We ran down an alleyway. It was dark out, as it was almost ten at night. For two sixteen year olds like us, this was bad. A large creature was chasing us. I can honestly say this is not the first time this has happened; though this is the latest at night it has happened. As we ran, I listened carefully. I thought I could hear water. If we made it to water, we would be safe. We ran together, our footsteps moving at the same pace. The creature screeched behind us.
We met each other's gaze and nodded, agreeing to move faster.
I took in a deep breath, and I could smell salt water. We were getting closer. He could obviously smell it too, because he began to speed up more. I followed suit, looking over my shoulder quickly to see where the creature was. It was rounding the corner, its long, sharp teeth showing as it screeched again. My breathing sped and I pushed myself to run faster, heading towards the sound of the water.
Then, we heard another screech, a different pitch than the other.
We both swore under our breath. There were two of these creatures. We were already running as fast as we could towards the sound of the water, but the creatures were still gaining on us. He pulled ahead of me slightly, and then stopped, eyes wide. My brow pulled together as I came to a stop next to him.
Then, I understood as I looked down.
The water was, about, thirty feet down, and he was afraid of heights. He always froze. I nudged him urgently, looking over my shoulders.
"We have to jump! We don't have any other choice unless you want to get pulled apart by those things!" I whispered urgently. He shook his head, looking down with a panicked expression on his face. "It will be fine! Just…jump!"
"I…I can't," he muttered.
"You have to!" I told him. "We have to! This is our only escape! We'll be fine once we're in the water!"
"I can't do it," he muttered again. I sighed, looking over my shoulder again. The creatures were only about ten feet away. I took a deep breath, grabbed his hand, shoved him forward slightly, and then jumped. He screamed while I took in a deep breath before we crashed into the water. As we broke the surface, he sputtered and I looked up at the ledge we had just jumped from. The creatures were screeching down at us. I made a face; despite the fact I knew they wouldn't be able to see us.
"I think I just had a heart attack," he breathed. I looked over at him seriously.
"Shut up. You're fine. Now, let's get going. We have a few miles to swim before we are back at camp," I told him. He took in a deep breath and then followed me. I looked back at him quickly before diving beneath the surface. He did the same. My eyes snapped open and I looked around. The saltwater didn't affect my eyes, and I could breathe. Next to me, he was talking to a fish. I rolled my eyes. We could talk to anything that lived in water. It was part of who we were. Just like being able to breathe underwater and being able to manipulate the water to aid how fast we could travel.
"Stop it! We need to move it," I told him.
"Calm down," he told me. I gave him a look. He sighed and then obeyed, pulling to my side. Then, we swam in silence until we reached the shoreline of our camp at midnight.
"Oh my goodness! Where have you been! You should have been here hours a go!" our friend Grace exclaimed as we walked into the main area of camp.
"Some weird monsters were chasing us," I told her, pulling my brown hair into a ponytail.
"We had to jump thirty feet into the water," Tyler added. I rolled my eyes.
"Either that or get killed by monsters, Tyler. Take your pick. I was jumping," I said, crossing my arms over my chest. He made a face at me. Grace smiled and electricity seemed to radiate from her.
"It's good to see you guys. It's been too long," she added. I smiled over at her.
"Same to you, Grace," I added as she pulled me into a hug. It was a good thing I wasn't wet, because if I was, I would have got one of the biggest shocks of my life. Grace could, in a way, control electricity; and when she was really happy or mad, it radiated from her. It helped a lot when you were fighting something that wanted to harm or kill you.
"Plus, Tyler, if Kyra hadn't made you jump, you would have panicked more because she had," Grace said, looking over at Tyler.
"Shut up, Grace. I would have found another way out," Tyler retorted.
"Except there was no other way down to the water," I giggled. Tyler gave me a look, his deep green eyes seeming to harden. I smiled before he walked off, heading towards our cabin.
"It's a good thing you two aren't related. Your families would self-destruct," Grace laughed. I rolled my eyes.
"They do anyway…well, our parents at least. Plus, my dad and his mom have known each other forever. They're best friends, so they expect us to be best friends and get along like them. We don't," I said.
"You two are more hostile towards each other," Grace said as we sat down in front of the fire that burned all night long.
"I know," I agreed, because Tyler and I always picked on each other. Then, I looked around the camp. A small smile touched my lips. It was nice to be where I belonged; back with other kids who were in a similar position.
See, the thing about our camp is that you have to have powers to be here. Like Grace, who can control electricity and wind; or Tyler and I, as we can control water. There were also kids who were amazing at archery and hunting, while others were just unstoppable with a sword or any other battle equipment. There were others who could build anything you asked them to, in a short amount of time at that. Each kid was put in the cabin that represented his or her powers. Most kids within the cabin were related, their parents brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, or cousins. Grace shared her cabin with six other kids, and she was related to all of them. On the other hand, Tyler and I shared our cabin with only two others; and they were my cousins.
"So, how was school this year, Kyra?" Grace asked. I looked into the fire and shrugged.
"Same as usual. Dad tried to get me to join swimming again, but I don't feel like that's fair to the other kids. Tyler's mom did the same," I replied. Tyler and I had unfortunately gone to the same schools our whole lives. We had hated each other three years a go when we'd first learned of our powers and came here for camp. Within the first week of camp, we had almost made our cabin crumble to the ground as we fought each other almost every day and we hadn't known how to control our powers well yet. It wasn't until two summers a go that we started to tolerate each other, and now we were best friends.
Then Grace laughed to herself.
"I remember when you guys almost brought your cabin down that first summer," she added. I smiled.
"Me too," I agreed. "I thought Myron was going to kill us."
"Same," she laughed. Myron was the head of camp. He arranged what each cabin would be doing for training and when on each day. His younger brother, Alec, was supposed to help, but he never did. The only time Alec showed any interest was every Friday, when everyone came together to play a game. In the game, each team had to get all six of their stolen items back to their side without getting caught. The catch was, you can only get your item that was taken, and if one of the people on the opposing team is caught, they have to sit out until the game is over.
"And our first game that Friday night. He tried to chop me to pieces," I said. Grace smiled.
"He still does when he's not on your team," she giggled.
"Not that he even can," I added. Grace laughed as our friend Jamey walked toward us.
"Where have you been, Kyra?" she asked as she sat down.
"Some creatures were hunting Tyler and me down. As usual. Had to make the chicken jump thirty feet into the water," I told her. Jamey giggled.
"You would never suspect Tyler was afraid of heights. It just doesn't fit him," she added. I smiled.
"I know," I agreed. "That's one thing I used to make fun of him for in middle school when we were in swim class and we had to do the high dive."
"Oh! That's so mean!" Grace exclaimed. I smiled mischievously.
"I know. But we hated each other's guts, remember?" I asked. "He used to try and make me cry in middle school."
"He still tried to your first summer here," Jamey said.
"And he ended up being the one crying," Grace said, smiling. I smiled as I threw a small twig into the fire.
"I know this," I replied. "I was there. It was his plan towards me that backfired."
"Kyra, welcome back, my dear," Myron said as he walked up to us.
"Thanks, Myron," I replied, smiling up at him.
"Where is Tyler?" Myron asked.
"He headed to the cabin because Grace said that he would have been panicking more if I hadn't made him jump off the cliff," I replied. Grace smiled and Jamey giggled.
"And may I ask why you had to jump off a cliff?" Myron asked me, eyebrows raised.
"To get to the water," I said. Myron gave me a look, knowing I wasn't telling him everything. I sighed. "We were being chased by two of these weird creatures with nasty breath and looked kind-of like bugs."
"It always seems to be you two who get into trouble when you are near each other," Myron sighed. I smiled slightly.
"It's not always our fault," I added.
"I know," Myron said, chuckling as he ruffled my hair. "Now you kids should get to bed. Tomorrow's the first official day back."
"Okay, Myron. Night," we all said as we stood up.
"Well, I'll see you guys in the morning," Jamey said.
"Yep," Grace agreed.
"Jamey! Get in here and call your sister off of your cousin!" Brad yelled out of their cabin. Jamey sighed, waved to us, and then ran off, screaming, "Hali! Get off of Greg!"
"See you tomorrow, Kyra. Have fun with the cousins and Tyler," Grace said. I rolled my eyes.
"Uh huh. Same to you with your relatives," I told her before we walked towards our own cabins. I inhaled deeply as I reached mine. I sighed happily as I took in the smell of seawater that always radiated from the outer walls of our cabin.
"Kyra, why is Tyler being a sour pus?" James, my thirteen-year-old cousin asked. This was his first year.
"Because Grace made fun of him," I replied, dropping my bag into my bed, which was the bottom bunk beneath Tyler's bunk.
"What for?" Sarah asked. She was fourteen, but it was her first year also.
"Me making him jump off a cliff," I replied.
"You two were getting chased, again?" James asked. I just nodded and he sighed.
"Hey, we made it out alive," I said, pulling my lucky blanket out of my bag and throwing it onto my bed.
"Barely," Tyler mumbled. I rolled my eyes.
"Shut up," I added, shoving him lightly. He lifted his head up to make a face at me. I placed a hand on his cheek and shoved his face away from me.
"Ow," he mumbled, rubbing his neck. I smiled slightly as I flopped down onto my bed.
"Grow up," I added. I heard him sigh, his sign of giving up. I smiled while my cousins laughed slightly. "So, guys. You excited?"
"Yeah!" they replied excitedly. I smiled.
"First summer is awesome," I added. I heard Tyler snort with laughter.
"Uh huh. We almost brought the cabin to the ground. That was totally wonderful," he said sarcastically. I smiled and kicked the bottom of his mattress.
"That was because we still hated each other and did not like the fact that we had to sleep in the same cabin," I giggled.
"I know this," he chuckled, poking his head down from his bunk. "We slept on the beds farthest from each other and on opposite ends of the table during meal times."
"Yeah. And now you two are best friends," Sarah laughed.
"Well, when you're forced to spend most of your time with one person, bad feelings tend to go away," I said.
"Yep," Tyler agreed as he sank back onto his bed.
"You guys still make fun of each other all the time," James said. Tyler and I both laughed slightly.
"I don't think that will ever change," Tyler added.
"Agreed," I said. "But now I don't make fun of him for the high-dive."
"That was awful," Tyler sighed. I could tell he had hid his face in his hands as he said this and I giggled.
"You used to try and make me cry everyday. It was payback," I added.
"Not that he ever succeeded," Sarah laughed. "Uncle Rick was always calling Dad with stories you told them about school."
"Especially eighth grade, when our powers started to show. Swimming was the worst class of the day. One of us was always blasted out of the pool unexpectedly," I laughed.
"I was the first one to get blasted out," Tyler sighed. I just smiled.
"Because I'm cooler than you," I added.
"Uh huh, sure," Tyler replied. James and Sarah looked at each other and rolled their eyes.
"We should get to sleep. We have to get up early tomorrow," Sarah said.
"Mhm," I agreed, kicking Tyler's mattress again. He chuckled and then poked his head over the edge of his bed again.
"Goodnight, Kyra," he said.
"Goodnight to you too, Tyler," I replied before pulling the blankets over my body and rolling over so I was facing the wall.
"Night guys," James added.
"Night," the rest of us replied. Then, I closed my eyes and slowly fell into unconsciousness, hearing Sarah whisper to James about some of the things they might do here.
"Time to wake up, Kyra," Tyler was singing in my ear. I rolled over onto my other side and hit him in the chest before pulling my pillow over my head. "Ow!"
I heard my cousins laugh slightly and I smiled as I held the pillow over my head.
"Really though, Kyra. You don't want Myron to bust in here," Sarah said.
"Or Alec. He will pull you out of bed," Tyler added. I smiled to myself.
"I know. And I intend just for that…well, Alec. Not Myron," I said, my voice muffled.
"Oh dear goodness. I'm leaving. I do not want to be in here when Alec gets here. Bye! Have fun, Kyra!" Tyler said, walking out of the cabin. I giggled and lifted my head up.
"Really, Kyra?" Sarah asked.
"Yes, really. I always start out with something like this," I replied. "Which is why I was surprised Tyler tried to get me out of bed. He knows better by now."
"Do we want to be here?" James asked.
"That depends on if you want to get soaked by me and then blasted across the place by Alec," I replied, propping myself up on my elbows. Alec was like Grace, though he tended to fight me back with wind instead of electricity.
"Um, no, I don't. Bye, Kyra. Have fun," Sarah said.
"Oh, I will!" I replied as they walked out of the cabin. I giggled and then waited patiently for Alec to come storming up to the cabin. I didn't have to wait long.
"Kyra Alexandra Marina!" I heard his voice scream right outside the cabin a few minutes later. "Get your little water butt out of bed!"
"No way, you wind blowing freak!" I laughed as he stormed into the cabin. Alec looked down at me seriously and I smiled. "Hey, Alec. How's it going?"
"Don't start this, Kyra. Get your little butt out of bed," Alec said, arms crossed over his chest.
"I'm not little, Alec. And, no. I will not get out of bed," I said. Alec gave me a serious look and I smiled slightly.
"Kyra," he said, wind starting to blow around the cabin lightly. I smiled, raising water up from the fountain in the corner and sitting up slightly. Alec's eyes narrowed at me and I just smiled as wind blew across my face.
"Don't you dare, Kyra," Alec hissed as he watched the water, even though he knew I would.
"Try me, Alec," I replied as I stood up. A small smile touched his lips. This was like his welcome back ceremony to me. I smiled back, shoving the water towards him as a giant gust of wind pushed me towards the door. I giggled as the water crashed over his head. He spit the water out of his mouth before pushing me out the door with a giant gust of wind. I laughed as I flipped backwards in midair and landed on my feet, bringing up water from the ocean behind us.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the first years gaping at us as Alec and I battled each other with water and wind. Tyler, Grace, Jamey, and Brad were all watching and laughing. Then, Alec pulled out his sword. My jaw dropped.
"You dirty player! Mine's in my cabin!" I laughed, using water to wrap around Alec's sword and pull it out of his hand. He laughed as he tried to grab his sword. I smiled and pulled it just out of his reach.
"You play dirty as well, Kyra," Alec laughed. I smiled as I caught his sword as it dropped, the water disappearing from around it.
"I know," I replied as I smiled, touching the tip of the sword to my index finger carefully. Alec chuckled as he walked towards me. He was never very serious, which is why he never helped his brother with planning. He held his hand out for his sword. I smiled and handed it to him.
"I missed you, Kyra," he chuckled. I smiled.
"Missed you too, Alec," I giggled as he hugged me and ruffled my hair.
"Now, get your little butt up to breakfast," he told me, hitting me on the back lightly.
"Okay, Alec," I said, shaking my butt at him before running up the hill to the pavilion where we ate our meals.
"Oh my god. I can't believe you just did that," James breathed, his eyes wide. I looked over at him.
"It's how I've started every summer here since the second year I came," I told him. "Battling it out with Alec."
"Yeah. Two years a go they both had their swords and she made Alec have to go to the infirmary," Tyler said as we sat down at our cabin's table. I smiled at the memory.
"He did the same to me. At least I only cut his arm. He cut near my ribs," I giggled. Tyler smiled and rolled his eyes.
"And you have the scar to prove it," Jamey giggled as she walked by our table to go to hers. She was one of the ones who could hunt extremely well and could shoot an arrow with creepily accurate precision.
"I know, Jamey," I giggled.
"This place is really weird," Sarah breathed. Tyler and I smiled.
"We know," we added.
"Did he use any electricity?" Grace asked as she walked up behind me. I shook my head.
"He never has," I added. "He told me last summer he never will because he feels it would be unfair or something."
"He's such a coward sometimes," Tyler laughed.
"Oh, kind-of like you!" I exclaimed. Tyler made a face and shoved me away from him, almost pushing me off the bench as it was only made for two people. That was one of the cool things here, the tables for each cabin grew to fit exactly the number of kids it needed to; so, ours was made to fit four.
"You two fight… a lot," James said. I looked over at him.
"We make fun of each other, James. There is a big difference," I said.
"Totally," Tyler agreed.
"Sorry," Sarah giggled. Tyler and I smiled before we all started eating.
"How was the yearly start of summer battle this morning?" Myron asked as he walked up to our table after breakfast was over.
"Too short," I giggled. "I took his sword away and then he started laughing, therefore it was ruined."
"Sounds like my little brother," Myron laughed. "The best one was still when you both had swords."
"We were just talking about that earlier," Tyler snorted. I smiled and shoved him playfully. He gave me a look and I smiled innocently. He chuckled and then hugged me. I hugged him back. Myron smiled and rolled his eyes before ruffling our hair.
"Go get ready for the day. Lessons soon," he added.
"Aye, aye," Tyler and I replied before getting up. I looked over at my cousins.
"C'mon. We have to go put on camper clothes," I said. Tyler snorted with laughter and nudged me.
"Race you," he added. I sighed, my shoulders slacking.
"Why, Tyler?" I whined. "I don't want to."
"Fine," he sighed, stuffing his hands in his pockets. I smiled to myself.
"Sucker!" I screamed as I took off.
"You cheater!" Tyler laughed as he took off after me. I laughed and ran straight into the cabin and then shut the door, leaning against it. "Kyra Alexandra! Open the door!"
"No way, Tyler!" I yelled back at him. I heard him sigh, and then the door stopped moving. I jumped slightly a few minutes later as he climbed through the window.
"Ha!" he exclaimed. "You forgot about the window!"
I swore under my breath and then let my cousins into the cabin.
"Unless you two are okay with dressing and stuff in front of each other and Tyler and me, go to the bathrooms to change," I told them as I pulled out my green Camp Dragon Fire shirt. They both eyed me. I shrugged.
"The first summer was the only summer we didn't change in here together. Now it's just whatever," Tyler said as he pulled his shirt off over his head and pulled his blue camp shirt on.
"Okay…" Sarah said as she and James grabbed their clothes and then headed to the bathrooms. I shrugged as I pulled my shirt off. Tyler snorted and climbed up onto his bed to change his pants. That was the only thing he would never do in front of me; change his pants. I giggled as I changed my shorts before putting deodorant on.
"Don't forget deodorant, Tyler. You smell bad," I said.
"Shut up, Kyra," he told me as he jumped down from his bed and then slapped the middle of my back, which was bare.
"Ow!" I screamed before turning around and hitting him in the chest. He jumped away from me and then threw his other shirt at me. I grabbed it and then threw it out of the cabin. His jaw dropped.
"You stink," he added before going outside to get it.
"I know," I added as I pulled my shirt on over my head. He just smiled and rolled his eyes as he threw his shirt up onto his bed. "I think I'm going to have a red mark on my back now. Jerk."
"Oh, shut up. Let me see," he chuckled. I sighed and came to a stop. He lifted up the back of my shirt and poked my back where he had slapped me. "Yeah. It's red."
"I hate you," I added as we walked to the fire pit and sat down.
"Nah. We are over that phase," he laughed. I smiled and rolled my eyes, resting my chin in my hands, my elbows on my knees.
"Why so happy?" Julia asked as she sat down next to me. She can read minds, of people and animals, as well as read peoples' emotions. Though, she can only read peoples' minds when they allow her to. I looked over at me.
"Because I am back at camp," I replied. She smiled as she looked at me.
"And how about you, Tyler? You are considerably happy as well," she said.
"Same. I'm home," he chuckled, spreading his arms out, as if he was going to hug the camp. Julia and I laughed.
"You're weird, Tyler," Grace said as she sat down at his free side.
"Thanks, Grace," he said, making a slight face. I smiled slightly as I looked into the fire. Then, Myron and Alec walked towards the group. Everyone went silent as they approached. Alec looked over at me, flicked his gaze over to Tyler quickly, and then winked at me. I rolled my eyes at Alec. He always thought he knew who everyone would end up with, but he was usually way off.
"Okay, kids. Attention please," Myron called out. We all looked over at him. He smiled slightly.
"Yo, Myron," my friend Kyle said from across the fire, giving Myron two thumbs up. Next to him, Katie giggled. He and Katie were like Julia; though, Katie and Julia were cousins while Kyle was not related to them at all. They were the only others besides Tyler and me who weren't related to another kid in our cabin.
"Hello, Kyle," Myron said, smiling. Kyle smiled back as Katie giggled and shoved Kyle playfully. He chuckled before waving over to Tyler and me. We both waved back. "Guys, attention on me please."
"Sorry, Myron," Kyle, Tyler, and I said.
"Thank you," Myron told us. "Well, welcome back to our returning campers, and welcome to our newcomers."
"Same speech. Every year," Julia said. I smiled.
"I know," I replied. "Today, this cabin will go here first, and then there, blah, blah, blah…"
"Hey, for first years, this is like a rush," Tyler snorted.
"I know. I remember my first year," I said. "I was all hyped up; until I found out I had to share a cabin with you."
"Then you were fuming. I remember because I was sitting across from you and I could feel your rage. I remember wondering why that blue eyed girl was so pissed," Julia giggled. I smiled.
"And then you found out," I said. Julia smiled and nodded.
"Speaking my cabin is next to yours and you two were screaming at each other that night," she added.
"Yep," Tyler agreed. "I remember that fight. It was because the cabin wasn't big enough to 'get away from me.' I totally agreed…at the time."
"I know," I giggled. "And by the end of the week, we'd had more than enough fights to last a lifetime."
"Totally," Julia laughed as she threw a twig into the fire. Then, Myron looked over at the three of us. Everyone else had left.
"You three were not paying attention," he said matter-of factly. We all looked up at him.
"This is our fourth year here. You give the same speech every year. We know it backwards and forwards," Tyler said. Myron looked down at us.
"Julia, head over to archery with your cabin. Tyler, Kyra, head down to the beach. You will be starting to teach Sarah and James how to work with water," he told us after a minute.
"Yes!" Tyler and I exclaimed, giving each other a high-five before running down to the beach. We both jumped off the dock and into the water, screaming happily. My cousins watched us with confused expressions, because we'd jumped in fully clothed. We both broke the surface smiling. The water felt good, even though it wasn't really getting us wet. We only got wet in the water when we wanted to or had to.
"C'mon guys. Jump in. You have to start out learning while in the water," I said, lying back and floating on top of the water easily.
"If you really belong in our cabin, you won't get wet. I promise," Tyler snorted. Sarah stepped into the water carefully.
"This is so weird," she breathed, her voice shaking slightly. I giggled and submerged before standing back up.
"James. Come on," I said, looking at my younger cousin. He gave me a look and then slid into the water off the dock.
"See? That wasn't so hard," Tyler said.
"Don't be a jerk, Tyler," I told him, giving him a look. He looked over at me.
"Well, I was a jerk in your eyes until two years a go," he said. I rolled my eyes and shoved him so he fell into the water. I manipulated the water around him so he would come up soaked, and succeeded. He came up sputtering and spitting water out of his mouth. "I hate when you do that. It feels like the water is compressing me and going to squish me like a bug."
"Aw, well that's because you are a bug," I told him. He made a face at me and then pushed me into the water to do the same thing I had just done to him. It felt exactly like he explained, like being compressed. The water circled around me and seeped through my clothes, giving me the feeling of being squished. I came up and turned so as I spit water out of my mouth it hit Tyler in the face.
"Ew. That was disgusting, Kyra Alexandra," he told me, wiping his face with his arm. I smiled and pat him on the head.
"Yeah, yeah. I see I am right," Alec called out at he passed.
"Yeah, yeah, no!" I called out, sending a ball of water at him. It hit him right in the middle of his back and he stumbled. He turned quickly and shot a blast of wind at me. I dove under the water right before it could hit me and it hit Tyler instead, sending him falling backwards into the water, screaming shortly as he did. I burst out laughing beneath the water before we broke the surface.
"I hate you," Tyler said.
"You would have gone in either way. If it had hit me, I would have been sent flying back into you," I told him.
"Good point," he said before we turned towards my cousins. "Sorry about that."
"Ready to get started?" I asked.
"Sure," they both replied, their tones showing they were reluctant. Tyler and I both smiled.
"Don't worry. We are not going to compress you with water to get you wet. That's just something we figured out on our own," Tyler told them.
"That I figured out on my own and then you copied," I hissed. Tyler rolled his eyes and shoved my face away from him. I rolled my eyes, smiling slightly.
"Okay guys, let's get started," Tyler said, looking over at my cousins, a slight smirk on his face. I smiled and helped him as we tried to teach my cousins to manipulate water.