The Misfits

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Chapter 5 - Cassidy

CASSIDY

Cassidy Gray sat at a small table not far from the back of her house that was technically out in the swampland of Georgia, near Sylvanna along the Ogeechee river. Books were piled on the table, one open in front of Cass.

Gemma Watt, her friend, and also ex-captive of the nameless organization that held them as well as their friend Rudi Keller, sat to her side, wearing a tan two-piece swimsuit.

Cass thought it complemented the girl’s dark skin.

Gemma sighed loudly, knowing that Cass was trying to ignore her.

“Just go in,” Cass said, not bothering to look up at the girl.

“Nuh-uh, not with scary gator girl in there,” Gem replied.

“Gem, be nice,” Cass said finally looking up in time to see Gemma rolling her eyes.

“It’s not natural,” the girl said.

Cass opened her mouth, then closed it, blinking several times before finally able to respond. “Not… not natural? Says the Queen of hot and cold to the telekinetic girl.” Now it was Cass’s turn to roll her eyes.

“That’s not what I mean, and you know it. She’s scary. Myra can hold her breath for who knows how long, she’s silent in the water, and I can’t get her to stop grabbing my ankles and pulling me under the water. Come with me,” Gemma said, almost pleadingly. “She doesn’t torment you, and she leaves me alone when you’re there.”

Cass shook her head. “I’ve got to study. Finals are next week.”

Gem sighed again. “Girl, you got those.”

“Not everyone is as smart as you are Gem. The only way I’m going to get into a good college is to get a scholarship, and those take good grades.”

Gemma laughed. “Or you could play a sport. Softball, tennis, volleyball, almost any sport that involves a ball is yours to own. Heck, even things like field events that you throw something would… well, you know. Imagine yourself doing the shotput or javelin. Throw it, give it a little extra push, bam, gold medal.

“Or you can play tennis. Imagine, you can be the girl who has the topspin or slice that no one can touch. A 120 mph serve that no one can return. You have the ability to make sure that your balls are almost always in, or theirs are more often than not, out. Or how about soccer? You can be that player that player that no goalie can stop. Just think, you could have it all.”

“Listen to yourself. I could, sure. I would probably attract attention as well, and I could end up back in a lab somewhere.” Cass paused, then added, “Not to mention it’s cheating.”

Gemma grunted a laugh.

Cass spotted a bright spot in the water. “Hey Myra, Gem wants to swim but doesn’t want to be your prey. Be nice to her.”

A head with shoulder length white-blond hair raised up out of the water slowly, revealing more equally pale skin. Myra Buell was fourteen and had a slight build. By looking at her, one might think she was fragile, but Cass and her friends knew better. Myra was anything but fragile, even if she was slight and looked like she had borderline malnutrition.

She continued rising out of the water, walking towards the two girls.

Gem looked at the girl’s swimsuit, a one piece that had a pattern on it resembling alligator skin and said, “Good grief. Now she looks and acts like a gator.”

Cass had to stifle a giggle. Gem was right, even if she was being mean. Myra had webbed toes and fingers, yellow-green eyes with a matching nictitating membrane – like a second pair of eyelids that protected her eyes in the water yet allowed her to also see underwater.

As Gem pointed out, the girl could hold her breath for a really long time as well.

She did remind Cass of an albino alligator with her eyes, pointed teeth and slightly aggressive attitude, but she was equally caring and protecting of her friends.

Myra was only different from them in the sense that her mutation was more outside in appearance than theirs.

“Gem. Stop and be nice. She has been through enough being alone and shunned. How would you like it?”

Gem looked at her and frowned, knowing that Cass was right. Gem started to open her mouth to say something but was interrupted by a ringing phone.

Cass picked up her cellphone and looked at it. “Rudi,” she said to both girls.

“Hey,” she said after accepting the call.

After the pleasantries, Rudi told her that he noticed a trend in the last week or so. Kids had gone missing, but they weren’t your typical types like runaways or child abductions. It was usually early to mid-teens and usually signs of a struggle or some sort of foul play.

“It could be the work of Hugo,” he said.

Hugo Forrester was the man who ran The Facility and had kidnapped them.

“It can’t be Hugo,” Cass replied. “Hugo’s dead.”

Lyle Clark shot him in their final encounter with Hugo and his men. Cass had a scar across her cheek and Rudi had been shot in the leg, but they survived.

Hugo and his men didn’t.

“Yes, well, you know what I mean,” Rudi said. “Not him, but them.”

“Kids go missing everyday Rudi. What’s to say those aren’t actually runaways or kidnappings?”

“Because at the last one in Virginia, the cops found a tranq dart. Stainless with a red puffball end. Sound familiar?”

“Yes, but I’m surprised they said that. Then again, I think all tranq darts look the same,” Cass replied.

“They didn’t exactly say that publicly. I got that from a source,” Rudi told her.

“You read someone’s mind,” she said rhetorically. Before he could answer - and she knew he would – she asked, “So what do you expect me to do? I’m not going to go off and hunt people down. Can’t the cops find them?”

“Maybe. They did such a good job finding and rescuing all of us, didn’t they?”

Cass sighed. “Alright. You have a point, but what can I do?”

“Maybe nothing, but you can be careful. All of you. I’m sure if it is them, they know where you are and it’s not like they haven’t done it once already.”

“Fine, we will, and you do the same. I don’t want to have to rescue you again,” Cass told him.

They said goodbye and Cass hung up.

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