Author Archives: Cloudfur

The Barrier ~ Part Five

A/N- Last chapter was a bit surprising, even for me…

Derek

NO. WAY. Andrew was SO going to get it. Lying and sending my little sister to jail like that…

Crossing my arms, I got some satisfaction from the fact that I was taller than him, and I hoped that I looked intimidating.

“So? What’s your lame excuse?” I asked.

To his credit, his eyes didn’t leave mine. “She would’ve died if I didn’t do that.”

“Oh yeah? And how would you know that? A little birdie told you?” I asked sarcastically.

“I’m serious! You know how I can like, sense when things will come right? Well, I umm…kinda saw the future, and there were two paths. I could send Lani to jail and have her live, or she could’ve stayed and died within the next twelve hours!”

Wow. He was a seriously accomplished liar. Of course I didn’t believe him!

“Liar. Get out of my sight before I kill you.” I snarled.

He turned and disappeared, probably leaving for Tian. Good riddance.

“Come on Rina, we still have to investigate and close the hole in Zhong.”

With a sigh, she followed me. And so we continued our journey in Zhong.

Rina wasn’t very talkative, so, sadly, that left me with plenty of time to think. Since I was still boiling with rage, I decided to review everything I knew about Tian, Zhong, and – gulp – Di.

So, apparently we’re all born with a power. I can manipulate the elements, like, changing the wind direction, controlling water, raising stones, etc. Rina can heal. Lani can sense emotions. Andrew…I preferred not to think about him then. My mom could talk to animals. Dad was able to make anything out of anything.

Anyway…from a young age we were able to use our powers, but over the course of the years we had to hone them to near perfection, so that we could pass the test that came when you were 14. Anytime during your 14th year, you could have to take the test. Of course, there was also school, which consisted of learning our history, math, controlling our powers, and other stuff.

I’ve always wanted wings. I know it’s not necessarily considered a ‘power’ but having wings would be awesome. Some people are even lucky enough to have wings. Like, it’s their ‘power.’ Okay, maybe I shouldn’t put it that way and just say that we’re all special, in a certain way.

We’re run by a government, but the King and Queen are at the top. King Alexander and Queen Elizandra are usually nice and fair, although every once in a while they can be quite harsh. They became bitter after their only daughter – A.M.Y. – was cast into Zhong.

My train of thought was interrupted when Rina  accidentally tripped over a hole in Zhong.

Without thinking, my hand shot out and grabbed her arm, steadying her. She smiled at me and said, “Thanks.”

Dang. That was the first time I’d seen her smile. I decided that I liked it, and I started trying to make her smile.

After about another hour, Rina was cracking up and I was smiling triumphantly.

***

This. Place. Had. Just. Become. A. Freaking. DESERT!! I was sweating like crazy, Rina had slowed down, and we were both extrememly hungry and thirsty.

How could I have forgotten to bring food with us? HOW? Well, I guess I was in a rush to get into Zhong…

“Uh, Derek? Do you have any water with you?” Rina asked hesitantly.

“No, but we could try looking around…” I replied.

She nodded, and we split up to look for some water. After a few minutes, I heard a low growling noise from behind me, but it sounded really far away, so I ignored it.

I searched for a long time without finding any water, and I started to get bored. So, when I found a nice cool rock to sit on, I sat on it and took a break.

I thought about some stuff, jumped from one thought train to another, and I got lost in my thoughts until I heard a scream. Jumping up, I saw, way off in the distance, a huge demon that looked somewhat like a dog/wolf/bear thing fighting a tiny figure. Since I couldn’t see who it was exactly, I ran closer to investigate, using the wind to help me. And then the thought struck me. WHY COULDN’T I JUST SUMMON SOME WATER FROM THE GROUND?! WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THIS BEFORE?!

Oh well, no time to think about how stupid I’ve been. By now I was about 100 feet away, and the figures were starting to become clearer. The demon, called Canezzlote, was about the size of three bears stacked on top of each other, and about two bears wide. And the tiny figure was becoming more distinct, and, to my horror, I realized that it was Rina. She was doing pretty well for fighting such a huge creature, but I knew that she couldn’t hold out much longer.

At this time I was nearly close enough to attack it, but my aim wasn’t at its best, and I was afraid that I might hit Rina. Running even closer, I watched as the thing took a huge swipe at Rina, and she was too slow to dodge it. It hit her, and she went flying back for a second, then slammed into the ground hard enough to break a few bones. The Canezzlote lumbered toward her, and I knew instinctively that I wouldn’t be able to make it.

“Rina, get up!” I shouted at her, but she still lay motionless.

Before the Canezzlote reached her, he stopped in surprise and twisted around, attempting to look at its back. An arrow and a knife handle were protruding out of its back, and it thrashed around as its essence was sucked back into Di. However, I chose to ignore whoever it was that killed the beast, by now I was at Rina’s side.

Her eyes were still open, and I could see the pain in them.

“Rina. Heal yourself.” I told her.

“What – cough, cough – do you think I’m trying to do?” she snapped. And I could see that she was healing, but it would take another five minutes or so for her to heal completely.

A girl’s voice came from behind me. “Is she okay?”

I turned to see one of my friends and her twin sister, Maya and Kadence Walker. The one who asked was Maya, the other one Kadence.

“Yeah, she’s fine. Thanks for killing the Canezzlote. But why are you here, and how’d you get here?”

And Maya explained everything. They followed us into Zhong, saw the whole thing with A.M.Y., watched as Andrew chucked the knife away while we weren’t looking, seeing Lani get arrested, blah blah blah.

Finally she finished, and I got a chance to get a good look at them. Kadence was the one with the arrows, Maya the one with the knives. They were decked out in demon hunting gear, basically combat boots, leggings, and leather jackets. They both had brown hair and blue eyes, but Maya had forest green streaks in her hair, and Kadence had purple highlights.

While they were talking, Rina had completely healed, and she looked ready to go on. However, we still had the problem of food and water with us, and the water bottles Maya and Kadence had brought were nearly empty. And then I remembered that I needed to try pulling water from the ground. Turns out, it worked, and I filled Maya’s and Kadence’s water bottles, then had Rina and I drink as much as we could. It was refreshingly cold, and even though we didn’t have any food, we were still energized and ready to go on. So we did.

The Barrier ~ Part Four

Lani

I stared at Andrew in shock. He was always the one who didn’t like squashing bugs underneath our feet, yet here he was, someone who’d just murdered another human being. Unbelievable.

Well, technically she wasn’t human anymore, but still.

Anyway, a hole opened up in the sky – which, by the way, was now yellow tinged with a little purple – and two armed guards from Tian came down.

“Miss Miller, I believe you have just committed a serious crime. Speaking the name of Amarillis Magnolia Yasmine is a serious offense.”

Derek asked snarkily, “Well, didn’t you just say it yourself?”

“Mr. Miller, we are not asking you to talk.” Whoops. I forgot to mention that Derek was my brother. Of course, he’s older by a year and a half, about Andrew’s age. The thing is though, we look different. I mean, I have blond hair and green eyes, but he has brown hair and blue eyes.

“Miss Miller, follow us. Now,” the other guard said. “If you don’t, well, we’ll force you to come. Trust me, you don’t want that.”

Andrew spoke up. “Hey! She wasn’t the one who said the name! It was A.M.Y. who said her own name!”

Both the guards frowned, but the shorter one, who spoke first, now said, “But it was Miss Miller’s voice. I swear, it sounded just like her.”

“Yes, and that was A.M.Y. faking my voice.” I said.

The shorter one, who I was beginning to think of as “tomato” because of his red face, looked skeptical. “Oh? And where is she now?”

I smiled triumphantly. “She’s right-” I whirled around. “There!”

And then I gasped, in utter astonishment. “She was there just a minute ago!”

The taller guard had a sneer on his face. “Sure she was there. And my the sky is yellow.”

For the first time in a while, Rina started talking. “Actually, in case you haven’t noticed, the sky actually is yellow.”

Tomato glared at her. “You know what he meant! Miss Miller is guilty of committing a crime, and all lawbreakers must be punished! Miss Miller, you will serve 3 years in jail.”

I gaped at him. “Tomat- Sorry sir, but I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING!!!!!! Andrew, you do have the knife, right?”

I turned to Andrew desperately, wishing, hoping, that he hadn’t chucked it away. Strangely, I think I saw a glimmer of guilt flash across his face before he replied, “Lani, I don’t have it. Now stop lying and fess up the truth.”

What did he just say? No, he didn’t. He couldn’t have. Why…?

Tomato and the other guard smirked. “See? He admitted that you were guilty of crime. So, like he said, fess up already.”

I, however, ignored him and faced Andrew, rage on my face. “How could you?! I didn’t do anything, and you know it! I- I thought you- I thought- Never mind.”

As my voice broke near the end, I couldn’t help the tears that threatened to spill out over my eyelashes. It was just- Andrew lying to get me in jail? And all this time I thought we were friends, and might- just might- be more than that someday. And now, it’s all ruined.

When I realized that he’d betrayed me, all the fight left me. “Whatever, do whatever. I don’t care anymore.”

The guards looked stunned, but then took a length of rope and tied my hands together behind my back. I could feel the pleasure at succeeding radiating off of them, even without using my power.

Derek and Rina just stared at me. “Lani, they can’t just-” Derek started.

“Yes, we can, and we will,” stated non-Tomato.

Rina looked like he was trying hard not to cry herself. I knew though, that once I was gone, both of them would turn on Andrew and…well, I don’t know. But I knew that it wouldn’t be pretty.

The hole opened up once again, and the guards took me through it. It lead straight into the dungeons, where I was chained to the wall by a single chain, around my right ankle, and extending only ten feet.

Immediately after I was chained, the guards left, slamming the dungeon door shut behind them.

And that’s when I burst into tears.

The Barrier ~ Part Three

A/N- Uh…Here’s the next chapter/part or whatever you’re calling it!

Andrew

Rina froze. Like, stopped dead in her tracks.

Lani turned to her and groaned. “What’s wrong now, Rina?”

And then, as soon as she asked that, I felt it. A demon, heading for us, and it would have collided directly with Lani in 3 seconds.

“MOVE LANI!” I shouted.

She was shocked, wasting a second of the precious little time she had before she would be killed. Then Lani’s brain kicked into action, an she jumped out of the way. The creature barreled between us, moving so fast that we didn’t even get a good glimpse of it. It fell through one of the many holes in Zhong, but promptly joined the rest of the swarm.

Thankfully Lani wasn’t hurt. If she had been killed, I would have blamed myself for the rest of my life. …No, there’s NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING going on between us. There is no reason for anyone to think that. I refused to ever fall in…never mind. It’s none of your business.

Moving on. Rina was even paler than normal, and she looked really shaken up.

“Come one Rina, if we don’t hurry, home will be destroyed.” Lani said. Trust her to be perfectly okay and not scared at all, even though she was nearly killed.

Not replying, Rina stood there, stock-still. I think she was hyperventilating, but you can never be sure with Rina.

Meanwhile, Lani shook Rina’s shoulder. “What is wrong with you? We’ve got to keep- Rina, there is nothing to be afraid of. At all. See, the creature is gone. Now, hurry up and get your fat lazy butt outta here!”

Whaaat? Why would Rina be scared? I mean, there’s nothing anymore except-

“Her. It’s her.” Rina whispered, and a cold chill swept down my back.

Not her. The one person who- No. I refused to think about it. All you need to know is that, while she may be AMAZINGLY gorgeous on the outside, on the inside, she’s got a heart of ice. Trust me. I know what she’s capable of doing. It happened to me. She was banished to Zhong, for eternity. Why? This girl, lady, whatever, committed the worst crime anyone of us could do. And for anyone to speak her name…well, it’s not the prettiest thing.

A tinkling laugh reached my ears. As my caramel-colored eyes scanned the area, I saw her.

She was still as gorgeous as I remembered her being, even though that was about 2 years ago. I was 15. She was 14, Lani’s age back then. And I thought she was the prettiest girl on the planet. Well, at least the prettiest in Tian.

Her black hair was still streaked with brown and a little blond, especially near the edges. It might look like she did it herself, but trust me, it’s natural. The dark brown eyes I found so mesmerizing back then now seem cold, and endless. Two tunnels of eternity. Her pale skin, and the most perfect nose any girl could ever wish for.

“Remember me, Andrew? I hear they banned my name to be spoken by anyone. Well, what can they do to me now? Nothing. Might as well defy their rules, since I don’t obey them anymore,” her feminine, high-pitched but still beautiful voice collided with my eardrums.

Then her eyes set on Derek. They narrowed in distaste, and she said with a sneer, “I certainly remember you.

Wow. Derek stayed where he was, and faced her evenly. “Yeah? That’s nice.”

She didn’t reply to that, and instead started talking again. “I also heard that if anyone says my name, they will be thrown into jail am I right? My mimicry’s gotten better, and I bet that, even if it was down here, if anyone said my name, they’d still come and take them away, right?”

What she was going to do suddenly dawned on me. “You wouldn’t.” I hissed.

She yawned. “I would. And I’m willing to bet that I could take you all down in a fight.”

She’s right. We would have stood no chance against her.

“Hmm…who’s voice should I copy?” And then her eyes strayed to Lani. A smirk crossed her features, and – too late – I remembered that she could read minds. So did she just – read what I was thinking about -?

“I think I’ll do yours. After all, someone who’s just passed the test and become an official member of Tian certainly still has to prove her trustworthiness, right?”

Lani’s eyes widened. “You-“

I slapped my hand over her mouth, but it was too late. She had heard Lani’s voice, and now knew what it sounded like. “Thank you so much, darling.

And then she started. “Amarillis Magnolia Yasmine!” she shouted, in an exact replica of Lani’s voice.

I lunged forward, with a knife in my hand. (Duh- did you think I was going into Zhong unarmed?) While Amarillis was unprepared, I stabbed her. She screamed, piercingly loud, and then fell silent forever. Falling backward, her mouth an O of surprise, I felt a pang in my heart for what she could have been, had she not chosen the dark side. The dull thud her body made when she hit the ground was horrible, but I was ready to go on.

The Barrier Part Two

A/N: So umm…I was just thinking that it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to have this go on forever, so I’ll try to make this a short story. It’s going to be kind of hard though.

Sabrina

I wasn’t the least bit surprised when Andrew materialized next to us, but I freaked out when he said that the demons would be here in a few minutes.

“You’re kidding!” I said, even though I knew he wasn’t.

“Rina, you know I’m not,” he said. “In fact, exactly two minutes and 47 seconds.”

Oh, are you confused? Andrew can predict exactly when things will arrive and stuff like that. So when we play catch, Andrew never misses. I can heal. Like, show me a wound or paper cut, and I’ll put my hand on it, and three seconds (yes, exactly three seconds) later, it’ll look like nothing was there. But doing this takes energy. The bigger the wound or the farther away the object is that Andrew is predicting when it will land, the more energy it takes.

Derek looked at us. “I guess we have to seal the hole.”

Lani interrupted. “Can I come too?”

Derek, Andrew, and I all stared at her.

“What?” she asked defensively. “I did just pass my Assessment, and so now I can do whatever I want and make my own decisions!”

I sighed. “Fine, you can come.”

Andrew and Derek stared at me like I was crazy.

“Lani, you can’t come. It’s too dangerous.” said Andrew.

Crap. He shouldn’t have said that.

Lani took a deep breath. “I’M COMING WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT, ANDREW JOSEPH HOSTE! AND THAT’S FINAL!” she screamed.

Andrew was always the only one who never had to cover his ears when she shouted. In fact, he yelled louder than her. “NO YOU’RE NOT!”

I interfered before Lani shouted at him again. “Come on, just let her try.” I said.

Andrew glared at me. Derek looked like all this amused him. “It’s too dangerous for a novice like Lani though…” Andrew protested weakly. Then he stiffened. “They’re here!”

I whirled around just in time to see the first of many demons crest the hill behind us. I won’t even describe the expression on his ugly face – it really was disgusting, not to mention the actual demon himself.

While we were arguing, reinforcements had arrived. The first few people charged ahead to attack the demons, while we ran off, me dragging Lani with us.

Andrew and Derek were faster and Lani and me, so they reached the exit of Tian before we did.

“You ready?” asked Derek. Lani and I both nodded, and Andrew replied, “Yes.”

Without another word we marched through the grand, spiraling arch. Suddenly, a question popped into my mind.

“How did the demons get into Tian from the hill? I thought the only entrance and exit was right here!”

Andrew looked confused, but Derek knew what I was talking about. His face paled. “It means more holes have opened up.”

I already felt like the world was on my shoulders. Now it felt like someone dropped another ten tons of world on me.

Before long, we arrived at Zhong. I could see the whole place starting to disintegrate, and if we didn’t hurry, the entire place would dissolve in a week. Just then, Lani tripped.

“Ow!” she exclaimed, as I bent over to see what she tripped on. It was a small hole, but it showed a tiny bit of Di. I saw something extremely unpleasant. Tens of thousands of demons were rushing by, underneath us, trying to get to that huge hole that opened up. All of them were rushing right, so I told Derek and Andrew that we should head that way.

“Hey Rina, before we go on, can you take a look at this?” Lani asked me, pointing to her knee.

“Oh yeah, sorry.” I said.

Lani’s knee wasn’t as bad as it looked. I brushed my black hair out of my face and  placed one hand on the wound. In three seconds, it was healed, but I felt a little more tired.

Lani smiled at me. “Thanks a lot, Rina!”

We started walking toward the hole. Before long though, the ground was starting to have holes every ten feet. Most were small, but sometimes I saw a slightly bigger one.

After several hours, I was beginning to think that this was too easy. I mean, we’ve done nothing but walk for hours, and nothing happens?

…crap. I shouldn’t have thought that, because, coincidentally, my necklace with a sapphire pendant that matches my eyes and can sense demonic activity begins to pulse.

Winning

Sorry, I hope this doesn’t sound too much like I’m bragging, but my mom wanted me to post this on the blog… I know it’s kinda late to post this because it’s about the State competition, but oh well. And it’s almost like a story…

The trophies sat, gleaming, on the steps as the two ladies announced the results for Plan C, Grades 5-6, Group Three. I waited while they called everyone up for a Certificate of Participation, hoping that I won. My heart pounded in my chest as I waited silently for the list of I Ratings to begin. Several people I knew were called up to receive I Ratings, and I almost expected my name to be called. But when it wasn’t, a flood of relief washed over me.

My hands clenched together as I wished that I wouldn’t be called for an Honorable Mention either. All I really wanted was a trophy. Not a medal. The three or four names for Honorable Mention were completed, and excitement started building up in me. I had either gotten Runner Up or first!

The Runner Up was called, and when it wasn’t me, I was actually disappointed for about half a second before I realized what that meant for me. Just when I realized it, my name was called for first. The victory I had worked hard on for months was now here, and mine! I hoped and didn’t want to hope (just in case the opposite came true) that I would be first. I walked up to receive my trophy, and I just couldn’t stop a smile from spreading across my face.

The Barrier

Author’s Note: I’ve gotten kind of stuck on my Skyra story, so I think I will just discontinue it. But I promise, THIS story WILL BE FINISHED. ABSOLUTELY. Okay?

Delani

I stared at my reflection in the mirror, seeing what I always saw. Blond hair, green eyes, and pink lips. Just an average sixth-grader. Nothing special or extraordinary.

I only had three hours to get myself ready for The Assessment. Either the pride and joy of your family, or their disgrace. So a lot of pressure was weighing on my shoulders.

All The Assessment was was just a test to see how well your powers were developing. Mine were pretty advanced, at least according to my friend Sabrina. I could sense emotions. When I used my power, people turned into colors. And the colors all represented different emotions.

All people with powers could also telepathically communicate. So that’s what I often did with Rina. And Andrew. They were my two best friends. Period.

Going to my closet, I tried to find something suitable. Not a dress, but some training clothes. I decided on a white tank top and sweatpants.

Rina barged into my room without knocking. She has a bad habit of doing that. Anyway, she asked, “You ready?”

“No.” I said.

“Too bad, we’re leaving anyway.”

And with that, Sabrina  Eline Fracot grabbed my wrist and practically dragged me out of the room.

When Rina finally let go, I rubbed my wrist. Then I looked up to see that we were outside, and the sky was gray. Not good. The last time someone had an Assessment on a gray and rainy day, well… it didn’t turn out too well.

The courtyard we were in was wide, with a fountain in the middle, and gardens surrounding it with bright yellow, pink, purple, light blue and white flowers.

Suddenly, a group of people materialized next to us. They were the people who would be testing me, I guess.

Rina bowed. I remained still.

“May I present the only Delani Cassandra Miller.” she said, in a formal voice.

One of the people rolled his eyes. “Rina, stop that.”

Rina immediately relaxed. “Nice to see you, Derek! How’re you doing?”

“I’ve been fine, lately.”

Another person, a middle-aged woman, interrupted their conversation. “We need to see how well Delani’s skills are.”

I surprised myself by talking. “Call me Lani.”

She glanced over at me. “Alright then, if you want.”

The group spread out and faced me. I looked at them nervously. What was I supposed to do?

Derek explained. “Lani, you have to use your powers. We will be watching and doing stuff, to see how well your powers are.”

I nodded, and then we were all silent. Focusing hard, I tried to sense the emotions of the people around me.  Within a few seconds, I felt the world shift slightly, and when I looked up, the people were gone. Replacing them were their emotions. Most of them were concentrating hard, a few were relaxed, and others were tense.

After a few minutes, I didn’t know what I was supposed to do, so I just stopped. The people became people again, and they looked at me approvingly.

I sighed in relief. “Did I pass?” I asked.

“Yes.” one of them replied. The circle then disbanded, and Derek went to talk with Rina.

I cleared my throat. “Rina? What do I do now?”

“Whatever you normally do.” she said, and waved me away.

Well, that was helpful.  With nothing to do, I started to head home when I heard a scream.

Without another thought I raced back, my powers already working, to find a little girl, out of breath from running, with a dark aura of fear. The darker the aura is, the more scared that person is. Right now, that little girl was, on a scale of one to ten for fear, a twenty.

Rina was already there, brow creased in worry, as she asked the little girl what was wrong.

“Demons have broken out of Di! There’s a huge hole in Zhong!”

Everybody who heard gasped. Di was also known as The Ultimate Prison, for demons. Zhong was The Barrier. It had been keeping out demons for centuries. I mean, there were a few leaks every now and then, but never a huge hole like the one the little girl said there was. The place that we live, Tian, is just Sky.

So if Zhong was breached, then it won’t be long until the demons come storming to us, and kill us. We were the ones, us with powers, long ago, who drove the demons away and imprisoned them in Di.

Andrew materialized next to me. “Lani, the demons are coming!”

“I know!” I tell him.

“No, I mean, they’ll be here in a few minutes!”

My blog

Hi people, just to let you know, I made a blog just for Fanfic and fiction stories, you can put them on there, if you want to read my story but don’t want to give me your email, I can try to keep putting it on there. The blog is private, but I’ll get an email and probably grant you access, depending on who you are. Heehee. Anyway, just in case you think I’m thinking something bad, there’s nothing wrong with the Shinygems wonderland, I just kind of felt like making a blog. And you need the address, if you want to go on; I won’t blame you if you don’t.

bookfanfics.wordpress.com

If you don’t get access immediately, don’t worry, because I should check my email at least within the next day, so you might have to wait a day or so. If you decide to check it out, thank you, and if you don’t want to post anything but just want to read the stories, that’s fine too.

Elemental Powers – Author’s Note

Just saying, I’m not going to post anymore of my story because it’s really getting too long, but if you want to read it, you can give me your email and I’ll send it to you. If I already have your email, just let me know if you want to read it, I personally think this story is just average.

Elemental Powers Part 8 Complete Edits

A/N: I finally finished editing this, sorry it took so long. Suggestions would be helpful, as I think the whole “in school and homework” stuff is really boring…do you guys know how to skip like, a year or so ahead without making the story seem like it’s going too fast? Please comment if you find any mistakes, I think a little present tense slipped in every here and there. Personally, I like this version more than what I originially had. I was just saying, actually, I might just stick with this version and not go with the other one after all…what do you think?

Chapter One

Skyra

Six years ago

“Mommy! Mommy! Look at me!” I yelled through the open window. My mom came out of the house and gasped.

“Skyra, get down from that tree right this instant!” She shouted back.

My mom has never used that tone with me. I began to cry, and wiped my tears with both hands. Suddenly, I fell. Being twenty or thirty feet high in the tree, that fall should have seriously injured or killed me. Strangely, I slowed down, and landed on my feet at the base of the tree, right in front of my half scared, half angry mom.

“What were you thinking?! Climbing that high in a tree?! You scared me to death when you fell! You know what I’ve told you, Skyra. You could have broken a bone, or worse, been killed! You must never, ever, do that again. Understand?”

“Yes, Mommy. But that was fun!”

“What was fun?”

“Falling!”

“Falling from the tree was fun?!”

“Yeah! Because I slowed down and landed on my feet in the fall!” I turned my head and saw a man watching us. He was dressed in black and had sunglasses on.

A year ago

I raised my hands in the air, a broad smile on my face. I had just won the School Running Championship, ahead of everyone else in my grade! The weird thing was though, while I ran, a strange wind came and pushed me faster. I never knew I could run so fast. Turning, I received the trophy and said thanks to the man who handed it to me. Wait a second. It feels like I should know this man. Oh well. I mentally shrugged and thought, what does it matter if I know him?

On the way home, my mom said, “Skyra, how did you run so fast? I’ve never seen you run so fast in your entire life!”

I replied, “I don’t know, but at least I won!”

Now

These memories and others rushed through my mind as I processed what the strangely familiar man in front of me just said. That I have the power to bend air to my will? Hold on. I know who he is. He was there, in all of my memories with me demonstrating some way of having the power to control and distort air. But still!

“That’s not true.” I said out loud.

“Oh, but it is. So I ask you again, will you join us? After all, you don’t usually see people with the air element power walking down the street.”

“Oh yeah? And why should I ‘join’ you?”

“I teach a school, where kids with all sorts of elemental powers come to learn.”

“Right…” I said sarcastically. There was something secretive about this guy, something I didn’t trust.

“Look, just come join us and learn, okay?” I could tell this guy was losing his patience.

“And what if I say no?”

“Then I will force you to come!” And before I could do anything, he grabbed my wrists and slapped a hand over my mouth. I struggled and tried to scream, but the noise was muffled and no one was around. He dragged me to a van, gagged me and tied my wrists and ankles together, then threw me in the back. I hit my head on something hard, and the world slowly spun into black.

I woke up, and thought for a moment, who am I? Then I remembered. I sat up and groaned. My head throbbed where I hit it. Looking around, I saw that I was in a prison cell-like dormitory. I noticed a girl with two long braids down her back staring at me from the other side of the room. Trying for friendliness, I said, “Hi.”

She continued to stare.

“Where are we?” I asked.

“Academy for Kids with Elemental Powers,” said a voice from the doorway.

I turned to see who said that. A guy was standing in the doorway. He looked about fifteen, and he ignored me when I asked, “What’s your name?”

Continuing, he said, “So anyway, this place has been around for who knows how long, we all have elemental powers, everybody has either the water, fire, air, or earth power, but you can go on and learn the advanced arts, like if you have the fire power, you can learn to create and control lightning, if you have the air power, you can learn to control Ice, you can learn plant when you have the water power, and you can control metal when you have the earth power.”

He smiled at us then left, leaving me alone with the girl again.

“So, ummm…what’s your name?”

“I am not obligated to speak with such a lowly being like you.”

That…was nice.

“Oh. Okay then.”

She turned her head sharply to the right and stared at the wall, which was a very nice olive color. Oh yeah, that’s sarcasm.

I passed the time by examining every inch of the room, and looked for a way to escape. When that guy came in, he opened the door. That seemed impossible. After three hours of search, I gave up. This room cannot be broken out of.

Emberana

That girl. She was so stupid. Like, seriously, she thought she could talk to me. Me! I mean, she was a beginner, and I, was about to be asked into the Challenge class. I have no idea why Karamu came in and answered her question, but judging from his expression, I think he was going to tell me something. That girl – I don’t know her name – was looking around the room, as if there was a way to escape! Huh! Everybody knows you can’t escape from here.

Oh yeah, but she didn’t know that. Too bad. It’s not like I was going to tell her. She even asked me what my name was! The nerve! Hmph.

Eventually I got bored and grabbed my favorite book. Reading always calmed me down. I got lost in the pages, until the click of the door opening jerked me out of the book. I walked out of the door, and that girl took the opposite hallway.

Turning around, I smirked as she got zapped by either ice, water, or lightning.

“I am not obligated to speak with you, lowly being, but I must say you are heading in the wrong direction. The meal hall is this way. Whenever you feel a – wait, what element are you?”

“I am not obligated to answer questions from such a high and proper being as you,” she said, copying my tone. Unbelievable! “But I am an air elementalist.”

How dare she! I try to help and she mimics me!

“Ungrateful wench. Lowly being, I am only trying to help. When you feel a slight shock, you will know that you are going in the wrong direction.”

“Ok. But how am I supposed to get out of this place?”

“Just because I helped you this once doesn’t mean we’re friends, you idiot!” I snapped at her. Gosh, she thought she could ask anything and I would answer. Can’t believe I have to share a room with her.

“Ok, geez.”

“Hmph…”

I turned and walked toward the totally awesome meal hall where I eat, but that girl turned and followed me, so I asked, “Why are you following me, lowly being?”

She replied, “Well, I don’t know where the meal hall is, so I thought I’d follow you to see where it is.”

“I get to dine with the other high members of the school. You,” I said with disgust, “get to dine with other lowly beings just as stupid as you.”

“Well, can you take me there?” she asked.

“ME?!?!?!? Take you THERE?!?!?!?!? If I get caught heading there, the teachers will think I WANT to sit in there, and then I will have to sit in there. For a WEEK!!! Do you know HOW SHAMEFUL that is?!?!?!?!?!?” I screamed.

“Well, no, I don’t know how shameful that is, but I do need you to take me there.” she admitted.

“Why you little-”

“Girls! What are you doing?!” said a familiar voice from down the hall.

I said, “Mademoiselle Foodle, I was just taking this lo- I-I mean new girl to the meal hall.”

“Oh really? Then explain WHY I heard YELLING from down the hall?”

“Ummm…”

“I see…no reason to explain why?”

“No, it’s just that, well, I saw Kalani and Melina having, err, an argument. And, umm, they were yelling at each other.”

I hoped she would believe it. Unfortunately I wasn’t thinking practically.

“Mmhm. Right…” she said in a tone dripping with sarcasm. “And where did they go? This hallway has no turns or side passages for quite a while. I expect you want me to believe they flew through the ceiling?”

“Oh, well, umm…”

“Lying, were you?”

“Err…no.”

“Yes you were. From the first day you came here I expected you to be able to remember that silence is needed in these halls. Clearly, I was wrong. Your punishment will be…sitting at the newbies’ table. FOR A WEEK!”

“The newbies table?! But-but it’s so-so-so-” I stammered.

“So what? Full of newbies? At least you’ll be with your new friend.”

“FRIEND?!?!?!?!?! Friends with this-this- lowly being?!?!?! The idea itself horrifies me!”

“That is your punishment. Or would you like it changed to a month instead?”

Dropping my gaze, I settled for clenching my fists and glared at the girl who got me into this mess in the first place.

“Stupid lowly being,” I muttered under my breath as I stalked off toward the newbies’ meal hall.

When Mademoiselle Foodle said, “And YOU!” I slowed my pace because I wanted to listen.

.“As for you, because you are new, I will let you off the hook. Just this once. After all, I have a thousand students who I must attend to, and they all MUST be punished!” she finished, fully aware that I was listening.

I ground my teeth in frustration. The walk to the meal hall gave me plenty of time to think, and I came up with an idea, to lure the girl into a fight that she had no hopes of winning. Cyndra was going to do a great job of it, I was sure.

Emberana

It may have been a coincidence that Cyndra was punished and sent to the meal hall, even if it was just for a day.

Walking over to her table, I said “Hey Cyndra. I have to tell you something.”

She made a “hold on” gesture with her fingers, then pointed at her mouth.

I tapped my foot impatiently. Finally, she swallowed.

“Ok Emberana, what?”

“There’s going to be-”

“Whoa, hold on. I feel a long conversation coming. Go get some food, then we’ll talk.”

I sighed, then got myself a tray and loaded it with food. When I got back, I told Cyndra my plan.

“So okay, you want me to stand up and say ‘hey newbie’ when she comes in?”

“Yeah.”

“Ok then. Simple enough. What do I do then?”

“Make it up as you go. You’re good at that.”

“That’s it? And I have to somehow work a duel into there?”

“Yes. That’s all.”

Just then, that girl walked in, and the meal hall fell silent. I signaled at Cyndra, and she stands up.

“Hey, newbie.” she said.

Perfect.

Everyone laughed, and the girl flushed with embarrassment. Then – I can’t believe her – she just shrugged.

The laughter stopped abruptly.

I knew Cyndra wouldn’t handle it well. Her face became a mask of rage as she asked, “Are you challenging me to a fight?”

She shrugged again.

“Would that be a yes? I am extremely powerful you know. Actually, the best fire elementalist out of everybody here in this cafeteria, and everybody in the advanced class.”

I knew that wasn’t true, I am equal to her, but she had to say that or else she’d look weak.

“I don’t know. Do you want to fight?” that other girl asked.

“Hmmm…if you’re not afraid to.”

I looked around and saw Coronalia shaking her head at that new girl. What was she doing? Trying to warn her? About what? No way could she have found out about our plan…but…she’s trying to be that other girl’s friend.

Hmph. Let the newbies be together for all I care. Wait a second…a new idea was forming in my brain. While I was busy watching Coronalia, the argument had kept going, so I missed some of it.

The girl said, “I am not a coward!” Yes! I cheered silently. Cyndra was good at finding peoples’ weaknesses.

“Then prove it by showing you’re not afraid to fight me!” Cyndra countered.

A shadow of worry crossed the girl’s face.

“Losing your nerve?” Cyndra asked teasingly.

“I will fight you.” The girl said.

“Okay. When?”

“How about…tomorrow at midnight. The Rosetta Room.”

“Sure. If you can even find your way there!” Cyndra said, and everybody laughed.

Suddenly, the girl asked, “Hey, aren’t you a newbie too?”

“Uh…well, actually, umm…”

“Well, are you? Oh wait, don’t tell me. If you’re not a newbie, you must have been punished and sent here to eat for…how long? A week? A month?”

“No. Just today. But too bad for you, you have to sit here for quite a while!”

That girl unbelievably laughed! She said, “Really, being a newbie is better than being punished and having to sit here for even a day.”

“You-you-you little-” Cyndra absolutely hated being made fun of. “You little- you little- you little- you-you aren’t even fit to eat out of trash cans!”

“Really? Then what am I eating right here?” she said, and pointed to her food. Since when did she get that?

“Hmph! You don’t deserve the meal in front of you.”

Great. Time to put my plan into action. I walked up to Cyndra, not missing the look of rage in that girl’s eyes, and whispered my ideas into her ear. She looked surprised at first, but then a wicked smile spread across her face.

Skyra

“I change the rules. It’s two on two. Emberana and I will be a pair. I bet nobody will pair up with you!”

I looked around nervously. Finding the nice girl, I sent her a silent message: Will you do it?

For a few seconds, she looked hesitant. Then she slowly stood up and said, “I will be on a team with…”

Again, she got my silent message.

“I will be on a team with Skyra.”

Everyone snickered.

“You?” screeched Emberana.

“Yeah.” She calmly replied.

“Fine. Be on the losing team.” Emberana said.

The girl who volunteered to be on my side walks over to me and introduced herself.

“Hi. I’m Coronalia. They’re both fire type elements, so since I’m a water elementalist, we should have a slight advantage.”

“Nice to meet you. Thanks for sticking up for me back there. You know I’m Skyra, and from my name, you can probably tell that I am an air element person.”

“I guessed from the second I saw you. You don’t look solid enough for an earth person, but you aren’t much like me, so you couldn’t be water. Oh yeah, you didn’t look proud and all ‘high and mighty’ like most fire people, but you looked pretty nice, tall, and, well, you have the grace of an air elementalist.”

“Oh. So you tell people apart like that?”

“Pretty much.”

“I have to tell you something.” I said hesitantly.

“What?” Coronalia asked.

“Well, I…don’t know how to use my power.”

“Oh well, I can give you a crash course. Here, are you done?” she asked, taking my tray.

“Yeah, I’m full.”

“Ok then. Wait right here.” She took the tray and dumped it. Then she put it on a revolving tray rack, which slowly turns and takes the trays to whoever cleans them, I guess.

When Coronalia came back, she took me to an empty classroom. We practiced.

“So first, close your eyes and relax.”

I did that, and felt energy flowing through my body.

“Now, breathe in deeply.”

Ahhhhhhh…so relaxing.

“Ok, now reach into your soul and imagine yourself as light as air, as graceful as the wind, and, well…just like whatever else air is like.”

Hmm…strange tingling sensation. It started from my toes and spread up my body, slowly, until my head filled with energy.

“You did it!” Coronalia said excitedly.

“Wha???” I said, opening my eyes and looking at myself. “Whoa, is this still me?”

I was wearing a sparkling silver jacket on top of a gray shirt and pants that feel as light as air. If somebody told me to put this on, I would say, “no,” because I’d think it’d look horrible! Surprisingly, it actually looked good on me. I mean, I’m not trying to brag, but still.

“Ok, now attack me.” Coronalia instructed. She was wearing blue pants and a blue shirt, but they shimmered like water every time she moved.

“What?” I said.

“You heard me. Attack!”

“But what if I hurt you?”

“Not likely.” she said.

“Fine.” I delved into my soul and found a barrier. Driving my mind against it, it broke and I was allowed access to a store of magic. Summoning an air ball, I threw it against Coronalia. She lifted her hand, used water power, and deflected it. It is sent right back at me, and somehow, I absorbed it.

“Not bad, for a start. But it will have to be more powerful if you want to beat those two.”

I dived in deeper and found a stronger blast to throw at her. This time, she deflected it again, but it’s harder because it’s stronger. Again, I absorbed it.

“Ok, that’s enough practice for now.” Coronalia said.

She was panting, and I asked, “Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” She replied. “If you make it even stronger, they won’t have a chance!”

“It’s midnight.” I said to Emberana.

“I know!” she snapped at me.

We walked to the Rosetta Room. When I went inside, I see a huge room with walls that were bare. There was nothing in this room. Suddenly, a swishing noise came and the other girl walked out with Coronalia.

“Ok, we’re all here,” she said.

“Yeah. You two,” said Emberana, pointing at us, “Stand over there. Cyndra and I will stand over here.”

We walked over as they walked to their places.

Cyndra shouted, “Ready, set, START!”

The duel had begun.

Chapter Two

Coronalia

I turned into my water form and created a thin stream, which I shot at Cyndra. She tried to counter with fire, so I increased the power of my water, and it overpowered the fire and hit her. I made it freezing cold, and when it hit her, she was drenched. It also must have burned, because she was a fire elementalist, so she screamed.

Sending a fire blast at me, she quickly created a fireball and made it hover around her body. I used a water shield to deflect the hits, and looked over my shoulder to see how Skyra was doing.

Suddenly, I heard a whooshing noise, and looked back just in time to see a huge fireball, bigger than my shield, coming toward me. Quickly I sent a thin stream of water down the middle and the entire fireball came apart. Creating a water flow, I launch it at Cyndra, and it hit her. She screamed again, and the force of the water becomes even more powerful until she manages to block it with some lightning. Uh oh. I had a weakness against lightning. Unfortunately, Cyndra knew it.

She shot a blast of lightning at me, and I tried to dodge, but it grazed my side, and I gasped with pain. Clutching the wound with one hand and attacking with the other, I manage to hit her a few times, but it’s not very effective, as she is in her lightning form. I haven’t learned to control plants yet so I couldn’t exactly tangle her up with some vines, though that would be nice.

She fired more lightning, and I stumbled backward – right into Emberana. She looked surprised, but recovered faster and pinned my arms to my sides.

“No one’s gonna save you now, filth.” she taunted. “Your little friend over there is unconscious. Looks like she bit off more than she could chew.” And they both laugh.

“Cyndra, go ahead and fry her. I couldn’t care less who gets to zap this insolent brat.”

I saw Cyndra preparing a lightning blast and closed my eyes, bracing myself for the pain that never came. After a few seconds, I hear a whoosh and accidentally whimpered. Then a boom noise came and I was released. Opening my eyes, all I saw was dust everywhere, and then, Skyra, shaky but still steady.

“I’m not defeated. Yet.” she said. Sudden movement caught my eyes and I turned to see Emberana and Cyndra climbing out of the rubble, groaning. They stopped when they saw Skyra and me, and immediately clambered to their feet.

“How- what- I totally blasted you with fire!” stuttered Emberana.

“Actually, I made an air shield around myself, so your fire just went right around me.”

“Hmph! That’s not going to happen again.” Right when she was done talking, she blasted fire at both of us. Skyra quickly made her shield, and I just used some water and destroyed the blast. Cyndra didn’t hesitate before shooting lightning at me. I jumped, and it blasted a smoking crater underneath my feet. Suddenly, I felt a searing punch on my temple, and the world started to blur. I thought I saw Cyndra preparing some lightning, but I made a water shield. However, I wasn’t thinking clearly, and the lightning hit the water, making electricity sizzle through it. I knew I had no chance of letting go of my water without touching me, so I carefully redirected it and shot it as fast as a bullet toward Cyndra. She couldn’t dodge, and she screamed as the electricity zapped her.

I winced. That looked and sounded painful. Suddenly, even before she stopped screaming, she shot lightning at me. I was totally unprepared, and the pain was probably five times worse because of the extra water in my body; electricity jumped up and down my body as fast as it travels through water. I screamed, and my stomach felt as if it were being burned alive.

The last thing I remember before passing out is Skyra screaming, “No!”

The first thing I registered when I woke up was that I was alive.

The second was that I had a burning pain in my stomach.

The third was Skyra was hissing my name. I turned to face her; a hiss of pain escaped my lips as my stomach objected to the rough treatment it was getting.

“I have a few questions.” she said when I got myself into a more comfortable position.

“Okay. Ask.” I said.

“Well, will we have…scars, assuming the wounds heal at all?”

I laughed, and immediately regretted it. My face twisted in pain as my stomach sent another wave up my body. When the pain left, I answered Skyra’s question. “Don’t worry about it. We’ll be fully healed in a few hours. Don’t worry,” I said hastily when Skyra opened her mouth again. “There won’t be any scars.”

“I wasn’t going to ask that.” she said quietly. “I was going to ask about how much trouble we are going to be in when-” here she gulped audibly. “Mademoiselle Foodle finds out.”

I just stared at her until she said, “What?”

“Nothing. I guess you haven’t really seen Mademoiselle Foodle yet.”

“What do you mean? I didn’t think that Mademoiselle Foodle was actually nice.”

“Huh? You already met her?”

“Yeah, on my way to the dining hall with Emberana. She got in trouble for yelling.”

“Ohh…that explains it. Mademoiselle Foodle is actually really nice to the kids who aren’t all ‘I’m a god, now bow down and worship me.’ You know?”

“Yeah. My first impression of her was sorta…well…she just didn’t seem like the nicest person.”

Just then, Mademoiselle Foodle walked in.

“Hello girls. I knew you’d be in here.”

“Someone tell you?” I asked.

“Yes. Someone you should not have messed with in the first place.” and she gestured toward a different part of the infirmary. I assumed she meant either Emberana or Cyndra.

“Sorry,” I said. “But they started the whole thing.”

“Yes, I know that. On a brighter note, welcome to your new school Skyra! I’m sorry your first day went like that, but well, not all first days are the best.”

For some reason, Skyra looked mad. “And just how long am I going to be staying here?”

“Oh, umm…about three or fours years probably.”

“WHAT?! You expect me to stay here away from my mom, my dad, my little brother and my little sister for FOUR frickin’ YEARS?!?!?!”

“Yes. Now we need to debate the issue of your class.”

I spoke up. “I think she should be in the Medium class.”

“You really think so?”

“Yeah. After all, she did manage to make a shield, and she reached her magic first try. All I taught her to do was get to the magic, and throw a hit. She also has really good aim, like Cyndra was about to fry me with lightning, and she just deflected it!”

“Hmm…I think we’ll consider it. Skyra, I’ll be back in a few hours to see how well you can fight with a sword. Until then, consider yourself as a student in the Medium class.”

Skyra

I just gaped, my mouth hanging open.

Coronalia said, “Well, we’re in the same class!”

I asked, “You’re in the Medium class?”

“Yes. Do you want to know who teaches the classes?”

“Sure.”

“Ok then. Mademoiselle Foodle is Headmistress, and she teaches the Challenge level elemental and sword classes. But the thing is, almost nobody are in those classes. Only the most talented and skilled go there. Actually, right now I can name the three people in the class. They are Desato, Karamu, and Illiria. Anyway, Emberana and Cyndra might actually make it to the Challenge class. They are in the Advanced group right now, but they’re really good. Well, the teacher of the Advanced group is Miss Catta. She’s fairly nice, but she loses her temper easily, and she has about this much patience,” Coronalia said, holding up two fingers a centimeter apart. “So I don’t want to think about being in her class. And for us, our teacher is Mr.…umm…well, he has a really long last name, and it’s something like this. Mr. Kaletinoytagooglogashlabonbonifferansim, blah, blah, blah, I forgot the rest, but well…he told us to just call him Bob, or Mr. K. Ok, so the early or Beginner class is taught by Ms. Melani. She is really nice, so I guess that’s why they chose her to put up with the kids who have no idea how to do things. Oh wait. The teachers all have assistant teachers, to help them teach the other kids they don’t get to, because the classes are fairly large groups, and one teacher can’t get them all. The assistant teachers take groups of kids to different classrooms. Well, those are all the teachers, and don’t forget that. You should rest now, so you can do sword stuff later.”

I was tired, and as she said that last sentence, I yawned and closed my eyes, drifting into sleep.

A few hours later, I woke up and found Mademoiselle Foodle standing over my bed.

“What do you want now?” I grumbled.

She let out an impatient sigh. “Skyra, I want to see how good your sword skills are.”

“Wha? Oh yeah.” I said.

Jumping out of bed, I hesitantly took a few steps, and when there wasn’t any pain, I said, “I can try the sword stuff now.”

“Ok then. Follow me.”

Mademoiselle Foodle led me to a room with weapons on the walls. I saw axes, swords, javelins, spears, knives, throwing knives, tridents, some bows with full sheaths of arrows, and so on.

“Where did you get all these weapons?” I asked.

“It’s been collected over the years. Now, we need to find you a suitable sword.” And with that, she took me through a door, where racks and racks were filled with nothing but weapons.

“Here you go,” said Mademoiselle Foodle. “You find something you like, and when you’re ready, call me.”

I walked around the racks, looking at weapons, occasionally picking up a spear, or maybe a javelin, but the balance wasn’t quite right. Finally I got to the sword rack, and there were about as many different swords here as there were all the other weapons combined!

I looked around, and was drawn to a pair of swords. Picking them up, they felt like extensions of my arms, and I carefully slid them out of the sheaths. One blade was different shades of sky blue, though occasionally gray. Looking at it, I was reminded of the sky. The other sword was as clear as glass, and when I looked through it, it was like seeing things through my own eyes. On both of the cruxes was a clear blue gem.

“Ok, so you choose this pair, eh?” A voice from behind me said.

I jumped and dropped the swords. Picking them up, I turned around. Standing behind me was an elderly old man, with battle scars all over his arms.

“W-what do you want?” I asked.

“Ok, nothing,” he replied. “Ok, Mademoiselle Foodle told me to see what kind of sword you got. I wasn’t expecting this.”

“Oh, well…”

“Ok now, do you need somebody to practice sword fighting with?” he asked.

“Yes.” I replied.

“Ok then. Karamu, come here!” The guy who came into our room before came here, and I stared at him. He winked.

“Ok,” This old guy was starting to annoy me. “So ok then, you have to fight this girl and tell Mademoiselle Foodle how she did. Got it?”

“Yeah, whatever,” he said in a carefree tone. “Bet I’ll beat her.”

“Ok, Karamu, that’s not fair. You are in the Challenge class. She is a beginner. Ok?”

“I get it.” he repeated.

“Ok then, come here.” The old guy beckoned to us, and led us into a place for practice apparently. The room had dummies and experimental weapons, like target dummies for the archery, spear-throwing, and javelin-throwing people, dummies to beat up with swords, and a lot of other dummies for other things. Anyway, I went to a square on one side of the room, and Karamu went to a square on the opposite side.

“Ok, you can start now.” the old guy said, then backed out of the room.

Immediately, Karamu charged toward me and sliced downward with his sword. I clumsily blocked it, but it pushed me off balance and I fell. His sword came around and stopped an inch from my neck.

“Too easy,” he said, and offered me a hand to help me up. I didn’t take it and got up myself.

Just wait. I’ll show him.

Again, we got into position, and he charged again. I blocked it better this time, and tried to swing at his neck. He dodged it easily, and sliced his sword at my legs. The blade grazed my legs, and blood seeped out of the cut. Minor pain lanced through my body, but I gritted my teeth and tried to ignore it.

This time, I swung at his legs, and when he is busy blocking it, I tried to slice at his neck. His sword flashed up impossibly quick, but I cut his left leg. Then I swung crazily, blocking all of his attacks and slicing at him. Sometime during the battle, he got a second sword, and we were evenly matched.

Eventually though, I got tired, and he slowly forced me down until my swords laid on the ground, and his were pointing at my neck.

Karamu

That girl, Skyra, was actually really good. It unnerved me. Before she came, no one could match my sword skills. Absolutely no one. And then a strange girl – beginner, in fact – just comes and matches my skills for a minute? Are you kidding? I mean, I did beat her, but still.

My sword was pointing at her throat as I said, “Not bad. But you’ll have to work harder if you want to beat me!”

She blushed and said, “Hmph! At least I was evenly matched with you for a while.”

“Yeah, but it wasn’t very long.”

“Still…” she said.

Just then, Mademoiselle Foodle came in. “Ahh, there you are Skyra. I’ve been looking all over this place for you. Karamu, what are you doing in here?”

I lifted my sword away from her throat and offered her a hand. Again, she refused to take it.

“Karamu, I asked you what you were doing in here.”

“Wha- oh yeah. Swordsmaster told me to practice with her.”

“He told you to practice with Skyra?! She’s just started here!”

“I know that. She is really good for someone who’s just started.”

“What do you mean? How good did she do?”

“Well, she was evenly matched with me for a minute or so. Then I won.”

“WHAT?! That’s not possible!!”

“It’s true.” I said, and shrugged.

“Show me.”

“Ok.”

We got into position again and faced each other. I charged at her, and she just barely raised her sword to block it. I remember every detail with ice-cold clarity. She swung at my legs and I jumped. In the air, I turned and whipped the sword around, feinting to the right. She swung at it and I twisted it around, cutting her left arm. Thirty seconds later, we both had more cuts and Skyra was on the ground again, my sword at her neck.

Mademoiselle Foodle’s mouth just hung wide open. I could have counted all the silver teeth she had, but decided against it. After all, you don’t want to look in your Headmistress’s mouth. Especially if she’s not exactly in her early years of youth.

Eventually she regained her voice, but it was all stutter-y and the way you talk after you’ve received a huge shock. (Not the electric kind.)

“Skyra, what- how did you- I can’t- am I- Is this- did that just- that’s not possible- what did you- how- what- my grandfather’s socks- I- how- how did you do that?”

“I don’t know. Maybe it was jus luck?”

“You know, no one’s lucky enough to beat me twice.” I said.

“Really? Is anyone lucky enough to beat you once?” Skyra asked.

“No. In fact, no one is ever evenly matched with me for more than ten seconds.”

“Wow. I’m a first I guess.”

“Yup.”

“Well Karamu, I want your honest answer. Which class should she be in?”

“I would say…the Medium. She needs to know all the basics, but her skill is worthy of being in the Challenge class. Did you have Illiria test her magic?”

Skyra laughed. “I got into a fight with Emberana and Cyndra.”

“Two on one? That’s not fair.”

“No, it was two on two.”

“Who fought with you?”

“Coronalia.”

“Oh. She’s pretty.”

Skyra raised an eyebrow at what she must have thought was a complete sentence. I blushed and finished lamely, “Good.”

“Okay,” she said slowly, almost teasingly. “I get that.”

“Hey,” I said. “I can still beat you up.”

Her eyes widened in mock fear. “Oh please don’t! I don’t want to be beaten up! Please, have mercy!”

“Since when were you an actress?”

“Since when did you go around beating up people who tease you?”

Mademoiselle Foodle cleared her throat. “Ahem. If you’re done with your lively little conversation, may we continue?”

I blushed, and Skyra did too. We’d forgotten that Mademoiselle Foodle was still standing there.

“So, I think we have decided.” said Mademoiselle Foodle.

“I’m in the Medium class then?”

“Yes, you are. Congratulations. I remember only six other people who were talented enough to jump from starting here to the Medium class. Aquella was a water elementalist, and she was just like your friend Coronalia. Illiria- well, Illiria is really special. She can control every element there is, water, fire, earth, air, lightning, ice, plant, and metal, and as soon as she was taught how to control one element, she could control all of them. And she never learned the advanced elements. She just knew them. Coronalia and Karamu also jumped over the beginner class. The last one is Acriona, and she was an air elementalist, like you. I believe you and Karamu have met somewhere before, as you don’t look surprised to see each other here. Why don’t you take some time to introduce yourselves? I’m going to check on some other students. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

And with that, Mademoiselle Foodle left the practice place.

I turned to Skyra. “Well, I’m Karamu, but you already knew that. I can control earth. Watch.” I stopped talking for a few seconds and lifted some of the dirt to from a circle.

“You are an air elementalist.”

“Yeah, I guess.”

An awkward silence spread between the two of us. I decided to break the ice.

“Why don’t you try some of these stations here?”

She looked at me. “Ok.”

“Try throwing a spear.”

She picked it up and threw it. It missed the dummy by and inch and impaled itself in the wall. I showed her the correct way to hold it, and this time she killed the dummy’s ear.

“Not bad. Just try to be a bit more accurate.”

She turned and glared at me. “Let’s try something else.”

Oops. I should have realized holding a spear wasn’t that easy. I took several months before I actually hit the dummy.

We went to the archery place and she picked up a bow and shot an arrow. It hit the dummy’s stomach. Wow. She has brilliant aim.

“That wasn’t too bad, was it?” she asked me.

“That was great. Try to hit the head or the heart.”

Funny. This time the arrow went much faster than her last shot. Oh yeah, it’s probably because she is an air person, she can make the arrows and stuff go a lot faster.

Mademoiselle Foodle came in and said, “Skyra, maybe you should consider choosing a bow as your weapon of choice. Everyone gets to choose another weapon, but they all have to have a dagger or sword.”

Skyra looked surprised. “I thought you only got one weapon.”

“No, you get two.” For the first time, I noticed the design on the blades that Skyra chose.

“Wait a minute…” I said slowly. They both turned toward me.

“What?” Skyra asked.

“You chose…Acriona’s blades.”

“So?”

“Well…the last person who had them just disappeared one day, leaving no trace behind. All the owners of those blades disappear mysteriously.”

Chapter Three

Skyra

After we were done with our conversation about the blades, I went to the archery weapon section. This time, no particular bow drew my attention, so I wandered around and browsed. There was a small brown bow that I liked, but it was way too small. Another grass green bow caught my eye, but it felt too different.

Finally, I found a silver bow and a sheath of arrows. When I held them up, they glistened in the moonlight. I slung the sheath of arrows over my shoulder and went back to the practice area. To my horror, Emberana and another girl were practicing. The other girl was really pretty, with her multi-colored hair and light makeup. Her hair was ocean aqua, grass green, metal gray, earth brown, sky blue, electric yellow, fiery red, and ice white-blue. As soon as I walked in, Emberana gave me a look of pure hatred, so intense that I almost backed out of the room. Luckily, they were at the sword-fighting place, which left the archery station free.

Running over to it, I nocked a regular arrow, pulled back the bowstring, and released it. Suddenly I heard a whoosh, and saw a fireball coming to intercept the arrow. I used my air power and made the arrow go faster, avoiding the fireball, which soared past and exploded on a dummy.

I turned and glared at Emberana. The girl next to her looked surprised.

She asked, “Emberana, why’d you do that?”

Emberana replied, “Just trying to see if I have good aim.”

I knew that wasn’t true.

“You were not trying to see if you had good aim. You were trying to destroy my arrow and maybe injure me. I saw how that fireball exploded on impact,” I added, as she opened her mouth to object. “It would have definitely hit me, and you would have been happy. Besides, I’m sure there’s somewhere else for you to practice your magic.”

The other girl frowned. “What she’s saying makes sense, Emberana. If that fireball had hit her arrow, she would have been hurt. And there is a place for you to practice your magic skills, but it’s not here.”

Emberana shot another look of hatred at me. This time, I stared her down, until she blinked and looked away. “I don’t have to bother with such lowly being like you. Let’s go, Illiria.”

The girl who stood up for me was Illiria! I heard she was really good at all of her skills. And she had eight of them.

“No thanks. You can go on without me.”

Emberana’s eyes narrowed, but she stalked off without a word.

“So. My name is Illiria, and you must be that new student Karamu was talking about.”

“Um…yes, I am. My name is Skyra.” Suddenly, because I couldn’t stand it anymore, I asked, “How are you friends with Emberana?”

She laughed. “Do you…not like her or something?”

“Do I not like her? She nearly turned me into deep-fried Skyra!”

“What? How and why?”

“Well…” and I told Illiria everything. My kidnap, waking up, the teasing, the duel, Coronalia, Mademoiselle Foodle, and practicing here. Not necessarily in that order.

When I was done, she tilted her head and thought about it. “Wow…that’s a lot for a first day.”

“I thought so too.”

“Hmm…well, I’m Emberana friend because…umm…actually, I never really thought about it. But, when she teases people, I always make sure Mademoiselle Foodle knows. She can’t stand stuck-up brats. Well, sometimes I’m actually Emberana’s friend; sometimes I’m just a spy to see what the stuck-up people are like.”

“Oh. I never really thought it could be like that.”

“Interesting, isn’t it?”

“Yeah.”

After a while, I went back to the archery station and shot as many regular arrows as I could, until the bowstring felt more comfortable, not as tight. By then, I could nail the dummy in the heart every time. The circle representing the heart was completely filled with arrows. I went over and got them all, putting them back in the sheath.

Then I left, calling out, “Bye Illiria!”

“Bye Skyra!”

The next day, I got out of bed and found Emberana glaring at me from her bed. She moved stiffly, as if she had a broken rib that just healed. I ignored her and looked for some clothes to change into. Strangely, a pair of my other clothes was waiting for me by the bed, as well as a belt, and I went into the bathroom to change into them.

When I got out, Emberana already left, but I found a note that said

‘This isn’t over, stupid.’

Well, what would you have expected from Miss Perfect?

Anyway, I went down to eat breakfast, and then found Coronalia. She took me to the Medium class and I sit down. Weird, they still had desks.

The teacher, Bob, or Mr.K, went to the front of the classroom and started teaching.

He began by introducing me.

“Now class, have any of you noticed that we have a new student?”

Great. All the heads in the classroom swiveled around to look at me. I watched the ground, embarrassed.

“Her name is Skyra, and I expect you all to treat her like you would anybody else.”

One of the kids said, “Bob, I never saw her in the Beginners’ group. Is she allowed to just skip like that?”

“Mademoiselle Foodle has assessed her and deemed her worthy of being in our class. Her magic and sword skills are great.”

Murmurs swept through the room.

Someone said, “Well, it’s not that surprising. I mean, Coronalia skipped, and Karamu and Illiria did too.”

Another kid stood up and asked, “Does she know anything about the elements and stuff?”

“She turned up just in time. We are reviewing today.”

All the kids groaned. I heard one whisper, “Maybe he said that just so she will know all this junk!”

“Class. Attention.” said Mr.K. “What is the first rule of being elemental?”

Hands shot up.

“Yes, Brianni.”

“You cannot attack innocent people.”

“That’s right. It is against the elemental law to attack innocents. Can anyone tell me the next law?”

And so class went on. At lunch, Bob calls me over to his desk and hands me a little book.

“This contains everything you’ll need to know. It can also help you in the most difficult situations. Guard it well. If you lose it, the world will be in danger.”

I looked up and found that his eyes were purple. As I watched, they turned normal again.

“Go have a good lunch!” he said.

I quickly turned and ran out the door. Finding Coronalia, I told her about what just happened.

“Funny.” she said. “Let’s think about it later. Right now, I’m starving!”

“Me too!” I said, and we walked to the meal hall.

Skyra

After lunch was a brief 15 minute recess. Some kids practiced their skills, some talked with their friends, some played on the jungle gym, and others just played kickball.

Class started again, and Bob put us in pairs.

“Let’s see now…Brianni, come over here and be partners with Skyra.” The tall, skinny girl who answered the question in class walked over.

“Today, we will practice sword skills. Everybody, get your swords!” I walked over to Bob.

“Mr.K, I don’t have my-”

“They’re on the rack.” he said and pointed. Sure enough, my swords were gleaming on the rack.

“Oh. Thanks!” I raced over and grabbed them.

After everybody had sword(s), Bob said, “Those of you who have two swords, choose one and set the other down!”

I looked at my swords and decided to keep the clear one. I held it in my right hand and got into position.

“Not yet!” Brianni hissed to me.

“Oh.” I said, sliding the sword back into the sheath. Noticing that there was a space on my belt for a sword, I put the sheath in there. On the other side, there was another place for a sword, but since we’re only using one, that space stayed empty.

Looking around, I saw that everybody had the same belt, and they all did what I did. Bob led us out of the classroom, but not before he chose a pair of students to stay.

We walked out of the classroom. This belt was really useful. If I hadn’t gotten it, the sword would have slowed me down. On the belt though, I walked normally, and the weight was like hardly anything.

Walking by various classrooms, Bob selected a pair of students at random and they went into the classroom to practice. Finally, we got chosen, and we walked inside the classroom.

Brianni and I walked to opposite sides of the room and stood there. Suddenly a cuckoo clock went off and I jumped. In that moment of distraction, Brianni charged. Turning, I quickly blocked it, and counterattacked with a slice. She blocked that, and I dodged a swing at my legs. Brianni went into a series of rapid attacks, and I blocked and dodged some, while counterattacking. This went on for about ten minutes, until we were both tired and out of breath.

Brianni wheezed, “I can see – pant, pant – why – pant – Mademoiselle Foodle – pant – put you in – pant – the Medium class.”

“Thanks.” I said. “Let’s take a breather for a few minutes.”

We sat down until the cuckoo clock read 3:20pm.

“Ok, let’s start again.” Brianni said.

We got into position again, and this time, I charged and swung. Slicing and dodging, we didn’t give each other any cuts, but lots of bruises from whacking each other with the flat of the sword. Suddenly, my attack speeds doubled, and I sliced furiously until my sword pointed at Brianni’s neck.

She went cross-eyed staring at it, and I quickly removed it.

“How did you do that?” she asked.

“I have no idea,” I replied.

Just then, Bob came and said, “It’s time to go back to the classroom. Come on.”

I glanced at the clock to check the time and saw a message written on it.

‘We will come for you, Skyra.’

Turning, I quickly caught up to Bob and the rest of the group, my heart racing. No one could have snuck in and written that message. So who left it? Just then, I noticed the group staring at me.

“What?” I asked.

They snickered. “Bob asked if you like your first day here.”

“Oh! Umm…yeah! Yeah, it was really fun!”

“Glad to hear that.” said Bob.

My mind wandered back to the message. It was written in a yellow that, if put it on the color wheel, would be the exact opposite of the shade of purple that Bob’s eyes turned when he gave me the book. I wonder…could they somehow be connected? I’ll have to talk to Coronalia about it when I get a chance.

When we got back to the classroom, most of the kids were already there. I went to my desk and sat down, and Bob asked, “How do you think your partner did?”

Hands shot up into the air and Bob called on one of them.

“Alexia did really good, like she blocked all my swings and…”

“Melli was great!”

“If Ondo was an enemy, I’d be dead by now…”

Then one voice rose above the others.

“Skyra beat me!” Everyone turned to look at Brianni. She said defensively, “Well, it’s true!”

Now all eyes looked at me and I shifted uncomfortably in my seat.

Someone piped up, “How, Brianni? How? You can beat everybody in a swordfight, you nearly even beat Soltaro.”

“I don’t know. One second she was doing average, and the next she doubled her speed and had her sword pointed at my neck!”

“WHOA.” said a random person.

“Totally.” said another.

“Yeah, no one’s ever beaten Brianni before.”

“When Bob paired them up, I thought Skyra was going to lose, big time!”

“Class. Attention. Homework is more important now. I want you all to write a short essay on how your partner did, what they could have done better, and if they did something new that could be a good way to swordfight. Tomorrow we’ll use your powers in a magic fight. After lunch we will practice fighting with two swords.”

The class immediately began packing up. Just then, a bell rang somewhere far away. I was unprepared for the rush of chaos as everyone ran out the door to their rooms.

Walking over to Coronalia’s desk, I said, “Let’s go on a walk. I have to tell you something.”

Elemental Powers – Part Seven (From beginning Again)

Quick question for the readers: Should I put this in chapters or not? I’m going to, but if you think I shouldn’t then I’ll take the chapters off next time.

Chapter One

Six years ago

“Mommy! Mommy! Look at me!” I yelled through the open window. My mom came out of the house and gasped.

“Skyra, get down from that tree right this instant!” She shouted back.

My mom has never used that tone with me. I began to cry, and wiped my tears with both hands. Suddenly, I fell. Being twenty or thirty feet high in the tree, that fall should have seriously injured or killed me. Strangely, I slowed down, and landed on my feet at the base of the tree, right in front of my half scared, half angry mom.

“What were you thinking?! Climbing that high in a tree?! You scared me to death when you fell! You know what I’ve told you, Skyra. You could have broken a bone, or worse, been killed! You must never, ever, do that again. Understand?”

“Yes, Mommy. But that was fun!”

“What was fun?”

“Falling!”

“Falling from the tree was fun?!”

“Yeah! Because I slowed down and landed on my feet in the fall!” I turned my head and saw a man watching us. He was dressed in black and had sunglasses on.

 

A year ago

I raised my hands in the air, a broad smile on my face. I had just won the School Running Championship, ahead of everyone else in my grade! The weird thing was though, while I ran, a strange wind came and pushed me faster. I never knew I could run so fast. Turning, I received the trophy and said thanks to the man who handed it to me. Wait a second. It feels like I should know this man. Oh well. I mentally shrugged and thought, what does it matter if I know him?

On the way home, my mom said, “Skyra, how did you run so fast? I’ve never seen you run so fast in your entire life!”

I replied, “I don’t know, but at least I won!”

 

Now

These memories and others rush through my mind as I process what the strangely familiar man in front of me has just said. That I have the power to bend air to my will? Hold on. I know who he is. He’s been there, in all of my memories with me demonstrating some way of having the power to control and distort air. But still!

“That’s not true.” I say out loud.

“Oh, but it is. So I ask you again, will you join us? After all, you don’t usually see people with the air element power walking down the street.”

“Oh yeah? And why should I ‘join’ you?”

“I teach a school, where kids with all sorts of elemental powers come to learn.”

“Right…” I say sarcastically. There’s something secretive about this guy, something I don’t trust.

“Look, just come join us and learn, okay?” I can tell this guy is losing his patience.

“And what if I say no?”

“Then I will force you to come!” And before I can do anything, he grabs my wrists and slaps a hand over my mouth. I struggle and try to scream, but the noise is muffled and no one is around. He drags me to a van, gags me and ties my wrists and ankles together, then throws me in the back. I hit my head on something hard, and the world slowly spins into black.

 

 

I wake up, and think for a moment, who am I? Then I remember. I sit up and groan. My head throbs where I hit it. Looking around, I see that I am in a prison cell-like dormitory. I notice a girl with two long braids down her back staring at me from the other side of the room. Trying for friendliness, I say, “Hi.”

She continues staring.

“Where are we?” I ask.

“Academy for Kids with Elemental Powers,” says a voice from the doorway.

I turn to see who said that. A guy is standing in the doorway and  he looks about fifteen.

“What’s your name?” I ask.

He ignores me and says, “So anyway, this place has been around for who knows how long, we all have elemental powers, everybody has either the water, fire, air, or earth power, but you can go on and learn the advanced arts, like if you have the fire power, you can learn to create and control lightning, if you have the air power, you can learn to control Ice, you can learn plant when you have the water power, and you can control metal when you have the earth power.”

When he finishes, he leaves, and I am left alone with the girl again.

“So, ummm…what’s your name?”

“I am not obligated to speak with such a lowly being like you.”

That’s nice.

“Oh. Okay then.”

She turns her head sharply to the right and stares at the wall, which is a very nice olive color. Oh yeah, that’s sarcasm.

I pass the time by examining every inch of the room, looking for a way to escape. When that guy came in, he opened the door. That seems impossible. After three hours of search, I give up. This room cannot be broken out of.

 

Chapter Two

An hour later, it’s time for dinner. The door opens – really? – by itself. We walk out, and I choose a random passage. Suddenly, a jolt of electricity zaps me. The girl I share a room with just smirks.

“I am not obligated to speak with you, lowly being, but I must say that you are heading in the wrong direction. The meal hall is this way. Whenever you feel a – wait, what element are you?”

“I am not obligated to answer questions from such a high and proper being as you,” I say, mimicking her tone. “But I am an air elementalist.”

“Ungrateful wench. Lowly being, I am only trying to help. Whenever you feel a slight shock, you will know that you are going in the wrong direction.”

“Ok. But how am I supposed to get out of this place?”

“Just because I helped you this once doesn’t mean we’re friends, you idiot!” she snaps.

“Ok, geez.”

“Hmph…”

I decide to follow her. After a few minutes, she says, “Why are you following me, lowly being?”

I reply, “Well, I don’t know where the meal hall is, so I thought I’d follow you to see where it is.”

“I get to dine with the other high members of the school. You,” she says with disgust, “get to dine with other lowly beings just as stupid as you.”

Oh. That makes sense. At least, it explains why she calls me a “lowly being.”

“Well, can you take me there?”

“ME?!?!?!? Take you THERE?!?!?!?!? If I get caught heading there, the teachers will think I WANT to sit in there, and then I will have to sit in there. For a WEEK!!! Do you know HOW SHAMEFUL that is?!?!?!?!?!?”

“Well, no, I don’t know how shameful that is, but I do need you to take me there.” I admit.

“Why you little-”

“Girls! What are you doing?!” says a new voice from down the hall.

The snotty braid girl says, “Mademoiselle Foodle, I was just taking this lo- I-I mean new girl to the meal hall.”

“Oh really? Then explain WHY I heard YELLING from down the hall?”

“Ummm…”

“I see…no reason to explain why?”

“No, it’s just that, well, I saw Kalani and Melina having, err, an argument. And, umm, they were yelling at each other.”

“Mmhm. Right…” she says in a tone dripping with sarcasm. “And where did they go? This hallway has no turns or side passages for quite a while. I expect you want me to believe they flew through the ceiling?”

“Oh, well, umm…”

“Lying, were you?”

“Err…no.”

“Yes you were. From the first day you came here I expected you to be able to remember that silence is needed in these halls. Clearly, I was wrong. Your punishment will be…sitting at the newbies’ table. FOR A WEEK!”

“The newbies table?! But-but it’s so-so-so-”

“So what? Full of newbies? At least you’ll be with your new friend.”

“FRIEND?!?!?!?!?! Friends with this-this- lowly being?!?!?! The idea itself horrifies me!”

“That is your punishment. Or would you like it changed to a month instead?”

The girl drops her gaze, but I can tell she’s seething with anger. She flashes me a look of pure disgust.

“Stupid lowly being,” she mutters under her breath before stalking off.

I take a few steps after her when Mademoiselle Foodle says, “And YOU!”

I freeze where I am and slowly turn around.

“As for you, because you are new, I will let you off the hook. Just this once. After all, I have a thousand students who I must attend to, and they all MUST be punished!”

 

I find my way to the “newbies” meal hall by choosing random passages and going the other way when there is a slight shock. Finally, after about an hour, I am there. When I enter, loud noises nearly kill my eardrums. I hear people talking, people yelling, people cheering others on during a wrestling match – seriously? In a cafeteria? – and people doing a lot of other random things that I personally feel they should not be doing.

Suddenly they die down, and everybody looks at me. I stare right back at them, when one of the girls stands up and says, in a loud, clear voice, “Hey, newbie,” putting disgust on the word as though it’s the worst thing anyone could call me.

Right after she says this, everyone starts laughing. I feel my face flush with embarrassment. Seriously, does everyone have to pick on me? Then my eyes find someone who has a sympathetic look on her face. Immediately, I know I have a friend here. So, in response to the insult and for everyone laughing, I simply shrug.

Everyone stops laughing instantly. All of their eyes flick from the girl to me.

“Are you challenging me to a fight?” The girl’s eyes narrow and she glares at me.

Again, I shrug.

“Would that be a yes? I am extremely powerful you know. Actually, the best fire elementalist out of,” here she pauses to dramatically sweep her arm around. “All the people here who can control fire.”

Well, this is definitely going to be tougher than I think.

“I don’t know. Do you want to fight?” I ask.

“Hmm…if you’re not afraid to.”

Seeing the girl who looked at me in a nice way shaking her head, I almost decide not to fight.

“Well actually, let’s just not fight.” I say.

She squints at me again. “Did I hear you say you don’t want to fight? Are you a coward?”

“I am not a coward!”

“Then prove it by showing you’re not afraid to fight me!”

Uh oh. I had just worked myself into a fight that could not be avoided. Yikes.

“Losing your nerve?” she jeers.

“I will fight you.” I say quietly.

“Okay. When?”

“How about…tomorrow at midnight. The Rosetta Room.” Earlier today, while I was heading toward the meal hall, I had passed a room called the Rosetta Room.

“Sure. If you can even find your way there!”

Her buddies all laugh. Suddenly an idea strikes me.

I say, “Hey, aren’t you a newbie too?”

She looks nervous. “Uhh…well, actually, umm…”

“Well, are you? Oh wait, don’t tell me. If you’re not a newbie, you must have been punished and sent to eat here for…how long? A week? A month?”

“No. Just today. But too bad for you, you have to sit here for quite a while!”

I laugh. “Really, being a newbie is better than being punished and having to sit here for even a day.”

“You-you-you little-” At this point of rage, she’s stuttering so much she can’t even really talk right. “You little-you little- you little-you-you aren’t even fit to eat out of trash cans!”

“Really? Then what am I eating right here?” I say, pointing to my tray. (The food came while we were arguing, but I never really noticed it.)

“Hmph!!! You don’t deserve the meal in front of you.” Then, I see another girl stand up and walk over to the person I was just arguing with. Rage shoots through me as I see the girl I share a room with walk up to the other girl. Snotty braid girl whispers into the other girl’s ear, and she gets a wicked smile on her face.

 

Chapter Three

“I change the rules. It’s two on two. Emberana and I will be a pair. I bet nobody will pair up with you!”

I look around nervously. Finding the nice girl, I sent her a silent message: Will you do it?

For a few seconds, she looks hesitant. Then she slowly stands up and says, “I will be on a team with…”

Again, she gets my silent message.

“I will be on a team with Skyra.”

Everyone snickers.

“You?” screeches Emberana.

“Yeah.” She calmly replies.

“Fine. Be on the losing team.” Emberana says.

The girl who volunteered to be on my side walks over to me and introduces herself.

“Hi. I’m Coronalia. They’re both fire type elements, so since I’m a water elementalist, we should have a slight advantage.”

“Nice to meet you. Thanks for sticking up for me back there. You know I’m Skyra, and from my name, you can probably tell that I am an air element person.”

“I guessed from the second I saw you. You don’t look solid enough for an earth person, but you aren’t much like me, so you couldn’t be water. Oh yeah, you didn’t look proud and all ‘high and mighty’ like most fire people, but you looked pretty nice, tall, and, well, you have the grace of an air elementalist.”

“Oh. So you tell people apart like that?”

“Pretty much.”

“I have to tell you something.” I say hesitantly.

“What?” Coronalia asks.

“Well, I…don’t know how to use my power.”

“Oh well, I can give you a crash course. Here, are you done?” she asks, taking my tray.

“Yeah, I’m full.”

“Ok then. Wait right here.” She takes the tray and dumps it. Then she puts it on a revolving tray rack, which slowly turns and takes the trays to whoever cleans them, I guess.

When Coronalia comes back, she takes me to an empty classroom. We practice.

“So first, close your eyes and relax.”

I do that, and I feel energy flowing through my body.

“Now, breathe in deeply.”

Ahhhhhhh…so relaxing.

“Ok, now reach into your soul and imagine yourself as light as air, as graceful as the wind, and, well…just like whatever else air is like.”

Hmm…strange tingling sensation. It starts from my toes and spreads up my body, slowly, until my head fills with energy.

“You did it!” Coronalia says excitedly.

“Wha???” I say, opening my eyes and looking at myself. “Whoa, is this still me?”

I am wearing a sparkling silver jacket on top of a gray shirt and pants that feel as light as air. If somebody told me to put this on, I would say, “no,” because I’d think it’d look horrible! Surprisingly, it actually looks good on me. I mean, I’m not trying to brag, but still.

“Ok, now attack me.” Coronalia instructs.

“What?” I say.

“You heard me. Attack!”

“But what if I hurt you?”

“Not likely.” she says.

“Fine.” I delve into my soul and find a barrier. Driving my mind against it, it breaks and I am allowed access to my store of magic. Summoning an air ball, a throw it against Coronalia. She lifts her hand and uses water power and deflects it. It is sent right back at me, and somehow, I absorb it.

“Not bad, for a start. But it will have to be more powerful if you want to beat those two.”

I dive in deeper and find a stronger blast to throw at her. This time, she deflects it again, but it’s harder because it’s stronger. Again, I absorb it.

“Ok, that’s enough practice for now.” Coronalia says.

She’s panting, and I ask, “Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” She replies. “If you make it even stronger, they won’t have a chance!”

 

 

“It’s midnight.” I say to Emberana.

“I know!” she snaps at me.

We walk to the Rosetta Room. When I go inside, I see a huge room with walls that are bare. There is nothing in this room. Suddenly, a swishing noise comes and the other girl comes out with Coronalia.

“Ok, we’re all here,” she says.

“Yeah. You two,” says Emberana, pointing at us, “Stand over there. Cyndra and I will stand over here.”

We walk over as they walk to their places.

Cyndra shouts, “Ready, set, START!”

The duel had begun.

 

Chapter Four

Immediately, I shift into my air form and try to grab some magic. Using it, I make it into a weird air ball like thing and throw it at Emberana, with an aero blast following it. She tries to dodge it, but it’s too quick; one of the advantages of being an air elementalist.

The dull noise of impact is followed by a shriek of pain. I instantly lower the power to a gentle tickle. Emberana slowly gets up, but she looks barely conscious.

“Do we just have to knock them out?” I ask Coronalia.

“Yeah!” she replied.

That seems easy. Emberana is almost unconscious, and Cyndra doesn’t look much better. However, they still have enough power left to attack. Emberana creates a HUGE fireball, which she aims at me. I freeze. Coronalia didn’t teach me how to deflect hits.

The fireball comes, and still I am frozen. Suddenly, I move. Turning, I don’t even pause as I throw a random bit of power at the fireball. It stops dead in its tracks, and turns toward Emberana. She smirks and absorbs it. Then, she throws another fireball. This one is smaller, but it’s a lot faster, and I am too slow to dodge it. I scream as it burns my skin. The searing pain lasts only a moment, but it feels like infinity. I drop to the ground, writhing around until I am sure the fire is gone. Then, I retaliate and send a powerful blast of wind at Emberana. It slams her against the wall, and she gasps. Then she goes limp, and I am sure she is unconscious.

Looking around, I see that Coronalia and Cyndra are still fighting. I join in and rapidly shoot blasts of air at Cyndra. Suddenly, another burning pain hits me in the back, and I scream and fall to the ground. Coronalia turns and looks at me, and in that moment, a fireball hits her. She falls next to me, and I see that even though she has some resistance against fire, being a water element and all, she is still injured. The pain still has not left, and I twist around, screaming, until the world slowly turns black.

 

I wake up in a strange room. Looking right, I see Coronalia in a bed next to me. I try to sit up, and immediately my back burns. I fall back onto the bed with a gasp of pain.

Suddenly, a nurse-like person comes in. She walks around my bed and rolls me over. Peeling off the bandages is excruciating, even worse than getting burned. I grit my teeth to keep from screaming my head off. Then she puts some sort of painkiller-y medicine-type thing on it; at least, it doesn’t hurt anymore. The bandages are a relief, because my back is feeling cold from the air. The nurse treats Coronalia and leaves the room.

I whisper, “Psst! Psst! Coronalia! Wake up!”

She groans, but doesn’t wake up.

“Coronalia!” I whisper again, louder this time.

“Uhhnnn…who is it? OW! My side hurts!”

“Coronalia, it’s Skyra.”

“Ohh…are you okay?”

I hurt everywhere, especially my back and ribs.

“Well, since I’m alive, I am fine, but it burns. A LOT!” I say.

“Actually, I probably hurt less, because I’m a water element, but it’s still painful. The good thing is, because we’re elemental, there won’t be any scars. The skin will grow back like normal, and we won’t look any different. We also heal really fast, like it only takes a few hours before we look normal.”

Oh. That’s a relief.

Just then, Mademoiselle Foodle comes in. She comes over and says, “What were you girls thinking? Getting into a fight like that? You know you could have been seriously injured! Skyra, I know you are new, but you should have more sense than that! And Coronalia, you know about this!”

“Sorry.” I mutter.

“Coronalia, tell me how she did.” says Mademoiselle Foodle.

Wait a second. Did I hear her right? Did she just ask Coronalia to tell her how I fought in the four-way duel?

Coronalia replies, “She did way better than most beginners. And with only a bit of help from me! All I taught her was the basic get into the form, prepare some magic, and shoot! She actually deflected Emberana’s fireball!”

“Really? Hmm…” is Mademoiselle Foodle’s reply.

“Yeah!” says Coronalia. “I think she should learn with the Medium group. Well, I haven’t seen her sword skills yet, but there’ll be plenty of opportunities. Just, before she goes with the Medium group she’ll need to know all the basics, but other than that, she’s fine!”

“Okay…what do you think, Skyra?”

“Wha-? You’re asking me? Bu- but I thought you were mean! I- I mean, no offense, but you weren’t that nice with Emberana.”

“Hmph! That little snotty know-it-all brat? Of course I wasn’t nice to her! I never am! She’s a stuck-up annoying little girl. Now, do you want to go to the Medium classes?

“Uh, yeah! Yes, I do!”

“Ok then. I shall arrange it. We still need to see your sword skills, but do you think you’re up for it now?”

“Umm…now? Maybe. Let me try to get up.” I attempt to get up, but the pain is too great, and I fall back on my bed with a gasp of pain.

“No, you are not ready to show me yet. Stay here, I will come back in a few hours.”

And with that, Mademoiselle Foodle leaves the room.

 

Chapter Five

I just gape, my mouth hanging open.

Coronalia says, “Well, we’re in the same class!”

I ask, “You’re in the Medium class?”

“Yup.”

“Ohh…Is Mademoiselle Foodle usually this nice?”

“Only to the less stuck up kids.”

“That makes sense. The other day, she got pretty mad at Emberana for yelling. Is it true that you need to be really quiet in the halls?”

“Yeah. Do you want to know who teaches the classes?”

“Sure.”

“Ok then. Mademoiselle Foodle is Headmistress, and she teaches the Challenge level elemental and sword classes. But the thing is, almost nobody are in those classes. Only the most talented and skilled go there. Actually, right now I can name the three people in the class. They are Desato, Karamu, and Illiria. Anyway, Emberana and Cyndra might actually make it to the Challenge class. They are in the Advanced group right now, but they’re really good. Well, the teacher of the Advanced group is Miss Catta. She’s fairly nice, but she loses her temper easily, and she has about this much patience,” Coronalia said, holding up two fingers a centimeter apart. “So I don’t want to think about being in her class. And for us, our teacher is Mr.…umm…well, he has a really long last name, and it’s something like this. Mr. Kaletinoytagooglogashlabonbonifferansim, blah, blah, blah, I forgot the rest, but well…he told us to just call him Bob, or Mr. K. Ok, so the early or Beginner class is taught by Ms. Melani. She is really nice, so I guess that’s why they chose her to put up with the kids who have no idea how to do things. Oh wait. The teachers all have assistant teachers, to help them teach the other kids they don’t get to, because the classes are fairly large groups, and one teacher can’t get them all. The assistant teachers take groups of kids to different classrooms. Well, those are all the teachers, and don’t forget that. You should rest now, so you can do sword stuff later.”

I am tired, and as she says that last sentence, I yawn and close my eyes, drifting into sleep.

 

A few hours later, I wake up to find Mademoiselle Foodle standing over my bed.

“What do you want now?” I grumble.

She lets out an impatient sigh. “Skyra, I want to see how good your sword skills are.”

“Wha? Oh yeah.” I say.

Jumping out of bed, I hesitantly take a few steps, and when there isn’t any pain, I say, “I can try the sword stuff now.”

“Ok then. Follow me.”

Mademoiselle Foodle leads me to a room with weapons on the walls. I see axes, swords, javelins, spears, knives, throwing knives, tridents, some bows with full sheaths of arrows, and so on.

“Where did you get all these weapons?” I ask.

“It’s been collected over the years. Now, we need to find you a suitable sword.” And with that, she takes me through a door, where racks and racks are filled with nothing but weapons.

“Here you go,” says Mademoiselle Foodle. “You find something you like, and when you’re ready, call me.”

I walk around the racks, looking at weapons, occasionally picking up a spear, or maybe a javelin, but the balance isn’t quite right. Finally I get to the sword rack, and there are about as many different swords here as there are all the other weapons combined!

I look around, and am drawn to a pair of swords. Picking them up, they feel like extensions of my arms, and I carefully slide them out of the sheaths. One blade is different shades of sky blue, though occasionally gray. Looking at it, I am reminded of the sky. The other sword is as clear as glass, and when I look through it, it’s like I’m seeing things through my own eyes. On both of the cruxes is a clear blue gem.

“Ok, so you choose this pair, eh?” A voice from behind me says.

I jump and drop the swords. Picking them up, I turn around. Standing behind me is an elderly old man, with battle scars all over his arms.

“W-what do you want?” I ask.

“Ok, nothing,” he replies. “Mademoiselle Foodle told me to see what kind of sword you got. I wasn’t expecting this.”

“Oh, well…”

“Ok now, do you need somebody to practice sword fighting with?” he asks.

“Yes.” I reply.

“Ok then. Karamu, come here!” The guy who came into our room before came here, and I stare at him. He winks.

“Ok,” This old guy is starting to annoy me. “So ok then, you have to fight this girl and tell Mademoiselle Foodle how she did. Got it?”

“Yeah, whatever,” he says in a carefree tone. “Bet I’ll beat her.”

“Ok, Karamu, that’s not fair. You are in the Challenge class. She is a beginner. Ok?”

“I get it.” he repeats.

“Ok then, come here.” The old guy beckons to us, and leads us into a place for practice apparently. The room has dummies and experimental weapons, like target dummies for the archery, spear-throwing, and javelin-throwing people, dummies to beat up with swords, and a lot of other dummies for other things. Anyway, I go to a square on one side of the room, and Karamu goes to a square on the opposite side.

“Ok, you can start now.” the old guy says, then backs out of the room.

Immediately, Karamu charges toward me and slices downward with his sword. I clumsily block it, but it pushes me off balance and I fall. His sword comes around and stops an inch from my neck.

“Too easy,” he says, and offers me a hand to help me up. I don’t take it and get up myself.

Just wait,’ I think. ‘I’ll show you.’

Again, we get into position, and he charges again. I block it better this time, and try to swing at his neck. He dodges it easily, and slices his sword at my legs. The blade grazes my legs, and blood seeps out of the cut. Minor pain lances through my body, but I grit my teeth and try to ignore it.

This time, I swing at his legs, and when he is busy blocking it, I try to slice at his neck. His sword flashes up, but I cut his left leg. Then I swing crazily, blocking all of his attacks and slicing at him. Sometime during the battle, he gets a second sword, and we are evenly matched.

Eventually though, I tire, and he slowly forces me down until my swords lay on the ground, and his are pointing at my neck.

 

Chapter Six

“Not bad. But you’ll have to work even harder if you want to beat me!” he says, and smirks.

I am infuriated and embarrassed. “Hmph! At least I was evenly matched with you for a while.”

“Yeah, but it wasn’t very long.”

“Still…”

Just then, Mademoiselle Foodle comes in. “Ahh…there you are, Skyra. Karamu, what are you doing in here?”

“Oh. Umm…Swordsmaster told me to practice with…her.” he says, tilting his head toward me.

“He told you to practice with Skyra?! She’s just started here!”

“Well, she was really good, for someone who’s just started.”

“What? How good did she do?”

“She was evenly matched with me for a minute or so. Then I won.”

“Really? I doubt that. Show me.”

“Ok.”

I get up and get my swords, then get into a position. Karamu charges the moment I finish, and I barely have time to block it. The rest of the time is a blur. He swings, I dodge, I slash, he blocks, until finally, again, he has his swords at my neck.

Mademoiselle Foodle’s mouth is hanging wide open, and she just gapes at us like a fish out of water.

“Skyra, you-you-you-what-what-what-how did you-how-how did you do th-that?” stutters Mademoiselle Foodle.

“I don’t know. Maybe it was just luck.” I reply.

“It’s not luck if you do it twice,” says Karamu. “I think we have a little swordsmistress here.”

I blush and say, “It wasn’t that good. And besides, you can still beat me.”

“Hmm…you’re right. Oh well.”

Mademoiselle Foodle seems to have gotten over her general shock. “Well, what level should we put her in?”

“I’d say in the Medium. She’s good, but she still needs to know the basics, and they review those a lot in the Medium class.”

“Ok then.”

 

 

The next day, I get out of bed to find Emberana glaring at me from her bed. She moves stiffly, as if she had a broken rib that just healed. I ignore her and look for some clothes to change into. Strangely, a pair of my other clothes is waiting for me by the bed, as well as a belt, and I go into the bathroom to change into them.

When I get out, Emberana has already left, but I find a note that says

‘This isn’t over, stupid.’

Well, what would you have expected from Miss Perfect?

Anyway, I go down to eat breakfast, and then find Coronalia. She takes me to the Medium class and I sit down. Weird, they still have desks.

The teacher, Bob, or Mr.K, goes to the front of the classroom and starts teaching.

He begins by going over the basics, as Karamu said he would.

“Now class, have any of you noticed that we have a new student?”

Great. All the heads in the classroom swivel around to look at me. I look at the ground, embarrassed.

“Her name is Skyra, and I expect you all to treat her like you would anybody else.”

One of the kids say, “Bob, I never saw her in the Beginners’ group. Is she allowed to just skip like that?”

“Mademoiselle Foodle has assessed her and deemed her worthy of being in our class. Her magic and sword skills are great.”

Murmurs sweep through the room.

Another kid stands up and asks, “Does she know anything about the elements and stuff?”

“She turned up just in time. We are reviewing today.”

All the kids groan. I hear one whisper, “Maybe he said that just so she will know all this junk!”

“Class. Attention.” says Mr.K. “What is the first rule of being elemental?”

Hands shoot up.

“Yes, Brianni.”

“You cannot attack innocent people.”

“That’s right. It is against the elemental law to attack innocents. Can anyone tell me the next law?”

And so class goes on. At lunch, Bob calls me over to his desk and hands me a little book.

“This contains everything you’ll need to know. It can also help you in the most difficult situations. Guard it well. If you lose it, the world will be in danger.”

I look up to find that his eyes are purple. As I watch, they turn normal again.

“Go have a good lunch!” he says.

I quickly turn and run out the door. Finding Coronalia, I tell her about what just happened.

“Funny.” she says. “Let’s think about it later. Right now, I’m starving!”

“Me too!” I say, and we walk to the meal hall.

 

Chapter Seven

After lunch is a brief 15 minute recess. Some kids practice their skills, some talk with friends, some play on the jungle gym, while still others just play kickball.

Class starts again, and Bob puts us in pairs.

“Let’s see now…Brianni, come over here and be partners with Skyra.” The tall, skinny girl who answered the question in class walks over.

“Today, we will practice sword skills. Everybody, get your swords!” I walk over to Bob.

“Mr.K, I don’t have my-”

“They’re on the rack.” he says, and points. Sure enough, my swords are gleaming on the rack.

“Oh. Thanks!” I race over and grab them.

After everybody has sword(s), Bob says, “Those of you who have two swords, choose one and set the other down!”

I look at my swords and decide to keep the clear one. I hold it in my right hand and get into position.

“Not yet!” Brianni hisses to me.

“Oh.” I say, sliding the sword back into the sheath. Noticing that there is a space on my belt for a sword, I put the sheath in there. On the other side, there is another place for a sword, but since we’re only using one, that space stays empty.

Looking around, I see everybody has the same belt, and they all did what I did. Bob leads us out of the classroom, but not before choosing a pair of students to stay.

We walk out of the classroom. This belt is really useful. If I didn’t have it, the sword would have slowed me down. On the belt though, I walk normally, and the weight is like hardly anything.

Walking by various classrooms, Bob selects a pair of students at random and they go into the classroom to practice. Finally, we get chosen, and we walk inside the classroom.

Brianni and I walk to opposite sides of the room and stand there. Suddenly a cuckoo clock goes off and I jump. In that moment of distraction, Brianni charges. Turning, I quickly block, and counterattack with a slice. She blocks it, and I dodge a swing at my legs. Brianni goes into a series of rapid attacks, and I block and dodge some, while counterattacking. This goes on for about ten minutes, until we’re both tired and out of breath.

Brianni wheezes, “I can see – pant, pant – why – pant – Mademoiselle Foodle – pant – put you in – pant – the Medium class.”

“Thanks.” I say. “Let’s take a breather for a few minutes.”

We sit down until the cuckoo clock reads 3:20pm.

“Ok, let’s start again.” Brianni says.

We get into position again, and this time, I charge and swing. Slicing and dodging, we don’t give each other any cuts, but lots of bruises from whacking each other with the flat of the sword. Suddenly, my attack speeds double, and I slice furiously until my sword points at Brianni’s neck.

She goes cross-eyed staring at it, and I quickly remove it.

“How did you do that?” she asks.

“I have no idea,” I reply.

Just then, Bob comes and says, “It’s time to go back to the classroom. Come on.”

I glance at the clock and see a message written on it.

‘We will come for you, Skyra.’

Turning, I quickly catch up to Bob and the rest of the group, my heart racing. No one could have snuck in and written that message. So who left it? Just then, I notice the group staring at me.

“What?” I ask.

They snicker. “Bob asked if you like your first day here.”

“Oh! Umm…yeah! Yeah, it was really fun!”

“Glad to hear that.” says Bob.

My mind wanders back to the message. It was written in a yellow that, if I put it on the color wheel, would be the exact opposite of the shade of purple that Bob’s eyes turned when he gave me the book. I wonder…could they somehow be connected?

Elemental Problems – Part Six (I know I chenged the title, the other one was temporary, and this one is too)

“Not bad. But you’ll have to work even harder if you want to beat me!” he says, and smirks.

I am infuriated and embarrassed. “Hmph! At least I was evenly matched with you for a while.”

“Yeah, but it wasn’t very long.”

“Still…”

Just then, Mademoiselle Foodle comes in. “Ahh…there you are, Skyra. Karamu, what are you doing in here?”

“Oh. Umm…Swordsmaster told me to practice with…her.” he says, tilting his head toward me.

“He told you to practice with Skyra?! She’s just started here!”

“Well, she was really good, for someone who’s just started.”

“What? How good did she do?”

“She was evenly matched with me for a minute or so. Then I won.”

“Really? I doubt that. Show me.”

“Ok.”

I get up and get my swords, then get into a position. Karamu charges the moment I finish, and I barely have time to block it. The rest of the time is a blur. He swings, I dodge, I slash, he blocks, until finally, again, he has his swords at my neck.

Mademoiselle Foodle’s mouth is hanging wide open, and she just gapes at us like a fish out of water.

“Skyra, you-you-you-what-what-what-how did you-how-how did you do th-that?” stutters Mademoiselle Foodle.

“I don’t know. Maybe it was just luck.” I reply.

“It’s not luck if you do it twice,” says Karamu. “I think we have a little swordsmistress here.”

I blush and say, “I wasn’t that good. And besides, you can still beat me.”

“Hmm…you’re right. Oh well.”

Mademoiselle Foodle seems to have gotten over her general shock. “Well, what level should we put her in?”

“I’d say in the Medium. She’s good, but she still needs to know the basics, and they review those a lot in the Medium class.”

“Ok then.”

 

 

The next day, I get out of bed to find Emberana glaring at me from her bed. She moves stiffly, as if she had a broken rib that just healed. I ignore her and look for some clothes to change into. Strangely, a pair of my other clothes is waiting for me by the bed, and I go into the bathroom to change into them.

When I get out, Emberana has already left, but I find a note that says

‘This isn’t over, stupid.’

Well, what would you have expected from Miss Perfect?

Anyway, I go down to eat breakfast, and then find Coronalia. She takes me to the Medium class and I sit down. Weird, they still have desks.

The teacher, Bob, or Mr.K, went to the front of the classroom and started teaching.

Powers of the World – From beginning to what I have so far

Six years ago

“Mommy! Mommy! Look at me!” I yelled through the open window. My mom came out of the house and gasped.

“Skyra, get down from that tree right this instant!” She shouted back.

My mom has never used that tone with me. I began to cry, and wiped my tears with both hands. Suddenly, I fell. Being twenty or thirty feet high in the tree, that fall should have seriously injured or killed me. Strangely, I slowed down, and landed on my feet at the base of the tree, right in front of my half scared, half angry mom.

“What were you thinking?! Climbing that high in a tree?! You scared me to death when you fell! You know what I’ve told you, Skyra. You could have broken a bone, or worse, been killed! You must never, ever, do that again. Understand?”

“Yes, Mommy. But that was fun!”

“What was fun?”

“Falling!”

“Falling from the tree was fun?!”

“Yeah! Because I slowed down and landed on my feet in the fall!” I turned my head and saw a man watching us. He was dressed in black and had sunglasses on.

A year ago

I raised my hands in the air, a broad smile on my face. I had just won the School Running Championship, ahead of everyone else in my grade! The weird thing was though, while I ran, a strange wind came and pushed me faster. I never knew I could run so fast. Turning, I received the trophy and said thanks to the man who handed it to me. Wait a second. It feels like I should know this man. Oh well. I mentally shrugged and thought, what does it matter if I know him?

On the way home, my mom said, “Skyra, how did you run so fast? I’ve never seen you run so fast in your entire life!”

I replied, “I don’t know, but at least I won!”

Now

These memories and others rush through my mind as I process what the strangely familiar man in front of me has just said. That I have the power to bend air to my will? Hold on. I know who he is. He’s been there, in all of my memories with me demonstrating some way of having the power to control and distort air. But still!

“That’s not true.” I say out loud.

“Oh, but it is. So I ask you again, will you join us? After all, you don’t usually see people with the air element power walking down the street.”

“Oh yeah? And why should I ‘join’ you?”

“I teach a school, where kids with all sorts of elemental powers come to learn.”

“Right…” I say sarcastically. There’s something secretive about this guy, something I don’t trust.

“Look, just come join us and learn, okay?” I can tell this guy is losing his patience.

“And what if I say no?”

“Then I will force you to come!” And before I can do anything, he grabs my wrists and slaps a hand over my mouth. I struggle and try to scream, but the noise is muffled and no one is around. He drags me to a van, gags me and ties my wrists and ankles together, then throws me in the back. I hit my head on something hard, and the world slowly spins into black.

I wake up, and think for a moment, who am I? Then I remember. I sit up and groan. My head throbs where I hit it. Looking around, I see that I am in a prison cell-like dormitory. I notice a girl with two long braids down her back staring at me from the other side of the room. Trying for friendliness, I say, “Hi.”

She continues staring.

“Where are we?” I ask.

“Academy for Kids with Elemental Powers,” says a voice from the doorway.

I turn to see who said that. A guy is standing in the doorway, and he looks fifteen.

“What’s your name?” I ask.

He ignores me and continues, “So anyway, this place has been around for who knows how long, we all have elemental powers, everybody has either the water, fire, air, or earth power, but you can go on and learn the advanced arts, like if you have the fire power, you can learn to create and control lightning, if you have the air power, you can learn to control Ice, you can learn plant when you have the water power, and you can control metal when you have the earth power.”

When he finishes, he leaves, and I am let alone with the girl again.

“So, ummm…what’s your name?”

“I am not obligated to speak with such a lowly being like you.”

That’s nice.

“Oh. Okay then.”

She turns her head sharply to the right and stares at the wall, which is a very nice olive color. Oh yeah, that’s sarcasm.

I pass the time by examining every inch of the room, looking for a way to escape. When that guy came in, he opened the door. That seems impossible. After three hours of search, I give up. This room cannot be broken out of.

An hour later, it’s time for dinner. The door opens – really? – by itself. We walk out, and I choose a random passage. Suddenly, a jolt of electricity zaps me. The girl I share a room with just smirks.

“I am not obligated to speak with you, lowly being, but I must say that you are heading in the wrong direction. The meal hall is this way. Whenever you feel a – wait, what element are you?”

“I am not obligated to answer questions from such a high and proper being as you,” I say, mimicking her tone. “But I am an air elementalist.”

“Ungrateful wench. Lowly being, I am only trying to help. Whenever you feel a slight shock, you will know that you are going in the wrong direction.”

“Ok. But how am I supposed to get out of this place?”

“Just because I helped you this once doesn’t mean we’re friends, you idiot!” she snaps.

“Ok, geez.”

“Hmph…”

I decide to follow her. After a few minutes, she says, “Why are you following me, lowly being?”

I reply, “Well, I don’t know where the meal hall is, so I thought I’d follow you to see where it is.”

“I get to dine with the other high members of the school. You,” she says with disgust, “get to dine with other lowly beings just as stupid as you.”

Oh. That makes sense. At least, it explains why she calls me a “lowly being.”

“Well, can you take me there?”

“ME?!?!?!? Take you THERE?!?!?!?!? If I get caught heading there, the teachers will think I WANT to sit in there, and then I will have to sit in there. For a WEEK!!! Do you know HOW SHAMEFUL that is?!?!?!?!?!?”

“Well, no, I don’t know how shameful that is, but I do need you to take me there.” I admitted.

“Why you little-”

“Girls! What are you doing?!” says a new voice from down the hall.

The snotty braid girl says, “Mademoiselle Foodle, I was just taking this lo- I-I mean new girl to the meal hall.”

“Oh really? Then explain WHY I heard YELLING from down the hall?”

“Ummm…”

“I see…no reason to explain why?”

“No, it’s just that, well, I saw Kalani and Melina having, err, an argument. And, umm, they were yelling at each other.”

“Mmhm. Right…” she said in a tone dripping with sarcasm. “And where did they go? This hallway has no turns or side passages for quite a while. I expect you want me to believe they flew through the ceiling?”

“Oh, well, umm…”

“Lying, were you?”

“Err…no.”

“Yes you were. From the first day you came here I expected you to be able to remember that silence is needed in these halls. Clearly, I was wrong. Your punishment will be…sitting at the newbies’ table. FOR A WEEK!”

“The newbies table?! But-but it’s so-so-so-”

“So what? Full of newbies? At least you’ll be with your new friend.”

“FRIEND?!?!?!?!?! Friends with this-this- lowly being?!?!?! The idea itself horrifies me!”

“That is your punishment. Or would you like it changed to a month instead?”

The girl drops her gaze, but I can tell she’s seething with anger. She flashes me a look of pure disgust.

“Stupid lowly being,” she mutters under her breath before stalking off.

I take a few steps after her when Mademoiselle Foodle says, “And YOU!”

I freeze where I am and slowly turn around.

“As for you, because you are new, I will let you off the hook. Just this once. After all, I have a thousand students who I must attend to, and they all MUST be punished!”

I find my way to the “newbies” meal hall by choosing random passages and going the other way when there is a slight shock. Finally, after about an hour, I am there. When I enter, loud noises nearly kill my eardrums. I hear people talking, people yelling, people cheering others on during a wrestling match – seriously? In a cafeteria? – and people doing a lot of other random things that I personally feel they should not be doing.

Suddenly they die down, and everybody looks at me. I stare right back at them, when one of the girls stands up and says, in a loud clear voice, “Hey, newbie,” putting disgust on the word as though it’s the worst thing anyone could call me.

Right after she says this, everyone starts laughing. I feel my face flush with embarrassment. Seriously, does everyone have to pick on me? Then my eyes find someone who has a sympathetic look on her face. Immediately, I know I have a friend here. So, in response to the insult and for everyone laughing, I simply shrug.

Everyone stops laughing instantly. All of their eyes flick from the girl to me.

“Are you challenging me to a fight?” The girl’s eyes narrow and she glares at me.

Again, I shrug.

“Would that be a yes? I am extremely powerful you know. Actually, the best fire elementalist out of,” here she pauses to dramatically sweep her arm around. “All the people here who can control fire.”

Well, this is definitely going to be tougher than I think.

“I don’t know. Do you want to fight?” I ask.

“Hmm…if you’re not afraid to.”

Seeing the girl who looked at me in a nice way shaking her head, I almost decide not to fight.

“Well actually, let’s just not fight.” I say.

She squints at me again. “Did I hear you say you don’t want to fight? Are you a coward?”

“I am not a coward!”

“Then prove it by showing you’re not afraid to fight me!”

Uh oh. I had just worked myself into a fight that could not be avoided. Yikes.

“Losing your nerve?” she jeered.

“I will fight you.” I say quietly.

“Okay. When?”

“How about…tomorrow at midnight. The Rosetta Room.” Earlier today, while I was heading toward the meal hall, I had passed a room called the Rosetta Room.

“Sure. If you can even find your way there!”

Her buddies all laugh. Suddenly an idea strikes me.

I say, “Hey, aren’t you a newbie too?”

She looks nervous. “Uhh…well, actually, umm…”

“Well, are you? Oh wait, don’t tell me. If you’re not a newbie, you must have been punished and sent to eat here for…how long? A week? A month?”

“No. Just today. But too bad for you, you have to sit here for quite a while!”

I laugh. “Really, being a newbie is better than being punished and having to sit here for even a day.”

“You-you-you little-” At this point of rage, she’s stuttering so much she can’t even really talk right. “You little-you little- you little-you-you aren’t even fit to eat out of trash cans!”

“Really? Then what am I eating right here?” I say, pointing to my tray. (The food came while we were arguing, but I never really noticed it.)

“Hmph!!! You don’t deserve the meal in front of you.” Then, I see another girl stand up and walk over to the person I was just arguing with. Rage shoots through me as I see the girl I share a room with walk up to the other girl. Snotty braid girl whispers into the other girl’s ear, and she gets a wicked smile on her face.

“I change the rules. It’s two on two. Emberana and I will be a pair. I bet nobody will pair up with you!”

I look around nervously. Finding the nice girl, I sent her a silent message: Will you do it?

For a few seconds, she looks hesitant. Then she slowly stands up and says, “I will be on a team with…”

Again, she gets my silent message.

“I will be on a team with Skyra.”

Everyone snickers.

“You?” screeches Emberana.

“Yeah.” She calmly replies.

“Fine. Be on the losing team.” Emberana says.

The girl who volunteered to be on my side walks over to me and introduces herself.

“Hi. I’m Coronalia. They’re both fire type elements, so since I’m a water elementalist, we should have a slight advantage.”

“Nice to meet you. Thanks for sticking up for me back there. You know I’m Skyra, and from my name, you can probably tell that I am an air element person.”

“I guessed from the second I saw you. You don’t look solid enough for an earth person, but you aren’t much like me, so you couldn’t be water. Oh yeah, you didn’t look proud and all ‘high and mighty’ like most fire people, but you looked pretty nice, tall, and, well, you have the grace of an air elementalist.”

“Oh. So you tell people apart like that?”

“Pretty much.”

“I have to tell you something.” I say hesitantly.

“What?” Coronalia asks.

“Well, I…don’t know how to use my power.”

“Oh well, I can give you a crash course. Here, are you done?” she asks, taking my tray.

“Yeah, I’m full.”

“Ok then. Wait right here.” She takes the tray and dumps it. Then she puts it on a revolving tray rack, which slowly turns and takes the trays to whoever cleans them, I guess.

When Coronalia comes back, she takes me to an empty classroom. We practice.

“So first, close your eyes and relax.”

I do that, and I feel energy flowing through my body.

“Now, breathe in deeply.”

Ahhhhhhh…so relaxing.

“Ok, now reach into your soul and imagine yourself as light as air, as graceful as the wind, and, well…just like whatever else air is like.”

Hmm…strange tingling sensation. It starts from my toes and spreads up my body, slowly, until my head fills with energy.

“You did it!” Coronalia says excitedly.

“Wha???” I say, opening my eyes and looking at myself. “Whoa, is this still me?”

I am wearing a sparkling silver jacket on top of a gray shirt and pants that feel as light as air. If somebody told me to put this on, I would say, “no,” because I’d think it’d look horrible! Surprisingly, it actually looks good on me. I mean, I’m not trying to brag, but still.

“Ok, now attack me.” Coronalia instructs.

“What?” I say.

“You heard me. Attack!”

“But what if I hurt you?”

“Not likely.” she says.

“Fine.” I delve into my soul and find a barrier. Driving my mind against it, it breaks and I am allowed access to my store of magic. Summoning an air ball, a throw it against Coronalia. She lifts her hand and uses water power and deflects it. It is sent right back at me, and somehow, I absorb it.

“Not bad, for a start. But it will have to be more powerful if you want to beat those two.”

I dive in deeper and find a stronger blast to throw at her. This time, she deflects it again, but it’s harder because it’s stronger. Again, I absorb it.

“Ok, that’s enough practice for now.” Coronalia says.

She’s panting, and I ask, “Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” She replies. “If you make it even stronger, they won’t have a chance!”

“It’s midnight.” I say to Emberana.

“I know!” she snaps at me.

We walk to the Rosetta Room. When I go inside, I see a huge room with walls that are bare. There is nothing in this room. Suddenly, a swishing noise comes and the other girl comes out with Coronalia.

“Ok, we’re all here,” she says.

“Yeah. You two,” says Emberana, pointing at us, “Stand over there. Cyndra and I will stand over here.”

We walk over as they walk to their places.

Cyndra shouts, “Ready, set, START!”

The duel had begun.

Immediately, I shift into my air form and try to grab some magic. Using it, I make it into a weird air ball like thing and throw it at Emberana, with an aero blast following it. She tries to dodge it, but it’s too quick; one of the advantages of being an air elementalist.

The dull noise of impact is followed by a shriek of pain. I instantly lower the power to a gentle tickle. Emberana slowly gets up, but she looks barely conscious.

“Do we just have to knock them out?” I ask Coronalia.

“Yeah!” she replied.

That seems easy. Emberana is almost unconscious, and Cyndra doesn’t look much better. However, they still have enough power left to attack. Emberana creates a HUGE fireball, which she aims at me. I freeze. Coronalia didn’t teach me how to deflect hits.

The fireball comes, and still I am frozen. Suddenly, I move. Turning, I don’t even pause as I throw a random bit of power at the fireball. It stops dead in its tracks, and turns toward Emberana. She smirks and absorbs it. Then, she throws another fireball. This one is smaller, but it’s a lot faster, and I am too slow to dodge it. I scream as it burns my skin. The searing pain lasts only a moment, but it feels like infinity. I drop to the ground, writhing around until I am sure the fire is gone. Then, I retaliate and send a powerful blast of wind at Emberana. It slams her against the wall, and she gasps. Then she goes limp, and I am sure she is unconscious.

Looking around, I see that Coronalia and Cyndra are still fighting. I join in and rapidly shoot blasts of air at Cyndra. Suddenly, another burning pain hits me in the back, and I scream and fall to the ground. Coronalia turns and looks at me, and in that moment, a fireball hits her. She falls next to me, and I see that even though she has some resistance against fire, being a water element and all, she is still injured. The pain still has not left, and I twist around, screaming, until the world slowly turns black.

I wake up in a strange room. Looking right, I see Coronalia in a bed next to me. I try to sit up, and immediately my back burns. I fall back onto the bed with a gasp of pain.

Suddenly, a nurse-like person comes in. She walks around my bed and rolls me over. Peeling off the bandages is excruciating, even worse than getting burned. I grit my teeth to keep from screaming my head off. Then she puts some sort of painkiller-y medicine-type thing on it; at least, it doesn’t hurt anymore. The bandages are a relief, because my back is feeling cold from the air. The nurse treats Coronalia and leaves the room.

I whisper, “Psst! Psst! Coronalia! Wake up!”

She groans, but doesn’t wake up.

“Coronalia!” I whisper again, louder this time.

“Uhhnnn…who is it? OW! My side hurts!”

“Coronalia, it’s Skyra.”

“Ohh…are you okay?”

I hurt everywhere, especially my back and ribs.

“Well, since I’m alive, I am fine, but it burns. A LOT!” I say.

“Actually, I probably hurt less, because I’m a water element, but it’s still painful. The good thing is, because we’re elemental, there won’t be any scars. The skin will grow back like normal, and we won’t look any different. We also heal really fast, like it only takes a few hours before we look normal.”

Oh. That’s a relief.

Just then, Mademoiselle Foodle comes in. She comes over and says, “What were you girls thinking? Getting into a fight like that? You know you could have been seriously injured! Skyra, I know you are new, but you should have more sense than that! And Coronalia, you know about this!”

“Sorry.” I mutter.

“Coronalia, tell me how she did.” says Mademoiselle Foodle.

Wait a second. Did I hear her right? Did she just ask Coronalia to tell her how I fought in the–technically; well you can’t call it a duel with four people–battle?

Coronalia replies, “She did way better than most beginners. And with only a bit of help from me! All I taught her was the basic get into the form, prepare some magic, and shoot! She actually deflected Emberana’s fireball!”

“Really? Hmm…” is Mademoiselle Foodle’s reply.

“Yeah!” says Coronalia. “I think she should learn with the Medium group. Well, I haven’t seen her sword skills yet, but there’ll be plenty of opportunities. Just, before she goes with the Medium group she’ll need to know all the basics, but other than that, she’s fine!”

“Okay…what do you think, Skyra?”

“Wha-? You’re asking me? Bu- but I thought you were mean! I- I mean, no offense, but you weren’t that nice with Emberana.”

“Hmph! That little snotty know-it-all brat? Of course I wasn’t nice to her! I never am! She’s a stuck-up annoying little girl. Now, do you want to go to the Medium classes?

“Uh, yeah! Yes, I do!”

“Ok then. I shall arrange it. We still need to see your sword skills, but do you think you’re up for it now?”

“Umm…now? Maybe. Let me try to get up.” I attempt to get up, but the pain is too great, and I fall back on my bed with a gasp of pain.

“No, you are not ready to show me yet. Stay here, I will come back in a few hours.”

And with that, Mademoiselle Foodle leaves the room.

I just gape, my mouth hanging open.

Coronalia says, “Well, we’re in the same class!”

I ask, “You’re in the Medium class?”

“Yup.”

“Ohh…Is Mademoiselle Foodle usually this nice?”

“Only to the less stuck up kids.”

“That makes sense. The other day, she got pretty mad at Emberana for yelling. Is it true that you need to be really quiet in the halls?”

“Yeah. Do you want to know who teaches the classes?”

“Sure.”

“Ok then. Mademoiselle Foodle is Headmistress, and she teaches the Challenge level elemental and sword classes. But the thing is, almost nobody are in those classes. Only the most talented and skilled go there. Actually, right now I can name the three people in the class. They are Desato, Karamu, and Illiria. Anyway, Emberana and Cyndra might actually make it to the Challenge class. They are in the Advanced group right now, but they’re really good. Well, the teacher of the Advanced group is Miss Catta. She’s fairly nice, but she loses her temper easily, and she has about this much patience,” Coronalia said, holding up two fingers a centimeter apart. “So I don’t want to think about being in her class. And for us, our teacher is Mr.…umm…well, he has a really long last name, and it’s something like this. Mr. Kaletinoytagooglogashlabonbonifferansim, blah, blah, blah, I forgot the rest, but well…he told us to just call him Bob, or Mr. K. Ok, so the early or Beginner class is taught by Ms. Melani. She is really nice, so I guess that’s why they chose her to put up with the kids who have no idea how to do things. Well, those are all the teachers, and don’t forget that. Well, you should rest now, so you can do sword stuff later.”

I am tired, and as she says that last sentence, I yawn and close my eyes, drifting into sleep.

A few hours later, I wake up to find Mademoiselle Foodle standing over my bed.

“What do you want now?” I grumble.

She lets out an impatient sigh. “Skyra, I want to see how good your sword skills are.”

“Wha? Oh yeah.” I say.

Jumping out of bed, I hesitantly take a few steps, and when there isn’t any pain, I say, “I can try the sword stuff now.”

“Ok then. Follow me.”

Mademoiselle Foodle leads me to a room with weapons on the walls. I see axes, swords, javelins, spears, knives, throwing knives, tridents, some bows with full sheaths of arrows, and so on.

“Where did you get all these weapons?” I ask.

“It’s been collected over the years. Now, we need to find you a suitable sword.” And with that, she takes me through a door, where racks and racks are filled with nothing but weapons.

“Here you go,” says Mademoiselle Foodle. “You find something you like, and when you’re ready, call me.”

I walk around the racks, looking at weapons, occasionally picking up a spear, or maybe a javelin, but the balance isn’t quite right. Finally I get to the sword rack, and there are about as many different swords here as there are all the other weapons combined!

I look around, and am drawn to a pair of swords. Picking them up, they feel like extensions of my arms, and I carefully slide them out of the sheaths. One blade is different shades of sky blue, though occasionally gray. Looking at it, I am reminded of the sky. The other sword is as clear as glass, and when I look through it, it’s like I’m seeing things through my own eyes. On both of them, just above where the blade goes into the hilt, is a clear blue gem.

“Ok, so you choose this pair, eh?” A voice from behind me says.

I jump and drop the swords. Picking them up, I turn around. Standing behind me is an elderly old man, with battle scars all over his arms.

“W-what do you want?” I ask.

“Ok, nothing,” he replies. “Mademoiselle Foodle told me to see what kind of sword you got. I wasn’t expecting this.”

“Oh, well…”

“Ok now, do you need somebody to practice sword fighting with?” he asks.

“Yes.” I reply.

“Ok then. Karamu, come here!” The guy who came into our room before came here, and I stare at him. He winks.

“Ok,” This old guy is starting to annoy me. “So ok then, you have to fight this girl and tell Mademoiselle Foodle how she did. Got it?”

“Yeah, whatever,” he says in a carefree tone. “Bet I’ll beat her.”

“Ok, Karamu, that’s not fair. You are in the Challenge class. She is a beginner. Ok?”

“I get it.” he repeats.

“Ok then, come here.” The old guy beckons to us, and leads us into a place for practice apparently. The room has dummies and experimental weapons, like target dummies for the archery, spear-throwing, and javelin-throwing people, dummies to beat up with swords, and a lot of other dummies for other things. Anyway, I go to a square on one side of the room, and Karamu goes to a square on the opposite side.

“Ok, you can start now.” the old guy says, then backs out of the room.

Immediately, Karamu charges toward me and slices downward with his sword. I clumsily block it, but it pushes me off balance and I fall. His sword comes around and stops an inch from my neck.

“Too easy,” he says, and offers me a hand to help me up. I don’t take it and get up myself.

Just wait,’ I think. ‘I’ll show you.’

Again, we get into position, and he charges again. I block it better this time, and try to swing at his neck. He dodges it easily, and slices his sword at my legs. The blade grazes my legs, and blood seeps out of the cut. Minor pain lances through my body, but I grit my teeth and try to ignore it.

This time, I swing at his legs, and when he is busy blocking it, I try to slice at his neck. His sword flashes up, but I cut his left leg. Then I swing crazily, blocking all of his attacks and slicing at him. Sometime during the battle, he gets a second sword, and we are evenly matched.

Eventually though, I tire, and he slowly forces me down until my swords lay on the ground, and his are pointing at my neck.

Powers of the World (Part Four)

“I change the rules. It’s two on two. Emberana and I will be a pair. I bet nobody will pair up with you!”

I look around nervously. Finding the nice girl, I sent her a silent message: Will you do it?

For a few seconds, she looks hesitant. Then she slowly stands up and says, “I will be on a team with…”

Again, she gets my silent message.

“I will be on a team with Skyra.”

Everyone snickers.

“You?” screeches Emberana.

“Yeah.” She calmly replies.

“Fine. Be on the losing team.” Emberana sneers.

The girl who volunteered to be on my side walks over to me and introduces herself.

“Hi. I’m Coronalia. They’re both fire type elements, so since I’m a water elementalist, we should have a slight advantage.”

“Nice to meet you. Thanks for sticking up for me back there. You know I’m Skyra, and from my name, you can probably tell that I am an air element person.”

“I guessed from the second I saw you. You don’t look solid enough for an earth person, but you aren’t much like me, so you couldn’t be water. Oh yeah, you didn’t look proud and all ‘high and mighty’ like most fire people, but you looked pretty nice, tall, and, well, you have the grace of an air elementalist.”

“Oh. So you tell people apart like that?”

“Pretty much.”

“I have to tell you something.” I say hesitantly.

“What?” Coronalia asks.

“Well, I…don’t know how to use my power.”

“Oh well, I can give you a crash course. Here, are you done?” she asks, taking my tray.

“Yeah, I’m full.”

“Ok then. Wait right here.” She takes the tray and dumps it. Then she puts it on a revolving tray rack, which slowly turns and takes the trays to whoever cleans them, I guess.

When Coronalia comes back, she takes me to an empty classroom. We practice.

“So first, close your eyes and relax.”

I do that, and I feel energy flowing through my body.

“Now, breathe in deeply.”

Ahhhhhhh…so relaxing.

“Ok, now reach into your soul and imagine yourself as light as air, as graceful as the wind, and, well…just like whatever else air is like.”

Hmm…strange tingling sensation. It starts from my toes and spreads up my body, slowly, until my head fills with energy.

“You did it!” Coronalia says excitedly.

“Wha???” I say, opening my eyes and looking at myself. “Whoa, is this still me?”

I am wearing a sparkling silver jacket on top of a gray shirt and pants that feel as light as air. If somebody told me to put this on, I would say, “no,” because I’d think it’d look horrible! Surprisingly, it actually looks good on me. I mean, I’m not trying to brag, but still.

“Ok, now attack me.” Coronalia instructs.

“What?” I say.

“You heard me. Attack!”

“But what if I hurt you?”

“Not likely.” she says.

“Fine.” I delve into my soul and find a barrier. Driving my mind against it, it breaks and I am allowed access to my store of magic. Summoning an air ball, a throw it against Coronalia. She lifts her hand and uses water power and deflects it. It is sent right back at me, and somehow, I absorb it.

“Not bad, for a start. But it will have to be more powerful if you want to beat those two.”

I dive in deeper and find a stronger blast to throw at her. This time, she deflects it again, but it’s harder because it’s stronger. Again, I absorb it.

“Ok, that’s enough practice for now.” Coronalia says.

She’s panting, and I ask, “Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” She replies. “If you make it even stronger, they won’t have a chance!”

 

 

“It’s midnight.” I say to Emberana.

“I know!” she snaps at me.

We walk to the Rosetta Room. When I go inside, I see a huge room with walls that are bare. There is nothing in this room. Suddenly, a swishing noise comes and the other girl comes out with Coronalia.

“Ok, we’re all here,” she says.

“Yeah. You two,” says Emberana, pointing at us, “Stand over there. Cyndra and I will stand over here.”

We walk over as they walk to their places.

Cyndra shouts, “Ready, set, START!”

The duel had begun.

Powers of the World – Part Three

I find my way to the “newbies” meal hall by choosing random passages and going the other way when there is a slight shock. Finally, after about an hour, I am there. When I enter, loud noises nearly kill my eardrums. I hear people talking, people yelling, people cheering others on during a wrestling match – seriously? In a cafeteria? – and people doing a lot of other random things that I personally feel they should not be doing.

Suddenly the noise dies down, and everybody looks at me. I stare right back at them, when one of the girls stands up and says, in a loud clear voice, “Hey, newbie,” putting disgust on the word as though it’s the worst thing anyone could call me.

Right after she says this, everyone starts laughing. I feel my face flush with embarrassment. Seriously, does everyone have to pick on me? Then my eyes find someone who has a sympathetic look on her face. Immediately, I know I have a friend here. So, in response to the insult and for everyone laughing, I simply shrug.

Everyone stops laughing instantly. All of their eyes flick from the girl to me.

“Are you challenging me to a fight?” The girl’s eyes narrow and she glares at me.

Again, I shrug.

“Would that be a yes? I am extremely powerful you know. Actually, the best fire elementalist out of,” here she pauses to dramatically sweep her arm around. “All the people here who can control fire.”

Well, this is definitely going to be tougher than I think.

“I don’t know. Do you want to fight?” I ask.

“Hmm…if you’re not afraid to.”

Seeing the girl who looked at me in a nice way shaking her head, I almost decide not to fight.

“Well, actually, let’s just not fight.” I say.

She squints at me again. “Did I hear you say you don’t want to fight? Are you a coward?”

“I am not a coward!”

“Then prove it by showing you’re not afraid to fight me!”

Uh oh. I had just worked myself into a fight that could not be avoided. Yikes.

“Losing your nerve?” she jeered.

“I will fight you.” I say quietly.

“Okay. When?”

“How about…tomorrow at midnight. The Rosetta Room.” Earlier today, while I was heading toward the meal hall, I had passed a room called the Rosetta Room.

“Sure. If you can even find your way there!”

Her buddies all laugh. Suddenly an idea strikes me.

I say, “Hey, aren’t you a newbie too?”

She looks nervous. “Uhh…well, actually, umm…”

“Well, are you? Oh wait, don’t tell me. If you’re not a newbie, you must have been punished and sent to eat here for…how long? A week? A month?”

“No. Just today. But too bad for you, you have to sit here for quite a while!”

I laugh. “Really, being a newbie is better than being punished and having to sit here for even a day.”

“You-you-you little-” At this point of rage, she’s stuttering so much she can’t even really talk right. “You little-you little- you little-you-you aren’t even fit to eat out of trash cans!”

“Really? Then what am I eating right here?” I say, pointing to my tray. (The food came while we were arguing, but I never really noticed it.)

“Hmph!!! You don’t deserve the meal in front of you.” Then, I see another girl stand up and walk over to the person I was just arguing with. Rage shoots through me as I see the girl I share a room with. Snotty braid girl whispers into the other girl’s ear, and she gets a wicked smile on her face.

Powers of the World (This is a temporary title)

Six years ago

“Mommy! Mommy! Look at me!” I yelled through the open window. My mom came out the house and gasped.

“Skyra, get down from that tree right this instant!” She shouted back.

My mom has never used that tone with me. I began to cry, and wiped my tears with both hands. Suddenly, I fell. Being twenty or thirty feet high in the tree, that fall should have seriously injured or killed me. Strangely, I slowed down, and landed on my feet at the base of the tree, right in front of my half scared, half angry mom.

“What were you thinking?! Climbing that high in a tree?! You scared me to death when you fell! You know what I’ve told you, Skyra. You could have broken a bone, or worse, been killed! You must never, ever, do that again. Understand?”

“Yes, Mommy. But that was fun!”

“What was fun?”

“Falling!”

“Falling from the tree was fun?!”

“Yeah! Because I slowed down and landed on my feet in the fall!” I turned my head and saw a man watching us. He was dressed in black and had sunglasses on.

A year ago

I raised my hands in the air, a broad smile on my face. I had just won the School Running Championship, ahead of everyone else in my grade! The weird thing was though, while I ran, a strange wind came and pushed me faster. I never knew I could run so fast. Turning, I received the trophy and said thanks to the man who handed it to me. Wait a second. It feels like I should know this man. Oh well. I mentally shrugged and thought, what does it matter if I know him?

On the way home, my mom said, “Skyra, how did you run so fast? I’ve never seen you run so fast in your entire life!”

I replied, “I don’t know, but at least I won!”

Now

These memories and others rush through my mind as I process what the strangely familiar man in front of me has just said. That I have the power to bend air to my will? Hold on. I know who he is. He’s been there, in all of my memories with me demonstrating some way of having the power to control and distort air. But still!

“That’s not true.” I say out loud.

“Oh, but it is. So I ask you again, will you join us? After all, you don’t usually see people with the air element power walking down the street.”

“Oh yeah? And why should I ‘join’ you?”

“I teach a school, where kids with all sorts of elemental powers come to learn.”

“Right…” I say sarcastically. There’s something secretive about this guy, something I don’t trust.

“Look, just come join us and learn, okay?” I can tell this guy is losing his patience.

“And what if I say no?”

“Then I will force you to come!” And before I can do anything, he grabs my wrists and slaps a hand over my mouth. I struggle and try to scream, but the noise is muffled and no one is around. He drags me to a van, gags me and ties my wrists and ankles together, then throws me in the back. I hit my head on something hard, and the world slowly spins into black.

I wake up, and think for a moment, who am I? Then I remember. I sit up and groan. My head throbs where I hit it. Looking around, I see that I am in a prison cell-like dormitory. I notice a girl with two long braids down her back staring at me from the other side of the room. Trying for friendliness, I say, “Hi.”

She continues staring.

“Where are we?” I ask.

“Academy for Kids with Elemental Powers,” says a voice from the doorway.

I turn to see who said that. A guy is standing in the doorway. He looks about fifteen.

“What’s your name?” I ask.

He ignores me and says, “So anyway, this place has been around for who knows how long, we all have elemental powers, everybody has either the water, fire, air, or earth power, but you can go on and learn the advanced arts, like if you have the fire power, you can learn to create and control lightning, if you have the air power, you can learn to control ice, you can learn plant when you have the water power, and you can control metal when you have the earth power.”

When he’s done talking he leaves, and I am left alone with the girl again.

“So, ummm…what’s your name?”

“I am not obligated to speak with such a lowly being like you.”

That’s nice.

“Oh. Okay then.”

She turns her head sharply to the right and stares at the wall, which is a very nice olive color. Oh yeah, that’s sarcasm.

I pass the time by examining every inch of the room, looking for a way to escape. When that guy came in, he opened the door. That seems impossible. After three hours of search, I give up. This room cannot be broken out of.

An hour later, it’s time for dinner. The door opens – really? – by itself. We walk out, and I choose a random passage. Suddenly, a jolt of electricity zaps me. The girl I share a room with just smirks.

“I am not obligated to speak with you, lowly being, but I must say that you are heading in the wrong direction. The meal hall is this way. Whenever you feel a – wait, what element are you?”

“I am not obligated to answer questions from such a high and proper being as you,” I say, mimicking her tone. “But I am an air elementalist.”

“Ungrateful wench. Lowly being, I am only trying to help. Whenever you feel a slight shock, you will know that you are going in the wrong direction.”

“Ok. But how am I supposed to get out of this place?”

“Just because I helped you this once doesn’t mean we’re friends, you idiot!” she snaps.

“Ok, geez.”

“Hmph…”

I decide to follow her. After a few minutes, she says, “Why are you following me, lowly being?”

I reply, “Well, I don’t know where the meal hall is, so I thought I’d follow you to see where it is.”

“I get to dine with the other high members of the school. You,” she says with disgust, “get to dine with other lowly beings just as stupid as you.”

Oh. That makes sense. At least, it explains why she calls me a “lowly being.”

“Well, can you take me there?”

“ME?!?!?!? Take you THERE?!?!?!?!? If I get caught heading there, the teachers will think I WANT to sit in there, and then I will have to sit in there.  For a WEEK!!! Do you know HOW SHAMEFUL that is?!?!?!?!?!?”

“Well, no, I don’t know how shameful that is, but I do need you to take me there. And besides,” I say before she can talk, “You could always say you were just taking me there.”

“Why you little-”

“Girls! What are you doing?!” says a new voice from down the hall.

The snotty braid girl says, “Mademoiselle Foodle, I was just taking this lo- I-I mean new girl to the meal hall.”

“Oh really? Then explain WHY I heard YELLING from down the hall?”

“Ummm…”

“I see…no reason to explain why?”

“No, it’s just that, well, I saw Elyria and Melina having, err, an argument. And, umm, they were yelling at each other.”

“Mmhm. Right…” she said in a tone dripping with sarcasm. “And where did they go? This hallway has no turns or side passages for quite a while. I expect you want me to believe they flew through the ceiling?”

“Oh, well, umm…”

“Lying, were you?”

“Err…no.”

“Yes you were. From the first day you came here, I expected you to be able to remember that silence is needed in these halls. Clearly, I was wrong. Your punishment will be…sitting at the newbies’ table. FOR A WEEK!”

“The newbies table?! But-but it’s so-so-so-”

“So what? Full of newbies? At least you’ll be with your new friend.”

“FRIEND?!?!?!?!?! Friends with this-this- lowly being?!?!?! The idea itself horrifies me!”

“That is your punishment. Or would you like it changed to a month instead?”

The girl drops her gaze, but I can tell she’s seething with anger. She flashes me a look of pure disgust.

“Stupid lowly being,” she mutters under her breath before stalking off.

I take a few steps after her when Mademoiselle Foodle says, “And YOU!”

I freeze where I am and slowly turn around.

“As for you, because you are new, I will let you off the hook. Just this once. After all, I have a thousand students who I must attend to, and they all MUST be punished!”

Random story (I don’t have a name yet, I need help thinking of one)

Six years ago

“Mommy! Mommy! Look at me!” I yelled through the open window. My mom came out of the house and gasped.

“Skyra, get down from that tree right this instant!” She shouted back.

My mom has never used that tone with me. I began to cry, and wiped my tears with both hands. Suddenly, I fell. Being twenty or thirty feet high in the tree, that fall should have seriously injured or killed me. Strangely, I slowed down, and landed on my feet at the base of the tree, right in front of my half scared, half angry mom.

“What were you thinking?! Climbing that high in a tree?! You scared me to death when you fell! You know what I’ve told you, Skyra. You could have broken a bone, or worse, been killed! You must never, ever, do that again. Understand?”

“Yes, Mommy. But that was fun!”

“What was fun?”

“Falling!”

“Falling from the tree was fun?!”

“Yeah! Because I slowed down and landed on my feet in the fall!” I turned my head and saw a man watching us. He was dressed in black and had sunglasses on.

 

A year ago

I raised my hands in the air, a broad smile on my face. I had just won the School Running Championship, ahead of everyone else in my grade! The weird thing was though, while I ran, a strange wind came and pushed me faster. I never knew I could run so fast. Turning, I received the trophy and said thanks to the man who handed it to me. Wait a second. It feels like I should know this man. Oh well. I mentally shrugged and thought, what does it matter if I know him?

On the way home, my mom said, “Skyra, how did you run so fast? I’ve never seen you run so fast in your entire life!”

I replied, “I don’t know, but at least I won!”

 

Now

These memories and others rush through my mind as I process what the strangely familiar man in front of me has just said. That I have the power to bend air to my will? Hold on. I know who he is. He’s been there, in all of my memories with me demonstrating some way of having the power to control and distort air. But still!

“That’s not true.” I say out loud.

“Oh, but it is. So I ask you again, will you join us?” After all, you don’t usually see people with the air element power walking down the street.”

“Oh yeah? And why should I ‘join’ you?”

“I teach a school, where kids with all sorts of elemental powers come to learn.”

“Right…” I say sarcastically. There’s something secretive about this guy, something I don’t trust.

“Look, just come join us and learn, okay?” I can tell this guy is losing his patience.

“And what if I say no?”

“Then I will force you to come!” And before I can do anything, he grabs my wrists and slaps a hand over my mouth. He drags me to a van, gags me and ties my wrists and ankles together, then throws me in the back.

Spring Break Part 5

Day 6

Today is our second to last day in Cancun. On the eighth day, we will be on the plane back. I had breakfast today at the world cafe, and as usual, it was delicious. Afterward, I went down to the beach and played. Then my dad told me to change into my swimsuit. I went and changed, and he took Amanda my brother and I down to the Carribean beach to go swimming. It was actually pretty shallow, and it was a perfect day. When we were done, we went to get some lunch, and then we  went bungee jumping. After that, we played hide and seek in the hotel, and then had dinner and watched a show. When the show was over, we went to bed.

Day 7

Today my mom made me get up earlier, because since it’s our last day, we are going to the flea market. There was so much stuff there, it was amazing. I got some bracelets, and a belt. I also got a turtle, and a bag that says Cancun on it. I saw a bow with arrows, but my mom didn’t let me get it. I wanted it, though. My brother got a bag of seashells, and a turtle. Not a real one, of course. Just a little ceramic one. Amanda got a blue Cancun bag, and some bracelets and a belt. When we got back, it was time for lunch. Afterward, I messed around until it was time to go bungee jumping. After that, I played, and played, and played until dinner. After dinner, there was ANOTHER show. These people have got like, unlimited show ideas. Anyway, we had to go to bed, because our plane was at 3 in the morning tomorrow.

Day 8

Today was so boring I’m just going to give a brief summary. We got on the plane, and slept until we got back, and then rode back in a van. I fell on the couch when I got home. Even though Mexico was fun, I still like my house better.,

Spring Break Part 3

Day 4

Today in the morning, I went to eat breakfast, and then got my swimsuit on and messed around with my friends for awhile. Later, we went parasoling. It was really cool! First, we got on a boat that took us out to somewhere, and then we had to put on harnesses, and mine was ridiculously small. There were other people on the boat, and 8 of us went on the parachute. Anybody who went got hooked to a parachute, and the boat moved forward, and a rope or string or whatever it was was released slowly, and whoever was on the parachute went up. We went in pairs of 2, so it only took a little. Amanda and I were the 3rd pair to go up.  It was kinda chilly up there. At least there was no wind.  When we got down, the last pair of people went, and then the boat took us back to shore. We got off, and went to have lunch. After lunch, I went bungee jumping, and did a lot of flips, and one of them was a frontflip. Everyone says that a frontflip is really hard to do, and I agree. I almost fell on my head trying to do it. After that, I had to change into my swimsuit again, because we were going swimmin’ with the dolphins. We got to have a mini water fight with a dolphin, Give it a massage(just stroke the dolphin is giving it a massage), feed the dolphin, get a picture of us with the dolphin, and the best-float on your stomach and let the dolphins push you! Yeah, it doesn’t sound exciting. It was really cool, because there was a wave that you ride on, and you just have to depend on the dolphins. At the end, we all got into a row, and the dolphins-4 of them- jumped over us. I thought that it was really cool. I got out of the pool and got my stuff. Then I went back and took a shower. It was time for dinner, so we went to eat, and then watched a show. After the show, I went to bed.

Spring Break Part Two

I didn’t get much sleep before it was time to get up, so I was pretty tired the next morning. (Well, technically it was the same morning because we got there at 4 am.) Anyway, my family went down to the World Cafe, which is a buffet, and it’s really good. They have all sorts of food, and there is a guy who will fry eggs and make egg omelettes just for you, and you can tell him what you want in the omelette and he will make it. I loved it! After breakfast, I changed into my swimsuit and went down to a mini-beach. The water was really cold, so my friend Amanda, Bryce, and Andy just kind of waded, and played around. We had fun until lunch, then went up and changed. We went down to a seafood restaurant called Oceana. My brother, Amanda, and I sat at a table. We all ordered shrimp cocktails, and six shrimp tacos. We weren’t that hungry, bbut managed to finish. Amanda and I both got Obsession de Chocolate, which translates into Chocolate Obsession. (The menu had Spanish on it, and the English translation.) Well, the Chocolate Obsession was really good, and then Amanda and I changed back into our swimsuits and went Jet Skiing. It was really fun, and we went pretty far out. There was lots to see, and the ride was bumpy. When we got back, we went to the real beach, and played with the sand. When it was dinnertime, I took a shower and then changed and went down to dinner. I ate at the world cafe, then went up to bed and slept.

Day 3

We got our luggage today. My mom made me get up earlier, because we were going on an hour long ride to one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World; a temple in Chichen Itza. (Chee-chen Eetsa) We had a tour guide and a bus. The tour guide’s name was Jerry. He was funny, and his grandpa was Chinese. He showed us a tree with diagonal knife marks on it. He said that this tree gave resin, which the Mayans chewed as bubblegum. Since the resin had no flavor, the Mayans added honey for flavor. When we got to the mayan temple, we walked a short distance and and waited for some people in our group, because they had to go to the bathroom. Jerry gave us our tickets, and we waited to have them checked. When they were all checked, we walked outside – well, technically we were already outside because the building didn’t have any doors – and went to see the temple. It was really cool, and Jerry said that on the Spring and Fall equinox, a snake like figure is shown on the steps. By the way, there are exactly 365 steps in the temple. So when Jerry was done talking about the temple, we moved on to other things, like where the Mayans played a sport, some other temples, and other cool places. When everything was explained, we got to explore the market. I got an obsidian turtle, and another turtle that is pretty cool. My brother got a glass pyramid with and picture of the sun and moon inside it. The pyramid is glass, and see-through, but with the light, it looks rainbow colored. We met at the ATM machine, and got back on the bus. On the way back from the temple, we stopped at a place where you can go swimming, and stayed there and ate luch. Sadly, none of us except Andy and his little sister had swimsuits, but they didn’t want to swim. After lunch, we went back to the hotel. I learned some interesting things about Cancun that day. The island of Cancun is shaped like a seven, and not connected to the mainland. Cancun means ‘snake pot’ in Mayan. Underneath Cancun, it’s rock, so trees and other plants don’t have very deep roots. That day, it was really hot.

Spring Break Part One

During Spring Break, my friends and I went to Cancun, Mexico. On Monday, we drove to the airport, and got off the van. We did all of the usual stuff you have to do before a flight, then took a tram to Terminal C. We got off and waited for a while. Then we were going to go into the boarding gates, and I saw that our 10:18 flight to Houston was delayed to 11:50 some. I told my dad, and he went to look. He saw it, and told everybody else. We went inside the boarding gates anyway, but the bad thing was, we had less than an hour to make it onto the Cancun flight from Houston, and the plane was nearly two hours late. Well, inside the boarding gates, I waited until I got bored, then I played some electronics for a while. It was really boring. By the time we made it onto our plane, We would get to Houston at about 2:30-3:00pm. We landed in Houston, and got off the plane. Our flight to Cancun had left slightly more than an hour ago. My parents and some of my friends parents talked to the lady to see if we could go on the next Cancun flight, which was around 7:00 pm. We might actually have gone on that flight if there weren’t 14 other people in front of us, also wanting to go to Cancun. Most of us were hungry, so the adults took us to find somewhere to eat. We found a Wendy’s, so we ate there, and then looked around at the shops in the airport. Eventually, we just got on a flight to Mexico City, and from there, the two-hour flight to Cancun. When we landed in Mexico City, we went to the baggage claim, and couldn’t find our luggage! The adults kind of argued with the person behind the counter, and he said we could either miss our flight and get the luggage, or go on the flight and have the luggage later. The adults chose to go on the flight, so we went and arrived in Cancun aroung 3 or 4:00 am. We took a shuttle bus to the hotel, and checked in. Since we didn’t have our stuff, we just slept in our clothes. By the way, the entire time, my friends Andy H., Andy Z., and I were saying that Bryce and Amanda are so lucky, because they had an 8:00 flight to Houston that was actually ON TIME and they made it on the Cancun flight. Well, that was pretty much my first day. We got our luggage the second day, so we were pretty happy about that.