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Teeter Totter (complete)



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Old March 5th, 2009, 11:14 pm
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Teeter Totter (complete)

I recently finished writing my first completely original story and have began typing it up . Feedback would be greatly appreciated because while i'm not too sure it'll get published, it would still be nice to polish it off and improve because my english teacher is rather bad at helping me

Feedback please! http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=119734

Basic summary: it's about the forces of magic and the precarious balance that my main protagonist has to right.

Part 1: The Beginnings

Chapter 1: Fire and Ice

Beep, beep, beep, beep, beeeeeeep.

My alarm clock rang, screaming to my conscious mind, dragging me away from unpleasant nightmares.

Boredom.

The first emotion of every day, bitter about a life I was forced to live.

As I got up, putting on my light blue glasses, I glanced at my two roommates, beginning to talk about how to change our school uniforms, useless chatter, wasting precious brain cells on trivial things.

“Good morning,” Allegra and Claire called over.

“Good morning,” I said, walking over to the closet, pulling out a fresh set of clothes. I changed inside my warm covers, away from the cold air.

I left the dorm with them, for breakfast, at the same cafeteria I had been going to, year after year.

Was it possible that the students here had become more and more predictable? Or was I just getting better at figuring them out. The oldest of the students had left this prison, out to face a new world. A new set of young faces had appeared, quite a few looking dreary already, all clones, all the same

Allegra pulled me over to our regular table, still empty. A wide smile was on her face, I still have no idea how she manages to stay so incredibly cheerful.

I remained silent, no need to speak, no need to bother

“Come on, do you always have to be so dreary? It’s a new year,” she told me cheerfully. How could she possibly believe this? So what if it’s a new year, time means nothing when you’re trapped.

“Can we argue this while getting food?” I asked, my stomach growling slightly.

“Sure,” she pouted, “You’re no fun anymore.”

I sighed, I guess I had changed, but how could anyone have fun in such a place? I could practically feel myself drift to sleep.

I got a bowl of cereal from the kitchen, eating in silence. Our table had become full, full of noiseless chatter. I tuned it out, contributing nothing.

I left without a word, wandering the cold stone halls. Our school was ancient, founded centuries ago. One of the only interesting things to do was to explore the place, look through the many halls. Secret passages lied everywhere. It was almost amusing how teachers struggled to find fleeing troublemakers when they had been here decades longer while the students seemed to find a new hiding place every other day.

It was still early; the sun hadn’t even come out yet. It was only January, so that was to be expected. It was a world of ice

I went to the first floor, walking down two flights of stone steps, to an unused classroom (yeah, we have a lot of those around here). Our school, Vinific, was four stories high, first two for classrooms, three and four for student activities. There was always extra classroom space, even the year they let us use classrooms for clubs.

This particular room had a passage that led outdoors.

I often came down in winter months just to look at the sight, despite the cold.

Even in the absence of the sun, the ice and snow glittered in the faint light of the horizon. Millions of individual crystals, coexisting easily. Even in the absence of animals and green, this blue palace seemed full of life, still and silent, nothing like the dreary chaotic-ness that lay behind me. I was only in my uniform, a plaid, just below knee length skirt and red blouse bearing our school crest, a phoenix swirling around a large V, so I was shivering hard. Really, there should be a law against forcing girls to wear skirts in school.

As the sun crept up from above the trees, I sighed, I had class, relearning things I had discovered long ago.

I went up to my dorm, quickly grabbing my bag of books and supplies and hurried down to the first math class of the new year.

I doubted I would be able to stay awake, or at least pay attention in any shape or form after a few weeks of Christmas vacation and waking up at like two in the afternoon. Pure heaven.

I often doodled in class, while listening and taking notes. I wasn’t stupid enough to fail out, but I wasn’t about to be bored to death.

“Aurelie,” I heard Mrs. Austeru call my name. I heard the giggles of the Populars, as I call them, much less wordy than “the popular clique”. I could feel the air stir with sudden attentiveness of my enemies as they all turned to stare at me. “Are you paying attention?”

I gave her a somewhat exasperated and bored look and showed her my sheet of perfect notes, hiding my caricature of her with enormous ears and nostrils. I can’t believe she didn’t even notice, or at least said something about it.

She nodded and continued on her lecture, drawing looks of relief and disappointment across the room.
*****
It was already dark out at 7:00. Classes had long since ended, dinner finished. Most students were upstairs at this time of day, completing homework or socializing. I never felt a need to; I preferred to do everything in my dorm, in the absence of others.

Of course, at this time of day, I was already finished with most of my homework. I was now reading in the somehow cozy light of my lamp, lying in my bed, covers over my head. It was only till later that I ever bothered doing anything else.

The hours ticked by, my roommates had come, already exhausted. Our curfew was at nine, so no one was allowed outside dorms without special permission, which happened to be hard to come by but lights out at ten.

But my favorite time of day was around one in the morning, when nearly everyone was either asleep or too tired to notice much, when security guards had long since abandoned security tapes, and the few mice in the corridors had stopped scuttling within the walls.

A different world, still and dark, lit only by streaks of moonlight, waited.

I didn’t just come out to wander, I came to explore. During daytime, only mindless teachers and brainwashed students could be found. At night, it was secret passageways leading to hidden rooms, hidden worlds, a buried secret history.

Tonight, I was searching the basement.

Not so long ago, the basements were used as practically prison cells, where misbehaving students had to stay with bad tasting food and piles of homework for company.

But there was also a stone representation of a phoenix, carved into a wall. I was lucky enough to see it the first time I was given detention. I suspected no one else had noticed the tiny levers on it I suspected were switches.

Yes, it was years and years ago, but whatever, I had been busy over the years.

I was dumb enough to forget a flashlight, so I wandered through the inky blackness, hands outstretched, led by only strips of pale of moonlight.

It wasn’t too hard to find. All I really had to do was go straight and hope I didn’t break my fingers when I found the wall.

It was eerie down here. I’m not the kind to rely on nightlights to fall asleep at night, but being in a cold dungeon like room with almost no light wasn’t helping. I could hear my heart, pounding against my chest, as if fighting to scream and scamper away.

After walking with hands outstretched, steps slow and unsure for several minutes, I found the wall. I ran my fingers over the rough granite, trying to see with my skin.

My trembling fingers found their way to the top, searching for the phoenix’s head feathers.

Somehow, it was warmer near the head, how queer. I felt the seven feathers coming off its head and the small slits there.

I gasped, eager to try out the theory, and pushed the tiny feathers to the right.

It moved.

I did the same for the rest and as the seventh slid into place, I felt a sudden rumbling.

Dust fell from the ceiling and sides as the wall swung open like a door.

Ducking, in case the ceiling was low, I entered.


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My original story: Teeter Totter (Has absolutely nothing to do with playgrounds)



Last edited by Voldemorts8thHorcrux; July 18th, 2009 at 6:40 pm.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 2:37 am
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Re: Teeter Totter (has nothing to do with playgrounds :p)

Chapter 2: Room of Magic
I felt the air change. Was it warmer in here? It should’ve been freezing cold; I doubted the heater reached this area of the school. Even in the enclosed walls and dark, I could feel my heart calm down, and my body relax.

There was something welcoming about the smooth, dusty wall that made me want to continue, something that made me feel like I was supposed to be here.

After several minutes of blindly feeling my way through the tunnel, crouching under the low ceiling, suddenly, torches lighted. I gasped, surprised their sudden heat and flickering light.

I stopped feeling the wall and stood up slightly as the ceiling slanted higher, staring down the unlit distance of blackness. I took a step forward and two more flames, radiating heat and light from either side popped into existence.

It never ceased to amaze me when the flames lit. I could feel it somehow that it was magic, an almost tangible and ancient power full of untouched life. It was like this for…an hour maybe? My watch hung on my wrist, forgotten.

Finally, the tunnel opened into momentary darkness. I stepped out from under the low ceiling, and suddenly, foot by foot, rivers of fire erupted from the walls within glass casing, lighting the room with flickering orange light.

I gasped, what I saw was astounding, anything but normal.

The fire spiraled around a circular room and at the unimaginably high ceiling; a picture of a phoenix was alight. It wasn’t grey concrete on the walls either, but white marble, smooth and as reflective as glass.

On the lower half, there were thousands of books on the marble shelves, undisturbed by the fire in the glass.

Above the shelves, the fire had formed words.

“You have entered the waiting room to the hidden world of magic,” I read aloud

Upon reading the word magic, my heart seemed to do a little tap dance in my chest, pumping wildly. I could feel my eyes widen as I thought, magic! It was real1 How else could a place like this be made anyways? Well, I suppose technology could come pretty close, but as of now, “It’s magic” seemed more believable.

I looked around again, stepping toward the center, marveling at the room. Staring up, I noticed two semicircles of fire, one seemingly spreading, little by little across the glassy ceiling.

A clock! I suddenly realized. I glanced down at my watch; it was already four in the morning! Surely I had not been up for so long!

Tomorrow, I thought, tomorrow I would come again.

I found my way back with ease, speeding up my crawling and stumbling, ignoring the rumbling as the door shut, quickly finding my way to my dorm.

It was still dark when I reached my bed. Heart calming down, I drifted into a queer dream.

*****

I was in the Room of Magic again, just picking out a book to read.

But no sooner had I turned the first page, I felt a finger tap my shoulder. I looked up, and there stood a wise looking old man with long white hair and a long white beard, his skin wrinkled, eyes set in a smile. In his other hand, he held a book, laid with rainbow colored gems and warm gold.

“Use it well,” he whispered, handing it to me. I glanced at it for half a second, but when I looked up, he had already left

*****

“Aurelie,” I heard a voice call my name. “Wake up!”

It was Claire, shaking me slightly, looking rather amused. “Huh?” I mumbled stupidly, disoriented.

“You’ll miss breakfast,” she giggled

“What’s so funny about that?” I asked, not fully awake enough to sound fully grouchy about getting about three hours of sleep.

“Haven’t you learned your lesson about not traipsing around school so late?”

“Clearly I haven’t,” I said, getting up as she joined Allegra in applying makeup.

I was already in my school uniform, as I had not bothered taking it off last night, but that wasn’t what surprised me. It was the book I had seen in my dream, black, laid with gems and gold, under my covers, a dull weight under my thick covers. I snuck it under my pillow, away from prying eyes and threw my blankets over it, careful not to look too suspicious.

I was given only a few minutes to get ready before we left.

There was something different about how I felt, how everything appeared to me. The air seemed somewhat warmer, the school brighter. I didn’t feel the same level of distaste as I saw students, even the ones that strutted around as if they owned the place.

As we entered that same dreary cafeteria, there was something livelier about it. I didn’t think it had exactly changed, or it was the thought of “I know there’s magic” going through my head, but it certainly made me feel warm and powerful inside.

“What are you so happy about?” Allegra asked, curious about my strange behavior. I didn’t think I was showing much emotion, but she had noticed anyways.

“Oh, nothing,” I replied with a sly smile. There was a slight spring to my step as I walked, but at the same time, there was still that old distaste in the back of my head and the feeling of boredom, but lessened and hidden, as if they were only just barely mine.

I was too curious, breakfast was an utter waste of time compared to finding that room again, or at least reading what lay in the book from my dream, what knowledge lay printed in the musty pages and inky text.

I slipped away, but rather than being unnoticed like usual, a few eyes were upon me, quickly glancing away when they saw me looking.

I snuck into the hall and began fast walking to my dorm. Each second, I became more eager and increased my speed.

It wasn’t long until I made it to my bed, still energetic, whisking the book out from under the pillow and blankets.

I climbed up to my bed, turned on my lamp, stroking the bejeweled cover, and opened it.

There wasn’t any text in the book, but somehow, my heart didn’t seem to fall onto the bed below me. There was nothing in it, nothing but blank pages.

No, this book had to contain some hint of a secret. It just wasn’t possible that something like this could be useless. And after all, it appeared to me though magical means, it simply had to be magical

I opened it fully, staring at the blank pages as if something would appear and I would miss it.

It only lasted a few minutes before I decided to look at the first few pages. If there was something important, it was bound to be there. I examined the pages, slightly yellow and rough under my fingertips, until I felt invisible bumps on the page.

Lines…

Letters!

A momentary wave of excitement passed and I became serious again.

I ran my fingertips over the inside cover and first page carefully, determined to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

Quickly, I found a pencil and some paper. I found the first line of words centered an inch from the top, somewhat elevated pieces of invisible roughness.

If you are reading this book…

Beep!

The bell went off, time for first period. I groaned, a complete waste of time.

*****

I managed to finish most of my morning homework with minimal effort before lunch. Even without breakfast, the anticipation of deciphering the book was enough to feed what would’ve become aching hunger.


I dind’t even bother going to lunch and went straight to my dorm with a bag of chips, some juice and continued working.

It means that you are the new sorceress of the decade at Viren; use your magic wisely.

Raeppa

It ended right there, the rest smooth and old.

Raeppa. What was that supposed to mean? A spell? Some magical language?

I tried pronouncing it in different ways.

“Rapa”

“Raypa.”

“Reapa.”

“Repa.”

“Rypa.”

It was a dead end. New sorceress of the decade, yeah right.

It shouldn’t matter. Perhaps the other books could be helpful too.

I snuck it away and went to what remained of lunch

*****

It was the dead of night once again. There was no sound, nothing but empty halls. There wasn’t even moonlight, for the moon was safely sucked away behind the clouds.

I was smarter this time. Not only had I brought the book, I brought a flashlight. I didn't want to waste all my time crawling through the halls.

I quickly found my way to the phoenix and pushed back its feathers.

I had not yet turned my flashlight to the opening but as soon as the rumbling stopped, a hand grabbed my wrist.

I head back a scream and shout as the wrinkled hand dragged me in.

Unlike when I had first gone in, the door shut as soon as I got in and I was trapped in a dark tunnel with an unknown stranger.

“Who are you?” I asked, trying to insert some calm in my squeak.

I heard a snap of fingers and a ball of light illuminated the old face, the face of a man I met in the dream.

He took a slight bow, “your new teacher.”

“What do you mean?” I asked, managing to calm myself despite my pounding heart.

“No one expects a sorceress to be able to learn how to use magic all by herself,” he answered, smiling. “You must be a smart one, not many manage to figure out the book so soon.

“What do you mean? I only got as far as ‘raeppa,’ whatever that means.”

“Exactly, raeppa,” he pronounced it “reap-a”, “it’s a spell, appear.”

“Well, the text didn’t appear.”

“But something, or someone did.”

“You? But you were already in my dream.”

He shook his head,” That is different magic, magic you may one day learn how to use.”

He had already let go of my wrist, but gave me a slight push and began walking.

I followed him, waiting for him to say more, but he was silent. The light was following us, I noticed, lighting the way.

It was only when the first torches lit when he began to speak. “Every living thing has magic, and certain non-living things, like fire, do as well.

“However, some have more than others; things like age and species can make a tremendous difference. Magic is fuel. These torches are lit when enough magic is in their presence. If someone older came in, they may only flicker.

“A sorcerer or sorceress isn’t exactly superhuman, but a human who is able to use natural magic in supernatural ways.”

I was taking in every word, everything he was saying, as if my life depended on it.

“An ordinary human just uses magic for simple things, thought, movement, life, but certain things can change that. When you went into the Room, it changed the way your brain works, and therefore the flow of magic in your body.”

The torches had lit up, just like the first time I came here.

He became silent and kept walking.

After only a few minutes of silence, we stepped into the Chamber, greeted by the sound of roaring flames.

“At first, your magic will be weak and you will find it hard to use it outside of this particular environment, but with practice, you will and grow and develop in magical ability,” he said, smiling slightly. “Do you still have your book?”

I nodded numbly.

“When you first said ‘raeppa,’ it was like a very slight signal to me, just like when you came into this room. I’m sure you can get the text to appear now.” He took the book from me and opened it and I took it back into my trembling hands.

“Remember you control the magic to only an extent. You’re its guide, you convince it to work for you. Just concentrate and say ‘raeppa.’”

I closed my eyes, trying to direct energy into making words appear. “Raeppa,” I breathed.

Nothing was different on the page but perhaps the paper became somewhat darker. I sighed; this had to be a joke.

“Oh don’t worry,” he said. “I didn’t expect something major to happen on your first try. Remember to concentrate on guiding the magic. Perhaps imagining text on the paper or magic in the form of mist flowing into the book will help.”

I tried again, this time imagining black letters written on the page. All about concentrating, I thought. I imagined directing a faceless person to the book, writing the words. “Raeppa,” I said again, this time with more authority. I opened my eyes, not daring to hope for anything, but I now saw very light grey letters on the page.

“Wonderful!” he clapped his hands together, clearly excited. I couldn’t help but give a small smile. “That was great for the second try. Now try again.”

Feeling more motivated and determined, I tried again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

He had begun wiping the words out to let me try again. And although somewhat disappointed, I could see that with each try, the text became darker and darker, clearer and clearer.

After the umpteenth time…”Marvelous!” he said after declaring the text readable and in their original condition. He looked up at the fiery clock. “It is late; you had better get some sleep. If you want to practice the spell for disappear, it’s just disappear backwards. Most spells are in that format, normal words backwards, different in every language. What matters is the intention behind them and after a while you won’t even need spells.”

“Bye,” I said, and went back, book in hand.

*****

It seemed the longer I had it, and the more I used it, the easier magic became.

As I moved on to harder spells, it also seemed magic took some energy to direct it too. I asked the man, who turned out to be called Darius Tetaca, and he said that I used a small amount of natural magic for these things and as a sorceress, I could always regenerate it back. “However,” he warned, “when using tough spells on fighting a tough adversary, using too much magic is capable of killing you.”




sorry about now typing for so long, really really busy. I would really appreciate feedback! http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=119734


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My original story: Teeter Totter (Has absolutely nothing to do with playgrounds)



Last edited by Voldemorts8thHorcrux; March 21st, 2009 at 5:05 pm.
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Old March 21st, 2009, 5:12 pm
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Re: Teeter Totter (has nothing to do with playgrounds :p)

Chapter 3: Magical Secrets

January had passed in a blink of an eye. My improvement was astounding, Darius had said.

I had also been reading the still nameless book all the time as well; after I had figured out how to disguise it that is.

A bony hand grabbed the small book from under my arm. “What’s this?” the dark haired guy sneered. He opened it, and saw blank, lined pages. “Plan on writing a diary? Recording your so called success for future generations?”

“Plan on writing a to-do list on what kids to bully? Surely that information can’t all fit in that tiny head.” I sneered back. Corrin hated me, I never knew the exact reason why, but his snobby stuck up attitude made me despise him. Or maybe it was imagined, but either way he was cruel to me.

“Just remember I’m at the top of the school, both socially and grade-wise. And I admit you’re brains are up there with me, but honestly, you’re simply socially inept.”

“I could change that in a second,” with magic, I thought with a smile, but then again, I’m not exactly bad at making friends or anything. And I was being rather hypocritical as I did just as much bullying as he did, I just never got sent to detention for it.

“Then why haven’t you?”

“I happen to loathe the idea of being stuck up and smug,” I snatched back the book.

Of course I was ruler of the underground, I was sure if he made even one wrong move, I could get him suspended, with or without magical assistance. It wasn’t hard to get people suspicious or riled up.

It was already the end of the day. I had finished most of my homework, and although I doubted Darius was there, I enjoyed being there to read, or just stare transfixed at the flickering flames.

I was wrong though; Darius was there, looking somewhat surprised by my arrival. “Hello, you’re here early.”

“You too.”

“Well, no one’s going to miss me,” he shrugged. “I’m nearly two centuries old, remember? The magical world is my permanent home now.”

“What am I learning today?” I asked eagerly.

“Well, have you practiced the banishing and conjuring spells?”

“Of course.”

“If you’re good enough, we’ll try it on small animals and work our way up. This is the basis of teleportation.”

My eyes widened, “really?”

“Yes, but it will be a while before it’s safe enough.”

“Now, conjure up a pebble.”

I obliged. It was so much simpler now and the magic just flowed. It was truly a part of me now, as important as my beating heart and expanding lungs.

“Ella perujnoc,” I said, eyes shut tight, imagining a small, granite rock in my hand, with a phoenix carved into the crystals now that I had gotten good enough to create detail. After a smooth weight appeared onto my hands, I opened my eyes.

It worked, to put it in simple terms. In my hands lay a pebble, shining in the firelight, a phoenix etched on the surface as imagined.

“You call this a pebble?” he chuckled.

“It thought it would be pretty,” I said, blushing slightly, a defensive tone in my voice

“Really, you have progressed so much faster than my other students. Maybe it was just because they’re afraid to, but they never bothered making a simple instruction more complicated.”

“Think of it as a compliment,” I joked. “I’m too lazy to do extra work in my classes, normally. And either way, is it a bad thing to want to do great and impress?”

“Do great, yes. Impress, no. Magic is life. Use it because you love it, not to show the world the extent of your power.” He said. Was it me or did he look somewhat teary eyed? “Now vanish it.”

I took a deep breath this time. “Ouyh sinlar.” I saw it seemingly evaporate, disappearing within a second.

“I believe you’re ready. Remember, conjuring is the art of bringing something from a dimension where banished things are and morphing them into something you want. So I think you should try morphing something into an animal.” He conjured up a piece of black cloth. “We’ll start simple. Try to change that into an earthworm, incantation is ‘egnach.’”

“Egnach,” I said, imagining that swatch of black cloth rolling up, melting together and changing color and texture.

I saw it morph in front of my eyes, and as soon as it took its form, it was taken from my hand to be examined.

“Lifeless,” he said. One simple word.

“But how can I give it life?” I asked, confused.

“Remember, magic is fuel, fuel is energy, energy is life. Use a little more magic, and give it some worm like traits.” He held the limp worm up to the light, “See? No organs.”

I looked at him, slightly confused. “It’s not like I’m an expert on worm anatomy.”

“You don’t have to be, just let the magic know what you want.”

Err…magic? You know what to do I guess? I thought stupidly, fighting down giggles and concentrated again. This time, on top of attempting to ask um…magic whether or not it knew about worm anatomy, I added a little extra push, urging in more magic, defining…a personality, I guess. “Egnach”

It worked, I think. This worm, at least, was moist and wriggling in my hands.

“Outstanding!” he said, a bright smile on his face. He had surprisingly white teeth, I noticed. Magic could obviously be used to change appearances. “But remember, it’s only a worm, very simple to make. Something larger and more complex, like maybe a rat, or a cat, would be tougher.”

“For now, these simpler creatures will do, but later on you will need to use outside energy,” he said. “Now, try turning that worm into a rat. I just want to show you how much harder it gets the more complex organisms are.”

I formed a rat in my head, thinking not only about the outside, but the inside as well, including its organs and internal arrangement. Then, a personality, traits of a rat would have, a life. “Egnach,” I said again.

A rat was morphed from the worm and alive but only for a few seconds, one squeak and instant death.

“What happened?” I asked, confused, “Did I not give it enough life?”

It was his turn to do magic now. “Ralen,” he said, clear and confident. A blue light appeared in the palm of his hand, and he held it over the rat, eyes closed in concentration.

After a few minutes of this, his eyes opened. “The organs weren’t right; you didn’t use the magic to help you as much.

“Remember, you’re only its humble guide, you’re trying to control it. Magic knows how to make a rat; you just tell it where to go.”

He turned it into a rock again and showed me. He didn’t even need words, I noticed. He waved another hand over it and a live rat appeared, white and squeaking. He made it seem so easy and quick, I thought, feeling a wave of shame.

It was late when he decided that I had already pushed myself too much. I dind’t feel that way, and if anything, I felt better. I wasn’t amazing, but it was nice to know I was improving more and more with each hour passing by.

I had left reluctantly but assured myself that at this hour, I could just practice in my dorm. And either way, I still had quite a bit of homework left to finish.

*****

It was a few nights later and I was in the room yet again. Darius wasn’t there and I was reading by firelight.

But suddenly, it got cold, and the red glow turned to frosty blue. I looked around, blue flames had replaced the red and frosty light flickered in the glass. Above, there was no longer a phoenix but a dragon.

A whisper, barely audible, came. “You will be ours, Aurelie.” Although soft, there was no mistaking the words and I felt a distinct sensation of fear tensing up my body.

But as soon as it had come, it went. The flames were warm again, and the dragon became a phoenix again.

*****

“Aurelie,” two voices said, four hands shaking me awake.

“Huh?” I mumbled sleepily.

“Are you ok?” Allegra asked, a distinct note of fear in the voice.

“Yeah, why?”

“You were acting really weird and mumbling and rolling around in your sleep,” she answered.

I suddenly noticed that I was in cold sweat. “What time is it?”

“Five in the morning,” Claire answered.

Great I thought, four hours of sleep.

“I’m going to try to fall asleep again,” I yawned.

They exchanged nervous glances.

“I’m fine, just a nightmare, no big deal.”

“This is the only time we’ve ever had to wake you up because of one,” Claire said.

“First time for everything, I said, smiling slightly.

“Whatever,” Claire said, just barely glaring at me, “Good night.”

“Good night,” Allegra and I answered, plopping our heads back down on the pillows.

Sleep came soon, but I couldn’t help but think my sanity was in trouble.

*****

I wasn’t practicing magic today. It was a few days after the dream and I was reading.

“Normal sorcerers aren’t the only type of magical being out there. There is a magical world, Alilocu, with faeries, dragons, giants, elves and other magical beings. Originally, they were Earthlings too, but over time, not only did the human’s attitude toward them change, so did their magic itself, making it harder and harder to dwell on Earth.

“Only some beings remained, because their magic, unlike other magical beings, come from the Earth. Among these were sorcerers, fire and ice, phoenix and dragon, good and evil.

“They always lived together somewhat peacefully, but each side wanted more power, whether or themselves or for their group. At first, they fought amongst one another in minor skirmishes, but that soon changed.

“The magic of the shadowsorcerers itself was tainted. It was shadow magic and it required constant fuel. It was more powerful, risky and dangerous than normal magic.

“A new leader rose to power and after getting rid of her enemies, showed everyone a new way of life. They couldn’t use magic of normal sorcerers, but they could use magic if they decided to change their magic.

“They now had a new feeding source.

:Ice was rising to power but these first shadowsorcerers using dark magic were unwary of how they were feeding the being that had showed them their new ways, the Shadows.

“Shadows, unlike sorcerers, got magic from outside sources. After the millennia, she managed to become strong enough to take magic directly, often through dreams, aiming for the minds of younger sorcerers.”

I stopped right there, it wanted my magic.

“Over time, the first Shadows passed her magic to new shadowsorcerers and they could only be stopped by the strongest of sorcerers. They rarely fought outright, but acted as parasites on the young or tired to get them entangled in shadowmagic in other ways.”

I might as well get started on my will. It was obvious I was being targeted and marked for death.

It wasn’t late yet, but I didn’t feel like going down to the room, a first.

I looked out the window. Spring had come so early this year; it wasn’t even March yet.

No one was outside, at least not on this side of the school. It was against the rules, but then again…

An idea suddenly struck me.

I conjured up a cloak and a different set of clothes. It was midnight blue ad semi transparent, made of smooth and wispy cloth and then I conjured up some dark jeans and a dark blue shirt with dark swirls and long flowing sleeves.

“Elbisvni,” I whispered. A strange sensation filled me, oddly soothing, you could say.

I looked down, and my skin and clothes were beginning to fade rapidly and with a silent whisper of energy, I was completely invisible.

I opened the window and a gust of cold air greeted me, a breath of freedom. The sun was already down, nobody would or could see me.

I climbed out, and sitting on the windowsill, I got my first glance at freefall. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and jumped, concentrating on flight.

Wow, I totally suck at writing during the middle of the night, I had to do so much editing Feedback please! http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=119734


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  #4  
Old May 10th, 2009, 8:47 pm
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Re: Teeter Totter (has nothing to do with playgrounds :p)

Chapter 4: Discovery

I can’t say that I exactly flew, but it was a wonderful feeling. Wind seemingly carried me down, whistling in my ears. I managed to glide forward slightly, pushing the air with my magic, making it to the edge of the forest.

It was quite lovely in the deep woods. Moonlight peeked in between spaces between the leaves, parked on the forest ground. I went in, following the worn and rough cement cutting through the woods.

It was really not surprise that I forgot something. In this case, it was shoes. But I could not help but leave my feet bare, feeling the dirt, seeing the ground’s roughness, leaving my eyes free to marvel at the darkness surrounding me.

I had always felt so trapped in the school but suddenly, it didn’t matter anymore. I had a secret that could let me do anything really.

And I couldn't help but notice that I had encountered no obstacles and no injuries.

“Llaci edt nwi,” I murmured. Perhaps this time I could fly.

A sudden gust of wind came, seeming almost solid to me, carrying me above the topmost branches.

Ahead was the lake. Although we weren’t even allowed outside school walls normally, at the end of the year, it was like a mini school field trip to picnic by it.

I could see the sparkling water, glistening in the moonlight.

I just had to try at the very least.

No words, just pure thought and will guided me to the waters. I could feel myself crawling through the air, but I needed more and I guided more magic in. I felt my body move faster, noticing how I feeling close to exhausted. I attempted to concentrate on a picture of me flying forward effortlessly, a whooping sensation in my stomach, wind blowing my hair and cloak back and then found myself moving forward in a sudden burst of speed that quickly unbalanced me and sent me flying into the water.

I swam to the surface, half coughing, half laughing.

I quickly discarded my cloak as I swam around. Despite my shivering, swimming around by moonlight was a wonderful feeling, seeing the ripples of light and darkness from underneath with an air pocket for my eyes

Perhaps I was only there for a few minutes, perhaps half an eternity, but I swam to the shore eventually, extracting water with magic, leaving me dry.

As I looked back, I saw a slight movement on the opposite bank, a dark figure. I blinked and it was gone. Probably an animal, I told myself.

*****

I felt like I was in some sort of clichéd movie where the main character is walking down a dark path and keeps looking back at the slightest noise only to feel foolish and scared. Except there was no noise, only a vague prickly feeling you get when you just know you’re being watched.

It only took a few minutes to get back on foot and summon enough magic to get back up, even if I felt completely ready to fall asleep this time.

Allegra and Claire were fast asleep by the time I got to the windowsill. I tried to minimize the creaking as I pushed open the window. Looking at the bright display on the clock in the corner, it was still early enough to go down to the chamber, regardless of how tired I was feeling.

It took me another few minutes to get there.

“Nice outfit,” Darius chuckled, “What’s it for?”

“I went out,” I responded. “I used magic to try to fly.”

He smiled knowingly, “and?”

“I couldn’t use magic alone, only wind.”

“Astounding,” he murmured, voice barely audible, and then louder, “how was it?”

“Wonderful,” I responded, grinning. “It was somewhat frustrated when I could glide quickly enough though.”

“You’ll learn how to properly fly later, it’s somewhat advanced. I’m surprised you even got your feet off the ground.”

“So what are we learning today?”

“Have you practiced conjuring animals?”

I responded by conjuring a little mouse with no considerable effort.

“Wonderful!” he exclaimed, clapping his hands together. “I was thinking we could start dueling.”

“Really?” I asked, excited again, but at the same time wondering how much energy I would have left.

“It’s a necessity at this point. I [resume you know about shadowmagic?”

“Yeah, I just read about it a few hours ago.” And I had a dream, I thought privately.

“At a certain point it will want to take you and your magic. It wants easy prey, weak enough to not resist easily but strong enough to give it a good amount of power.

“If you’re lucky, they’ll send someone after you who’s easy to fend off. If you’re stubborn enough or good at dueling, taking your magic would be too problematic.”

“Why?”

“You’re magic is part of your soul. By taking your magic, it takes your soul and it could kill you,” I couldn’t help but just notice how he seemed rather…unconcerned. “It’s slightly harder to do and it’s easier for you to fight back, and you could even make yourself more powerful if you escape unscathed.”

“What if I’m not lucky?” I asked nervously.

“I wouldn’t say it’s luck, but if you are powerful enough, the Shadows will attempt to convert your magic and give you shadowmagic instead, which allows it access to your power. Terrible things happen to those who indulge themselves too much. You might be taken by the Shadows and possibly a slave for them, and have a cursed, half life. Dueling will not help you if you are headed to that path, only your own will can be used to break free.”

He was silent and I could almost see tiny pools of moisture near his eyes, the beginnings of tears. “Are you ok?” I asked tentatively.

“Me? Oh yes,” he said, coming back to himself “but I just have a feeling that you will be introduced to shadowmagic soon.”

“Er…I need to tell you something.”

Fear struck his eyes but he didn’t say anything.

“I had a dream a few days ago and in it, I was in here reading, and in an instant, the fire turned a frosty blue and a voice said ‘You will be ours, Aurelie.’”

He began shaking his head, “So soon,” he murmured. He pressed two fingers to the side of my temple. I could feel a slight flow of energy coming from his fingers, searching my soul. “It’s there,” he sighed, his voice tinged with fear, pity and annoyance. “It’s only a small amount of shadowmagic, but be very careful with your use of magic. Shadowmagic corrupts, and it will feel very different from normal magic. No matter what, at very least try to regret using it, it helps make sure the shadowmagic doesn’t take over. Also, come by whenever you have time, so I can monitor how you’re doing. If you’re lucky and have enough willpower, it may stop, leaving you unscathed.”

From around his collar, he took out a brilliant gem set in gold, threaded on a delicate gold chain. It was in the shape of a phoenix and colored fiery yellow, orange and red, glittering in the flickering firelight.

“This was mine when I was your age,” he said, smiling sadly. “It may protect and help you fight the influence of shadowmagic.” He took it off and hung it around my neck. It was strangely warm and felt somewhat heavy hanging there. Warmth flooded my body the moment the gem touched my chest. “It won’t cure you but it will help. Shadowmagic is like cancer in a way. There are no sure ways to cure it. There are things to help, but the rest is in luck and the will to live.

“Do you still want to learn dueling? It won’t be helpful to fight shadowmagic, but it will be fun,” he said, smiling slyly.

“Sure, but can I sleep here tonight?”

“Won’t your friends notice?”

“I was hoping you could help me duplicate myself.”

“Another time,” he told me gently, but firmly at the same time.

“So…dueling…”

“Dueling with magic is somewhat similar to dueling with swords. The participants fight until one forfeits or can’t fight anymore. Although you can simply direct energy, using words is easier for most.” He turned, a smile tugging at his lips. “Follow me.”

At the bookcase opposite the door, he said, “Nepo.”

To my surprise, it swung open like a door, opening to a smooth, glass staircase. Darius started going up them, and I hastened to follow.

It seemed to go on forever. Underneath the glass was what seemed like a firestorm, but somehow calm and not fierce.

What seemed like nearly an hour later, we made it to the top and a plane stone door. Darius knocked once, and it opened.

It seemed to be some sort of greenhouse. Plants surrounded the perimeter and were randomly planted in the dirt. Grass covered some of the ground, along with patches of sand and dirt. The rest was water, forming a still pond. The perimeter was surrounded by fire, free burning fire, unrestrained by glass, but somehow still staying in place.

I suddenly realized my mouth was open and closed it. “The arena,” he said, smiling. “When you duel, you have to stop your opponent from being able to fight back. If you were simply being tested on power, it wouldn’t matter as much, but it is done by either tiring your opponent by forcing them to use magic to protect themselves, either with physical force, or pure magic.”

Without warning, a jet of water flew from the right to blast me, but somehow, it almost seemed to be in slow motion and I could feel the mix of energies controlling it. I tried to stop it by countering it with my magic, but although it slowed down, I still had to duck out of the way and the force of the water splashing to the ground drenched me anyways. I was already exhausted, but that sudden use of magic had taken even more out of me.

“No fair!” I gasped at him, looking toward to my side, only to find him at the other side of the room.

“You shouldn’t use pure energy for defense usually. You have to be powerful enough to stop the blow. It’s better to either divert or change it, or do something physical that requires less energy. Try hitting me with water,” he shouted.

I quickly directed the water from the ground, now muddy, into a jet, but it was suddenly stopped by a large boulder that seemed to appear out of nowhere. As the sound of spattering water ended, it came flying toward me. I was startled, and thought of magic left my head. I dived to the left, stopping my fall with my hands, and fell in the fresh grass.

“You could have killed me!” I shouted back at him, and tried to knock a tree over on him, but he flew out of the way, and directed dirt and sand at me at the speed of bullets. I attempted to build a brick wall, but I was too slow and was showered with the broken earth.

Another jet of water came my way, from behind me, and I stopped it with a burst of energy, freezing it solid.

I looked up at him, expecting a smile and words of congratulation, but he only touched down, looking anxious, and pressed two fingers to the side of my temple again.

“What’s wrong?” I blurted out.

“Ice is usually controlled by shadowmagic, even if both kinds can create it.,” he replied. “Just go to bed, we’re done here.




Sorry about not posting for so long, been pretty busy lately, but i'll try to do a chapter a week if i have the time. Feedback please!


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  #5  
Old June 10th, 2009, 2:36 am
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Secret Keeper
 
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Location: just took over world,on throne
Age: 23
Posts: 5,710
Re: Teeter Totter (has nothing to do with playgrounds :p)

Chapter 4: Discovery

I can’t say that I exactly flew, but it was a wonderful feeling. Wind seemingly carried me down, whistling in my ears. I managed to glide forward slightly, pushing the air with my magic, making it to the edge of the forest.

It was quite lovely in the deep woods. Moonlight peeked in between spaces between the leaves, parked on the forest ground. I went in, following the worn and rough cement cutting through the woods.

It was really not surprise that I forgot something. In this case, it was shoes. But I could not help but leave my feet bare, feeling the dirt, seeing the ground’s roughness, leaving my eyes free to marvel at the darkness surrounding me.

I had always felt so trapped in the school but suddenly, it didn’t matter anymore. I had a secret that could let me do anything really.

And I couldn't help but notice that I had encountered no obstacles and no injuries.

“Llaci edt nwi,” I murmured. Perhaps this time I could fly.

A sudden gust of wind came, seeming almost solid to me, carrying me above the topmost branches.

Ahead was the lake. Although we weren’t even allowed outside school walls normally, at the end of the year, it was like a mini school field trip to picnic by it.

I could see the sparkling water, glistening in the moonlight.

I just had to try at the very least.

No words, just pure thought and will guided me to the waters. I could feel myself crawling through the air, but I needed more and I guided more magic in. I felt my body move faster, noticing how I feeling close to exhausted. I attempted to concentrate on a picture of me flying forward effortlessly, a whooping sensation in my stomach, wind blowing my hair and cloak back and then found myself moving forward in a sudden burst of speed that quickly unbalanced me and sent me flying into the water.

I swam to the surface, half coughing, half laughing.

I quickly discarded my cloak as I swam around. Despite my shivering, swimming around by moonlight was a wonderful feeling, seeing the ripples of light and darkness from underneath with an air pocket for my eyes

Perhaps I was only there for a few minutes, perhaps half an eternity, but I swam to the shore eventually, extracting water with magic, leaving me dry.

As I looked back, I saw a slight movement on the opposite bank, a dark figure. I blinked and it was gone. Probably an animal, I told myself.

*****

I felt like I was in some sort of clichéd movie where the main character is walking down a dark path and keeps looking back at the slightest noise only to feel foolish and scared. Except there was no noise, only a vague prickly feeling you get when you just know you’re being watched.

It only took a few minutes to get back on foot and summon enough magic to get back up, even if I felt completely ready to fall asleep this time.

Allegra and Claire were fast asleep by the time I got to the windowsill. I tried to minimize the creaking as I pushed open the window. Looking at the bright display on the clock in the corner, it was still early enough to go down to the chamber, regardless of how tired I was feeling.

It took me another few minutes to get there.

“Nice outfit,” Darius chuckled, “What’s it for?”

“I went out,” I responded. “I used magic to try to fly.”

He smiled knowingly, “and?”

“I couldn’t use magic alone, only wind.”

“Astounding,” he murmured, voice barely audible, and then louder, “how was it?”

“Wonderful,” I responded, grinning. “It was somewhat frustrated when I could glide quickly enough though.”

“You’ll learn how to properly fly later, it’s somewhat advanced. I’m surprised you even got your feet off the ground.”

“So what are we learning today?”

“Have you practiced conjuring animals?”

I responded by conjuring a little mouse with no considerable effort.

“Wonderful!” he exclaimed, clapping his hands together. “I was thinking we could start dueling.”

“Really?” I asked, excited again, but at the same time wondering how much energy I would have left.

“It’s a necessity at this point. I [resume you know about shadowmagic?”

“Yeah, I just read about it a few hours ago.” And I had a dream, I thought privately.

“At a certain point it will want to take you and your magic. It wants easy prey, weak enough to not resist easily but strong enough to give it a good amount of power.

“If you’re lucky, they’ll send someone after you who’s easy to fend off. If you’re stubborn enough or good at dueling, taking your magic would be too problematic.”

“Why?”

“You’re magic is part of your soul. By taking your magic, it takes your soul and it could kill you,” I couldn’t help but just notice how he seemed rather…unconcerned. “It’s slightly harder to do and it’s easier for you to fight back, and you could even make yourself more powerful if you escape unscathed.”

“What if I’m not lucky?” I asked nervously.

“I wouldn’t say it’s luck, but if you are powerful enough, the Shadows will attempt to convert your magic and give you shadowmagic instead, which allows it access to your power. Terrible things happen to those who indulge themselves too much. You might be taken by the Shadows and possibly a slave for them, and have a cursed, half life. Dueling will not help you if you are headed to that path, only your own will can be used to break free.”

He was silent and I could almost see tiny pools of moisture near his eyes, the beginnings of tears. “Are you ok?” I asked tentatively.

“Me? Oh yes,” he said, coming back to himself “but I just have a feeling that you will be introduced to shadowmagic soon.”

“Er…I need to tell you something.”

Fear struck his eyes but he didn’t say anything.

“I had a dream a few days ago and in it, I was in here reading, and in an instant, the fire turned a frosty blue and a voice said ‘You will be ours, Aurelie.’”

He began shaking his head, “So soon,” he murmured. He pressed two fingers to the side of my temple. I could feel a slight flow of energy coming from his fingers, searching my soul. “It’s there,” he sighed, his voice tinged with fear, pity and annoyance. “It’s only a small amount of shadowmagic, but be very careful with your use of magic. Shadowmagic corrupts, and it will feel very different from normal magic. No matter what, at very least try to regret using it, it helps make sure the shadowmagic doesn’t take over. Also, come by whenever you have time, so I can monitor how you’re doing. If you’re lucky and have enough willpower, it may stop, leaving you unscathed.”

From around his collar, he took out a brilliant gem set in gold, threaded on a delicate gold chain. It was in the shape of a phoenix and colored fiery yellow, orange and red, glittering in the flickering firelight.

“This was mine when I was your age,” he said, smiling sadly. “It may protect and help you fight the influence of shadowmagic.” He took it off and hung it around my neck. It was strangely warm and felt somewhat heavy hanging there. Warmth flooded my body the moment the gem touched my chest. “It won’t cure you but it will help. Shadowmagic is like cancer in a way. There are no sure ways to cure it. There are things to help, but the rest is in luck and the will to live.

“Do you still want to learn dueling? It won’t be helpful to fight shadowmagic, but it will be fun,” he said, smiling slyly.

“Sure, but can I sleep here tonight?”

“Won’t your friends notice?”

“I was hoping you could help me duplicate myself.”

“Another time,” he told me gently, but firmly at the same time.

“So…dueling…”

“Dueling with magic is somewhat similar to dueling with swords. The participants fight until one forfeits or can’t fight anymore. Although you can simply direct energy, using words is easier for most.” He turned, a smile tugging at his lips. “Follow me.”

At the bookcase opposite the door, he said, “Nepo.”

To my surprise, it swung open like a door, opening to a smooth, glass staircase. Darius started going up them, and I hastened to follow.

It seemed to go on forever. Underneath the glass was what seemed like a firestorm, but somehow calm and not fierce.

What seemed like nearly an hour later, we made it to the top and a plane stone door. Darius knocked once, and it opened.

It seemed to be some sort of greenhouse. Plants surrounded the perimeter and were randomly planted in the dirt. Grass covered some of the ground, along with patches of sand and dirt. The rest was water, forming a still pond. The perimeter was surrounded by fire, free burning fire, unrestrained by glass, but somehow still staying in place.

I suddenly realized my mouth was open and closed it. “The arena,” he said, smiling. “When you duel, you have to stop your opponent from being able to fight back. If you were simply being tested on power, it wouldn’t matter as much, but it is done by either tiring your opponent by forcing them to use magic to protect themselves, either with physical force, or pure magic.”

Without warning, a jet of water flew from the right to blast me, but somehow, it almost seemed to be in slow motion and I could feel the mix of energies controlling it. I tried to stop it by countering it with my magic, but although it slowed down, I still had to duck out of the way and the force of the water splashing to the ground drenched me anyways. I was already exhausted, but that sudden use of magic had taken even more out of me.

“No fair!” I gasped at him, looking toward to my side, only to find him at the other side of the room.

“You shouldn’t use pure energy for defense usually. You have to be powerful enough to stop the blow. It’s better to either divert or change it, or do something physical that requires less energy. Try hitting me with water,” he shouted.

I quickly directed the water from the ground, now muddy, into a jet, but it was suddenly stopped by a large boulder that seemed to appear out of nowhere. As the sound of spattering water ended, it came flying toward me. I was startled, and thought of magic left my head. I dived to the left, stopping my fall with my hands, and fell in the fresh grass.

“You could have killed me!” I shouted back at him, and tried to knock a tree over on him, but he flew out of the way, and directed dirt and sand at me at the speed of bullets. I attempted to build a brick wall, but I was too slow and was showered with the broken earth.

Another jet of water came my way, from behind me, and I stopped it with a burst of energy, freezing it solid.

I looked up at him, expecting a smile and words of congratulation, but he only touched down, looking anxious, and pressed two fingers to the side of my temple again.

“What’s wrong?” I blurted out.

“Ice is usually controlled by shadowmagic, even if both kinds can create it.,” he replied. “Just go to bed, we’re done here.

He raised a hand over me and I could feel myself grow suddenly warm, dry andclean.

I glanced down at my watch; it was only one in the morning.

“Grab my arm,” he ordered.

I held on to his arm, wondering what was going on. But suddenly, I could somehow feel myself evaporating into nothingness…and I found myself in the chamber.

“I just felt like showing you what niota tropelet was like,” he said. “Good night.”

“Good night,” came my reply as I began making my way to my dorm.

It had been such a strange night, but somehow, something seemed to be amiss.

And that feeling of being watched didn’t fade or waver that night, even as I pulled my covers over me, anticipating long deserved rest.


Feedback Please: http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=119734

Sorry about such a long delay, i've been busy from school but i should have a lot more time on my hands now that it's almost over (final exams=me going to school only a few hours of day and coming back to do other things ). Hopefully i'll get at least one chapter and hopefully two up a week over the next two months but i'm not sure


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My original story: Teeter Totter (Has absolutely nothing to do with playgrounds)



Last edited by Voldemorts8thHorcrux; June 10th, 2009 at 2:38 am.
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  #6  
Old June 19th, 2009, 2:58 am
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Re: Teeter Totter (has nothing to do with playgrounds :p)

Chapter 5: Shadowmagic

The weeks were passing by and soon, it became spring, and later on, a feeling of summer had crept into the air.

I went to the Chamber every day, and although my talent grew, my power didn’t seem to improve, but I could still feel the energies take hold of my life.

Whereas normal magic made me feel happier, shadowmagic made me feel moodier and more depressed. It wasn’t much of a change from who I was before, so it didn’t worry me much. What did worry me, and on a much larger scale, Darius, was that I began experience constant urges to use it.

Shadowmagic was simply too close to my nature. Before magic, I seriously doubted the existence of my heart and soul. Soon enough, it could become true.

It was history class now and Mrs. Praeter’s voice droned over our ears, the information in her voice seeming to dodge our minds. I was still forever thankful that our textbooks actually made history somewhat interesting in a way. As the eyelids over even Allegra’s constantly excited eyes began to droop, I had began doodling dragons, not noticing that I had gone back to a favorite past hobby. Up to a few days ago, phoenixes, the birds of fire had captured my interest.

It was during the second half of this class when I was beginning to lose my temper. Corrin was dumb enough to sit next to me, and even dumber to start provoking me.

“You look tired Aurelie,” he whispered into my ear, “Late night studying?”

You would think that I would stop getting annoyed about being called a geek by him, but then again, just hearing his voice was provocation enough.

I bit back the shadowmagic I was dying to use, the magic that would do much more than simple physical damage. I could destroy him, bend him to my will, or at the very least, get him to stop talking to me.

It was after class that it began. They had begun to attempt to trip me. They were one of the last groups that were foolish enough to defy me. I may not be popular, but I was certainly good at making people’s lives miserable. Think of me as a large stone pillar, I don’t usually do much, but if you push me enough, you better hope that I don’t fall on you.

And that was before I got exposed to magical power that could leave them as a smudge on the sidewalk. I could practically feel the magic tingling in my fingertips, as if it new how I felt and was ready to do the smiting for me.

I suddenly felt a release and the jeers and pathetic attempts to trip me stopped. I used my magic to sense my surroundings and I could feel cold magic surrounding me, wrapping itself around the others.

I chanced a glance behind me and saw equally stunned and pained faces. What did I do?

The rest of the day, I was keeping the fear out of my eyes and my stance. Minutes dragged by as I attempted to distance myself. What seemed to be an eternity later, the bell rang, a glorious sound in my seemingly never-ending torture.

My feet pounded against the cold stone floor, darting around chattering students, strong walls, down stone steps. But as the door in front of the passage to the Room of Magic, a shadowy figure that was completely different from the familiar shape of Darius stood in front of me came out.

Shadows surrounded me, and I felt that same disappearing feeling I experienced last night, and I condensed into existence again. I wasn’t even given time to scream when I realized we had probably left the mortal world.

*****
The woman before me was…terrifying. Terrifying doesn’t even come close actually. Something about her very being told me that she was a woman of power. If evil was a woman, this is what it would look like. The very sight of her made me want to turn and run, screaming as I went. And I probably would’ve if I hadn’t lost all control of my limbs so all that came out of my mouth was a whispered, “who are you?”

Her eyes were cruel, heartless, cold. I had once described myself that way, but after seeing this woman, I couldn’t possibly be. Her eyes were jet black, lips bluish purple, skin pale, as if her very blood was made of liquid ice.

I felt myself stiffen when she answered in a cold voice as her lips tugged into a very slight smile that didn’t touch her eyes. “I am Acera Glacies, queen of the shadows.”

“Queen?” I whispered, feeling slightly weak, why was a queen sent for me? Shouldn't any old shadowsorcerer be sent?

She laughed a high cold laugh but there was only a slight tinge of true amusement in it. “I’ll put it this way,” she whispered. “You’re special.”

“Pride flooded me when she said it, along with fear. She had read my mind.

“Why stay with regular sorcery?” she whispered, “when so much more power lies behind another door.” She stood suddenly straight and tall and I suddenly noticed how she ad swirls sewn into her black cloak, a dress inside it the color of ice. “I’m the Queen of Shadows, of Ice, join me and gain power beyond your wildest imagination. Unlike other shadowsorcerers, I could easily destroy you, take your power, kill you.” Her voice entered subzero temperatures, but she still seemed amused. “You’re choice,” she said with a vindictive smile. “Get back to me tomorrow, it’ll be up to you to figure out how.”

And with that eerie note, she vanished.

And I was gone too.

*****

Darius was pacing in front of me, livid with anger.

“How could you lose yourself!” he bellowed, eyes bulging madly.

No answer.

You realize what this means?”

“No,” I murmured, still troubled by my thoughts and what I had just experienced.

“You’re as good as gone. If you had done something less powerful than scarring the souls of those…those children, maybe there would still be a chance. Leave!” Spit flew from his mouth as he screamed the last word. He looked quite insane.

As I stepped toward the tunnel, I suddenly turned. “Apparently the Queen of Ice has visited me,” I said smoothly, my voice quiet. “I believe my path is clear.”

I disappeared, but my necklace remained and before I dissolved, my first time using that risky bit of magic, I heard it clatter to the floor and caught a glimpse of Darius’s stunned face.

*****

I didn’t know where I had been thinking of going, but I appeared to be floating amongst the clouds.

Angry tears rolled down my cheeks.

I was back to where I had started, depressed, heartless, pained. I could feel something in my chest, perhaps my heart was still there, throbbing painfully.

It took maybe a few hours to stop the tears. I whispered, “Acera, I made my choice.”

She suddenly appeared, “Yes?”

“I’ll do it.”

A victorious look appeared on her face but it softened. When she spoke, her voice was gentle.

“I know it’s hard when you leave regular magic, but it will get better.” She seemed oddlykind and motherly when she hugged me gently, sweeping her cloak over me. I felt cold magic surrounding her, chilling me, but it was strangely comforting at the time.

Tears began to flow again, and gentle sobs shook my body.

It was one of those rare occasions she really seemed to have a heart.



And this is where it gets slightly more interesting...i think...or is it like a few chapters later . I forget, it's been a while. Feedback please! http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=119734


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Old July 9th, 2009, 4:07 am
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Re: Teeter Totter (has nothing to do with playgrounds :p)

Chapter 6: At Dusk

Whilst Darius was kind and patient, Acera was cruel and somewhat harsh but in many ways, just as good of a teacher. I was progressing fast enough for her taste, I hope anyways.

However, I found myself growing used to her. I was no longer afraid in her presence. Yes, I did feel highly aware and self conscious, but it was no longer the cold fear I had first felt.

I seemed to grasp onto shadowmagic much faster and much more easily than regular magic. It seemed to better suit my nature, focusing more on mental magic rather than physical magic. I guess that the real difference isn’t whether or not it’s fundamentally good or evil, but what it focuses more on.

I began unconsciously using it against my enemies, to twist their thoughts and change their actions. Each day, I found myself growing colder and crueler… It wasn’t really about being evil; it was more about it being a precautionary measure to prevent me from going insane with the constant delving into thoughts and emotions, as if the magic knew the dangers.

*****

It seemed like just another dream, but unlike the rest, I couldn’t escape it, since I had put charms on Allegra and Claire so their sleep would always be undisturbed.

Darius was in the dueling arena. Pure shock lay on his face as he saw me as I was now, but it softened as he began to speak.

“There’s still time,” he whispered. “All is not lost. Maybe I can still stop the flow of shadowmagic through your veins.”

In the dream, there were two of me, who I was, a child, helpless but with a warm energy pulsating around me, and who I would become, much older and powerfully magical, but riddled with flaws.

The older one began laughing, a cold, eerie sound. “All is lost,” she said, amused by his antics. “Maybe you should’ve been more careful with me.”

The younger one looked at me with a pleading stare, “It’s power no matter what, choose the right kind.”

Darius looked at me with a slightly helpless expression, “You’ve got to listen to me, there’s so much you don’t know.”

I drifted back to deep slumber.

*****

“Most of what makes shadowmagic powerful is simply raw emotion.,” Acera said. “You saw what simple anger did to those boys. I know you have used will to guide your magic in the past and it will be helpful, but controlling your very essence is very different.”

I smiled to myself. This would be simple; I had been able to control my emotions for ages.

Acera seemed to notice my reaction, but said nothing about it. “Controlling emotions is only a necessity to avoid using up too much power but it is certainly useful.”

“You’re mind is in control of all, no matter what your body believes.

“Do you feel annoyance or anger on a daily basis?” she asked, a sly smile playing at the edges of her lips.

“Sometimes…” I replied.

“Next time, try using it to your advantage.” She was already walking off.

I sighed; did she always have to be so mysterious? A flicker of annoyance flashed through me.

But I had an idea about who to attack already.

The woods weren’t as secretive as the Chamber, but they were still secluded enough to be just as disconnected from society.

Feeling for auras was always strange. Everyone you ever meet leaves a trace on you, something you can distinguish again, though the effect is somewhat diluted by space and time. But usually, I had to be somewhere somewhat peaceful in order to concentrate.

I had known Darius for long enough so his aura was astoundingly easy to find, even though it seemed even farther than Acera’s was. He seemed to be in a different world, in a public place, because of the pinpricks of other auras, the auras of complete strangers.

I had barely touched his aura to plant in a nightmare for his next nap when I felt him grab me and make sure I couldn’t fully go back to my body while he moved around.

I could feel my heart pounding in my ears. What was he doing?

*****

Good thing it wasn’t too late because it took nearly an hour before I felt him stop, wherever he was, probably his home. Either way, he seemed alone.

“I do wonder if I could best you in a shadowmagic duel in a few months since my power is waning but you are no match for me now,” he said, or rather, thought, softly. He sounded distant but somehow I understood what he was saying perfectly.

“What do you mean?” I asked, hoping I sounded calm.

“I didn’t think it was necessary to tell you in the past, but I don’t think I have a choice anymore.”

I stayed silent, waiting for him to continue.

“I only returned to normal magic a couple years ago,” he began. “I was one of Acera’s most powerful warriors, part of her royal court, the envy of many young shadowsorcerers. I’m not proud of my past; I have taken thousands of souls for the Shadows, stolen the magic of thousands. And I’m a murderer, I have killed at least twenty sorcerers, soldiers in battle, but it is still terrible to think I took away so many lives, broke apart so many families, ripped apart so many futures…” he trailed off, as if overcome with emotion, and I could feel his shame and revulsion in his aura.

“You have no idea how hard it was to get out of my ties with the Shadows. If you think Acera, Queen of the Shadows and Ice is evil and powerful, imagine the actual Shadows.”

“The Shadows is a person?”

“Not really. Not many people actually know about Shadows, just the most elite and powerful. All shadowmagic is controlled by one person, and that person changes every millennia.

“I met him, and he asked me to do him a favor, because I had the most control over both regular and shadowmagic out of those under his power at the time. And that favor was to steal souls from the afterlife.”

Even to someone relatively new to the whole magic thing that sounded bad but Darius’s expression was nauseated, as if he were about to throw up.

“Any soul that has ever come into being gets to go on into the afterlife, even if it’s consumed by the Shadows, and I had no doubt that I could destroy even that with his help, but I told him no.

“It was one of the toughest things I ever had to do. I knew saying no meant that he would very likely kill me or at least wish he did. He promised me power within his court and magical power. He promised me Acera’s throne. He promised me basically anything a man could ever want, even that I could free of his influence. I was allowed anything I wanted if I helped him with that one deed, but somehow, I found the strength to say no. Needless to say, he was not pleased.

“I got lucky, in gratitude for my many years of good service, he decided to simply take away most of my shadowmagic and shun me, and even worse, much of my regular magic, my lifefire.

“He wasn’t able to take enough to fuel his plan; it seems his influence over regular magic is limited. I shudder to think what would happen if he had succeeded to take my power, every single drop of it.”

“But you said the shadows took souls, isn’t that regular magic?” I asked, confused.

“Yes, but there’s more to magic than just a soul. For example, shadowmagic tends to work off of auras. Regular magic is actually a bit more about physical energy. I suspect whatever ritual he has in mind requires more than one being since I’m certain he has enough power.

“Please, don’t let him take all of your magic.”

So this wasn’t about me, he only cared about how much power the Shadows had.

Don’t be silly, a more reasonable part of me said. Of course he cares about me, but I’m nothing compared to the grand scheme of things.

“No guarantees,” I answered shortly, and left, realizing he had relaxed his grip on me.

*****

“You’re hiding something,” Acera accused.

“What do you mean?” I asked innocently.

“Why else would you have put barriers around your mind, which by the way, need to be much more subtle.”

Why? Why? I racked my brain for a convincing lie, but no ideas hit me, so I decided on the truth, or part of it anyways.

“Well, I was trying to do what you said about using my emotions as power,” I said slowly.

“Fair enough, so what happened?” She had leaned back slightly, appearing relaxed, but I could feel a certain tension in the air that had nothing to do with magic.


“I tried to take a blow at his soul but the moment I touched him, he grasped onto me tightly and I couldn’t get away, and he said that he needed to tell me something. And he said he used to be a shadowsorcerer.”

She laughed. You would think laughs were supposed to contain at least amusement even if they weren’t warm or happy but she didn’t even have that. “And you’re worrying about that? Many shadowsorcerers go back to their original ways. Their companions don’t always decide to stop them.” Stop…she means destroy. I fought back a shiver.

“Back to things that are actually relevant.” She paused shortly. “It’s to my understanding that your summer vacation will arrive shortly. I’ve seen your mind before, your home is most certainly not private enough. I was wondering if you would like to take a…fieldtrip to my palace in Nyx.”

“Isn’t Nyx a Greek goddess?”

“Nearly all gods and goddesses have existed at one time and sometimes, they actually take over the magical realm rather than creating their own. But actually, nearly everything spiritual, magical or mystical is the creation of widespread beliefs. Nyx was one of those creations that took over the magical realm. I believe she still exists, but is far too weak to do much in either the magical or regular realms, but the name stuck.”

“But what about my parents?”

“A clone or replacement could be easily created. I could also wipe their minds about even having a daughter if you really wanted. Or maybe I could fake some sort of summer camp if you would rather not magically deceive them and I could make them let you go.” There was something eerie about the casual way she said all that. It didn’t matter to her. I had a feeling that she would act the same way even if she was talking about planning a murder.

“I like the third option,” I mumbled.

She sighed, “Consider it arranged.”

*****

It was true, I was graduating eighth grade, even if it still seemed rather surreal, but I suppose the feeling would’ve increased if I was in any normal school that separated the middle schoolers and high schoolers into separate buildings. But then again, I was still leaving the middle school wing for the high school one.

Today the entire eighth grade student body was going into town to buy things for graduation and post graduation parties. Woo.

Allegra was excited and Claire seemed merely happier than usual. Allegra was practically dancing on the spot. I tried to look excited but I never liked shopping, and either way, I was still worrying about spending my entire summer vacation somewhere I suspected felt like winter. I already had a plan, to get separated from the group and simply morph myself a dress for later. I’d even designed it already, but I’ll refrain from boring you with that information.

*****

We had just returned and my plan had worked to an extent. I had gotten away and all, but I had trouble pleasing the teacher with my explanation about lingering too long in the bathroom, but a simple jolt of shadowmagic set things in place easily.

But that wasn’t important. What was important was that I was leaving this world in a matter of weeks.

Acera didn’t feel the need to speed things up, so in the meantime, I managed to pass the time, trying to build my abilities.

*****

“Vires, Aurelie,” a voice called out. I walked up the stone steps to my future, to the roll of paper that would seal my fate.

I could see two pairs of cold, black eyes glinting at the back of the crowd.




I actually paid attention to my typing this time so i'm going to hope that i didn't make too any grammatical errors. By the way, if anyone remembers if i included the name of the magical world (not Nyx), please tell me, because i changed a lot of the key names when i typed it up and i'm getting kind of confused

Feedback please : http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=119734

Den, don't worry, I'm not making her evil , 160 pages of written material and way more in stuff that i didn't feel like writing down says that i have something very different planned


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Old July 19th, 2009, 5:45 pm
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Re: Teeter Totter (has nothing to do with playgrounds :p)

Part 2: Path of Darkness

Chapter 7: World of Ice

I could feel eyes boring into me from the moment I entered the palace I was to be staying at. No one dared to say anything before Acera, but I had tapped into a few minds. All believed I was too young, and none dared to tell the Queen she had made the wrong choice. What I was being chosen for, some didn’t know, others hid the secret carefully.

The shadow portion of the magical world was dark and cold, no denying it, but it was also grand and magnificent. Put simply, it was a world of ice, beautiful in all cold power. The palace was made of what seemed like dark ice, as if it had been dyed black before frozen. It seemed to suck the very light out of the place.

The palace seemed like a medieval castle. It was grand and meant to impress, but also to defend. I had a feeling that it was built this way for a reason, the shivers going down my spine having nothing to do with the frigid temperature. At the same time, I felt very little fear. After all, I wasn’t the enemy.

Acera had teleported me to the town outside the castle a few days ago. She walked in as if it was her home. Well…it was her home, but I expected her to be much more formal as a queen. However, her attitude wasn’t shared by her guards and everyone else in the castle. They all bowed as she walked past, murmuring “my queen.”

“And this is your room,” Acera had said, at what seemed to be the end of my tour of the palace. She seemed amused by the look of awe on my face.

The room was simply astounding. It was, for the most part, dark, but not gloomy. While the rest of the palace gave off a distinct feeling of creepiness, the darkness here was the peaceful comfortable kind. Shakespeare would’ve had fun describing how contrary everything in this room was, but let’s just say that I was feeling everything I shouldn’t be feeling looking at such a dark, cold place.

A single light shone in the room, a globe of ice that would’ve looked like a disco ball, except it was glowing. Acera clapped twice, and suddenly, the stick-shaped ice crystals set in straight, horizontal lines across the walls burst into blue flame.

It was extremely large and at the other end of the room, there was a four poster bed with midnight blue satin curtains with delicate patterns sewn in. The blankets also seemed to be made of the same material, but in a lighter shade. Twisting columns of ice held it up from the icy ground.

In between were couches and rugs, a little coffee table, a large desk, as if it was the room of a princess from a fairy tale, but twisted to be evil and cold. And strangely, I loved it.

It felt like home.

*****

Acera seemed more menacing in the castle, and a couple months ago, I may have run away screaming if I bumped into her in some dark alley.

I suppose the castle had an effect on me too. In the bathroom connected to my room, there was a large mirror that covered one entire wall and in it, I saw my normally dark blue eyes turn darker and colder and my skin became paler and cooler.

I was supposedly at summer camp for a month, so I guess I would have to start magically tanning myself.

Sitting up in bed, I realized it was already my second week here. The familiar chill crept in as I opened my curtains and pulled off my covers.

I looked into the room, my room, again. I looked at the icy walls, remembering how I had realized just yesterday that everything actually was ice as I leaned on it, the subzero temperatures shocking me as it touched my skin. I guess this is kind of what living in an igloo was like.

I stepped onto the “rug”, which was actually a floor covered in slightly warm, and somehow solid black fire. It didn’t give off light, just a very slight heat that kept the ice from being completely freezing my feet.

The flames licked my feet as I walked across them to the enormous bathroom. It seemed to be one of the only rooms not made of solid, opaque ice. It was, instead, silver. The black fire covered the floor here too, and the Jacuzzi in the corner, really more of a small pool, covered nearly one fourth of the floor.

I stripped off my pajamas and sunk into the hot, bubbling, steamy water. Foam covered the surface. It was really the only part of the day I encountered something actually warm.

I always took a long time here, but it wasn’t ever a disappointment to enter the cold rooms once again. It was somehow much more pleasant than it should’ve been for any normal person.

Of course, with a wave of my hand, I could emerge completely clean, dressed and ready, but it was simply much more enjoyable to simply go through the entire process.

No longer was my life gripped by terminal boredom, no longer was it the first emotion of the day. Unlike regular magic that had faded, it seemed to disappear altogether.

Here in the palace, with my own enormous and private room I was free to use as much magic as I wished with no fear of getting caught or annoyance that I had to wipe several memories if I was to do anything vaguely magical.

I climbed out of the Jacuzzi and with the snap of my fingers and an effort of will, I was fully clothed in jeans and a long cloak over a casual t shirt. I laughed as I thought of how I had gotten casual clothes privileges, cursing the servant Acera sent to my room straight out after she showed me the idiotic closet of clothes Acera wanted me to wear. I don’t care how old Acera is; I refuse to wear a dress straight out of the Renaissance.

”No,” I said, my tone flat, holding up a blue dress covered in, dare I say, lace and frills.

“This is the type of clothing everyone else is wearing. I expect you to fit in.”

“This thing has a freaking corset!”

“So?”

“No, just no. I’ll wear a cloak or something, but nothing you say or do can make me wear that,” I said, wondering how I would do changing hr mind magically.

But she was already laughing, “It was a joke, and no, you didn't have a chance.”

Stupid mind reading…


Well anyways, Regular magic was still a part of my life; I ahd not yet forfeited humanity completely. “Fire” and “ice” had somehow mixed in me without destroying each other. Magic, no matter in what form, flowed easily off my fingertips, easy and simply, a way of life.

I left my room and climbed enormous, icy staircases, heading toward the throne room, wondering how with all this love for grandeur Acera didn’t decide to employ some more impressive mode of travel such as, I don't know, escalators. I couldn’t even teleport because Acera’s throne room was protected so that only she could teleport into it.

I passed many shadowsorcerers, some royalty, and some servants. I still fail to see the reason they were needed when everyone had magic, but they constantly hurried in and out of rooms, up and down stairs, scrambling across corridors.

Agonizing screams were coming from her room.

“Please,” a voice gasped, “Stop!”

I entered the room. It was magnificent as usual. An enormous icy throne stood in the center of the far wall, raised on an enormous platform of blue fire.

In the floor before her, a man lay, sprawled and twitching violently. In the momentary pause caused by my arrival, his screaming ceased, replaced by gasps of breath. There were no physical wounds on his skin, but his aura was full of deep gashes.

“Aurelie,” she acknowledged my presence calmly, “Let me finish here.” In a venomous voice, she said “Are you ready to join me yet?”

“Maybe before I found out about your plan, but now? No chance in Hell.” Although the voice was weak with pain, the strength and willpower behind the message was clear.

“Why not?” she asked innocently. “You are marked for death, but following me could ensure a peaceful passing and possibly even a glance at what you’ll be facing in death. Surely you can make the most of your last remaining year.”

“No,” he said, “What you’re asking of me is beyond the evils our entire race has committed since the beginning of our existence. Why are you agreeing to it? Surely you’re powerful enough to stop it from happening by now.”

“No,” she murmured quietly, “It is not yet time.” After a short pause, she spoke again in an indifferent tone. “No matter. Guards, you know where to take him.”

While two men, skin as white as snow and eyes as black as coal, drifted in, I contemplated what I had just heard. Could it possibly be related to what Darius had told me about? They each raised a hand and he hovered above the ground and drifted out. He was screaming the entire time.

“Your plan will never work!” he screeched. “Your effort will have been in vain! You will never-“

But he was cut off by a flicker of magic, rendering his still moving mouth mute.

In the silence that followed, Acera’s voice said mildly, “The screaming is only interesting the first few times. After a while it’s pretty much routine.”

I couldn’t help but stare at her, shocked by her casual tone.

Cold as this world of ice was, it was nothing compared to the queen herself.

*****

“Was that disturbing for you?” she asked softly, a sliver of kindness creeping into her voice.

“Very slightly,” I replied, surprising even myself by the truth of the words.

“You’ll get used to it,” she assured me. “Soon enough you will be capable of the same.”

I felt a mixture of pride and revulsion at the future to come. After all, I had tortured people, just on a much smaller magnitude. It was miniscule compared to what I had just witnessed, and I had a nasty feeling whatever he had just experienced was only a slight inconvenience compared to what was going to happen to him next. And yet, I wasn’t sure about how much pity I felt toward his decaying soul.

“What are we doing today?” I asked, hoping my tone sounded casual and not shaken.

The sliver of kindness vanished immediately as she laughed. “Torture,” came her answer.

In a way I thought mind control and twisting was much more twisted (no pun intended), but it sure wasn’t as sickening as what I had just witnessed.
She came down from her throne and held out her arm for me to grasp. I did, and rather than having the sensation of disappearing and reappearing, I felt like I had vanished forever.



Sorry about the lack of updates, i get really lazy . I would say the next update is tomorrow, since i'm trying to type up a chapter a day now, but seeing that i told myself that a month ago, its not working very well . Either way, I think i'm going to have to rewrite the next chapter, it's kind of too cheesy for my liking....

Feedback please! http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=119734


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Last edited by Voldemorts8thHorcrux; August 5th, 2009 at 12:46 am.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 4:03 am
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Re: Teeter Totter (has nothing to do with playgrounds :p)

Chapter 8: Banished

“Welcome to the world of the banished,” Acera said, a smile playing at the edge of her mouth.

My eyes widened in shock. Some things are amazing because of their size or their beauty or amount, what I was looking at was amazing for its pure nothingness. Everything was black except for pinpricks of light in the distance and the light that seemed to be emitted by our own bodies. There was nothing, no ground, no gravity and the air seemed much thinner than usual, as if I were on top of a mountain or something. I started getting a bit dizzy from the minimal amount of oxygen but I ignored it. “What is this place?” My voice came out softer than I had intended and my breath came out as a mist of dim light before spreading out into the darkness.

“This is the place where anything banished goes. I want to speak to you here before venturing toward the Dungeons.” I nodded in reply. “You have to be extremely cautious here. Besides the lack of oxygen, this universe takes everything. Simple objects that are commonly banished hold very little magic which means they do not give off light and will not evaporate either so make sure you don’t collide into them. More importantly, you have to keep up your magical stamina or else this place will slowly eat at it and your life force. Short visits are manageable, but even these can have ill effects if you aren’t careful. The universe in which Earth resides in takes away magic too, but much more slowly and most people regenerated it faster than it is taken away. The magical world actually helps supply magic. This place takes away magic at an alarming rate, ten times as fast as the Earth. Spending a year here would make a regular person age a decade. Just don’t be surprised if your spells aren’t as powerful as usual. Be aware of your surroundings and keep close to me.” She closed her eyes in concentration and muttered, “That way,” pointing to her left. She floated off, dragging me along.

“Err…how do you move here?” I asked.

“Use your thoughts to propel you,” she replied.

Go that way, I thought to myself, feeling stupid, but to my astonishment, I felt the force of Acera drag me lessen a bit.

This universe was completely alien. We were floating along effortlessly and though I kept my mind aware of propelling myself forward, I could not help but stare as Acera and I illuminated random objects either floating motionlessly or flying as we were. It was always a shock when something like a grand piano was floating toward you. Once, to my astonishment, a cat appeared out of nowhere, it’s light just bright enough for us to see. It was clearly dying. Unlike our light that was very bright, its light seemed to be fading rapidly and it was completely still.

As we went on, I noticed differences in the light. Most objects seemed perfectly normal while others emitted a faint glow. I suppose it was some sort of magical residue from being banished, or the objects once had some sort of significance to their owners. While my light equaled a purple campfire, Acera seemed to be a bright blue bonfire.

After what seemed like at least an hour of floating around, I couldn’t really tell since my watch had stopped moving, the pinprick of light we had been floating tward became brighter and brighter until I could see the shape of some sort of castle. It glowed blue and it was quite a while before details could be distinguished.

“One of our high security prisons,” Acera told me.

Guards floated in a loose sphere around the castle. Two stood at the entrance. Spiraling towers rose high above stone walls and an enormous metal gate stood closed.

Acera finally stopped before we even got close to the sphere of guards. “That castle,” she gestured to the blue light, “is the Banishment Dungeon, only for the most dangerous and powerful criminals. Magic is cancelled within cell walls so we should be quite safe. There trapped inside are marked for a slow torturous death.”

We finally made it to the enormous metal gate, passing straight through the guards who acknowledged us with bowed heads.

The scene that greeted my eyes and noise that greeted my ears seemed to come straight from some sort of medieval horror film. The prisoners didn’t seem to be beaten or whipped physically and the damage on their psyches didn’t seem from any magic I’d ever seen, but the environment seemed to be driving them insane. A few were acting like rabid chimpanzees, hooting and shrieking and slamming their bodies against the bars; others were attempting to plea with us, and still others were simply huddled in the corners of their cells

The prisoners were in small cells, just long and wide enough to lie down in and high enough to kneel in, with a toilet and a sink on one end, with bars and glass separating them from each other and only bars to separate them from us. The cells were set in a grid pattern into high walls with spaces in between for me and Acera to float.

The cells were covered in grime and in some cases, human waste, and some of the bars were caked with blood which I guessed were from the prisoners trying to punch, kick and smash their way out with various body parts. In some places, the glass was cracked from particularly vicious blows.

In a sudden grab, one managed to grab some of Acera’s hair, but she retaliated, sending a curse at the attacker. An agonized scream was lost in the din and he slumped over, evidently dead.

A subdued silence fell over the prisoners nearby and they attempted to hide or gape as we passed by.

We came to a sudden halt halfway through. “Torture her,” she spoke, her voice calm and deadly, pointing to the woman to her right.

I merely gaped at Acera, and then looked at the woman, who didn’t seem quite broken yet. She was old and wrinkled, but it was clear that she had once been a beautiful woman. That beauty lingered on her face even with age, but what was more interesting was the haughty expression on her face as she looked at Acera in distaste, ignoring me.

“Torture her,” Acera repeated.

And then, the woman’s wide red eyes stared into my on deep blue. They weren’t pleading, but determined and angry. She was nowhere near as bright as me and Acera were, but her own orange glow was brighter than the dwindling flames of many others.

“Do it,” she laughed, the laughter mocking me. But a few seconds later as she saw the horrified expression on my face, she said thoughtfully, “You’re new, aren’t you?”

“Do it,” Acera urged again, eyes narrowing dangerously.

I reluctantly led tendrils of my magic toward her aura. The moment it touched her aura, she began shaking violently, her face screwed up in pain. I jumped, or rather floated back in surprise, relaxing the magic.

Her red eyes snapped open, vicious, full of hatred…and maybe pity. She began screaming at me in some foreign language, sliding her thin arms through the bars to slash at my face.

I glanced at Acera, feeling nervous, and she nodded. ‘

With some more concentration, my magic pressed into her aura, cold seeping into her soul. She gave an agonizing scream. I quickly scanned her aura and found a tiny droplet fear amidst the defiance and anger and magnified it.

I can’t really explain how I felt doing this. Part of me knew it was wrong to be doing this but another portion couldn’t help but love how powerful it made me feel, or at least, that’s what I think I was feeling.

Well, probably madness because I found myself fighting back giggles as she writhed around, still screaming.

“Enough,” Acera said, and I pulled away. The moment I did, the feeling of power it gave me faded away, and I was once again horrified. “Wonderful,” she purred, “isn’t it?”

I made no response and continued staring at the prisoner in horror. Acera began leaving so I followed her.

Only when we got back to the palace did I think to ask, “Why was she even in there?”

“She killed her teacher,” Acera replied.

An uncomfortable feeling began to grow; would I soon be capable of murder too?

She stroked my long dark hair for a moment before saying, “Lesson over, do whatever you wish with the rest of the day.

Out of all of the lessons so far, this was by far the most disturbing and the only one that was clearly evil. Acera barely looked uncomfortable as she left me in the corridor in front of the throne room.

As she disappeared behind the door, I felt my first true bout of revulsion since I had started immersing myself in shadowmagic.

*****

“Aurelie,” a voice whispered into my ear, “Aurelie, wake up.” A hand gently attempted to shake me awake. Even in the dark, there could be no mistaking who it was.

I grumbled incoherently, annoyed at Darius for disturbing my sleep. I froze him in a block of ice and rolled over to try to sleep again.

The sound of shattering glass woke me up what seemed like seconds later. Shards of cold ice showered my face. I sat up, conjuring a light. “What Darius?” I demanded irritably. “What are you even doing here?”

“Nice to know you’re awake Sleeping Beauty,” he replied, rolling his eyes.

“Tell me what you’re here for now or I’m calling Acera.”

“I’m actually surprised you haven’t yet.” I glared at him. His shadowy face looked even older and wrinkled in the dim light. “Fine I’m giving ou one last chance to turn back. I have no doubt Acera will teach you the killing curse soon, the curse that seals your fate as a shadowsorceress.”

“Maybe I want to be this way, maybe I’ve chosen who I want to be,” I whispered, my voice deadly quiet.

“Who could want this for themselves?” he asked. “How do you know you haven’t been hoodwinked?”

“Shadowmagic hasn’t changed my life or my soul much, it has merely strengthened it. If anything, it’s regular magic that’s hoodwinked me.”

“But-“ he began.

“You never knew who I was before I learned magic. You can’t say you know who I really am or what’s best for me. I’m not evil, and all of this won’t make me evil. It’s my choice and my choice alone. Stop coming to me with all this nonsense.”

But I felt him coming toward his aura, clearly trying to change my mind.

I shot icicles at him, forcing him to divert attention from changing my mind to creating a shield. I was now completely out of bed and feeling mutinous and murderous.

He stopped them easily, and they shattered to the ground.

I don’t know why I was so angry, I just knew that he was trying to change me when I didn’t feel like I needed to be. I’m not obnoxiously stubborn or anything, but I would prefer to have a say in things.

And I wanted to make sure he wouldn’t be a part of my life again. I began stealing his magic, using my own to sort of direct it toward me in an enormous wave.

Somewhere in the middle of all the magic, I began seeing magic in the form of multicolor sparks and I saw Darius’s green colored magic flow into me as his glowing body dim until it was like that of those prisoners.

“No!” I shouted, shaking my head, and stopping the flow “I’m not a murderer, I’m not a murderer.”

I could tell his life force was still there in his body, now leaning heavily on the wall, but barely.

Coming from the dark doorway, the sound of clapping began, echoing through my room.

“Well done,” Acera’s voice said.

The lights flickered on. Acera walked in, a smile sitting on her lips. She went over to Darius, still half crumpled. “Thus your life will end.” She murmured into his ear.

He barely stirred but I could feel life in his body. His long silver hair was in his face but I could see a trickle of blood staining his beard. In the flickering light, he looked defeated and dead.

“You do realize you wouldn’t eve had to die if you had simply stayed with us?”

But he ignored her words and simply said, “I told you so.”

“Get some sleep, Aurelie,” Acera said calmly but I could see anger flashing in her eyes, an anger she didn’t even give away in her aura. In an instant, both of them vanished as if they had never existed.

I could feel something inside of me die.

And something else, alien magic, Darius’s magic.

But he was gone, not dead, but gone.

I had a feeling he was banished



I'm so proud of myself for getting this done in two days without completely rushing . Anyways, I made a LOT of deviations from my original chapter so i'm feeling a bit weird about how well i did on it since it's such a crucial chapter

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Old July 22nd, 2009, 8:29 pm
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Chapter 9: Changes

I didn’t get a drop of sleep last night. I felt too empty, as if something had died inside me.

A certain thrill hung in around too, a feeling of strength, of power. I wasn’t sure whether it was from stealing magic or from what I had done. I was sure that I was supposed to feel remorse, but something seemed to prevent that, as if I wasn’t allowed to feel remorse. I felt powerful and strong. And confused. Completely, insanely and utterly confused.

“Hello Acera,” I said as I opened the door to her throne.

Surprise flitted across her face, “You’re up early.”

I laughed, “Wonderful reply.” No, I was feeling something else, foolishness. I think?

She still looked somewhat confused but it was soon replaced by understanding. “Aurelie, how about you spend your day in the library? I have some things I should do.”

I nodded and left, leaving Acera in her room, her expression now pensive.

*****

Mutters. Murmurs. Whispers.

All he way to the library, quiet voices seemed to follow.

“That’s what I heard!”

“The newest recruit.”

Yes, yes.”

“Killed that former noble.”

“No way.”

“Really?

“Of course! He’s almost dead right now.”

“Not this quickly.”

“Yes, this quickly.”

I walked on, trying to ignore the voices. It’s amazing how applicable the social situations of school are in a palace in the magical shadow world Nyx among people centuries old

“She’s going to be one of us soon,” one final voice whispered before I shut the library door behind me.

I sat down in front of the silvery blue flames of the fire at the other end of the room, thinking of those last words. “She’s going to be one of us soon.

Wasn’t I already “one of them”? I was a shadowsorceress. No, I wasn’t yet so sure of my magic and I wasn’t as strong as some of them but I had access to it.

“-the killing curse soon, the curse that seals your fate as a shadowsorcerers,” Darius had said.

I killed Darius.

I felt for his aura and found it in the Banishment Dungeon.

I was surprised I could. His aura was so weak, as if he were just an inch from death. Which he probably was, I thought sullenly.

Feeling for auras is like searching for a person’s special light. It’s like fingerprints and zebra stripes; it’s different for everyone. It’s the imprint of a soul, a sort of shield. And it tells you about what a person is like. How “bright” it is indicates life force, and his was almost gone, a flicker of dim embers. There are so many different characteristics of a person’s aura, more than a person’s magic and less than their soul. And I think I permanently damaged his. Finally, a truly sick feeling crept into my stomach and the flood of guilt followed suit.

And then I realized Acera was coming.

I delayed my surprise for later and in a split second decision, I took over another’s body.

This had been one of my first lessons actually. What you do is you temporarily replace parts of their aura and soul to be able to gain control of their body.

After a momentary struggle, I found myself in the Banishment Dungeon in a filthy, crammed cell. The owner of the body was only a few cells away so I had a perfect view of Darius.

“This didn’t have to happen,” Acera’s voice whispered. “If you had simply helped the Shadows, if you had stayed out of Aurelie’s path. She’s already gone, even if she hasn’t killed yet.”

“Why mention her?” Darius asked, his voice barely audible. “You never had an interest in teaching.”

“I’m sure you can guess,” she replied shortly.

Momentary silence fell, then…

“No!” Darius attempted to shout, but his voice came out in a quiet moan. “You can’t!”

“But I can,” Acera said, her eyes glinting malevolently. “Aurelie’s the perfect candidate for it. I’m not passing up a chance like this.”

“She’s a child! Acera, she’s a child! She won’t be a full fledged shadowsorceresss anytime soon; neither will she be able to handle that kind of psychic trauma! Don’t you care for her at all?”

“Of course I don’t!” she spat, defensive, but somehow, I could tell she was lying, to some extent anyway. Maybe it was how she was being a bit too defensive or the momentary hurt that flashed on her face before becoming stony. “And besides, you know what happens the moment you die. Should be soon, by the way. I give you a few weeks at the most. Here,” she snapped her fingers and a pen and piece of parchment appeared in front of him. “I suggest you get to work on your will.” She laughed and promptly disappeared.

Darius twitched slightly and his eyes closed, exhausted.

*****

“Aurelie?”

It was a stranger’s voice who called out my name. I most certainly had never heard such a voice before.

But when a ball of light appeared in front of me, it was Acera’s face, twisted by what looked like kindness and motherly affection…and fear

This couldn’t be real. I had to be dreaming.

“Good, you’re awake,” she said, her hand on my shoulder. “I need to speak to you, think of it as a ‘magical puberty’ speech.”

Yes, totally dreaming.

“Listen,” she said, “I know it’s late, but this is of the utmost importance. Darius has just died, and you, being the cause of his death, have completed the final step toward becoming a full fledged shadowsorceress.”

“Ok.”

“You’ll feel different at first, but you’ll adjust soon enough. I know before I told you to keep your magic unrestrained, but not anymore. You do not want to make any slip ups and accidentally kill someone.”

I couldn’t register her manner. “Why are you like this?”

“You don’t understand how powerful new shadowsorcerers are. They get so much extra power but the same amount of ability and control as before. Don’t let it overpower you. The last time a shadowsorcerer got a serious temper tantrum caused the Mount St Helens’ eruption.”

“WHAT?!”

“Well, it was already going to erupt, but they made it more powerful.”

Of course, she was afraid of me accidentally killing her. But that couldn’t be true, her magic was definitely stronger than mine.

“By the way, you beat Darius’s killing record by about five hours,” she chuckled and left, her shadow lengthening before blending in with the rest.

And for the first time, I saw the shadows actually swirl, dark and smoky, around my room, surrounding me with very solid darkness.

Knowledge and power came with a price and I thought I had been willing to pay it.

I had never felt so alone.

*****

Unexpected as it was, I couldn’t avoid the fact that I had to return to school. I don’t know how I was supposed to blend in and pretend I had not changed over the summer even if I got my physical traits back to normal.

There was simply no way I could avoid how different I was. I had spent a few hours changing my pale skin to a dark tan and my black eyes into their regular blue and restoring the shine in my hair but there was just something about me that I couldn’t quite pinpoint that was off. Maybe it was my expression or how I held myself but either way, it wasn’t something I could magically change.

And before I knew it, my last week here was over. I was back in my home, and it seemed strange and unfamiliar. It hadn’t changed, I had.



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Old July 30th, 2009, 12:40 am
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Re: Teeter Totter (has nothing to do with playgrounds :p)

Chapter 10: Home?

"Mom!" I shouted, "Dad! Over here!"

I was at the train station, back from "art camp".

"Aurelie!" My mom shouted back, half crying. My dad just tried to look like he wasn't pleased. Men...

I may have nearly always had a strained relationship with my parents, but that didn't mean I didn't love them.

My mom sprinted toward me as she was going to lose me if she didn't hurry. Once she reached me, she pulled me in to her tight embrace. "I love you honey," she said, "How was camp?" She kissed the top of my head and held my hand all the way back to the car, leaving my dad with my suitcase and bookbag.

"It was great," I told her, grinning.

"What did you do?"

I began spinning a tale of everything I had done at art camp, talking about the various paintings and sculptures I was going to show her once we got home and all of the non art related stuff there too like swimming and all my new friends.

I probably should've of rehearsed it, but I was a smooth enough liar to not attract any suspicion.

It was late when we finally got back. After a quick shower, I flopped onto my bed and lay sprawled there. My room reflected my childhood innocence. It wasn't pink and girly or anything but there were stuffed animals all over the place and I had dolphin and mermaid curtains and that kind of thing. It wasn't unpleasant, just very strange after all this time at Viren and Nyx.

I had started living at Viren in the fifth grade and soon I'd be in ninth. Because of that, I never felt like redecorating my room and jut left it to my parents devices. I believed normally they used it as a guest bedroom and a storage space, but still tried to make it look like I still slept there.

I lay on my side, staring at the right wall where I had once been allowed to paint a giant mural or a lake at night with a silver dragon flying past the moon, high above the clouds with a deer on the shore looking up at it. Back then, I was the deer. Now I was the dragon.

I guess I still missed the days when I was a child, when I didn't have to worry about all this, but those days were over and I doubted they'd ever come back

I flicked my light off with a motion of my hand and a wave of magic, trying to ignore how different this place was from my room back at Nyx

*****

Life back at home was as different from the world of ice as possible. My parents were free at all times, both of them taking time off work to spend it with me for the remaining week and a half.

Which was a change. Normally during my two month vacation I was left to my own devices.

I was trying to enjoy it but extremely annoying. I mean honestly, what teen actually really enjoys family time? Oh sure it was great the first few days when we had done stuff like go biking or hiking or to the beach but later they just started to get too clingy. After the fifth day, I had made them change their minds with a bit of magic and they let me at least have afternoons to myself.

I had to work pretty hard to make sure nothing particularly extraordinary happened.

And it worked, up until the eve of my departure.

"Mom," I groaned, "don't fuss."

"But you're going back for an entire year!" She had been running up and down my room and house, searching for everything I needed.

"Why do I even need to be here?" I asked, "It's not like you're letting me do anything."

"Young lady, she snapped, "I never get to see you, and it's not like you ever come back to spend time with us, even on vacations."

But I froze her in annoyance, just as my dad walked by to see what we were doing.

"Aurelie!" he gasped, "What happened?"

I ignored the panicky feeling now creeping up my spine and froze him as well. I had to wipe their memories but I wasn't too sure how I could. I was taught how, sure, but it was much harder to erase a recent memory than one from a long time ago because I actually had to reconstruct a replacement. I couldn't actually wipe a memory, no one could, but I could mask it with a new one.

It took me maybe a few hours poking through their mind to locate the memory and slowly attempt to change it. I touched their auras, concentrating hard on a false memory. All they would remember is that they became tired and were going to bed if it worked right.

Well, it was rather unimaginative, but I was too worried about making an error and messing up their minds, which is unfortunately a possible aftereffect. In a way, I was gluing the false memory on top of the original.

I carried them to their bed, taking enough of their energy away so they wouldn't wake up until morning and left.

I went back into my room and made an effort to concentrate on packing all of my stuff with magic, but it seemed as if I had used it all up already. I manually packed everything my mom hadn't already and then plopped onto my bed, feeling completely worn and exhausted despite the energy I stole.

It seemed like such a trivial thing, but it was frightening indicator for how easily I could snap and go out of control. What if I killed next time? Dare I even return to school? But then again, how much should I care about hurting people?

I'm not exactly sterling, but no, I don't want to be evil. I felt kind of like a drug addict. I knew what I was doing was bad and wrong, but I couldn't help but repeat the actions.

Death always lurked where shadowsorcerers stepped. It was inevitable. Strange how my aspect on death had changed compared to the past. Before, I had always found it evil and terrible, but now I respected it. It was simply a force of nature. Death existed for a reason, and even murder did, but that new perspective didn't make a difference. Death was still horribly final and scary.

I didn't believe in any religions but had always thought that if hell existed, that was where I was headed toward so I wouldn't care about doing bad things, but just because there's no punishment doesn't mean we shouldn't still try to do the right thing anyways. And as hard and painful as it was, I wanted to keep caring.

I got up and turned on some music and got back into bed, drowning out my thoughts while I drifted into uneasy sleep.

*****

My parents had no recollection of the incident. They had no idea that their sweet innocent little angel was now an evil, power hungry murderer.

We drove for nearly four hours before arriving at Viren.

My parents heaved my trunk upstairs into my dorm. Of course if they had simply dropped me off, I could've teleported it upstairs or at least bewitched it to be lighter.

My parents finally made it and smothered me with hugs and kisses. My mom looked tearful before my dad finally dragged her away.

I took everything out of my suitcase and began magically storing everything in my section of the closet.

Suddenly, Acera appeared in the mmiddle of the room. "Don't worry," she assured me after seeing the look on my face. "Your roommates won't be back for a while."

"So why are you here?"

"I just wanted to remind you about concealing your magic. It's fine to act a little different, but any major slips must be covered up with memory modifications.

"Now that we're past that, have as much fun as you would like, as long as nobody knows your secret.

"By the way, come by to the chamber whenever you feel like it."

She vanished, mere seconds before Allegra and Claire opened the door. "Aurelie!" they screamed, flinging their arms around me in a bone crushing group hug. "How was your summer?"

"Wonderful," I told them, grinning foolishly.

"You seem differen, "Claire observed thoughtfully. Leave it to Claire to notice, I thought, rolling my eyes.

"What do you mean?" Allegra giggled, "She's as stiff as ever!" And leave it to Allegra to not notice.

Maybe I haven' t elaborated on my friends enough when I had been so caught up with my new discovery. We had started rooming together in the fifth grade. A lot of people hate their roommates, and we had had a rough start too but since changing roommates wasn't allowed unless there were severe behavioral problems, we were stuck with each other for the rest of the years.

Allegra was the one that while happy, was extremely stubborn when it came to change. I honestly don't think she has in the past few years even if me and Claire had. Claire had sort of changed with me. In the fifth grade, we had been the ones to start a fake hall pass and essay outline business before we wisely stopped when our competitors Corin and his friends got caught. Last year, we had tried framing various students to get them into detention. I hear people like us are supposed to be either popular or bullies in other schools, but here, we just seemed...normal.

Allegra completely contrasted with us. She was fun, loving and energetic despite her wild sleep patterns. She brought a whole new meaning to "wouldn't hurt a fly." I really wondered why she was one of my two best friends, but I suppose opposites really do attract and I really needed someone like her in my life. She had always tried to stop me and Claire from doing anything really bad, but of course, she ultimately failed in my case.

"How were your summers?" I asked, trying to act natural. Magically enhanced acting lessons don't fail me now, I thought desperately.

"Dull," Claire replied, "nothing interesting happened."

"Yeah right," Allegra snorted, "you got to go to Spain!"

"That might be exciting for you, but I've gone millions of times to visit relatives."

"Well, take us next time 'cause we haven't!"

I had been to another dimension. Spain couldn't be more exciting than that.

"So how was your cruise in the Bahamas?" Claire asked while unzipping her suitcase.

"I wish you two had come," Allegra sighed. "It was fun at first, but we didn't do anything, just eat, sleep, swim, that kind of thing."

She launched into a five minute explanation of everything on the ship and what she did. It was astounding how long five minutes could seem. I was somewhat patient I think. Claire was not as in control. Her boredom clearly showed on her face, though clearly Allegra hadn't noticed.

Unfortunately, the first thing Allegra asked once she finished was what I did.

This time I was actually prepared with my explanation of what I did at my alleged "summer camp."

Claire could probably pass as goth or emo at this point. She seemed like me last year, moody and bored. But she wasn't like me yet. Her soul was still unblemished.

*****

It was late at night when reunions waned between my group of friends.

And that's when Claire pulled me into the hallway to speak to me.

"You're hiding something," she accused.

My eyes narrowed, "What do you mean?"

"I noticed a lot of what you did last year, your sudden disappearances, the way you seemed to be more distant, the incident with the Idiots."

"So?" I asked.

"Allegra may want everything to be happy and perfect and pretend her friends are that way too, but I'm not that ignorant. But I thought we were best friends. I understand why you wouldn't tell Allegra, but I'm different, you know I am!" she said, her voice rising slightly with anger.

I sighed a little to myself, I really didn't want to do this. "I do, and I know I should be able to tell you things, but this is different. I'm not sure how much I can," I whispered, hoping for her to follow my example.

"Listen, you know what my life is like at home, and that I feel half depressed whenever I go back. I just want you to be there for me, like friends are supposed to be."

"I can't believe you have the nerve to ask me this," I hissed. "You wanna know how I felt last year? Like I couldn't trust anyone, like I was completely alone in this world, and you and Allegra did nothing to help. This is my life, and I don't need to share my secrets with everyone I meet."

"Well, I'm not everyone, I'm your freaking best friend!"

Part of me knew it was a horrible idea, but part of me wanted desperately to tell her.

"I'll tell you," I said, making my decision. "I'm...a shadowsorceress."

Claire's eyes narrowed in suspicion. "What the hell does that mean?"

And I told her everything, about the Room of Magic, Darius, Acera and now I had change and my real summer, skimming over some of the more sensitive parts. And I told her about how I had killed.

I hadn't noticed that I had started crying until Claire hugged me and said "I'm so sorry about being such a ***** to you before." Well, I guess that's what best friends are for, not deeming you crazy when you tell a crazy story straight out of a twisted fairy tale.

I took a deep breath and magically dried my tears and said in a carefully controlled voice, "I'm fine, it's ok, you didn't know. I have to go though."

She looked at me worriedly and asked, "Are you going to be ok?"

"I gotta be."

*****

After a quick look around I had turned myself invisible and made my way down to the chamber. Halfway through it, I started hearing loud voices arguing.

"She's too weak now" Acera's voice shouted.

I stopped in my tracks. Her voice was frantic through the cracks around the door, which was strange and frightening all by itself.

But it was the next voice that truly caught my attention. It didn't simply reach my ears. It crept through the cracks around the door and slithered around my body to strangle my heart. I actually started feeling weak to my knees as if it was slowly leeching the energy out of my body.

The Shadows.

As I had made my way down the passage, the torches did not light with the usual warm red and orange, but cold blue flame. The passage was cold enough at the beginning, but as I held my ear to the door, it seemed like the rest of it was basked in sun.

"You know perfectly well this is the height of her power, and that I know better an anyone how powerful she is. Being so new, she is currently the strongest shadowsorceress in existence, except for you and you know it. Face it, you have feelings for her and you're afraid."



And here comes the good part

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Old August 6th, 2009, 11:33 pm
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Re: Teeter Totter (has nothing to do with playgrounds :p)

Part 3: Breaking Death's Grasp

Chapter 10: Home?

"Tell me the truth about how you feel about the girl."

"No!" Acera said too quickly. "Of course not!"

The voice laughed, a booming basso sound. It was the kind of laugh you expected from "strong but loving" fathers listening to their children's talk about their day, or maybe some kindly uncle. But there was just something about it that put it off, as if the warmth and humor had all been removed.

"You don't lie to the Shadows," he snarled. "You think of her as a substitute for the child you lost when you were young. Love and caring is for the weak. It prevents you from doing what you need to do, which is what is happening right now."

"This isn't-" she began.

"I expect it to stop," he said, smoothly cutting her off. "I know your listening Aurelie."

I hesitated slightly, deciding whether I should make a break for it, but my trembling fingers pushed open the door.

The Shadows seemed to smother the light from the blue lights blazing in the glass spiral, and with it, my ability to think clearly. A solid mass of black in the shape of a large man stood in the center, surrounded by black mist. As I entered, the mist, the Shadows, seemed to swirl around me, removing all warmth in the air.

"Aurelie," he said, a solid hand-like shadow touching my shoulder. I suppressed a gasp of surprise at the sheer frigidity of it.

I could feel myself growing tired and weak, and I struggled to keep my face straight and my body from shaking.

"Strong," he murmured, and suddenly, strength flooded my body again. "Or perhaps proud, foolishly so." He laughed again, and I could see Acera recoil from the corner of my eye.

"Do you wish to know what Acera believes you are too weak for?"

I nodded, still feeling shaky.

"Do you believe in an afterlife child?"

"I'm not sure," I said, trying to inject strength and volume into my voice, but it still sounded timid and small. "I believe it could exist but it might not."

"A soul contains energy," he said. "And that energy attaches it to a body and a life. When someone dies, where do you think all that energy goes?"

I shrugged, "it could be absorbed back into the Earth, given to new lives, spread out into existing souls, or exist as a spirit or ghost of some kind."

"Some souls behave like that, but most go to an afterlife, another universe solely for the deceased. It's usually inaccessible but with enough magic and sorcerers, we can open a gateway into the world and capture the energy from the souls."

Mixed thoughts suddenly sprang up. Most of me seemed to believe disturbing the dead was an awful thing to do, but some of me thought it was absolutely fascinating in all its dark glory.

"To do so would mean infinite power. Dead souls have much more easily releasable power, and are easier to claim. And everyone dies, and that power could be used for all eternity. The power you have experienced in the past few months is simply a taste of what it can be."

Suddenly, the shadows enveloped me in total darkness, and quite suddenly again, I felt...

Different.

Everything seemed darker, shadows became more solid and darker. Acera was the darkest of them, but with a miniscule flicker of light on her chest.

And I felt powerful and great. Anything dark was mine, my energy, my power. Not all of it was directly at my disposal, but all under my influence.

And I became myself again, but my surroundings seemed the same. I still saw things as if I were the Shadows, but the power he had had left me.

"I see how much negative is in all," a deadly voice said. A man, a regular man appeared next to me. We both looked completely normal and human. Or at least I think I did, but he looked no more evil than an average mortal murderer."

"Why-"

"Why did I do this? Partly because I wanted you to see how I looked before I became the Shadows and partly because I wanted you to see things for what they are."

Besides how he held himself and the expression on his face, he looked well...average. He had average shaped eyes, average length and colored hair, average height. Everything was average, except for the black fire that seemed to burn in his pupils. He looked like he was in his late twenties or early thirties. He didn't look like someone you expected to be a super-villain, more like an extra in a movie.

"Do you know why Acera cares for you so much?" he asked quietly.

"No," I wasn't even aware that she cared much at all.

"Acera had a child before she even discovered shadowmagic, maybe 7 or 8 centuries ago. But at three months, as she and her husband had been walking on the street, her husband, who had been carrying the baby at the time, had been crushed by a horse. Both suffered extensive wounds and later, both died. She did have regular magic back then, and the shock of it disabled her powers for an entire day, and by then, all the magic in the world couldn't heal them.

"I believe that mothers, possibly even regular mothers, can sense their children's auras, and your aura must remind her of her lost child."

"She doesn't remind me of the motherly type."

"Well, it's been a while and she's a good actress, but I believe you're making her crack," he chuckled. "I know I told her to get rid of that tiny speck of light in her heart, but I doubt she'll ever succeed. If I thought she could, I wouldn't acknowledge it. Regular magic doesn't hurt shadowsorcerers, but it supplements their magic and gives them access to different powers."

"Why do we need it?"

"Have you ever noticed how there are servants in the palace?"

"Yeah."

"Do you know why?"

"Not particularly."

"Some shadowsorcerers became so black that they lost control of their magic. It has nothing to do with strength and some see it as a cause for celebration, but it is highly inconvenient. Now look at you."

I looked down at my body and withheld a gasp of surprise. It had become jet black but sprinkled with what looked like glitter and small patches of a silvery-gold color in what looked kind of like ketchup stains. My right hand was jet black, but my other was completely covered in the gold.

"Do you know why that is?" he asked.

I shook my head.

"There are so many exceptions to your character," he said simply.

"What about my hands?"

"Shadowmagic may be second nature to you, but you still use regular magic regularly, no pun intended. So are you willing to join me?"

Well...did I? If I decided that it was too much, could I opt out? And either way, this was much worse than killing or hurting. What he wanted to do was much worse than that. What he wanted to do was to permanently destroy people's souls and the beautiful individuality and power each of them had accumulated over the years, and in some cases, millennia.

Seeming to sense my insecurities, he said "You can leave if you feel like you can't do it. Darius should've been able to, but you're young and I wouldn't expect too much from you."

Well, I could figure it out later, I suppose. Taking a deep breath, I said "Yes, I'll do it."

As I said those words, I could practically feel the mad delight the Shadows suddenly had and I saw the look of pure horror twist Acera's features as I was released by the Shadows' power.

She seemed to be immersed in silent fear, with her mouth open and eyes wide. The regular black in her eyes had suddenly turned brown and she seemed human.

"You don't need to be much stronger to attempt the spell, but you will need to be less wasteful. The only reason why younger shadowsorcerers at the height of their power still become worn performing spells that require a lot of energy." While he spoke, a shadow crept over to be absorbed into the rest of my aura. I could myself become instantly stronger as my own power absorbed it. "Also, can you clone yourself?"

"Kind of, why?"

"Clone yourself and have your clone replace you. I don't want you wasting energy on something as trivial as school."

"What about Acera?"

"Your jobs are different, and yours is the most important, dangerous and energy consuming. I will teach you how to perform the spells and we will be able to practice here once the other two shadowsorcerers come."

"Others?"

"The spell requires five vessels for the magic. Darius was originally going to be in your place because he was the best at regular magic out of all the shadowsorcerers. Now clone yourself and get to sleep. Training begins tomorrow."

I nodded once and teleported upstairs.

*****

There are two types of clones. One is simple and pure energy in a human shell, the type created by shadowmagic, like the Shadows I suppose. This kind is much simpler to make but far more energy consuming because you actually have to give it fuel for the entire duration of time it replaces you. I suppose it's the price for laziness. What you do is cut off a portion of your aura and add energy to it until it the outside is solid, which you can then "mold" into a human form.

The other is much harder to create but less energy consuming. It's like creating a new life. You have to really understand the basics of human anatomy to make it work. I had never mastered this technique but seeing that I needed the clone to last for more than a few hours, better late than never.

I sat down in the very center of the room and closed my eyes. It was my hope that I could combined the two methods so I wouldn't have to carefully sculpt out every tiny detail of my body. Magic has a tendency to want to become what it's like in nature so in method two I wouldn't have to worry about the structure of DNA or my cells or even my capillaries but it still meant I had to memorize all of my veins and arteries, bones and muscles, and my organs worked and fit together. Not to mention I would have to consciously think about what kind of person I am and that kind of thing. So what I was going to do was think about the basics of my body and use my aura as a sort of blueprint for everything.

Energy buzzed around me, pulsing from the tiny sources of life in the plants and small animals around me. I reached out to the centers of life to take their energy. Normally, these miniscule sources of energy were useless, but when multiplied like this and in a magically enhanced environment, it was certainly enough to pull this off, though I wonder if it would be better to go outside instead, where it was teeming with plant and animal life. Even without the extra free flowing magic, it was still quite a lot of power. The problem with the forest was that it was in an open environment and unlike an enclosed room, it was harder to grasp the magic.

As I pulled the energy toward me, I felt the temporary thrill of immense power. But I allowed it to flow into the empty space around me. Along with the energy, a small portion of my aura flowed in as well. At the same time, I had to concentrate on solidifying the shapeless energy into the skeleton of a human, and then the flesh, using my own aura to guide me.

Beads of sweat formed during my concentration, from the immense effort of channeling the energy. As I worked, I could see the air solidifying into living flesh and bone.

What resulted out of my tinkering was quite frightening actually.

It was me, no doubt about that, but my features had gained an ethereal cold beauty. the clone was absolutely breathtaking, in a warrior princess covered in blood kind of way. Well, at least I know I'm beautiful on the inside...

This meant way more work for me. I spent the better part of the next hour trying to make the features look more like mine. It still didn't look identical to me, but the difference was almost unnoticeable now.

I willed a large prick of magic into my double, along with a bit of my aura. The great thing about transferring your aura is that you always feel the other part and are connected, so you know what's going on at all times and when necessary, you can control it.

"See you later," my double said, waving as she exited the room.

I lay down on the grass, breathing in the scent of fresh air passing through the charmed glass.

Although most of the energy came from the environment, I still felt exhausted and promptly fell asleep, ignoring the shadows and light dancing all around me.

*****

I didn't fall into deep sleep that night. I don't know why it didn't hit me earlier, but every shadow and sliver of darkness could hide a portion of him, spying on me. It was such a strange feeling, as if I were being stalked somehow.

After a short nap, I had gone back down to find myself being directed through another door into a small bedroom. During the middle of the night, a dark form coalesced from the shadows to sit on the edge of my bed.

"Really," he had said, "You need to get some sleep if you want to have your full power tomorrow."

"What do you mean tomorrow? It's practically morning already."

"We're not starting in the morning. We start when the sun goes down and when dark magic starts to grow. Get some sleep."

A shadow patted my hand and the dark figure dissipated. I shivered slightly at the cold but somehow pleasant feeling it gave me.

Unconsciousness ensued.



I want to do a chapter a day, but that's probably not going to happen since i have my summer reading books to read . And I believe this officially marks the halfway point, 11 more chapters to go .

Feedback please: http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=119734


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Old August 10th, 2009, 1:10 am
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Re: Teeter Totter (has nothing to do with playgrounds :p)

Chapter 12: Cruel and Inhumane

Magic had always come easily to me. I think it's an exaggeration to say I'm the strongest sorceress alive, but I did think I was decently talented.

I simply wanted it, willed it to happen, and felt the magic escaping my fingertips.

But that was a thing of the past now. Apparently we weren't doing anything until they "properly gauged my strength." I call it "cruel and inhumane torture." I mean really, he was the freaking Shadows for heaven's sake; shouldn't he be able to just know? Obviously it was for their own sick amusement to watch me practically faint from exhaustion.

"Are you kidding me?" I gasped. "What if I pass out and drop that on my head?" Before me was an enormous lopsided boulder, probably weighing around a ton.

"It's stamina practice, you don't have to stand underneath it, and we'll know when you have to stop." Acera attempted to explain.

Grumbling to myself, I began lifting the boulder higher and higher until it was finally at least seven feet off the ground. Soon enough, I was gasping from the effort and beads of sweat trickled down my face.

A minute seemed to take an eternity to go by. Unlike real lifting, the energy usage was spread out through my entire body, rather than a few groups of muscles, and there's no actual lactic acid buildup, but it didn't mean that it wasn't tiring, or that I couldn't collapse from exhaustion.

And that's exactly what I did after the second minute. The boulder came tumbling down but I ignored the enormous crumbling sound of rock smashing against rock.

"Next exercise," the Shadows began, "is..."

"Give me a short break at the very least!" I half screamed, half coughed.

I wanted to say that I wanted to quit, but a few days ago, Acera had already told me why I shouldn't.

"I know how horrible what he's asking of you is, but if you refuse, he'll choose someone else, someone I might not be able to convince to do the right thing," she had said, businesslike, as if any emotion she had on the matter had been neatly filed away and ordered alphabetically.

"Why can't I quit?" I had asked, feeling anxious at the time.

"Because we can stop him, and he's giving you the best position to. What he's making me do in the spell isn't going to have much effect. I only wish I had gotten to Darius earlier. I'm sure he would've helped."

I could feel the guilt pooling in me when he said his name. It was my fault he was gone.

"We're increasing your endurance. The ritual will be much harder."

"Do you think I care?" In my anger, I hardly remembered I was wheezing at the Shadows.

I got up, probably looking half drunk, and raised my hand and attempted to take a bit of his energy in an effort to steady myself. The moment it touched me felt like a breath of fresh after drowning, but it wasn't the right type of magic.

I don't think he minded me taking a bit of his magic because it was only after I stopped feeling quite so dizzy that he began to pull away. I tried to hold on out of pure spite and misjudgment until a voice that resembled clapping thunder shouted "Enough!"

I felt as if I was being pushed back by the sound waves and started trembling out of fear.

"Next task," he said, voice trembling not with fear, but with white hot rage.

Acera shot me a warning glance and we continued.

*****

I was almost asleep when Acera woke me up.

"Leave your shadowmagic here," she whispered to me.

I may have imagined it, but somehow the shadows around us seemed to be more menacing than before.

Using the method that had been taught to me so long ago, I reached inside and found the shadowmagic that seemed to be attached to my heart and pulled it out into the open, and I placed it in the necklace Darius had given me, where it would be protected.

Acera grasped my hand and we disappeared into the magical world.

*****

This wasn't Nyx, but someplace I could only assume was controlled by regular magic. The sun here was overpoweringly bright and warm, but somehow I could stand to look around without squinting.

I was dumbfounded as I gazed upon this place. A sense of happiness seemed to linger in the air, along with a childlike innocence. It was a grassy green meadow with golden flowers and butterflies everywhere, somehow able to glow in this bright sunlight. The sky was literally a pale gold and what seemed like white stardust was constantly falling from the cloudless sky.

I couldn't help but gasp and giggle like a little girl. "It's so beautiful here!"

The beauty and happiness here had an immediate impact on me, but it didn't even seem to effect Acera, though she seemed much more human here than anywhere else. I suppose the amazement wore off after several centuries.

She had always looked like a freshly dead corpse amidst her beauty, but here, it was as if the light had radiated life into her pale body. Her eyes were younger and had a sweet and kind quality I had never noticed before.

She was smiling a little, and it was soft and touched her eyes, bringing a sparkling happiness to them, mixed with bittersweet sadness. "Don't you wish you had known what you had given up?"

"Maybe...but this doesn't have to be the place for me. Why did you have us remove our magic before?"

"The Shadows has shadows everywhere as spies. Everywhere but here, Kinich. I had you leave you put your magic in the amulet for that reason as well, and because this place would be much more unbearable with your magic.

"Anyways, I needed to talk to you in complete privacy. The Light may know, but it's better than the Shadows knowing."

"The Light?"

"Darius never told you?"

I shook my head no.

"The Shadows is everything spiritual and the Light is everything physical, but the Shadows has a tendency to be evil and corrupt. It doesn't necessarily have to be evil, but it has become that way with humans. Shadows is darkness, Light is brightness. Shadows is death, Light is life. The Light is a similar entity. I met her only once, when I first became queen."

"So why exactly are we here?"

"I know we had a short conversation before, but you need to know more, and it's too hard to shield against the Shadows for any length of time. Sit down," she said, sitting on the grass herself. I joined her, crushing a few of the golden flowers.

"The Shadows plan is to rip open a portal into the afterlife and steal the souls there for his own power."

I opened my mouth to speak but she held up a hand.

"Just listen. Any soul stolen is crushed. Destroyed. It ceases to exist as anything but energy. Everyone is able to steal, or rather, share souls. It's simply a fact of life. As long as a tiny bit of soul is left on its own, it can re-grow and repair itself. Stolen souls cannot. The Shadows steals souls often to fuel his power, but there are often crumbs left.

"To take them from the afterlife is an act of madness, unspeakable. No crumbs would be left to re-grow. No one should cease to exist like that. I do not wish that fate upon even my worst enemy.

"He seeks to destroy them, permanently."

"But doesn't that already happen?"

"Rarely. As I said, crumbs are left. The way life works is that they are born whole and pure with everything in their soul, and usually some parts are "turned off" like a light switch. Over the years, some parts are turned on and others are turned off. Your magic gets some of its energy from your body, yes, but mostly from a portion of your soul. It recovers quickly anyways."

"So what are auras?"

"I told you in your lessons. It's your soul's self defense. Anyways, the reason a sorcerer or sorceress ages slowly is because their soul is so used to being depleted that it actually creates extra energy that goes toward their life force. Did you notice how you feel less tired from magic than before?"

"I guess..."

"That's because you're recuperating faster.

"When enough of your soul is gone, your body takes far more energy from its life force and it will die. When the soul finally doesn't need to power the body, whatever it regenerates stays and once strong enough, it passes on to the afterlife. No one knows for sure what lies there, but we know it exists."

"How?"

"When you kill someone, the energy has to go somewhere, and a lot of the time, the energy just disappears and energy disappearing is just as impossible in magic as it is in science."

"Why couldn't you explain this back at Vires? You told me to help him there."

"I'm powerful enough to make sure he doesn't get into my mind but you're not. I've already convinced him that I'm not treacherous. I only told you to agree to what he wanted, he doesn't know my reasoning. Just listen. I have my own plan for thwarting him, but it all depends on you."

Yeah, no pressure, I thought dully.

"The ritual consists of a few different stages. In the room, the Shadows will form a pentagram. You, me, the Shadows, Culvox Drake and Moe Jordan-"

"Wait, Culvox Drake and Moe Jordan?"

Acera ignored me. "-will each stand on a different point. You will learn more later, but anyways, the Shadows intends for you to enter the portal that will be opened in the center temporarily, which will be like a door to the afterlife, bringing part of him with you. I want you to destroy the shadow before it can do any harm and close the door behind you, or close the door first."

"How am I supposed to close the door and overpower one of the strongest beings in the universes?"

"The portion that goes with you will be weak when separated if it doesn't devour any souls first. Besides, I'm sure the dead will help you."

"What if I'm scared?" I mumbled quietly.

Something seemed to break in her steel hard will and hugged me close, and with a slightly strained voice, she said "I'm sorry I brought you into this mess, but remember what we're saving." I didn't feel tears. I bet she hadn't cried in centuries."

"Do the other two know about this?"

Acera straightened up, "Yes, and if possible, one of them will be able to go in with you."

"Why can't you?"

"At least three have to hold it open and even added together, those two won't have enough power as I do."

"So why am I going in in the first place?"

"You may have power but it doesn't mean you can use it. You haven't even tapped into half of it, even if you do use it well. The Shadows knows this and he thinks he'll be able to push your regular magic into the spell for the final jolt. I do not have enough regular magic so I will be helping him power the spell in general."

"Wouldn't it be better to just stop the power flow in general?"

"It'll just explode, possibly destroying all of our souls."

I heaved a sigh, irritated at what just had to happen to me. Yes, magic was wonderful compared to my past life, but I hadn't wanted to achieve great things just yet. I just wanted to enjoy. Understanding first, great achievements later.

Feeling rather timid, "Do I have to do it?"

"It's possible I can close the portal for you, but you have to be willing, because unlike me or Darius, you're young enough to have him easily bind you to his will and force you to do it anyways, which would achieve nothing."

"Why did you choose me?" I asked. "Surely the queen usually doesn't train new recruits."

"No, I usually don't. The Shadows assigns all of us. He finds new sorcerers and figures out who they would succeed the most under. I believe it's the same with the Light."

I snorted, "Magical eHarmony."

"Won't the Light know about this meeting?"

"Certainly. We are after all at the heart of her domain. The Shadows will suspect what has happened, but I will be able to protect your mind. Try to put up an extra defense around your aura as well."

"Don't you think he'll be suspicious of us leaving to come here"

"Naturally, but I made sure the room was masked, the Shadows there should've been temporarily neutralized. He shouldn't notice, it happens from time to time. Let's go back."

Before I felt the familiar pull of magic, I felt a strange warm presence on my aura and a soft, female voice in my ear, "I will protect you." When I opened my eyes, I saw only black.

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Old August 12th, 2009, 4:44 am
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Re: Teeter Totter (has nothing to do with playgrounds :p)

Chapter 13: Lies Upon Lies

"Where were you?" he asked quietly.

I could hardly move; I could hardly breathe. The room seemed to be filled with thick darkness as if the coldness in the air had condensed it into tiny particles of ice. But somehow, I could still tell that the inhuman voice was speaking to Acera.

I cast a worried glance at where I thought Acera was.

Her voice was calm, clear, and devoid of emotion.

"Why not here? Do you have something to hide?"

"A day doesn't go by where I don't have secrets to hide."

"I can easily pry them out of your mind."

Acera began laughing, voice full of pride but empty of any humor. It was completely different from the voice I had heard in the meadow. "You know as well as I do that it's an idle threat. You are already feeling your power wane and mine grows more powerful every day. We may not be equal yet, but I assure you, I have more than enough to stop you."

"I never expected treachery from you, Acera," he hissed.

"I'm not being treacherous and I never expected you to be this greed for power, Arach. You know what will happen if you go through with this. You could throw world into chaos. And your position still wouldn't be permanent. Sooner or later, it all flows to me."

"Why not? With this plan, we could be the most powerful pair ever. With the countless souls, we could both stay in power."

"You greedy *******! What part of 'throw the world into chaos" don't you understand? You could cause an ice age and then cut off our fuel supply, humans."

"You know you can't persuade me otherwise, but unlike you, I have the power to force you to comply anyways. I am still in power, and I will be for quite some time, whether you like it or not. I would be a bit more loyal and not die before your time if I were you.

"And Aurelie," he said, and I could feel a sudden wave of cold wash over me. "Be good and do what I say. It would be so sad to see such youthful talent wasted."

All of a sudden, the air became several degrees warmer and I could see again.

"I'll handle it," Acera said, sighing, leaving as well.

*****

I was finally introduced to Culvox Drake. Apparently the other was coming in a few more days

"Is this some sort of sick joke?" I asked exasperatedly.

It was Corin.

He laughed, "Of course not. I discovered magic at a much younger age somewhere else but was transferred to this school to help with the spell.

I looked at him suspiciously. He looked amused.

"So what was the point of attempting to torture me verbally all these years if you could've just used some magic?"

"I was bored, needed an adversary and you were the only one worthy enough."

"Gee, I feel honored."

"You put up a good fight. I would have given up if you acted like a weakling."

I rolled my eyes.

"You are going to be working together," the Shadows, or I guess his name was Arach, growled, somehow conveying a threat.

I bowed my head and said in a mocking tone, "Of course."

I went back to my room and shut the door behind me. Culvox simply walked through as if solid stone was as thin as air.

"You might as well think of dealing with me as a way to save your mind and soul."

"Um....how does it help? and I don't hate you as a person, just that you have to annoy the hell out of me all the time."

"If you're not annoyed about me, it's one less thing to worry about," he replied cheerfully.

"If I didn't know the Shadows would severely maim me for battling you..."

"Yes, you would curse me into oblivion, whatever, and I don't doubt your ability to do so. I suggest that you don't doubt my ability to stop you."

"I believe I would be able to put up quite a fight, but how's my clone doing?"

"If I wasn't familiar with magic I would have no idea what was going on," he assured me. "She managed to heal your relationship with some of your friends actually."

"I feel so guilty," I whispered. Especially after all that with Claire.

"It'll ear off," he shrugged, laying his back onto my bed. Great, now it's contaminated..."You'll be smarter about your friends sooner or later."

"You never had friends?"

"Of course I did and I still do, I just don't get attached to them. When I did, I was constantly ripped away from them when my parents moved. It turned me into the monster I am today," he replied, smirking.

"Somehow, I don't doubt that happening to me. But Allegra and Claire are like sisters, even if we aren't overly close. We grew up together and we've gone through a lot together." And I think I love them.

"I felt the same way about mine, but he died in a car crash."

An awkward silence stretched between us. I could tell he regretted telling me but he made no attempt at erasing the moment from my mind.

"You know what he plans to do right?" he asked quietly.

"Yes."

"But how do you feel about it?"

"I'm against it, but there's no point resisting right?" I gave him a wink.

He breathed a sigh of relief. "With at least 3 of us against it, and possibly four, we should be able to stop him." I guess he wasn't as worried about the Shadows listening.

"What do you mean?"

"Well, it would be harder if it was only me and Acera stopping him if you were trying to stop us."

"Good to know, so why are we talking about this where the Shadows can easily eavesdrop?"

"Acera is distracting him," he said lazily.

"So how are we doing it?"

"Simple, disarm, or destroy the Shadow goes in with you. I come in with you to assist you with that, then we warn the souls and close to portal while Acera attempts to stop him from killing us, and we try to find a way out."

"Because that's not blatantly obvious or anything. Besides, easier said than done."

"Good thing you have me with you right?" he said smugly. Did he really have to be that arrogant? He saw the distaste on my face. "Listen, I know you hate me-"

"At least you got that right..."

"But I'm not really that awful once you get to know me."

"We'll see."

"Just give me a chance."

"Why should I? You picked on me when I was at my weakest."

"I'm a freaking shadowsorcerer."

"Doesn't change a thing."

"It would be worse if I was harassing your friends. You underestimate yourself." He flashed me a smile, but instead of looking cocky and arrogant, it finally looked kind of sincere. "Get some rest, you'll need it."

As if sleep were remotely possible now.

*****

Every night we practiced the ritual, everything except opening the portal. After a few days, Moe came. I had so many lines to memorize but I had them down soon enough. Corin (I just couldn't think of him as Culvox) was able to do it all with careless ease. It was somewhat difficult for me, but I didn't let the difficulty show on my face.

We started out slow but it got progressively harder until we stopped the spell moments before the opening.

Today was the final day of practice. Nearly two months since we started.

The day before I had talked to Claire about my predicament.

"Wait, you mean you haven't been in class for over 2 months?! LUCKY!"

I glowered at her, "I would rather take classes."

"Why?"

"Well, this really powerful supernatural being is making me help him destroy people in the afterlife. And the training regimen is really really hard."

"Wait, you're doing what?"

I quickly explained my predicament. "But we're going to stop him."

"How?"

I felt the temperature of my amulet suddenly drop several degrees. "I'm sorry, I have to go, but I think my clone should be able to tell you."

We exchanged a quick hug, and I left.


I found it hard to sleep tonight as I contemplated what I was about to do.

What had I gotten myself into?


Feedback please http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=119734

I'm finding this story to be a bit prophetic of my life actually....kind of creepy....


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Old August 14th, 2009, 10:10 pm
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Re: Teeter Totter (has nothing to do with playgrounds :p)

Chapter 14: The Afterlife

As practiced, we started right at dusk, as soon as the sun made it past the horizon.

I had spent a few hours collecting energy around the school. I wandered around invisible, sipping energy away from anyone I passed. Each sip seemed to act like a jolt of adrenaline or an added sugar and caffeine high. In all the practices, we never actually opened the door, which was supposedly the toughest part, and unfortunately, my job. I had felt exhausted nearly every time so I had no idea how I was going to be able to do it. After the walk around the school, I felt like I had nearly double my usual strength, but it was still not enough. I knew that the Shadows was going to be supplementing my magic much more heavily than before, but it didn't really help my nerves. I still needed enough to fight him on the other side and then close the portal.

With each step down the tunnel to the Room of Magic, I could feel the air grow heavier and colder until it felt like I was pushing against breathable, cold water.

"About time," I heard a mutter rumbling through the air.

We each took our respective positions at where the triangles making the pentagram would be.

The air began to thin as the stone ground began darkening. Once it was a dark grey, it seemed to compact into the thin lines forming the star, along with a semitransparent paper-like material forming walls.

While the air was thinner, it was just as cold as before.

We each began chanting different spells in our respective languages.

"Let darkness surround us,

Take our hearts,

Light fuel our actions,

Create a portal,

From our material world,

Away from the earthbound mortals,

Away from Mother Earth and Father Time,

Into realms unknown

By living flesh

And souls connected to the children of the Earth

Let us travel to the sanctuary of the dead

And rip a hole into their safe world-"

The beginning of all our chants were the same, but this is where I had to concentrate on my own. I blocked out everything else, making sure I got every word correct, while supplying a constant force of will and control on the structure of the spell.

Acera was the one who was going to be supplying the shadowmagic portion of ripping open the portal with me, but the Shadows was going to be maintaining the opening. Moe focused on keeping excess energies from disrupting the fabric of the spell. Corin was maintaining the actual energy flow. And of course, the Shadows was supplying most of the energy. I had to supply much of the regular magic

It was a good thing we had done this so many times before, or I would've been extremely distracted by everything going on around me. I dared not check what they were doing in fear of disrupting my concentration.

"Allow two subjects in,

Despite life still in their limbs,

Into this unexplored universe-"

We repeated our chants over and over again until it was finally around two in the morning.

Despite the darkness around us and the thin walls of magic, I could see the center begin to glow, faintly at first, but then it started increasing in brightness .

It seemed to be a color wheel. Colors spun uncontrollably and it was a good few minutes before they began to slow down.

I still felt somewhat energetic so I was certain I would be able to complete the final stage of the spell. I began feeding more of my regular magic into the spell.

Finally, the portal was starting to open. I could literally see the pentagon shaped space in the middle begin to increase in brightness until I could clearly see a rough ground and a few body parts like arms and feet. I even saw some branches covered in green and orange leaves. They only seemed to exist within the pentagon, as if the thin walls were cutting them off from the rest of the world. Everything seemed ghostly and semitransparent within the enclosed area.

Slowly, a few souls began to gather within the small area to gaze in awe at us, or at least they seemed to.

The ground began to rumble as I put in the final jolt of magic, and the wall between me and the afterlife disintegrated.

"Now," the air around me seemed to whisper.

I stepped forward, hesitant and I walked in .

I felt a sudden tug and the souls hissed at me, "Alive, alive." An unseen force tried to push me out, hard. I stumbled backwards, unable to resist, but a shadow came from behind and tried to push me through.

I began gasping for breath as I struggled against whatever was keeping me out. From the corner of my eye, I could seen Corin attempt to come in too, suffering the same way. But once I got in, I saw the world of the dead as a sort of veil over my world. "Now!" my voice wheezed out, when I saw that Corin had gotten in too.

The air seemed to stiffen around me, but I had made it in already and I could see that Corin had too.

"Don't you dare, Acera!" Before, everything had seemed semitransparent, as if I were in limbo between life and death but things started solidifying. I could begin to see our world fading.

I tried to help close the portal but nothing I did seemed to help so I settled on just getting rid of the shadow that came in with us.

It reared up and took the shape of Arach. "You fools! You've only trapped us here!"

I raised a hand and snarled "Depletum!"

I felt the Shadow struggle and try to leave, doing the magical equivalent of biting his hand off. Energy flowed from it and into my own magical reserves. Soon, the dark mass was gone. Feeling slightly more confident now, "So why did I need you to help me then?" I asked Corin.

"I'm here for moral support."

I rolled my eyes, same old Corin. "Any idea how to get out?'

"Nope."

"So helpful."

But he was off already and I quickly followed suit.

"What are you doing?" I hissed.

But he ignored me. "Do any of you know how to get us back?"

"Fools," said a woman, "When you cross the boundary between life and death, there is no turning back."

"But we're not dead!" I said.

"Life and death is a precarious balance. It's a fool's game to tamper with that. You cannot easily change this."

"There is no portal for ghosts?" I asked.

"Well, yes, but-"

"Why couldn't we go through?" Corrin challenged.

While the female spirit looked like a very strict old woman and was still somewhat transparent, the next one that came up seemed fairly solid. "Technically, but by the time you get there, you'd be dead anyways. "

"What do you mean?"

"Everything is about balance. Neither the best or the worst of us will feel completely satisfied here. Those who have become much more balanced will. Sinking too much into darkness or light means absolutely no access to the Betweenland, a large stretch of area in the center of this world."

"An equal amount of each is desirable, but it also means that you will never have any access to the portals. Being balanced is the key to being complete. How balanced you are determines where you are here, but if you're in the wrong place, it sucks energy out of you," a halfway solid old man said.

Not any old man, Darius. My eyes widened and I took a small step backwards.

"Yes it's me, Aurelie," he said, a sad smile on his face.

Corin looked from me to him. I heard his voice in my head. "Who's the old dude?"

"Dude?" I thought back. "Well, he was my first teacher. And uh...my first murder."

"Surprised to see me here?"

I couldn't choke a word out so I merely nodded numbly.

"I've been staying here lately anticipating your arrival. Maybe all of this wouldn't have happened if I had been honest from the beginning."

Finally finding my voice, I whispered, "Don't blame yourself."

"Well, when things come to this, it's rather hard to blame you; you should be safely in school, not facing possible death."

"So can we get back?" Corin demanded.

Darius was silent for a moment.

Darius was silent for a moment. "You, boy, no doubt about it. You might have to push yourself a bit but you will definitely be able to make it. Her, possible, but she'll be needing a lot of help."

"What do you mean?" I asked, trying to will back the tears.

"Well, if you don't belong there, it's very hard to stay there. It feels like it's too cold and the air feels very thick, but it's really all about energy. The dark energies will affect her more, but there's no way she could possibly make it the other way."

"So why is it bad to be only good or bad?"

"Going to the living as a ghost eventually drives one insane and that's usually what they try to do. And besides, at a certain point, no matter what kind of person you are, the environment starts to sip away at you and start going crazy unless you change." Darius was looking at me intently but I avoided his gaze. I saw him make a move to step forward before he caught himself.

I spoke first, still avoiding his eyes, "I'm so sorry."

"You keep feeling remorse and you will never get back. No need to cry over what's already done." He came over and kissed my forehead, "I'm proud of you," he said, smiling sadly."

"How do we find it?"

"I never did, but here," he gestured to someone else. "Say hello to my wife." The woman looked somewhat younger, but she was still rather old. She was actually solid, as well with pure white hair and looked like she was once very beautiful . She seemed vaguely unpleasant but nowhere near evil.

"Hello," she said, "I'm Melanie, I died nearly a century ago."

I tried not to shiver at her words.

"I only went through once but you will know when you find it. In the middle of the Coldland, just remember to head to the door of light at the end. You can't miss it. Simply keep walking due east." I gasped as the tip of her finger literally disappeared and a compass appeared in her hand. I could already see another ghostly tip start solidifying there. When she handed it to me, I could see the needle pointing straight toward the direction of the trees that had colorful leaves.

"Aren't compasses supposed to point north?" I asked.

"Reality works differently here," she responded, winking.

"Go now," Darius urged.

"Can't you come with us?" I pleaded. Corin shot me a glare.

"No, it's not what we are meant to do," he stated simply. "Now go. I hope I won't be seeing you in a few more centuries at the least."

As we left, he waved to us, which I returned halfheartedly.


If anyone has ideas on how to make the chant sound better tell me, because it still sounds really bad from where i'm sitting
Feedback please: http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=119734


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Old August 25th, 2009, 6:52 pm
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Re: Teeter Totter (has nothing to do with playgrounds :p)

Chapter 5: Cold and Dead

"How are we supposed to survive here?" Corin, or I guess Culvox, asked. For the first time he looked a bit scared. It kind of made me feel warm and fuzzy inside to see that.

"I'm not sure, but everything just seems...odd here." I'm not exactly sure why. What we were walking through just seemed to be in perpetual autumn, but overall, it looked fairly normal but I didn't like the feeling the place gave me much. It had life to it, it just wasn't my life. "I feel a bit tired, you?"

"Of course. Does your watch still work?"

I had almost forgotten. I always wore a cheap digital watch, one that I hadn't taken off for nearly a year and had almost forgotten about in the excitement. Miraculously, it was still fully functional. "Yep, and how did you know I had it?"

He gave me an annoyed look, "Well, you haven't taken it off in a year."

I tried not to blush. "It's not something most people notice."

"What time?"

"Um, I'm not sure if it's right, but apparently 1 in the afternoon."

"Weird, it adjusted to the time here?"

"I guess. By the way, tell me if you feel like you can't go on anymore, we shouldn't overexert ourselves."

"Talk about it, I bet we're going to have to walk for ages."

"Could we possibly make some sort of vehicle?"

A passing spirit flew above our heads, screeching "Scandalous!"

I looked around. There seemed to be some sort of poor looking village to one side that was mostly covered in trees, with its inhabitants looking at us in complete awe. I guess I hadn't noticed it earlier, but no one here looked fully solid or appeared to bother walking.

I think Corin/Culvox noticed at the same time as I did, because he asked, "Ever flown before?"

"I've glided."

"Close enough, we could try that."

"Are you kidding me? Do you have any idea how energy consuming that could be?"

"Well, not today, but later when we feel more refreshed."

"I still doubt it'll help much."

He was silent for a moment and I could feel the magic stirring around him. "Damn your right."

"What?"

"I can't seem to get energy from the environment."

While we kept plowing forward, I noticed a couple of things.

One, with every step I took, the temperature seemed to drop very slightly.

Two, this place was absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. Already, I could tell that it was based on the four seasons. Back where we had entered, on one side were trees just starting to grow back their leaves, melting snow, plants and flowers starting to grow and over here, the leaves were a medley of warm colors. In a few hours, I could see the amount of leaves on the trees lessening and a thicker layer of leaves on the ground.

For some reason, there were also a constant supply of birds flying to the west. "We don't even really need a compass, we just need to look up."

He gave a small smile but made no comment.

*****

In a few days, it may have been getting colder and colder, but it wasn't anything close to unbearable, and it was still just as beautiful. Before, the gold and orange and red blended perfectly in a canopy of fire but now the fire was crunching underneath our feet while the trees had much less leaves on their branches.

It was also getting rather dark. There was a sun, but instead of traveling from east to west, it went from north to south and in the far west, where it was probably much warmer.
The strangest sight was yet to come. Creating meaty foods directly from magic was impossible but it was quite easy to conjure an animal and then kill and cook it. It was just a bit annoying when we could just quickly create already cooked vegetables if we wanted, even if it was easy to make meat.

The sun had only just set past the horizon and although the sky was still golden there, it was cold and dark here already.

While Corin/Culvox was creating a simple tent and a few sleeping bags (we were taking turns with everything), I had started a fire and was preparing to make some food. "What do you want tonight?"

"How 'bout chicken?"

Well, we hadn't had meat in a while and it wasn't as if I was about to make a cow just for some steak.

I took a medium sized rock from the ground and willed a little power into it and watched it turn into the body of a chicken and slowly animate as I poured magic into it. We had tried to directly conjure stuff from thin air before, but apparently this world was disconnected from anything that had living things in it, even if the world of the banished seemed to have even less life than this place did. I quickly stopped its heart and remove all its feathers and organs with magic before cooking it.

To my amazement, another chicken came out of it a few seconds later, a newly deceased spirit. It clucked and ran off toward the west.

Corin had turned his head when he heard the clucks and scampering and began to laugh loudly. I couldn't help but join in as I saw its head turn around and give us what I swore was an irritated look.

He quickly made a few apples and sat down next to me as he watched me slowly add heat to it through magic. "We would be so useless without magic," he laughed.

"Well, this is the afterlife, how else do we get food?"

He ripped a leg off of the chicken and chewed thoughtfully. "What are we going to do when we get back?" he asked once he swallowed.

"What do you mean?"

"Well, we did ruin the Shadows' big plan, he'll destroy us," he explained.

"As of now, I'm just worried about Acera. The Shadows will destroy her if he can."

"Shouldn't she be powerful enough to stop him? I mean she's several centuries into her queen-ship."

"I hope. I felt that the shadow he sent with us wasn't really as strong as I thought it would be, but that's only a taste of the whole thing."

"Just have faith in her," he said solemnly.

We were silent for the rest of dinner. I looked at him the entire time, wondering what other secrets he could be hiding behind his icy eyes and mostly haughty expression. He was only a few months older than me and I think fifteen (or at least that's what he said), but his eyes belonged to someone who saw a lifetime of pain.

"I'm going to take a shower," I told him, getting up after I finished eating.

"How?"

"Turning trees into water."

"You're wasting that much energy just to shower?"

"Well, we're going to bed anyways."

"And you say you're not a priss, have fun." I could tell he was rolling his eyes.

"It's a calming thing," I called back, "The point is that it feels good."

I went off a little until I was sure the trees would obscure me. I couldn't even see the tent anymore but I was also pretty sure I could find it again. I quickly took off my clothes, wishing they would just poof off, but of course, banishing couldn't be done without a universe to banish them into. I turned the leaves above me into hot water, expending quite a bit of energy in the process. I didn't really need soap or shampoo since I could clean myself with magic, but I needed the relaxation. When I had finally used up all the leaves above me, I moved over a bit to begin again. But after a few minutes, I finally felt too tired to carry on and put on my clothes again and trudged back.

When I was finally back, I was simply amazed. It was enchanted to be much larger on the inside and although there was only one room, it was complete with a very soft rug, two sleeping bags and a small fireplace. I guess he was just too tired the past few nights to bother. "And you were scolding me for using too much magic."

"Either way, I'm clean without use of a shower," he said, smirking a bit.

"Just go to sleep."

"Goodnight," he answered as we climbed into our sleeping bags at opposite sides of the tent.

"Goodnight."

I didn't realize how insanely tired I was until my head hit the pillow. I was planning on having to make myself fall asleep, but apparently I was drowsy enough already. Not surprisingly, I heard Corin/Culvox's snores the moment he got in as well.

*****

It seemed as though the farther we went in, the harder it was to make much progress.

Well, at least I felt that way. We made it through the fall portion in like a week, but soon, I felt very different about our journey.

There were so many spirits along the way and like the trees and weather, they became colder and crueler the farther we went.

One particularly nasty looking woman had taken one look at us, put on a disgusted expression, scrunching her nose, and told us in a very malicious tone, "You might as well kill yourselves now, you'll never make it." She left, cackling madly. It wasn't really as much scary as just creepy and strange.

My uneasiness must have shown because Corin gently took my arm and pulled me toward him. "Don't worry about it, she just wants to feed off your misery."

I brushed his hand away and said "I know, I've done it before, but what if she's right? What if we never make it?"

"Don't say that, I'll do whatever it takes to get us back, I swear."

I glared at him. "Don't go all chivalrous on me. I'm just as capable as you are of taking care of myself."

"You heard Darius, I have a higher chance of making at than you do," he replied, eyes flashing dangerously.

He took me hand and held it until we made it to what seemed like the last days of fall before the first winter snows.

We had bundled ourselves in winter coats already and although it didn't seem like he was bothered by it, it seemed like my soul was shivering as well.

This place was still beautiful, but it was simply colder and more evil. It seemed like the world was stuck in various stages of Twilight and dusk. I could see the sun in the west but ti was no longer golden, but had a white blue tinge and cast long dark shadows over here.

There were less trees, and they were either leafless or covered in needles. The ground was hard and frozen and covered by a thin layer of white frost.

"It's really late now," I said, pointing back at the setting sun, afraid of what lay ahead.

I could tell that Corin wanted to keep going, but I must've looked really awful because his annoyance immediately dissipated when he looked at me. "Sure," he sighed.

"So what happened to flying?" I asked, smiling tiredly.

"Tomorrow," he answered.

*****

I woke up absolutely frozen and cold. I tried to snuggle deeper into my sleeping bag, but felt nothing but open air. I was floating. I yelped a bit and heard Corin laughing. "It's nice to get some kind of reaction for once."

I picked him up as well and lifted him high up in the air and dropped in, watching him speed to earth, and caught him a few inches above the ground. I swear I heard him squeak before he started laughing again. "I didn't drop you!" But I felt a sudden increase of magic and pressure as I found myself hurtling toward a tree, then jerking away to start spiraling through the air and then gently deposited on the frozen ground. It was always a wonderful feeling to be in the open air and despite the fact that I didn't have control over what I did, I still felt as free and unaffected as the birds in the sky.

However, when I finally let go of Corin, I felt the taxing effect of magic. It was short lived, but the euphoria of flight lasted much longer. It still didn't stop me from becoming speechless when I saw what I lay ahead a few hours later.

It looked like Hell had frozen over. Before, the frost and snow was pure white, but now it was tinted dull reds, browns and grays. "Bloody hell," I whispered.

"It's not bloody, just dead," Corin said, sounding bored, but I could tell he was just as disconcerted as I was.

Well, if I knew I could certainly make it across with no difficulties, I wouldn't have been so scared but I felt almost certain that I would die first now.

Corin seemed to read my mind because he said "We'll make it."

"You will, I'm not as sure about me."

"Just listen to me, Aurelie, you have to let go of your remorse."

"I just can't," I moaned.

"Do you know what the difference between us and regular sorcerers is?"

"We live off of pain and misery and they live off of happiness and goodness?"

"Well, there's that, but we accept the bad even when we cause it, but most importantly, we're the wave and not the beach-"

"What the heck does that mean?"

"-We allow things to happen and we help them, while the others try to stop the inevitable. Don't dwell on the past, there's only the present and the future."

Well, it was rather ironic that we were going against the forces of death at this point and I felt more like a salmon swimming upstream than anything else. Maybe I was going to make it, but what would the consequences of my actions be?

*****

I felt like if I bundled up in any more coats, I wouldn't be able to move my arms.

It took a while for me to gain some logic in this situation. Finally, I used magic to heat myself. I was still wearing many coats anyways along with some snow-pants but I felt much warmer.

Corin was finally caving in as well. Although he only wore one coat, I could tell he wanted more by the way he was shivering harder. I for one was wearing a leather jacket with fur on the inside, a down coat and a polyester fur coat with the fur facing out, not to mention a sweatshirt, a long sleeve shirt and a tank top before coming to my senses and just heating with magic. I wish I could say my legs had the same amount of protection, but I wanted to be able to move, so only some jeans with fur on the inside and some snow-pants and boots covered my legs.

Corin was wearing shorts and sneakers with a thin looking coat. Idiot.

I wasn't going to bother looking at him anymore. The very sight of his bare legs made me want to shiver violently.

"Corin-" I began, but I was cut off.

"Call me Culvox."

I still thought it sounded awkward, but I didn't feel like arguing for once. "Culvox, I swear I could keep myself cool in the middle of a tropical rainforest just looking at you out here in shorts."

I wasn't looking at him, but I was almost sure he was smiling.

We took so many more breaks in between, trying to huddle together and share warmth. Maybe walking more was smarter, but my joints and muscles ached with cold and weakness.

We found ourselves pummeled by constant wind and snow. We looked back, longing for the warmth that lay beneath the sun on what seemed like on the other side of the world.

I doubt even someone like the Shadows would enjoy being so frozen out here.


sorry about the enormous delay. i had to do some summer homework I had been procrastinating. i'll try to update later today, or tomorrow, but more likely i'll have to write the two essays i had been ignoring

Feedback please: http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=119734


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Last edited by Voldemorts8thHorcrux; August 28th, 2009 at 3:45 am.
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  #17  
Old August 27th, 2009, 4:56 am
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Re: Teeter Totter (has nothing to do with playgrounds :p)

Chapter 16: Black
We had stopped for the day and retreated to our tent. I couldn't believe how fortunate we were to have finished eating and gone back before the sun set.

I was starting to get truly scared now. The normally blazing fire only emitted a faint glow, though I had a feeling it was more because like with the Shadows, darkness was impermeable. I had never really been afraid of the dark in the past, but back then, the dark wasn't as solid and suffocating.

In a few hours, I still couldn't fall asleep and was chattering and shivering violently. "Are you ok?" Corin whispered through the darkness.

"I-I'm f-f-fine," I replied, unable to stop my teeth from chattering.

But I heard a bit of rustling and some footsteps.

"What a-are you d-doing?" I asked, horrified that he was going to try to get into my bag.

"I'm fully dressed, don't worry," he replied.

I shined a faint light on him and saw he was indeed in his pajamas.

"Trust me, this is just as unpleasant for me as for you, but you're going to die of frostbite or something if you don't keep warm. And wasting more energy is out of the question, so we'll have to share."

I felt the sleeping bag expand a bit and then a very thin material rose up next to my arm.

I wanted to get out and curse him into oblivion, but as soon as he got in, I couldn't argue. There wasn't too much physical warmth, but I his aura felt like an electric blanket compared to the rest of this place.

He was so gentle; I could have never expected it from the same person who enjoyed doing stupid immature things like tripping me up in the hallway and making up stories to get me in detention. One arm came and patted me a little and pushed my hair out of my face then withdrew and gave me some space.

"Just remember, make one wrong move and I'll kill you."

"Yeah, I love you too, you're welcome."

I could see nothing but I was sure he was smiling and I was too. My muscles relaxed a bit and I stopped shivering so much and finally managed to fall asleep. "Thanks," I murmured before I lost consciousness.

*****

I wondered how we'd ever get through.

It had become almost completely dark now and although it wasn't as thick as at night and fire could easily light the way, it was still unnerving to know how little ahead we could see now.

It was probably the worst feeling I had endured my whole time here when neither of us were really paying attention and I stepped forward on open air.

Fear viciously gripped my heart and I could hardly breathe but I managed to catch myself with magic when I had fallen about halfway down.

"Are you ok?" Corin shouted.

"Haven't died yet but how much light can you make?" I shouted up, my voice echoing a little.

In a second, the darkness around me was dissolved by a sudden moon-like light, illuminating what looked like a canyon deeper than the Grand Canyon. I floated myself back up toward him before asking, "Now what?"

"Let's just go across."

I bit my lower lip gently, "I'm not so sure, maybe we should ask for directions or something."

"From who? And we're losing time!"

"We've got all the time in the world. What's more important is not dying here and being on the right track. Either way, I can see if I can contact Darius. "

I searched through the afterlife for Darius's aura. For some reason, it was much harder in the afterlife, and I could vaguely feel beads of sweat rolling down my face but I found him.

"Darius?" I whispered.

"Aurelie?" he asked, sounding somewhat surprised.

"Do you know whether we should cross this canyon?" I sent him a quick mental image.

"Let me check with Melanie."

I could kind of hear their conversation, as if they were on the other side of a thin wall.

"They're at the gorge, what should they do?"

"Whatever they do, they shouldn't attempt to fly over it." Phew...good choice.

"Why not?"

"Beyond it is the door and this gorge is the first of many tasks. It is very hard to break through the magical barrier at the center, no matter who it is. Walking is simply safer. If they run out of energy while flying, they could very well plunge to their deaths."

This time, his voice was directed at me. "You heard her."

"Thanks," I replied, then turned toward Corin. "They think we should walk at the bottom."

"Why?"

"Apparently there's some sort of barrier in the middle."

"Let's go one at a time I guess, just in case. Ladies first," he winked, walking to the ledge.

I walked up to the ledge and pushed his smug face off of it, and jumped as well, catching myself a few feet above the ground and landing gently. It was simply exhilarating this time now that I didn't think I was falling to my death in the darkness.

"You're turn," I told him, smirking as I saw him slowly float down.

He looked rather shaken.

"Oh come on, you didn't enjoy that?" I laughed.

"I just hate freefall. I need to feel supported by magic." Once he made it to the ground, his expression showed immense relief and he gave a small sigh.

"You had no problem with heights a few days ago."

"That was just at the canopies of trees, have you seen the size of this gorge?"

"Let's just go. You can stop the light if you want."

Our surroundings darkened again and I used a small ball of light to light our way.

Supposedly, the Universe is supposed to end in cold black where no light will be able to exist. Looking at the sky now, I could easily imagine it. Not many of us really realized how dark it could get at night. Even in rural areas where there are few street lights, the sky is constantly lighted by stars and the moon, and has a dark bluish color from the sun on the other side of the world. This place was just black. It had no stars twinkling cheerfully above and no moon was hiding behind grey clouds.

I was lost in thought until I suddenly felt like I had walked into a wall of a fluid thicker than maple syrup.

I could still breathe even if the air felt thick in my nostrils but my limbs had to push hard against the invisible force.

I could hardly move forward but with a lot of effort, one step, two steps, three, four, five...ten...twenty... Imagine being underwater except you can't float, you can't swim and the water was actually syrup or honey. the result is feeling like you're pushing against a heavy wall.

Finally, at step one hundred, my foot contacted clear hair once again. I managed to drag the rest of myself out and I couldn't help it, I collapsed from exhaustion and fainted.

*****

I think I had to be out cold for at least a week but I finally woke up, feeling very cold. It was extremely dark again and I lit up our corner of the canyon.

Corin was still sound asleep. I suppose I never really got to describing what he looked like. As I had said before, his brown eyes looked far older than the rest of his face, but closed and asleep, he looked incredibly young, younger than I was.

In the dim glow, I saw how his hair, a deep, rich, chocolate brown, had been splayed across his face. It had grown since we had started the trip and he had some long bangs to the side of his face that made it to his cheekbones.

His eyebrows were of average width for a male and though his eyes looked pretty normal sized, closed, they seemed to have doubled in size. His nose was slightly large for his face and lips a bit too full, and he looked pretty average, but like with everyone else, held its own unique beauty and life.

I wondered how I looked after all this time here. With a quick snap of my fingers, I turned a small rock on the ground to a mirror. My mouth opened in shock, as did my reflection.

Although my frizzy and tousled dark hair was nothing new, unlike Corin, dark circles had formed under my eyes and they had sunk back into my skull a bit. I didn't look quite skeletal, but simply awful, like I hadn't had any sleep in a long time. My shadowy look had lost some of its previous malicious quality to be replaced by a haunted look. The face in the mirror was no longer mine. I was stuck in a shell of my former self.

In another hour, Corin had woken up as well. "I can't believe we slept on dirt," he yawned, brushing it off a bit and stretching.

"Yeah I know," I laughed, "Let's eat while we travel, we lost a lot of time."

In reply, he stood up and brushed off some more dirt off of himself and we took off again, flying up and traveling into the unknown.

*****

The next obstacle was apparently a rope bridge.

"Oh come on," I moaned. "How clichéd is this?"

"Yeah I know," he chuckled. "At least it probably won't burn under us."

"It can still collapse," I warned.

"Yeah, I guess."

Through unspoken consent, I went first. Behind me, Corin's steps were tentative and light. I was holding the light this time and I had a feeling he didn't think magic would be of much help in this situation.

My first steps onto the bridge were very careful. Automatically, I wanted to catch myself with magic as I heard the wood creak beneath my feet. Suddenly, the bridge felt completely unstable and I realized I couldn't do anything with magic and the light firmly blinked out.

"What happened?" Corin asked, a note of terror fighting to control his voice.

"It's not letting me use magic," I replied, fighting the sudden cold I had experienced.

"Can we try to go back?" he shouted, slightly more calm.

I attempted to find the steps behind me while tightly gripping the ropes beside me, but they appeared to have disappeared. "I can't, it's like the plank disappeared," I reported, fighting back nervous tears. I had never felt so terrified.

It was like fear was a tangible monster, able to play with and grope at my heart and throat and choke out any hope.

"Just keep going forward," I told him. I only hoped I could do the same.

It was infinitely harder and nerve racking to traverse across a wobbly, insecure bridge in the absolute dark. I had to move one limb at a time. In my head, I could only think, right hand, left foot, left hand, right foot, over and over again. It was terrifying whenever I stepped forward and felt nothing but open air and then had to search around a bit. I had to stoop down a little, feel the wood with the tip of my foot and step cautiously, hoping it wouldn't collapse underneath me. I couldn't afford any mistakes when I couldn't use magic.

Finally, I felt my foot land on something remarkably hard and solid. "I made it!" I shouted back, and suddenly, the bridge was once again lit by a dull glow. Corin started to make his steps much more quickly and with more confidence and attempted to run across, until a board split in half. With a yelp, he quickly grabbed the hand rail rope above him, and I could all but hear his heart pounding in his chest. One thing they never show you in the movies is that grabbing on to a rope just before falling to your death probably hurts, and I could already see his hand growing red and what was unmistakably blood. He seemed to be shaking all over, particularly his arm as he tried to swing his other arm onto the rope.

"Do you want me to pull you up?" I asked, worried, trying to move him with magic, but I guess even when I wasn't on the bridge it wouldn't work.

"Let me try on my own first," he replied, gritting his teeth. "I've done this kind of thing before." He didn't seem to lack any upper body strength,, but then again, I doubted he had ever been put into this kind of situation.

His other arm came up to grip the rope on the other side. I saw him try to swing his legs up to the rope that held the boards in place. Once he was sure his legs had a good grip, he let go to sit on the rope and slowly climb to the next board, probably praying that it was sturdier. He finally sat on it, panting hard. I started shouting encouragement at him and saw him smile weakly at me.

He got up gingerly and finally took his final steps onto solid land.

He seemed to be holding back pained tears before, but now I saw them streaming down an inch or so down his face before evaporating. He sat down on the ground, gripping his arm and unable to speak. It looked like as if someone had tried to pull his arm off by driving a car in the opposite direction.

I looked down at his hand and felt pangs of sympathetic pain on my own hand. It was a raw bloody red.

"I'll heal it for you," I said gently, taking his hand, and spoke a few words willing a bit of magic in and concentrating on reuniting the skin and severed nerves and blood vessels. He let out a short gasp of pain as he watched his hand stitch itself bade together.

"I'm not sure about the arm though, it doesn't seem to have sustained any real damage. You'll just have to let the pain burn itself out."

I sidled up next to him and gripped his hand tightly. He gripped my hand back in response as his ragged breaths began to become more even.

In a slightly calmer tone than I would've expected from him after his ordeal, he said "I think love you."

"I might love you too," I replied. Nothing like a near death experience to bring people together.

I turned my head to look at him shyly and he gave me a small peck on the lips.

"I still hate you," I replied, smiling.

"I don't."




it's official, this was worse to write the second time.....the love scene that is.

feedback please! http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=119734


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Old August 28th, 2009, 5:29 pm
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Re: Teeter Totter (has nothing to do with playgrounds :p)

Chapter 17: Touchable

Corin seemed to have trouble with his arm for another week. We had to have been trapped here for a month already.

I had been worried that love would hinder us, as it was what gave Acera access to regular magic, but on the contrary, it made me feel much better even in the darkness and biting wind.

I wonder why. Caring was considered something good and yet it seemed to be helping me. It didn't seem to help Corin much, but it didn't slow him down either. I guess love could go both ways.

However, the quick burst of speed was short lived. Quickly, the air would thicken again and start draining our energy and resolve again. Although it was tough to walk through what amounted to maybe half the density of water, we had began to notice a star, alone in the inky darkness. I consulted Darius one night and supposedly a door lay underneath, the one back to our world. Upon that happy news, I felt hope rekindle inside me, another flame of warmth that wouldn't slow me down, but help me.

"Just be careful, if you overshoot, you'll end up in another afterlife."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, when enough people believe in something supernatural, it tends to come into existence. It's either Hell or Hades, it's not really something recorded."

"So other afterlives exist?"

"They all do, just don't go in, or you'll very likely be trapped. Well, no one really knows, but just be careful."

"So what about magic? Is that another product of the imagination?"

"It might not be a religion where millions strongly believe in certain things, but I think magic exists naturally and is what creates all these other places. I think it's only magic, Mother Earth and Father Time and this afterlife that are actually real out of everything supernatural."

"What?"

Darius sighed a little, "I don't know, I just know that they exist, nothing more."

*****

"I see it!" Corin shouted gleefully.

It was almost funny; no it was hilarious seeing him attempting to run to it when the air was thicker than water.

I decided to swim instead, "I'm going to get there first!" I bragged, hovering a few feet over the ground, moving my arms and legs furiously.

Corin attempted to swim as well. "Oh come on!" he complained. I laughed seeing how he had been slowly sinking and falling in slow motion. Apparently he was still too evil.

However, I was slowing down quickly and soon he was able to stay afloat as well.

The door was maybe fifty feet away and getting closer and closer, a rectangle of sorely missed light and warmth, and most importantly, life.

When I was only a foot away, I realized that I couldn't move. My heart all but stopped as I shouted "Help!"

Corin was only a foot behind me and slowly landed beside me and told me calmly as I panicked, "I won't leave without you." He stood behind me and started pushing hard at the soles of my feet. I tried taking some energy around me to push at me, but all I achieved was feeling colder.

But I hadn't moved at all. I wanted to kick and thrash, but the cold energy allowed for little movement and I was quickly getting tired.

"Just go," I told him, "I'll never make it." I wanted to cry but could feel the tears being stuck at my eyes.

"Then I'll stay with you."

"What's wrong with you?!" I tried to scream, but only managed to wheeze. "I'll only make it when I figure out how to get rid of being 'good' or whatever. I can't just permanently destroy a large section of my soul."

"You won't need to," he replied, trying to make his way toward my head. "You'll find a way, I know you will, and I'll make sure you get through that portal. His tone was one of absolute confidence and soft gentleness.

He finally made it to my head and kissed me gently. I tried to kiss back but I still couldn't move properly, even if it seemed like my mouth was fine. But it still felt wrong to be this powerless, and I pulled back slightly. Well, apparently going backwards was easy.

I opened my mouth to explain, but he spoke first," I understand," he murmured, smiling sadly.

Neither me nor Corin knew how long it was that we stayed there, so close to freedom, yet so far. My watch wouldn't work any longer and we couldn't even see the sun. The only light we had was the door and the lone star, shining far above our heads.

Why was I still like this? I asked myself bitterly. I had stopped regretting my first murder, I had given up most feelings I thought would hinder me, but I still couldn't move. I couldn't imagine Corin being much worse than me.

So why was I the one froze in time and space like a life size sculpture of flesh and bone?

And I finally realized why. Having those feelings wasn't what was stopping me, it was letting them control me and letting them be close to the surface. It had to be a few days trying to rearrange my soul. The entire time, Corin used magic to float food up to my mouth. In my mind, I used magic to give me a mental picture of what my soul was like, remembering what the Shadows had showed me. Rather than being speckled with light and small blotches, I moved them all together to be placed closer to my heart and mind. I carved the light away and placed it so deep inside me that I could no longer see it or feel it.

And slowly, the reason why I wanted to go back was no longer that I wanted the warmth and happiness, but because it was where I belonged and because I was going to fight till the very end. I ignored remorse and embraced everything evil about me, secretly thinking that I would change myself back later.

As I worked, I could feel the air loosening its hold on me.

"Let's go," I told him, putting on a look of determination.

Corin looked tired with black circles under his eyes but he brightened up again as soon as he saw me mobile again.

"Let's."

We held hands and stepped through.


Short chapter, but feedback please http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=119734

heehee, im proud of myself, i typed up this AND i finished one of my essays for english


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Old August 31st, 2009, 4:36 am
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Re: Teeter Totter (has nothing to do with playgrounds :p)

Chapter 18: Alive

I could feel my flesh and soul being ripped at in a violent vortex of shadow and light. Pain was like the light of a blazing flame, constantly changing intensity but always strong. It was as if water balloons of both hot and cold water were burning away at me. But it was a good kind of pain, the kind that told you that you get from a healing wound.

As quickly as this sensation came, it left. Quickly after numbness came a feeling of gentle, mild warmth and sweet euphoria. We seemed to be in the middle of a spring meadow.

"Where are we?" Corin wondered aloud.

The meadow was endless in its everlasting beauty.

"I think it's some sort of limbo between life and the afterlife," I replied after trying to contact Acera and failing, but I could still vaguely feel the universe she was in.

Corin frowned and I could feel a stirring of magical energies around us. "I can sense both universes, I just can't get in."

I looked up, "Well, that's where we'd go I guess." I shivered a little; there was still a residue of cold energy on me. "I don't want to go back there until it's my time," I said.

"Well, we still need to figure out how to get back to where we actually do belong."

"Tomorrow," I replied. "Let's just spend this last day relaxing. Besides, I want to be fully charged up first."

I hadn't slept properly for days, besides short naps, and after being in a place so cold, I hadn't even realized how tightly my muscles had wound up.

In a few minutes, I lay down in the flowers and fell into the first comfortable sleep I had in a while.

*****

"We should get up now," Corin murmured into my ear.

I obliged and got up ruefully and kissed him. This kiss was a bit deeper than the last one, but we both pulled away at more or less the same time, looking uncomfortable. I guess we're both not very physical people.

His expression turned from shyness to a mischievous smile and I stuck my tongue out him.

"Well, if the portal to the afterlife is above us, the portal back to regular life has to below then, right?" I asked.

I looked up at the sky. It was rather hypnotizing. It looked something like an upside down whirlpool or hurricane. A rainbow of colors danced on the clouds as they swirled above our heads. I reached out tendrils of magic toward it and felt the unique energy of the afterlife.

Then I felt the ground beneath me. It was practically humming with life, and strangely...auras.

"Cor- I mean Culvox, feel the flowers."

He looked at my quizzically and picked up one of them. It was a large, brown and wilting tulip and the moment he loosened his grip, it zoomed up to the sky.

Well...I think he just killed someone...At least the wilting probably meant it was someone pretty old.

"I meant with your magic," I hissed.

After a brief second of concentration, he only said, "Wow."

After a few hours of deep thought from both of us, he said, "I think I know what we have to do. Our flowers have to be here somewhere."

I sort of reached out my magic to attempt to try to search for my aura somewhere else in this field, and in a few minutes, I located it. And Corin's, not far away.

"Follow me," I shouted at him, taking off into the sky. I could feel my magic waver much more than it used to, and I made a mental note to rearrange my soul again when I had time.

Several minutes and a few miles away, I touched down and located our two flowers, for me a purple lupine and Corin, an orange dahlia.

They weren't attached to the ground by stems or roots of any kind, but floating in the air with roots and stems and leaves, as if they too were trapped in limbo.

"Well, it's kind of obvious isn't it?" Corin asked.

I knew what he was talking about before he said it.

"We've gotta plant them," he continued. We plucked them out of the air and quickly used some magic to shovel away some grass and dirt and put our flowers in. A few seconds later, I felt a sudden pulling sensation and ended up somewhere pitch black. For a second, I thought we had ended back in the afterlife.

But it was the Shadows.

Acera suddenly came and grabbed us both. I could never mistake her aura, even frozen in anger and fear. I felt her pull us into Kinich and quickly remove a large amount of my shadowmagic. I felt the light parts of my soul come out a bit to replace the lost space before we reappeared.

"What's wrong?" I asked her.

It was the same place she had once took me to hide from the Shadows.

"He's been going insane with anger," she said. "Not that he wasn't insane in the first place," she added bitterly.

"When are you powerful enough to defeat him?" Corin asked.

"I'm not sure." I had never seen Acera so lost. She looked oddly vulnerable as she pushed her hair out of her face but I think she must've realized it because she immediately drew herself up to her full height and put on an emotionless mask. I hadn't even noticed that she had been slightly hunched up.

"Since I have to hide here, I haven't been receiving much power," she explained. "I go back to steal more energy now and then, but he only builds up more of his own. It's even affecting the mortal world a bit. He's changing the balance, and if he keeps doing it, there will be serious consequences.

"What was the afterlife like? I thought you two weren't going to be able to come back." She said that with a casual tone but her eyes were shining a bit too brightly and she hugged us quickly, probably to give her enough time to remove her tears. I have a feeling that she's been having a rough time.

"Well, apparently it's a world where there are four seasons for different types of people. And the place we went to is only one section of it. People with different religions and cultures can go to other places. For us, we went to a place where it's split into four seasons, spring and summer for those who are more good and autumn and winter for those who are more evil. And the portals back here are in the summer and winter side. And I almost didn't make it."

"Well, I guess you can tell me about it later, but you have to help me remove more of Arach's power before we kill him."

Corin looked at her questioningly. "Yes, the Shadows' real name is Arach," she replied quickly before continuing. "If we take away enough of his power for me to last around him for any length of time, I should be able to sip away enough of it to permanently kill him."

"But like you said, he's just going to build up more power and I'm guessing he can do it much faster than us," I said.

"Well, I've got more people helping. It's been working a little so far, I guess."

"What about our clones?" Corin asked suddenly, looking a bit more worried than before.

"They're fine, I gave them more energy whenever they got low. But you need to help me. I suppose I like the feeling of power but it will be useless if there's an apocalypse or disaster of some sort. And the other side hasn't had much choice but try to build their power as well."

"I suppose we'll have to hide too?" I asked, trying not to look disappointed, but some of it must've shown through because Acera smiled knowingly.

"It'll be over sooner or later."

"How long were we gone anyways?" I asked quietly.

Acera looked suddenly uncomfortable and seemed unable to meet my gaze.

"Over a year."

Corin and I traded stunned looks.

"You've got to be kidding me," I grumbled. The momentary horror was already gone and I was already annoyed. "I'm going to have the night to myself."

Without waiting for an answer, I sulked off.

*****

I was apparently better friends than ever with Allegra and Claire. I guess the bit of my aura I put in happened to be a bit more social. But also, without me sneaking off all the time, I could spend much more time with them. Little did they know I was merely a clone.

So much had changed with them. I suppose once I had told Claire the truth, she had became a bit more open with me too, but I suspect puberty really hit her hard. She was much more mood-swingy than I had remembered. Allegra was still mostly left out of the loop, but at least she wasn't as much of an irksome fly buzzing around us anymore. Well, I still loved her, in a way, but she could be so annoying sometimes. Allegra was still mostly happy as always but she had become a bit more understanding of me and Claire.

Something that really intrigued me was how the clone Corin treated me. While the one with me seemed a bit more kind and caring, at least to me, the one at school was being a classic bully, just doing everything with magic.

While I had been immersing myself in missed memories, Corin must have been watching because he came up to me and said, "So much has changed, hasn't it?" But instead of sympathy, he looked a little bored.

"You don't like being back?"

"Kind of, but let's face it, this is boring everyday stuff. The afterlife was an adventure, and now it's over."

"Sorry, but I prefer entertainment without having to gamble my own life," I beckoned for him to come closer.

"Well, where's the fun without the danger?" he shrugged, but I saw his eyes kindle to life.

"Well, we need a break anyways. Besides, I found it rather dull anyways, only the bridge was actually exciting."

He let out a bark of laughter, "You're not the one who practically had your arm torn out of your socket."

"You need to learn to make the most of things."

"I tortured you every day didn't I?"

"You tried to torture me every day," I retorted. "And how about a little wager. We duel, right here, right now. If I win, you get to be my shield when we confront the Shadows. If I win, I'm your shield."

"No way."

"What, afraid to lose?"

"Let's just duel without gambling something so important. Just make our clones dress up as chickens or something."

"What happened to fun without the danger?" I replied, sticking my tongue out at him.

But Corin had started already. I had barely dodged the water he sent at me when he started preparing another spell.

"Hey! we haven't even determined what kind of duel we're doing," I laughed.

"Fine, our choices?"

"Duel to the death, first to faint, duel of wills, knock out."

"Knock out."

Knock out was kind of like target practice. Each side covers themselves with red paint that would turn blue whenever affected by a large amount of magic from anyone but the person it was on and also served as a kind of shield.

It could be immensely fun but extremely annoying when you were aiming for a tiny patch of red.

But then again, you had to stop after five hours when the paint deactivates, but come on, who wants to duel for five hours straight?

I went ten paces away from Corin and he did the same.

"Ready?" he shouted.

"Naturally." As soon as I said it, bright red paint covered me and Corin and bright blue fire burst out from my fingertips. It was like a long whip and I attempted to hit him with it, but was blocked by a large column of pure ice.

My fire made it halfway through before disappearing

Even in the midst of my next attack, I couldn't help but notice the beauty of the ice shimmering like diamonds but it melted when I stole the ice to create a large jet of water.

I didn't know what he had done to shield himself, but in a split second, I found myself whipped into the air by a sudden gust of wind that turned a large section of my back blue.

Black fire whooshed as it all burst from the ground like black blossoms, ensnaring my mind with its magnificent beauty.

Corin was suddenly in the air again but he had not escaped unscathed. His feet were a shade of bright blue and most of his lower legs were either blue or purple.

I had little time to celebrate my success. The very air around me had burst into flame, making its way toward me.

I created a sphere of frozen ice around me as a shield. In my hastiness, I had left little room to move. I was actually secretly afraid of fire, just not when I was controlling it. Battling against it was a different story.

I could see the orange glow around me disappear, so I allowed the ice to come apart, and sent shards of it pelting in all directions.

I began laughing maniacally. Having that much power was a drug of its own.

With it came consequences.

I didn't notice a beam of fire that singed the top of my head, turning it blue. Forgetting for a second that the paint would protect me, and even if it didn't I could always make my hair grow back, I shouted "Oh that does it!"

Half laughing, half furious, I controlled some raw magical energy, beaming invisible force toward him.

I think he had put up a shield because only the center of his chest was blue, rather than his entire body like I had tried to change.

An idea finally struck me and a malicious smile crept onto my face

I dropped to the ground and allowed the soft earth to swallow me whole. I felt my magic turn the earth into a nearly liquid texture, letting my magic dance on the surface so I could see Corin in the air, apparently wary.

I think I must've been feeling pretty crazy today since I decided to use the most dramatic method possible.

I finally shot up with the earth following me. It probably would've been extremely taxing normally, but with spirits high, it was no harder than moving a moderately heavy book.

I dropped the magical dirt on his head but he kept a shield above him. But I was smarter this time. I allowed the magic to fall even after the earth was gone and he gave a roar of rage as his entire body turned suddenly blue.

I quickly teleported to his side and gave him a gentle kiss and quickly forced the rest of the magic on him.

"That is so unfair!" he argued.

"Hey, you kissed back," I laughed. "All's fair in love and war.

I muttered a quick spell and all the paint disappeared.

His paint did as well and he landed on the ground, jumping up quickly when he realized it was still muddy.

His expression showed mingled disappointment and humor but it quickly changed. "Aurelie, watch out!" he shrieked, raising his hand to point at something behind me.

I flew around and I could feel my heart stop and then start pumping wildly again.

A large dark shadow had been creeping up behind me, becoming a five fingered hand that reached out to grab me.

Call me a stereotypical girl, but when anyone gets surprised by large hand shaped shadows, you would shriek too. I don't really scare easily and horror movies don't affect me, but reality is a different matter.

But I calmed my racing heart and ripped it apart with my own magic and stole the energy from the shadow.

"Did it get you?" Corin asked, concern wrinkling his face, his arm wounding its way around me.

"No, I'm fine." But another rather disturbing thought came to mind. "How could it possibly make it here?" I whispered to him, my entire body trembling.

He didn't reply. I don't think he trusted himself to speak. He simply held me tight but I could feel his fear in his aura.

I knew how close I had been to dying. Well, that was the cost of being alive.


Wow this chapter took forever. I like completely rewrote a lot of it. Feedback please: http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=119734


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Old September 5th, 2009, 2:11 am
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Re: Teeter Totter (has nothing to do with playgrounds :p)

Chapter 19: Held Hostage

When I woke up the next morning, I was no longer in the golden life of the meadow.

On the contrary, I was on a cold stone floor with a foggy brain and chains around my hands and ankles.

I felt a bit groggy, like as if I had just taken too much sleep medication. The cold and emptiness that seemed to be trying to strangle me was nowhere near as awful as in the afterlife, but I felt utterly alone this time. Whether or not Corin was annoying at first in the afterlife, he was company. And now all I had was myself.

Then I noticed all my shadowmagic was gone and I simply couldn't concentrate long enough to get any regular magic flowing.

But more than anything, I could feel fear burn in my blood. I was usually pretty good at controlling that kind of thing but I had lost all control. My heart was pumping at a rapid rate despite the grogginess

As I drew my arms and legs closer to my body for warmth, I suddenly realized that the noises I were hearing were coming from me.

I couldn't help it, I began sobbing uncontrollably. I don't care what anyone says about crying, the river of tears and weakness that escaped me just added to my ocean of strength. Even if it makes me feel weak at first for having little control over my emotions.

You know about those clichéd villain speeches? "I will destroy everyone you know and love. You are weak and powerless and will never be able to stop me." etc. Want to know why they lose? Because from where I was sitting right now, words couldn't possibly make me feel worse. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a real life situation is worth an infinite amount.

I could feel the shadows dance around me and lick my body, despite how there was no light. They seemed to be attempting to suck out my magic, except I had little that I could really offer.

It must've been at least a few hours until I had finally used up all of my tears. I think that made me feel slightly worse, sitting there, sniffling miserably. I guess the strength part will come later...

*****

I have no idea how long I stayed trapped there, feeling almost suicidal. I couldn't possibly know how many days had passed, seeing that there was no light and no sun and my watch had disappeared.

I had a feeling that my pupils must've dilated large enough to push away any color since I could just barely see my surroundings.

It felt like I had been trapped for an eternity, but no matter how long I spent, I couldn't get used to the cold. It only got worse, to the bone chilling, muscle aching sort.

There was barely any food either. Once or twice a day, or at least I assumed it was a day, a small amount of food and a single bottle of water was pushed through some kind of flap. The small amount of light that pushed through with the food blinded me momentarily every day.

Today, when the flap opened, I said, as calmly as I could manage, "So are you ready to tell me anything?"

There was no answer, but whatever kept the flap open had paused.

"I mean, it must be awful to be so egocentric and still keep your deeds to yourself."

A laugh came and I saw the outline of something solid suddenly appear in front of me. "Yes, it is."

"You have no idea how annoying it is to have to lock you up like this. I happen to like you."

"Gosh, I'm flattered," I whispered sarcastically, but after so long without speaking, my voice was hoarse and weak.

"Ah yes, sorry about the poor accommodations, but I can't have Acera thinking that you're comfortable in here."

"I have to be alive to be in a hostage negotiation," I replied.

"You haven't died yet," he said, "But don't worry, my shadows are looking after you."

"Yes, I feel very protected here."

"You should be, this means that Acera actually cares about you."

"So how did you even manage to get me? I mean, how did you even manage to survive there?"

"Just because Acera isn't prepared to accept my leadership doesn't mean I don't have other minions. Or that there aren't traitors on the other side." I could hear a slight smirk in his voice. "My magic may have failed, but there are countless others that were willing to capture you for me. But just to give you an idea of what's happening, if Acera doesn't give up her throne without naming her heir, you stay here forever."


Without another word, he disappeared.

*****

Dreams were my only escape from my cell.

I was floating high above what seemed to be a mountain landscape. I couldn't tell where I was, but the peaks were covered in shining ice and snow.

I began descending, behind a particularly jagged and steep mountain, into a patch of colorful land. I landed on the grass. A small wood was to my right and a pond to my left with a trickle of mountain water feeding it, and a small cottage in front.

Like all proper dreams, I felt like I was somehow supposed to be here and didn't question why I was brought here. And I was naked, but I felt like if I were wearing clothes, I would feel more awkward.

I didn't know how it happened, but in a flash, I found myself in the water and all my aches and pains were slowly washed away in the cool water. Which was when I noticed how realistic my dream had become. Everything around me became sharp and clear, rather than me simply knowing about it on some subconscious level. And more importantly, my mind had become clear rather than the usual fuzziness.

An old couple came out of the cottage, a serious looking wizened old man and a serene looking old woman. They both looked as though they must've been very good looking when younger but were now very wrinkly. The woman was dressed in a deep green dress and carried a simple wooden staff. The man was dressed in a deep blue cloak and had his staff, but his was made up of many hourglasses stacked on top of one another. While both old, neither seemed tired and seemed to possess a quiet energy around them.

"Hello Aurelie," the woman said gently. I could feel an aura of immense power around both of them now that they were closer, but all in all, they seemed no different than my grandparents amidst their wrinkles. The skin at the edges of her eyes crinkled more as she smiled.

"Where am I?" I asked wonderingly.

"Oh, we can't tell you that, but you are here for a reason," she said. "Oh you poor child," she said sadly. Without really thinking, I rose out of the water, barely noticing how the water seemed to form a warm but invisible cloak around me. She came toward me and hugged me as if I was her own child. Somehow, I wasn't really concerned with the nudity as I normally would've been. It seemed as if it was impossible to feel uncomfortable here. This place was like the Garden of Eden, back when everything was perfect and nothing really mattered.

"I'm Mother Earth," she murmured into my ear, stroking my hair lightly. "And he's Father Time."

He nodded but gave no other sign of having heard her.

"Oh, I'm sorry about that, he's constantly distracted by the complex workings of time." She led me back into the water and I allowed it to swallow me again. She stepped across the surface as if it was solid rock and sat on a rock that had suddenly risen to the surface.

Father Time went back into the cottage without a word.

She sighed lightly, "He rarely speaks to me anymore, only when a major catastrophe is about to happen. Which is why you're here. He hasn't given me too many details because he doesn't want me to create some sort of paradox. You have no idea how confusing it is living with him." But rather than sounding disappointed or sad, she was still smiling and seemed relatively unconcerned.

"So why am I here? I was under the impression that you two are the strongest beings in existence on Earth."

"But we can't act directly or we risk accidentally plunging the Earth into chaos. The only times we are allowed to do anything is to restore balance. Last time, when I was younger, I had accidentally caused the Krakatau."

"Who made these rules anyways?"

"We did. We didn't want to become corrupt and unstoppable, so we cast these spells on ourselves. Whenever we interfere too much, we get trapped here and Earth on its own is a very nasty place." She suddenly looked older than ever and I looked at the water and the sparkling, rippling surface.

Father Time finally came out again and said in a slow, mournful voice, "Hurry up," and returned to his cottage.

Mother Earth took out a small, silver watch from the pocket of her green dress and it fastened itself to my wrist. "Normally, no magic a human uses can affect time but this will give you that ability. It still uses your own power though so be careful with how often and how much of a certain area you use it on. And it will be up to you to practice the ability." I could see a major flaw in that plan but she addressed it immediately. "No one else can either see or use it and it allows you to escape the affects of certain types of magic so you can begin building your power again."

I nodded in acknowledgment and Mother Earth went down in the water with me. A bed of soft leaves, mud and petals rose to allow me to lie down on them, just under the now warm surface. I struggled to keep my eyes open and my mind aware, but she began humming softly and caressing my head, as if moving the energy away and causing sleep to fall.

As I fell back into unconsciousness, I heard Father Time say, " I know you wish you could spend more time with your creations."

A small sniffle escaped Mother Earth and I finally felt myself drift back off into dreamless sleep.

When I finally had woken up, it was as if they had told me exactly what I had to do while I was asleep. Well, kind of. It was more like she had made it impossible for me to make the wrong decisions.

I felt as if the room was now much warmer, as if I was still in the pond. It even seemed like the Shadows around me had died away and for the first time, I saw a small, barred window with moonlight trickling through.

I felt nothing of the bitterness and fear that seemed to exist years ago and in nothing but bad dreams.

I frowned a little, looking at the ornate watch. It looked like the face was full of water, constantly distorting the numbers. It seemed much deeper than it really was, as if it was a deep, rocky well. A warm fire kindled at the bottom, lighting the entire thing, and the emerald hands moved on the surface.

I snapped my fingers and a spark emerged, floating in circles near the top, giving me my first real glimpse of my prison, a small area enclosed in stone walls with a space the size of a twin sized bed with a thin blue mattress at the bottom and high enough for me to stand up in.

And finally, hope bloomed inside my heart, wanting to burst out of my chest.

I felt more power than I had before, even if I probably wasn't. It was almost painful, but I kept it down, knowing that it wouldn't be prudent to challenge with such a small amount of power. I had only ever won against that one shadow he sent into the afterlife, and only because it wasn't powerful as the whole thing.

But my heart only pumped faster. I was sure the watch was magnifying my powers at least a little and I was feeling reckless.

Calm yourself, I told myself sternly, I'm talking about a force equal to all the evil in the world. Tell Acera first.

A voice in my head that was completely not my own had suddenly began whispering into my feverish brain. "Aurelie," Mother Nature's voice said, "you are our warrior, an accumulation and blend of everything. What you lack in strength, you make up in with diversity. Calm yourself and listen to the advice your heart, instincts and intellect give and you will be able to choose the right path."

"However, I bid you to guard our secret carefully. We are not immortal and while I am certain that we have more than enough power to protect ourselves, it would be unwise to disturb the balance."

And with that, the voice left, as suddenly as it had came and after the sudden burst of clarity, I was left with increasingly muddled thoughts.

*****

"Acera? Cor-Culvox?" I asked, projecting my thoughts to the two auras quietly huddled together amidst a fog of magical energies.

Communicating with auras was always strange. I could never get used to the intimacy of it that I could always feel but not always understand.

It didn't stop there. It used to be worse before feeling semi-corporeal in the environment of where the auras were while still in your own surroundings.

Rather than relief, I felt both of their auras contract with suspicion and their eyes narrow.

To my surprise, I felt a tingly feeling throughout my body

"What are you doing?" I shrieked, fear seeming to swallow me whole. they didn't believe that I was really me and feeling like you're about to be destroyed by those you trust is far worse than being destroyed by an enemy. "It's me!"

"So you say," Corin sneered.

"Can't you recognize my aura?"

"Do you really think I would fall for that?" Acera murmured, inflicting no emotion into her voice. "There's too much darkness in the aura and no way could you penetrate Arach's defenses in the first place."

"How do I prove myself to you?" I forced calm into my voice. Dissolving into hysterics never achieves anything positive.

"Just give us a few moments," Acera said coldly. At that moment, I couldn't deny how perfect she was for her throne. A deadly chill was emanating from her despite her environment. Her eyes were burning with icy power and fury.

I could see Corin inch away timidly. I think I felt more fear from her at the moment than I ever had for the more powerful Arach.

But it seemed to dissipate quickly. Her commanding stature seemed to slump with age depicted by the placement of her features rather than any lines. "Aurelie," she sighed, "it really is you."

But while Corin looked relieved, Acera seemed wary.

"You still don't believe me?"

"It's still pretty suspicious."

"Listen, I can't tell you exactly why I could escape in this form, but the fact is that Arach doesn't know I don't have enough power to get out all by myself."

"It could be a trap," Acera said, "How do I know he hasn't or isn't controlling you right now?"

"I don't think there's enough shadow magic on her," Corin said, rather quietly.

Would they believe me? I asked myself, a bit wary now. I know I was told I shouldn't, but I could trust them. I hoped.

I made the decision quickly. "Ok, Mother Nature and Father Time gave me something so I could resist the Shadows. And I don't care whether or not you think I'm a raving lunatic, I'm telling the truth."

"Arach," I flinched at the use of his name for me. "How am I supposed to trust anything? With your power, you could create nearly any illusion."

"Could he use regular magic?"

"He could give a damn good impression of it."

"So what couldn't he do that I could?" I asked, starting to get a bit annoyed.

Knowing Acera as well as I did, I could tell that she was getting upset.

"I know what he can't do," I continued. "He can't control time. And if my story is true, I can. Am I correct?"

"Well," she said slowly, "He isn't supposed to be able to." Yes! I cheered in my mind. "But they would never grant anyone the power to even create an illusion of stopping time." She was speaking slowly, as if she was attempting to digest the words and savor the taste of them in her mouth. "Fine, I will believe you if you can manipulate time."

I raised a semitransparent hand and an apple seed appeared out of thin air. I placed it in the dirt. Then I realized that I didn't know how to affect time.

A voice came into my head again, but this time it was Father Time. "You and time are one and the same. Just as you are part of the physical world, you are part of the fabric of time. You change it just as you use magic to lift a pebble or lift a mountain. Only channel your magic through the watch instead." There was a pause, and he continued. "Be very careful, I sense difficult times ahead."

Acera was staring daggers at me.

I sent magic through my watch, using the familiar energy to attempt to change time. The seed began growing very quickly, but by the time it had gotten a few inches tall, I had become tired.

I finally looked at both of them, both held expressions of deepest amazement.

Acera seemed to be holding in sobs as she hugged me. I felt distinctly awkward and patted her gently.

But she did draw away quickly and had regained her composure within a millisecond and if it didn't just happen, I wouldn't have been able to tell one thing from her expression.

"Arach has already told me that the only way I could possibly release you would be to give up my throne and name an heir. I'm sorry Aurelie, but an action like that would be unforgivable and to be honest, I'm not sure if it's even possible." She was now speaking in a brisk, businesslike tone.

I shook my head, "No, I don't blame you, but I'd rather live the rest of my life in that cell than allow you to hand him that much power."

Acera looked marginally more relieved. "Anyways, we need to plan your escape, but we'll do that later, you should return in case he finds out what you're doing."

"Listen, I think I can steal a lot of his power in there and hand it to you without realizing it. I'll be doing whatever I can to help you there."

And with that, I found myself back in my prison.


Almost done......Sorry about not updating earlier, been distracted and this is a long chapter to change....

Feedback please http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=119734


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