The Acolytes of Crane "Updated Edition"

The Acolytes of Crane "Updated Edition" by J. D. Tew

Book: The Acolytes of Crane "Updated Edition" by J. D. Tew Read Free Book Online
Authors: J. D. Tew
Tags: Science-Fiction, Young Adult
improvisation and quick thinking, Lincoln gave one final big
shove, propelling himself forward in my direction. Losing my balance due to
Lincoln’s onslaught, I set one foot right on the speckled marble floor of the
foyer of the mall—the forbidden “no man’s land.” My other foot tenuously
remained on the tiled floor of the skateboard store.
    Then
it happened.
    Wham!
    It
was as if an invisible wall was placed before us. We plastered ourselves into
it at full sprint. We both experienced the full feeling of The Intervention —a
frontal body slam.
    It
felt just like the time my body smacked the plywood at the bottom end of a
skateboard mini-ramp after executing a risky aerial ‘ drop-in .’ Back
then, I was executing my first ‘ drop - in ’ on a skateboard.
    Luckily,
Lincoln and I were not injured. Two concussed dorks, with stolen goods, would
have been difficult to explain to any conservative parents. After the
collision, everyone was looking at us. Lincoln turned toward the spectators and
screeched.
    He
said, “We are working-on-our-drama-for-a-school-play.” He sounded like a
chipmunk on a tape player if one held down play and fast-forward at the same
time.
    Everyone’s
eyes flitted away from our backs. A couple of tattooed punks from behind the
counter laughed and joked about us. Meanwhile, we returned the shoes to their
rightful home. Lincoln and I left separately, and we met in the food court to
hatch out any issues with the first test.
    ‘It
is official. You are a freak,’ Lincoln said.
    ‘Okay.
Dork . . . man. What in the world were you thinking with that, or was it
dork-boy?’ I asked.
    ‘Dork-boy
was the best I could do. Never mind that, we need to be careful. If we don’t
respect The Intervention , we could,’ he paused to lower his voice, ‘we
could get injured or worse…’ he paused yet again to scan the room and ensure no
one was listening, ‘…killed.’
    Right
there, at the corner of a taco joint and a roast beef stand, it was our grand
discovery that what we were dealing with was extremely powerful and real. The
first trial was complete. The Intervention could not read minds. The
Intervention could only stop us from doing something bad.
    I
recalled the baseball card incident of a week ago. Back then, I had attempted
to exit the store with an intent to steal. This time, with the shoes, I was
pushed out of the store by Lincoln, with no intent to steal. The outcome was
exactly the same. The Intervention had intervened both times at the
boundary between law and crime—the store exit. 
    Lincoln
then issued what was to be known as Linc’s Commandments:
    ‘One,
we can never, ever-ever-ever speak of this to anyone. You and I have been
trusted by the power, and we have accepted it. Others will be terrified of this
power, and harm us because they are afraid. Two, we can never make a joke of
the power. We have to respect it. We felt the pain it dished out today, by
being goofballs. We don’t want to put anyone in that pain unless we have a good
reason. Three, we must never use the power for bad. We should only use it for
good.’
    He
paused, with a solemn expression on his face. ‘We have to make a pact. If
either one of us speaks of this to anyone, we risk great danger.’
    ‘And
if you say anything, Lincoln, I will tell everyone about your crush on Samantha
Xiong,’ I said after a few giggles.
    ‘Fine,
I will tell them about your life-long crush on Mariah Espinosa,’ Lincoln sang
out in a taunting voice.
    We
simultaneously agreed with a secret handshake, invented right there in the
mall. We glanced over our shoulder: the rent-a-cops of the mall were staying
behind a certain distance away, intently watching us.
    Word
had gotten around. Our disturbance back at the skateboard store made us a
concern for mall staff. To shake them off, we shopped around like the rest of
the mall zombies, and we bought some orange drinks. While we sat sipping on our
drinks, Lincoln told me that if the

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