The Guild – Chapter 6 – Andrei

Here’s another new chapter!

 

I know I shouldn’t have gotten mad at her, it wasn’t her fault. In the heat of the moment, I couldn’t hold back my frustration at not landing the final blow. All that planning and we were so close! I set my Tims coffee down on the table and release the breath I didn’t realize I’d been holding.

“I’m sorry…” I say, letting the words hang in the air space between us.

She looks up from the cup in her hands, like she’s coming out of a daze. Did she forget I was here?

I feel drained, more so than from the physical activity of fighting six larger than life monsters. It’s more of an internal exhaustion. My movements and my mind feel sluggish, like they’ve been running at a sprint for hours and can’t keep up the pace. I wonder if it’s from using the time magic to speed up my movements. I’ve never maintained it for that long before.

I try again.

“I’m sorry… for blaming you earlier…” I add. “I didn’t … I shouldn’t have accused you of withholding information. I… I was frustrated… that he got away. It’s not your fault. I’m sorry.” Man this is awkward. I hate saying sorry.

I can tell she’s been dwelling on my comment for a while. She’s barely spoken a word to me since we left the warehouse. It’s doesn’t help that our throats were nearly burned raw. Mine still feels funny.

She fiddles with the plastic tab on the lid. “You were upset. I understand that. I should have known he would have some sort of trick up his sleeve…”

I’m taken aback, I thought she’d be angry with me, at my emotional blunder. I watch her sitting across from me. I open and close my mouth, unsure what to say. I wasn’t expecting her to agree with me; I was way out of line. After a long awkward pause, I finally decide to change the topic.

“You couldn’t have anticipated that, it’s irrational to expect every move this guy might make. I think our best option is to head home and regroup.” I notice the people in the shop, eyeing our tattered appearance. “…and probably have a shower and some new clothes.” I drain my coffee, it was nearly done anyway.

She nods and follows suit, tossing the cup in the bin on the way out. She still looks sort of dejected, like she has something else on her mind.

I lead her out towards the crosswalk. It’s not far to our house from here, no need for a bus. Before long, we’re climbing up the driveway. I pull out my key and unlock the door. The first thing I notice is the inch of water pooling at the bottom of the stairs.

“What the hell? Kaede!” I shout down the hall, removing my shoes and leaving them on the stairs. “You leave the shower on or something?” I splash through the water and find both Caroline and Kaede perched on the couch, Caroline looks like she’s been crying. “What’s up with all the water man?” I ask.

“It’s me!” Caroline hiccups. “I… I… I can’t stop it! It… it just keeps coming!” Kaede rubs her back as she hiccups again.

“We tried leaving the house, you know, went for a walk and the water just followed her around. First it was like leaving wet footprints on the walkway, then it was like, the gutters were running water. We didn’t want to rouse the neighbours so we came back.”

“I’m sorry!” She hiccups again.

“The water damage is gonna be awful. Are we covered?” Kaede shrugs.

Kaitlyn pushes past me, wading over to Caroline. She pulls her gloves out of her back pocket, and says “Put these on.”

Caroline looks up at her, taking the gloves timidly. “Why? What will these do?” She turns them over in her hands, hesitantly.

“They’ll keep your magic restrained until you can learn to make it stop on your own.” She explains.

“So I really do have magic…”  She drops the sentence halfway, as if she didn’t want it to be true, “Don’t you need them then?”

Kaitlyn shrugs, “I’ve been trained to control my abilities. I only have those as a precaution… Besides, I doubt I’ll be able to light any fires for a while.” Caroline slips the gloves on, flexing her hands.

“Thanks.” She whispers.

“Why not?” I ask. “Have you tried using it since Logan got away?”

“What?! He got away?” Kaede jumps up. I exchange a look with Kaitlyn and we both shrug.

“Tell me all the details! How was it?” He sits back down.

“It was fine.”

“It was pretty rough.” We say at the same time

I give her another look. “We, uhh, found him, but he got away. But the students are safe, they were locked in a room at the warehouse. He mentioned this guy – the master – who I think helped him to get away.” I add, still steaming about that teleportation trick.

“Frig, man, I wish I was there! I always miss the good stuff.” Caroline punches him in the arm and he apologizes. “Not that this isn’t cool, Car. I’ve always wanted an indoor swimming pool.” He chuckles. She punches him again.

I turn back to Kaitlyn, “Try using your fire. Maybe it’s come back.” I’m hopeful that it’s returned since Logan skipped off.

“It’s not that,” She sighs, “Blocked or not, I can’t. My body is too weak from fighting those things.”

“Not even a–?” I hold up my finger, waving it around like a candle stick.

She looks back at me following my finger, “Fire magic is expensive. It’s one of the hardest elements to master because of the energy it takes to use. It should never be forced.” She says with a flat stare. I drop my hand, smiling.

“More energy than, let’s say, time magic?” I cock and eyebrow.

“Just slowing time, yes. Time jumping, on the other hand… If I remember correctly, that is the most expensive ability.”

“So, what happens now?” Caroline asks. “Are we safe to stay here? Or… or is everything going to change?”

Kaitlyn looks at her with pity, “I don’t think it’s wise for you to stay here. You need training, or your powers will become a hazard to you and everyone around you. I can bring you to the Guild, and you’ll be safe there. Once you’ve mastered your innate ability, you can choose to stay and study other fields, or you can return to the outside world.” She explains.

Caroline perks up at the mention of studying. “Wait, there’s other things there? Things to study?” She ponders that thought a moment but remains melancholy. “But, my studies here, all the money I’ve spent to get here… All that will disappear… won’t it?”

Kaitlyn frowns. “I have no idea. Most people who come to the Guild from the outside choose to stay and complete their studies there.”

“Maybe we’ll like it there Car! Maybe all the people there are really nice and you’ll get along! And maybe I can learn a trick or two too.” Kaede says enthusiastically.

“I’m not sure it works that way Kae.” I hate to dampen his dreams.

Caroline looks up at Kaitlyn, sad, but hopeful. “Really?” She says shakily. I know exactly what she’s thinking. Her whole life will change. No more University, no more visiting old friends and family. It’s a big change for someone with plans and a future. I don’t have either.

I look at Caroline, her eyes flutter to me and I give her my best winning smile. “It’ll be cool, Car. We’ll get to spend every waking hour together! It’s what we’ve always wanted isn’t it?” I joke with a wink.

She sticks her tongue out at me. “You would wish that wouldn’t you?” She asks. Kaede chuckles silently behind her, unnoticed.

“Everyday, sweetie, every single day.” I grin. She rolls her eyes. “Well…” I slosh through the water to the kitchen. The water slows my movements down,  more so with the sludgy feeling I already have. “I don’t know about you guys, but I’m hungry, and after some rest I’ll be good to go.”

I turn to Kaitlyn and the look of her running mascara and torn shirt reminds me, “Oh, and mind if she uses the shower and a set of clothes? She’can’t go walking around looking like that anymore.” I say. Both girls give me an incredulous look, like I’ve just insulted both their mothers in Latin. “What? Just sayin’. She looks like a drowned rat.”

*****

My limbs feel heavy and stiff. I haven’t worked out like that since I was surfing in Hawaii. My head throbs and the setting sun in the window feels like a strobe light in my face. I try to roll over, groaning as I achieve a position facing away from the light.

My shoulder aches from the fall too. I hadn’t noticed it before, when Kaitlyn had healed my leg. That’s a skill I wish I had now. This lingering pain is annoying. Enduring it feels like a hangover that won’t let up.

I mull over the details of today, the fight, the master, the teleportation. Something doesn’t seem right to me. How could that guy, that coward, who always runs away from the fight, and lets others fight for him, have found a way to block Kaitlyn’s magic? He seemed to egg her on in the tunnel to use her magic. Something was off.

I feel a static shock on my arm and I bolt straight up. I immediately regret the sudden moment as my my vision swims. Was it just my imagination?

I lay back down, holding my head and hear a knock at my door. The pounding reverberates in my head and I groan.

“…Come in…” I moan.

Kaitlyn stands in the doorway, wearing Caroline’s black turtleneck sweater and blue jeans. It’s more form fitting than what she was previously wearing; I think it looks good on her, but I can’t be sure because it seems she’s swaying in the doorway. I roll my eyes back and close them.

“What is it?” I ask her in a whisper, hoping she’ll be quiet too.

I don’t hear any movement and she doesn’t speak. I take a peak and see her looking at me, mouth half open, then she turns beet red.

The static charge sparks again and I tense.

“No… no…”

She takes a step into the room, concerned. I hate to make her worry for no reason, but she’s so damn cute with that look on her face. “Are you ok?” She asks.

“Sorry, it’s just my head.” I deflect. Again, the static crawls over my skin like a snake around its prey. It jumps up my arms and through my spine. I jump out of bed, ignoring the protest from my brain and I shake my arms to make it go away. I forget I’m half naked, tattered shirt laying on the floor.

“No, no, no… Not now!”

I look into her wide eyes and I shiver, the charge growing in intensity all over my body.

“Sorry, Kat. I can’t stop it! Take care of Kaede and Car, ‘kay?” I hold out my hand, but I know she’s too far away to grab it. “I don’t know wh–” I’m cut short as the jump triggers and I’m thrown from my room.

I shut my eyes as the lights blur around me. I grab my head, trying to keep myself from getting sick. It’ll be over soon. My heart pounds and the tingling feeling in my body subsides. I hazard a peek at my surroundings.

The landscape is dark, the sun having just set. The chill air is sharp on my bare chest. I shiver, wrapping my arms around myself and looking around at the empty landscape. I can make out the faint shape of rolling hills and massive trees, but that’s all.

“Wh–Where the hell am I? When am I?!” I shout into the night. “Shit…”

 

By Kayla West

Kiki's Tales

    I know I shouldn’t have gotten mad at her, it wasn’t her fault. In the heat of the moment, I couldn’t hold back my frustration at not landing the final blow. All that planning and we were so close! I set my Tims coffee down on the table and release the breath I didn’t realize I’d been holding.

    “I’m sorry…” I say, letting the words hang in the air space between us.

    She looks up from the cup in her hands, like she’s coming out of a daze. Did she forget I was here?

    I feel drained, more so than from the physical activity of fighting six larger than life monsters. It’s more of an internal exhaustion. My movements and my mind feel sluggish, like they’ve been running at a sprint for hours and can’t keep up the pace. I wonder if…

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