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All my life I’ve been a normal girl. Until I turned 10. My dad is a scientist and has been for as long as I can remember. I’ve never met my mom and I don’t have any siblings. It’s always been me and my dad. Cressidia and Dr. Willis Emerson. My dad has always been a very serious scientist, but once I turned 10, he started working for the head of the military. He did experiments to make people turn into superhumans. My dad tests all of his experiments in me.
When I was 10, he gave me power of making myself invisible whenever I wanted. At ll, he tried to give me the power of having heat lasers shoot out of my eyes. It failed. 12, he gave me the power of feeling every living thing inside me, that’s the only thing I’ve mastered. At 13, he tested giving me the power to heal myself. 15 was an accident. He was still creating the test when I walked into his lab exposed to the foggy air and black smoke. Now at 16, I’m turning into a living Shadow whenever I choose to.
I fell to my knees screaming! Then I blacked out. When I woke up, I got off the cold, hard, metal floor and walked to the mirror in my father’s lab. I’m a living shadow. Every time I blink my eyes, they change to a different animal’s eyes and I keep flickering from a shadow to my normal self. I finally took a deep breath and closed my eyes. Then I opened them again and saw my normal self. My long white blonde hair, icy blue eyes and light tan skin. Now I see people in military uniforms rushing in through the two big heavy metal doors with my father sprinting in behind them.
“Put your hands in the air!”, shouted the soldier in front.
I quickly shoved him into the wall without touching him. Then I turned invisible and ran through the crowd of soldiers and out of my house. I sprinted out to my horse in the barn next to my house, and turned visible again. Quickly, I threw the black western tack on the big dapplegrey Hanoverian and grabbed my bow and arrows and jumped on my horse’s back and turned us invisible again as we galloped out of the barn and into the dark forest.
I turn my horse and I back to being visible again.
“Ok Lilly, we can slow down now”, I say as gently pull back on the reins and pull her-my horse- into a walk.
As we walk deeper into the forest I can see a camp with millions of people there. When I blink my eyes to different animal’s eyes I can see a sign that says “Superhumans”. When I blink them back to normal, I don’t see a sign. Which means that these people are capable of turning things invisible-and only making them visible to people them- So if I want to enter this camp, I need to show them my powers and tell them I saw the sign. I would also need to stay as an ally with them just in case they’re working with my father. Then a group of kids my age and older emerge from on the other side of the sign. They’re all dressed up in head-to-toe black uniforms.
“Who are you and what are you doing here?!”, shouted the boy in front.
He has 3 inch long, blonde hair that’s slicked back with light tan skin and hazel eyes. He looks only a year older than I am.
“My names Cressidia. I saw the sign. I have powers just like you. I’m running from some people and need a place to stay!”, I shout back.
“How old are you?!”, the boy shouts, still aiming his gun at me.
“16!”, I shout back.
“Show us your powers!”, he shouts.
I look behind me. Then at Lilly. I drop the reins and dismount.
“Stay”, I tell her.
Then I blink my eyes multiple times to show them my changing eyes. When that’s done I turn invisible. Then become visible again. I talk a deep breath and turn into a living shadow. Then turn back.
“Shoot my hand!”, I say raising my hand.
The boy does as I say, hitting the center of my palm. I clench my jaw and bring my hand down. I use my good hand to hover over the bad one. My good hand slowly gives a small blue glow coming from my palm, and my bad hand heals.
“Is that all?!”, the boy asks slowly putting down his gun.
“Those are the only powers I know of!”, I shout back.
“What’s your full name?!”, shouts a girl at his side, probably the same age or older.
“Cressidia June Emerson!”, I yell back.
“She’s Dr. Willis Emerson’s daughter, the one who tests all his experiments on”, the girl whispers to the boy.
“Who are you running from?!”, yells the boy.
“My father and the military!”, I shout back.
The boy walks towards me with the girl still at his side. He holds his hand out to me.
“Hi, I’m Tony Sunset. I train and introduce all the newbies here. Sometimes they become a part of my team”, he says.
I take his hand. “Your team?”, I ask, shaking his hand.
“I’ll explain later”, says Tony as he lets go.
The girl holds her hand out to me.
“I’m Spectra Kingsbury. Tony’s sister. I’m one of the leaders here. I’m 22 and Tony’s 17”, she says.
I take her hand. “Nice to meet you both”, I say, shaking her hand.
Spectra lets go. She’s taller than Tony but looks almost exactly like him. The only difference is their height, their age, her freckles, and her hair is darker but still blonde. Tony is a few inches taller than I am. He’s cute, and very serious. So is Spectra.
“Why do you have different last names if you’re siblings?”, I ask.
“I’m his half sister”, answers Spectra.
“I’ll take it from here sis”, says Tony.
“Ok”, sayd Spectra, clapping him on the back.
Spectra walks away.
“Which power do you use most?”, Tony asks.
“I don’t know”,I respond.
“Which is the most powerful?”, he asks.
“I don’t know”, I reply.
Isn’t it obvious that I don’t know what I’m capable of?
“What do you know?”, Tony asks, getting annoyed.
“That the shadow is the most impressive”, I say.
Tony puts my hand in the air. “This is Cressidia! The living shadow!”, Tony Shouts to the crowd.
Then everyone Whoops! And Holars! And That’s how I got my nickname, “Living Shadow”.
“Let me take you to the lab so we can see what other powers you have”, says Tony putting my hand down. “Clear a path!”, he shouted.
Everyone does as he says.
“Lilly follow”,I say looking at Lilly.
I don’t even need to use the reins to get her to follow me. She stays right at my side the whole time. I keep my bow in my hand with my sheath of arrows thrown over my shoulder.
“So what are yours and Spectra’s powers?”, I ask looking at Tony.
I see two large holes that go through both his jack and his shirt, right at his shoulder blades.
“I’m an angle. So is Spectra. Angels have many powers”, Tony responds.
“Where are your wings?”, I ask.
Tony stops and turns his back to me. Lilly and I stop too. Slowly I see two big, pure white, strong wings, emerge from his back. Then they go away and Tony starts walking again. Lilly and I catch up.
“Is that why you have two holes in your shirt?”, I ask.
“Yes”, he replies.
“Are Spectra’s wings like that too?”
“Yes but her’s are black”
“You and Spectra are the only lab created superhumans. The rest of us are either purebreds or half-bloods. That’s why her wings are black. You have a lot of questions”
“I’m curious. Can you blame me?”, I say.
Tony is silent for a moment. Then he says, “No”
“So are you a purebred or half-blood?”, I ask.
“Half blood”, he replies.
Then he stops before a tall brick building.
“Tie your mare up at that pole right there”, he says, pointing to the flag pole.
The flag is all a shimmering blue with a silver and gold checkered shield with words below it that read “Superhumans”.
“My mare has a name. And it’s Lilly”, I say, tieing Lilly to the pole.
“Whatever”, Tony says looking back at the building doors.
“Stay”, I say to Lilly.
Then Tony and I walk into the building. He guides me to a room and opens the door.
“Sit”, he orders, pointing to the metal table in the middle of the room.
I do as he says. This lab room is nothing like my father’s. The equipment is more simple looking and the room is pure white. Then a girl walks in wearing a long white cloak. She has long red curly hair that’s pulled back into a ponytail. Her skin is pale and she has a lot of freckles with green eyes.
“Hello Bella”, says Tony.
“Hi Tony. You must be Cressidia, the shadow”, she looks at me.
“Living Shadow”, I correct her.
“Right, sorry. Let’s get started”, she says.
I’m exhausted from all the tests Bella did on me. She did a hearing test, a reflex test, a flying test (which did not go well), an eye test...and so on.
“Well Cressidia, are you ready for yout results?”, Bella asks.
“Yes”, I reply.
“You have molecularkinesis, as in you can move things without touching them. You are a Living Shadow. You are able to feel every living thing inside you and show it in your eyes. You can heal yourself. You can turn both yourself and things around you invisible. You have super hearing. You can punch and kick water, air, and fire. You can put force fields around yourself and other things. You can talk to people in their heads. You can communicate with animals, and lastly… you can blood bend. Which means you can make people’s blood move with different movements of your hands when you intend to causing them to do whatever you want them to. Oh and you can shoot lightning out of your fingers”, informs Bella.
Tony and I look at eachother then at Bella with our jaws dropped.
“Your father is an incredible mastermind”, says Bella as she looks down and writes something down on her clipboard.
Then I look at the ground and close my mouth. When I look at Tony I see that he closed his mouth too and is looking out the window at Lilly. Then he looks back at Bella.
“Thank you Bella”, Tony finally says.
“You’re welcome Tony”, Bella responds, still not looking up.
“Well I guess I should give you a tour of the camp then, Cressidia”, Tony says, looking at me.
I get off the cold metal table and let him lead me back out of the building and back to Lilly. First he shows me the stables so we can assign Lilly a stall and leave her there for the night. Then he shows me the weapons lab. Next the training area. Then the cafeteria. Next the field. Then the swimming pool, and finally my room.
“So this is your room”, says Tony opening the door.
I look around and walk into the room. The walls are light blue. The window curtains are black. There are two beds in here. One has green sheets and the other has purple. Both pillowcases are white. The hard wood floors are a reddish color. Then a girl walks in behind Tony.
“Hi Tony!”, says the girl excitedly.
“Hi Christina. Christina this is Cressidia. Cressidia, this is Christina. She’s also on my team”, says Tony.
“O, M, G! I get to share a room with the Living Shadow! That’s awesome!”, shouts Christina.
Christina has long straight jet black hair, with pale skin and bright icey blue eyes. Her pupils are dilated. Every time she smiles I see fangs.
“Ok so the purple bed is mine, the green one is your’s. They’ll bring clothes for us to wear each morning. The intercom will tell us when it’s time to eat, or go to training, or meet in the field or training center”, says Christina excitedly.
I sit down on my bed and Tony sits next to me laughing.
“Calm down Christina”, says Tony.
“Oh, sorry sir”, says Christina sitting on her bed.
“So are you like a leader or something?”, I ask Tony.
“No”, Tony replies.
“Oh. so Christina,”, I say looking at Christina. She looks at me. “What are your powers?”, I ask.
“I’m a vampire. But don’t worry, I only drink cow blood”, she responds.
“Ok…”, my voice trails off.
Tony hands Christina a pack of red juice. “Drink this now”, he says.
Christina take it from him. “Why, are my eyes blue?”, she asks.
“Yes”, says Tony.
Christina sink her fangs into the pack. Once the juice (or cow blood), is gone, she wipes her mouth while her eyes turn to a hazel color.
“Vampire’s eyes turn blue when they're fighting or hungry. They can’t survive without drinking blood. They can’t eat normal food, only blood. Christina is the only vampire we have and the only one we’ve met that can survive in the light”, says Tony.
“Really?”, I ask.
Christina nods her head.
“Attention all superhumans. Please report to the training center for the choosing ceremony”, I here Spectra’s voice on the intercom.
“What’s the choosing ceremony?”, I ask.
“You’ll see...come on!”, says Christina draggin me to the training center with Tony sprinting beside us.
The crowd is gathered in the middle of the training center. Spectra is standing before them with two other people her age.
“If you are a half-blood, please sit on the right side of the room. If you are a purebred, please sit on the left side of the room. And if you are new or one of the young ones participating in this tradition, please stay in the center of the room”, orders Spectra.
Everyone listens to her.
“Would the following groups please take your places. Tony’s group. Susan’s group. Hunter’s group. Tris’s group. And Jackson’s group”, said Spectra.
Once again, they followed her orders. The five groups took their places around the center of the room.
“If you are in the center of the room, please sit where you are”, Spectra says.
I follow her orders. I still have my bow in hand and my sheath of arrows thrown across my back.
“Welcome to the choosing ceremony everyone. I am Spectra, your main leader. To my right is Eric, your second leader. And my left is Jake, your final leader. Every two years we have a choosing ceremony. It is organized like so. Those of you in the center are joining a team or group. To do so, you will demonstrate your powers, what weapons you’re good with, and your full name and age and if you have a horse, your horse’s name. We will start with Cassandra”, says Spectra.
There are ten of us in the center. Two other girls and I, and 7 boys. The younger girl stands at the sound of “Cassandra”. We went down the line until I was the last one.
“Cressidia, please stand”, says Spectra.
“Full name”, she says.
“Cressidia June Emerson”, I respond.
Everyone gasps when they hear my name.
“Age”, says Spectra.
“16”, I say.
“Lilly. A dapplegrey Hanoverian, mare”
“How long have you had her?”
“Choose your weapons”
“Gun, bow and arrows, and knife”, I say putting my bow in front of me more.
Eric brings me a knife and gun.
“Please demonstrate”, says Spectra as Eric walks back to her.
I demonstrate my bow and arrows first. I turn to the target on my left. I grab three arrows and set my bow. Then I aim, and release. All three arrows hit the bull’s eye. Next, I pick up the gun and hit the bull’s eye in the target next to the first one. Finally, I pick up the knife and throw it on the other side of the first one. Bull’s eye. Then I put down my bow and face Spectra again.
“Powers?”, asks Spectra.
I list all my powers while she raises her eyebrows.
“Demonstrate”, she says.
Then I demonstrate all my powers.
“Please pick up your bow and retrieve your arrows. Then, you will join Tony’s team”, she says when I’m done.
I do as she says.
“Tomorrow your teams will get to know each other better and demonstrate everything we did today, except for those of you who did it today will not be demonstrating. Once that is over you will trian. When we dismiss you, you will be free until called for dinner. Understand?”, orders Spectra.
“Yes ma’am”, everyone responds.
“Dismissed”, say the leaders at once.
Then everyone leaves, and I go to check on Lilly with Christina and Tony.
“So this is your horse?”, asked Christina.
“Yep, this is Lilly”, I say, smiling at Lilly.
“So if your dad did tests on you all those years, when did you learn and use weapons?”, Tony asked.
“He taught me before I was 10 and I continued to learn on my own. One of the guards in the lab was my friend and he got me lilly and taught me the basics”, I responded.
“You had a rough past”, says Christina looking at me.
“Ya...I did”, I say, looking at the ground.
“We should go riding with our team sometime”, says Christina excitedly, looking back at Lilly.
“We can talk about it tomorrow and then pass it with Spectra”, says Tony questionly.
“Yes! Oh yes! We should!”, says Christina, excitedly clapping her hands.
“Dinner”, Spectra says on the intercom.
“Come on let’s go. You can sit next to me”, says Christina, dragging me.
“Hold on”, I say looking at Lilly.
Christina lets go. I stroke Lilly’s muzzle. Then look her in the eye and say, “Stay”. She nods. Then Christina drags me out and towards the cafeteria.
“So what do you think of this place?”, asks Christina.
“It’s nice”,I reply.
I look over at Tony. His eyes meet mine.
“And Tony?”, asks Christina.
I look back at Christina. She smiles at me.
“I’ve seen the way you two look at each other. You like him and he likes you”, she says.
“Oh come on! Don’t tell me you’ve never fallen in love”, she says.
“I have been in a lab all these years”, I say.
I look back down at my plate of food and take a bite of my meat.
“Right...sorry”, she says quietly, looking away.
I wake up to Tony opening the door and slowly walking in. He looks at me and smiles. Then he walks all the way in and closes the door.
“Hey”, he says.
“Hey”, I smile and sit up.
He sits next to me on my bed and throws Christina’s cow blood at her feet.
“Sorry to wake you”, he says.
“It’s fine. I was already awake”, I lie.
Tony nods his head and looks at the ground while smiling.
“So, do you wanna come with me to check on Lilly”, I ask.
Tony looks at me and smiles more. “I’d love to”
“Ok just let me get dressed”, I say.
“Oh right, sorry….I’ll...meet you in the hall”, he says.
Then he gets up and leaves the room while I’m laughing. I get dressed then sling my sheath of arrows over my shoulder and grab my bow. Then I look at my feet and see that I forgot to put on some shoes. So I lace up my riding boots. When that’s done, I open the door to see Tony standing right in front of me saying, “Boo”. I jump while he laughs, then I punch him in the shoulder and he grabs his shoulder saying, “ow”.
“Let’s go”, I say pushing him into the hall.
I close the door behind me.
“I’ll race you there”, I say running past him.
He opens his wings and flies past me. I turn invisible and run past him again. He puts his wings away and dead stops in the middle of the hallway. I keep running. I finally get to the stables and turn visible again as I walk towards Lilly’s stall. She stares at me. I sit next to her stall on the small bench. Then Tony comes flying in. He pouts his wings away and walks towards me.
“What took you so long?”, I ask him with a cheesy smirk.
“Ha, ha very funny”, he says sarcastically.
He looks over at a friesian and walks towards it.
“Is that your friesian?”, I ask walking over to him.
“No, this stallion belongs to Spectra. But ever since she became one of the leaders she hasn’t been able to spend much time with him”, Tony strokes his muzzle. “Spectra loves him. His name is Spirit. She’s rode him all the time with my om, growing up”, he continues.
He stops peting Spirit.
“Which horse is your’s?”, I ask, looking at Tony.
Tony walks over to a paint. “I call her Champion. My mother gave her to me when she gave her to me when she gave Spirit to Spectra”, says Tony as he strokes the Paint’s muzzle.
“Where are your parents? How long have you been here ?”, I ask walking over to Tony again.
I stand at his right side.
“My mom past away when I was 9. She was at war with a dark angel. My step-dad wasn’t an angel like my mom. He was a scientist like your’s, but only did it for fun. He gave Spectra her wings. When I was 11, darkangel's were after our family. So I’ve been living here for 7 years, hiding out. I’ve never met my real dad”, Tony says, staring into Champion’s eyes.
Then he looks at me and stops petting her. I blink into my cat eyes so I can analyze his emotions better. He’s sad, angry, frightened..and..loved or loveable, I guess you could say. Then I go back to my regular icy blue eyes.
I put a hand on Tony’s shoulder. “I’m sorry Tony”, I say.
He looks at the ground.
“Ya, what about you? Any siblings or mom?”, he asks.
I remove my hand as he looks at me.
“I don’t have any siblings and I’ve never met my mom”, I respond calmly.
He nods his head and looks back at Lilly.
“You wanna go riding? Breakfast won’t start for another hour or so”, he says looking back at me.
I feel a smile spread across my face. “That’d be great”, I reply.
He smiles quickly and nods his head. “Let’s do it”
We quickly take up our horses and mount. We ride around the field. There’s a forest in this field. We ride deep into the forest. Everytime we jump over a log, as I’m jumping I quickly drop the reins and shoot an arrow at a nearby tree. When Lilly’s hooves hit the ground I sling my bow back over my shoulder and grab the reins again. Every time I do that, Tony looks at me and smiles. Then goes back to focusing on the path between Champion’s ears.
The sound of our horses’ hooves send a thrilling waves of energy through me. I love riding, it always makes me feel alive. I wonder if Tony feels the same way. After we’ve decided that we’ve been gone long enough, we turn back around and start back for the stables. On the way, we make a few stops so we can retrieve my arrows then get back on the path. When we get back to the stables, we quickly put our horses in their stalls, take off all their tack, then race each other back to the cafeteria.
We burst through the doors still sprinting, then slow down and sit next to Christina.
“Where have you guys been?”, she asks.
“We went horseback riding through the field”, says Tony, as he’s still breathing hard.
My breath is already steady.
“Well I already got your food for you guys. And thanks for the fresh cow blood this morning Tony”, Christina says, looking back at her empty packet that use to have cow blood in it.
“You’re welcome”, Tony says quickly.
Then we shovel food into our mouth as quickly as possible.
“It’s team training time. Please take your places”, Spectra’s voice goes over the intercom.
Tony and Christina get up from the table.
“Come on Cressidia”, says Christina.
“Where are we going?”, I ask.
“To the training room. It’s time for you to meet the rest of the team”, says Tony.
So I get up and let Tony and Christina lead the way to the training room. When we get to the training room, I look around a bit before noticing the rest of the team. The room is very large. There are guns, shields, swords, and knives on 10 tables on one side of the room. There are tons of targets already lined up at the opposite side of the room, each with a table including goggles and headphones. The walls are dark blue. The ceiling is white and the floors black. Then I look at the group sitting in the circle of chairs in the middle of the room. Including Christina and I, there are four girls. Including Tony, there’s five boys. Tony stands from his chair.
“Ok, so lets start off by introducing ourselves. Everyone knows me, and everyone knows Christina and Cressidia. So Jake, lets start with you”, says Tony.
The Tony sits and a boy to his left stands. He has dark brown hair that’s maybe five inches long, tan skin, and green eyes.
“So, my name is Jake. I’m 18. I’m good with guns and swords. My horse is a chestnut quarter horse stallion. And I can shoot spears out of any part of my body”, he says.
Then he sits down and the girl next to him stands. She has long, curly black hair that reaches the small of her back with blue eyes and olive skin.
“My name is Laurel. I’m 16. My horse is a fleabitten grey arabian filly. I’m good with guns and knives. And I can turn to a living body of water”, she says.
Then Laurel sits down and the boy next to her stands up. He has an afro of curly blonde hair with rosey cheeks, tons of freckles, pale skin, and brown eyes.
“My name is Joshua. I’m 19. My horse is a palomino stallion. I’m good with knives, swords, and guns. And I can turn to an iceman”, he informs.
Then Joshua sits and the girl next to him stands. She has long brown straight hair that reaches her lower back with tan skin and dark brown eyes.
“My name is Ava. I’m 17. My horse is a cherry bay standardbred mare. I’m good with guns, knives and archery. And I can turn to liquid metal”, she tells.
Ava sits while the boy next to her stands. He has jet black hair that’s maybe three inches, with olive skin and dark brown eyes.
“My name is Pablo. I’m 18. My horse is a black arabian mare. I’m good with guns. And I can turn into any animal, and turn into fire”, he says.
Then Pablo sits and the last boy stands. He has a shaved head with pale skin and light grey eyes.
“My name is Sky. I’m 15. My horse is a friesian mare. I’m good with swords, spears, knives, and archery. And I have the ability to manipulate people, and use any of the four elements, and have molecularkinesis”, he says.
Then he sits and Tony stands again.
“As you know, Cressidia is our newby. And we will now demonstrate all our abilities to her”, Tony orders.
“What...or I mean how are we going to do that?”, asks Laurel.
“One by one we will first demonstrate weapons, the abilities”, Tony replies.
“I’ll go first”, Tony says, after a long pause.
Tony walks towards the bows and arrows. He gets a bull’s eye three times in a row then does the same with the guns, knives and spears. Then he stands in the middle of the room and opens this wings. He teleported, shot fire out of his hands and mouth, shot heat lazers out of his eye, and weapons magically appeared in his hands. Then he put his wings away slowly.
“You’re next Christina”, says Tony sitting down.
Christina stands and walks to the guns. Bull’s eye, three times in a row, with the guns, knives, plus the spears. Her eyes are huge and blue again with her fangs showing. She can jump high and far. She’s fast and very strong. Her body can heal itself when she drinks blood. Then Christina sits, while her fangs and eyes go back to normal.
“Ava, your turn”, says Tony.
Ava stands tall and walks towards the knives. Again, bull’s eye every time with archery, knives, and guns. Then she walks over to these tall metal bars. She ties her hair into a knot. Then her whole body slowly-clothes, hair, and all-turn silver as she walks straight through the tall metal bars. Then she walks back and sits down as she turns to normal.
“Laurel”, orders Tony.
Laurel stands and walks to the guns. Bull’s eye. Guns and knives. Then she walks back to the middle of the room and she sinks into a puddle of water. Its as if she just sink down into the ground and out of no where just turns into a puddle of water. It was even more amazing when she comes back up and out of the ground returning to normal then walks back to her seat.
“Joshua”, Tony informs.
Joshua stands and walks to the swords. He has a lot of good techniques. Then he gets bull’s eye with the guns and knives. Then he turns to an iceman and shoots ice out of his had at the bull’s eye on the target. When he blows air out of his mouth, he freezes stuff, and makes a trail of ice when he walks. Then he returns to normal and takes a eat.
“Jake”, Tony orders.
Jake gets up and walks towards the guns. Bull’s eye. Then swords. Great technique. Then he shoots hundreds of spears out of his hand and hits every bull’s eye in the room. Then he sits.
“Pablo”, says Tony.
Pablo stood and walked to the guns. Bull’s eye. Then he walks to the middle of the room and turns into fire. Then a parrot, wolf, lion. Then he returns to normal and takes his seat.
“And last, Sky”, Tony informs.
Sky stood and walked to the archery tables. Bull’s eye for archery, guns, and knives. He’s really good with swords too. He manipulated Tony by making himself look like Tony and talk like Tony, using his ability and everyone laughed. “Drop and give me 20. All of you. Now! What are you waiting for?!”, he said. It was really funny. Then he went back to normal and punched all four elements out of his fists one at a time, with both fists being punched out to the sides, straight out. He demonstrated his molecularkinesis with the weapons pointing in everyone’s direction and it was much more controlled than mine. Next he put the weapons down and went back to his seat.
“That’s everyone”, says Christina.
“Now what?”, asks Laurel.
“We, my friends...are going horseback riding”, Tony says dramatically, with a cheesy smirk.
“Oh my gosh you’ve gotta see the woods Cressidia, they’re beautiful”, Laurel says excitedly.
“I already did. Tony took me riding with Champion and Lilly”, I say.
“Ya, she was shooting arrows at the rees while we were jumping over the logs. You guys had to be there, it was amazing”, says Tony excitedly.
“I saw..I was picking up visions of you...It was amazing. And Tony thought so too”, says Christina.
Tony pushes Christina’s shoulder.
“Well...what are we waiting for? We have an hour left”, says Ava excitedly.
I think they like me. I’m fitting in really well here. So we all sprinted to the stables. Ava tacked up a cherry bay standardbred named Sweetheart. Laurel tacked a fleabitten grey arabian filly named Glimmer. Christina tacked up a black quarter horse named Night, he was a big stallion. Tony tacked Spirit. I had Lilly of course. Sky had a friesian mare named Onyx. Joshua, a palomino stallion named Acropolis. Jake tacked up a chestnut quarter horse stallion named Big-Red. Lastly Pablo tacked up a black arabian mare named Starbright. We all mount our horses and ride to the edge of the trees and stop.
“Why are we stopping?”, asked Pablo.
“Why is Cressidia the only one that’s armed?”, asked Sky.
“She just has archery equipment”, adds Jake.
“Is she gonna show us what Tony and Christina were talking about?”, asks Laurel excitedly.
“While we’re riding in the forest, we’ll be jumping over some fallen trees. And while we’re doing that, Cressidia here, will show you what she showed me”, says Tony smiling at me.
I smile at that.
“Well then...let’s go. Cressidia and Tony leads”, says Sky.
Tony and I keep smiling at each other for a moment. Then we look back at the path that’s between our horses’ ears and lead the group at a gallop. We follow Tony’s orders in jumping over the logs while I show them what I showed Tony. Then when we got deep into the forest, we turned around and started for the stables, stopping on the way to retrieve my arrows. When we got back, we dismounted and untacked our horses.
“Dude, Cressidia, that was awesome!”, said Jake excitedly.
“Ya it was like you were video game”, adds Laurel.
“Haha, I told you”, says Tony as he puts an arm around me.
Then we start walking back to the building. When we get to the main hallway, Spectra’s voice went over the intercom, “Lunch”.
“Hey Cressidia, you can come with me to get some food then we can go back to my room”, says Tony removing his arm.
“Ok”, I say, fixing my sheath strap.
So Tony and I get some food then he leads me to his room. He opens the door to his room. It’s huge. A big bed, with two large windows with curtains that stretch to the floor that are blue. There’s like a little seating area in the window, still connecting the two windows. His room reminds me so much of mine at home. This is my home now. His bed, blankets, pillows, and sheets are all red, white, and black. The carpets are brown and the walls are white.
“Wow”, I say, just now finding my voice.
“Ya”, says Tony, sitting in the window sill.
“Do you have this room all to yourself?”, I ask.
“Mhm. sit”, says Tony patting the spot next to him.
“Don’t you ever get lonely?”, I ask looking at him.
He shrugs. “Sometimes”, he puts piece of bread in his mouth.
I do the same.
“So, what’s your favorite color?”, he asks.
I giggle. “Sky blue”, I say.
He nods. “That’s a good color”
I nod. “What’s yours?”, I ask.
“Like, bright orange?”
“No...like the sunset”
I nod. “Ya….that’s pretty”
He smiles at me. Then I look at him, “What?”
“Nothing….you have really pretty eyes”
I blush and look at the ground. “Thanks”
“So...are you and Christina dating?”, I ask shifting my body, still looking at the ground.
“Are you crazy?! Sky would kill me! She’s with Sky. We’re just friends. Besides… I like someone else…”, his voice trails off and he looks at the ground.
I was opening my mouth about to ask him who when Spectra walks in.
“Am I interrupting something?”, she asks.
“No!”, we shout at once, looking at her.
She puts up her hands. “Ok, ok...sorry for asking”, she says.
Tony glares at her. “What do you want”, asks Tony, annoyed.
“We’re calling a meeting with all the leaders for tomorrow’s activity”, she relaxes.
“Right now?”, asks Tony.
“Yes, we’re in the conference room”, she replies.
Then Spectra leaves and closes the door.
Tony sighs. “Sorry I gotta go. But you can stay here if you want”, he says.
I nod. Then he gets up and walks out of the room. I stand and walk over to his bed. I feel the covers then lay on his bed. I look up at his ceiling. It has lots of pictures of him, Spectra, and I think..his father. There’s also pictures of he and Spectra horseback riding. And Tony in a horse jumping competition with Champion. Then another of Spectra in a dressage competition with Spirit. And Tony standing between Spirit and Champion with I think, his mom. He looks so happy in all of them.
Then there’s another one of hima nd Spectra sitting between Spirit’s and Champion’s stalls. Their foreheads touching. With no smiles. All their trophies in a circle around them. They look so much alike. I think it’s one of his favorites, and mine, because he put a heart around the four of them. Next to the picture I see Spectras named carved into the ceiling. Along with mom, dad, and my name. Under mine, he wrote “Living Shadow” in really small letters, then drew a heart around all our names. I guess I’m one of the people he cares for.
By the time I come out of Tony’s room and into mine, Christina’s already getting ready for bed.
“Where have you been?!”, Christina asks looking at me in the reflection of our mirror.
“I was in Tony’s room”, I reply.
Christina smiles with a cheesy smirk. “Doing what?”
I tell her the whole story. The pictures, the talk, Spectra...everything.
“Ya he likes you”, says Christina when I’m finished.
She ties a rubber band at the end of her braid. She did two french braids and connected them..it’s amazing. Then she turns and comes to sit on her bed. She pats the spot next to her and I sit. We face each other.
“So...do you like him?”, she asks me.
I blush and smile while I look down at my bow in my hands. “Ya...”, my voice trails off.
“Oh my gosh! You two would be so cute together!”, she get’s excited.
“So what about you?”, I ask.
“What about me?”
“How come you never told me about Sky?”, I ask.
“Because. I don’t know. I just met you, what do you want me to say, ‘Back off, Sky’s mine’?”
I laugh. “I’m just saying”
“Ya, I know”, Christina smiles.