The Electric Con

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Amanda Blake is fresh out of prison and wants nothing more than to stay out of trouble. But old habits die hard, and she finds herself caught up in a crime that ends with her crashing a car into an electrical substation. She’s left badly injured and finds that she now possesses a strange ability to generate and manipulate electricity.
She soon finds herself in the company of other people with equally unique powers. Among them is a powerful telekinetic murderer and a healer who becomes her new love interest. Digging deeper into the lives of her new friends only leads to more trouble, and doing the right thing could cost Amanda her life.

CHAPTER 1

A tear slipped down the blonde girl’s cheek and splashed onto her mutilated arm. Olivia Monroe sat on the edge of the bed in her hospital gown, waiting for the corrections officers to come in and haul her back to juvie jail. They were outside the door talking about her with the doctor, discussing her transport needs and what precautions she’d need to be placed on after returning to custody.
She traced the scars on each arm. The cuts were deep and should have put an end to her life, a miserable existence marked by a wrecked mind and an awful imprisonment.
Her plan had been golden. Wait till she was alone in her cell. Unfold the blade and wedge the knife between her mattress and bed frame to steady it. Two cuts, wrist to elbow on each arm. Game over. She wasn’t supposed to live through it. And technically, she didn’t. The damn doctors had to go and bring her back to life in the emergency room.
Now, after a month-long stay on the crazy kids unit, they were kicking her out of the hospital.
The door opened and her doctor and two of her least favorite corrections officers entered the room. There was Officer Kinning, a total bitch who didn’t care about any of the girls she worked with, and Officer Hazard, a pervert who took every opportunity he could to feel her up when no one was looking.
“Ms. Monroe,” the doctor said, “We’re releasing you back into the custody of the youth correctional facility. I understand you are committed there until you are twenty-one, but I no longer feel like it’s an appropriate placement for you.”
“What do you mean?” Olivia asked.
The doctor glanced at the guards, as if seeking their approval to explain. “Ms. Monroe, since your arrival there two and a half years ago, I’ve treated you for suicide attempts three times. This was the worst act of self-harm you’ve displayed thus far. You almost died. Your continual refusal to manage your illness leaves me with no other choice. I feel as though it is time for me to file the necessary paperwork to have you committed to a secure, adult mental health facility.”
Olivia’s eyes widened. “What? You can’t do that!”
“He sure can,” Hazard said. “You’re gonna be eighteen in a week. You’re crazy and you’re violent. You need to go to a loony bin.”
“Shut up!” Olivia shouted at Hazard. “No. No way I’m going to another nuthouse, especially for adults.”
“I’m afraid you won’t have a choice in the matter if the state commits you,” the doctor said. “I was hoping you would agree to a voluntary commitment.”
“Screw you!” Olivia replied.
“Ms. Monroe, please understand that I only have your safety and well being in mind. I’m sorry you’re opposed to getting the help that you need.” The doctor addressed the guards. “She’s all yours. I’ll be back in a moment.” He left the room with Hazard trailing behind him.
“Let’s get you dressed,” Kinning said. She dropped a pile of clothing on the bed next to Olivia.
Olivia looked at the clothes. It was the same institutional garb she’d been forced to wear ever since that stupid judge put her in the slammer. She removed the hospital gown and unfolded the clothes.
Olivia put on the bra and panties. She wasn’t going back to prison and she sure as hell wasn’t going to get locked up in an adult psych ward. There had to be a way to escape.
She pulled socks onto her feet and a white T-shirt over her head. Then she slipped into the baggy orange jumpsuit.
A slight grin slid across her face. There was a way out.
She snapped the uniform closed and thought about the mysterious power she’d discovered after being brought back to life.

Olivia tossed the pair of orange canvas shoes onto the floor and slipped them on. Her new power was the means to her freedom. She didn’t understand the ability at first. It was downright scary. Sometimes when she’d look at an object, it would go sailing across the room. She thought she’d lost her mind. For real. Then she realized that the stuff wasn’t moving on its own. She was causing it to move. There was a name for the power; she’d seen it in movies and on TV. It was called telekinesis. She’d looked it up in the dictionary at the nurse’s station. “The movement of objects by scientifically inexplicable means.” She started asking the nurses and other patients about telekinesis. One of the nurses brought her a book to read called Carrie by this guy named Stephen King. The story freaked her out, but at the same time, it inspired her. What sorts of wild things would she be able to do with this amazing power?
Her mind was the key. When she focused in on an object – say a book, a pen, or a chair – and then triggered a thought to make it move, it did. The nurses accused her of throwing pens and pencils at them and the other patients numerous times. Her entire hospital stay had been used to practice and hone this awesome new ability.
Kinning opened the door and summoned Hazard. “We’re ready,” she said.
Hazard entered clutching a pair of handcuffs and leg irons. The doctor came in with him.
“I’m not going to try to run,” Olivia said, eyeing the shackles.
“Liar,” Hazard replied. “You’ve tried to run away the last two times we’ve hauled you back from the hospital. Plus, you’ve got more at stake now than ever before. I don’t trust you.”
Olivia’s eyes narrowed. She wanted to use her power on them, fling them against the wall like rag dolls. But she needed to wait for the right moment. She assumed the doctor was there in case she acted out. If she did, he might give her a shot to calm her down. It would be best to be compliant. For now. She would put her power to work once she was out of the hospital building.
“Turn around,” Hazard commanded.
She offered no more protest as Hazard cuffed her wrists behind her back. The cuffs were tight and dug into her skin. Then he secured the leg irons around her ankles. He double checked her restraints to make certain they were secure.
“Take care, Ms. Monroe,” the doctor said. “Please consider what I’ve discussed with you. You need treatment and stabilization for your Bipolar disorder. You could live a fairly normal life, but only if you want to.” He turned and left the room.

Olivia smirked. Normal? Not anymore.
“What are you grinnin’ about, Monroe?” Hazard asked. “Didn’t you hear the doctor? You’re going to the nuthouse. I hope they put you in a straight jacket and drag you outta our facility the day you turn eighteen.”
Olivia didn’t reply.
“Until then,” Kinning said. “Back to lock up for you.”
The guards grabbed hold of Olivia’s upper arms and escorted her out to the transport car. They helped her into the backseat and buckled her seatbelt. Hazard got behind the wheel and Kinning stepped into the passenger side. He started the car and they headed toward Highway 101.
Olivia knew she didn’t have any time to spare. She needed to open the locks on her shackles and handcuffs, unfasten the seatbelt, and fling the car door open. She had twenty minutes, at the most, to get the entire job done before they arrived back at the prison. The faster, the better. If she could bail out here in Ventura instead of on the highway, she might have a better chance of escaping. There would definitely be more places to hide. Not to mention, the car would be going slower when she jumped out.
She took a deep breath. The handcuffs would come off first. She looked through the Plexiglas partition separating the back seat from the front. Hazard and Kinning were chatting, paying no attention to their prisoner. She smiled, then went to work.
She used her mind to force the bracelets binding her wrists to open. It was a cinch for the most part. Since she was cuffed behind her back, the ticking noise of the teeth
passing over one another was muffled. Not to mention that the idiots in the front seat wouldn’t even know she was free.
They passed through an intersection. Another car ran a red light, forcing Hazard to slam on his brakes to avoid a crash.
“Hey!” He shouted. He laid on the horn and started cussing.
Perfect! Time to work the shackles off. A ticking noise sounded as the leg cuffs opened. She hoped Hazard and Kinning couldn’t hear it. Olivia pushed the teeth free and the chains dropped onto the floor mat.
She looked to see if Hazard and Kinning heard the clink of the shackles. Hazard was going on about what terrible drivers women were, and Kinning was in hot protest.
Olivia breathed a sigh of relief. The car was passing by the ocean now. She could see the tide was still a little high, the bluish-green waves crashing onto the beach.
All that was left was the seatbelt and the door. Then she’d bail out and run like hell.
Her escape plan was going better than expected. She decided the last part needed to be even faster. Unhook the belt, open the door. Run and don’t stop.
Olivia sucked in a deep breath and held it. She emptied her mind, focused only on the task at hand. She counted to three and set the final portion of her plan into motion.
The seatbelt whipped off of her and slammed against the window.
“Hey!” Kinning said. “What’s going on back there?”
Before Kinning could finish her sentence, the back door flew open and Olivia jumped out of the car and onto the street.
She hit the pavement hard and rolled toward the sidewalk.
Olivia lay dazed near the side of the street. The left side of her face burned; she thought there might be blood running down her cheek.
A red convertible sped toward her, blaring its horn, demanding her to get out of the way or she’d be road kill.

I’ve got to move it. Her breathing was heavy, her nerves splitting. Could she really do it? She stretched out her hand, hoping that would help channel the power, and focused her mind on the oncoming car.
The convertible raced toward her. With the flick of her wrist, it flipped into the air and sailed over the top of her. She rolled onto her back and watched as it landed a block up the street, crashing into an outdoor produce market, sending people scattering and vegetables flying in every direction.
“Whoa! That was awesome!” she said.
Olivia got up, winced, and wrapped an arm around her abdomen. Sharp pain flared inside her. She’d maybe damaged a rib or something during the fall.
Kinning and Hazard came running toward her, shouting for her to stop. They were closing in fast. She had to go.
Olivia gritted her teeth and sprinted as hard as she could. She had no idea where she was going. Pedestrians covered the sidewalks, and she shoved some of them out of her way as she fled.
She rounded a street corner and then ducked into an alley.
There was a delivery truck parked at the exit on the other side. The truck’s back doors were open, and a man was pushing a dolly stacked with cases of beer through the back entrance of what must be a bar.

Olivia ran to the truck and hopped in the back. She squeezed into a tiny space between two stacks of Heineken boxes. I need to stay calm. Her ability worked best when she had a clear head. Freaking out was not an option. This wasn’t a great hiding spot. Maybe she could steal the truck. She’d have a much better chance at escape if she could put some real distance between herself and the pursuing guards. But she could only drive an automatic. If the truck was a stick shift, she’d have no idea how to shift it into gear.
“Monroe!” Hazard shouted. “I saw you head into this alley, you little bitch! We called the cops and they’re on their way. You might as well come out right now and we won’t have to hurt you. Not too bad, anyway.”
She was trapped. What now?
Olivia heard brisk footsteps approaching the truck. They were on to her. She had to act. Now. Kinning was known for carrying a Taser during her prisoner transports, and if she did anything to debilitate her, it would be over. Her telekinesis wouldn’t work and she’d be dragged back to jail.
She heard footsteps stomp up into the back of the truck.
It was time to fight.
“Got you now, Monroe,” Kinning said. “Come on out. I don’t want to hurt you.”
Olivia grinned. She stepped into the open where Kinning could see her.
“I hope you like German beer,” she said. Her telekinesis whipped two cases of Heineken from the top of the stack and thrust them at Kinning.
Both boxes struck Kinning in the face and she fell backwards out of the truck and landed on top of Hazard.
“Hey!” the delivery man yelled as he wheeled his dolly out of the bar. “What the hell are you doing in my truck?”
Olivia jumped out and rushed from the alley.
“Hey! Somebody stop that kid!” Hazard’s shouts trailed behind her.
She jetted out into the traffic-laden street. Cars honked and brakes squealed as she dodged hoods and bumpers. Then she heard sirens blaring. A glance down the street revealed two cop cars, one behind the other, heading toward her.
She took off running in the opposite direction and rounded a corner. There she was met by another cop car, its lights flashing in hot pursuit of an absconder.
The only direction she could flee was toward the ocean. If she went that way she’d be trapped again. There was no time to plan. On an impulse, she dashed down the street and headed for the crashing waves.
She darted past several beach houses and summer homes until her feet hit the sand. It slowed her way down. Running through deep, dry sand was not going to put distance between her and the cops.
The sirens grew louder. There was a vast, empty parking lot just down from the houses, and the three police cruisers screamed into it.
Olivia trudged closer and closer to the water until she was ankle deep in the surf. She turned and faced her pursuers.
Four police officers rushed out of the cruisers and approached her. One of them shouted at her to surrender, and she wouldn’t be harmed.
Her mind raced. What should she do?
The officers trudged towards her.
An ocean wave swept over her legs and soaked her jumpsuit up to her knees.
The water. She could use the waves.
If she could lift a car, surely she could move liquid, too, right?
The cops closed in. One of them held a pair of handcuffs, open and ready to restrain her.
She glanced in all directions. The beach was empty except for one innocent bystander, a teenage boy with long red hair and a skateboard. He stood over by the houses. His attention was glued to the showdown that was about to take place by the water. He’d be collateral damage, but he was a sacrifice she was more than willing to make.
She turned and faced the ocean, then spread her hands out in front of her to see if she could stir the waves with her mind. The water pushed against her mental wall, hard, like a freight train barreling down upon her. It built, one on top of the other, until it hovered above her, a fifty foot tidal wave.
Her head ached and her arms grew weak. The force was too much and she couldn’t hold it for long. She glanced over her shoulder at the cops. They were staring, mouths agape, just yards from her.
Olivia needed to push the massive waves over the cops and protect herself at the same time. She raised her hands above her head. The tidal wave split in two like a forked tongue poised on either side of her.
Her balance was unsteady. Blood trickled from her nostrils. She heaved the powerful waves down onto the beach.
Seawater tore across the sand and smashed into the police cruisers. One of the beach houses ripped apart. Splinters of wood, furniture, cop cars, and bodies were sucked into the ocean as the mega wave receded back to its normal state.
Olivia looked around. The beach was empty except for the shredded remains of one of the houses. For a moment, a strange, culpable feeling swept over her. She killed them. The cops must be dead. Drowned. Then a satisfied grin spread across her lips. If the cops couldn’t stop her, then who could? She was invincible, a powerful force that no one could stand up to or overcome.
Building that wave had taken a toll on her, drained her energy. She took a wobbly step forward. Her knees buckled. She collapsed face first into the wet sand.
The calm, steady ocean waves crept toward her and spilled over her body.

 

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Author

J.R. Mallette

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