‘Time’s up,’ Mr Bramble announces exactly thirty minutes later. The classroom is in a state. Objects resembling butterfly nets, flutes, twirling rope, green gloop and even animal parts – who knows what book they were reading – are strewn about and draped from the now broken ceiling fans.
Each student is a lot more frazzled than they were at the start. Some hair stands on end whilst others have theirs falling out. Some are missing eyebrows or random pieces of clothing and some have entire outfits sizzling away. Several have even lost certain body parts whilst naturally others have gained the odd limb or two.
Lexovia and Belair Tinsk, as expected, are the only two who have managed to concoct the perfect Revergra. Lexovia glances across at Milo who is missing a finger and whose shirt is now on back to front.
‘I think I failed,’ he notes, mockingly mourning the loss of his index finger. ‘I’ll never practice magic again.’
‘That is terrible, Ms Cole.’ Mr Bramble tut-tuts as he wanders around the room, judging the results of their experiments. ‘Were you trying to do this with your feet, Mr Hardy?’ he asks Neil Hardy who now has two heads and is looking doubly traumatized.
‘Does he honestly think he’s funny?’ Lexovia scoffs.
‘I imagine he does.’ Milo nods.
‘Oh my! Do you even know how to spell your own name, Ms Char?’ Wandering on, Mr Bramble beams at Belair’s result. Standing on her desk is a winding glass jar, wide at the mouth and narrowing to a point at the base with a series of vibrant colours dancing inside it, occasionally leaping out and curling around, as if trying to grab something.
‘Now, this is pleasing,’ Mr Bramble announces. ‘This is what a Revergra is supposed to look like, and as you see, none of your inventions even...’ Mr Bramble freezes, midsentence, the rest of the class following suit. Lexovia smiles at her sparking index finger. She is sure to get detention for this but, what else is new? She walks past Mr Bramble, half tempted to stand on her tiptoes and blacken his teeth with the writing stick he so loves pointing at people.
An amber spark shoots from her finger once more and she places it on Milo. Immediately, he is unfrozen.
He smiles knowingly.
‘I’ve had about all I can take of this.’ Lexovia grabs her rucksack and leaves the class. Milo does not hesitate in following.
Where am I? Lexovia muses, studying her surroundings.
The last thing she remembers is leaving Mr Brambles class and now she is in a lounge, a lounge of a house she has never visited before. A grandfather clock beside the fireplace chimes six.
A timepiece? With genuine numbers? She creases her forehead. Lexovia knows what a clock is. She studied all about them in Humanitorium but has never known anyone to have one in their home. Everyone in Coldivor has an innate clock; able to time something to the exact millisecond if they like. She peers closer.
The sound of glass smashing startles her and Lexovia follows the noise towards the kitchen. The smashing glass is followed by the sound of a chair or stool grating along the floor, then what resembles footsteps – heavy ones – perhaps two sets in fact, chasing one another.
Lexovia is about to edge her way in when the sound of an anguished cry stops her. She lingers for a moment then finally braves entry. Her hands abruptly fly over her mouth, her knees feel weak and her throat becomes tight.
Lexovia sees herself; bleeding, crying, and running, longer haired and seemingly powerless but definitely her. A man, slightly older, chases her around the kitchen, grabbing anything he can and hurling it at her. In the brief moments he catches up, his arms and legs flail wildly as he desperately tries to cause as much physical pain as possible.
‘Why didn’t you leave me to rot in prison, Drake?’ Lexovia hears her other-self plea.
What’s going on? Is this some new type of premonition where I am actually able to see myself? And who is this Drake? How did I get here?
‘You don’t deserve to get off that easy,’ bellows Drake, grabbing a can of Heineken from the breakfast bar and taking a swig. Lexovia watches as the girl clutches the stitch in her side, panting and edging towards the back door. ‘Oh no you don’t.’
As if the beer granted him newfound strength, Drake bounds after her. He pulls on her hair causing her neck to crick, and with fervour, bashes her head into the glass door. The first time nothing happens. Lexovia sees the girl is a little dazed but on the whole okay. The second time, however, blood trickles from her nose and a gash forms on her head. The third time, the sliding door cracks. Lexovia watches in horror, no longer convinced this is a premonition.
Letting go of her hair, Drake watches as the girl – Lexovia no longer wishes to believe it is her – slides down the window, leaving a smear of blood. He hitches up one of the sturdy bar stools, bringing it above his head before smashing it into the girl’s back. She screams.
Unable to control herself, Lexovia does the same. Drake jumps, as if a boiling poker has been stuffed up his backside, and stares in her direction.
He can hear me?
‘Leave her alone,’ Lexovia calls. Drake’s eyes widen; he stares questioningly. Shaking slightly, he lowers the stool to the ground.
He can hear me.
He slowly walks over to where Lexovia stands, his breath rancid and his eyes bloodshot and somewhat crossed, no doubt due to the large amount of alcohol he seems almost to have bathed in. He waves his hands but they simply pass through her; Lexovia lets out a sigh of relief. She notices her lookalike stretching up towards the lock of the door but the pain cripples her. Lexovia wishes there is more she can do but she is clearly no more than an apparition.
‘Nice trick,’ the man booms, turning back towards the girl. ‘You a practicing ventriloquist or somethin’?’
He staggers back over to her after taking another hearty swig of beer.
‘Don’t worry, sis.’ His smile is sinister as he drags her partially up by the scruff of her neck. Mucus, blood and tears stain her face and sweat creeps into her eyes. ‘I am going to put you out of your misery.’ He reveals a knife, a large black handled butcher’s knife, and holds it to her throat.
‘Diliatrarm,’ Lexovia screams. She does this more for herself than the girl – she could not handle witnessing a murder. The knife spirals from the man’s grasp and into the farthest wall. Lexovia gapes down at her hands, her fingers flickering amber.
‘Oruvee.’ Flinging her arm, Lexovia causes the back door to slide open. ‘Exlarvus.’ Tossing her entire body weight into the hurling of her arms, Lexovia sends the drunkard spinning across the breakfast bar, knocking his beer to the ground – he won’t be happy about that. Drake tumbles over one of the stools before ultimately smashing into the fridge and falling unconscious. She is definitely not here just to watch.
Lexovia jumps at the sound of the nurse’s voice and her eyes flicker open. Looking around, she realises she is in the doctor’s ward of the school. Milo, Yvane and Howard – her muscular blonde haired friend – all sit by her bed.
‘What...what happened?’ she stammers.
‘You fainted, dear,’ the nurse tells her.
‘Passed out in the corridor,’ Howard explains. ‘No one could wake you.’
‘You alright?’ Milo asks.
Lexovia nods, her brow crumpled. ‘I think I just saved a life.’
After quick observation and a series of tests in the doctor’s office, Lexovia is finally released and the four of them make their way to the field for Syndigo practice, Howard and Milo going merely to ogle the ladies.
‘What do you mean it was you but not you?’ Howard asks, confused.
‘It was me but not me,’ Lexovia repeats. ‘For one thing, I was able to see myself; an ordinary premonition is usually from my point of view. You know, you’re a premoniter.’ She addresses Yvane who nods in agreement. ‘And the hair: it was brown, half way down her back. Not to mention they could hear me.’
‘They could hear you?’ Milo asks, intrigued. ‘Could they see you?’
Lexovia shakes her head. ‘But my powers affected them.’
‘It sounds like an O.B.E.,’ Milo murmurs. Noticing their blank expressions, he elaborates: ‘Out of body experience. We covered them in Dimensionals.’ The three of them continue to look vacant since none of them have Dimensionals on their curriculum.
‘O.B.E.’s can only occur between a Coltis and their Corporeal counterpart when one truly requires the other,’ Milo explains.
‘You mean, whilst you lot have been working on a gethamot to take us to the Corporeal dimension, I was actually there?’ Lexovia remembers the clock, the telephone and other Corporeal appliances in the kitchen.
‘A part of you was, yes.’ Milo nods. ‘And it sounds like you saved your counterpart.’