The room was filled with a mixture of confusion and terror. The Control? It felt a little surreal that Mr Obsidian was just in a meeting with The Control when it seemed like they only existed in my history books. The Elementals were a little confused and once Mr Obsidian explained what The Control was their faces filled with dread.
It seemed that even though it was something new for them to hear, they already didn’t like the sound of it.
“What do you mean the meeting was about the Elementals?” I asked slowly.
Mr Obsidian sighed and suddenly looked ten years older. “They’re a little... concerned, about the unknown aspects of the Elementals and they will be coming to visit within the next two months. However, it’s not something you should concern yourself with at the moment. Head on up to bed... I’m sure you’re all tired as I am”
And just like that, without allowing us to question why the visit was needed or debate that it was, at least, the Elementals concern, the conversation was closed off and we were shooed out of his office. “Well, what in the hell is going to happen then?!” Sophia cried throwing her hands in the air in frustration.
Bree patted her back comfortingly, “There’s nothing that we can really do... if you guys don’t mind, I think the rest of us need to have some time alone” Helena and I nodded while Derrek just threw his arm around my shoulders feigning boredom.
“I’m so unbelievably bored!!!” Derrek groaned as we lazily sprawled across the sofa. It had been a week since we returned from Crane’s Hollow and so far all our classes had been going through some revision and mostly theoretical work. Even combat had become plain as Coach Shulk decided to lecture us of the ins and outs of using our combat skills in the ‘real world’.
“Combat is so boring now. It was the only class I looked forward to and now even that’s been taken away from me!” He moaned again.
In the meadow in the corner of the apartment, I heard Helena chuckle and shake her head as she wriggled her fingers and twisted the long blades of grass into tiny braids before unravelling them again. “Well, then why don’t you make your own version of combat then?” she suggested with a shrug, “Go outside and do... I don’t know, target practice or something”
Within the last week, most of the snow had thinned to almost nothing, and only having the slightest touch of frost in the early mornings before the sun melted it again. The mornings were cold and fog still hovered over the grounds like lost ghosts all moulded together, but then it warmed up as the day went along and the grass would be dry enough to sit on before quickly becoming cold again as the sun set and took all the warmth along with it.
Plenty of students were coming down with colds from the forever changing temperatures but only the worst ones were healed and the rest of the student body were left to fight the virus like normal. Luckily Helena, Derrek and I had managed to bypass catching anything, and I desperately wanted to keep it that way!
“Target practice, you say hmm?” Derrek mumbled to himself. He made a circle by connecting his thumb and index finger then blew through the middle and a circle of fire blew up into the air. He flicked his finger and a small dot of fire landed in the middle of his fire circle creating a target and we stared at it before he snapped his fingers, extinguishing it leaving smoke rings floating. “Sounds good to me! What do you say Tadpole?”
Derrek’s head was resting on my lap and he turned to look at me while he waited for his answer. It was a pretty simple answer and I nodded eagerly as a smile lit up my face. I felt exactly how Derrek felt and really needed to let loose with my abilities. We hopped up and I quickly scanned outside to see how the weather was and grinned when I saw students were lounging in the grass in shorts and tank tops or t-shirts.
“Time to work up a sweat” I called.
“Oh, I like the sound of that” Derrek winked. I laughed and rolled my eyes slapping the back of his head.
“Mind out of the gutter, Sparky”
Helena, Derrek and I stepped outside and the sun beamed down stronger than other days. The day was bordering on hot but the cold winds kept the temperature down. We walked past the students soaking up the sun and strode farther to the other side of the lake. The lake was no longer frozen but was still very cold and as a result no one wanted to swim in it until it was warmer.
“So what did you have in mind for target practice Derrek?” Helena asked curiously. “Please don’t take everything out on the trees or anything”
“Well, you did mention something about making it like combat class right?” Derrek pointed out with his trademark smirk. “So this is what I was thinking...”
He explained to us what he wanted to do for target practice and how he needed our assistance and I became more and more excited as I began to understand what he meant. “Let’s do it then” I said excitedly.
Derrek walked over to the lake and turned to face the glassy surface of the water and Helena and I ran into the forest. The atmosphere was colder in here, the trees trapping the coldness from earlier in the day and the moisture was thick in the air. I revelled in the thick moisture and sent a glance over to Helena. I nodded to her and she raised her arm and quickly swiped it down.
All of a sudden the trees bowed down and wove themselves into intricate looking obstacles. The path was clear to see where Derrek needed to run but it wouldn’t be simple to run through it like easily running through a forest normally.
Helena ran ahead and forced the trees and plants into the obstacle course while I began to collect the thick moisture from the air. I could feel the slight bubbling at the ends of my fingertips and soon a handful of water was cupped into my hand. I threw it up and widened my fingers to make the water into a circular disc the size of a dinner plate.
I did this over and over again collecting the water and placing them in different areas around the obstacle course. Some hung in the air above my head, while others were pressed by trees or down low by the bushes. I flicked more around and they began to swing or slide from side to side to create moving targets and in no time I was happy with the result and Helena was soon by my side.
“Looks good!” She complimented me with a nod. “I didn’t even think of having moving targets. He’ll have a hard time getting through some of those obstacles”
“All the better” I smiled, “Come on let’s go”
I waited patiently as the girls ran off and I listened intently at the sounds of groaning trees and rustling leaves that met my ears. I’d asked Helena to make an obstacle course, but I figured it’d end up being easy, and had Val create targets for me. I was dying to heat up a little and let the emotions from the past week out by torching something and this was seemed like the perfect idea seeing as combat class had turned soft this week.
The water in the lake, that stood completely still, started to ripple heavily and I took that as the sign for me to start. I turned around and noticed neither girl was in sight. I ran straight into the forest and immediately knew that Helena didn’t take making the obstacle course lightly. The thick branches and trunks of trees were so entwined and woven that there was no way this was going to be over quickly.
I ducked under the first horizontal branch and began to twist and turn my way around the barriers and in the corner of my eye I saw my first target. I swiped my hand across my torso and immediately a molten lava strap wrapped its way around my torso. Small flaming daggers were strapped to the lava and I quickly grabbed two.
The water target was floating in the air half way up a tall tree and without hesitation I sent my flaming dagger flying at the centre and as soon as they made contact the water sizzled and disappeared. I smirked and ran forward continuing to search for targets high and low and throwing more and more at the dead centre.
“Bullseye” I muttered under my breath when I noticed I’d passed one and quickly spun around twisting my upper body.
The branches became too dense to run or climb through and I knew there was no way through it except to crawl underneath. I was pleasantly surprised at how intricate and well thought out this whole obstacle course was and mentally gave kudos to Helena. I army crawled through the moist dirt and felt the mud dry quickly as the flaming daggers heated it up.
Small gaps in the branches above me allowed the sunlight to filter through and in one particularly big gap I saw another target floating above the thick twisting roots. I crawled forward and spun around lying on my back and with a flick of my wrist I sent another dagger through the gap and right through the water target.
Another smirk appeared on my mud smeared face and I turned back around to crawl my way out. Finally when I was able to stand up I noticed the targets had changed. They were smaller now and they floated around or moved quickly. I slid my hand over the bare lava strap and more flaming daggers appeared. With fast reflexes I grab one out and threw it at the target and I felt like the machine that spat out baseballs for hitting practice.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a ball of water zoomed past my face slightly wetting my cheek and further smudging the mud that had dried earlier. “What the-?!” I exclaimed and looked back at where it had come from.
Which was a bad idea.
The same ball of water crashed at the back of my head and I felt the water curve around my head from the force effectively soaking my hair. “Holy crap!” I spluttered in surprise after I caught my breath.
I ran forward and continued to hurl flaming dagger after flaming dagger at every close by target but the further I ran the more surprise balls of water came hurtling towards me. It was like stepping on a booby trap and the consequence were the cannon balls of water. I spied one last target and by now I was panting heavily at the exertion I’d put into this course.
I collected the remaining dagger and pressed them together into a long javelin. I pulled my arm back and launched it at the bullseye and as soon as the javelin clashed against it, the water disappeared into a large smoke ring and the trees instantly flew up back to their original standing position.
“Good stuff Sparky, you got a little something right here though” I lifted my eyes and saw Val smiling at me as she leaned against the tree. She was pointing at her cheek and I quickly swiped my chin in the same spot she was pointing at and felt the wet mud smear even more because of my muddy hands and arms, and well, muddy everything else.
“Thanks Tadpole. I don’t think I gave you and Helena enough credit for the obstacle course. That was not as easy as I thought it would be. Did I get all of them?”
Helena smiled next to Val who stuck her hand up in the air for a moment before bringing it back down. “Yep, got everything Sparky. I thought I would’ve tricked you when you had to crawl under the roots”
“Can’t pull one over my eyes” I winked, trying to ignore the memory of the flying water ball that caught me off guard. I twisted my back and stretched my warmed up muscles. “But seriously, that was great”
“Nice, then I’m definitely going next!” Val exclaimed.
“I’ll have a go after you” Helena added. Val and I sent her a surprised look and she shrugged, “It’s not as violent as most combat classes”
I fell heavily on my bed and moaned when I felt my muscles relax. It felt good to exercise my abilities and my muscles at the target practice I had today with Val and Helena. Val did end up having a go after me and while Helena changed around the obstacle course slightly I made the flaming targets for her to aim at. I was still shocked at how fluid she moved when she was totally focused on combat but then she was Water-abled so her fluidness made sense.
I was a little sore at the fact that she seemed to have gotten through the course and extinguished all the targets faster than when I went through the course but she didn’t rub it in... too much. When Helena’s turn came up Val and I made the targets. We made them hollow circles and instead of extinguishing them Helena just shot vines and other plants through them while we sent cannonballs of water and fire darts at her.
I was exhausted, but the soreness felt good and it took the rest of my strength to stand back up from my bed. It dawned on me that the apartment was actually dead silent and I wondered where Blake was. I was happy he wasn’t here... just curious as to where he was. As if to answer my mental question Blake walked out of the walk in closet and I arched an eyebrow when I saw he was slightly dressed up.
“Going somewhere Frosty?” I murmured.
He looked up at me, surprised that I was even here, and instead of the usual comeback I expected he ducked his head and scratched the back of his neck. “Uh... yeah. Well, at least I hope so”
I snorted. “Right then. Don’t let me stop you” Silence met my answer and I looked back to see him looking like he was fighting an internal battle. I sighed and rolled my eyes, “What is it?”
“I wanted to ask a girl out for a walk... I just dunno how to go about it”
Blake suddenly had my full attention. Not only was his humble and shy attitude kind of weirding me out, but I got the feeling he was asking me a silent question. “Oh-kay... so just ask her. You’re not getting anywhere just standing here scratching your head”
“You think? Just ask her?”
God, he was beginning to sound like we were friends and I really wanted this conversation to end so I could shower and grab something to eat before sleeping. “Yeah... just ask her. Simple” Please... stop being so weird, I thought.
He nodded his head and suddenly looked determined, if not a little, or a lot, nervous. He marched over to the front door and turned to me “Thanks Matchstick. We’re not friends though”
“Thank God” I called back rolling my eyes. He shut the door and I walked over to the bathroom to wash the dried mud off from me, but I couldn’t help but wonder who this girl was.
This was kind of a filler chapter I suppose because I got stuck and didn’t really know what to write. Sorry, there wasn’t much Elementals in this one. Hope you enjoyed =)
Don’t forget to vote for The Elementals in the Watty Awards. Six more days until the end of voting!