My world was changed when I heard about Ravenwood School for Magical Arts.
My mother had returned from her trip to the center of the Spiral, all giddy about what she had learned. She chattered all the way back to our tent.
“There is a fine school that teaches magic to children like you. Mr. Arthur Wethersfield heads the Sorcery taught there. You’ll love it, Destiny!”
I am Destiny Dusk. I live here, in Krokotopia, with my mother. As you may or may not know, Krokotopia is the place where Sorcery originated. So I had just begun learning some basic Sorcery.
“...and there will be so many wizards! You will even have your own dormitory!”
I gave a polite nod. I had always had nothing but a hand-woven mat to sleep upon, and my own bed sounded wonderful! Plus, I could learn more Sorcery...
But my mother seemed a bit TOO happy. She was always calm and serene, like me, and rarely had emotions. Also, she didn’t say all that much. Was it because she had learned all her Sorcery on her own and wanted me to have a better education?
As Mother lead me to the World Gate, she had returned to her normal state of mind. “Don’t forget, show Professor Wethersfield your Scarab and how wonderfully you learned it.”
I nodded. My mother had dressed me in foreign attire. I was used to an aerious hood, some thin, tan robes, and small ankle boots. I was wearing some red robes, with a pointy hat and boots. They were all trimmed with white. I felt too odd.
Mother opened the door, and gave me a push. I fell inside. My body felt cold, and I passed out.
I stirred and felt weird. I knew there was a huge bump on my head.
“Sending a girl like this alone through the gate, her parents are mad...” someone was saying.
“There was a note attached. ‘I am a sorcerer. Please teach me.’ Why couldn’t her parents escort and introduce her?” another voice asked.
“She is conscious. Allow her to take in her surroundings,” a third voice said.
I sat up. I began to piece together what I was seeing. I realized I had been lying on a desk, while pixies –or were they fairies? - were sprinkling dust on my wounds.
A graceful lady came over. “Welcome to the Life School. I am Sylvia Drake, Professor of Life,” she greeted me.
I tried to say something, but my mouth felt heavy. So I nodded. I noticed two others in the back of the room.
“This is Professor Halestrom Balestrom, of Storm School, and Professor Arthur Wethersfield, of Balance School,” Sylvia said.
The professors nodded as their names were said. I stood up, and found strength in my legs. They had felt weak moments earlier. Strange.
“Yes, the Life School is somewhat a little odd, isn’t it?” Professor Wethersfield said, as in agreement to my thoughts. I nodded, astounded.
“Class is about to begin,” he said. “It’s right outside Bartleby, and bring this!”
He gave me a wand. A REAL wand, from a real wizard! I had learned by using my hands. And my small deck of cards enlarged, with brand-new cards. I felt as if my mother had enchanted this deck of cards just for me.
As I turned to follow the professor, Sylvia stopped me. “Be careful,” she murmured. “I feel you will need this.” And she gave me a card called Pixie.
I nodded, thanked the professor, and walked outside. Mr. Wethersfield was teaching already, casting a Scorpion and talking about the damage it did. I came, sat down in the grass, and listened.
“Now, everyone will be practicing today. I want NO enchanted scarabs, either,” he was saying. After he finished the lecture, he noticed me. “Ah, and we must welcome our new student – Destiny Dusk from Krokotopia!”
Strong clapping came from the other Sorcerers.
“Destiny, I’ll pair you up with Ashley today,” Professor Wethersfield said. He gestured towards a girl younger than me. She smiled, pulled out her wand, and waved her hand.
I strolled over, a new Scorpion card in my hand. Ashley set up the dueling circle, and we took our positions. Ashley went first.
She traced an eight first, to tell me she was level eight, and then began to cast some shields. Death, life, and myth shields began to circle her.
I was taken aback. Scorpion needed two pips! I stared at her, and passed. She had two pips now! She began to draw the Scorpion, and called out, “Scorpio!”
A portal opened, and a huge scorpion leaped out. It seemed to want to attack me, but Ashley didn’t let it. She whispered, “Return.” The scorpion disappeared in a shower of glittery dust.
As I began to cast Scorpion, a strong earthquake generated, and some yelling came from what seemed to be the Myth school. Professor Wethersfield began to run towards it. “Come along, students!” he bellowed.
I lost my focus, and my Scorpion fizzled. Ashley had already broken her shields. “Come on!” she shouted.
I followed Ashley to the source. Wizards from all schools were crowding around. Ashley cast a Scorpion to lift us up. We both gasped.
Where the Death School had been was a chasm. Some Theurgists had Mrs. Drake in their hands.
“This may be the reason it’s gone,” the one named Brooke breathed.
Sylvia Drake was extremely pale. She was dead.
Maybe if I had stayed with her, I could have prevented it.
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