Archive | April 2017

Chapter 14: Arnbjörg

Tuesday, October 3, 2000

“That don’t mean I have to like it!”  Howard wasn’t quite bellowing, but it was a close call.  Arnbjörg looked up from the onions she was chopping just in time to see Magnolia put a soothing hand on his arm.

“He’s not gonna hurt her, Howard, honey, and he’s certainly not gonna do any lasting damage.  I know she’s your friend—” Continue reading

Chapter 13: Leofric

Monday, October 2, 2000

Leofric ducked to the side barely in time as Alexander swung at him, almost tripping over his own feet. Cy’ree practice was usually one of his favorite events — after his usual kendo lesson, also with Luke — but today, he just couldn’t focus. There was too much going on, too much to worry about, and first and foremost of those things: something was wrong with Zita. Not just how he could tell she was having to work around orders more and more, but the way she smiled sometimes, all sharp and aggressive, or the time she’d had to be excused because her teeth started falling out (it was part of her Change, the doctor said).
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Chapter 12: Cynara

Wednesday, September 27, 2000

“You should watch out for him, you know.”

Alexander had brought his friends today, a tall blonde boy with tusks, a shorter, darker boy with sandy hair and bright green eyes, and the skinny kid with the white scales and green hair.   They weren’t surrounding Cynara, as if they knew it was a bad idea to trap someone you were trying to help.  But she still felt a little cornered.  And, for the first time, she felt like she was back in some normal school, with normal teenaged politics. Continue reading

Chapter 11: Abednego

Sunday, September 24, 2000

“What are you doing?”

Abednego’s brothers had gotten him into trouble before.  They’d gotten him hurt before.  Once, Shadrach had almost gotten him killed.  And more than once, Meshach had nearly killed him.

None of that, not one bit of it, except possibly the electrocution, had been nearly as bad as this.

Abednego froze.  “Going to the bathroom?  Sir.” Continue reading

Chapter 10: Arnbjorg

Friday, September 22, 2000

“This sucks.”  Arnbjörg slumped into the couch.  “This whole school and all of its sucky rules and it sucky magic, the whole place sucks.”

She glanced guiltily at Jaya.  For some reason, complaining made her feel bad now, at least complaining where Jaya could hear her.  Since Jaya was looking half-sympathetic and half-distracted, she kept going. “Being Kept sucks.”
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Chapter 9: Leofric

Tuesday, September 19, 2000

The clothing, Leofric had to admit, didn’t look bad. It wasn’t very comfortable, though: the long sleeves and cuffs, the shirt collar, the way he kept catching his backpack on the buttons down the front, the stiff new shoes. And the collar, of course. The clothes were just dress clothes, nothing too weird, but the collar was a different story.

He resisted the urge to fidget with it again; Eriko didn’t like fidgeting, so he was trying to avoid building a habit. But the leather sat snug up against his neck, reminding him it was there every time he moved. Every time he breathed.
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Interlude: Kailani

“We’re not new kids anymore.” Kai looked around at the other Fifth Cohort students. Jamian was busy, but she’d talked Shahin into coming. Kendra was there, doing her best to hide in a corner; Channing was front and center. Elfred and Wyatt were there, along with Channing and Nydia. Kai had invited the entire Fifth Cohort. She was not really surprised that she’d gotten less than 50 percent attendance.

He wasn’t a new kid last year, either. And he’s still wearing a collar.” Wyatt pointed a finger at Conrad. “What’s he doing here?” Continue reading

Interlude: Ambrus

The first time he’d walked these halls, they’d been terrifying.   His footsteps had echoed, the collar around his throat had weighed strangely on him, and it seemed that everyone was staring at him.

More than two decades later, it didn’t seem as if much had changed.  There was carpet and paneling now, discrete drop ceilings and nooks that further broke up the sound.  There were students here now, filling the halls, lounging in the dining hall, exploring the library.  Ambrus was a student now, with a new twist on his name and a proud place in the Sixth Cohort.  And if there were children of his in every Cohort here (he was fairly certain there were, although there were still holes in his memory), well, he still looked young enough to be a student.  And he was still woefully ignorant enough to require the education, too.

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