Reckless Magic (Page 15)

Mr. Lawly called us to our feet and we formed a wide line. Lilly and I hung back slightly, so we could take our places in the far back. I was not ready to look anyone in the eye yet; I couldn’t even look Lilly in the eye. She hadn’t asked me any questions about my accidental tidal wave, and I appreciated her more than ever.

Mr. Lawly started walking in the direction of the river, before stopping suddenly and turning around. The students in front of us followed his lead, making a semi-circle through camp to adjust our course. My guess was that Mr. Lawly was just not ready to face the water again. I couldn’t blame him; I didn’t think I was either.

So instead of walking along the river we took a route in the opposite direction, to the East of how we hiked to our camp this morning. The terrain was rough and uneven. I had to focus on the ground to keep my balance. Or at least that was what I told myself I was doing, but really I was not ready to face all of the snickers and glares from my still angry class-mates.

Our hike followed a winding path through a beautiful forest. The trees were thick and the leaves were just beginning to turn colors for fall. The sound of the creek had silenced completely and the only noises we could hear were birds and squirrels or the occasional insect flying too close. I was lost in my own thoughts when I heard Lilly gasp softly. I looked up immediately, not knowing what to expect; maybe Seraphina had organized for me to be taken to the mental institution, or better yet, burned at the stake.

Instead of physical death, however, it was only physical torture. Kiran and Talbott had stopped walking and were apparently waiting for us to catch up. I glanced at Lilly to see her porcelain cheeks stained red from blushing. I didn’t understand what she saw in Talbott, but as his cheeks were an equal shade of crimson, I’m guessing he also saw that same something in her.

“That was some temper tantrum back there, Love,” Kiran fell in to step next to me. I was surprised to see Talbott choose to walk next to Lilly instead of Kiran.

“Back where?” I played ignorant hoping to avoid the conversation and glanced back behind my shoulder. I realized it was impossible, but a girl could hope.

“I told you Seraphina would not appreciate competition,” Talbott said softly, ignoring my sarcasm and joining the conversation.

“I’m not competition. Seraphina can have him,” I growled, frustrated with Kiran, he was the reason all of this had happened. Seraphina could have him; I was certainly not going to fight over him.

“You’re not competition huh?” Kiran asked softly, letting our arms bump gently together as we walked. “And here I thought you were madly in love with me,” Kiran whispered over-dramatically, his perfect accent articulating each syllable. The electricity under my skin flared for a moment and I felt a surge of heat rush through my body.

“No, I’m not. Seraphina has nothing to worry about, trust me.”

“Well that just hurts,” Kiran shoved me gently and I realized that he was flirting with me, although I was doing everything in my power to disengage him.

“Stop it,” I commanded firmly. “You’re going to get me into more trouble. Just leave me alone so Seraphina will leave me alone.”

“That’s not very likely on either account,” Kiran mumbled. “Besides, you’re done for now. I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole class wasn’t plotting their revenge.”

“Well, you could at least stop,” Talbott looked directly at Kiran, but his tone was hopeless.

“Yes, you could stop,” I repeated and gave him an irritated glance.

“Yes, I could stop, but then I wouldn’t have any fun,” Kiran whined defensively. “If I left you alone, who is going to blow things up when they get nervous? Or nearly drown thirty people in a poor attempt at vengeance? I can’t count on any of them to do it.” He pointed his chin towards the group of students walking in front of us.

“Very funny,” I responded dryly.

“Really though, you need to control your magic. You are out of control,” Talbott said seriously, although I knew he was only mocking me.

“If only it was that simple,” I muttered under my breath.

“Well you could at least try; I think the teachers are going to stop believing that it is all accidental behavior, especially when you involve them in your anecdotes,” Talbott was always the advice-giver, if only he had a solution as well.

“You’re right about that. But I think when that happens, when they finally stop believing it’s all on accident, they will finally send me where I belong,” I laughed bitterly.

“Oh yeah? And where is that?” Kiran asked.

“The loony bin,” everyone probably assumed the worst now anyways; I couldn’t hide the fact that I was crazy any longer.

“I told you, you’re not crazy,” Kiran put a protective hand on my shoulder, sending both butterflies and electricity soaring inside of me. After today’s outburst and the strength of energy I felt in the river, at least the electricity had become easier to control.

“Oh right….” Sarcasm dripped from my voice, “This is completely normal behavior; all teenage girls can empty riverbeds with just the touch of their hand.”

“It is normal behavior if you go to this….” But Kiran didn’t get to finish his sentence. All of a sudden I was hit in the face with a giant ball of earth. Rocks, dirt, mud and leaves splattered all over my face, into my mouth and covered my hair.

I was blinded for what seemed like minutes as I tried to scrape the mud from my eyes, nostrils and tongue. Not only did it hurt, but it was also disgusting. My mouth was open when the attack came, meaning I had eaten and tasted more than anyone’s fair share of dirt for the day.

I could feel the mud caked in my hair, in my eyelashes, up my nose, and I thought there was even some in my ears. I was sure Seraphina was the one to thank for this, although I couldn’t be positive because I never saw who threw the mud ball in the first place, and I certainly couldn’t see anything now. I coughed up rocks and leaves, gagging violently, doing everything in my power to keep from puking. A few wet clothes did not even compare to the grossness of this retaliation.

“You could have helped her,” I heard Talbott accuse Kiran.

“If I would have seen it coming, I would have gladly taken the bullet for her,” Kiran said bravely, while laughing hysterically.

“Thanks a lot jackass,” I grumbled threw bouts of spitting out mud. I heard Mr. Lawly yell something about keeping up with the rest of the group; clearly he thought this prank was well deserved.

“I wish I had a towel or something to give you,” Lilly offered helplessly. “Would you like some leaves or something?”

“Yea, I guess,” wishing more than ever I had worn a sweatshirt; instead of just a tank top and jeans. I thought about using my socks, as unpleasant as that sounded.

“Here, you can use my shirt,” Kiran finally decided to be a gentleman. He handed me the red cotton polo he was wearing and I cringed while using it to wipe off my face. After glancing down at the expensive designer tag, I felt guilty for punishing the poor thing by turning it into a filthy rag.

“Thanks,” I mumbled into the shirt, peeking out from behind it to make sure I hadn’t left him shirtless. Thankfully, he was wearing a white v-neck undershirt.

I wiped as much off with Kiran’s shirt as I could, feeling the dirtiest I had ever felt. Since Lilly, Talbott and Kiran waited with me while I cleaned up, we had to walk a little faster than before in order to catch up with the rest of the group.

Not sure what to do with Kiran’s polo now that it was completely ruined; I held it awkwardly in my hands. I glanced up and gave him a sheepish grin. I could feel small pebbles and bits of mud still in my mouth, so my grin quickly turned to disgust and I tried to spit it out as quickly as humanly possible. Not very lady like, but what other option did I have?

“You just invite trouble, don’t you?” Kiran goaded, but handed me a water bottle I hadn’t noticed him carrying before. I took it, very grateful I was able to rinse my mouth out.

“Looks like it,” I said through bouts of gurgling and spitting.

“What are we going to do with you?” he laughed again lightly.

“Ugh. Mud tastes awful,” I changed the subject to what was really on my mind. The constant grinding of dirt and pebbles between my teeth had me beyond nauseous.

“How are you going to get them back?” Kiran apparently lived for my humiliation.

“Are you kidding? I’m not. I would like this all to just end,” I nearly whined.

“What? With your kind of power, they’re no match for you.”

“Thanks for reminding me what a freak I am,” I was all of a sudden irritated. “This thing is ruining my life; I’m certainly not going to use it against anyone else.”

“Don’t be such a baby. Seraphina could never have done that with the water and she certainly hasn’t held back against you. You could get her back so good. Come on, rain down hell!” Kiran pushed.

“I’m not just here for your entertainment. And isn’t she your girlfriend?” I spit harsher than I had intended, electricity building with every emotion. “I can’t control what is happening to me and it’s not some joke for you to use to pit me against Seraphina. You are crazy if you think we are going to battle it out all over you,” I picked up my pace and refused to look back at him.

“You’re wrong, you can control it,” Kiran yelled after me. That was not really the point I had hoped to leave with him and that irritated me even more. What stung the worst however was that Lilly stayed next to Talbott, leaving me to walk alone through the never-ending wilderness.

Chapter Fourteen

The day ended and slowly the sky turned to dusk. Mr. Lawly had been to every tent, making sure all of our fires were strong and we would be able to make them last through the night. Lilly and I sat around ours on a couple of rocks. Most of the other students were doing the same.

There were thirty students on the camping trip and all of them were assigned to groups of four, except Lilly and me. Thankfully we were the only two to get a tent to ourselves, well besides Mr. Lawly, but his little one-man lean-to hardly counted.

All of the tents formed a circle around a large campfire set up in the middle of the clearing, but occasionally Mr. Lawly set up smaller fires closer to the tents. This seemed like a forest fire waiting to happen; but Mr. Lawly was confident he had things under control.

Some people actually caught fish after we returned from our hike and that was what we were nibbling on now. Our lesson was how to gut and cook a fish over an open flame; I had never done anything more disgusting. I am not exactly sure how this trip was teaching us to survive in the real world.

I couldn’t think of one situation where I might be stranded in the wilderness and have to depend on fresh fish and berries to survive. Except maybe if I was some type of fugitive on the run or something; I guessed with my track record that didn’t seem so impossible after all. I took a big bite out of my smoked catfish and tried to enjoy the taste of my future.