right in one another's faces. The air was thick and electric-feeling with tension. And Kaitlyn couldn't stand it any longer.

"Both of you-just stop it, "she exploded, reaching them with three long steps. "Yelling at each other doesn't help anything."

They went on glaring at each other.

"Rob," Kaitlyn said. Her heart was pounding. He looked so handsome, blazing with anger like this- and she could sense he was in danger.

Strangely, it wasn't Rob who responded to her. Gabriel turned his dark, cold gaze away from Rob's face to look at Kaitlyn. He gave her one of his disturbing smiles.

"Don't worry," he said. "I'm not going to kill him-yet. It would violate my parole."

Kaitlyn felt a chill as his gray eyes looked her up and down. She turned to Rob again.

"Please?"

"Okay," Rob said slowly. He took a long breath and she could feel the tension go out of his body. He stepped back.

Everyone seemed to feel the change in atmosphere and relax. Kaitlyn had almost forgotten about the volunteer in the last few minutes, but now she saw that Joyce and Marisol had coaxed him into a chair. He sat with his head bent nearly to his knees.

"Oh, man, what did you do to me?" he was muttering.

"What did you do to him?" Rob said to Gabriel. Kaitlyn wanted to know, too-she was wild to know -but she was afraid of another flare-up.

Instead, Gabriel just looked grim-almost bitter. "Maybe you'll find out someday," he said significantly, making it a threat.

It was then that Kaitlyn heard Lewis's hesitant voice calling from the front lab.

"Uh .. . Joyce, Mr. Zetes is here."

"Oh, God," Joyce said, straightening up.

Kaitlyn didn't blame her. All the experiments disrupted, everybody standing around, one volunteer practically writhing on the ground ... It was a lot like getting a visit from the school principal when the class is in a total uproar.

Mr. Zetes was wearing a black coat again, and the two dogs were behind him.

"Problems?" he said to Joyce, who was quickly smoothing down her short blond hair.

"Just a slight one. Gabriel had some difficulties-"

"It looks as if that young man had some, too," Mr. Zetes said dryly. He walked over to the Mohawk guy, looked down at him, then up at Joyce.

"I was going to call an ambulance," she said. "Marisol, would you-"

"There's no need," Mr. Zetes interrupted. "I'll take him in the car." He turned to look at Gabriel, Rob, and Kait, who were all standing by the steel room. "The rest of you young people can take a break," he said.

"Yes, go on. Testing is finished for today," Joyce said, still flustered. "Marisol, why don't you escort Fawn back home? And ... make sure she's not upset about anything."

Marisol headed for the front lab without changing her sullen expression. Gabriel went, too, with the smooth, long steps of a wolf. Rob hesitated, looking at the Mohawk guy.

"Can I maybe help-"

   
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