Tag Archives: Speculative Fiction

Fiction- Lucky Thirteen part two

Part Two                                                                                                                                                  Rules of Engagement 

Wall ClockSomer spent the first half of the school day attempting different kinds of talents.  Telekinesis, telepathy, psychometrics, invocations, evocations, hexes, charms and spells in lost sigils and in ancient languages that she knew.  Nothing happened except a burgeoning migraine.  Disillusioned she didn’t call her mother, Aurora Locke would have wanted to do a first cycle ceremony.  A rite of passage for novices, when they reach puberty.  An invocation that gave young witches a better understanding of their abilities.  Some claimed that there was a boost in their talent.  Somer saw no reason to perform it, if there was no physical manifestation of her will; a waste of ingredients, time and energy.

“Hey dud, watch what you are doing!”  The scold brought Somer out of her negative thoughts and into her present situation.

The second half of her school day had started at 2pm with a surprise schedule change.  The seven adept students, three girls and four boys of various ages would have their special class that lasted till the end of the school day, were sent to potions class instead and paired with witch snobs of the level A Class.  They were the first to show power and the strongest novices in the whole freshman class.  They believed their accomplishments gave them license to cast hexes and jinxes on student not fast enough to dodge when the Instructor’s eyes were not on the class.  The seven adepts were considered easy targets; six of them were harassed mercilessly with Somer it was a hit or miss, she had the good fortune of being a legacy.  The Locke witches in her family attended this facility from the time it was established.  Her mother and older sister Suraina were part of witch clubs, whose members vowed to look after her despite the fact  she couldn’t’ find their secret club door without help and most of the students who knew her sister personally were seniors.  There was also her second older brother he still “attended” Grovesnor sometimes.  He was chosen by an influential witch and visiting instructor to be his apprentice and became one of the students in the Grovesnor Academy correspondence program.  He is the strongest male witch student to date and admired by all  the faculty and the student body except one.  Somer had issues with her brother.

lady-lourdes-hs-wood-casework-2The snobs of this class had made the adepts prep workers for each team.   Chop leaves, pound dry herbs to powder, pour and measure liquids.  Somer looked at the idiot who yelled at her.  She was a junior and a novice with the grand ambition of making a love potion, pathetic.  Somer was mincing red rose petals.

“You know that I have a knife, right.” Her voice was bland and her blank expression unnerving, several students including the four at her table, looked at her and became wary.

“Ha ha GreyLocke good one,” the attempt at levity came from Wade Rowan.  A male adept stationed at the table across from her.  He believed in keeping the peace at all cost.  He was the oldest of the adepts, a senior like her brother and the least respected, students picked on him the most.  Tima and Devika, the other girl adept, joined in to diffuse the situation.  The two shared prep duties, there was only six tables in the classroom.  They thought they were helping.  The novice students at Somer’s table glared at her.  They were weighing the odds and going through their meager index of spells they knew.  Families and Covens didn’t share serious magical knowledge with novices until they either proved themselves or stewed for three or four years.  One of the many functions of the school was to teach magical theory and other metaphysics, so that when or if the family or coven entrusted their cache of magical spells, items etc. it would not be a waste.  Until that time every novices spell at Grovesnor were generic unless given special compensation.  Somer knew many spells only because she read more, listen to her father and eavesdropped when the situation called for it.

“All of you are so stupid,” A snide voice said from the table of Wade’s group, across the room by the windows.   It belonged to Gilder Hawthorne, the first witch of their freshman class, a maiden in training and a legacy student like Somer, however the Hawthorne’s had garnered more prestige than the Lockes in the witch covens and the Greys in the mage cabals.  Although no Hawthorne ever claimed to be a mage.  “She can’t do anything and none of you will do anything either.  Her brother came back today and he would do something completely unnatural.”  Gilder informed everyone with an evil sweet smile. Too nice to be good for anyone.  Many thought it was Gilder being the arrogant mean bitch she was but Somer knew different the vicious, gloating smirk was for Somer and only Somer.   Gilder hated her since their first year at Grovesnor.  All she did was confirm a dessert for her brother.  So what if he breaks out in hives and Gilder took responsibility for making the pastries.  The brother in question was Auron.  Their eldest brother Anton was at Mage University in Europe.  The younger twin brothers Averard and Aumar  were with their parents preparing for the placement test to see if they would attend witch or mage middle and secondary schools.  Gilder was talking about Auron Grey.  The correspondence senior, a novice prodigy before he came to Grovesnor.  Auron was given an apprenticeship, his last two years at the academy.  His master returned to the school occasionally and Auron followed Mr. Quick. , wherever he traveled.                                             “Has everyone forgotten Claude Banner already,” Gilder asked in a bemused admonishing tone.   Every student, novice of various levels and adepts stepped from Somer in unison.  Somer rolled her eyes and resumed mincing rose petals.

“Thanks for the warning, Gil,” She spoke in loud voice full of the sweet fake saccharine tone of the other girl.  “My brother still won’t know who the hell you are though.”  The whole class gasped in horror.  ‘He barely knows who I am.’  Somer kept that thought to herself and locked it down.   Thinking about Auron would really mess with her already crappy mood.  Gilder Hawthorne hissed like a cat.  She may be the first novice witch in their class but she wasn’t the only novice witch.  In the week of her announcing, last spring, eleven other girls in their class acquired their manifest will.  Gilder was one in almost three hundred students.  Auron is a senior with an option of staying with his master or going to university.   Gilder was fourteen years old, in her first year of high school.                      3461590156_8c65c22d49_bShe began to murmur something, the containers in front of Somer began to rattle.  Somer slipped the knife in her sleeve and grabbed the mortar bowl on her right.  The heavy dark wood cube shaped bowl was the only object not moving to Gilder’s will.  Somer drew a symbol on the side of the bowl with the rose essence.  She picked up the cube bowl and threw it across the room it hit the middle of Gilder and crew’s table.  The old bowl shattered something there was a blue flash.  Gilder, her two lackeys and anyone else at the table fell back with a shock.             The containers at Somer’s table stopped moving.   The mortar bowl spun at the center of the table on its point.  It began to form a small rainbow funnel shape.                                “Interesting,” Somer said watching the colors.  No one seemed to notice them but her.           “What did you do,” the novice at her table accused.                                                                     Somer shrugged.  “Sorry Wade,” she said absent minded.  “Interruptions have no direction:,”       “GreyLocke,” Junior novice demanded.                                                                                                        “I threw a Shaken mortar.”  Somer answered back as the bowl slowed, the rainbow funnel began to dissipate.                                                                                                                        “Throwing school property is a violation, Ms. GreyLocke,” An older voice full of authority stated at the door of the classroom.  All the students’ backs were turned facing the table and spinning mortar that had stopped spinning but now froze on point.  The students all turned to face the voice.  It belonged to their instructor Ms. January.   She appeared to be in her late forties.   She wore dark calf-length skirt suits, crisp white high neck shirts with pearl buttons and matching sensible lace-up shoes. She wore squared framed glasses and her chestnut brown hair was always in a severe bun.  She fit the description of any hiding witch or 1950’s librarian.  She imbued calm and fear of being called on.  Students returned to their tables and high stools.   Wade, Gilder, her lackeys -Lyndsey and Monika, all stood up wobbly, shook themselves.  It didn’t take long for them to come to their senses.  They all glared at Somer, except for Wade.  He grinned sheepishly and fixed his gray and navy striped uniform tie.                                                     At a glance, Ms. January always gave Somer a pain behind the eyes.  It always took time for Somer to adjust to the sight of the demure middle aged woman.                                                 “Miss GreyLocke, what do you have to say for yourself?”  Ms. January walked into the classroom and stopped at her desk at the corner of the classroom.  Somer moved slower than the class to face the witch.                                                                                                                                              “So is unsanctioned magic, Ms. January.”  She spoke slower than usual.                                “Unsanctioned magic?”  Ms. January repeated.  “Class?”   Unsupervised, restricted use of magic, the hexes and small cast spells Instructors turned a blind eye too. Somer closed her eyes to the growing head pain.  It appeared as frustration, because not one of the twenty seven students in that class corroborated her words.  Their actions were expected.  No one spoke to Gilder Hawthorne like that and remained unscathed.  Somer was no exception, even though Gilder would have to appeal to a higher power than her own for payback.  Now it seemed that Somer was a default.  She had no magic, in the sense of how everyone used their power.   She was a little better than a blind mundane, she was classified as an adept to be kind.  This was where things became odd for many students at Grovesnor and some of the faculty.   A mundane with no magic had no real place at this school and a mundane did not throw objects in the face of certain magic. This was not the first time Somer disrupted someone’s ability.  It was hard to understand and uncommon for many.   Somer didn’t spend time explaining it either.  She was just the middle child of six witch/mage prodigies.  She had to hold her own with her siblings and extended family, otherwise her younger brothers Aumar, Averard and baby sister Seleste would have run her over and the older siblings, Auron, Suraina, and Anton would have ruled her.  She could never forget her lack of manifest will because Auron wouldn’t let her.

There were many firsts in learning magic and the supernatural world.  It move with and around the everyday mundane world, with the millions of powerless having no clue. The most important was the way to safely disrupt spells and other hinky stuff that will mess with and upset all the practitioners.

“Miss GreyLocke,” the woman’s voice was melodious and smooth, but to Somer that was the surface, thin like skin of milk whatever it hid underneath it scraped her senses.  Sometimes she could ignore it but today was different.  Today she felt raw and that witch was salt.

“Ms. January, am I in or out.” She spoke with resignation.  The instructor’s eyes flashed white, then slightly narrowed.  “You are definitely out Miss GreyLocke, Guidance is waiting for you” The class made a unanimous noise of fear.  This was the third time in the marking period, Somer was going to the guidance office.  Somer sighed heavily collected her belongings and walked out of the potions classrooms.

***

 

Fiction – Lucky Thirteen part one replay

I don’t know if this is good idea or not.  However I am going through with it to be good to the Flagship. I am trying to keep the story connected and I am sure there is link I can add to the post on Wednesday that would make me look internet savvy.  I  don’t have it in me.  So this is a repost or replay of the debut story Lucky Thirteen.  Feast your eyes, part two will be up on Wednesday. 

Part One                                                                                                                                                    This Little Light                                                                                                                                  

Somer GreyLocke gave up having a manifest will on the 9th of February 1999, it was also a Thursday, an ordinary day.

She woke up in her dorm room at The Willows, second floor, early Wednesday morning two a ssL13hours before the official bell woke the three-story building for the day. Somer liked a 10-minute showers and soaping up twice.  After the bell, time in the showers was monitored and decreased by the Matron’s Aide.

In the shower, she discovered her period had begun.  HER VERY FIRST!!  Relieved that it had finally come.  She was a woman before her roommate.   Somer jumped up and down in the shower stall.  She almost fell, she steadied herself and choked back the scream of joy that would alert a monitor, Aide or worse the Matron.  Her first period was supposed to change her life forever and for the better.  Somer a daughter of a high witch and a grand mage, Aurora Locke and Sebastian Grey were powerful people well established in the hierarchies of the world covens and universal cabals.

The manifest will was the most important thing for any supernatural, it was the proof of your power.  Somer had never been able to show her ability.  All of her six siblings had done so before their fifth birthday.  They were all prodigies. Somer was the only dud, a mundane prodigy. The polite term was adept, a vague title that meant anything.   All supernatural children were adept until they expressed their will. Most children showed fledgling abilities between the ages of 8- 11.  As they entered adolescence and puberty their abilities became stronger, defined and normally followed the paths of their families.  A child that manifested no spark of ability may be blessed and improve with the onset of puberty.  A child that remained an adept into adulthood left the supernatural world for the mundane one.  A fate worse than death for many.     For Somer it never crossed her mind, her period meant she would no longer be an adept but a novitiate.    As a result of her discovery, after making sure the important parts were clean, Somer left the dorm floor shower room.  It was her first less than 10-minutes shower.

She hurried back to her room in her green terry cloth robe and green flip flops with a matching towel and toiletry basket.  Somer’s room was the width of a railway car. On the right, behind the door were two closets with a hatch space that reach the ceiling. On the left were two built-in desk with a 2-row book shelf above and 2 hardwood chairs under. The beds were two skinny built-into the wall twin beds.  The bed on the right was occupied by the second adept girl at the Willows.  Septima Lancaster, called Tima by her friends, was covered from head to toe, under 2 blankets and 3 comforters.  She didn’t believe in early mornings.  She slept like the dead until the bell clanged in her head, courtesy of the malicious matron.  A witch that should have literally just used a hammer to wake her charges.

Somer could barely contain her excitement.  She had wanted to scream that her period was here then cackle like wicked witch of the Willows.  Not only was she a woman but a witch-mage too, a feared and powerful supernatural hybrid, just like her six siblings.  But first she had to do one thing. Everyone would want to see this, it was the proof.  Somer had to make light, show her manifest will.  It is one of the many first spells a novitiate could do. Prodigies like her siblings produced light inherently, the first time they were left alone in the dark.  Her mother had put Somer alone in a dark room every night for three months, when Somer had been two years old.  Most children don’t remember that stage of their early lives, Somer did. It may have sounded like abuse but it wasn’t the darkroom was the nursery apart of her parents master bedroom suite.  They had just moved out her three older siblings to their own rooms in the house.  Somer had hated being alone then. Once she realized crying would not get her what she wanted. Somer left her room as soon as she could. No one knew how she did it.   She was a toddler in a crib.  It was a secret, Somer would never tell.   Her father asked her many times. He travelled a lot but when he was home, Somer remembered having the most fascinating conversations with him, at night, instead of sleeping in her room or making light.  Actually he talked Somer listened, the Grey Mage, his professional name, spoke about magic all kinds at every level.

Most of Somer’s time spent at Grosvenor Academy, a prestigious institution for young witchesL13 grovsnor in New England, was connecting magic she knew with people, books and grimoires light and dark.  Her father spoke to her about making light for a week one winter.  Somer knew the spells, charms and the constructs.

All her thirteen years of life Somer wanted to do magic.  Now she can finally produce light.  She dressed quickly, cotton underwear, the just-in-case sanitary napkin, she packed with her every year since age 11, thick charcoal tights, and wool gray pleated skirt, crisp white long sleeve oxford shirt.  She took off all the lights in the small room, it was still dark outside.  She ignored the vomiting turtle in the hamster cage on her book shelf, sat on her unmade bed in the classic lotus position and concentrated.  In her mind she visualized a spark that slowly grew into a palm size globe of electric blue light. Blue because despite her excitement, Somer had thought about this for a long time.

Nothing happened.

Somer put her right hand out and attempted an evocation.

Nothing Happened, again.

Next she chanted a spell in a whisper.

NOT EVEN A SPARK!

turtle1

Disgusted she jumped off her bed, stomped to her desk to retrieve a pen from her desk draw.  In the dark, she wrote in her hand first a rune, murmured the words, waited ten minutes, wiped away the rune and then drew a sigil.

The small room remained dark until a sliver of light cut under the blackout shades at the single window. Failure was a dry horse pill to swallow, Somer refused to give up.  She decided to try something else, this was too important.

The Notre Dame Cathedral bells began clanging in her head.  Somer dropped the pen in her hand and tried to hold her head in place.

Tima screamed sprung out of her bed, got caught in her bedding and fell to the floor.

“What the fuck,” she groaned,

“You know, wakey wakey eggs n’ bakey,” Somer told her, moving slowly to her desk to retrieve her black doc marten boots underneath.

“But I’m vegan,” Tima groaned.

The church bells would ring in their minds of every girl in the building until they were awake, out of bed and moving.  Somer preferred a hammer to this torture.  She tied up her boots laces, stomped to the door opened it angrily and yelled into the growing crowded hallway.

“We’re all awake you evil sadist!”

The bells became a low hum, a collective sigh of relief filled the halls of the Willows dormitory. It was cut short as a disembodied evil laugh ran though the building, the Matron, the Witch of the Willows.  Somer rolled her eyes and slammed her door.  The blackout shades flew opened on its own. The morning sun blazed into the room, negating Somer’s purpose.  Tima stood up, rubbed her temples and walked to her closet.

“You shouldn’t say that,” she admonished Somer.  “She likes it entirely too much.” Tima gathered her toiletries, changed from flannel pink bunny print pajamas, to a lavender robe and flip flops.

“Do you want to hear, ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ until you leave this building?” Somer asked.

Tima shrugged at the door, “Better than ‘Faith of our Fathers’,” She left the room then.

Alone Somer got her books and school bag, everything was near her desk.  A capuchin monkey let itself out of the hamster cage and jumped down to her desk.  It squeaked and grunted at Somer, then touch the back of her right hand.  Somer felt the pull of magic and a slight burn in her palm.  Somer turned her hand up two palm-size blue lights rose up. The monkey was normally a cat.  He was a gift from her godfather. A familiar to activate the magic, Somer couldn’t do without her manifest will.   She sucked her teeth and grabbed the nearest cloth a t-shirt and hand sanitizer.  She squirted the solution in her hand and rubbed the sigil off her hand. She took a small pump bottle of lavender water and sprayed the room.  The mist blanketed the room giving it a pleasant smell and disrupting any residual magic, Somer made while she was attempting to cast.

Somer glared at the monkey.  “I didn’t asked for your help Rhaze.”

The familiar monkey/cat screeched and gestured at her some more.  It was always cranky after it attempted to be a reptile.   Somer sighed wearily.

“I have classes don’t break Tima’s stuff.”  She ordered and left the room without hearing the monkey/cat’s reply.