Karissa jumped down the steps and onto the grass and faced Emily. “Come on Emily we don’t have all day. Don’t be such a baby.” Karissa said grinning.
Joshua came up from behind Emily to place his hand on her shoulder to whisper into her ear. “You are brave and strong Emily. You can do this.”
Karissa rolled her eyes. “Come on Emily. We don’t have all day.”
“Karissa does as well,” Joshua said annoyed. “She just doesn’t show it very well.”
Emily stepped down to face Karissa. “I’m ready.”
Karissa chuckled. “You’re going to regret that in a minute. Stand in front of me.”
Hannah came to stand next to Joshua as Emily and Karissa faced each other.
“Okay, here we go Emily,” Karissa said as she turned serious. “You need to resist me. You need to strengthen your mind so I or one of my kind can’t control it. Understood?” Emily gulped and nodded.
“You can do this Emily,” Hannah said from the porch.
“Alright here goes.” Karissa face immediately turned sweet. “You will listen to my words now. You will do everything that I say. Your mind is getting heavier and heavier. Sleep.” Emily’s mind slowly slipped away as her eyes closed and she collapsed to the ground.
“Karissa!” Joshua cried out as he jumped off the porch and ran over to Emily’s side. He turned her sleeping body over onto her back. “How deep asleep is she?” Joshua asked as he looked up at Karissa.
“Very,” Karissa replied annoyed. “She was supposed to block me.”
“Well, she can’t if this is her first time resisting. Her mind is not strong enough yet. Wake her up.”
“Fine.” Karissa looked down at Emily. “Wake Emily.”
Emily woke and looked up at Joshua confused. “Joshua? What happened?”
“Karissa got control over your mind and sent you to sleep,” Joshua replied as he helped Emily to her feet.
“You didn’t even try to resist me, Emily,” Karissa said. “Let’s try it again.” Emily nodded as she faced Karissa. "Punch yourself in the stomach,” Karissa commanded.
Emily’s hand turned into a fist at the command and she immediately cupped it in her other hand to stop herself. “No!”
“Punch yourself Emily! Do it now! I want you to punch yourself for me.”
Emily fell to her knees as she tried to fight against the command. “NO!” she screamed.
“You know that you want to punch yourself. Do it now!” Emily screamed as she punched the ground hard with her fist.
Emily cried out in pain as she felt her hand break from the impact and vomited.
Joshua sensing what happened bent down in front of her and grabbed her broken hand while Emily threw up next to him. “You did well Emily but maybe you shouldn’t have punched the ground like that,” Joshua said.
“Are you alright?” Karissa asked with full concern. Emily nodded as she watched Joshua heal her hand.
“Done.” He said smiling.
“Thank you.” She looked up at Karissa. “Can we go again?” Karissa looked to Joshua who nodded.
She looked to Emily as she stood from the ground. “Are you sure that you’re up for it?”
Emily nodded. “Just do it.”
Karissa smiled before her face turned sweet again. “Go to Joshua and kiss him.”
“What?!” Joshua, Hannah, and Emily said at the same time. Joshua looked panicked at the suggestion.
Karissa giggled. “Is that too weak? Well how about I think of a better one?” she paused for a moment as she thought of something better. “I got it,” she smirked. “I want you to attack Joshua with your powers, Emily. He is your enemy and you must hurt him.”
Emily turned to Joshua as Karissa was talking. “That’s it, Emily.” Karissa coaxed. “Attack your enemy. Attack Joshua.”
“Karissa what are you doing?” Joshua asked nervously. He noticed that Emily’s whole body was shaking as she fought to stay in control.
“What are you doing Emily? Attack him!”
Emily shook her head. “No.”
“You’re disobeying me? I am in control of you. You will do everything that I say. Attack him!”
Emily’s body continued to shake as she pulled her hands into fists. “No. I will not.”
Karissa growled deeply in frustration. “Attack him, Emily.” Joshua widened his eyes when he saw black spots appearing on her body.
“Is anyone seeing what I’m seeing?” Hannah asked as Emily’s skin turned white and green.
Joshua nodded. “This is what she truly looks like.” He turned to Karissa who had a shocked look on her face then turned back to Emily when the wind picked up around her. “Emily.” He shouted over the wind.
Emily opened her eyes to stare at him. Joshua noticed that her eyes were now two different colours. One eye was bright yellow with a tinge of blue while the other was forest green with a tinge of yellow and blue.
Emily started breathing heavily. “Joshua? What is happening to me? I…. I can see myself in your eyes.”
"Don’t be scared Emily. Just relax. Your fine. Close your eyes and you’ll change back.” Emily closed her eyes and a moment later the black marks on her skin slowly disappeared.
Emily fell to her knees on the ground exhausted and out of breath.
Joshua kneeled down next to her. “Are you alright?” he noticed that there was blood smeared under her nose.
Emily nodded. “I’m fine. What was that?”
“That was your true form.”
“Those black spots were real? I saw them at my house. Karissa showed them to me. Did I change then?”
Joshua shook his head. “No. Karissa has the ability to project things into your head. She was able to enter into your mind and show you those black marks. Are you able to stand?” Emily nodded as she slowly stood from the ground.
Joshua looked to Karissa. “I think that’s enough mental blocking for today.” Karissa nodded.
Emily could see that Karissa was still shocked. “Karissa? Are you alright?”
“What?” she shook her head to clear it. “Yes, I’m fine. What is next Joshua?”
Joshua looked to Emily. “Flying lessons.”
Emily looked to Joshua with wide eyes. “You’re going to teach me to fly? How?”
“It’s as easy as walking. The first step might seem a little scary but your instincts will kick in immediately and you will get the hang of it.”
“Okay? What do we need to do?”
Hannah laughed as Joshua grabbed her arm. “This.” Joshua suddenly lifted Emily off the ground as he flew high into the air.
Emily screamed in terror as she clutched herself closely to Joshua. “Put me down!”
“Emily relax. You’ll be fine. I won’t let anything bad happen to you.” Joshua replied. “Do you trust me?”
Emily nodded. “Y-yes.”
“Good.” Without saying anything Joshua let go of Emily’s arm.
Emily screamed in terror and fear as she fell through the air towards the ground. She closed her eyes so she wouldn’t see herself hit the ground. “Am I dead?” she asked out loud when she noticed that the pain didn’t come.
She heard Joshua laugh. “Open your eyes and find out Emily.”
Emily slowly opened her eyes and gasped when she saw that she was floating just meters from the ground.
“I’m…. I’m flying?” she looked behind her and saw two large white wings on her back. “I’ve got wings.”
Joshua came to her side. Emily saw two large sandy brown wings stretched out on his back. “I told you that it was an instinct.” He grabbed her hand. “Come on let’s fly.” Joshua moved away from Emily.
“Wait how do I move?” Emily asked suddenly panicked.
“It’s just like walking Emily,” Hannah said as she looked to Joshua. “We will leave you to it,” she said as she and Karissa walked back into the cabin.
“Emily you can do this. Just don’t think about it. It’s just like walking. Only in the air. Don’t think about it. It will come naturally.” He flew over to her side and grabbed hold of her hand. “Come on. You don’t need to think to be able to move your wings.”
Emily gulped before slowly moving through the air with Joshua. She could feel her wings moving behind her and smiled at the sensation. "There you go.” He said as he let go of her arm. “Well done. That’s it.”
“This feels amazing.” Emily breathed as she flew away from Joshua. Joshua nodded in agreement.
“Do Karissa and Hannah have wings as well?”
“Hannah does but not Karissa. Only the females of her kind have wings and there aren’t many females now. Karissa was stripped of her wings long ago when she became a traitor.”
“What happened to her? Why is she a traitor?”
“I’m not sure that I should be the one to tell you that.”
Emily looked down to the cabin before looking back to Joshua. “How high can we go?”
Joshua laughed. “When you get stronger you’ll be able to find out for yourself.” He looked around. “Do you want to spend the rest of the day in the sky? I can show you the mountain.”
Emily beamed and nodded. “I would love too.”
Joshua chuckled. “Then follow me.” He said as he flew off. Emily giggled in delight as she followed after him.
At the end of the day, Joshua and Emily flew back to their cabin. Joshua looked at the setting sun as he landed on the ground. “I think it’s time to call it a day.” He looked to Emily’s exhausted face as she landed next to him. “You’ve had a long day.”
Emily nodded in agreement. “I feel so tired.”
“Have an early night again,” Joshua said as they landed on the ground. “You are doing well with your training.”
“You’re not going to put me to sleep again?” Emily asked as they walked into the cabin.
Joshua shook his head. “No, I’ll let you sleep naturally tonight. Go straight to bed.” Emily nodded as she walked straight past Hannah and Karissa and into her room. Karissa looked to Joshua before following after Emily.