The roar of an engine speeding in our direction drew the Snotty Four’s attention away from me and to a piece of black and green hunk of metal on two wheels headed right for us. Karen and Natasha squealed as the front tire of a beautiful Yamaha motorcycle sped toward them. They jumped to the side, leaving Marianne, Jill, and me in its destructive path.
Marianne and Jill released their iron grip on me and quickly hightailed it after their besties, rushing to the parking lot of the abandoned restaurant to my left as the motorcycle screeched to a stop a mere three feet from my right foot. I had a mini heart attack, but instead of running for cover, I stood frozen to the spot as if my shoes had been superglued to the sidewalk.
I brought my gaze up to the rider, unsure if I should thank him or curse at him. Who the hell drove their motorcycle off the road and right in the direction of five teenagers? No one. Not unless they were crazy, drunk, or stupid. Or all three. There were a lot of psychos out there nowadays.
“Hey, jerk!” Karen yelled at the stranger, who failed to acknowledge her.
Instead, he lifted the helmet off his head and directed a set of green eyes at me. His hair was the color of copper and contrasted against his pale skin. He was very attractive, there was no denying that, but something about him instantly put me on alert.
For starters, no normal person had specks of red in their irises along with their natural color. Second, he gave out an interesting vibe. Like he was surrounded by some inner force that, although invisible, I could still sense.
I reached the first step leading up to the porch and that was when I sensed it. Eyes. Staring at me. Watching my every move. I spun around and glanced in every direction, drawing a donut on the ground with my feet as I rotated. Nothing. There was nobody there. Just my imagination playing tricks on me.
A ball of white mist flew at me and zapped me with an electrical shock that sent me free-falling backward. I landed on the ground with a dull thud, blinded by an indescribable pain that sucked all the air out of my lungs in one quick whoosh. I was disoriented. Confused. And hurting as if I’d been struck head-on by a car.
I’d felt pain before, but never anything like this. It was as if I was being sautéed from the inside out by electrical undercurrents that coursed through my body, shooting tiny bolts of pure agony with each second. My muscles spasmed involuntarily and I had the sudden urge to vomit everything I ate for dinner that night.
I blinked away the tears that gathered in my eyes and tried to sit up, to no avail. Moving was too much of an effort; my energy was totally spent. I curled into a fetal position and focused on breathing in and out. It took about a minute for the symptoms to subside, but it was the longest sixty seconds of my goddamn life. I made the mistake of allowing my guard down for just a moment, and that lapse in judgement turned out to be very crucial.