Whisper, A New YA Novel by Laura Hill

Chapter 1

What ever you're thinking it's probably worse than that.

Everyone already thinks I'm nuts but after this I'm sure it will be upped a notch to certifiably crazy or maybe legally insane.  Or perhaps, after tomorrow, people will just think, wow, she was right.

Too bad I can't hear what people think in the future.  I guess that's because most people don't know what they're going to say until they blurt it out.  I used to be like that too, but not anymore. If I just blurted out whatever's in my head a lot of people would be real mad because I know your deepest darkest thoughts the moment you think them and if I just blurted them out then you and I would definitely not be friends.  And right now I need you to be my friend.

This is what happened.

A few weeks ago I had a birthday party.  So what, you're thinking, it's not like it was my sweet 16 or anything.  That's what I thought, too.  But at my party I got this, gift.  And it changed everything.  And now I can hear what people think.  And that's not all, I can hear other voices too.

No one believes what the voices in my head are saying but I'm telling you right now if we don't hurry it will be too late. Then everyone will believe me but it won't matter anymore because life here will have changed forever. I'm not just talking about Bangwood, I'm talking everywhere, the whole United States, maybe even the whole planet!

I'm relying on you to believe me right now, no questions, just blind faith like in Peter Pan when Peter asked everyone to clap their hands if they believed in fairies so that he could save Tinker Bell's life.  I swear to you right now that everything I'm about to tell you is 100 percent true, no sugar coating, no details left out.  And I need you to swear to me that you will tell every soul that you meet what I'm about to say because if you don't believe me, I don't know what I'll do and I'm not so sure there will be anyone left to tell tomorrow.  Tomorrow is too late.

Let's make a pact, pinky swear, you listen to the end,  I'll tell you everything.  I've been writing it down on my phone and emailing it to myself so I don't forget. Then if you think I'm crazy you can leave me locked down here and throw away the key. Doesn't matter. Tomorrow everyone will believe me but it will be too late to change what's going to happen. Tomorrow everyone will say that Kira, we thought she was crazy but now we see that for once in her life she was actually right!  But it will be too late. I need someone to believe me today, right now, and you're the only one down in this stinking hole with me.

Chapter 2

My name is Kira (as if you didn't get that before) and so, I have a gift. Don't get too excited.  It's not like I've always had this gift and the truth is if I had the receipt I would probably take it back, probably. But that's not how things work.

A few days ago when I got this gift I was excruciatingly average and very unhappy to be so.  Average, slightly annoying, kind of pretty, wishing I was amazing at anything, but I wasn't. I was average in math, average in art, average in creative writing, average in science, I was even average in gym, except during field and track when the coach said I exhibited flashes of brilliance.  The only thing I was above average in was knowing when my guinea pig Poppy needed some fresh carrot sticks, or when my best friend Rahl was about call. That's short for Ralph, he doesn't liked Ralph. I could look at my phone and just know Rahl was going to call and two minutes later, la la la la la, my phone would ring.

I haven't known Rahl very long, but still we're best friends.  He moved into the empty house next door this past summer.  Rahl and his Mom and Dad came all the way from New Mexico to live in Bangwood, freezing nowhere Bangwood. I think he got a raw deal but Rahl doesn't seem to mind.  Everything is new to him, the huge trees, the Atlantic spotted with hidden Islands, he's never even seen snow!  But he will soon, so to him it's all cool.  But to me it's just plain boring.  I have never been A.N.Y.W.H.E.R.E. in my E.N.T.I.R.E. life!  Rahl has traveled up and down the Pacific Coast Highway.  Rahl has seen the Hollywood sign.  The only name I've ever seen in lights is on the marquee in front of the Gateway Diner.  The entire place is wrapped in rows of pink neon with green tubes of light framing each window.  If I was a visitor looking for a bite to eat I would definitely stop at the Gateway Diner, it's modern and futuristic, at least for Bangwood.

I guess you could say Rahl and I met by accident though I'll tell you confidentially the entire day I knew something was going to happen.  I didn't know what, I just had this feeling like I was on pins and needles about something I couldn't quite put my finger on.  So I wasn't really surprised when the front bell range around diner time and I opened the door to find Rahl standing there.  He has the deepest darkest blue eyes I have ever seen, like the night sky right after sunset but before nightfall. Twilight eyes.  I think I just stood there starring at his eyes for like two minutes before I said, "Oh, I'm Kira," and he said, "Hi, I'm Rahl, we just moved in next store."  Then he smiled.  His smile was like a flash of lightning. I've never noticed anyone's teeth before but his were so white and so straight I thought a sculptor must have lovingly carved each flawless tooth and polished them to perfection.  

I guess we stood there for a while, me looking at Rahl's eyes (dreamy) Rahl shuffling his feet and pushing up his glasses (awkward) 'cause all of a sudden Mom swooped down on us, flying out of the hall and bustling poor Rahl into the foyer before he could protest. It turned out Rahl's Mom had already introduced herself and get this, our Dads we're going to be working together at GCMM, the computer programming think tank that we jokingly called Bangwood's Global Communications Money Machine.  Pretty much everybody in Bangwood worked there.  Rahl's Dad had been flown in specially to work on a top-secret project so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised to find out that Rahl is a little bit more than geeky.  He's actually a super nerd hiding behind twilight eyes, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

The reason Rahl was standing on our steps that night (and now in our foyer) was his parents had given him the car keys (keys!) even though he still only had his learner's permit (permit!) so he could pick up some take-out and he wanted to know where he could get a pizza. (Flash teeth, eyes.) Mom took it upon herself to invite them all over, clam chowder, she smiled, as I held my breath. But dear ole Dad saved the day with a wink and suggested I take a ride, help Rahl get the lay of the land and a pizza.  Dad could be cool that way.  That's how I found myself sitting on pins and needles all alone with blue eyes, white teeth and super geek as we cruised around the postage stamp size town of Bangwood, me pointing out places of interest like the library while Rahl nodded politely, probably wishing he could anywhere but here with plain old ordinary me.

Then it happened.

"Stop!" I shouted, reaching for the steering wheel instinctively.  Rahl slammed on the brakes swerving to the side and we both lurched forward in our seats. His nose stopped just inches from the dash, the car stopped just inches from a light pole.  "What the...you could have gotten us killed!" Rahl slammed his fist on the steering wheel.  Just then a dog carrying a Frisbee in its mouth dashed into the street with a little boy racing full speed behind him grabbing for a leash that was dragging on the ground.  They ran across the street, reaching the other side safely. Rahl just stared at me and it was my turn to shift uncomfortably. "How did you do that?"
"Do what?" I asked, wishing I could sink through the floor and get swallowed by a big hole in the earth. "How did you know they were going to run into the street?" Rahl looked at the road in disbelief. "That's exactly were we would have been if we didn't veer off the road!"
"I do that sometimes," I said, sheepish smile, shrug.

Ever since then we were best friends.
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