Chapter One

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"Why am I not allowed to practice?" I demanded. Five-year-old me was so demanding. I had just discovered that I was an age-shifter, and I was the only one in Springwell. "If someone sees you shift, they will take you in and experiment." hissed my mother, Suzanne. She was divorced now, which meant she was crankier than usual. She did not realize her only child was to become an age-shifter.

You see, the only way you can become an age-shifter is to be born with the gene. At the age of five years old, you would shift for the first time. Right now, I was a sixteen-year-old girl with long, brown hair and dark brown eyes. I had small freckles underneath my eyes and I somehow had glasses. My nails were painted a light pink and I was wearing a flowy, pink dress. I was not too happy with the clothes I was wearing.

"Then let them experiment on me. They can just figure out how I got the gene and let me go." I argued. I did not know, at the time, why it was so important that I should keep my secret safe. Apparently, my mother did. The gene came from her side of the family. The one odd thing about the gene is that it only goes to females. As far as Mom knew, there were no boys or men that had the gene before. "My sister, Abigail, your aunt, was caught and was sent to a laboratory in Louisiana. She never came back, Breanna. Now, change back into five years old, this instant!" she exclaimed.

I sulked at her, as I changed back to my five-year-old self. She smiled and patted my head gently. "Good girl. Now, I do not want to see you change your age unless your birthday has passed," she said. I nodded my head, my throat too tight to speak. She kissed my head and walked away into the other room. That was the last time I ever heard her scold me.

In the winter of my twelfth year, my mother had gotten sick. It wasn't cancer, but it was some type of illness that kept her from getting up every day. I only ever left her side if she needed something to eat or drink. I couldn't call the doctor because I didn't remember the number and I couldn't reach the phone. "Breanna, come here." she croaked. It was hard for her to speak most of the time. It was like she had a block of wood stuck in her throat.

I walked over to her slowly. She took my hand in hers. Her hand felt so cold and clammy. She was losing her body heat quickly, which was not good. "Listen to me. I want you to change yourself and leave this house. Don't look back, just go and be safe." she whispered while smiling. She was giving me permission to change my age and leave, but how could I leave her when she was dying? Before I could decline, she pointed to the door, with whatever strength she could use. I changed myself to be a twenty-two year old and ran out of the house. I realized a few hours later that she passed away and wanted to save me.

I left Springwell and went to the States for a year. I had a good life in Washington, but something was calling for me to go home. I packed up whatever belongings I had and took a plane home to Springwell. I walked all the way up to my house. When I walked inside, the foul smell of a corpse went through my nose. It seemed like no one actually knew my mother was going to die. Then again, anyone who knew my mother probably disliked her.

I walked into her bedroom, my nose plugged for safety, and saw her body still lying in bed. The maggots had been eating her for over a year. It was disgusting. How could nobody tell that she was dead? Did they dislike her that much? I questioned this, while disposing of her body. I dug a hole in the yard and buried her, along with the maggots, and covered the hole.

I knew that this house was now mine to take care of, but I also needed my education. When I was in the States, I didn't bother going to school. Now that I was home, I'd have to go to school. While I was still my twenty-two-year-old self, I picked up the phone and registered myself as a student at Springwell Academy. It was the only school that all grades could go to. Next on the list, was to clean the house and get rid of the dead corpse smell.

I used Javex to clean up the floors and I took the bed frames, sheets, and pillows outside to burn them. My mother's bedroom would become a hobby room or a safe haven for me. I cleaned the house until my hands were sore, my back was aching and my head was throbbing from the Javex. When all my work was done, I changed myself into thirteen years old.

Now, I am fourteen years old and have actually kept up my grades, cleaning the house, and keeping myself alive. My mother has been dead for two years now. I have kept my secret safe but have only used it for emergencies only, like getting food in the house and answering the phones when my school called later that same evening. I am still the only age-shifter in Springwell and I have no idea if I am the only one left in the entire world. Only time will tell what happens.

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