Dedicated to @Appletwig Thank you for the amazing cover.
Weeks pass by in a blur, bringing colder weather that no one cares to notice. There had not been any attacks or word on the individual causing all the mayhem that is now beginning to fade, but I know it is only the calm before the storm. The attacker is not finished with whatever he or she has planned. Classes proceed as normal, for everyone but me. I have still failed to specialize and am finding it very difficult to control all four elements when everyone else only controls one. It is enough to drive anyone to the point of insanity. One moment I could make vines grow up the wall, as were the instructions in Earth last week, then the next a huge gust of wind would blow through the classroom, flipping desk and making people struggle to stay standing.
And worrying 24/7 isn't helping.
Cora is constantly paranoid. I have noticed the dark circles under her eyes from lack of sleep, loss of appetite, and how she is startled by every little thing. The first few nights after Katie was attacked, Cora would wake in the night screaming from nightmares that haunted her. It terrified Sophia and I and now Cora barely even bothers to sleep. Her focus on the attacker has taken a toll on her. She is always by either mine or Levi's side, never alone, but I fear that it isn't enough to protect her. It is driving both of us crazy that we are no closer to finding the attacker than we were weeks ago, and it seems as if we are the only ones trying. My determination to find answers has turned more into an obsession than just plain curiosity. Tommy has managed to avoid me for the past week, and I suspect that he knows something he is failing to share.
The end of the week has neared, and it marks another week of failure to find the assailant. The morning is slowly dragging on, proving that this day is going to be long. I sit in my class, the morning sun shining through the window behind Professor Morrison's desk. I have failed to perform an acceptable amount of magic in Water. I have blown a whole room apart, covered a whole wall with vines and nearly caught Professor Ward's desk on fire, yet with water, it doesn't seem to like me all too well. A few days ago I managed make water in a glass rise a few inches, but since then it lies dormant.
Today everyone is attempting to control water in a glass and make a shape out of it. The girl to my right has managed to make a small swan, the boy a few seats in front of her, a deformed blob thing. I glance down at the clear glass sitting in front of me, atop of my wooden desk, sitting perfectly still. I sigh in frustration and ripples glide across the surface. I cast a glimpse to my left at Cora. She seems to be oblivious to the world around her, her focus on nothing but the glass of water sitting in front of her, which seems to be just as still as mine. I doesn't make sense, Cora is one of the best at water, for her not to be capable of a task seems impossible. I take a closer look and realized that the water is more solid than liquid, and condensation is building on the glass. Cora has frozen the water, which is not uncommon for those who control water, considering that ice is a form water. Concern tugs at me for my friend. It is unbearable to see her in this state, and I don't know how to help her.
"Cora?" I say, my voice barely above a whisper.
She takes no notice in me, or anything for that matter. She seems to have retreated into her mind where she doesn't have to worry about the dangers that we all face, either that or something much more sinister.
"Cora?" I repeat, raising my voice louder.
She doesn't immediately snap out of her trance. She slowly moves her eyes away from the glass, followed by her head. Fear washes over me now that I can get a good look at her face. The dark circles under her eyes are more vivid against her pale face, and her skin has become clammy. She looks ill, whether it be from lack of sleep, food, stress, or all of the above.
"Are you alright?" I ask.
"No." She answers shortly, her voice barely audible.
"You look sick, you should go to the clinic." I suggest, prepared to drag her there myself if it is necessary.
"I can't." She replies flatly, slowly looking away from me.
"Cora," I begin, my voice pleading, not just for her to listen to me, but for all this to be over and for things to return to the way they were the day I met her on the train. "You're sick, you need to go to the clinic before you hit the ground from exhaustion. If not the clinic then at least some sleep."
"You don't understand." She tells me, sounding as if those three worlds has taken all the energy she had left.
"Then help me too."
She sits there in silence to the point where I believe she isn't going to reply. The morning sun seen from the window is now hidden behind dark clouds, the sound of lightning cracking through the atmosphere echos through the silent classroom, announcing that there is a storm coming, though things seem calm for now.
"I told you once before that there are other types of magic, such as the magic that makes the train that brought us here invisible to all but Elementals." Cora finally says.
"I remember." I reply.
But it's very old and only experienced Elementals can use it. Cora had said our first day at the Academy, which now seems like ages ago.
"I can't sleep because someone inside this school, that is attacking students, the member of F.E.A.R., can also do other types of magic. One of those seem to allow them to get into my head and torture me both day and night, awake or asleep." Cora explains.
"Then why not go to someone for help?" I question. "The headmistress? A teacher?"
I ask those questions instead of the ones truly jumping to my mind. Is this power the cause of her nightmares; how is such power possible?
Cora turns back to me, a look in her eyes that tells me she is serious, that she truly believes someone is getting inside her head and doing this to her, but why? Why do any of this?
"Because I know what they are capable of." She simply says.
Professor Morrison is walking by Cora's desk when Cora's hand shoots up into the air and she announces that she was going to be sick. Before the professor can answer, Cora is on her feet, knocking her glass of frozen water to the stone floor. It shatters as Cora darts out the door, her hand covering her mouth. The wooden door doesn't have a chance to shut behind Cora before I am on my feet, racing after her and ignoring Professor Morrison's words of protest. I run out the door, slamming it behind me.
The corridor is silent and deserted as I strain my ears for any sound of Cora's presence. I make a right, turning to logic instead of my senses, the only direction Cora would have gone if she is really sick. The wooden door to the ancient bathroom comes into view on my left. I throw the door open, expecting to find Cora, but it seems empty. I check each deserted stall. I close the door silently, questioning where she could have gone. Worry and panic overwhelm me, and Tommy's words echo in my head.
You should be careful Cora, He had warned, It's bad enough that you specialize in water, but you know too much. You're the perfect target.
Footsteps echo in the silence to a corridor left of me, a corridor I have yet to investigate. I try to run to the sound, hoping to see Cora and to extinguish my anxiety, but my body won't respond fast enough. I turn the corner to see a set of stairs that lead down to the floor below. I catch a glimpse of a figure below, before it disappears down a separate corridor. Fear rises in me as I approach the steps, everything moving in slow motion.
At the bottom of the stairs is a crumpled silhouette on the floor, dark hair spilling around her, hiding the girl's face. I feel selfish for hoping that it isn't Cora, but that doesn't stop me from believing what I already know is true. My body goes numb, and it feels as if I am trying to run through water as I race down the flight of stairs. I stumble over my own feet and land painfully on my knees next to the sleeping body. I frantically brush the chestnut colored hair away from the girl's face, still praying, still hoping that it isn't Cora, but it is no use.
I can't think, my mind has gone blank. I am in too much shock to think to call for help, and the pale face of Cora makes bile rise in my throat, the sweet smell of poison filling my nose. She's not dead, I remind myself, but at the moment, there really seems to be no difference.The perfect target, Cora, has been eliminated.
YOU ARE READING
(Book One of the Elemental Series)Bella has only known a terrible life living with her Aunt and Uncle. She longs for an escape and to discover the truth about what happened to her parents. Her dream comes true when she is accepted to a school that w...