Chapter Six: A Nightmarish Daydream

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"it's hard to wake up from a nightmare when the nightmare is real."
-kristin cashore


As I had presumed, Sylvia, Kassidy, and I received detention the next day for what happened.  Mrs. Helioma, the cryptic calculus substitute teacher, was apparently informed of the chaos, and the next day talked to Sylvia and I after calculus class.

"You two have gotten yourselves into trouble yesterday, am I correct?" she says in her usual misty voice, her depthless, crystalline blue eyes staring at both of us.

"Yes, ma'am," answers Sylvia.  "Although, it was Kassidy Knowles who started the commotion."

"I do know that," Mrs. Helioma replies.  "I have allotted her detention earlier today.  But I am afraid that I must allot detentions to both of you, as well.  It's the school rules."  She hands us both slips of yellow paper, both stating that we have detentions.  Under the text is Mrs. Helioma's fancy signature, and from reading this, I notice that her full name is Ebony Helioma.

Sylvia and I walk out of the classroom, far behind everyone else, dreading the boredom that our detention will bring.

Sylvia scoffs. "This is stupid. At least in Eravale, the detentions at Quordanna Academy were thoughtful: They allowed us to use the Cleansire Spell on magical equipment," she says.

"The what?" I ask.

"The Cleansire Spell. It's one of the universally known spells that cleans things entirely. Anyways, the detentions here will definitely not allow the use of magic. What are they like, then?"

"The most boredom concealed within one hour that I have ever experienced," I answer. "What are universally known spells?"

"Look, we really can't talk about magic here," she says, her voice lowering, even though no one lingers in the hallways. "I'll tell you later."


The classroom is completely silent when Sylvia and I enter after school that day.  Kassidy Knowles is sitting at one of the desks, folding and unfolding her detention slip.

We sit down at the two desks that are farthest away from Kassidy, and it isn't until a few minutes (which seem like eternities) later that the teacher finally arrives.

And it's none other than Mrs. Helioma.

She sweeps across the classroom with her cryptic eyes running down every row of desks. "You three will stay here for the hour. Feel free to fall asleep, as you aren't allowed to do anything else."

And with that, I hear Sylvia whisper, "This is bullshit."

I grin at her remark, but then the detention commences, and I find myself falling asleep to avoid the onslaught of boredom.

The scene changes from the classroom to a dark, cave-like chamber.  The faint sound of water drops hitting puddles on the ground fills the room, and no light is present, but—


The ominous whisper that utters my name echoes eerily against the stone walls of the lightless cave.  It comes again.


The scene starts to shudder, pebbles and dust falling from the quaking ceiling.  Then, a woman materializes in front of me, first a silhouette, then (when light appears as well) a distinguishable figure.

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