The Dark Part of the Forest #3

The Dark Part of the Forest #3

Amelia DesMarais, Author

♦ Chapter 3: A Discovery ♦

What felt like a few hours later, but was really a few minutes later, everyone left the gathering hall to go to the mess hall. Food had been set out, and everyone sat down to a lunch of white-bread sandwiches, filled with ham, Swiss cheese, and Irish butter. As they began to devour their lunch, the mess hall quickly filled with noise. Once finished, Tily, Peter, and Erin brought their things to the kitchen opening – a slot where they put their dirty dishes to be washed for the next meal. Then, they headed upstairs for a nap.

Each element had its own wing. The Air house was in the High East Wing, which was on the top floors and faced East (of course) and lent itself to beautiful sunrises. Erin and Tily were roommates, and Peter shared a room with a boy named Marcus Byrne. When students entered their rooms, they found made beds and schedules on desks waiting for them. Most students plopped down their stuff and immediately went to bed, while a few 6th graders gazed open-mouthed at the view outside the windows. But some, like Tily, wandered the school and its sprawling grounds. And that is why she saw what she saw.

Now, we hand it over to Tily.

Hi guys, so glad to meet you! You wanted a story? Well, here’s one.

I was walking down a thin, sunlit hallway. I’ve walked down that hallway so many times last year. I missed sneaking down it in the middle of the night to go talk to Peter. Well, anyway, I reached a window with a thick ledge, thick enough to be a comfortable place to sit. I opened the window and sat down, dangling my feet out of it, glad to be back. I was the perfect spot for spying on anyone who came into the stone archways, a large, open area between hallways. The floor was square, and large stone arches rose out of the roof. The area was not enclosed by a ceiling itself, so a light breeze tickled my face. Since it was all stone, voices echoed and were magnified, giving it the feeling of a much larger space. From my perch, I saw two figures the size of 6th graders (we weren’t that small, were we?). As they drew closer, I recognized them from the sorting as Ximen Valor and Xanithan Archer. They were talking in low voices, and were the only ones there.

“Ximen, why did that happen? That thing at the sorting?”

“Are you kidding? How would I know?”

“Do you think it has anything to do with your… your power?” He sounded scared, an looked around nervously. (Just mentioning, another perk of this window was that it could not be seen from the arches.)

“I guess.”

Sunny but sheltered, high up but out of reach, it was perfect. That’s why it was not surprising when a bird fluttered through the air near where the two boys leaned against a wall. What was surprising was when the bird seemed to glide towards Xanithan, like a piece of metal to a magnet.

Ximen laughed, a harsh barking laughter that wasn’t at all nice.

“You do have your way with animals.”

“Yes. Now you test out your power. Show me you’re not lying.” In one swift movement, Xanithan cracked the birds neck. My stomach did an advanced set of gymnastics that left it tangled in churning knots. I hated it when animals were harmed.

Ximen took the bird’s corpse. His eyes closed in concentration, he muttered quietly (I caught some words like ‘Rise again’ and ‘Cross to our world’), then slowly, slowly, the bird in his hands moved. It’s neck returned to normal It floated up an inch, then fluttered it’s wings. It was…alive? As if to answer my question, Ximen said,

“It’s as alive as it ever was.”

Though it was good that the bird was alive, it wasn’t right. Things aren’t just dead one moment and alive the next; it just didn’t happen. I felt sorry for the kid, but what he said next changed my mind.

“Of course, it only works that way with the freshly dead. With older corpses, they’re only half alive, not really alive. But honestly, I like it better that way.”

Now that was just weird. Why would anyone enjoy that? Like I said, it just wasn’t right. And when stuff like that happens, you know who I tell? My friends. I swung my legs back in, and just as I was closing the window, I heard Xanithan say,

“Now that isoniazid manufacturer in india. cheap duloxetine without a rx. is cool. It makes my power look stupid.”

So both of them liked it now? Interesting. And very odd.

Time for a meeting.

I hurried down the hall towards Peter’s room. I planned on taking him to my dorm and telling my friends about these queer happenings. And soon, I did.