The Rising Page 8

He was right. Even from so far away I recognized Antone, and if I had any doubts, they evaporated when Moreno walked up beside him.

Antone was showing something to the cashier.

“Oh no,” I whispered. “Photos. He’s showing her . . .”

But Antone turned away and headed back toward a truck.

“What?” I looked at Daniel. “Why didn’t the cashier recognize you?”

“Because I didn’t buy the tickets.”

I glanced at him.

“I persuaded a guy to buy them for me. Putting my mystical powers to good use. The extra five I gave him probably didn’t hurt. He looked like he could use it.”

“You are a genius.”

A genuine smile. “Thank you. Now, as soon as we’re in motion—”

The ferry’s engines revved and we started pulling from the dock.

“Wow,” I said. “Your powers work on inanimate objects, too.”

He laughed. “I wish.”

He waved me back from the rail, then led us to a tiny room off the main deck. It was a sitting room, with seats, windows, and a private bathroom.

“Um, I think these are reserved for paying customers,” Corey said as Daniel walked in.

Daniel waved the receipt.

“Big spender,” I said.

“It wasn’t much extra.” He closed the door. “I figured we could splurge for a few minutes of peace and quiet. And a real bathroom.”

I collapsed onto the nearest seat. “Again, you are a genius.”

“Not done yet. I got you a treat.”

He reached into his pocket and pulled something out.

“Oh my God. Is that an apple? Two apples?” I leaped up, snatched them, then fell back on the seat. “I think Grandma was right. I really have died and gone to heaven.” I took a huge bite of the apple and groaned.

“Normally, I’d say you’re weird,” Corey said. “But after days of eating junk food, those do look good.” He turned to Daniel. “That’s really sexist, you know, buying the chick a—”

Daniel took another one from his backpack.

“Oh my God. I think I love you.” Corey threw open his arms. The apple bounced off his forehead. “Oww.”

I shook my head, closed my eyes, and smiled.


IT WAS LESS THAN an hour to the mainland, but by the time we got there, we’d rested, cleaned up, and were feeling better. Most importantly, we’d come up with a plan. A desperate plan, but no worse than anything we’d tried so far. We were going to our funeral.

Crazy? Yes. And when Corey had suggested it, Daniel and I rattled off a list of reasons why we couldn’t try it. Yet the idea took root and the more we thought about it, the more we realized it might be really our only chance to make contact with our parents.

Once we were back in Vancouver, we went to another library and found an obituary website hosted by the Victoria Times-Colonist newspaper. How strange was it, typing my own name into the search box? Not nearly as strange as seeing the details of my passing fill the screen, along with pages of condolences. Summer kids and their parents. Guys I’d dated. Coaches and fellow athletes I’d met at track meets. Employees at the Victoria Refuge Centre. People who knew my mom, my dad, my grandmother. People recollecting moments with me that, sometimes, I didn’t even remember myself.

As I read, Daniel wheeled his chair over behind me.

“Everyone will know the truth soon enough,” he whispered.

I nodded. As I printed the funeral details, Corey turned from the computer beside mine.

“Uh, guys? You know that email address I set up? We’ve got a message.”

I slid my chair over. Corey had the message displayed on the screen.

It was from Cyril Mitchell’s daughter. She’d decided to talk to us, but what she had to say was too important for a phone conversation. She’d looked up the area code from our phone call and knew we were in Vancouver, so she was on her way here and would arrive late morning.

“She sent it yesterday,” Corey said. “Meaning she’s already here. She says she’ll be checking email and wants us to give a time and place to meet.”

“Reply and say we’ll meet at the aquarium at”—I checked Daniel’s watch—“four. We’ll be in the lobby.”

He sent the message. We were still looking up maps for the funeral location when the reply came back. Four o’clock, yes. At the aquarium, yes. But not in the lobby. Someplace more private. Fortunately, the aquarium was deep in Granville Park, meaning privacy was only a short walk away. We chose a spot, then sent a message back. Ten minutes later, she accepted.

We’d been planning to visit the site of the memorial service, to check it out, but if Mitchell’s daughter was coming, then it seemed we wouldn’t need that anymore. So we got a late lunch and tried to relax. Then we caught a cab to the aquarium. We’d just crossed the bridge onto Granville Island when Corey gasped. The three of us were wedged in the backseat, me between the guys, and I looked over to see Corey’s face pale, his mouth open, his eyes filled with pain. Before I could say anything, he let out a strangled yowl and doubled over, his head in his hands.

“What is wrong with him?” the driver asked, his voice rising as he slowed.

I leaned past Corey to get the window down.

“It’s just a headache,” Daniel said.

It wasn’t just a headache. It was one of Corey’s raging migraines, which had been getting steadily worse. As he moaned, his head nearly in his lap, I managed to get the pill bottle from his pocket. I was shaking one out when he heaved and dry-retched.

The cabbie pulled over so fast we nearly got whiplash.

“Out!” he said. “No drunk kids in my cab!”

“He’s not drunk,” Daniel said. “It’s just a—”

“Out! Out!”

Daniel started to argue. I stopped him. His powers only worked when someone was willing to be persuaded. This guy was not. We managed to get Corey—still coughing and sputtering—from the cab. Daniel turned to pay, but the guy was already speeding off.

“Should try that more often,” Corey mumbled as we led him to the side of the road. “Save some cash.”

Cars streaming into the park—which is a thoroughfare to downtown Vancouver—began slowing to watch us. For three days now we’d been moving through Vancouver and Galiano with only some thought to remaining hidden. Now, having seen our obituaries, I began to wonder if it was only blind luck that no one had yet recognized us from a newspaper article. The way we’d died—escaping a forest fire only to perish ironically in the helicopter taking us to safety—might have made us newsworthy. Slipping through the city, we’d probably go unnoticed. But standing by a busy road, helping a “drunk” friend after being kicked from a cab? We were calling too much attention to ourselves.

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