Illusions: danger in disguise


photo by Alex Schroeder

Ashley Tanner

Illusions is a novella written by Nicole Schroeder and Ashley Tanner, about a girl named Gemma who has the ability to see people’s true character at a single glance. Each post in the following blog series is one chapter of Illusions.
Climbing back into his car, Elijah sighed and rubbed his temples. He didn’t know what had happened back at the office, but he knew it wasn’t good, and he knew Wolfgang wasn’t going to be happy if Elijah didn’t give him something to work with after all this.
Suddenly, his phone buzzed in the seat next to him.
“Speak of the devil,” he muttered sarcastically, hitting the speaker button on his steering wheel and listening to the car’s bluetooth click on.“Hello Wolfgang.”
“Well, that was quite a scene, wasn’t it?”
Elijah thought about how to respond for a moment.  What was Gemma thinking? She didn’t know about him, did she?
“Yes, yes it was.”
“Did she say anything during the car ride home?”
“No, she didn’t say anything. I think it was the migraine.”
“Well, that’s most unfortunate. You need to get her to tell you about all of this. You need to get her to trust you.”
“I know, I know,” he said through gritted teeth.“I’m working on it.”
“And when I say trust, I don’t mean develop feelings for her.”
“I’m not falling in love with her, if that’s what you’re thinking,” Elijah said defensively.
“Just remember what the goal of this mission is and stay focused on that. We don’t have time for true love to get in the way.” He spoke the words as if they left a bitter taste in his mouth.
“Good, because that’s not what’s happening here.”
Wolfgang was silent for a while, though Elijah could hear the occasional sound of breathing through the phone.
“So, what have you learned about her power so far? Are they visions, like we suspected?”
Elijah thought about what he knew, which was basically nothing. The past couple months he had spent with Gemma hadn’t involved her powers much. The late night talks and dates at the café began to seem normal and perhaps meant to be rather than the mission.
“I know that everytime she sees someone, she sees… I don’t know. Some vision of some sort. I guess something happened tonight, but she didn’t exactly elaborate. She-…”
“She what?”
He couldn’t decide whether or not to tell him about the accident she was in as a teenager that most likely caused her powers to develop in the first place.. He felt it was too intimate, that it wasn’t his story to tell.
“She hasn’t eluded to anything else. I’m still working on it.”
“Well then you need to start working faster. I am growing impatient. If you don’t start getting things done, maybe I’ll just take over.”
Elijah sighed, the last few minutes replaying like a movie in his head. He couldn’t be developing feelings for Gemma — it wasn’t good for him or the mission. But most of all, it wasn’t good for Gemma. Elijah was a monster and Gemma deserved better.
He couldn’t deny that she wasn’t beautiful, because she was the most beautiful woman he had ever laid eyes on. And he couldn’t deny that she wasn’t intelligent or talented because he’d seen her talent with his own eyes. But he also knew that if she didn’t get smart about what was going on soon, she was going to be in big trouble. And once Wolfgang got ahold of her, there was nothing he would be able to do to save her.
What do you think is going to happen to Elijah and Gemma? Leave comments below.
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