Thursday, April 11, 2013

SNOW BRIGHT by Summer Day: "Know Your Enemy" #TWO

Know your enemy

    Sara looked at Lavinia’s perfect shoes and pleated skirt and knew she’d never live in a trailer like her. Then she noticed her feet.
    “Hey, your socks are gone,” Sara stated.
    “It’s my…” for a moment Lavinia wanted to tell someone, to share her secrets with the one person who might understand, to make friends. Then she snapped out of it. Lavinia wasn’t even sure the formula worked or how far it would go.
    “Never mind,” Lavinia turned around and pretended to walk in the opposite direction.
     It didn’t work.
     The day had to be overcast and the weather conditions perfect. She took a second swig of her potion. Finally, she had the perfect reason to use it; researching Sara Bright with her braided hair, pert nose and smart girl glasses. Lavinia had wondered why Sara got to school early and walked home in the opposite direction. In any case, Lavinia knew because she’d stolen her chemical romance notes, that Sara was the keeper of secrets. Sara was the only girl in school whose powers came anywhere close to her own. To be smart and gifted wasn’t enough to get into Sloan Select on a scholarship. You had to be more than special.
    It was really weird. Lavinia had been working on her chemistry skills since she was in preschool but it had taken until now to get her most prized formula right. She’d mixed three of Sara’s to come up with it and also taken note of, the equations to make someone love you (warning: never to be properly used). They had been written in Sara’s strong handwriting.  
     Lavinia knew she was not a natural conjurer. Her inclinations always lay in the direction of mischief; she had to rely on technology and potions; Sara had gifts that went way beyond what was considered powerful. They were natural, innate, whereas Lavinia’s powers were not. They relied on basics she’d been learning since she could breathe. Even her trusty cell phone had been gifted to her by the previous queen bee of Sloan when she left; there was no way she could compete without access to Sara’s notes. Why weren’t they working?
    Sara shrugged, turned her back on Lavinia and walked on.
    There was no point in trying to strike up a conversation with someone like Lavinia. For some reason, second sight rarely worked with her. Sara could only occasionally see her deeds, thoughts or intentions. Lavinia was dark inside, Sara could sense it. The last thing she wanted to do was compete with her. It just made her the centre of attention – unwanted attention. At the children’s home, she’d been thrown out of class for opening windows when she wanted to feel the sun shine in and not just through glass. The trouble was, she’d opened the windows without a touch. 
     Her own gifts and talents, which were considerable, had been the source of way too much trouble. Her foster mom forced her to live in a trailer in their backyard, away from her six foster brothers, when she noticed Sara moving objects around the kitchen with barely a glance.
     “I don’t want you influencing the younger children,” her foster mom told her.
      Sara didn’t mind living in the trailer; she just didn’t want others to hear about her gifts. Her foster mom agreed not to tell. After all, Sara had won a scholarship to Sloane and that was all the younger children needed to know. Sara liked her foster brothers. Even though they freaked out when she changed the weather or merged them quickly through time to get to school faster. They thought time travel was like a fair ride but Sara received disciplinary action at Sloan for ‘not using her gifts wisely’.
    Sara couldn’t wait until she turned eighteen and could leave ‘home’ and Sloane Select forever. She wasn’t entirely sure why she’d been born different but there was a kind of joy in knowing there were others like her; Jack Hunter for one.
   Meanwhile, as Sara reached her home, Lavinia was near.
   She’d pretended to retreat, knowing that moment when she was about to give up made it perfect timing to push on. But she had paused, wondering when the formula would take and make her invisible.
   As Sara walked away from her, flowers grew out of the concrete pavement behind her steps and the overcast sky changed to a perfect sunset.
   In that same moment, Lavinia was as clear as air.
   The queen bee looked at the sky and changed the sun to a thunder clap.
   Know your enemy, Lavinia thought. So she followed her.