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Thunderlight, p.14
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       Thunderlight, p.14

           Adrienne Woods
 

  Green-Vapors, Swallow Annexes, and Sun-Blasts all came forward and every time Professor Pheizer said that their symptoms were different. What those symptoms actually were she didn’t say. I guess she was waiting for more Ascensions to take place that would show us, rather than her telling us.

  Flu? The story she told us that first day about the Lord Dickory, jumped into my head. “Snow Dragon,” I said as the image of a frozen, snowy day came into my mind.

  “Ah-huh.”

  “I’m going to be an Ice-Wielder.” Peter’s head snapped up.

  “I thought it was only the flu, Peter,” Professor Pheizer joked which made us all laugh again.

  “Tabitha’s ass is mine,” he said through his nose as he lay his head on the wall again, a huge smile plastered on his face.

  “Your language, Peter.”

  “Sorry, Prof.”

  “Now who can tell me what exactly will happen when Peter Ascends?”

  The entire class didn’t know as none of us had ever experienced it.

  “No one?” she said and went to sit on her desk again.

  “You want the symptoms or what actually happens?” Reily asked.

  “What actually happens, Reily.”

  Professor Pheizer shook her head, not impressed that she didn’t know the answer. I didn’t either since Becky had never told us. She had been way too freaked out.

  She went to sit on her desk again. “They say it’s a very special time for Father and child.”

  Father and child? I looked at Peter again and even he was listening closely, bad state and all.

  “Now I know some of you lost your fathers, but it doesn’t matter.”

  My eyes rose. Dad.

  “When the Ascension happens you will experience a reunion with your Father. It doesn’t matter if he’s still alive or dead. His spirit will come in the form of a living breathing person. We don’t know what causes this reunion, but it just shows you how special Ascensions are,” she laughed. “Some have told me that it was like having a beer with their father in a pub, talking about everything that matters in that time, others say they thought they were going to die. I guess getting a visit from your Dad that died years ago, might make you think that.”

  A second chance with Dad.

  It was all I could think about as Professor Pheizer told us what the experience was like. I could tell him how sorry I was, I could tell him I loved him and that I know he was only trying to protect me. I could finally get the answers I’d given up on. Then what my father had been jumped into my head. I lifted up my hand.

  Professor Pheizer nodded.

  “My father was a dragon, does that matter?”

  She smiled and looked down. “I was scared you were going to ask me that, Elena.” She looked at me again. “Your situation is the first of its kind. To be honest I have no idea whether it will be the same as a normal Ascension or not.”

  I nodded and it felt as if someone had pulled an invisible plug from my body, letting out all the hope of seeing Dad one more time.

  Walking back to the front of the room and letting the issue rest, she gave us a reading assignment to do while she read through our journals.

  I couldn’t concentrate as I kept thinking about what I would go through with my Ascension.

  “Elena,” Professor Pheizer spoke my name and she gestured with her hand to come to her.

  I got up. She had my journal in front of her.

  “Do you want to explain to me these colors?”

  “I wish I could. I guess the darker ones are like the emotions I don’t understand.”

  She smiled. “You are artistic.”

  I nodded at her words.

  “You’re not the first. I’ll figure it out.” She handed me my journal back and smiled knowingly.

  Good luck with that.

  When the bell rang for lunch I found Becky at an outside table with George. I couldn’t hear what they were saying but by the stares of everyone around them, and Becky’s hands swinging up in the air, I could tell they were arguing.

  “Why didn’t you tell me that you saw your father when you Ascended?” I plunged down onto the bench in front of her.

  “What?” Her eyes rose into huge saucers. “How did you know that?”

  “It’s part of Ascending, Becky.”

  Their argument fell aside at my words, and listened to what Professor Pheizer had told us. Becky leaned into her hands. “I thought I was dying, I didn’t know that it was supposed to happen.” She peeked at me over her fingers first and then she dropped her arms onto the table.

  “You saw you father?” George asked and she nodded her head staring at the table. “It was amazing, yet so terrifying. I wasn’t at the lake when I saw him. I was back at home and he was tucking me in, like I was a child.” Tears glistened in her eyes as she started to speak again. “If I’d known it was part of the Ascension process I would’ve stopped panicking so much and just enjoyed every moment. I had a feeling he wanted to tell me something, but he struggled too much to calm me down.” A tear finally rolled down her face as it sunk in that it was the last time she would’ve seen her father. “I got to go,” she said excusing herself and mumbled something to George. I only got the word ‘alone.’

  “Sorry George. I didn’t think properly about that one.”

  “It’s cool, Elena,” he mumbled as he looked at Becky walking through the main door that led to our rooms.

  I felt sorry for her when I finally realized I had just revealed to her that she had lost the only chance she would have with her Dad. Me and my big mouth.

  HE NEXT COUPLE of days were more or less the same as the death of Darius still lingered around the Academy, it was mixed with Becky’s dull mood. I apologized for my big mouth and she waved it off, trying to pretend that it was nothing, but I could see it on her face. She didn’t made peace with it easily. Everyone else didn’t dare to walk alone and a new rule emerged right after Darius’s death. We all had to be inside our rooms at eight o’clock.

  Lucian didn’t leave my side and walked with me to every classroom now that Darius wasn’t there to protect me. I even found him waiting outside after every final bell rang. Cooper, his guard, was always somewhere near. I could feel him.

  Nobody bothered with the Chef’s riddles in all the commotion and we had a couple of healthy meals in a row. Even Becky ate it.

  Blake wasn’t back at school yet. It somehow made me more agitated without his presence here to keep all of us safe. Maybe whoever was doing all this would back off if they knew they would have to face the Rubicon. I would if I were them, whoever they or it was.

  I doubted that it was Paul, but I know Lucian still blamed him. Paul just didn’t fit the description. He didn’t carry the actions of a killer; he carried the same look that was plastered on everybody else’s face. He was just as much a victim as the rest of us.

  Sammy’s words the night of the Warbel games played in my mind again as I lay in my bed in complete silence. What if they had been aiming for me? I mean they broke into my room and they killed my guard.

  Constance was right, danger kept following me no matter what I did to try and stop it.

  I could hear the guards changing shifts outside our room and I pulled my blanket tighter around my body trying to keep the chills that wracked my body at bay.

  As I struggled to sleep the image of Darius’s shoes lying underneath a large oak tree kept creeping into my dreams.

  The deep familiar voice came back and my eyes flew open shaking me from the momentary abyss I had finally found. I listened to it play in my head while my heart seemed to beat a thousand beats per minute. I didn’t understand one word but the tone was compelling, seductive and had a beat of a lullaby; a beautiful lullaby that soothed my inner soul. Unable to stay awake, I closed my eyes and fell into a deep, peaceful sleep.

  The voice was gone when I opened my eyes the next morning but it came back around ten o’clock and stayed with me the entire day. Like it knew I was
having a terrible day. The soothing sound of its tone made me feel somewhat better. The worst part was struggling to pay attention to what everyone said around me instead of letting the soft words consume me.

  Paul asked me a couple of times during the day if I was okay. I just nodded, not wanting him to know about the strange familiar entity that was with me.

  That night I fell asleep with it, and when the sun beams started to light up our room it vanished.

  I grabbed my journal off my nightstand and drew another circle. The same colors made it into the circle but this time I used a soft pink for the peace the voice had left me with as I woke up. A bright orange that represented the voice itself made it in there as well. Another big question mark went right next to the circle. Professor Pheizer was never going to unravel this one.

  At first, Paul kept his distance in Enchantments, but must have felt sorry for me, as I couldn’t understand a single word Professor Georgiou said, and he moved back into the seat right behind me.

  He translated everything, but didn’t have to say much as we were still busy trying to move the object on Professor Georgiou’s desk.

  I begged for that stupid bell to ring because most of the students had already had their turn, and mine was creeping closer and closer.

  “Elena?” Professor Georgiou called my name and said something in Latin. Paul tapped my shoulder and I knew what it meant.

  I looked with doubt at the box.

  “Just concentrate, Elena,” Paul whispered. “Clear your mind.”

  Easy for you to say.

  The voice came back as I did what Paul said. Somehow it felt as if the voice gave me the strength I needed. I became lost in it and listened to its deep and husky sound while focusing on the box. The voice suddenly moved to the back of my mind and vanished. The only thing that was left now was the box, nothing else. A pain jolted though my temples but somehow it didn’t make me turn my gaze from the box. I ground hard on my teeth as it grew stronger and stronger. I felt a warm liquid running over my lips and chin.

  The headache growing inside my head grew unbearable and then everything went black.

  OPENED MY EYES and found Paul, Professor Georgiou and the entire class huddled over me. I somehow made it to the floor and lay staring up at them, flat on my back.

  “Welcome back,” Paul said through a huge smile, and looked up at Professor Georgiou who just stared at me. “Professor, will she be okay?”

  “It appears so, but you should take her to Constance to make sure.” Professor Georgiou didn’t take her blue eyes off me.

  Paul’s hands slipped underneath my shoulders and lifted me up. My head spun and if it hadn’t been for Paul, I would’ve fallen down flat on my face again. He picked me up into his arms and walked with me through the hallway.

  “Paul, it’s okay.” My voice sounded weak.

  What the hell happened?

  “Elena, I’m not putting you down until we’ve reached Constance’s office.”

  I felt like an idiot being carried like a baby, but I had to admit I was glad that Paul insisted as I had no strength to walk. My head ached as I tried to remember what had happened, but no picture or memory appeared.

  I closed my eyes and could only feel the rhythm of Paul’s body moving as he walked. He really smelled good too.

  “What happened?” Constance’s voice rang inside my head and I knew we had reached the Infirmary.

  “Enchantments,” Paul said quickly.

  “I told Nora not to push too hard,” Constance said in an angry tone. “Put her down on the bed.”

  I struggled to open my eyes as Paul laid me down gently.

  “Elena, can you open your eyes for me?” Constance asked in the softest voice she could master.

  I tried to open them but only managed slightly. It had been so easy five minutes ago. “The light, it hurts.”

  “It’s a side effect. It will pass. How does your head feel?”

  “Like someone hit me with a rock,” I said, and managed to giggle.

  “It’s not funny, Elena. You could’ve hurt yourself. Why didn’t you stop?”

  “We tried, but somehow she was too connected to the box.” Paul’s voice was soft now too.

  Constance took a huge breath. “Just relax.” She put her hands on the side of my temples and the same familiar warm feeling emanated from her soft touch. My head started to swirl and I closed my eyes again. The pain started to dissipate slowly.

  “She actually made the box move,” Paul said, and my eyes flew open this time.

  “I did?”

  “Calm down,” Constance ordered, while Paul answered me with a wink and his beautiful smile. “I suppose Master Longwei’s theory about the mark isn’t far off.” Constance started to massage my head with her fingers as the bell rang in the distance.

  Paul and I laughed. I hated hearing them say that, but a part of me was starting to believe in it too.

  This feels amazing.

  “What happened,” Lucian’s voice filled the Infirmary and he came to my side of the bed in a flash.

  Paul tried to explain but Lucian cut him off in midsentence. “Leave, I told you to stay away from her.”

  “Lucian I…”

  “I said leave, before I make you leave.”

  “Lucian!” Constance yelled. “Paul brought her to the Infirmary. He didn’t cause this, Enchantments did.”

  “I’m fine.” I touched him on his hand trying to calm him down.

  “It’s fine, Constance. I’m late for class as is,” Paul said shortly and left.

  “He’s really trying, Lucian.”

  “Don’t. You of all people should know not to trust him, Constance.”

  “I do, but you can’t judge all of them the same way, Lucian. Something tells me he’s different.”

  Lucian closed his eyes and bit hard on his teeth.

  Constance massaged my head again. “How does that feel, Elena?”

  “Much better. It’s manageable.”

  “I don’t aim for manageable. Just give it another couple of minutes.” She carried on using her healing gift.

  “What happened?” Lucian asked again this time using a more gentle tone.

  “She made the box move on her first try.”

  “Her first try?” Lucian sounded surprised.

  “Is that doubt I detect Your Highness?” I joked with closed eyes.

  “Nooooo,” he chuckled, “You are one special girl, Elena.”

  “So I’ve been told.”

  They just laughed. I missed the sound of his laugh. He had been so serious lately.

  When the bell rang the second time my head felt tons better. “It’s fine, I promise.”

  “If it starts to hurt again, you come back immediately. Don’t push yourself too much.” She had deep concern lacing her tone.

  “Promise.”

  She gave me a warm smile. “In all my years, no one has ever moved that box on their first try.”

  What.

  Lucian nodded with a grin on his face.

  A warm fuzzy feeling emerged in my stomach and I couldn’t help but feel as if I was going to jump out of my skin. “Thanks Constance, I don’t know what I would do without your healing hands.”

  She laughed. “Just take it easy.”

  We said goodbye and I started to run for my favorite class, Art of War.

  As I moved around the corner, Lucian pulled me back by the arm and gave me the warmest kiss. His one hand was at the back of my head and his other snaked around my waist. A million goose bumps rushed over my flesh and heat waves rolled through my body.

  When we parted he growled softly as if my kisses caused him some sort of pain. “I meant what I said. You are one hell of a special girl.”

  I just smiled at him.

  “I love you so much.”

  “I love you too,” I whispered.

  He walked with me to Professor Mia’s class and spoke to her to explain my lateness. She just looked at him and back at me
.

  “Well done, Elena,” she said and made a huge announcement to the class about me making the box moved on my first try.

  Lucian waved a quick bye and ran off to his class.

  I’d forgotten to bring my axes so I had to fight with my old sword. Somehow it became lighter in my hand as if I’d gained more strength.

  My Ascension must be close, the way Master Longwei had said that night. It could explain everything, why all of a sudden I’ve gain so much strength and maybe the voice too. Could it belong to my dragon?

  I’d never thought about it like that as I blocked Collin’s attack. He had lunged at me without any warning and his eyes grew with the amount of strength I used to push him away from me.

  It felt amazing as my fighting skills kicked in and I attacked him as if I was a Samurai.

  On the third blow he was on his ass.

  “What the hell happened to you?” He looked up at me and I giggled.

  “Not the push over I used to be a couple of months ago, huh?” I said proudly as I gave him my hand. He slapped it away. Clearly Collin didn’t like losing very much. I turned around and walked away giving him space to pick himself up off the ground and got kicked on my ass.

  I stumbled forward. Sneaky bastard!

  He didn’t give me any time to regain my balance and kept attacking me with everything he had.

  I got in a kick or two and the last one landed hard where it counts. He bent forward and grunted in pain before he fell down onto the floor.

  The students close by were just looking at Collin, sprawled in a heap on the floor.

  “What happened?” Professor Mia asked as she kneeled down to check on him. He was still in a fetal position holding his groin and groaning.

  “I didn't even hit you that hard. You are such a baby.”

  I had to admit, it felt great.

  “Enough Elena, take him to Constance and find out if he is okay,” she told Hamus, one of the students closest to her. “You want to fight dirty, then fine. Let's do it.” Professor Mia went to pick up a sword too.

  “I didn't fight dirty, he attack me from behind,” I replied, shit scared that she wanted me to fight her instead. This was not how I foresaw today going down.

 
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