There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.
I rolled the window down further, and stuck my head out, relishing the cool wind cutting through my cheeks and whipping through my hair. The wide rolling hills and verdant meadow reminded me painfully of home.
I jerked my head back inside and leaned back, catching a glance of the speedometer as I did so. Well above the limit, as usual.
"Why are you so quiet today?" Dad slowed down and turned towards me.
"What if...... what if I don't fit in there?" I asked him, a tremulous note of worry in my voice.
Wherever I go, my primary concern is whether the people there will like me. I have absolutely no idea. I wish I could be more like dad - he doesn't give a damn about the opinion of the masses.
"Don't worry too much, sweetie. How can they not like you?" He smiled, and a calmness rushed through me, soothing my nerves.
"And anyway, here the people will be more....... like you. You know what I mean," he continued.
And I did.
Dad was special. He had studied in a special school with other special people. He married an ordinary woman and then had me - I was special too. And like my dad , and so many others before me, I was headed to the special school - The Exemplar Academy. A school for special people.
And what us this speciality? You may ask.
'Superpowers' I say.
Less than 1% of the world's populace is blessed with extraordinary abilities. Abnormal abilities. Not the human world's conception of normal, at least.
My dad - Remus Jackson - is master of the electromagnetic forces. I, Noelle Jackson, am master of shapeshifting. Transforming my body into that of any other being, according to will. So far, all I've managed is a not completely voluntary change into a chameleon. I should become more proficient at the Academy.
I gazed out of the window again, and I missed home more than ever - the large stone mansion, and surrounding parks and heath covered moors. I loved every inch of that place. I missed it. However, the prospect of a new place, new acquaintances, a whole new world, filled me with apprehensive anticipation.
Soon, the smooth asphalt under the wheels turned to gravel, and I looked up. Large gates of wrought iron loomed ahead in front of us. Eyes widening in awe, I turned to dad. He looked on the gates with a mix of fondness and nostalgia. It was evident : this place had seen some of the best years of his life. His watery blue eyes seemed brighter and sharper, almost like the very air around the place revived the old fire of youth in him. If he loved the Academy so much, surely I could learn to love it too.
He got out and walked to the gates. He pressed a little button half hidden amidst the ivy that cloaked the stone pillars flanking the iron. A trill sounded from deep within the grounds. A little sour faced old man hobbled towards us, leaning on his stick at every step. Seeing my dad, a wide grin chased away the frown on his face.
"Jackson! 'Tis good to see yeh once more!" He beamed.
"The same can 'be said for me, McAllister," dad smiled back.
"That your daughter?"
"Yeah. Noelle. Noelle? This is the gate and grounds keeper of the Academy - Gregory McAllister."
I smiled at him.
"Nice. I sure wonder if she's got any of you in 'er. By God! I hope not. I'm too old to run behind them young kids anymore." He drawled,
I looked at dad in surprise. Run behind? Dad was a troublemaker?
"Well we'll just have to wait and see, won't we?" He replied, smirking.
McAllister smiled and opened the gates with a great deal of huffing and puffing. We got back into the car and drove into the grounds.
What grounds they were!
An enormous wide expanse of land, accompanied by a large lake framed by jagged cliffs. A copse of trees cradled the main building - a shiny white modern affair, it looked strangely out of place in the Victorian country-side surroundings.
A man stood smiling to meet us at the doorway of the great building. He looked around as old as dad, maybe younger. A youthful light gleamed in his eyes. Sharp eyes, that had a propensity for both great mirth and great rage. Evidently not a man to be crossed.
Dad got down, and walked over to him, pulling the man into a hug. I followed, unsure of what to do.
"Remus! It's been a long time" he said, when they pulled apart.
"I've missed you Charlie. This is my daughter - Noelle." Dad told him, placing a comforting hand around my shoulders.
"She looks just like you, Remus, except her eyes. " He offered his hand to me "nice to meet you, Noelle"
"Nice to meet you too, sir." I smiled, shaking his hand.
"Noelle, this is the principal of the Academy, and my childhood best friend - Charles Wilson."
I nodded and looked around, admiring the place, as the men resumed their chat. He must have noticed my expression. Turning to a couple of guys around my age playing basketball, he yelled "Max!".
A boy jogged towards us, his hair gleaming in the late afternoon sunlight like polished gold.
"Max, this is Noelle. Noelle Jackson. Would you be so kind as to show her around?"
"My pleasure, Professor" he smiled at me - a wide grin, revealing painfully perfect teeth. I shook his hand.
"Let's go then, shall we?" His bold eyes glinted like flint.
"Milady" he added, in a rough whisper, a cruel smirk cutting his lips and pulled me away.
He chattered incessantly, although I didn't really pay attention to anything he said. Deep inside, he seemed nice, despite being all sharp edges and smirks.
YOU ARE READING
Paladins: Souls of PainTeen Fiction
What happens when you put together; a broken girl who finds a new home, a reader of minds who seeks her own peace, a lone wolf who fights for a girl he barely knows, a breaker of hearts who finds his mind fogged by an emotion he barely felt? Let th...