Reckless Magic (Page 9)

I could ask Kiran…. or Talbott. My stomach tightened at the thought of asking either one of them for help. Talbott seemed harmless enough, but his devotion to Kiran was disturbing. The way he followed Kiran around and could be so protective of him was not normal. I thought of Lilly and hoped that eventually his loyal energy transferred to her.

That left Kiran. Barring the fact that he wouldn’t talk to me again after I threw him down the hallway with my inexplicable electrical powers, we didn't exactly get along. Something about him both excited me and terrified me.

With swirling thoughts of all of his exciting and terrifying qualities, I drifted off to sleep at my desk. I couldn’t escape him; he was even in my dreams. Subconsciously I knew that I was dreaming, but there he was staring at me, as real as anything else.

He moved closer to me; instantly I felt the electricity coursing through my veins, but because it was a dream, it was even more intense. I turned and ran away, but he chased me. I could hear him only steps behind.

We were running in a forest of thick trees and uneven ground. In my dream, the night stars shone bright enough to light the landscape despite the thick canopy of the trees.

Although I was running, I wasn’t scared. I knew that I was running because Kiran wanted to ask me a question, and I didn’t want to answer it. But, he was too quick for me.

He grabbed my arm, and the force of the electricity from his touch pulled both of us to the ground. I found that we were now laying on our backs in a meadow, looking up at the million stars lighting up the sky.

I wanted to get up and run again, but I couldn’t. My limbs felt weak and although the electricity hadn’t left my body yet, a dull humming kept me very conscious of Kiran’s hand intertwined with mine.

My hair fanned out around me; I noticed that I wore the shorts and tank top I was in while I did my homework. A warm breeze swirled around us, lifting my hair off the ground and then laying it gently to rest again. I could feel Kiran’s eyes on me.

I looked over at him, unable to speak a word. I was transfixed to the ground, but it was not an unpleasant feeling. Kiran reached over with one hand, still holding my hand with his other to brush the hair away from my face.

“Eden,” he whispered in a hypnotic voice. “Will you please tell me what you are?” he smiled sweetly. I couldn’t help myself; I wanted to tell him what I was, because I knew that I was something, something different, even though I didn’t know what it was.

I opened my mouth to speak, but no sound came out. He leaned closer to me and I inhaled his intoxicating aroma, something earthy, something herb-like, but something sweet as well. He placed the palm of his hand against my cheek and electricity surged from his touch. The feeling was heady and overwhelming.

I wanted to struggle, to get away from him, but I couldn’t move. Someone was invading my mind, my soul, or both. The intensity of the pulsing confused me. I trembled under the force of it.

Suddenly a deep and commanding voice spoke, “Eden, wake up.” I lifted my head to see Principal Saint standing at the edge of the meadow, dressed all in black and with a terrible, foreboding expression on his face.

And then I awoke, reaching out in the darkness for a hand that remained holding mine only in my dreams.

Chapter Eight

With thoughts of my bizarre dream from the previous night swirling in my head, I stepped out of Aunt Syl’s car unsteadily. Not only was my body psychologically shocked from the sense of realness of my dream, but I was also physically exhausted. My head felt very cloudy from the dull sense of electricity pumping slowly through my veins. Weak and tired, I forced myself forward.

Slowly, I walked up the hill towards the Administration Building. Students passed me as they hurried to class, but my feet felt clumsy, the electricity made me wobbly. At the top of the hill, I took a left on the brick path towards the English Building, and to my surprise, Principal Saint stood on the path, blocking the way.

“Eden, may I speak with you for a moment?” His entire presence exuded a dignitary-like respect, and I was sure people did not tell him “no” very often. Despite the request, he stepped in front of me, giving me no other option. At that moment, all I wanted to do was get to class and sit down. I entertained the thought of walking right past him, pretending I didn’t hear. “Please, it will only take a second,” he asked again, noticing my hesitation.

“Have I done something wrong?” I asked out of habit.

“Not that I am aware…. have you?” he flashed me a smile. He made a joke, but I was too exhausted to respond. He continued, “I am only concerned that Kingsley might be a bit overwhelming for you at first. Are you feeling all right? Has anything strange happened that would give you cause for concern?” His voice was slightly strained, and I saw real apprehension in his eyes. Suddenly he became something to be concerned about. This was getting kind of creepy.

“I’m fine, thank you,” I kept it short and to the point. The last thing I wanted to do was confide in the Principal of the school from hell.

“Of course you are,” he took a quick look around us before finishing with, “If you ever need anything, or if you ever have questions about anything, please feel free to find me immediately.” Before I had a chance to respond, he walked away back toward his office.

That was strange. I wondered for a second if he knew about the weird things going on with me; but then I shook it off. How could he? I never told anyone, not even Aunt Syl. The only thing that could really have alerted him was the mysterious exploding plant, but I was not even sure if he saw what happened, although it was extremely out of the ordinary. I had to admit that.

I continued toward class, realizing now that I was the only student left standing outside. I tried to pick up my pace, but after my brief encounter with Principal Saint, I was more unstable than ever. The pulsing electricity was steadily growing stronger, and my blood felt like there was a current of energy rushing through it.

By the time I entered the English and Arts Building I could barely stand up. I needed to empty myself completely before I continued to class. I looked around quickly. Although no students occupied the lobby, I was afraid to cause a scene. My fingers crackled with the sound of electricity and my skin sizzled from the climbing temperature inside.

As quickly as I could, I ducked into the theater doors, across the hall from the marble staircase. I took a moment to let my eyes adjust to the darkness and started frantically looking around for a place to dispose of my building energy. A sudden burst of electricity surging through my heart made me double over in surprise. I tried to stand up, but only half succeeded. As fast as I could I hurried down the aisle, looking for anything that could be quietly destroyed.

On the stage I recognized the form of an almost hidden tin trash-can. I heard the last bell ring, informing me that I was late for class, so I took the stairs on the side of the stage two at a time and headed straight for the can. Looking around once more to make sure there were no onlookers, I pointed my hands toward the bottom of the can, hoping for a quick second, there was nothing disgusting in it, and released the energy.

The trashcan exploded. Its contents scattered across the stage, along with shredded pieces of tin. I felt much better and although I was sure the explosion was loud, I was confident it couldn’t have been heard upstairs. I brushed what pieces of debris remained on me and ran for the exit, out the double doors of the theater, and toward the marble staircase.

I didn’t make it far however, before I noticed Kiran and Talbott entering the building. They talked quietly, but heatedly, until they looked up and noticed me leaving the dark theater. They instantly stopped talking and gave each other a quick glance.

“What were you doing in there?” Kiran asked suspiciously.

“Nothing…. I got lost,” I gave a sheepish grin and slowed down to a fast walk, hoping to make it to the stairs before them. I felt much better after discarding the electricity and felt an entirely new kind of energy, a natural kind.

“I don’t believe you,” Kiran said bluntly, eyes squinting accusatorily.

“Kiran, let’s just get to class,” Talbott interrupted.

“Good idea,” I agreed over my shoulder, passing them while they still stood in the lobby. I made it to the stairs, sprinting the remaining distance to class. By the time I reached the door to English I was completely out of breath.

“Oh, Ms. Matthews, late again, I see,” Mr. Lambert acknowledged my entrance with disdain and irritation. “At Kingsley we try to make promptness part of our daily routine. I hope this will not be a regular occurrence.” He gave me a snide smirk, but allowed me to take my seat in the back without further commentary. Lilly looked back and rolled her eyes.

A few minutes later, Kiran and Talbott arrived to class. They were both a little red in the face and clearly had continued their argument after I left them. Mr. Lambert offered a genuine smile and said nothing about their tardiness as they took their seats. Now I was the one that was irritated.

English seemed to drag on under Mr. Lambert's lecture; I struggled to pay attention. He droned on and on about Shakespeare, but my only thoughts lingered on the evidence I left in the theater. At the time I dreaded the consequences of being late for class over the consequences of what would happen to me if the school figured out who trashed the theater…. literally. I groaned inwardly, as I realized I should have cleaned up my mess and destroyed all evidence first and worried about class second.

“Pssst,” Kiran whispered in my direction. When I refused to look at him, he tried again, “Pssssst.” I pulled my hair over my shoulders and blocked my view of him.

“Eden,” he tried a little louder, causing several students around us to turn and glare. “Eden.”

“What?” I whispered back as sharply as I could, peeking out from behind my wall of hair.

“Why were you late this morning?” he smirked, proud that he was able to get my attention.

“Why were you?” I avoided his question. The theater incident was just one of the many reasons I was running late that morning.

“I’m allowed to be late. Didn’t you sleep well last night?” his grin widened into a proud smile and his perfect, straight and white teeth glistened at me.

I let my hair fall quickly back in front of my face, and slouched a little lower. My cheeks burned with the memory of my dream from the night before, being near Kiran with my hand in his, his eyes piercing me, as if he was looking into my soul. Thoughts of how inviting and seductive Kiran appeared in my dream conflicted with my fears of him finding out how crazy I was, more specifically about the trashcan. I heard him laugh softly, and a surge of electricity made my blood feel hot beneath my skin. He completely confused my emotions. I didn’t know what I was feeling anymore.

The bell finally rang and I took my time standing up out of my seat. I gathered my books slowly; all of the time my dark hair masked my face. Eventually, the next class started to file in. I looked up, relieved to be the last junior left. I headed slowly for the stairs, afraid of Drama.

Unfortunately, I didn’t need to wait until class for the drama to begin because Kiran was casually sitting on the black and white marble staircase, blocking my path. He sat in the middle of the fifth step, looking like a model waiting for the photo shoot to begin. His face wore the familiar smirk I had grown accustomed to seeing as he watched me awkwardly approach. I was not totally sure I understood his infatuation with bothering me.