This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
"I really don't want to do this," I groan, sounding like a complete baby.
My best friend, Laurel, is currently dragging me along. She drags me past the long line of families and couples who all glare and complain as we skip them in line. I give them my best apologetic look, until we're finally at the ticket window.
We're at the carnival because of some weird dream Laurel had last night. She said her soul was calling her here. That if she didn't come to the carnival love would be lost.
Whatever that meant.
I can feel the eyes of the people we skipped boring disapprovingly into my back as Laurel leans in close to the adolescent boy working the ticket window.
"Tickets for two, please," she says sweetly, her smile angelic.
The boy blushes, which does terrible things for his acne. He hands her the tickets and she hands him the cash. She snatches up the tickets and winks at him.
"Keep the change." She laughs.
As we enter, we are immediately surrounded by bright lights, creepy carnival acts and screaming kids. There's also the occasional couple who can't seem to keep their hormones to themselves.
I feel my lips turn down in a grimace. What the hell had Laurel dragged me into?
"I feel strong energy," Laurel murmurs, rubbing her forehead. Her eyes are closed for a long time before they finally open.
"This way," she says excitedly, walking quickly.
Laurel seems to have it in her mind that there is some unseen force giving her supernatural abilities. And it's not like I'm one of those close minded people who doesn't believe in supernatural gifts and unseen forces, but Laurel seems to always have some new "ability."
In the sixth grade, she thought she could fly--yes, fly. This thought resulted in her jumping from the roof of her thankfully small house, breaking her leg, her arm, her nose and her pride. In eighth grade, she thought she had super strength. She stayed over at my house one night and tried with all her might to lift my mom's minivan. That obviously didn't work. Then there was the tenth grade, when she thought her body could quickly heal itself.
But let's not get into that.
Now she thinks she has some sort of psychic "gift."
I sigh and follow behind her, trying desperately to keep up.
Laurel is 5'8" and honestly the girl is all leg. I mean, she has legs so long, they go on for years.
I, on the other hand, am short. I'm a solid 5'0" with short legs, so it was damn near impossible to keep up with her long-legged stride.
Lucky for me, impossible is my middle name. Well, that and I'm used to following Laurel as she chased wacky dreams.
We end up at a small booth with the words 'Psychic' written in trippy letters. It says five dollars per reading.
I roll my eyes.
"This?" I ask Laurel, gesturing to the phony psychic. "This is the strong energy you were feeling?"
"Lisa, don't you understand?" Laurel chirps in excitement. This is fate. We were meant to come here. This woman called me here with her psychic energy."
I'm exasperated and trying not to let it show. Because, okay, psychics may or may not exist, who am I to say? All I know is, if psychics do exist, we're probably not going to find them at a carnival, charging five buck per reading.
I shake my head, not believing my best friend is so naïve.
"Please, Lisa," Laurel begs, her hand clutching my leather jacket, eyes wide and pleading.
"Ugh, fine," I finally say, annoyed. "Let's just get this over with."
We walk over to the woman and she smiles up at us. Laurel exuberantly slaps a ten dollar bill in front of the woman and sits down. I make a show of rolling my eyes and sighing heavily before I sit down too.
"Laurel and Lisa, right?" the woman begins, smirking at my expression.
Even though there's no mirror and therefore no way humanly possible for me to see my expression, I can feel the shock on my face. Then I look at Laurel, searching to see if maybe she set this up or if she has her name stamped across her forehead.
All I see is my excited friend, who is giddy and over the moon.
"How the hell did you guess our names?" I ask--no, demand.
"I didn't guess," she says, smiling. "I knew."
Laurel squeals, but I'm not so enthusiastic. I mean, this is weird.
"You have no doubts," she says to Laurel. " But you do." She looks at me.
I look back at her, my gaze challenging. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that I don't believe she's psychic. Maybe her guessing our names is some kind of neat parlor trick.
She chuckles, shaking her head.
"Laurel, you always felt as though you were special and you are," the woman tells my gullible friend who leans in close, not wanting to miss a thing. "You instincts alone have guided you to an actual clairvoyant."
I snort and Laurel shoots me a look that tells me to can it.
She leans in close to Laurel and says something that I can't hear. I tilt my head, wondering what they're saying as they finally separate.
"You on the other hand," she says, looking at me. "You wouldn't believe me either way, no matter what I said, so I'll just say this: your lucky number is twelve."
"That was the absolute worst way to spend a Monday night," I complain thirty minutes later. We're back home at the apartment we share together with two dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts.
Laurel's long, light brown hair is wet from her shower. She shoves a doughnut in her mouth, chews it, swallows it and says, "It really wasn't that bad, Lisa. Besides, she was really accurate."
I roll my eyes. All I'm thinking right now is that psychics would never be caught dead at a carnival.
"She said twelve was my lucky number." I snort.
"Maybe it is," Laurel protests.
"To prove you wrong, I signed up for the five-hundred thousand dollar lottery with the numbers: 12 12 12."
Laurel stares at me with her mouth agape.
When it's time for the news, I grab the remote and turn the TV up.
A man and a woman are sitting at a round table, smiling plastically at the camera.
"Hello, I'm Eric Bawling," the man introduces himself.
"And I'm Susan Manning," the woman says, her smile never wavering.
"Today is the day we introduce the winner for the five hundred thousand dollar lottery," Susan informs the viewers.
"We take you live to Mary Sullivan as she announces the winning lottery numbers," Eric says into the camera, his perfect Colgate smile still in place.
They switch to a pretty blonde girl who is also smiling into the camera. She pulls out the first number.
"Twelve," she announces.
She digs around a second time and her arm come back up.
"Twelve," she says again.
Laurel looks at me and I stare at the television, my heart in my throat.
Mary digs around for the third time. This time there's an ominous air as she does. Her hand comes up and she looks at the final number in her hand. She shakes her head and laughs.
"Twelve!" she shouts.
"Wow," Eric says as the camera shows him and Susan again, sitting at the round table, their smiles haven't faded one bit.
"Three twelves in a row, Eric," Susan says, her voice astonished. "Today is someone's lucky day."
Laurel and I both stare at the TV wide-eyed. Both of us are in too much shock to form coherent sentences.
Twelve really is my lucky number.
salma elsamy: it's really awesome , and I really like the whole idea of the story . I also love how simple the vocabularies because English is my second language and the simplicity of the story is great for me . And I will definitely buy it if it's published.
Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...
romboili000: As I read this book it made me realize the importance of trusting big God. And believing that you can love even when it feels impossible. This story definitely has made me what to become a better person in Christ and just life. So thank you that's all I have to say because you wrote this story so...
Flik: Hi! ^.^ huge fan of yours on ff.net! When I saw the note about this contest on The Way We Smile, I couldn't help but rush over here, create an account, and vote! XD Seriously love this story and would recommend it to anyone! :D best FT fanfiction out there. Amazing story, amazing concept that wa...
LouiseJ2: I enjoyed the detail you went into with regards to the case. It made the UNSUB appear believable. The crisis in the middle of the story was my favorite part, very dramatic but not over the top. I feel like sometimes pairings can be overdone but I liked that some of the relationships were a little...
star_powered: Off Pitch is a fun and sexy lesbian romance filled with incredible humour (one of the few stories that has ever made me laugh out loud), heart-wrenching drama, and lots of fluff. The story respects and normalizes the wlw experience and doesn't resort to victimizing the main characters for plot de...
ernbelle: When I first started this story I was a little unsettled by all of the information that appears in the prologue, and wasn't sure if I would continue. However, I am very glad I did. The plot was very well thought out and really interesting. There were not any page breaks or markers to acknowledge ...
Melissa Barras Trahan: If you enjoy reading a thriller with twists and turns, this is the book for you. When you think you have the story figured out.....the author surprises you and then the whole story changes again until the very last page! The further along I got, the faster things changed. Even though this is a ...
annie08c: I really like this story, I can relate to it a lot and with how she feels, the boyfriend and the events that happened but I'm a little bit younger. It was really good plot, really liked how you stuck to the topic and you had a new title for every chapter making me guess what's going to happen. Ma...
catd69: Karim is a very talented writer. When I started reading his journey it took me into the book and I was in the story till the end. I've never felt this way with any other writers stories. If you want to read a gripping adventure, this will be the one book I would suggest you pick.