Book cover of “Mind Bender“ by john zakour

Mind Bender

  • Genre: Young Adult
  • Status: Completed
  • Language: English
  • Author: john zakour
Tasha is a young teenage girl with supernatural powers who has spent much of her life in a secret government complex. The government insists they are teaching Tasha to learn to control her powers for good. Tasha has doubts. Lots and lots of doubts, but she doesn’t do anything about them. When Tasha meets a boy named Joe, that gives her the courage ... 

Chapter 1

Tasha held her ground on the cold karate mat in the gray sterile gym, her feet and hands in a defensive position. She studied her three opponents as they circled. Tasha smiled. She knew even though her foes were bigger, more mature, experienced soldiers, they didn’t have a chance.

The three would-be attackers held back, carefully weighing their options, approaching Tasha as if she were a cornered mother grizzly bear protecting her cubs.

“Remember, Tasha, a strong body is just as important as a strong mind,” called Natasha. She was Tasha’s trainer, coach, mentor, and the closest thing to the family she had. Natasha's long brown hair and piercing green eyes made her a striking woman.

Major Sam Ross stood next to Natasha watching with peaked interest. The major acted as a liaison between Tasha, Natasha, and their hosts, the military. He bore the stone-cold features of a lifetime soldier. Tasha liked to tease him, so even his short brown hair was trained to stand at attention. This would always make the major c**** an ever so slight smile. A smile that made Tasha hope there was a sense of humor somewhere in the major.

“Sense your opponent’s moves,” Natasha coached.

The shorter of the two men, a stocky bearded man with blood-red hair, swung at Tasha with a powerful right cross. Tasha ducked letting the blow pass harmlessly over her.

“Excellent!” Natasha shouted.

Tasha didn’t hear her. Her concentration stayed on the bearded man. His failed attack had left his right side exposed and vulnerable. Tasha hit him with a quick jab right below his rib cage. He grabbed his side recoiling in pain. A quick snap kick to the head sent him crashing to the ground.

The second man, a massive man with a shaved head and thick black beard, grabbed Tasha from behind. Locking his arms around her in a bear grip, he lifted her off the ground. He squeezed hard, trying to force the air out of Tasha's lungs.

Struggling to breathe, Tasha gasped, “Loosen your grip.”

Tasha felt the strength of the bear hug weaken. She slipped out of the man’s grip as her lungs refilled with air. Tasha spun to face her attacker. She hit him with a knee to the groin, doubling him over. An elbow to the back put him down.

The third attacker, a shorter slim woman, turned to Natasha and Major Ross. “Hey, you said she wouldn’t mind-bend us!” the woman protested.

Natasha pointed a scolding finger at Tasha. “That is true, Tasha. Play by the rules.”

Tasha smiled. “I am. They’re just my rules.”

The female attacker made a desperate thrust toward Tasha.

“Freeze,” Tasha ordered.

The woman stopped. Her fist recoiled, but she froze in place.

“I point at you, and you go to sleep,” Tasha said, pointing at the woman. 

The woman collapsed to the ground. Tasha blew on her finger like blowing smoke from a gun. She smiled at Natasha and Major Ross. Natasha’s face became stoic. The major just scowled.

“Can I stop now?” Tasha asked.

Natasha looked surprised. “Why? It’s only been three hours. Are you sick?”

Tasha shrugged. “Just bored with fighting.”

Natasha looked at her watch. “Well, you have a tutoring session with Prof Farr in two hours.” She looked at Tasha. “I suppose that can be enough physical training for today.”

Tasha hopped down off the mats. “Good, I really need a shower.”

“As long as you run to the showers,” Natasha said.

Tasha gave Natasha her ‘Are you serious’ look, which Natasha returned with her standard ‘Of course, I am serious, I am always serious’ look. Tasha groaned ever so slightly. She inhaled and then started slowly running towards the gym door.

“Run faster,” Natasha shouted.

Tasha picked up her pace a little. She looked over her shoulder at Natasha and playfully stuck out her tongue.

“That’s not the optimal way to run!” Natasha lectured.

Natasha and Major Ross both watched Tasha run out of the gym.

“She used her mind-bending powers and played by her own rules AGAIN,” the major said, not bothering even trying to hide the frustration in his voice.

Natasha turned to him. “So? You know, as well as I do, her only rule is to survive.”

The major took a little step backward. “B-but I wished you worked her a little harder…”

Natasha glared at him. “When I say she is done, she is done.”

He took a couple more steps away from Natasha. “Okay, she’s done for today. It’s just General Carr, who wants her under control.”

Natasha’s glare grew stronger, more focused. “Tell the general we are guests, not prisoners.”

The major held up his hands. “He won’t be happy.” He turned and started to walk away.

“If the general has a problem, have him come talk to me,” Natasha told him.

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