|Wind rustled quietly through the dry, silent forest. Only a few trees stood standing after the fire that was accidentally set. Nobody had any proof of who had sent the trees up in flames. But Emily knew exactly who it was.
It happened a day or two earlier. Emily Willowsong was a bored 12-year-old with no intentions of burning down the forest, but she was a little bored, and playing around with a couple of sticks became less amusing with the passing days, so when Emily's fingers started to crackle, almost fizz with glowing fiery energy, she decided to have a little fun.
At first, Emily thought she was insane. She blinked a couple of times and focused her vision back on her fingers. But the crackling energy at her fingertips was still glowing, even brighter now. Nobody was around except her pesky neighbor, Bryant, who was busy fighting imaginary monsters. Sure, he was 13, but still childish, and twice as stubborn. So when he threw a clump of wet dirt at her, and right at her face, Emily got mad.
A little too mad.
And, entirely by her own doing, one of the trees above her caught fire, and sparks flew around and about, catching other trees on fire.
Soon, people who lived a few miles away were running from the flames, the sky was scarlet red, and Emily was completely at fault. But she wasn't that mad at herself, considering no houses burnt, and only trees suffered her fire. Still, Emily was shocked at the trees she set on fire...with..her fingers?
In a different realm, an old man with a cloak of midnight blue rested by a fireplace, gazing into his crystal ball at the ruins of a forest, and a dark-haired girl with a tear on her cheek as she observed the damage she'd caused.
"Yet another wizard-to-be?" squawked an owl sitting atop a golden perch.
"She is," said the cloaked old man,"to be a wizard of great things, Gamma." He tossed an apple slice at the old owl, who caught it with a satisfied smile. "She just might actually find the Stone."...
Emily looked around at the damage. Embers flickered at the bases of burnt oaks as she studied the red sky above.
"What...what have I done? What did I have to do with all this?" Emily looked at her still glowing fingers. But then she heard the rustle of a cloak at her feet, and she looked up to see a man and an owl, a few feet away, standing by the wreckage like it wasn't there.
" Young girl, come with me. I am headmaster Ambrose, and you.. you are a wizard."
"What?" Emily was confused.
" A wizard, girl, a wizard! This damage was caused by your own hand, but we can work on the control of your powers, if you would only take hold of this cane."
Emily was doubtful, but she had nothing to lose. Her mother was on a trip in Peru, and her older brother was in college, so she had the little dusty cottage to herself. No one would notice, no harm would come. So, with all her might, she reached out and grabbed ahold of the man's cane.
In an instant, smoke swirled around her, and she felt woozy, as if she was traveling, but she couldn't see through the smoke that consumed her. And almost as if magic, the smoke cleared, and she was standing on solid ground once more.
" Whoo! That was cool! Oh, man can we go again?" Emily threw her fist in the air.
"Well," said the Ambrose, " you will be studying here at Ravenwood School of the Magical Arts, so you will be busy."
And Emily never felt better.
Two days later, at the Rainbow bridge, Emily Willowsong sat on the edge, her feet dangling in the water, when she saw something glimmer in the river below. She got down and walked over to the bank by the river, and reached in to grab it. It felt smooth in her hand, almost silken, as she pulled it out. At a closer glance, the object was a glimmering stone, so beautiful, she thought she was dreaming. The stone was flecked with gold and silver, and colored in hues of the rainbow. And Emily had no idea where it came from....