Elements: The Gifted

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Chapter 8: Weapon's Choice

When I was back in my room, I sat crossed legged on my bed as I toyed with the note, while reading it over and over again until I got a headache. Finally, after an hour of rereading the same letters, I put the note down and held my head in my hands. Maybe Jordan was right. Maybe it’s someone’s idea of a cruel joke. Maybe it was Morgan. He would find this kind of thing hilarious. I shook my head, feeling skeptical. No. My intuition tells me this wasn’t someone trying to be funny. Whoever wrote this was serious. The promise they made about bad things happening at Hunter Academy seemed almost palpable.

I was almost tempted to throw the note away, but decided at the last moment to hold on to it. I could probably use this as evidence in case something was to happen and I’m in a position to where I have to tell Death – which was kind of an unappealing thought.

I went to bed after that – completely exhausted from today.

The next day I got dressed swiftly and met the others in the cafeteria. They all seemed to be enjoying their breakfast as I took a seat between Mia and Jordan. Jordan kept throwing anxious looks my way, but I ignored him as I snatched a grape from his tray, popping it in my mouth and chewing it slowly. I wondered if Jordan told the others about the note.

I haven’t, a voice in the back of my head said. I looked at Jordan in astonishment. He smiled. Pretty cool, huh. Morgan taught me how to communicate through our thoughts. Why don’t you try it? It’s easy.

I hesitated, before reaching into Jordan’s mind. Can you hear me? Am I doing it right?

You’re doing awesome. He told me. I smiled, feeling thrilled. But back to your question. No, I haven’t told anyone. I figured if you wanted the others to know you would have told them yourself.

I was grateful towards Jordan. Thanks.

I’ve got your back, Spence.

Spence? I was amused by this new nick name of mine.

Yep, he thought wryly. Spence.

I rolled my eyes, but smiled nonetheless. Jordan is such a goofball.

The first part of the day went by sluggishly. Especially in Combat and Training. I was relieved to know that Jordan and I worked well together when fighting alongside each other. He seemed patient with me as we went through different fighting techniques, teaching me how to do them one step at a time. In Elemental Magic, we read the first chapter from our books and did a little bit of group work. Jordan and I were amused as we watched Morgan and Scarlett trying to interact with each other. They seemed to have a hard enough time being friendly with one another. I can’t imagine what it was like for them working together.

It must have been a pain in the ass.

I took my spot in the back of the class when we arrived to Magic and Spells. Alexander wasn’t here yet so I could relax until then.

I couldn’t help but listen to Jordan and Alicia conversation. I smiled broadly as Jordan asked Alicia what Fandora was like. She seemed thrilled by their conversation and told him with great pride about the grand, royal city and its fabulous streets and its high top buildings. I have to say I was completely enthralled as she told Jordan about the city’s green house, which was apparently located in the middle of the city. She made it sound like it was humongous and apparently it housed a thousand different types of flowers. Some I’d never even heard of, which is odd because I’m a flower geek.

I stopped eavesdropping on their conversation when Alexander took his seat. He looked at me for a fraction of a second before looking straight ahead. I noticed that Ms. Hardwick had started teaching.

“Today class you will be working with your partner on how to make a tracking potion. It is a very unique and useful spell in times. It can be used for tracking demons, hunters, or even fugitives. The only times it has never worked was when hunters tried to find him and his N’Sync, who we also don’t speak by name.” I felt hurt and offended by this news. I get why others don’t say Azazel’s name, but why won’t they say my father’s? Are hunters scared of him too? It seemed unlikely, but what did I know. I was disappointed to know that the tracking spell didn’t work with my father. Why is that? Ms. Hardwick seemed to look at me and Alexander before continuing on with her lesson. “But other than that it has always worked. So now I want all of you to work together with your partners and perform the tracking spell. But first you must gather the ingredients. The number one thing you want in your tracking spell is a piece of hair of the person you are currently tracking. Those are rarely used in a tracking spell so then find something of value to them. What you guys need to do today is find a teacher or a student and ask them for a piece of their hair. Then find the rest of the ingredients for this spell, which will be on page seven. Are there any questions?”

Morgan raised his hand. He seemed confounded. “And how are we supposed to do all that and then do the tracking spell in one hour?”

Ms. Hardwick ignored his outraged expression. “You’re just gathering the hair and ingredients for the day, Mr. Grey. Monday we will perform the spell. Is everyone ready to get started?”

I sighed as I looked at Alexander and his hostile expression. Not even close.

“Good luck and have fun with this assignment. Try to get back here ten minutes before class ends. You’re dismissed.”

I got up and reluctantly followed Alexander through the crowded classroom. The door was full of retreating students and we had to wait patiently at the back of the line for everyone to get through. When we were free from the classroom, we both walked in uncomfortable silence down the hall. I pulled out our text book and flipped to the page with the ingredients.

“So,” I said awkwardly. “Um…who are we going to pick for our tracking spell?”

“I don’t particularly care who we pick.” he snapped.

I frowned. “What the hell is your problem?”

“I’m partnered with you. That’s my problem.

“Jeesh Alexander,” How could he still hold some sort of resentment towards me? I didn’t think he considered me a friend, but I thought maybe he might at least be a bit nicer towards me. “What did I do to piss you off this time?” I smiled teasingly. “Was I breathing too much for your liking?”

Alex glared at me. “God, you’re annoying. I can’t believe Ms. Hardwick partnered me with you. This is going to be a long year.”

“No kidding.” I snapped back. No doubt he’s going to make my life a living hell in this class . Not to mention fail me on purpose. I wonder if Ms. Hardwick would reconsider changing my partner if I told her Alex was uncooperative. Probably not.

Then a thought hit me. What if Jordan was right? What if Alexander really had write that note? He couldn’t stand me so it would make sense if he wanted me gone. The fact that he finds me annoying would probably be enough of a reason. But just like Abigail – Alexander wouldn’t waste his time on typing out a note. I know he’s got better things to do than that. Like sulking on the roof,my subconscious suggested. He’s the type that speaks his mind, whether others want to hear it or not. Of course it wouldn’t hurt to question him.

“Just out of curiosity, but you haven’t been going around distributed threatening notes to people have you?” Okay, so I can hardly call the note threatening, but it was still creepy.

Alex snorted. “Of course, I would be the first person everyone thought of if that was going on.” I was watching him closely as he spoke. He looked at me, his face amused. “Sorry to disappoint you princess, but no. I don’t waste what precious time I have sending weird, creepy notes to the people that I don’t like – which is all of you, by the way.” My frown deepened. Suddenly he looked curious. “Why? Is someone giving out threatening notes?”

He looked innocent enough to be telling the truth, but I couldn’t trust him quite yet. I shrugged, nonchalant. “I was just curious.”

“What’s going on here?” he demanded, grabbing me by the wrist and making me come to a halt. The touch of his hand sent warm shivers down my spine. For some unfathomable reason I didn’t want him to let go. As if realizing what he done, he dropped my hand, taking a couple steps back. Did he feel the same when touching me too? I wondered. We had stopped at the end of the corridor, around Mr. Grey’s class. I could hear his muffled voice coming from the classroom, but couldn’t make out what he was saying. “You don’t seem like the type to bring up something like that and then shrug it off as being curious. So I’m going to ask again. Issomeone giving out threatening notes? Were they to you?”

I sighed apprehensively. He wasn’t going to stop pestering me until I gave in and answered him. I could see that. “Yesterday afternoon someone left me a note. It said that if I didn’t leave Hunter Academy then bad things would happen.” I grimaced. “You happy now?”

“And you don’t know who that is?”

“Uh, no,” I said, my voice laced with heavy sarcasm. “Why do you think I asked if you were the one giving out notes? Jeesh Alex.”

Alexander looked completely baffled. “Why did you just call me that?” I didn’t know what to think of his expression as he regarded me in bewilderment. I flushed, feeling embarrassed. “No one has called me Alex in years. Not since…my mom died.”

“Oh, well…” I struggled for something to say. “Well, sometimes when I think of you – I call you Alex in my head. Not all the time, though.” I kept watching his face closely, making sure that I didn’t offend him. He somehow got his expression under control, making his face unreadable. “Sorry. I’ll call you Alexander from now on.”

“I don’t care if you call me Alex or Alexander. It just took me by surprise, is all. Like I said, I haven’t been called by that nick name in a long time.” His eyed me with recurring curiosity. “How often do you think about me anyway?”

I blushed. “Um, well…” This is awkward. “More then I probably should.” I admitted.

“And why do you think about me?” He went from curious to annoyed in a second. God, he is so mercurial. I can’t keep up with him.

I stared back at him, my face impassive. “I don’t know. Why are you such an asshole towards me?”

He smirked, looking like a bad boy. A very cute, bad boy. Mentally I smacked myself. “I’m an asshole to everyone. Not just you.”

“Well, instead of being an asshole you could at least try to put forth some effort in being nice to me. Since I try all the time.”

He smiled a half smile. He’s eyes seemed to be dancing with some unknown humor. “We’ll see.”

I smiled brightly at the hopefulness of his words as we stepped into Mr. Grey’s room. I guess that means Mr. Grey was going to be our subject for our tracking spell.

Mr. Grey was very generous in giving us a strand of his hair, but he seemed perplexed in seeing me alone with Alex. He had a class full of second years and they all kept looking back and forth between us, trying to make some sort of connection. Or maybe they were trying to figure out why a sweet, quiet girl like me was hanging around a troublemaker like Alex?

After we left Mr. Grey’s class, we went in search for the rest of the ingredients and headed back to the classroom when we had them all collected. We were the first one’s back and Ms. Hardwick didn’t say anything as we took our seats, while placing all the ingredients on our table. It was quiet until some of the students started filing in and taking their seats. I smiled at Jordan, Morgan, and Scarlett as they came in the room. They each smiled back, but of course, with Morgan it was forced.

Ms. Hardwick made her rounds and we listened as she told us that we would be conducting the tracking spell Monday. I knew this, but I was still disappointed. It meant that my hour with Alexander was almost up. I yearned to talk to him – if only for a minute.

“Hey,” I whispered, trying to appear inconspicuous as I leaned towards him. Alex looked at me curiously. “Do you want me to hold on to the ingredients or do you want to keep them?”

“I guess I can,” He whispered back. “I don’t carry that much stuff anyway.”

“Okay.” I smiled playfully at him, which he didn’t seem to notice. “Just make sure to bring them on Monday.”

He snorted, but didn’t reply. My smile widened.

I walked with Jordan, Morgan, and Scarlett as we went to lunch. I was quiet as the others talked animatedly with one another about their day. We met up with Gabrielle and Mia as we made it to the cafeteria. Gabrielle had my attention when she finally brought up what happened in Weapon’s class. We were just taking our seats as she told us about their chosen weapons.

“My chosen weapon is the bow and arrow, which I guess makes sense since I’ve always been good at it. And Mia’s is the chakram,” We all saw Mia beam as she placed a silver-like-disk on the table. It was the same shape and size as a Frisbee.

“What the hell is a chakram?” Morgan demanded as he scrutinized the Frisbee-like-object on the table. “It doesn’t look very deadly.”

“That’s because you haven’t seen it in action yet. Or when Mia uses it.”

Mia picked up the chakram tentatively and spun it around her index finger. She looked completely badass and professional.

“I like it.” Mia said. She stopped spinning the chakram and placed it gently back in her backpack. “I’ve been told it’s good for beheading demons. And it’s like a boomerang. It comes right back to you. If you know how to use it, that is. But you have to be quick and catch it at a certain time or you might accidentally behead yourself.”

“It doesn’t even look sharp,” Morgan argued. I swear I could see steam coming out of his ears. God, he gets mad about everything.

Gabrielle frowned. “Just because Spencer looks sweet and gentle doesn’t mean she is,” I was confused on why she was bringing me into the conversation. I had no idea where she was going with this. “Don’t judge a weapon by its blade or condition, as Ms. Peril said. Mia is not the only chakram user. I’m sure there will be others in our year that will use the same weapon. So don’t be dissing on the chakram you snob. And besides,” She smiled darkly. “Maybe you might end up with the chakram too. After all, the weapon chooses the hunter.”

Morgan scoffed at that. “Right. The machete is the weapon that will choose me.” he seemed very positive by this fact.

“We’ll see.” Was all Gabrielle said.

Suddenly I started wondering what my weapon will be. I’ve never dealt with any kind of weaponry before. What if no weapon redeems me as worthy? What if I’m the only Reaper that will remain weaponless?

I wasn’t ready for Weapon’s class when we arrived later in the afternoon. The classroom was kind of crowded with all the different types of weapons that were displayed around every inch of the room. Some were larger than others, while others appeared smaller. That disturbing thought where no weapon was going to choose me came unbidden to my mind. I was going to be the only hunter without a weapon.

“Welcome.” Ms. Peril said as we all took our seats. “Today you will be going through the room and testing out different types of weapons. Some of these you may have used, while others you may have not. Some of you may have never picked up a weapon in your life and that is fine. You will find a weapon that will find you worthy in a battle. You will know that it is the weapon for you – when you use it with infallible precision.”

Her words did make me feel a little better. Maybe I wasn’t the only one here who has never used a weapon.

“You will have an hour to find your chosen weapon. On my whistle,” I was perched on the edge of my seat, getting ready to jump up and do this thing. At the sound of her whistle, I got up and rushed around the room, playing around with different types of weapons. I messed around with swords, maces, guns, whips (which were made of fire, ice, air, earth, or water). I was preoccupied by Scarlett as she played with a fire whip. She swung it around and around, making it look dangerous and deadly as she used it effortlessly. It seemed to glow with a reddish, orange tint and sparks of fire seemed to fly everywhere. Some people moved away from her, fearing that she might accidentally hit them with the flaming, hot whip.

We had only five minutes left and I was still weaponless as I continued to look around the room, running here and there as I tested out different kinds. When I got my hands on a pair of Sais, I felt an instant connection. I examined them with interest. They were unusually sharp at the tips of the blade. Usually when I see a pair of Sais, there sharpened down to be less pointy and dangerous. I held them firmly in both hands. I played around with them and was mystified that I could use them with infallible precision, as Ms. Peril had predicted. I threw one up in the air, watching as it flipped a couple of times and caught it, hilt first. I had found my weapon. I was positive. I played around with them a little longer, spinning them around in my hands and throwing them up in the air when Ms. Peril blew her whistle. I took the Sais with me and rushed back to my seat, which was between Jordan and Scarlett. I eyed their weapons with envy. Scarlett’s was a fire whip and Jordan’s was a Chinese sword. How unfair. I grimaced at my Sais. What could these things do in a battle? They didn’t seem very deadly. My mouth fell open when I saw Morgan’s weapon.

“Your weapon of chose is the mace!” I asked, outraged.

He seemed confused by my anger. “Yeah. So?”

So! You all got cool weapons,” I looked at my Sais in distaste. “I’m stuck with these things. They don’t look harmful at all.”

“Aw,” Scarlett said. “Don’t be that way, Spencer. Sais are great in battle.” I wanted to scoff at that. Scarlett sat up straight in her chair, looking proud. “My mom’s weapon of choice is the Sais. They have done her a great deal in battle – even to this day. Trust me, Spencer – you’ve got a good weapon there. I’m actually jealous of you.” She twirled the whip around absentmindedly; oblivious to the orange sparks that fell to the floor. She was eyeing my Sais with longing. “I wouldn’t have minded having Sais as my weapon. I think it would be awesome.”

“Well, I’d be more than happy to trade with you.” I said sarcastically. As if that was even an option. I was stuck with this crappy weapon for the rest of my life.

I sat in angry silence in Latin 1 as Ms. Tabby went over Monday’s book work. I couldn’t help but feel cheated. How come everybody else got cool weapons, but I didn’t. Even Alex had a more exciting weapon then me. His chosen weapon had been the pistols. Everyone seemed terrified by this. No doubt everyone was thinking that Alexander would start a school shooting.

I sighed morosely. Oh, well. Nothing I can do now. It was the weapon that was chosen for me. I couldn’t fight destiny.

Oh, but how wonderful it would have been if I had been gifted with an ice whip or a machete. A machete…my mind seemed to linger there as I thought about the gratification to have that as my weapon of choice. I would have felt like a complete badass.

I was trying to be attentive, but my mind couldn’t stop wandering. Then suddenly –before I knew it – I was in Jordan’s mind. How the hell did that happen? I could see everything through his eyes, like I was Jordan himself. How weird. I noticed idly that he was in the library, studying some material I couldn’t decipher, occasionally looking in Alicia direction. She was at a table by herself – not too far from where Jordan sat. It was odd seeing Alicia without Jennifer. They were always together, practically inseparable. It was even weirder not having Morgan around. I wonder where he’s at. I smiled halfheartedly. Probably flirting, which he mostly does in his spare time. How do I escape? The last thing I want to do is eavesdrop on him and his thoughts. It’s wrong. But I couldn’t get out.

Then I wondered something. Was it possible Jordan was under so much emotion over seeing Alicia that he accidentally dragged me into his head? Death said that this happened occasionally, especially while feeling strong emotions. Oh Jordan, I thought tiredly. Just go talk to her already.

At first I thought he heard me because Jordan immediately got up, grabbed his books and his bag as he walked towards her table. She didn’t seem to notice him as she continued to read. Jordan cleared his throat. Alicia looked up from the sound. She smiled softly at him.

“Hi Jordan.” He seemed to like the way she said his name. So sweet and softly – like a voice of an angel.

“Hi Alicia. Um…I was wondering if I could…sit with you. If you don’t mind.” He added hastily, embarrassed. “Morgan said he’d be back, but it’s been about thirty minutes now and I fail to see him returning anytime soon. I also noticed that you were sitting alone and thought maybe you’d like some company.”

“Of course. Thank you.”

Jordan smiled, feeling triumphant as he took a seat across from her. She put her book aside, looking at him expectantly. I wanted to roll my eyes.

Say something Jordan. She’s waiting.

“So,” he said, awkwardly. What is there to talk about? He thought nervously. Crap. I guess it’s been awhile since I’ve been in this kind of situation. “D-do you like Hallowville so far? I guess it’s a lot different than Fandora.”

“It’s very different,” Alicia agreed. She laughed heartily. “But in a good way. I like that’s it’s small. It’s not too hard to find a good clothes store.”

“We have plenty of those,” Jordan said. “Have you been to any of the bakeries or to the candy shop on Main Street?”

“No and it’s funny because I’ve been bugging Jennifer about visiting there this weekend.” Alicia smiled sheepishly. “I kind of have a sweet tooth. I just love the taste of chocolate or anything that’s covered in sugar.”

Wow, Jordan thought. I am completely in awe of this girl. “Well,” Jordan said, a bit breathlessly. “If Jennifer is unable to take you I could…fill in that roll. I don’t mind.”

Alicia blushed, but continued to look him in the eyes. Well, it kind of felt like she was looking at me! “I’d really like that, Jordan.”

Jordan gasped. What is it about this girl? She is like…so awesome. Aside from Spencer, of course.

I felt my heart lighten at hearing these thoughts run through his head. Jordan thought I was awesome? All my aggravation on the whole weapons thing instantly dissipated. So what if I didn’t have the “best weapon in the world.” At least I had Jordan.

“You and Spencer seem very close,” Alicia said, bringing me back to the present. “Are you two together or…” she trailed off awkwardly.

“No. She’s my best friend – my N’Sync. I don’t like her that way and I know for a fact she doesn’t either.” He smiled, thinking about that day before the orientation and how he was trying to ask me if I wanted to be N’Sync with him. I smiled at the memory too. I had immediately thought he was trying to ask me out. I wanted to laugh, but bit my lip as I continued to listen attentively to their conversation. “Besides, I think she has a thing for Torchwood.”

Oh. My. God. How did he know? Has he been secretly listening to my thoughts? Or was it just obvious? I was almost positive it was the latter. The way I’m constantly staring at that boy would probably be exhibit A. Damn it. I wanted to smack myself. If Jordan could guess my feelings, did that mean Alex could too? He wasn’t an idiot, but then again maybe he wasn’t familiar with the whole I-think-your-cute thing. Hell, he probably couldn’t tell if someone was flirting with him. He’d immediately think they were just being assholes.

Alicia looked completely dumbstruck. “Alexander Torchwood. No way. He doesn’t seem like her type. At least, I don’t think so anyway. I’ve heard rumors going around that she liked Cameron.”

“No,” Jordan said, frowning. “And I’m sure that rumor started by Cameron himself. I think she has feelings for Torchwood. Believe me, it’s completely baffling to me too, but I’m not going to shun her because she likes the guy. I’m hoping she’ll get over it and move on, though.”

“But how do you know she likes him? Did she tell you or is it just your imagination running wild and you just assumed.” She teased. Or have you been peeking inside my head lately, I thought sourly.

He pursed his lips, considering his words carefully. “Well, she’s…very protective of him. You say one bad thing about the guy and it’s like…a tiger ready to pounce. She won’t put up with it. And she won’t listen to me about what a bad influence he might be, but I can’t really force her to avoid him. That wouldn’t make me a good friend.”

“I kind of see her point, though.” Alicia said. Jordan did a double take at that – as did I. “I’ll admit, Alexander is kind of a scary guy, but he’s only that way if we make him out to be that way. I’m sure he wouldn’t be so bad if people would just give him a chance to prove himself to others that he’s not like him.” I absolutely loved Alicia. She totally gets it. Like Jordan, I was beginning to feel in awe of her myself. “I don’t think he’s as bad as everyone makes him out to be. He can be sweet sometimes. Like yesterday as Jennifer and I were walking to one of our classes – these two sixth year boys knocked my books out of my hands, causing all my papers to explode all over the corridors. And as Jennifer and I tried to pick up everything, Alexander immediately came and helped us out.” Jordan was taken aback by this news, but I wasn’t. Deep down I know that he has a kind, compassionate side. It’s just hidden behind all the hurt and anger most of the time. “It was very sweet.” Then she grimaced. “Of course, when I said thank you he just said, ‘Yeah. Whatever.’” My swell of pride I had for Alex instantly deflated. Then again, maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised.

Jordan chuckled. “Sounds like him. I’ll keep an open mind, but I’m still wary about him.” He shrugged. “He might end up just like his father.”

“He might.” She agreed lightly.

“Spencer,” said a familiar high pitched voice. I felt someone poke my arm. “C’mon Spencer – class is over. Wake up!”

With all my strength, I managed to pull out of Jordan’s head and back into my own. I looked around me in bemusement. The class was almost empty.

“Sorry guys,” I said. “Jordan accidentally dragged me into his head and I couldn’t get out.” Only part of that was true. I could have tried to get out if I wanted too.

Gabrielle huffed. “I hate when that happens. Sometimes I think Morgan does it on purpose, but I’m never really sure.” She frowned. “He’s sneaky.”

“I don’t usually have a problem with it.” Mia said, unabashed. “Now when Scarlett’s having sex and I’m in her head while she’s doing it is the problem. Other than that I don’t really care.”

Neither Gabrielle nor I knew what to say to her as we looked at Mia in bafflement.

“So what was it that Jordan was thinking about that caused you to get sucked into his head?” Mia asked.

It wasn’t my secret to tell so I looked forward as I answered her. “He was just worrying about some assignment, is all.”

They didn’t seem convinced, but left it alone, for which I was grateful. The last thing I need to do is tell them that Jordan has a huge crush on Alicia. No doubt they would tell everyone and embarrass him. Then he would get mad at me because he would know I told them. I’m probably the only one who knows – unless he told Morgan, which seemed doubtful. Morgan was almost like a girl himself and would tell the whole student body – including Alicia – that Jordan is madly in love with her. I paled at the thought. I would set Morgan’s ass on fire if he did that. And I wouldn’t feel bad about it either.

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