A heart beating.... one child's life, in your family line, will be the beginning of uncertainty for all BaSatai. Eighteen years for the curse to ripen, gates begging to open. All it takes to destroy the Parallel Divide is to spill the cursed one's blood and so death lies.
St Michaels School for the Gifted and Talented,
17 years later….
It’s not me! I’m not cursed… am I?
Denial. Sharp and real. Why didn’t she believe it? She could smell the curse in her blood. Armani Radnelaq refused to accept the curse living within her blood. Something deep down inside her knew it couldn’t be true. Making them believe it too wasn’t going to be easy. They were coming to take her home to begin a BaSatai life amongst them, with close protection at her beck and call. She wasn’t ready to leave just yet, not when she couldn’t find acceptance here on Earth.
Since St. Michael’s exclusive doors had opened in early twenty-ten, the once cozy town of Greensleigh, Vermont, had boomed with enrollments and an influx of new locals from various different backgrounds had set up home. The hectares of wild, lush forestry was a perfect training ground for St Michael’s fortress of a college spanning out across the land. The call for students drew in every kind of talent from musicians to dancers, athletes, mathematicians; you name it, they were all here at St. Michael’s. They all had one thing in common: extraordinary talent, some were even geniuses. Armani’s gift was not exceptional in her eyes, not when she had an unfair advantage: she wasn’t human. Elijah, her adoptive father, had enrolled her in the elite school before the doors had even opened, though she had protested quite loudly that he shouldn’t. She was yanked from public schooling and thrown into a whole new arena, completely against her will. She loved Elijah and wouldn’t go against him but she didn’t have to agree with everything.
The sun was unusually high in the sky, it flickered a red-purple right before her, the image of a pupil dilating and glinting at her, before changing back. She sat up, knocking the textbooks piled across her desk onto the floor beside her. She blinked a few times as she squinted out the window, shocked by the supernatural change in the sky before her eyes.
“Watch it, bitch!” Lily pushed her desk forward, rising to confront Armani.
“Woa!” a student hooted. “Fight!”
The boredom of the ethics class livened up with students scraping their chairs closer, turning around from where they had been lounging moments ago, now alert and immersed in the argument.
Armani rolled her eyes and stood to her full five-foot-eight height, towering over the petite Lily. “What’s your problem?”
Mr. Borgan came to his feet in a rush, his ruddy cheeks turning bright red. “Armani! Lily!”
Lily planted her hands on her slim hips, skimming her gaze up and down the length of Armani. “You’re my problem, freak. Go back to whatever country you came from! Useless slut. Look at you, a mess with your long hair pulled up in a ponytail all the time. I can’t believe we used to be friends.”
Most of the class erupted with shocked gasps at Lily’s insult. It was probably the most excitement they had seen in a while. Several turned away in disgust, determined to get back to their work. Some stared at Armani with pity, grateful they weren’t the target of Lily’s attention.
She remained calm on the outside though deep down, it cut her bad being singled out as different. Students hushed each other waiting for her reply. No one ever defended her when it came to the Primpers, too afraid of becoming a target themselves.
Mr. Borgan held up shaky hands. “Girls, this is not appropriate! Take your seats. Pick up your books, Armani.”
She wanted to flatten the childlike Lily back into her place. “I was born here… ”
“And your papa looks so much like you.” Lily giggled, pressing her hand to her mouth, glancing around at everyone to keep their attention on her.
Armani controlled the urge to growl, her eyes narrowed at Lily for bringing Elijah into their argument. His African-American heritage was an obvious contrast to Armani’s exotic look, with her olive skin, chocolate hair, and round, almond eyes. She was also a lot taller than the average girl, with rounded curves on her strong frame. Everyone knew she was adopted, it wasn’t a secret. Elijah had always been up front with her about her BaSatai background from the minimal knowledge he had.