"Easy now, easy does it. You almost have it." Cyrene hovers close to me.
I narrow my eyes and press my lips into a thin line as I concentrate. The glyph is steady and as I activate it, I watch the glass of water shake a little before levitating up in the air. I concentrate as hard as I can as I levitate it to the yellow tape line on the wall.
"Hey, how's it going?" Lorelei walks into the room.
The glass faulters and nearly crashes to the floor. I catch it just in time with another glyph and the water plops out and back into the glass.
"Shh! She almost has it." Cyrene waves her off.
I release the catch glyph and once again refocus on the levitation one. The glass goes up and up and up until it reaches the tape line.
"Ah! I did it!" I scream in excitement.
The glass falls and crashes to the ground, water splattering everywhere.
"You did it!" Cyrene celebrates with me.
We jump around in excitement and squeal in Joy.
"I knew you could do it!" Cyrene high fives me.
"Now that you two are done being doofuses, food." Lorelei shows us the bags of takeout.
I haven't had outside food in forever. Not that I'm complaining but sometimes a girl really just wants a big fat greasy fast-food burger.
"Lifesaver," Cyrene kisses her before taking the food from her hands.
"How would you function without me?" she smirks.
"I ask myself that every day." Cyrene begins to dig into the bag.
I roll my eyes.
I look at my phone to avoid addressing Lorelei.
It's really late, but Cyrene is pulling an all-nighter with me. Tomorrow is my placement exam in spellcasting. If I pass, I get to move up a level. I really, really, really want to pass. That way I can at least stick with the same class for the new semester. If I fail, I'll be put in a new class with a new wave of young students.
Things have calmed down a lot since everything. With the task force at my side, I've been improving greatly. I've officially been here a few months. The semester ends soon and then winter break. This will be the first time I can see my family in person since I got here, hopefully, I will have good news to give them.
The visions have been few and far between, but I have had a few. Nothing groundbreaking though. Lorelei and I still don't get along, but we put up with each other for the sake of Cyrene.
'Sleep!' I smirk at the new text from Vega.
'You can't mind bend me through the phone.' I respond.
'Worth a shot.' She responds with a shrugging emoji.
"Emery, food." Cyrene draws my attention away from my phone.
I sigh and walk over to her and Lorelei, sitting with them at the break table. Cyrene's office was too crammed to practice, so we came to a break room, one designated for the four pillars. Lorelei let us in.
"Okay, four down, one left to go," Cyrene says as she sticks her paper straw into her drink.
"I got this," I say confidently.
"You are going to pass out and sleep through your test." Lorelei comments.
"It's not even 3 in the morning yet," I say.
I unwrap my burger and am able to take one bite before the fire alarm starts going off. All three of us flinch at its unexpectedness. Since we are the only three people in this whole building, that can only mean one thing. An actual fire!
"Ugh, what's happening!?" I cover my ears.
"Come on, we need to evacuate." Cyrene grabs my arm and pulls me to the door.
Lorelei opens the door and inspects the hall.
"Hey! Hold it right there!" She shouts.
We go to look and I see three people in hoodies turn the corner to run away just as the trashcan they set on fire falls over into the hall. The hallway quickly starts filling with smoke. I cough and wave my hand in front of my face to try and get some fresh air.
"Let's go." Cyrene grabs her hand.
The three of us teleport outside.
Just in time to see even more people runoff, the word witches spray painted all over the side of the building.
I feel my stomach twist into knots.
"Hey!" Lorelei takes off after them.
"Just great," Cyrene sighs.
Campus security quickly runs over to us and we tell them about the hall fire. Luckily one of them is a water caster and he goes in and puts the fire out before too much damage is done.
"Well, I think that's the sign to call it a night." Cyrene turns to me.
"I forgot my stuff inside," I say.
"I'll go get it, wait here." She teleports away.
"Ah!" I hear a guy scream in pain.
I turn in time to see Lorelei using her powers on someone. Which is highly illegal! I run over to her as she blasts him back with an energy ball.
"Hey! Stop! You're hurting him!" I say.
"He deserves it! We could have been killed!" she says.
"That's an exaggeration." I stand in the way.
He groans and rolls over on the floor. I turn to him as his hoodie falls back and my eyes register my old friend Darius. We lock eyes.
"D-Darius?" I say in confusion.
He quickly gets up and runs away.
"You know him?" she says to me.
"I thought I did..." I watch him run off school grounds to meet his buddies.
"Tell me his name and where he lives, I'm going to get the police involved. I've had enough of these stupid vandalism attacks." She says.
"You aren't supposed to use your powers on non-casters." I snap at her.
"Who's going to tell on me, you?" she challenges.
"Maybe I will. If you tell on Darius, I tell on you!"
She narrows her eyes at me.
"Hey, what happened?" Cyrene jogs over to us.
Lorelei and I lock eyes, a hostile look passing between us.
"Nothing," we say in unison.
"Okay..." Cyrene eyes us.
"I'll see you tomorrow," I grab my stuff from Cyrene and teleport the heck out of there.
As soon as I'm in my room I text Darius,
'What were you thinking!? Are you crazy!? You're going to get in a lot of trouble now.'
He doesn't respond.
I sigh and plop down on my bed.
Why would he do something like that? What was he thinking? He never did stuff like that before. Maybe... maybe it's because of me. Now that I'm like this. I guess he really does hate me now.
I cover my face just as tears fill my eyes.
That's never happened to me before. The word witches now spray-painted on that building, because of me. Because of Darius, my old friend. How could he do that? Is that all people like him see me as now? I'm just a witch? Did our friendship mean nothing to him?
I grab my phone and call him, I need answers.
"The number you are trying to reach is temporarily unavailable, please try your call again later. Goodbye."
I try to text him again but I get the error message now.
He blocked me!
I sniffle and plug my phone in to charge.
I text Vega that I'm back in my room and that I'm going to bed, before plugging my phone in to charge and laying down.
But I can't sleep.
There is this pit in my stomach and I can't forget the way he looked at me. Not in fear or concern, but in disgust, confusion. Red paint still on his fingertips.