Second Skin

ccsecondskin400To shape the future, all it takes is vision.

The world is full of echoes. Not even ghosts—echoes. Anyone Jason talks to, anyone he’s near, becomes a reflection, doing and saying whatever they seem to think Jason wants them to. It’s his superpower and his curse.

Being surrounded by people who change to match his personality is a kind of hell, with no one to talk to, no one that’s real. Until Jason meets Andi. The quirky art student has a unique vision and is somehow immune to his ability. Finally, he isn’t alone.

But the world is changing as well, becoming more dangerous for humans both with and without powers. To keep Andi safe, he’ll do anything—dominate anyone. Even the world.

Short Story—6200 words

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Her friend’s eyes are on me. I turn back to her.

Is it over? Am I cured? Or was it all a hallucination? I could have been reading into situations, projecting a…

The woman’s laughter fades as we look into each other’s eyes. Her face goes lax, her gaze becoming unfocused, transfixed.

“This is why you’re my ex-roommate, you know,” Andi says.

Andi grimaces at me. I meet her gaze and watch her expression change. Not fade—change.

She looks uncomfortable. Uncomfortable.

Her eyes are filled with thoughts. I can practically see them whizzing around in her mind, flitting over her expression.

Andi is still real.

I reach for her ex-roommate and gently squeeze her elbow. I imagine her walking away, leaving me alone with Andi.

“It was lovely meeting you,” I say.

“It was lovely meeting you.” She parrots the words back at me, same inflection, face devoid of expression.

I smile at her as gently as I can manage. “I think your drink is ready. You don’t want it to get cold.”

“No,” she says. “I don’t.”

She turns and goes to the bar where two drinks are waiting. She picks them up and brings them back, handing one to Andi.

“It was lovely meeting you,” the ex-roommate says again.