Become a Book Nerd
When you’re not reading books, read our newsletter.
They all turn to me, aghast. The door is behind them, I would have had to go past them to get to where I am. I hold out my arms, smiling in triumph.
“Did you just…” Cisco starts.
“Shadow travel?” I finish, “We were right.”
“Sweet!” He starts laughing too, “This is so cool!”
“Yeah it is,” I say, meaning it. I look over to see Iris standing in the doorway. She winks when I catch her eye, smiling. “Man, this will make getting to school so much easier!”
“How did you do it?” Wells finally asks, looking more than a little bewildered.
“I asked,” as I say it, I realize just how ridiculous it sounds and hurry to explain, “All I had to do was touch a shadow and ask to come back here. I bet I could do it again!”
“Did that make any sense to you guys?” Caitlin asks the others.
“Some…” Wells looks at me. “Do it again, but this time somewhere outside of Star Labs.” He walks over to a table, picks something up, and walks back over to me. “This,” he explains as he clips it to the collar of my shirt, “Is a communicator and tracker in one.”
“Alright. Do I have to do anything with it?”
“No, it’s already set up, “ he slips an earpiece of some sort on my right ear, “You will be able to hear us, just as we will you.”
“Okay,” I smile at him, “Ready when you are!”
“Ready here,” I can hear Cisco’s voice through my ear as well as in the earpiece.
Wells nods at me, I can go. I feel for a new shadow, please take me to the alleyway next to Jitters, far enough back so I won’t be seen. I feel the tugging sensation again, and the shadows swallow me once more. As I go through, every nerve feels like it’s tingling, and I hear a voice, not male, not female, whisper, “Danger.” Then I’m there, not sure if what I just felt was real.
“Wow!” I jump when I hear Cisco, “Kat, you just confused my sensors. Where are you?”
“In an alleyway, next to Jitters,” I reach to my collar to make sure the device that Wells clipped on was still there. Nothing, “That’s weird.”
“Your device…it’s gone,” I reach up to my ear, feeling for the earpiece. “Nor is the earpiece.”
“Say what now!?”
“I don’t know! How are we still hearing each other?”
“What’s wrong?” I hear Wells in the background.
“Our things are gone! But we can still hear each other!” I Cisco’s half-panicked reply.
“Wait, didn’t Wells put the piece on my right ear?”
“Then how is it on my left one?”
“What?!” Cisco sounds hopelessly confused now.
Before I can respond though, I hear a low, rumbling growl behind me. Going silent, I slowly turn around, and find myself facing three huge dogs. Saliva drips from their maws as they stalk towards me.
“Uh…” is all I can seem to get out.
“Are you alright, Kat?” I hear Barry ask.
“I’m not sure yet…”
“What’s going on?”
“Dogs. Very big dogs…”
“Hey,” Cisco says, “Haven’t there been reports of three dogs roaming the city and attacking people?” I feel the blood drain from my face.
“Very soothing, dude,” I reply, my voice shaking, “Very soothing.”
I slowly move backwards. The largest of the three, clearly the leader, lunges at me. I scream, trying to back up, but I realize that I have nowhere to go. I throw my hands in front of me in a last ditch attempt to protect myself. Then, to my utter shock, the dog stops, almost like it hit a wall. I blink, it blinks. Woah… It jumps at me again, angry for not being able to reach me, but it hits the wall again. The smell of me makes me gag.
“Kathrin?” Wells is talking now. “What’s wrong?” Judging by the increasing tone of worry, this wasn’t the first time tried to get an answer.
“Uh… The dog wants to kill me?”
“‘Wants to’?” he echoes.
“I seem to be holding him off somehow… Like an invisible wall.” As a side note I add, “It smells bad.”
“Do you think you can get back here?”
“I don’t know, let’s see if the shadows will cooperate.”
“Nevermind. I can only assume so, but I don’t know if I’ll have to let down the wall to do that.” As I say this, I remember the voice I heard, “Oh my gods.”
“The shadows tried to warn me.” I hear the puzzled silence. “It said ‘danger’, I thought I was imagining things.”
“O-kay, that’s a little freaky,” Cisco says.
“Actually, it oddly makes sense.”
“Why would the shadows help me and not warn me of danger?”
“Uh…” Cisco clearly doesn’t know how to reply to that.
Then I hear it. A voice, the voice, whispering in my ear, “Pay attention.” I turn my head, seeing a figure, cloaked in black. Not male, but not female. “Listen, and I will show you what to do,” it continues, “Listen and learn.” I nod, which is the only way I can think to respond to that. It steps forward, holding a hand out to the dogs. I feel a rush of power travel through me. Both of us, in one breath, speak. “Back.”
To my surprise, and vast relief, the dogs turn tail and run. I lower my hands, feeling slightly dizzy. I stare at the figure before me, unsure of what to do.
“You will learn, in time, all that you can do, but it will take a lot of practice.” It holds out its hand, revealing the missing tracker. “These people will help you. They are friends, and trustworthy.”
“How do you know?” I ask, confused. I no longer feel scared, though.
“Let’s just say that the speedforce and I keep close tabs.”
“The source of Barry’s power.”
“You,” it continues, moving so that he is standing directly in front of me, “Have been chosen. You may be young, but I feel that you are strong. The particle accelerator explosion released dark matter into this city, but not everyone was affected. You were.
“This isn’t a bad thing, though some my see it as a curse. I have come to you, granting you the power I have, because I know you will use it for good. This is a gift, not a curse.”
“You are a lover of the night. You are someone who is not afraid of the shadows, who’s haunting dance fills many’s hearts with fear. You feel that there is nothing evil to come from the dark. You aren’t aren’t scared of what may be lurking under the bed. This makes you perfect for this power.”
“I-I think that makes sense,” I pause, looking at them. “What can I call you?”
“No one has asked me that before,” I can hear the smile in its words, “You may call me Estroll. All you have to do is say my name and I will help you.”
“Estroll.” A name that sounds neither male, nor female, but it feels right. “Could you send me back to Star Labs, please. They are probably worrying about me.”
“Of course, but I will warn you, time doesn’t pass when you are talking to me.” Estroll clips the tracker back in place, its touch warm and gentle, then the shadows wrap around me, taking me back to Star Labs.
When you’re not reading books, read our newsletter.