Expect the Unexpected

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"Lindy, shouldn't you be studying for your chem test today?"

"I'll do that later," she answered as she waved me off. I sighed. Lindy will always be Lindy. I still don't understand her. One second she acts like a child the next she acts like she's my mom.

"Guess what," Lindy sang.

"What," I grumbled, "and please don't sing your words."

"Old bore," Lindy muttered under her breath.

"I heard that."

"Well," she continued, ignoring me, "Gavin said that he got us tickets to the spring festival."

"Really," I said not liking where this was going.

"Yes, and you are going to go this year."

"I don't think so. We have exams that week."

Lindy huffed, "Nora you are no fun. All you do is work and go to class. You need some fun in your life."

"Well maybe I am content with just the way things are," I shot back.

"Nora, you need to lighten up. You are already amazing. You will definitely be the next Da Vinci, just please go to festival with us," Lindy begged.

"Lindy, you know I can't stand humans," I answered.

"Which is why festival is the perfect way to get you socializing," Lindy exclaimed like it was the best idea ever.

"No and we are done with this conversation."

Lindy rolled her eyes and went back to texting Gavin, muttering something, probably about my inability to socialize once in awhile.

I just ignored her and walked to my room. But as soon as I opened the door, I was met with a gust of of cold air that chilled me to the bone. I blinked in confusion then sneezed.

There were papers flying through the air and my white curtains were fluttering all over the place as the wind made it's way around my room. I didn't remember leaving the window open.

Quickly I rushed to close the window but it would not budge. It was almost as though someone was holding the window open. I strained and strained when suddenly it dropped nearly crushing my fingers in the process.

I squeaked and jumped back clutching my fingers, knocking several books off my dresser. The books fell to floor with a great big crash. I groaned.

"Nora," Lindy called as I waited for her unavoidable question, "What are you doing back there?"

"Nothing. I just knocked some books off my dresser."

"Okay," Lindy call back, "Are you sure you're okay?"

"Just peachy." Lindy didn't bother to reply so I jumped onto my bed. But instead of hitting my pillow, I hit something something hard.

"Ow! What is up with me getting hurt everywhere," I exclaimed to myself as rubbed my sore head.

I grumbled and sat up to look at the culprit. It was a stupid book, A Complete Guide to Beginner's Mechanics, it read. I couldn't remember ever buying a textbook on mechanics, hec I wasn't even taking anything remotely close to it. And it couldn't be Lindy's, she hated math.

And then I recognized the book. It was that stupid book Mr. Milligan had given me.

I wanted to chuck the book at the wall but something prompted me to open it. A History of Genies/Jinnis: Protection spells and more, it read. I didn't understand, why was the cover different from the title page? I flipped back to the cover and inspected the binding. My suspicions were confirmed, it was a false cover; the real cover was a plain black hardcover. Curious, I opened to the introductory page. Elaborate swirls bordered the slightly yellowing page and the print was so tiny, I had to practically squint.

Jinnis, commonly known as Genies, have been existent long before the arrival of man. History has painted them as mythical wish-granting creature who reside in lamps and other small spaces. But the nature of a true Jinni is quite different. Jinni are generally indifferent creatures who do not intermingle with humans; they are solitary beings. Jinnis are existent in all cultures, and have been called by many different names in history. The Chinese call them dragons, the Irish call them fey, and many cultures have called them ghosts. In fact-

"Nora," Lindy called.

"What," I yelled back exasperated.

"I think you should take a look at this," she yelled, but something in her tone was off.

I slammed the book shut and shoved it under my pillow.

"What is it," I asked Lindy as I entered the kitchen. She was looking at the newspaper her her face contracted into confusion. She turned to me and spread the paper out on the table. Then she pointed to an article.

"Mysterious Fire Burns Down Small Art Shoppe," I read. I looked at the picture of a badly burnt store door. The store looked practically ready to crumble down. I looked at Lindy.

"Read the second paragraph," she said dejectedly.

"The mysterious fire took place yesterday around 12pm according to eyewitness Helen Basher, owner of Tiffee's bakery from across the street. While firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading, they were unable to rescue seventy-two year old store owner, Abbas Milligan. Firefighters have not been able to determine what caused the fire.

Mr. Milligan had been running Milligan's Arts and Crafts for forty years. Helen Basher says, "Mr. Milligan has been a long-time friend of mine and he will be missed." Mr. Milligan's funeral will take place this Friday at the Devol funeral home at 4pm. Mr. Milligan has no known relatives," I read out loud, my voice growing softer and softer with each passing word.

I slumped into the chair next to Lindy. "I don't understand. We just saw him yesterday. How can he be dead?" Lindy didn't say anything.

"Lindy, I don't get it," I exclaimed, "A fire? Out of nowhere?"

Lindy just shrugged her shoulders. "I don't know either. I just can't believe something like this happened. I mean you hear it happening to other people, but never around here-you know?"

"I know what you mean," I murmured. "I'll go with you-to the funeral, I mean."

Lindy looked at me in surprise and then gave me a weak grin, "Well, I certainly don't feel like going to class today." Then she got up and shut the door to her bedroom.

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A/N-Let me know what you think. 

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