Opulence: Another Peek

November 4, 2008
By AquaGem SILVER, Kalamazoo, Michigan
AquaGem SILVER, Kalamazoo, Michigan
5 articles 0 photos 50 comments

Favorite Quote:
Nobody will ever win the Battle of the Sexes. There's just too much fraternizing with the enemy. ~Henry Kissinger

Life it too short to let you matter.


I drive up to the gate, leading to the huge group home. It’s brick, old, and three stories. This is the local area for trainers and apprentices to stay. I moved out a while ago, when my basic training officially ended and I turned eighteen. Since then my office, at the nearest O.P.U.L.E.N.C.E. building, has been more than enough. I travel a lot.

“This place is huge. Are you sure we’re allowed to be here?” Evan asks, gaping at the fortress from the window of the car after I turn down the music.

“I have the code and they’re expecting us. Rooms have already been prepared, along with a work space. Walter’s even here. He was my trainer, and now will over see my work with you,” I say, not mentioning how upset he’d been with me when I took the time to tell him what happened, during a bathroom break.

“So he’s your boss?” Evan asks as I put in the code and pull up to the residents’ driveway.

“No more than I’m yours. He’s simply my teacher and superior in the organization. I have plenty of respect for him, but I report to others, not him,” I say with an eye roll at the very idea.

Evan says as I pull into a parking spot, “You realize I don’t know any magic. I don’t even have any stuff, like clothes. This is all a bit sudden.”

“Best to keep a brisk pace or you’ll have time to think of how odd this all really is. You don’t need to worry about any belongings. Your room is furnished and we’ll provide everything you need for magic training. Besides that, all apprentices have a cafeteria to eat at, that costs you nothing. You also have an apprentice uniform, which you’ll be fitted for first thing,” I say as I leave the car.

“Great, this is sounding almost as bad as school,” Evan sighs.

I grumble as I lead him to the main entrance of the estate, “You were never this chatty back at school. I wish I’d known about your complaining before I signed on to be your trainer.”

I don’t mention that he’s my first apprentice, and I would have taken anyone.

“I’ll take you to Walter first. Then I’ll show you your room, our work space, and where you will be able to find me. I don’t normally stay here, but as your trainer, I have to be readily available. After all that, you’ll be fitted for your uniform and I’ll give you a tour of the place. I’m sure you’ll find it to your standards,” I say confidently.

“Wait,” Evan says, grabbing my hand to stop me.

I act on reflex, everything happening before I have the chance to realize I have him turned around, pressing the pressure point on the back of his neck as I hold his arms behind his back. He gasps in shock and pain. Then I realize what I’ve done and release him sheepishly. One such as myself, small and cute, I need to have fast reflexes. The places I go aren’t always the most civilized, and I look like I could easily be taken advantage of.

“What was that for? It really hurt!” Evan exclaims, rubbing his arms.

“Sorry,” I say, slightly embarrassed. “What were you saying?”

“Sure, just go on like nothing happened. I was going to say that you’re rushing things a bit. I don’t even want to be here, not that you bothered to ask,” Evan says, dryly.

I shrug and continue moving toward the building, saying over my shoulder, “That doesn’t really matter, Evan. Every person with the power must be trained, under law. It will be easier if you see this as helpful, instead of mandatory. You could really hurt someone, without proper control of your abilities. Besides, you should be very comfortable here. It won’t be forever.”

“How long will I be forced to live here?” He asks.

I ignore his negativity and say, “It depends on how well you commit yourself to your studies. If you don’t accomplish the basic training then you have to stay. Once you have you can request to be moved back home, where you’ll be put into contact with a tutor in your area.”

“You’ve been here for over a decade. Is that how long it takes for ‘basic training’?” He asks as I open the front door and usher him inside.

I laugh lightly and say, “Of course not. I completed that years ago. I’m well within the realm of mastery. It just happens that I have no where else to go, and trust me, I don’t mind. I would much rather devote myself to the power. I don’t see it as a punishment, but more of a privilege.”

“You mean, I don’t have to go back home?” Evan asks.

I raise an eyebrow and say, “I thought you were eager to go home and be back with your parents?”

He laughs, a harsh noise and says, “If what you’re saying is true, that everything here isn’t that bad, then I’m fine with staying here until I’m eighteen. My parents never wanted a child, and even less so after they had me. I doubt I‘ll be missed.”

Evan finally comes into the house and I close the door behind me. In the foyer there are smooth, hard wood floors, with large closets along the walls. The room leads out in three ways, forward and to the left and right. There are lights set dimly with no windows besides the one above the front doors.

“I’ll take that for you Miss Wordsworth. I hope you had a most pleasant trip,” A middle aged woman says as she rushes in, face flushed, dressed in a staff uniform.

“Thank you, Kate,” I say as I hand her my light-weight, green trench coat.

“No problem Miss. I’ll take your’s as well young man,” Kate says happily, reaching for Evan’s coat.

He hands it to her awkwardly and she quickly hangs them up and puts them in the residents closet. The clothing is neatly labeled in sections for apprentices, trainers, and such. Evan watches her perform this task uncomfortably. He will soon have to get used to it, seeing as staff and such will be around him often now. I don’t see why people are distressed by servants, since it’s their job.

“Evan, this is our housekeeper, Kate. Usually the butler comes to the door. Kate, this is the newest addition to apprentices, Evan Grant,” I say to them both.

“So nice to meet you, Mr. Grant,” Kate says with a smile and a slight nod of her head.

“You can call me Evan,” He mumbles back.

“Mr. Grant, there is protocol here. I don’t mean any disrespect, but this is a formal relationship. Now, would you like me to show you two to your new accommodations?” Kate asks expectantly.

“Actually we’ll need to be shown straight to Walter,” I redirect her.

“Of course. I’ll show you myself this time, Mr. Grant, and don’t hesitate to come to me if you need help. Other than that, I run this estate. I do not play tour guide or bell hop. I am very busy and while I’m here to serve, serving you is not necessarily my main task. I organize everything, so one of the other staff will usually perform these tasks. I shouldn’t want you to be confused by it,” Kate tells Evan politely, while telling him firmly where she draws the line in the sand.

“No problem,” Evan nods, a little confusion showing on his face.

Kate wisely ignores it, trusting me to clear things up later on estate etiquette, and says, “Very well, this way then. He’s on this level, in his office.”

Kate leads us out of the foyer, to the left. It’s basically one main hallway, decorated with ornate light fixtures, intricate paintings of important organization members, burgundy rugs with gold details above the hard wood floors, cream walls, and gold trim. Overall the appearance is grand and sophisticated. It seems warm even though it isn’t necessarily.


As the three of us continue we pass countless doors, large, dark wood ones. Behind them are offices for the employees here, trackers and trainers that are currently here doing desk work. This is mainly the newest and oldest members. They are not doing field duty at the moment, but are still involved. The first offices are secretaries and other low ranking members. Since I’ll be actively training, my office will not be among these.

Kate takes us a little further before stopping and announcing, “Here we are. I assume he is expecting you. Should I send for any refreshments?”

“I’m sure we’ll be fine,” I say distractedly, ignoring Evans eager expression.

“Very well Ms. Wordsworth. It’s very nice to have you back here, and it’s very nice to meet you Mr. Grant,” Kate says courteously before moving back the way we came.

“Who is Walter again?” Evan asks as I’m reaching for the door.

“Hush! Would you like him to hear you say that?” I ask, removing my hand with a jerk. “Walter is my trainer and who we will be reporting to. You had best remember that. If you excel, or fall behind, he is who you’ll be dealing with.”

“So he’s your boss,” Evan smirks.

“Just try not to say anything stupid,” I sigh before throwing the door open and entering, Evan following behind.

The author's comments:
Thank you very much for all your feedback on Opulence. I was very surprised. I'm writing it as a full length novel, and as many of you have guessed, these are just short scenes. Only a bit of time has passed from the first segment to this one. I hope you enjoy.

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This article has 182 comments.


on Jan. 20 2010 at 5:12 pm
AnneOnnimous BRONZE, Peterborough Ontario, Other
3 articles 0 photos 147 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."
— John Green

good. not amazing but i guess not horrible either

HappyRose09 said...
on Jan. 20 2010 at 2:54 pm
HappyRose09, Orleans St, Florida
0 articles 0 photos 9 comments
Wow!! This is so good. I'm trying to write a novel too, but My sister says that its not so good. I have an excerpt on it. Can you look over it.
http ://teenink .com /fiction/sci_fi_fantasy/article/163173/Excerpt-of-The-Black-Moon/
You dont have to look at it if you dont want to, I will hear from anyone who wants to give me advise. I really need the comments so I can get my writing spirit up. Thanks!! ^_^

on Jan. 17 2010 at 11:41 pm
I'm in Year Nine and I desperately need tips. My friends sort of laugh at my articles. U just don't know the embarrassment it's causing. The article u wrote has stantards of putting J.KRowling out of business. Remember, this is from a serious Harry Potter lover. Good job. I voted Five stars. My craving for help is estatic

on Jan. 17 2010 at 3:48 pm
soccerchica BRONZE, Hickory Corners, Michigan
2 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Everything in life can be fixed with band-aids, chocolate, and duct tape."

I love your style, and i was just curious if you were going to print OPULENCE.

J. Rae said...
on Jan. 8 2010 at 6:57 pm
That would be cool.

AquaGem SILVER said...
on Jan. 6 2010 at 7:26 pm
AquaGem SILVER, Kalamazoo, Michigan
5 articles 0 photos 50 comments

Favorite Quote:
Nobody will ever win the Battle of the Sexes. There's just too much fraternizing with the enemy. ~Henry Kissinger

Life it too short to let you matter.

Erm, well I do have a laptop. A lovely green baby that's named Shelldon hahaha! But before that me and my sister has some... interesting times deciding who got the computer :) Oh I know what you mean about the baby books! I've resorted to online ones. All of the librarians know me so best to keep gossip down. Thank you so much for your comment and email me at tatatatorrence@yahoo .com. Maybe we can help each other proofread, etc :)

AquaGem SILVER said...
on Jan. 6 2010 at 7:22 pm
AquaGem SILVER, Kalamazoo, Michigan
5 articles 0 photos 50 comments

Favorite Quote:
Nobody will ever win the Battle of the Sexes. There's just too much fraternizing with the enemy. ~Henry Kissinger

Life it too short to let you matter.

I replied to your email today! thank you for the kind words!

J. Rae said...
on Jan. 6 2010 at 4:17 pm
I wish I had a laptop too AquaGem. That would make writing so much easier(I have 3 siblings and 2 parents that always need to work on the computer). I read that you searched in baby books to find names. I tried that to but... it was the librarian gave me some very strange looks. I just google the most common baby names. This must have been the fifth time I've written this but THIS STORY IS AWESOME!

J. Rae said...
on Jan. 5 2010 at 9:20 pm
Is it still going to be called Opulence?

J. Rae said...
on Jan. 5 2010 at 9:13 pm
Please tell me what the novel is going to be called! I am desperate to read it.

on Dec. 31 2009 at 7:03 pm
justsmile164 BRONZE, New York, New York
4 articles 0 photos 73 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Talent is nothing without character."

this is a really engaging story. your protagonist is well-developed and fun to read about.

the character of kate slightly flipflops between "very very nice" and "firm but nice" but other than that its very thought-out and interesting :)

on Dec. 31 2009 at 6:59 pm
AnneOnnimous BRONZE, Peterborough Ontario, Other
3 articles 0 photos 147 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."
— John Green

this is.. good. It's a good idea, but the writing is not quite so smooth. As mariella said, the tense and mistakes made it not so good, and the writing was..okay. Still, I wish you luck and I'm sure it will be a good story!!

Hay.467 SILVER said...
on Dec. 30 2009 at 6:03 pm
Hay.467 SILVER, Hide-a-way, Texas
6 articles 0 photos 33 comments

Favorite Quote:
"a man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar" mark twain

Totally amazing!!!!!!!! i'm so ready for the book!!!!! :)

Alice said...
on Dec. 26 2009 at 8:08 pm
I absolutly love these stories! I did shoot you an email and I hope to hear back from you soon. I'm definatly a young writer wanting to learn. Thank a lot for these wonderful stories!

on Dec. 19 2009 at 6:21 am
TheStoryWeaver GOLD, Sofia, Other
12 articles 4 photos 40 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The Aenied is an Odyssey of epic proportions." - Caleb
"Eve was deceived and ate the fruit, Adam ate it out of stupidity." - Mr. M
"Begone ye map of woe!"
"I'm the map..." - Lydia and Caleb.

very good, I liked it. the only part I didn't get was this part:

Of course. I’ll show you myself this time, Mr. Grant, and don’t hesitate to come to me if you need help. Other than that, I run this estate. I do not play tour guide or bell hop. I am very busy and while I’m here to serve, serving you is not necessarily my main task. I organize everything, so one of the other staff will usually perform these tasks. I shouldn’t want you to be confused by it,” Kate tells Evan politely, while telling him firmly where she draws the line in the sand.

I thought it didn't really fit with the dialogue of the story, and it didn't help the story flow. Maybe you should put it somewhere else where it makes more sense. :) Besides from that, it was really good.

AquaGem SILVER said...
on Dec. 18 2009 at 2:49 pm
AquaGem SILVER, Kalamazoo, Michigan
5 articles 0 photos 50 comments

Favorite Quote:
Nobody will ever win the Battle of the Sexes. There's just too much fraternizing with the enemy. ~Henry Kissinger

Life it too short to let you matter.

Thanks so much you guys! If it makes you feel any better, I've written a lot of things before Opulence that I thought were epic... and it hurts to go back and read it!!!

AquaGem SILVER said...
on Dec. 18 2009 at 2:46 pm
AquaGem SILVER, Kalamazoo, Michigan
5 articles 0 photos 50 comments

Favorite Quote:
Nobody will ever win the Battle of the Sexes. There's just too much fraternizing with the enemy. ~Henry Kissinger

Life it too short to let you matter.

Thanks! I can try to give you some writing tips, just email me at tatatatorrence@yahoo .com.

on Dec. 15 2009 at 8:43 pm
XOXOhaloXOXO GOLD, Ellsworth, Maine
13 articles 1 photo 63 comments

Favorite Quote:
I'm the author of my life and, unfortunately, I'm writing in pen=]

OMG! i love it! u should write another one!

on Dec. 12 2009 at 4:41 am
Mariella BRONZE, Boise, Idaho
1 article 0 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Serve Him for whom you fight! [...] May none of you desert Him! Your baptism must be a shield; your faith a helmet; your charity a lance; your patience a suit of armor." ~St. Ignatius of Antioch, Martyr

Hmm. I'm going to give *my* honest opinion, which'll probably be different from many of the other comments here.

It is definitely an interesting story, but to be completely honest, the fact that it is in present tense made it awkward for me to read.

There were also many punctuation mistakes that I spotted while reading it that could be corrected to make it a smoother read.

That said, it's not a bad story. I'm not usually that into these sorts of stories, but not bad at all. Aside from those two issues (the tense and the grammar), I can see you have a lot of potential.

Good job and good luck with your writing! :)

Amethyst said...
on Dec. 9 2009 at 10:20 pm
Opulence is best which i read.Can u give me some writing tips


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