Ellis dabbed at his nose with his sleeve. It came away with small blotches of blood. He pulled his tattered back pack from his shoulder and chucked it against the metal fence just a few yards off to his left. The bag rebounded off the fence and slid in the dirt. Ellis spared a hateful glance behind him. Unconsciously his hands made a fist. He threw a punch at the face of an imaginary individual and screamed in anger.
“Next time Reese you will be the one bleeding.” Ellis’ anger was subsiding and the pain of the fight was coming to the fore front of his mind. He leaned against the fence and slid to the ground.
“Was this yours?” The voice of a girl asked. Ellis’ head shot up. His eyes wide with fear. He nodded. Had she heard what he said? She handed him his back pack and then sat against the fence a few feet away.
“You are taller and stronger than Reese. Why didn’t you fight back?” She asked. Her voice was sweet. Ellis could almost hear concern in it.
“I am afraid.” Ellis said.
“Afraid of losing and being laughed at?” The girl asked. Ellis remembered her name. She went by Harper and had been relocated a few years ago to the Mundane colony.
“Afraid I will enjoy hurting people.” Ellis said. The confession seemed loud in the waning house of the day. Harper didn’t respond. He heard the shuffling of dirt beside him and looked over at her. She was gone. A pair of ripped light blue jeans stood in her place.
Ellis’ heart sank as his focus rose higher. Reese slammed a fist down at Ellis’ upturned face. Ellis closed his eyes in anticipation but it never landed. A second later he heard a crack like a tree branch breaking then a howl of agony. Ellis opened his eyes.
Above him was Harper and Reese. Reese clung to his arm where the bone was tasting fresh air for the first time. Its edge was jagged and blood flowed from the wound like a leaky faucet. Harper’s hand flashed and Reese’s scream was cut short. In the blink of an eye she landed a quick punch to his throat. Reese collapsed to the ground.
Screams and yells erupted just around the corner.
“Quick, take my hand!” Ellis took her hand but knew the shouts were too close. They would round the corner and find a boy close to death and him with a bloody face. He would be the one charged with assault.
As Harper’s fingers intertwined with his the world stopped. He looked up at her. A slight grin across her face.
“You told me your secret. It’s only fair I show you mine. Just don’t let go.” Hand in hand, Ellis picked up his bag and the contents which spilled. When it was resting on his shoulder again, they strolled away. They had walked North five blocks in the span of just a few seconds.
They walked a few more blocks and found a bench to sit on. When they stopped Harper asked, “Whats it like to be Mundane, to not have an ability? Does time pass at the same rate all the time?”
Ellis looked at her confused. “It’s boring. Mundane’s can’t do anything special. We don’t have any inherent talents and can’t participate in the anything really. We barely exist to the outside world. Were just boring and useless. Don’t you control time or speed or something?” Harper nodded.
“Time, but it’s not that simple. I can make time go slower or faster but oftentimes I can’t control for how long.” Harper looked over at Ellis. Behind his eyes she could seem him trying to work through the meaning of what she said. “For the last few days, this has been how fast time has been going for me.”
A few moments passed and then Ellis finally answered. “So when you were sitting next to me by the fence earlier?”
“It was hours of trying to sit perfectly still.”
“And the fight?”
“Like playing with a life sized doll.”
“And what happens now?”
Harper smiled, “Now we have fun till time starts to speed up again.” She kissed him on the cheek and then bolted off the bench, pulling Ellis to his feet.