Starlight Chapter 4
Posted February 15th, 2017 by melanberry
I’m shaken awake by some unknown force outside of my mind. When my eyes flash open, I see Sera smiling above me. She looks slightly stressed, like she had been trying to get me to wake up for a while. “Come on,” she says calmly, “There’s a meeting in the lobby.”
I heave myself off of the comfortable bed and yawn. I use my powers to retrieve my wooden hairbrush and brush my hair without using my hands. I still feel really groggy as I rub my eyelids, drink some water, lay the brush down, and trudge over to the door that Sera is holding open for me. I don’t even remember sleeping.
Once we have locked our dorm door, we transport ourselves downstairs to the lobby. The lobby’s lights are turned off, the room merely lit by what looks like the works of the fire and water LMs. Multiple colored fires had been placed in heat-resistant ice cubes. Random music is playing in the background, though I can’t hear the words over the talking. I look around and realize why the room is so dark- apparently, I almost slept through the night.
Two girls who look about Diana’s age hand us elastic necklaces with shiny moon pendants right when we appear in the lobby. They smile at us as they greet us simultaneously with a, “Welcome to Selene!” They do that to everyone who comes, in fact.
I spot Allegra talking to some of our other friends from a distance away. “Hey, Sera, do you mind if I go talk to some of my other friends?” I ask, trying not to hurt her feelings.
“Oh, yeah, sure. I see my friends too.” We go our separate ways. I tap Allegra’s shoulder once I reach her. She turns around and smiles. “Star!! You’re in Selene?”
“No, I’m just here for the expensive necklace.” I sarcastically remark. I gesture to my neck and mimic a video that she showed me a few months ago. “So rich, so expensive- three dollars.” The way the person said it in the video was with a human Korean accent.
Allegra giggles. A short girl with blonde hair, deep ocean blue eyes, rosy cheeks, and metallic blue wire glasses smiles and waves to me. “Hi, I’m Kyra!”
“I’m Star! I feel like I’ve heard your name before.”
“Oh, well, I used to go to Papillion. Maybe Allegra or somebody mentioned my name before…?”
“Yeah, maybe,” I echo. Allegra did mention a Kyra Eaves before.
“Wait which floor are you on, Star?” Kyra asks.
“The second floor,” I reply, “you know, the one right above us?”
“Oh! Me too! I’m in the same room as Amber. You know Amber Sun, right?”
“Oh, yeah,” I smile.
Kyra nods and starts talking to Allegra about who even knows what. I sigh, bored. This is supposed to be a fun party, I think, but so far, it’s not really that fun.
“Attention!” Diana is at one side of the room with a microphone. The music stops and everyone turns to face her. “Alright, then. If you’re a first year, then welcome to Starlight and Selene! I hope you have fun during your time at Starlight!
“For those of you who don’t know, I’m Diana, the girl in the pink over there is Sadie, and the girl in the blue is Rilla.” The two girls who handed out moon necklaces wave to all of us. Sadie has blonde hair pulled back by a headband, then tied into a pony tail. Her sapphire blue eyes are one of the only things that sets her apart from Rilla, who has the same blonde hair in a curly ponytail. Rilla, instead of blue, has chocolate chip brown eyes. “We are kind of like your camp counselors,” Diana continues, “but more like sisters, so you could just call us by our first name.
“Starting tomorrow, we all have to wear our uniforms.” People groan. “Yeah, I know. When I went to Starlight, I wanted to rip apart my stupid uniform. Not that you should do that.” Diana quickly adds before any girls get ideas. “For first years, your uniforms will be delivered tonight from around nine thirty pm to two o’clock am. Your uniforms are based on your teams. Remember: you can wear jewelry or accessories in addition to your uniform, but you cannot rearrange your uniform in any way.” I hear some first years groan. They sound exactly like my mind. I don’t want to wear a uniform. Why can’t I just wear normal clothes like at Papillion?
“Another thing: you could sign up for after school activities this week so that you can participate in them starting next Monday. For some stuff, you might have to audition, just as a warning. Remember: these are year-round commitments, so you can’t drop out of them once you start doing them.
“Okay,” Diana starts her conclusion with a smile. “That’s it for tonight. You can stay here until midnight, but that’s it. If you want to go back up to your room you can. Oh, also, every Tuesday you can order food as a midnight snack or whatever for your dorm or your friends visiting your dorm. Thanks for your attention.” She places the microphone on a table and the music is turned back on again.
“Are you guys going to stay here?” a voice from behind me asks. I know how it is, but it still makes me jump; the voice belongs to Becky.
“Nah, there’s nothing to do here.” Allegra answers, sniffing in disgust. “Let’s go to my room. Besides, it’s Tuesday. Let’s just order pizza.” We all agree to go and Allegra, who holds onto Kyra, Becky, and I all teleport ourselves to the third floor right outside of Allegra’s dorm. Allegra fumbles with the keys before she opens the door for all of us. A few minutes later, there’s a knock at the door. I, as I am the closest to the door, run over and open the door for whoever’s there. It’s Amber Yoo, Kat, Lindsey, Artemis, Amber Sun, Heidi, May Hall, Eileen White, and some other girls I don’t know. I’m most surprised to see Artemis here. Why is she hanging out with us of all people?
“Hey, I brought over Artemis, guys, if that’s okay.” Amber Yoo says. “We share a dorm.” Everyone nods. I can’t nod because I’m stunned for a few seconds; Amber shares a room with the princess?
“Um, not to be rude,” I start saying kind of nervously, “but who are they?” I point cautiously at some of the people who had just entered the room.
“Oh, I’m Ria, that’s Nina, that’s Alana, that’s Michal, that’s Autumn, that’s Jilly, that’s Asteria, and that’s Jenny.” The girl named Ria explains very enthusiastically. She’s short with short wavy black hair, very dark brown eyes, and metallic purple glasses. Nina, who coincidentally has the same name as my sister, is short too, with straight brown hair, with lighter brown highlights, and dark brown eyes. Alana is also short with black hair and brown, almost black, eyes. Michal is short with purple plastic glasses, black hair, and brown eyes. Autumn is about my height with short black hair and brown eyes. Jilly is tall with hair and eyes like Autumn’s. Asteria is kind of short too, with pink wire glasses, black hair, and brown eyes. Jenny is not too short- just an inch shorter than me. She has seemingly dyed brown hair, deep brown eyes, and rosy cheeks. I suddenly feel very awkwardly tall. Allegra orders pizza, so we all just talk, waiting for the pizza to arrive.
“Hey, do you wanna play that human game, Would You Rather?” Ria asks.
Nina rolls her eyes. “No, no one wants to.”
“Okay! Would you rather…” No one pays attention to Ria at this point. They all start talking about who even cares what. Suddenly, Becky mentions loudly, “Are you excited to see Mav this year, Artemis?”
There’s silence after that. Who’s Mav?
Artemis rolls her eyes and blushes. Becky and some others laugh. I whisper to Amber Sun, who’s awkwardly chuckling, “Hey, who’s Mav?”
“Mav?” Amber Sun asks, turning to me. “He’s Artemis’s crush.”
Honestly, I’m not sure what to reply to that. Sure, my friends have had crushes before, but I couldn’t imagine someone just being a princess’s crush and not their boyfriend or whatever.
There’s a knock at the door. Eileen, who shares this room with Allegra, gets the door and returns to the beds, where we’re all sitting, with pizza. People nearly tackle each other to the ground for a single slice. Then there’s people like me, Lindsey, and Asteria who wait our turns. Once there’s a few butchered slices of pizza left, I cautiously take one and offer it to Lindsey. She shakes her head, revealing her perfectly untouched slice. I stare at her, wondering whether it is worth being in awe over a stupid piece of food. She obviously sees my stare because she explains, “Being a Ghost has its advantages.”
Trying not to look too freaked out, I merely nod.
I had been sleeping so peacefully until I randomly hear an excruciatingly loud fanfare. It surprises me so much, I fall off the side of my bed. Sera, who had been brushing her hair in front of the mirror, looks curiously at me and stifles a giggle. I groan as I heave myself off of the floor and trudge towards the bathroom. I hear Becky’s voice inside my head as Sera places the brush on the counter by the soap and walks out the door. Did you sleep well, Star? Becky transmits her voice in a mischievous way.
I would’ve, had it not been for that delightfulalarm clock, I roll my eyes as I transmit that message back to her.
You should’ve heardyour mind! It was screaming! Becky’s voice laughs.
I roll my eyes and sigh. I pull out my toothbrush and brush my teeth to get ready for the day.
When I had finished getting ready, I found that our uniforms had been delivered to us during the night. Sera is already wearing hers. It looks really good on her- all of the girls wear a dress but besides the layout, the uniforms are all different. There are also two uniforms- one for warm weather and one for cold weather. Sera is wearing the one for warm weather today, with short sleeves reaching halfway through the top segment of the arm and the skirt reaching the right above the knees. I’m wearing the cold weather uniform with long sleeves and a skirt reaching right below the knees. Sera’s Sirius uniform is cyan blue on the bodice and silver on the skirt. It has a small dog on the right on her chest and one on the left down by the hem of her dress. My uniform is sort of similar. It’s red on the top of the bodice, white on the bottom of the bodice, and navy blue on the skirt. There’s a small star on my uniform on the right on my chest and one on the left by the hem of my dress. I absolutely hate dresses. Last year at Papillion, I tried my best not to wear a dress at graduation- I wore pants under my dress, which was more like a tunic.
Then, I remember- Diana had said herself, “you can wear jewelry or accessories in addition to your uniform, but you cannot rearrange your uniform in any way.” I wear black jeans under my skirt in addition to my customary socks and sneakers. I tie my hair up in a ponytail and look in the direction of Sera’s bed. She’s waiting for me, sitting on her bed.
“Hey, are you ready?” I ask that, though it should be a question she asks me, not the other way around.
She smiles and nods. We set off for the cafeteria. We’ll eat at the cafeteria, then go back to our dorms to get our books for class. Once we arrive at the cafeteria, we split off. She goes to sit with her friends from her old school and I sit with my friends from Papillion. They actually look really different with their uniforms on. Kat is wearing the Andromeda uniform for warmer weather. The layout is just like Sera’s, but it is grey and sparkling purple. The symbol is of the letter T, which is probably a reference to the human series, Harry Potter, about witches and wizards. There is a witch named Andromeda Tonks in the series, so Team Andromeda uses the letter T as a symbol. As I soon find out, many of my friends are from Andromeda. In addition to Kat, Jenny, Michal, May, Artemis, Autumn, Nina, Eileen, Amber Sun, Amber Yoo, and Allegra are from Andromeda. Heidi, Ria, and Jilly are from Sirius. With me on Polaris are Becky, Lindsey, Amy, and Kacey. We all sit together at one large table in the cafeteria, eating our gourmet breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, pancakes, and waffles. Of course, I don’t eat all four of these items, but I do help myself to seconds.
“Why are you wearing pants?” Kat asks me.
I shrug. “Why not? I don’t like wearing skirts, so I’m wearing pants.”
Kat nods. “Oh…”
It appears that I’m the only one wearing pants, though several of my friends told me that they’ll wear pants tomorrow because they don’t feel comfortable in a dress. Ugh, we’re so self-conscious.
Before Language Arts starts, Artemis asks if she could sit next to me again. I smile. “Sure!” She sits down and I wonder if asking about the rumors is insensitive. She’s probably heard of them, but if I seemed like I believed them, it would seem kind of weird. Besides, I don’t want her to turn against me before she knows me too well.
I sigh. “Artemis, is your dad human?”
Artemis buries her hands in her face. “Oh, God, is that what they say now?” I guess she had been partially aware of these rumors. She uncovers her face, but just looks down at her desk. “No, my dad’s a fairy. But he passed away when I was little, so I just use my mom’s last name. It wasn’t really broadcasted publicly, so no one really knows about it.”
“Oh…” Now I feel really bad for asking because Artemis is almost in tears. “I’m sorry.”
“No, don’t be.” Artemis manages a weak smile. “I guess if I were you, I’d be curious too.”
“But you are a princess, right?”
Artemis nods. “It can get annoying, but at least I’m royal, right?” She laughs bitterly, as if there’s another emotion clouded by that seemingly light, happy joke. She sighs. “I’m a princess- the oldest child in my family, and yet, my brother’s gonna be king. Don’t get me wrong- I love my brother. I just get annoyed by the system.” I guess Artemis and Kat would really understand each other. I gulp. They would understand each other even better than my own best friend and I understand each other.
There are many activities that kids can participate in after school. They are either held in the main lower years’ building or the main upper years’ building. Of course, there has to be three buildings in order for there to be classes that everyone could get to. They are all connected like a triangle with a big courtyard that people use to get to different classes in the middle. I don’t go to these activities- I go to activities at different schools.
This first week of school, I go to all of the activities I want. On Wednesday, I have my first one at the College of Monarch City. It’s a Mind session for talented Minds. It’s only supposed to be for third to sixth years in any school, but I was allowed to go because the teacher of the session allowed me to. Her name is Lady Samson. She had been my mom’s Mind teacher.
Here, the most uneventful things happened at the worst time slot ever: 7 to 9 pm. I’m so tired and I wanted to go home starting from the nanosecond I was through the door. I guess it’s not too bad but, it feels awkward, especially when Lady Samson randomly points out that I’m a first year and I’m younger than everyone else. I had partially been hoping to pass of as a normal third year, but so much for that idea.
“Guys, so how about this: we just practice whatever we want until the end?” Lady Samson suggests. “I’m sorry- I’ll have something planned next week.” Next week- I can’t wait.
Symphonic is kind of weird. Being with so many different years just feels so weird. Heidi’s in Sirius, so her Symphonic Practice doesn’t feel awkward. Besides, there nearly everyone is a first year. It also feels kind of weird here because everyone’s wearing the same thing. Boys obviously don’t wear a dress; they wear a blazer that is of the same color and design as the bodice of the girls’ uniform dress. Under it, they wear a random white shirt. Their pants are the color of our skirts. During the warm weather, they wear a t-shirt and shorts with the team colors.
It’s been a month since the first day of school. Lady Carin tested us and placed us in different rankings on the team. She handed out our rankings at the end of class today, in fact. I give a mere, cursory glance at the paper. I didn’t do as well as I had hoped, but I probably didn’t do too badly. I’m ranked fifth place.
First, the person sitting in the first chair would go take their test in a small room, whether it be Lady Carin’s office, the storage, or another room, and the person in the second would stand outside the door. Unfortunately, because the seating had all been “first come, first serve”, Becky had been the unlucky first person. Next, Lady Carin has a holograph projection of an opponent of any ability or strength, although it is the same for every fairy of the same power. Beforehand, which would be a week ago, we are given information on the holograph as if the holograph were a person. This was so that we would be able to manipulate the person according to fears. Then, the first person battles the holograph and when they are done, the person outside the door takes their test. The first person returns to their seat and the third person waits outside the door. I had tried to focus, but it was hard. There had been so much stress at my first test.
From eavesdropping, I’ve figured out all of the Minds’ names on my team. Of course there’s me and Becky. We sat next to each other on the first day, and we’ve tried to every day afterwards. The chairs are arranged so that the best and worst ranked Minds sit on the outside of the first row. All of the Minds are arranged from best to worst, left to right. I sat in the ninth ranking chair and Becky in the eighth. The girl in the tenth ranking chair, the last one, is a short sixth year called Ellie Jung. She doesn’t seem to be friends with anyone because she doesn’t talk to anyone. In fact, I’ve never heard her voice before. I just know her name from looking at the name on her books.
There are four other Mind girls, who seem to all be friends: Marissa Poole, Joy Kawai, Elena Schaefer, and Kristen Siro. Marissa is a really blonde, slightly short, sixth year. Because she’s a sixth year, she seems like she’d be really good. Joy is a fifth year and she sounds just like her name: as joyful as a little unicorn dancing on a rainbow. Elena is a third year with brown hair tied back in a ponytail. She often wears mismatched shoes for who knows why. Sometimes she wears a blue sneaker and a purple sneaker, sometimes a tan-colored ankle-high boot and a blue sneaker. I have this feeling that she doesn’t like me though. Maybe it’s just because I’m a random “firstie”. Kristen is a really pretty fourth year. If I could look like her, I would. I don’t necessarily feel how I look, so looking at my reflection surprises me sometimes. I’m obviously not stupid or crazy enough to think I’ve been replaced with someone else or that there’s a random girl in front of me when I look at my reflection, but it still surprises me.
There are three Mind boys, who seem to be friends as well. I don’t know if that’s just because they’re all of the same gender or might know each other from their old school or something. They sit in the first three chairs. They’re all complete jerks, but the worst is a sixth year named Ellis Choi. He’s the type of kid who’s really good at everything, and he knows it. He brags under a disguise of a humble student. Another Mind boy is called Joseph Lee. Becky thinks he’s kind of weird, but I don’t know that much about him to have any opinions about him. The other kid is an annoying kid named Perry Liu. He’s really loud like Ellis.
The next day, the room seems to be rearranged. Kristen is fourth, I’m fifth, Perry is sixth, Becky is seventh, Joy is eighth, Joseph is ninth, and Ellie is tenth. There seems to be some commotion by the first three chairs, though.
“Lady Carin,” Marissa raises her hand. “All three of us,” she gestures to her Ellis, and Elena, “were ranked first.”
“Oh, yeah,” Lady Carin says as if she just remembered this. “So, this will all change before our first meet, so you can just take turns, right? Sorry- usually I’d have you guys have a sort of little face-off, but we’ll have another test soon.” All three kids nodded and decided that today, Ellis would be first, Marissa would be second, and Elena would be third. Tomorrow, Marissa would be first and the next day, Elena would be.
After Lady Carin scans the room to take attendance, she has us pair up with people of different powers and we just compete against each other as if we were in Combat. We get to choose who to be with, so I approach the smartest choice: Harmony Song. Harm is, no offense, the worst Keeper on Polaris, if not the whole school. I bet there’s seven-year-olds better than her. I don’t even know how she’s on Polaris. We only have to do one combat with one person and we’re set for the whole class. I know I’ll win and also be done within ten minutes or less.
“Hey, Harm, wanna be partners?” I ask her.
Harm smiles. “Sure!” Harm has straight black hair reaching her elbows and dark brown eyes like dark chocolate. Her nose bridge is weirdly high to me, but I guess that sounds kind of mean, doesn’t it? She’s wearing the summer uniform, and from what she wore last year, I could tell that she’s be wearing it all year long.
We start by curtsying to each other. Boys bow and girls curtsy. Then she nods to me. That’s her signal that I can go first. The energy from her mind is very light and thin, as she’s a very shallow girl. I twist and braid some strands of energy together in my mind so that she thinks I look like her worst fear: a big doll. I don’t know why she’s afraid of dolls. She seems exactly the type of girl to grow up playing with Mariposas. Mariposas are like Barbies in the human world, but Mariposas are like adult female fairies with wings.
I smile a smile that goes from literally ear to ear on my bigger-than-life-sized face. My whole body looks bigger than life to her. To everyone else, I’m just crossing my arms and smirking. Harm looks like she’s seeing ghosts. She breathes heavily like she has to cope with this scary thing. She turns herself into a wolf. She’s too cute to be a wolf though- maybe she’s actually supposed to be a puppy. She runs toward me at full speed. She leaps out to pounce onto me. I quickly change into a small mouse so that Harm jumps over me and accidentally knocks into a chair. She whimpers, which I feel bad about, but I can’t apologize as a mouse. I plant in her mind, “I’m sorry.” She weakly smiles at me and barks a happy bark. She tries to sneak up on my little mouse self, but I turn back into a doll and step on her. Of course, I’m not actually doing this, so I make sure she doesn’t feel anything. Tired, she turns back into her fairy self. The combat is over. A combat is always over when somebody’s powers are drained. This means that when the fairy can’t control their powers temporarily (for five minutes), then the combat is over. I win.
“Sorry, Harm,” I tell her after we curtsy again. “I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
She smiles. “It’s okay.” For the rest of class, we just sit around doing homework for other classes.
The following day, we all go off to our separate corners to practice. The room is shaped kind of like a square, so three sections line each wall while the Ghosts are in the middle, as they are the largest section. The Minds get the corner closest to the door. It’s such an honor to be ranked first because that means you mentor all of the other fairies of your power. Sometimes Lady Carin comes and shows us how to do certain things, but she can’t be in multiple places at once.
Ellis claps his hands together once we gather in the corner. He suddenly yells into our minds like a drill sergeant, which causes me to jump, “DROP DOWN AND GIVE ME TWENTY!” He starts laughing hysterically, as does Perry. I, on the other hand, am trying to regulate my heartbeat after being shocked with something sudden like that. Others roll their eyes like this joke is so overused. Ellis slowly stops laughing. “Okay, okay,” he says in between giggles, “we’re practicing. Just, um, practice with the person in either the chair right above you or right below. Like, I’ll go with Stephanie and Elena will go with Kristen.” Several of us, including me, groan. “Okay, you can work with whoever you want.” Everybody just works with one of their friends. Ellis is with Stephanie, Elena is with Kristen, I’m with Becky, Perry is with Joseph, and Joy is with Ellie.
Becky and I curtsy. I nod, leading her to smile mischievously. She blasts a trumpet fanfare into my head, making it hard to concentrate. I use my favorite weapon: turn into her worst fear. I don’t know what Becky’s worst fear is, as it’s hard to think that she even has any fears. I guess if I think deep down, I would be able to guess, but I’d rather be right on the first try. I search the deep dark parts of her mind, the trumpet fanfare seemingly becoming distant. A mere spider is spinning a web in the corner of her brain. I look more closely at it. Suddenly, it screeches and comes at me with sharp fangs and red eyes. I quickly “run away” from the spider. I twist her mind’s energy around and around to make myself look like that same spider to her. I don’t screech at her or come more than an inch towards her, but she still screams. The trumpets stop and she breathes for a few seconds. She starts crying, the tears rolling down by the thousand. Feeling sorry for her, I turn back into myself. “Becky, are you okay? I’m sorry.”
She seems to only be crying for three seconds. In fact, maybe she was never crying at all. But I know I felt her twist my brain’s energy, and possibly everyone else’s, so that she looks fine. At first, there’s a flicker of a moment when she is wiping her hysterical tears, but then it goes back to the illusion of her smiling. “I’m fine, Star.” Becky says. It’s great for Becky that she’s so talented. Everyone thinks she’s always fine when she isn’t.
The wind chimes ring and I could see another nanosecond long flicker of Becky wiping her tears when she thinks that no one’s looking, but the illusion returns when she realized that someone had been watching.
See more stories by Lila Violet;)