Illusions: hatching a plan


Nicole Schroeder

Illusions in 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.It was nearing the end of the lunch rush at Simon’s on Saturday afternoon as Gemma munched thoughtfully on her small plate of fries, scanning the crowd of people for her friend. Her table was almost uncomfortably quiet, at least in most opinions. For her, though, it was easy to enjoy the peaceful hush food brought to her and the rest of her group.
Of course, under any other circumstances, she would never even entertained the idea of spending a Saturday afternoon in Simon’s. Yet, with the plan Elijah, James and her were hatching, she’d found herself doing many things in the past week that were normally outside of her comfort zone. Now, glancing out at the rest of the restaurant from the back of their small corner booth, she was proud of the fact that she was almost able to ignore the barrage of Labels that flashed in her mind.
“Hey, guys. Sorry I’m late. That last table took forever to leave.” Irene’s voice brought the three of them back to reality and made Gemma startle slightly. Irene simply chuckled at her friend, sliding in to the booth next to her. “Alright, so get me up to speed.”
“Okay. So basically at the moment, Elijah and I are just trying to trace this whole deal with Wolfgang back and see how far it goes,” he said, his voice low so as not to be overheard.
“We can’t just stop at him. We need to stop all of this, shut it down from the source. We need to go after the SAINTs.”
He nodded, his face falling a little with the gravity in Gemma’s words. “Right, which makes this whole situation even harder to trace. I’m James, by the way.”
Irene shook his outstretched hand politely. “Nice to meet you.” She nodded at Elijah, her face a little more terse than usual.
Only a true best friend…. Gemma couldn’t help but smirk a little at her roommate. Even if she’d mostly forgiven him, it was going to take a lot more convincing for Irene to like him again.
“We’ve not gotten too far yet,” James continued, bringing everyone’s attention back to the matter at hand. “Like we expected, he’s covered his tracks pretty well. All of them have.”
“There’s also the matter of getting everyone else in the office to spill the beans about the cases they’ve worked on,” Elijah pointed out. “Everyone is pretty tight-lipped about their clients, and we’re not exactly loved by the guys in the office.”
“Not to mention the fact that we don’t even really know what we’re looking for. Some of the guys don’t actually know when they’re working on one of these cases. Yours was … well, a bit easier to see.” James flushed as he tried to avoid the sensitive subject, and Gemma offered a reassuring smile as comfort. Still, the reminder stung, and she found her attention drift to a nearby table, where a short-haired girl laughed warmly with her friend who was struggling to put her sopping wet hair into a bun. She thought she overheard something about a band from the short-haired girl, but it was quickly drowned out in the sea of surrounding chatter and by her friend’s Label as she locked eyes with Gemma.
Supportive. Stereotypical. Comedic.
Well, easy to tell which one was false in that one, Gemma thought, averting her gaze quickly.
“Gemma? Hey, Gem, you still here?” Irene joked, waving her hand in front of her face. Gemma blinked, moving her attention back to her table mates.
“Sorry, I was distracted. What were you saying?”
Elijah smiled crookedly out of understanding. “I was asking if you knew anyone else with abilities. People you could warn about Wolfgang, or who might be able to get us in touch with someone who could help?”
Gemma sighed. “I wish I did. Until I heard about it from you guys, I thought I was the only one.”
“Wait a sec,” Irene said, perking up and peaking everyone’s interest. “I actually might know someone. She’s an old friend of my mom’s, and a little … out there. I mean, not out there per se, but let’s just say she’d definitely be willing to believe in this.” She gestured slightly to Gemma, who blushed a little at the three sets of eyes that turned to focus on her for a moment.
“Is there any way you could get in touch with her?” Elijah asked, turning back to Irene after sensing Gemma’s discomfort.
She nodded. “It shouldn’t be too hard.”
“Cool,” James said, clapping his hands together. “Sounds like a plan. Elijah and I will keep digging, and you’ll find your friend … whoever she is.”
“Trust me, she’ll be able to help.” She watched as the boys stood, following their lead as the four of them tossed a tip on the table before heading out. “She’ll have some extra motivation, too, when I tell her who we’re up against.”
Gemma frowned, walking quicker to keep pace with the rest of them. “What do you mean, exactly?”
Irene just smiled. “Her name’s Ava Sampson. She’s a P.I., and Theo Wolf once worked with her.”[vc_empty_space]Do you think the four will be able to stop Wolfgang? Leave a comment below and check back later this week for the next chapter.[vc_basic_grid post_type=”post” max_items=”10″ grid_id=”vc_gid:1458154579226-2999b304-a5e8-0″ taxonomies=”12779″]