I walk into the classroom just as the late bell echoes throughout the academy. It is Wednesday, so I sit in the back of the classroom as Professor Hernandez begins to bark instructions to the class. I find it hard to focus from lack of sleep, my head has been pounding all morning and my eyes feel strained from staring at the small print of words the day before. We have been searching the library every chance we get, and trying not to get caught in the process. The school is still on lockdown and no one is permitted to wander the halls without a teacher. Every night we have been sneaking off to the library at midnight, and staying until 3am. Sometimes we would do it during the day, between classes. Every day has brought nothing but failure.
I got permission to visit Cora as often as I am allowed. Levi, Sophia, and I would all spend an hour in the clinic telling Cora about our continued search of the mark. I glance around the classroom to see Tommy, sitting only a few seats away. He looks as exhausted as I do, though no one in the school is getting much sleep. Tommy has been helping us search, just like he said he would. Even with dark circles under his eyes, I still admire the way he looks. His hair is a mess, as if he had just woken up, falling into his eyes. I have noticed the way that the bit of blue that is on his school uniform brings out the blue in his gray eyes.
I let my mind wonder, ignoring the instructions and letting my gaze rest on him. As if he senses me staring, he glances back over his shoulder and our gazes lock. I quickly look away, feeling myself blush at being caught staring at him, but I could have sworn I saw smile play at his lips just before I looked away. I try to get a hold of myself. I can't let him be a distraction, not with everything going on. I need to stay focused. I break myself out of my daydream and become aware of what is going on around me.
"Air is not an element to use as a toy, though none of the elements are." Professor Hernandez is saying. "Many just use the power of Air for their personal gain, such as moving objects because they are too lazy to get it themselves."
With that, she jumps into a long, antagonizing speech based off her earlier statement. I allow myself to yet again, zone out.
That night we search the library, reading through more and more books. The throbbing in my head is only getting worse, and I am finding it hard to keep focused and decipher the words. When 3am arrives, we have yet again, failed for another night. Everyday that we fail is another day that someone could have been attacked, and discovering the fate of those that rest in the clinic.
Thursday I sit in Fire, Levi in the desk across from me. He had already fallen asleep in the first five minutes and I'm not far behind. Professor Ward, who is one of the few Professors in the school I actually like, is telling of how fire is one of the most powerful and dangerous elements. After that he gives us a quiz, on parchment, over a few of the things we have gone over in the last few weeks, waking Levi in the process. I stare down at the words, but they all blur together into something unintelligible. I finally allow myself to lay my head down as darkness washes over me and I fall asleep.
Red flames crawl their way up the stone wall, expanding as they come into contact with the curtains, the chairs, and the bed post. Everything their deadly hands can reach burst into flames. The fire is consuming what I recognize as the girls dorm, but there is no one in sight. I scramble out of bed as it begins to catch fire and the flames threaten to consume me. The stone floor that has always been cold under my bare feet feels hot.
I race to the door as a cracking sounds tears through the room over the roar of the flames and a wooden beam from above crashes down in front of me, blocking my only exit. Every window is surrounded by a flaming curtain, preventing an alternate escape. Use you powers, screams my conscious. That's when a hooded figure, standing by the bed I had just evacuated, catches my eye and the thought vanishes. Realization begins to wash over me. Though the room is filled with smoke and fire, I can breath, the smoke doesn't burn my eyes, and there is no heat from the flames.
It is only a dream, but I am not the one controlling it. Cora's words echo in my head.
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.
"I know who you are." I say to the figure as the fear of being burned alive fades into anger.
"No, you do not." He replies, but it isn't just one voice that answers, it echoes in many different voices, making it impossible to tell which belongs to him.
And he is right, I don't know. All I know is that this is the man who had tortured Cora, and did only God knows what to the others, and now, he plans to get inside my head.
"What do you want?" I ask, despite the real question I want to ask. I want to demand that he tell me his identity, but I know it would be useless.
"Stop looking." The voices echo over and over.
"Never." I answer flatly. "Not until I discover who you are and stop you."
The flames begin to recede, and I can make out the figure better. They reach up and pulled the hood away, and I am left, staring into what I first think is a mirror. I stare into my own blue eyes, reflecting the fire still blazing.
"But you'll never know." The voice that comes out of the attackers mouth is my own.
Suddenly, I - the attacker- am gone, and I spin around to see the face of Cora, only inches away.
"And you'll never stop me. Not until I achieve my goal." Cora's voice has never sound so threatening.
Before I can ask what that is, Cora is gone, and this time I do not spin around to search for her. I feel someone behind me, only inches away, their breath on the back of my neck. I don't have to turn around to know who they are mimicking now. The voice that comes next is Tommy's.
"This is only the beginning."
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...