Priscilla the Great: The Kiss of Life

By Sybil Nelson
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Chapter One


I spent three hours trying to write the perfect letter to Kyle. I even considered going to the grocery store and seeing if Hallmark had created anything for letting your boyfriend know you were a genetically mutated freak that might accidently fry him to a crisp the next time you kissed him. Probably not.

I would've preferred to just see him in person. I wished I could go to his play. In just three short hours, he was going to be the cutest Romeo ever. But, no, my parents wouldn't let me. They thought it was too dangerous for me to go back to River's Bend given the whole Selliwood situation.

I finally gave up trying to communicate my feelings to Kyle and decided to get a snack. I was totally bummed on my way to the kitchen. My life sucked. I had no friends out here in the middle of nowhere Missouri, I rarely got to see Kyle and Tai, and I wasn't even allowed to go to school. Not that I especially liked school, but anything would've been better than being stuck in the house all day with a bunch of stinky brothers.

Speaking of stinky brothers, where were mine? The silence in the house gave me the feeling the twins were up to something. Not that I have telepathy or anything so I didn't know for sure. Josh was getting so good with his psychic powers that he could even sense danger sometimes. But no, it wasn't any special powers that let me know that the twins were up to something. I mean, come on, they were the twins. They were always doing something sneaky and most likely disgusting.

I finally spotted them dashing out of the kitchen."What are you doing?" I yelled after them. Ryan and Peter were right behind. All four of them were laughing hysterically. Ryan and Peter were a set of eight-year-old twins that I had rescued from the Institute. For some reason, they enjoyed hanging out with my five-year old twin brothers. It was probably because they didn't have much of a childhood in the Institute so my brothers were showing them what it was like to be a kid.

"Nothing," Charlie and Chester said in unison, giving their best puppy dog expression.

This was bad.

"We ain't do nothin, Miss Priss," Ryan said taking off his cowboy hat.

"Yes, we have not done anything," Peter added.

I couldn't quite pinpoint Peter's accent. I'm thinking it was Norwegian or Icelandic or something. Even though Peter and Ryan were twins, Selliwood had programmed them with completely different accents for some reason. It was pretty funny to see the looks of confusion from strangers when they realized one twin sounded like John Wayne and the other sounded like Leif Ericsson.

I crossed my arms and stared at them trying my best to look intimidating.

"Sorry, Miss Priss, we was just seein' what would happen if -"

Charlie jabbed an elbow in Ryan's stomach. "Shut-up. She's bluffing. She can't do anything to us."

Ryan quickly zipped his lips. This was gonna take a little more than my scary stare in order to get them to talk. I held up my hand and lit a flame. "Talk or somebody's getting burned."

Charlie and Chester screamed and started running around in circles. Ryan and Peter started levitating. Did I mention they could fly?

"Mom, Priss is trying to kill us!" Chester yelled.

"Priss, don't kill your brothers," my mother called from her bedroom. "And don't use your powers in the house either."

"Fine," I said, shutting off the flame. "But I'm watching you."

Charlie and Chester gave their evil grins then ran to their room with Ryan and Peter following close behind.

I entered the kitchen slowly. I knew they had done something in there so I wanted to be ready in case I slipped on some strategically placed slime or something. Once I was convinced it was safe, I grabbed a glass out of the cabinet and set it on the counter. Still looking around the kitchen, I opened the freezer and that's when it happened. I heard a series of ropes being pulled. I looked up just in time to see a huge bowl of banana pudding drop onto my face.

I screamed as the thick banana scented glob slid down my body. I started to run out of the kitchen in search of those blond bombers, but instead I slipped on some of the pudding that had spilled on the floor and landed on my butt with a thud.

Ugh! I was so stupid. I should have been looking up instead of down. I thought Charlie and Chester would be too little to do something above my head. I forgot they had the help of flying eight-year-olds.

My giant of a father burst in through the back door with a rifle in his hand. "What's going on? Are you okay, Priscilla?" Dad was always a bit protective of me. My scream probably scared him to death thinking I was in danger or something.

I glared at him. "Do I look okay?"

Realizing that I wasn't in any real danger, Dad put the safety on the rifle then said, "Is that my banana pudding? I just made that this morning."

"Is that all you're concerned about? Look at me. I'm gonna smell like a monkey for a week!"

"Don't be ridiculous, Priscilla. Monkeys don't smell like bananas. They smell like...monkeys." Then my father started laughing. He was laughing at me! I heard more snickering from behind. I turned and saw Charlie and Chester in the doorway doubled over and nearly crying with laughter. Ryan and Peter were enjoying themselves as well as they flew to the ceiling and started dismantling the elaborate rig that had been very well camouflaged.

"I'm gonna kill you!" I said, lunging for my baby brothers and dragging them into the mess like we were in some sort of professional pudding wrestling league.

"Okay guys, break it up." My dad grabbed me by the arms and pulled me off of them, just as mom and Josh entered the kitchen.

"Alright, what's going on in here?" my mother asked.

Josh shook his head and said, "It looks like another unprovoked attack from the twins. Mom, they have to be stopped."

"We was just playin around," Charlie said, forcing his lip to tremble.

"Yeah, we didn't mean anything by it," Chester added.

"They're lying. They're little monsters and they do this stuff on purpose just to drive us crazy!" I said, wiping pudding out of my eyes. Ugh, who knew banana pudding could sting so much.

"I have to agree with Priss on this," Josh said. "They're out of control. Yesterday they filled all my shoes with grape jelly."

"We just wanted to make toe jam!" The twins said in unison.

Peter and Ryan burst out laughing as if that was the funniest thing they'd ever heard. I rolled my eyes.

"Priss is right," Josh continued. "They're driving us crazy we can't take it anymore. We need a break from them."

"What kind of break?" my dad asked still holding on to me so I wouldn't attack the Devil Twins.

"Why don't you let us go home for the weekend? To River's Bend," Josh suggested.

I shot him a look. When had he come up with this plan? Not that I was complaining or anything. I'd love to go to River's Bend for the weekend. That way I could see Kyle's play. And see Kyle, of course. I started to get excited. I hadn't seen him in two months!

Follow my lead, Josh said to me telepathically.

"Please, please, please," I said. "Just for the weekend. We'll be so careful. And if anything goes wrong or seems suspicious we'll be back in a flash." I lit a quick flame for emphasis. The room instantly smelled like burnt bananas.

"I don't know if that's such a good idea, kids," my mother said. She closed her eyes and massaged her forehead as if she was getting a headache. "I haven't been feeling well. I was kind of hoping to take it easy this weekend and let you and Priss take care of the twins," she said to Josh.

"Are you all right, Babe?" My dad let me go and went to examine his wife. He felt her forehead then stared into her eyes. "You should rest, Quinn. Why don't we let Josh and Priss go to River's Bend and I'll keep the twins out of your hair for the weekend."

Whoa, wait, what? Did my dad just agree to let us go? The same dad who forced all of us to move a farm in the middle of nowhere in the first place? The same dad who wouldn't let us have cell phones or e-mail addresses? The same dad who was so overprotective he timed us when we went into public bathrooms because he was afraid we'd get kidnapped? This was way too easy. Something was up. I stared at Josh.

"Thanks, Dad. We're gonna go pack," Josh said, grabbing my hand and pulling me out of the kitchen before I had a chance to say anything.

"What was that all about?" I asked Josh once we reached his room. "That was not normal. Did you do something to Dad?"

"I kinda used my powers on him."

"Oooh, Josh! You're gonna get in so much trouble." Mom had strict rules about using our powers on each other, especially Josh's power of hypnotic suggestion. It wasn't fair that Josh was technically able to get anyone to do anything he wanted at anytime. He was only supposed to use it for emergencies.

"I know what you're thinking and this is an emergency. We have to get to River's Bend immediately. It's a matter of life and death."

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