1 Scire National High School

Lyzbeth Heredis

Ouch!

'Tis not a great alarm clock for me. In all of the methods that can wake me up, it had to be a curtain rod falling on my head. As I hazily open my eyes, all I see is disaster. 'Tis like a storm blew over. My books had fallen down from the shelves. My clothes in my closet is spread all over my floor. Now, I realize that it was not a storm. It is something worse.

Merilyn!

She's such a little fool. When she sees the crook of my face, all she could do is just let go of the flowery curtains she pulled. I don't know what she is waiting for, but she just stands there agape. Does she expect that I would burst into anger?

Anyway, I can't do anything about it now. I simply sigh in dismay. "Not again."

I sit up on my bed, and there she goes, acting all innocent as if she did not do anything. She hops on my lap and whimpers slightly. Yes, I know she's sorry.

I console her. "'Tis ok, Merilyn. Don't worry."

She's getting a bit heavy though. I had to put her down because of her weight. Mother has been feeding her too much. She's a bit arrogant for a dog-rabbit. She just hops around while wagging her tail. Next time, I won't let her get away scot-free for messing my room.

As I look out the bright scarlet sky of sunrise, I jump to my feet to give myself a little stretch. Why do my classes at this new school have to be this early? The morning is evil! Classes should be mid-morning. How am I supposed to learn if I'm still sleepy by the time I get there?

And just when I thought my morning can't get any worse, life just keeps proving me wrong. I look to my crystal clock with much horror.

Fifteen minutes until seven!

Oh, no! Not again! Not on my first day!

Hastily, I just grab a random towel on the floor and run to the bathroom. I turn the shower up high and drench myself with soap. I don't care anymore. I am so late! As I run for the door of the bathroom, I almost slip on the floor out of rush. I hurry to my room and grab the random clothes Merilyn scattered earlier. I take a green-checkered dress and some accessories to go with it. There's this golden necklace and my favorite hairpin. I don't even care if it does not match. I don't even have time to choose wisely.

I look at myself in my mirror, and damn. I'm a mess. Usually, I'd plait my hair, but I don't have time for that. I just take my comb and straighten out my golden locks. I put the hairpin at the back of my hair and the necklace chained on my neck. After that, I take my school bag, and run for the stairs.

As I go down, I skipped a step. Fortunately, I simply landed on my bottom as I glide down the few flights I need to take. Well, this is the worse morning I had. I'm killing myself in order not to be late.

"Lizzie, are you alright?" Mother asks from her kitchen when she heard my fall.

"Yeah, I'm fine," I say, not so fine myself. I feel my legs hurting after that fall. I think I even broke a few things inside my bag.

Then, I saw her. She rushed out to see me. "Why are you still here? 'Tis your first day. You need to be at the bus by – "

I don't have time to finish her nag. I rush for the door instantly.

"I know, I know," I say hastily as I give a short bow. "I'll fix the mess in my room later. You can thank Merilyn for that!"

I don't think I have time to look back to see what will happen. I run for the streets and wait for a bus. A few minutes later, and there is still none coming around.

"Come on, come on," I manage to say to myself.

Scirese buses are as fast as the wind. They can get me to my school within only minutes. But, why are there none passing by? Why must it be that every time I need a quick ride, I can't get one. I only have five minutes to get to school.

I look around the streets, and there I see a kid fixing a helmet on his head. On his side, he is holding a bicycle. A bicycle! Of course! I don't have time to wait for a bus. Maybe I can borrow his ride.

"Hey, kid, do you mind if I borrow your bike?" I ask pleadingly.

I can feel my sweat dripping off my face. I am so dead. The kid does not even seem to have any mercy. He scrutinizes my face before he can speak.

"No," he says with a mischievous smile.

"Oh, come on, kid! I'm getting late here. I don't have time for games."

"You'll have to pay me first!"

Pay? Seriously? What kind of children does Scire even have? How can this boy even ask me for money? What will he spend it on? In any case, I don't have time to argue with him now. I take a few silver coins out of my pocket and handed it to him.

"Here. That's all I got for now."

While he counts the money, I hop on the bike and pedal away as fast as I can. From a far off distance, I can hear him screaming.

"Hey! Get back here with my bike! This is not enough!"

I don't care at all. I'm getting this bike back to him anyway when I get back from school. In a rush of adrenaline, I pedal my way like a contestant for a Tour-de-France in the old world. Sweat drips all over me as if I ran a thousand miles. 'Tis a bright day where the sparrows chirp soundly and the trees look firm and tall. A spring day, it is, but all I can think about are the things that make a Cassidan spring better. Even if years shall pass after my graduation at Lucerna, I cannot help but miss Cassida. It was where I studied for two years. Now that I'm back home at Scire, I feel homesick for Cassida.

After passing through the coursing river by going over a bridge and the thick forest of buildings, finally I am here, Scire National High School. I look to my watch and I see that I have pedaled for ten minutes. That's a record. I cannot believe what a fit of rush can do to me.

As the guards were about to close the gates on me, I managed to pass through like an agile dancer in a masque. I get off the bike and park it near a tall Acacia tree.

Even though I feel myself panting, I cannot help but look with awe at this school. It is a beauty. Sure, nature is pretty at Cassida, but Scire is unique with technology and architecture. It is a building four stories tall. Every part is symmetrical and the light of the sun makes it shine as if it is a moon. A thousand students can probably be housed at this school. 'Tis things like this that put a smile on my face. Knowing that the Mediators created this building, I cannot help but appreciate the creativity that lies in their Arts.

The Arts are outlawed in Scire. It was that very reason I had to leave this land in order to improve my skills as an Enchantress. Practitioners, the ones who have skills that can do wonders, do not belong at Scire, and I am one of them.

As I take a deep breath, I can feel my anxiety flowing through me. Maybe, I don't belong here. I just don't fit in with like a typical Scirese. I don't fit the logical and complex personality of the people in this school. Scire National High School is meant to house the brightest Scirese in the land, but I don't belong here. I don't even know how I managed to get in here. Numbers and facts move a Scirese mind, but my mind revolves around fields and stories.

As I step into the beautiful inside of this school, I can never stop being in awe for everything. The enormous windows allow the light inside. White and blue are all the colors that I can see. The most striking thing I see is the insignia that this kingdom has chosen – the snake. The insignia is drawn on the middle of the school and can be seen from all four corners of it. It is such a symbol that always puts a mark on me.

For a long time, a snake has symbolized knowledge. It became this kingdom's basis for their motto – Scientia et Libertas or Knowledge and Freedom. It is the biggest irony of all. Knowledge of The Arts is not free in this kingdom and neither is our movement. If they had known who I really am, they would have surely burned me by now.

I take a flight of stairs and head for my room, Room 208. It is a class for 10th graders. I pass through the halls, and I take note of every number written on top of the doors. I pass the rooms 201, 202, and 203. Maybe, at the end of this hall, I'll reach room 208.

When I turn to my right, there I see her. She says I'm her pain, but I don't believe that. I see her flat smile. I don't know if she is ever glad to see me, but I do know that she is my friend (I think). I don't even know the status of our friendship.

"Late, I see," she says smugly.

And, that is her, Jensine. She is at a 12th grade class, but she's not really 18. I think she's a thousand years old. Even though she has the face and height of a teenager, it is just a façade. As I said, I don't think we are ever "friends" friends. I can't even bother to ask her how she reached a thousand years of life.

"Yeah, I know," I say wryly. "Why are you out here? Shouldn't you be in class?"

"I don't think I can learn more from a fool with a stick."

I'm amazed how tartly she can speak of education. Well, she is right anyway. There is nothing more she can learn from others. I think she was an enchantress of some sort before she got into a fight with a sorcerer. Maybe her wings were chopped off or something, but I do know that after that, she lost her skills in The Arts. And, in any case, she's here as if she is my guard. Even though I am a master enchantress, she never stops her guardianship. Unlike her, I can learn more from "a fool who lost her skills".

"No, I'm just out here because I'm on my way to relieve myself. You are truly making a good first impression, aren't you?" she continues.

"I know, not a good start for a new school. After two years of rising up at noon in a land of nature, you forget to rise up this early."

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