Normal by Francine Pascal

Book: Normal by Francine Pascal Read Free Book Online
Authors: Francine Pascal
interview proved somewhat inconclusive. However, certain clear conclusions may be drawn. The test subject appeared to have a detailed memory of the events in question regarding BLUEBELL, our code name for the genetic serum administered in the sequence of events under scrutiny.
    The lack of alkaloid agents has been tentatively confirmed, as has the absence of sensory side effects concurrent with injection.
    School Superintendent Marisa Delgado was easily persuaded to hand over all of Heather Gannis’s medical records, which revealed the drug’s effects quite clearly. The blindness is a side effect of the antigen-reagent properties of the serum. No further information may be garnered from Heather Gannis.
    The investigation must proceed to its main subject, who, it has been revealed, is in the process of being contacted. Rowan and Morrow shall proceed as ordered; a subsequent field report will be submitted thereafter through the usual channels.

the beautiful people
    Old Gaia would have checked out this scene and turned right back around in a heartbeat.
    Like Bullets
    â€œJAKE! JAKE!”
    It was a girl’s voice calling out to him, but Jake couldn’t see her face in the crowd. He saw Gaia first as he stepped out of the school lobby. She saw him, too, and smiled—but she wasn’t the one calling to him. It was the girl next to her—the girl in the long white leather coat. She called his name again, waving. Jake finally realized that it was that girl he’d seen on his way out of Starbucks. Liz.
    The last buzzer was still echoing through the lobby behind Jake. School was over, and now he was surrounded by a stream of dozens of students with book bags, yelling back and forth to each other and hollering on their cell phones as they flooded out of the school building.
    â€œJake!” Liz yelled again. Her flawless white teeth gleamed as she smiled at him. The afternoon sunlight lit up the gold strands of her hair.
    Jake moved through the flood of kids and made his way over to Gaia and Liz. He gave Gaia a kiss and tipped his chin at Liz.
    â€œAre you coming to my party?” Liz asked immediately.
    â€œParty?” Jake asked. “What party? When is it?”
    â€œIt’s right now.” Liz grinned.
    â€œLiz and Chris booked a suite over at the Mercer Hotel,” Gaia explained.
    Jake knew where that was—a fancy building a few blocks west—but he’d never been inside the place.
    â€œI think they pretty much invited . . . everybody,” Gaia went on. “How many, Liz?”
    Gaia sounded like she was trying to seem disinterested. But Jake knew better. It was obvious—Gaia was intrigued despite herself. He had to hand it to Gaia’s friend Liz. She just made it look so easy. She was one of those people who you just liked in a matter of seconds, and you instantly stopped caring about the fact that her wristwatch cost more than most cars.
    â€œDozens,” Liz said, shrugging. “Okay, yes, everyone,” she admitted sheepishly. “It’s already started—Chris is over there now. I stayed behind to gather the stragglers. Like you Jake.”
    Liz poked Jake in the chest as she said his name. It was completely innocent and friendly, and he didn’t mind at all.
    Neither did Gaia. It was obvious, looking at her. Gaia seemed to trust Liz completely after only a day. Which made Jake even more impressed with the immaculately dressed newcomer. If she could win Gaia over that fast, then Liz had to be “good people.” Gaia didn’t waste her time with people she didn’t like. It was one of the things Jake liked about her.
    â€œReady to go, Jake?” Gaia asked.
    â€œSure,” Jake said honestly. “A party at three in the afternoon: Why not? Let’s go.”
    â€œCome on, you two,” Liz said impatiently. She grabbed the couple’s hands and pulled them forcibly down the street away from the

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