|Playing With Fire
Author: TheTimeLord PM
Confusion. Betrayal. Fear. That's all I can feel having to make the decision of whether to risk my life or risk the future for everyone. R&R!Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Fantasy - Chapters: 19 - Words: 26,623 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 12-05-12 - Published: 09-19-12 - id: 3059519
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I am fire. With a name like Vesta Blaze, I can't be any different.
I am water. Despite all of my rage, I always manage to calm myself.
I am air. If I want to really annoy those who don't believe I'm capable of much, I can and will blow them away. Literally and figuratively.
I am earth. Everyone feeds off of me, taking pieces away. Yet, I still stand. But I'll have to be destroyed sometime.
Dong! The Main Hall's bell rings to tell everyone that we have to leave for our home class. It's basically what was "homeroom" on Earth while it still existed. Garnet waits by the exit for me, holding a navy blue bag and dressed in our uniform: a gray polo shirt, with "8-M14" stitched on and black dress pants. She also has a thick black sweater on, since it's mid December. I don't wear one. I can just heat myself up.
"Alright, Blaze. Let's go."
I don't know why she calls me by my last name. It's nothing special. She holds the door open, and I step out into a light coat of snow, hearing the crunch before I see it. I feel some cold drops fall onto my skin from the gray marble of a sky and my teeth start to chatter, so I clench my fists. I feel my blood heat up as I walk left.
There are students shuffling all over the grass and roads, which are taken by some trainers and teachers. Three buildings, which are about seventeen stories tall, form a c shape around us. The left and right ends are the school itself and the center one is for the dorms. There's a field filled with lampposts near the road and trees scattered around, creating a mini-forest.
I jump over the road before a second-year can get to where I am and trod over to the door of the left wing. I wait there for Garnet, who slides over to me. When I open the door, she goes in and I follow. The lights that go up the narrow wooden staircase are dim, but the ones that lead into another hallway are bright as ever.
We prance up the stairs. Some older students are coming down, pressed against the olive green wall. We need to go up five more flights, which are basically the same, except there seem to be more and more classrooms in the halls as we reach the top steps. On the last flight, someone follows up. I turn around to see a twelve-year-old girl who's in our home class. I nod to her and she smiles back.
614- Fallon, the sign on the door reads. Garnet opens the door for me and the seventh-year. I look around the room as I step onto the room's carpet floor. It looks almost like an auditorium, built on a slant with rows of desks, separated only by a single row. Well, there are two more rows at the sides, so no one's pushed against the wine red walls. Some of the lights in the ceiling are on, while all are on over the stage. I walk down the center aisle to my usual seat, which is somewhat in the middle of the crowded mess. Garnet joins me as I put my black bag down.
A flash of black runs down the aisle to the stage. The Fallon whose name was on the door stops there, takes her jacket off, and throws it onto the stage. She shakes her tied up, light brown hair, which is similar to mine, out and scans the room to see who's here already.
This is my second year in Fallon's home class. The other was my first year, her first year, also, as a trainer, since she graduated the prior year. That Skylar Fallon was my favorite trainer for the first four years. She's still the same person, just different, in a way. For the past six years, she's had a strange, cold, strict look in her face. The old her knew what it was like to be a student, and tried to help everyone out in that way. The current her is the total opposite. We have to be perfect. Absolutely perfect, or else it's a waste being in the school. I've lost count of how many times I've wanted to burn her with flames, or even burn myself just to get out of there. You make a mistake, she can point it out and destroy your work in the snap of a finger; she does and you notice... Well, good luck.
That being said, she's also brilliant. She made it to the final round of the Annual competition when she was my age, losing extremely narrowly to someone in his thirteenth year (which didn't come as a surprise to many, because older students usually do better in the Annual). Rumor has it that in her following years in the Academy, she had perfect marks. She's known for being cunning, in a good way, clever, and seeming attractive in both appearance and personality. But she's sort of a reminder for me that I'm not going to reach the school's high expectations, as if Garnet doesn't do that already. Well, not just me. She does give obvious hints to the class... If one can consider them hints.
"Oh, you're all messing up."
"How do you expect to pass with this?"
"This isn't acceptable."
But that's not what she, as a trainer, should be doing. That's more of a teacher's response. Trainers were created when the Academy was set up to have more of a personal relationship with students. They'd be like friendly figures, while teachers were more of authoritative figures.
And I'm not saying she should stop criticizing us and trying to help us improve. I'm saying she should at least do the job she's asked to. Because if a person's is expected to do something while their instructor isn't doing what they should be, it'd be hypocritical of the latter to go off on the former for not doing theirs properly. If I know one thing about human behavior, that's it.
"Trainer?" Garnet calls. Fallon turns around and raises her eyebrows to show that she should say what she had to. "When's the announcement for who's in the Annual?"
Fallon starts in a voice that sounds like a grater to my ears, "Tonight, I think. Speaking of which, who needs to turn in their forms?" she shouts the last sentence.
I immediately open up my bag and pull a loose paper out of my notebook. I stand up, slide through a few desks, and run down the aisle, careful not to fall down. A small crowd's gathered in front of her.
"So the ages are still between nine and nineteen?" she takes papers from people and asks the rest of us who stand there.
"Yeah," a few answer.
"What's it like?" a fourth year asks her.
"It's a contest, basically, and if you win, you're officially the school's best student. It's fine if you don't make it to the finals, but if you do… It's just that... I... Well, I can't tell you about your survival."
Really reassuring, I want to roll my eyes, but she'll probably end up noticing. I don't know what she's even talking about. I mean, the Annual is perfectly safe
"But it's a really interesting experience," she looks through the crowd and finally at me. A grin that reads "You know what I mean" appears on her face. "Right?"
I don't know how to reply. What is she even talking about? I wasn't in any of the Annuals. Just to make her think I know what she means, I nod and mouth, "Right."
The crowd speeds up and before I know it, I'm handing her my paper. She snatches it out of my hand and shakes off invisible dirt. I turn away and walk back to my desk.
Garnet is looking at me, one eyebrow raised. I know she means, "What the hell was that?"
I bite my lower lip, look at Fallon for a moment, and then move my eyes back to my friend, as if to say, "Maybe she's gone crazy."
She shrugs. I take it as, "I wouldn't be surprised, honestly."
"As I said, the Annuals announcement will probably be tonight. Don't worry about training; the ones who are capable of the competition are the ones who will be chose-"
Dink! The room is suddenly black. Someone to our right screams out in excitement and most of the room does the same. Amid the commotion came a snap of fingers. A flame was resting on Fallon's fingertips.
"Nice try. Blaze, go light the candles back there," she gestures to the back of the room.
I slowly get up and spark a light with my fingers. Again, I slide to the center aisle, this time, running up. I look at the corners and find two five-feet-tall candle sticks in each. I light the left side's first and then go to the right's. But, of course, I have to see if it's right for Fallon. When I look at her, she's lighting two down at the bottom, but notices what I've done and gives a slight smile in approval.
I go back to my seat. Garnet slowly nods to me, her way of saying, "Not bad." Dong! The bell rings to say that it's time to go to our first period class. I remember we have Earth Study, which is... The study of what was Earth (obvious, I know). Garnet and I try to push through the crowd of students just to get out and get the day done with.
I pitch my fork into a piece of lettuce and bring it into my mouth. My head is resting on my hand, my elbow on the table. Garnet is talking to a bunch of other girls in our tenth year class who only talk to me if they need something or if none of their friends are there. Popular, well-to-do girls, of whom only some actually do care about everyone. They're basically lead by Tanner Harper, Athene Morrison, and Rain Brewer. The rest are only followers.
The dining hall isn't the cleanest, but it does for everyone in lunch and dinner hours. The floor is marble white and the walls are a deep shade of purple. There are separate tables for every year and one for teachers. Chairs are set up all around. A platform is at the end with a podium and microphone set up.
in case announcements need to be made. But they rarely do need to be. Except for one time a year...
Thump! Something hits the microphone. Everyone looks and sees a middle aged man standing at the podium- the Annual's President, Seth Darren. He has graying light hair and mysterious dark eyes that actually look black. That's the first thing I notice every year.
"Welcome," his voice sounds strangely excited. "I am here to announce this year's Annual Competition Test's members. I promise, I won't interrupt too much of your dinner. Let's see," he takes a paper out of his jacket. "No one in years four or five this year, congratulations to you! Year seven..."
He reads off three names. Year eight, he reads out four. Nine gets one. Ten...
"Garnet Danar and... Vesta Blaze!" he steps away for a moment and mutters, "That's a new one."
I feel my heart burn up to the point of melting. How the hell did I improve? I couldn't have gotten in... I wasn't supposed to!
"You're in! You're in!" a girl who's next to me, Tanner, mouths and grabs my arm, seeming thrilled for me.
I half-smile. "Yeah."
"You versus me, then," I hear in my head when I see Garnet lower her eyebrows.
"... And that is all! Good luck to all contestants!" he leaves the stage.
We all pause for a moment, and then go back to eating. People smile at me, probably happy that I got in and they didn't.
Something pushes down on my hair. I'm about to turn around, but before I can, I hear, "Good luck on this. Come to me about it whenever you get a chance."