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Sunday Scribble – “Halfling Part 6”

Halfling Part 6

Caden didn’t speak much as Uncle Rand and he continued their travels the next day, only occasionally granting fake smiles to those villagers whom thanked him again for his help as they left Dorgate. The pair walked for about a candle mark before Caden actually spoke up.

“You implied that I wasn’t a normal mage,” he said. “Can we talk about that now?”

Uncle Rand nodded. “Of course,” he said. “All I meant was that you had always been strong. When I had first brought that mage to the house to sense your abilities back when you were younger, he had confessed that he had not sensed such powerful magic before, not even from the professors at the school. It was that Fire Mage that had suggested I make you practice a little every day before you were old enough for the school. He was afraid that such strength would one day overpower you if you did not practice it enough.”

Caden stayed silent, not wanting to interrupt this spiel and listened closely.

“Perhaps it already has,” Rand said, “when it became strong enough to kill a man without your conscious effort.

“I believed that maybe your heritage has something to do with your strength,” Rand continued. “Your mother, gods bless her soul, passed away giving birth to you, and my sister had never revealed to me who your father was. All I had known was that she had met him in Geist.”

“Was my mother a mage?” Caden asked.

“Not a full one, no,” Rand said. “She had a touch of magic in her like all humans, but she hadn’t wished to nourish it. She was a mercenary and had met your father on a mission. I’ve no idea what he did.”

“Do you believe my father was a mage?” was Caden’s next question.

“Perhaps,” Rand said. “I have little belief that you inherited your magical strength from your mother, or anyone on our side of the family, actually. You’ll need to find answers about your father and his life.”

“Hm, I suppose—Hold up.” Caden looked sharply at Uncle Rand. “What do you mean?”

“I mean you should get out a little more,” Rand said, looking at his nephew with a kind smile. “I love having you around, Caden, but you’re young. Go out in the world and learn new things. Discover who you are.”

“So, you want me to just go out alone?” Caden asked, slouching in his saddle.

“You’re a smart and powerful young man,” Rand said. “If going solo is what you wish, then so be it. Otherwise, maybe you can apply to a traveling mercenary guild.” Caden didn’t respond, and Rand added, “Think about it, Caden. Give me an answer once we get back home.”

Caden did as he was told and thought of little else other than the news and stories that had just been revealed to him. He honestly hadn’t thought about what he would do in the future and realized that he had only thought of the present. Did he want to take over his uncle’s business? Become a moneylender and make profits off of debt and interest? What of his magic? What had been the point of going to Akyna’s Mage Academy if he wasn’t going to do anything with his status?

Dahlia was currently a mercenary, having earned her place in a guild. She had enough power and wits about her to climb the ranks, perhaps earning herself a leadership position. The last time Caden had heard about Jaxon, the other Air Mage was well respected in his father’s construction company,  and was currently being groomed to become a manager of one of the company’s divisions. Caden himself didn’t have any long-term goals, but had always been content with his life. Surely there was nothing wrong with that.

However, as Caden and Uncle Rand made it to the yeoman’s lands, Caden realized that Uncle Rand had been right. No, there was not anything wrong with his current life – he was going down a good and safe route, after all – yet Caden knew he wouldn’t be satisfied with it, not when his friends’ letters detailed new places and lands.

Dahlia was a warrior, always had been a fighter and stood up for those whom couldn’t stand on their own. Jaxon was excellent with people and creative with solutions, making him an ideal manager and business owner. Caden, at the moment, was just his uncle’s nephew, standing to the side of the foyer while his uncle bartered back and forth with the yeoman on how to settle a debt. Listening to the yeoman try to offer cattle as payment for the debt, Caden made up his mind.

The day after, the debt was somewhat settled, with Uncle Rand getting the majority of his money and a couple of horses, and the yeoman getting one more month to pay back what he owed before Uncle Rand took more of the yeoman’s livestock as payment. Caden tied the reins of one of the new horses to Pepper’s bridle, and waited until Rand had tied the other horse to the wagon.

“Uncle.” Caden broke the silence as the pair were making their way back home. “Would it be too much trouble to ask for an allowance on my inheritance? Just a bit to help me start my travels to Geist.”

Uncle Rand’s grin was contagious, and the two spent the rest of the journey home discussing plans and strategies for the next part of Caden’s life.

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Posted by on October 30, 2016 in Scribbles

 

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Sunday Scribble – “Underestimated”

Underestimated

The day had been successful. The bandit group that had been terrorizing the border town between Perion and Gronn had been all but vanquished. The few members of that group of thugs that had still lived would hopefully have enough sense to not show their faces again. Kachina prayed that they would realize that Perion’s Watchers would hand their asses to them again if need be.

Kachina was wandering around the small town, smiling and nodding to those that recognized her and thanked her for the help the Watchers had given them. She felt oddly light and happy. It was still a bit unnerving for her to be able to go about without a cloak and hood covering her face. Her thieving days, however, were permanently behind her (although she wouldn’t deny that the skills she had honed all those years weren’t helpful). She was grateful that she had the opportunity to have a better life, both for her and for Cecil.

Kachina eventually found her way back toward the inn that the Watchers had been graciously given accommodations for the night before they continued on their way along the border. She was about to go into the front door, but the scent of burning wood and smoke caught her attention, and she went around the back of the building to find Jeharraz sitting by a small fire and just looking up at the stars.

“Enjoying yourself?” Kachina asked, freely sitting beside the prince by the fire.

“I am, actually,” he said, turning to her with a smile. “It’s better with you here.”

She returned his smile with a crooked one of her own and didn’t protest when he gently laced their hands together. The pair sat in a comfortable silence, just enjoying each other’s company, and Kachina was reminded of the first time she had caught Jeharraz out alone stargazing. That time had felt so long ago, back when they had first petitioned to the late Osend king to aid them in their quest for the Dragon Scale. Osend wasn’t even its own country now, not with the marriage between King Ellery and Queen Viola. With that merge, Osend had become under the protection of Perion, eventually morphing into western Perion.

“Jeharraz,” Kachina said, “the last time we were outside alone like this, we had been talking about the royal families and how Ellery was the heir to the throne rather than you. I remember you mentioning how there was some sort of competition for the heirs to find the best one, and how your mother didn’t play by the rules. So you said, anyway. Can you tell me that story? How your mother became the queen?”

He actually grinned and Kachina was surprised he hadn’t just burst out laughing. Once Jeharraz got his composure, he said, “I can, I suppose. I don’t see the harm, and I think you’re the type who would actually be impressed with how my mother won the Perion throne.

“She was the youngest sibling in her family,” Jeharraz said, “born after her twin brothers, Sterling and Jett. She was never seriously considered for the heir of the throne and, as she was growing up, it always seemed as if she never really cared. She was the apple of both of her brothers’ eyes, and while they loved her dearly, they sorely underestimated her.”

“You’ve never mentioned any uncles,” Kachina said.

“Well, they’re dead,” the prince replied. “See, unlike Ellery and myself, Sterling and Jett were not fond of each other at all. Both, upon learning of the heir competition, took it to heart and sabatoged each other as best as they could in an effort to win the throne. In the eyes of the court, of course, both played fair and were amicable to each other, but Mother always told me that neither cared much for the well-being of the other.

“My uncles did have one thing in common with Ellery and myself,” Jeharraz continued. “One had chosen the way of the blade while the other became a sage. Sterling was the Knight Prince, while Jett was the Sage Prince of Perion. After the pair had completed their chosen education paths, they embarked on separate pilgrimages. Sterling’s company had consisted of knights and warrior friends of his, being attracted to their power and strength, and believing that those aspects would help him perform great deeds of glory to bring home for the throne. Jett had a few trusted advisors, usually others who were magically inclined and known for their advice and wisdom about the land, for Jett’s plan to secure the throne was through knowledge.”

“And their sister?” Kachina asked. “Rather, Queen Pearl?”

“I’m getting to her.” Jeharraz smiled. “My mother, being doted on and not being noticed at the same time, was in the prime position to learn all about the people of the country, and that was her trump card. She was quite the cunning woman, my mother. She played for both sides, both Sterling’s and Jett’s, and neither knew until their unfortunate end.”

Kachina’s eyes widened, but she wasn’t particularly shocked. “Your mother killed her brothers?”

“She didn’t send assassins after them,” Jeharraz said with a shake of his head. “What she did was secretly pit the two against each other without the men knowing they were fighting a three-way war. They believed that the other was going to turn on them, and so they thought to get rid of the other first. My mother exchanged letters with both of them, dropping false hints and clues to each about what the other said. Eventually, they destroyed each other. Their deaths weren’t part of Mother’s grand plan, but unfortunately it happened. Their downfall was believing my mother without being suspicious of her own motives.”

“Your mother always wanted to be queen, then?” Kachina asked.

“That I’m not sure,” Jeharraz said. “She always spoke about how neither of her brothers would have been fit to rule. She was afraid that Sterling would take their army to new heights, building up strength and power when it wasn’t needed, and neglecting the land. For Jett, it would have been the opposite. He would have put in regimes regarding food crops, risking soil and farmers’ health in an effort to be sure no one would go hungry. Instead, Mother predicted there would have been too much food, too much spoiled, abandoned food created from new farms that would throw nature out of balance. Perhaps my mother cared more about the country than about her own ambitions. She firmly believed that she would be the best ruler for Perion, and she did something about it.”

“Wow…” Kachina was almost at a loss for words. “Your mother was amazing, Jeharraz. I’m sorry I couldn’t have gotten to know her better…”

His hand gave hers a squeeze. “Thank you, Kachina,” Jeharraz said. “That means a lot to me. I’m certain my mother would have liked to get to know you better as well. In fact…” the prince chuckled lightly, “I’m sure you probably reminded her of herself in her younger years.”

Kachina smirked and leaned against the prince’s shoulder. “I’ll take that as a compliment.”

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2016 in Scribbles

 

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Sunday Scribble – “Believe”

Believe

Shooting stars, birthday candles, four-leaf clovers, a rabbit’s foot…

Actually, why was a rabbit’s foot considered lucky? The luck never seemed to work for the poor rabbit.

Jason tossed the fuzzy rabbit’s foot charm up in the air, catching it as he walked down the sidewalk to school. There was no way he would fail his exams, not with all the preparation he had done.

Daniella was in the middle of a yawn when Jason caught up with her by their lockers. He grinned as he watched her gather her books in slow motion. “Stay up late studying for Hoffman’s test?” he asked.

She nodded. “What about you? Did you actually open your biology book or do you have a pocketful of horseshoes?”

“Nah, horseshoes are too heavy,” Jason said. “Besides, they’d probably end up rolling this way and that while in a pocket. Horseshoes are only lucky if they’re facing up.”

Daniella waved a hand dismissively. “You know, for your sake, I hope you don’t fail,” she said, “but it would serve you right for always believing in luck.”

“Hey, you gotta believe in Lady Luck for her to work her magic,” Jason said, falling in step beside her as the pair made their way to their first class.

“You’re ridiculous,” Daniella said. “You should make your own luck by working hard instead of leaving everything to fate.”

“I made it this far in life.” Jason shrugged. “Don’t fix something if it ain’t broke.”

She rolled her eyes and said nothing more as they entered the classroom. They broke away to move to their own desks and all too soon, Mr. Hoffman was passing out the exam papers. Jason gave his lucky rabbit’s foot in his pocket one last rub before bringing his focus to the test’s first question…

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2016 in Scribbles

 

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Sunday Scribble – “Zero”

Zero

Eliana had a zero tolerance policy. Either she got her payment in money when she was supposed to or someone else would pay through other means.

Kole snapped the shopkeeper’s fingers one by one, his face impassive as the shopkeeper screamed.

Eliana sipped her wine glass as the deed was done, grimacing at the bitter taste. She wouldn’t get that kind of bottle from Ramsey again. Once the shopkeeper’s screaming had subsided, she asked, “I’m certain our point has been made. Don’t be late with the payment again.”

Kole released the blubbering shopkeeper and returned to Eliana’s side. The shopkeeper – Joseph or Jorge or something of that sort – whimpered as he held his hand close to his chest. “Please,” he said, “how am I supposed to cut and set the meat with a broken hand?”

Eliana smiled. “You have your cute little apprentice, don’t you? I’m sure he’ll love the experience. Your meat will be delivered as scheduled, considering that I always honor my side of the agreements, but I expect your payment in full next week. If not…” Kole cracked his knuckles and neck. “Well, I believe you get the point.”

The hunter waved the butcher out of her sight and Kole graciously helped the man hasten his leave. Eliana sighed and turned to inspect her knives until Kole returned. “Any news regarding the king’s search for a new heir? No long lost bastard children popping up, are there?”

“Nothing new,” Kole said with a grunt, “aside from the noble families scrambling to ready potential heirs for the late prince’s remembrance ball.”

“Who is the Griffin family preparing?”

“Both of the eldest children,” Kole reported. “Rupert and Alicia. Rupert is the oldest male, but I suppose they wanted to prepare a female candidate as well for future heir purposes, I imagine.”

“Not taking any chances, are they?” Eliana murmured. “I would have preferred they prepped Colton. With his youth, he would have been impressionable. He would have melted in the hands of us merchants. Did Ramsey’s men report?”

Kole nodded and clasped his large hands behind his back. “The Prescot family is grooming Norton. Master Ramsey is not worried about them. His men claim that Norton doesn’t know a stallion from an ass.”

Eliana snorted, but waved Kole on to continue.

“Master Ramsey’s men did mention that their master was concerned about Avery from the Hachet family,” Kole said. “She’s of age, intelligent, and follows politics well, both of the kingdom and of the elves. Considering that King Oswald has a tentative treaty with the elves, Avery seems to be one of the favorite candidates of the court.”

Eliana pursed her lips. “I’m afraid I don’t know that family well enough,” she admitted. “All I know is that they do not seem to be the most favorable family for the merchant guild. We’ve had the king’s family in our pockets for generations. Our world would have continued smoothly if the dithering prince hadn’t gotten himself killed.”

“Indeed,” Kole agreed.

“Who knows of the other merchants as well,” Eliana said. “For all I know, Jasmyn may know of a couple of contenders as well. The Griffin family doesn’t worry me too much. Rupert is more interested in the sea and Alicia was always a clumsy wench. It’s doubtful that King Oswald will pick either of them.”

“It would be wise not to let down our guard, if I may say so,” Kole said. “Perhaps they clean up nicely and the king will give them a second look.”

“I suppose you’re right.” Eliana downed the rest of her wine with a grimace before grabbing her favorite bow. “I’m going with the next hunting group. Take care of things while I’m gone.”

Kole bowed his head. “Always.”

Eliana reached up to gently pat his face, earning a small smile from the otherwise stoic man, and disappeared, itching to vent her frustration on the heir scramble on some unfortunate buck.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2016 in Scribbles

 

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Short Story Sunday – “Wait”

Wait

“Wait a minute.” Quill scrambled to catch up to Flynn, who merely paused to glance back at him. “You’re not going alone.”

“You don’t even have your sword.” Flynn’s tone was infuriatingly patient. “I’m not planning on just bursting in there and taking down every last thug with my spear. I’ll sneak in, release the horses, and come right back during the confusion.”

Quill blinked. “You’ve done this before.”

“Only once,” Flynn admitted. “Woke up tied to a tree one morning with Canvas and the caravan gone. Once I broke free of my binds, I tracked the bandits down, which was simple enough since Canvas seemed to have been fighting them the whole way. There were plenty of hoof prints stomped into the ground for me to follow. I waited until nightfall to sneak in and free not only Canvas but all of their horses. Canvas and I busted out during the confusion and booked it back toward the village. It was on the way back from the market, so I didn’t feel too guilty in leaving behind the caravan–”

“You’re lucky you weren’t killed,” Quill said.

“I thank the fates for that every day.” Flynn readjusted his grip on his spear. “You going to let me go now?”

“No, I’m still going with you,” Quill said. “I can be a lookout or something.”

“It’d be much easier for you to wait here,” Flynn insisted. “I’ll come right back with the horses–”

“I’d rather be where I can make sure you’ll be lucky again.” Quill stared at Flynn and was thankful that Flynn was the one to break eye contact first when he sighed and shook his head.

“You stay behind me, got it?” Flynn’s words booked no argument, and Quill could only nod in response to the other’s hard tone.

The pair crept ever closer to the bandits’ hideout, using the dusk’s shadows and the rocky terrain as cover, eventually climbing up a short plateau. They communicated silently, with Quill doing his best to interpret Flynn’s gestures and signals, and it worked for the most part. Until, of course, Quill misinterpreted a signal that meant go back for one that said push that rock. Quill’s stomach dropped to his toes when he noticed Flynn’s wide-eyed, jaw-slacked face of bafflement and horror as the small boulder tumbled down the plateau to crash into the side of the hideout.

Bandits streamed out of the crude structure with angry and puzzled shouts, and Quill could hear some horses neighing in concern. His shirt was suddenly tugged backwards and Quill almost stumbled as he turned to follow Flynn down the plateau’s makeshift path. Once they reached level ground again, Flynn pushed Quill against the wall.

“Stay here.” The man was off before Quill fully comprehended the command. Once he did, Quill berated himself for his stupidity and tried to peek around the wall in order to be sure that Flynn was still alive.

From what Quill could see, Flynn was darting in and out from behind the larger stone structures by the hideout, using his spear occasionally to trip and knock out various bandits. A few other thugs were starting to get the hint that the rolling stone was no accident, and some were even quick enough to pick up the trail of attacked bandits. It wouldn’t be long before some caught up with Flynn.

Quill looked around, trying to find something useful to do, and scrambled up another nearby plateau. He surveyed below him, waited until Flynn was out of range, and then chucked more rocks down at the bandits. He clonked one on the head and Quill prayed that he hadn’t outright killed the bandit, but the air of confusion it created gave Flynn enough cover to dart around the hideout. Quill held his breath until he saw a charge of horses burst out from behind the building and it was only until he noticed Flynn riding atop Canvas did Quill climb off of the plateau.

True to his word, Flynn and Canvas reached Quill’s hiding spot, and Flynn reached down to give Quill a lift onto the back of his horse.

“Sky?” Quill croaked out as they galloped away from the scene.

“Didn’t see her,” Flynn said over the rush of wind. Flynn directed Canvas toward the general direction of the rest of the horses, leading the gelding in and out of the crowd, but Quill saw no sign of his mare.

He did see some bandits catching up to their own horses, though.

“Let’s get out of here,” Quill said. Flynn’s head moved as he tried to look back at Quill, but Quill said, “We need to leave. Sky will find her way home.”

Wordlessly, Flynn tugged on Canvas’s mane to direct the gelding away from craggy landscape.

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2015 in Scribbles

 

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Short Story Sunday – “Villain”

Villain

“The ghost I’m following was the villain that had tried to kill Mum and Dad,” Quill deadpanned. “What exactly did she do?”

“She routinely stole blood from others,” Doyle said, running a hand through his hair. “Having an endless supply of blood enabled her to live beyond her fair share of years.”

“She was a blood mage?”

“No.” Doyle shook his head. “But he was… The man whose corpse you found in the waterfall’s cave. He helped her steal blood so she could continue living.”

“How does that work?” Quill asked.

“Blood is the plasma of life,” Doyle said. “It’s one of the most important components to live. Without blood, you die.

“A blood mage can direct the flow of blood,” the older man continued, “no matter whether it is inside a body or not. Aidan and I call it a blood transfusion. If someone is injured and losing blood, as a blood mage I, for example, am able to direct some blood from another and direct it into the injured person to help him live. Take too much blood, though…”

“The other person will die,” Quill finished, and Doyle nodded. “Was she really hurt?”

“She was years ago,” Doyle said. “She had been poisoned and it had continued to multiply and spread throughout her bloodstream. The man wasn’t prepared to lose her.”

“Her husband?”

“No, her advisor,” Doyle said, “but everyone knew that he had deeper feelings for her, herself included. She used it to her advantage.

“She had heard tales of mages who controlled blood and ordered him to find one that could rid her blood of the poison,” Doyle continued. “He did, but… the blood mage could only do so much with the way the poison operated. The blood mage taught the advisor how to use blood magic to give her a few more years of life.

“It worked, but…” Doyle took a deep breath. “They did it often, too often. Eventually her blood was free of the poison.”

“Isn’t that a good thing?” Quill asked.

Doyle paused. “It depends on your point of view,” he said. “On one hand, she was healed. On the other… her daughter was dead.”

Quill blanched. “They used the daughter’s blood?”

“Over the years, the daughter had volunteered to give her mother clean blood,” Doyle said, “but instead of the advisor just taking a bit of blood, he was switching the plasma streams entirely between the two women. Eventually, the daughter had all the poison running through her veins. And she died.”

“She really was a villain,” Quill said, turning his glare to the gravestone in front of them.

“If she was aware as to what her advisor was doing,” Doyle interjected. He shrugged when Quill raised an eyebrow.

“If that was the case,” Quill said, “then the advisor was the villain–”

“For trying to rescue the woman he loved?” Doyle waited a couple of heartbeats before he added, “Perhaps the advisor hadn’t realized that he was killing the daughter in the process. It could very well have been the fault of the blood mage that had taught him blood magic for not properly explaining the process.”

“That would have been an accident–”

“Or negligence,” Doyle cut in. “Can you really say who is the villain, Quill? The woman who was just trying to stay alive? The man who, accidentally or not, killed to save her? Or was it the mage that had taught the magic in the first place?”

Quill took a few moments to think until he said, “I suppose it was the mage who had started this whole thing, huh?”

He glanced up at Doyle and saw the sad smile on the man’s face.

“Quill,” the blood mage said, “I didn’t mean to be a villain…”

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2015 in Scribbles

 

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Short Story Sunday – “Unknown”

A day late. Whoops.

Unknown

Steven had disappeared. Roy glanced around for the other teen, finding Steven’s absence from the room unnerving, especially since he had just seen Steven after dinner last night. He wasn’t the only one who had noticed. The first words out of Eddie’s mouth as he had caught up to Roy were, “Where’s the giant?”

Roy could only shrug before turning in his seat to pay attention to Ms. Parker as she stood before them at the head of the class. Even her eyes darted toward the empty seat in the back, but she said nothing regarding Steven’s absence before beginning the lesson.

Near the end of the class period, Ms. Parker asked if there were any questions, like always. Roy raised his hand, but instead of asking about the lesson, he said, “Where’s Steven?”

Ms. Parker pursed her lips. “There was another opportunity for him, another place where he could learn.”

“He took it fast, then, huh?” Eddie piped up. “Good for him.”

“…Indeed.” Ms. Parker glanced around the room. “Now, are there any questions regarding today’s lesson?”

No one responded and Ms. Parker dismissed them before the bell rang for the next period. Eddie was thrilled.

“Dude, we got fifteen minutes to goof off,” he said. “Let’s go outside of Willow’s classroom and make faces at her through the window.”

“You go do that,” Roy said, quirking a smile at the other boy. “I’m going to head to the kitchen for some water.”

“Alright, fish boy.” Eddie gave him a wave as he sauntered down the hall.

Roy paused, watching him go, then went in the opposite direction toward their dormitories. It didn’t take him too long to reach the room where Steven had been, finding the door ajar. His stomach flip-flopped as Roy took in the empty state of the room.

The closet was flung open, devoid of any of Steven’s sports jackets and polo shirts. There were no sneakers haphazardly creating traps among the floor after being unceremoniously kicked off. Movie and music posters had been ripped off the walls and his shelves were missing the knick-knacks and mementos from his family.

Roy walked softly through the room, glancing down from the window at the mansion’s back gardens. As he turned, his foot crunched down on something. Roy’s stomach threatened to throw up his breakfast as he gingerly picked up the photo of a beaming Steven with his arm around his younger sister.

“He wouldn’t have left that behind.” Heather walked into the room, sidling up to Roy as she glanced down at the photo in his hands. Her blue eyes were glassy. “I don’t think he left on his own, Roy. He would have told me if he was leaving.”

“Maybe he couldn’t,” Roy said, trying to sound gentle and casual. He didn’t want someone else’s girlfriend bursting into tears on him. He was sure he’d do a lousy job of trying to comfort her.

Heather shook her head and the mattress creaked under her weight as she plopped down on it. “He was talking about how I would go and meet his family after we graduated. He wouldn’t have left me behind, not like that. You knew him, Roy. You know how honest he was.”

Roy put the photo down lest he accidentally rip it with the way he was wringing his hands. “Well… What else could have happened?”

Heather hiccupped and tears started to stream down her cheeks. “I don’t know. I just… Ms. Parker won’t say anything, either. I just spent ten minutes arguing with her about it.”

“You argued with Ms. Parker?”

“Oh, come on.” Heather scoffed between sniffles. “She’s not that scary.

“There were always rumors about this place, though,” she continued. “I mean, about what happens after this place. Students would be shipped to places unknown, places that could use their powers. I think that may be what happened to Steven, but… I didn’t think it actually happened, or that it would happen so suddenly.”

“I thought we would get help getting jobs or something,” Roy said, sitting next to Heather. “That’s what I thought those rumors were about.”

“That would have made sense.” She used one of the blankets that had been left behind to dry her face. “But… there were darker rumors, Roy. Ones that had to do with getting rid of students who had useless powers.”

“What do you mean?” Roy hadn’t meant to ask the question in a whisper.

Heather’s voice dropped too. “Supposedly, years ago, there was someone with the ability to create clouds. Like, that was it. If there was moisture in the air, the person could shape a little cloud and watch it float off into the sky with all the other clouds.

“Anyway,” she continued, “so this cloud maker was doing fine in school and kind of learning to do a few more things with the clouds, like maybe make them big enough for camouflage purposes, but the student wasn’t learning fast enough. One day, the student just vanished. None of the teachers said where the student went, and half of them even pretended that the student didn’t exist in the first place. It was said that the school board got rid of the student because she wasn’t up to their expectations.”

“That can’t be true,” Roy said. “This place is designed to help us with our powers, isn’t it? It can’t just… give up on us like that.”

Heather shrugged, her shoulders falling as she gave a long sigh. “I don’t know… I really don’t know anymore. With Steven just up and leaving… I don’t believe he would leave and take another opportunity as Ms. Parker said.”

“I’m sure it was just a last-minute thing,” Roy said, standing up and offering a hand to Heather. “He’ll probably contact you as soon as he can, letting you know all about where he is and what he’s doing and when you can go and meet his family.”

She took Roy’s offered help and gave him a smile that didn’t reach her reddened eyes. “I hope so, Roy…”

“C’mon,” Roy said, eager to be out of the room and the conversation. “We’re going to be late for Tech’s class.”

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2015 in Scribbles

 

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TriformTrinity

reviews - commentary on media - cozy talk

Shoot the Rookie

The not-so-pro gaming blog

The Gaming Diaries

The adventures of a life in games and my real geeky life when it takes over.

The Hannie Corner

Reading Books and Playing Games All Day

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