Chapter one, of my book that's still untitled.

Fiction By Matthew // 8/27/2007

With a start, Derik woke up, rubbing his eyes with the back of a hand and, after taking a look at it, utterly confused as to why he had a quill pen shape imprinted on the back of his hand. Suddenly it dawned on him that he had again dozed off over his homework again. Leaning back in the chair he was in, he was able to glance out a window down the hall and see the sun just starting to hide its glow behind the rooftop of the Academy. Rolling his eyes and stretching a little, he looked back at the problem he was attempting to solve before he fell asleep. It read, 'How many element slaves, can a level one Mage control?' Sighing, he looked over at the worksheet he had, trying get back on the trail he had been following. 'A level one mage? Those are the least. An Apprentice at most can only control like... 5 I think it was? No... it was like... two. A level two mage can control up to twenty, so a level one should be able to...'

A tap on Derik's shoulder made him whirl around, forgetting all about the problem. He relaxed a little as he saw it was just Madam Jessibel, the library keeper. She coughed once before speaking quietly, "Excuse me, I'm sorry to bother you, but the library does close after sundown. I do hope-" It was like a slap in the face as the realization of what time it was sunk into Derik's mind. Jumping up and apologizing profoundly, Derik grabbed the books and papers on the desk he had been studying at and practically ran out the library. He only cut back his pace to not run into the girl who was walking in. Nodding his head to her and puffing slightly at his instant movement, he waited until she had passed him before continuing. But just before he turned the corner to head to the dorms, he chanced a glance back. Whether it was good fortune or bad, he couldn't tell, but she was looking at him. Meeting each other’s eyes, Derik saw her blush a little and then turn away, he himself feeling a little hot in the cheeks. Turning and shaking himself a little, he headed off at a slow jog, trying to get the image of her out of his mind. To others she might have been plain looking, but to him, she was quite beautiful looking. She had a slightly small face surrounded by straight, silver white hair that stopped shortly before it reached her waist and shimmered in the spring sunlight streaming through the library windows. Two things he quickly noticed about her, in the image of her in his mind, was her aquamarine eyes, a color that seemed to catch the light and twinkle like the water that was the same color. He also noticed she wore earrings, something no other student did for fear it might mess up their spells.

Derik was just wondering what she might have thought of him when him bumping into someone brought him back to reality. His blinked once, then again to make sure he was seeing who he thought he was. Taking in scared step back, he watched as the back he had bumped into turned around to reveal his least favorite classmate. The other student's eyebrows furrowed until he saw who it was and then his face changed into a horrible sneer. "So, rushing your books back to your room before you’re late for dinner again, eh Dirt?"
"At least I'm reading them, Slade!" Derik shot back.

Slade, the meanest student in the whole Academy in Derik's opinion, nicknamed just about every student he saw. Those who didn't instantly get nicknames knew that sooner or later they would do something the black haired Slade would take notice of and then, blam!, they would have a nickname. So they usually slunk around, trying not to be seen and trying hard to not get noticed for as long as possible. Slade wasn't always mean in his nicknames, but usually people got nicknamed for flaws he saw in them. For those Slade liked or saw something he liked a lot in, he'd nickname something that made everyone else envious. Derik was unfortunate enough to be seen carrying his dirty robes to the wash when Slade was nearby. All it took was one look at what he was carrying, a thought about his name as it was, and Slade had a new nickname to use. For as long as Derik had known Slade, he'd been dishing out nicknames.

Slade was also known for taking shortcuts all the time and getting away with it. He would do anything do be lazy. He favorite move was to steal someone of someone’s and then refuse to give it back until they gave him what he wanted. No one knew for sure how he did it, but most students believed he had somehow learned a transportation spell and transported whatever it was he stole to his room. By now, it had happened so many times, all he needed to say was, “Well if you find something missing…” and whoever he was talking to would get so scared, they would tell. No one dared to go to a teacher for fear of loosing something extremely valuable. He would force different students to write a paper for him or do whatever research needed to be done before the next class. Slade and his sidekick he nicknamed Viper, were feared by all and hated by Derik.

* * * * *

Arry smiled as she sat down at one of the many tables the large library held. The library it’s self had a vaulted ceiling and two stories of books surrounding the central area, lit up by several large crystal chandeliers that hung from the roof. The yellow tinted light was smooth and easy on the eyes, perfect for long hours reading books. And though it was rumored that someone had read every one of the hundreds of thousands of books, Arry found it impossible to believe, even though she herself had ready quite a lot. All in all, she was a bookworm. She spent most of her time hidden away inside the library, reading through massive books for pleasure. It was a way to escape the world around her and something that pleased her. She had yet to be called a bookworm, because she didn’t wear glasses that so many others did, but she could always be found with her nose in a book, or a book under her arm.

As she walked along the softly carpeted floors of the library, she picked up a lone book sitting on one of the tables. The title read, ‘The Possibilities And Impossibilities Of Mythical Creatures’. Intrigued, she opened it up to the beginning and started to read the beginning of one of several stories about mythical creatures and how they would have lived if they existed. But she only got a few pages through the first story before unknowingly, her thoughts drifted to the kid she had seen as she entered the library. She didn’t really like to admit it to herself, but she had to say that he was kind of cute. His short, curly light-brown hair matching his brown eyes, eyes that looked plain at first glance, but when looked deep into, could reveal he was much more than what he looked like on the outside. His lightly tanned features made him blend well with a crowd. She shook her head, ridding herself of the thoughts of him, and started to read again when she realized she had forgotten why she had come to the library in the first place. Looking up and seeing the front desk, she was reminded of her need to return another book she had under her arm. On reaching the desk, she saw that the sun had already gone behind the rooftop that marked the closing time of the library. She was about to apologize to whoever was behind the desk when she saw it was Madam Jessibel. The lady smiled at her knowingly taking both books out. Arry and Madam Jessibel had been friends for a long time and Jessibel didn’t even need to ask to know what to do with the books. The first the placed in a cart to her left and the second she stamped before giving it back to Arry. She thanked the librarian and then walked quickly out the library door.

The Dining Hall was much larger than the library, but a little more plain. It was a massive hall with steps leading up to the front and the back, so that when one came in, they could quickly spot an empty place or a friend to sit by. Glad that most of the other students had chosen to sit near the other side of the hall, Arry quickly chose a seat near the back, having come in the back way. The food was already laid out, kept warm by some of the Fire Master’s slaves so that all one needed to do was to sit down and eat. She ate quickly in the hopes of finishing before the others so she could have some time alone in her Dorm to read her new book.

* * * * *

Derik stomped, steaming with pent up anger, into the dorm he shared with another student. After shoving several miscellaneous items around with his elbow, he slammed his books down on his wood desk, creating a loud thump, followed by various small thump’s and tink’s as everything else finished it’s hop. Turning away, Derik was about to leave the room when he heard his roommate’s voice say, “You know, your desk isn’t going to clean it’s self before tomorrow.” Gritting his teeth and closing his eyes slightly, Derik muttered, “I know, I know,” while quietly reprimanding himself for forgetting.

Sighing slightly, he continued on his way towards the Dining Hall, wondering why he was so tense and worked up. After several minutes of contemplation, he decided it was because he didn’t like that he had run into the singular kid he hated most because he had had his thoughts on a girl. He had never believed himself to be a “lady’s man”, always there but never noticed or shunned. An average and middleman, he wasn’t bullied or picked on and was ever grateful for it as he tried not to be noticed. Girls had never shown any interest in him, and he had never given them any thought, until now. Faintly he could recall having seen her a few times before, in a corner of the classroom, in a chair in the library, even in a tree outside the Academy. Something though felt odd every time he saw her in his memories, and it wasn’t until he entered the Dining Hall and saw the girl enter from the opposite side, that he hit on it. She always had a book with her, everywhere she went, either reading or carrying it. He watched as she walked smoothly over to an empty seat near the end of a table, few people glancing her way. Suddenly, the voice of his roommate was behind him again saying, “So, got your eyes on a girl, yet not the guts to say anything.” It was said as a fact, not a question, as most of what Quinn said was. Quinn made many, many assumptions, and what was creepy was they were always right. Derik had no idea how he did it, but Quinn was never wrong in his few, fact statements.

Before Derik could say or do anything, his dark-brown haired, blue-eyed roommate stepped forward and slipped easily into the crowd of students eating. Derik watched him make his way across the Hall with a mix of jealousy and shame, silently bashing himself for not having the courage to do the same.

* * * * *

Arry, contemplating how many “fingers” a Dragons wing would need to give it the best flight support, jumped as someone bumped her elbow. As she turned her head around, she heard a male voice apologize and then add, “Clumsy as they come.” She surprised herself by giggling, something she rarely ever did and didn’t like hearing other girls do. She quickly covered her moth with one hand and swallowed what food she had in her mouth as a cheery face came into view. The kid plopped down in an empty seat next to her and introduced himself, “The names Quinn, juggler and essay writer extraordinaire.” He leaned back a little, winking as he added, “And who might this fair lady be.” Smiling shyly, Arry wondered why this Quinn had said his last sentence as a statement, not a question, but responded, “This humble ladies name be Arry, the book reader and contemplator.”

“Quick with the word and sharp with the wit,” Quinn mused aloud, still speaking in third person and continuing, “This Quinn would like to introduce to this fair lady a friend.” Arry was barely able to suppress another fit of giggles, just managing to smile. Something about Quinn’s attitude relaxed her and the accent he used with his words were quite funny. She nodded slightly and said, “This lady would be honored to meet this Quinn’s friend.” Something in the back of her mind reminded her of the book she wanted to get to reading, but she also did want to meet Quinn’s friend. She decided to wait to out a while longer, as she could always excuse herself from the meeting for any number of reasons. Smiling, she watched Quinn turn and wave to the entrance of the Hall.

* * * * *

Derik shuffled nervously as he watched Quinn talk to the girl. If it was possible, he was both relieved and doubly nervous when Quinn waved him over to their table. Making his way slowly through the tables filled with students, he walked down to the end of the table where Quinn and the girl were seated. As he reached them, Quinn stood up and made a slight bow, saying, “Derik, let me introduce you to this fair lady.” So saying, he turned to the girl and said, “Arry, meet Derik.” Turning back he finished, “Derik, this is Arry.” Derik smiled at Arry and shuffled his feet slightly, not sure if it would seem rude if he just took a seat. Arry noticed his discomfort and there was a moment of awkwardness until Arry made a slight gesture to the seat next to her and Derik sat down. Quinn turned and disappeared into the crown of students, whistling a quite tune to himself.

Derik watched him walk off and then turned to Arry, grinning slightly. She smiled and said, “So what’s up?”

“Not a lot,” Derik replied. After a moment, he added, “You were going into the library earlier today, right?” Arry finished a bite, nodding, and answered, “Yes, and you were leaving.”

“Yeah, had to drop off some stuff at my Dorm before coming, well, here.”

She nodded and there was a moment of silence as both chewed thoughtfully. Finally, Derik spoke up again, “So… what do you think about the Summoning tomorrow?”

“Well, I’m not worried about it, if that’s what you’re asking. But sometimes I wonder what element I will summon. I think my personality fits water, but water why an opposite, also has aspects similar to fire, so I might get that. What about you?”

“Me, uh, well…,” Derik stuttered, knowing he had hardly given it any thought and only said it as something to start a conversation with, “I mean, I might get… air or something.” There were six elements total that you could summon and air was the first one that popped into his mind.

Arry looked at him quizzically and asked, “Air? From what I’ve heard, most students want something else because to them, there doesn’t seem much use for it.”

“Well, sure there is,” Derik said, a little defensively,” I mean, air does stuff like storms and wind, right?”

Arry just nodded and finished her meal. Standing up, she said, “Well, I better be off. Thanks for the company.” She turned and started towards the door, stopping when Derik called out, “You forgot your book.”
Retrieving it, she smiled and said, “Heh, thank you.”

“No problem,” Derik responded automatically, watching her leave the Hall.

* * * * *

Back in the dorm, Derik was at his desk studying for the next day's Summoning when he heard the door close softly. Looking up, he watched Quinn cross the room and sit down on the edge of his bed. Quinn's face continued to hold the solemn look he had when he entered, but broke into a grin as he asked, "So how'd it go?"

"You set me up," Derik said grumpily. He still had a ways to go through the book he had been given and was just now starting to make some headway.
"Ooo, so not so good?" Quinn asked a little sadly.

"It went fine, but you don't have to butt your nose into every relationship I start with anyone!"

Quinn winced, "Sorry, I didn't know you didn't like it. You could have said something soone-"

"You could have just been logical. What would you think if I stole every guy or girl you talked to?"

"It's not my fault they like me so much."

For a few minutes there was silence except for the scratching of Derik’s pen as he went back to studying. When Derik looked up again, Quinn was still looking at him, an apology written all over his face. Sighing, Derik got up and walked over to stand in front of Quinn, holding up a fist. Quinn punched it lightly with one of his own and then stood up and hugged Derik. Breaking apart smiling, they knew without saying anything that everything between then was alright. A hug was their way of apologizing silently to the other person and accepting the others'. It was a slight secret of theirs of how they got along so well.

"Come on, we need to get some sleep," Quinn said, laying down on his bed on top of the covers.

"But I haven’t finished study-" Derik started to say, but then decided he could finish the next day. "Alright," he said, getting into his own bed.

"'Night," Quinn called.

"'Night!"

Comments

good first chapter

I like this story so far. I was able to easily picture the characters,etc. thanks to the descriptive writing.

jennifer | Mon, 08/27/2007

that is an amazing beginging

that is an amazing beginging to a story the characters were described very well, and all the places! I felt like I was in the story! Please continue to write I cant wait for the next chapter!

callie | Fri, 10/12/2007