Julie (decadentdream) wrote,

The Gathering - Chapter Eleven

Title: The Gathering
Fandom (is so, include details) or Non Fandom?: Non Fandom (ie. Original)
Chapter Number: Eleven
Word Count: 2,090 Words
Rating: M (due to language & adult content... not entirely sure where this thing is going)
Summary: In 1692 a group of witches sacrificed their powers to prevent death. Almost 3.5 centuries later, these powers have befallen new generations. Those that would be heroes are lost. It is up to those who are left behind to save themselves & the world they're in.
Author's Notes: Dunno what to say anymore... sorry for spamming?

Chapter Eleven

University hall was an intimidating place – designed to fit hundreds of students at a time between four solid walls and a roof that formed an apex high overhead. There was only one exit at the far end of the hall by which one hundred and fifty nervous students had entered to take their year end exams. Penny was one of the last to step into the hall, reluctant to let go of her notes for fear of forgetting something. Rain was seated at the table beside her, trying to offer encouraging words of advice and support. Penny could not understand how her best friend could be so calm and relaxed about the mental torture they were about to endure. They were both taking the same exam, yet Rain acted as if it bore no importance at all.

“My pen’s not working. My pen’s not working!” she panicked as she attempted to inscribe her name on the sheet.

Rain reached down, pulling another pen from her bag and holding it out to her. “Then you should have brought a spare.”

“I wasn’t thinking about what I had to bring. I was just trying to remember everything.”

“You know, six months ago you were bragging about how easy this was. You’re not going to fail.”

Trying the pen out that Rain had given her she discovered it worked without a problem. It didn’t ease the tightness she felt in her chest or the fluttering of her stomach. Pushing a hand back through her hair, she read the first few words on the paper carefully, trying to absorb what each and every word meant.

“I wonder how long we’re going to be stuck here for?” Rain mused aloud.

“Shh!” one of the lecturers instructed, passing between the pair. “There is to be no talking during the exam.”

“Sorry,” Rain apologized, though it was clear from her tone that she wasn’t.

She turned her attention to the paper before her. Penny was already scribbling down answers and seemed to have reached the first third of the page before Rain had even put pen to paper. Suddenly Penny looked up, her eyes searching the far corners of the room. She looked greatly disturbed. The shadows around the hall seemed to grow in size, creeping towards her.

“Something’s not right,” she whispered, more to herself than anyone else. Rain glanced up, trying to ascertain what she’d heard.

Glass shattered to the left and the students below the window screamed, ducking for cover as a fireball sailed through the opening, distributing broken shards in its path. Another followed and Penny pushed herself away from the table seconds before it sailed past her. Droplets of fire fell from the ball, landing on her exam paper and sending it up in flames. She stared at it, astounded, in shock that she’d just lost everything she’d written. Rain turned to the side, leaning back as the ball curved past her.

“Everybody stay calm!” Mr Patterson bellowed from the front.

“What says he saves the blonde bombshell first?” Rain commented, pushing herself out of the chair. Screaming students dashed for the door, ignoring his words and knocking Rain to the side. “Ow. Watch it!”

All along the left hand side of the hall windows shattered in succession, one after the other as if it were a planned attack. Fire sparked against the desks and stray papers, balls plummeting to the floor like fallen comets.

“We’re under attack,” Penny said.

“Duh. Get up!” Rain said, leaping across the aisle and trying to haul her friend to her feet.

“What is it? Demons?” Penny asked, looking around, trying to see if she could catch sight of the conspirator.

“No idea.”

“We need to get out of here,” Penny said, making her way back towards the door.

Rain remained where she was, her eyes fixing on the windows as another fireball came through. Amid the chaos there was no chance she would be caught out using her powers, but the thought hardly crossed her mind as on impulse she tapped into her power reversal. Her irises disappeared behind a flash of orange, unnoticeable unless you were standing before her. The ball within her line of sight changed direction, sailing back out the window in the same path it had travelled. She heard a horrific wailing sound from outside and knew she had hit the beast, whatever it was.

“Rain, c’mon!” Penny called. This time it was she who headed back for her friend, grabbing her arm and hauling her towards the doorway.

Outside on a low brick wall sat Shae, looking confused as people dashed one way or another before her screaming in terror. Penny rushed over to her, Rain close behind.

“Shae, get out of here! We’re being attacked!” Penny cried.

“Attacked?” Shae queried.

“The place is going to go up,” Rain said, waving a hand back towards the hall. “You know I really want to—”

“No,” Penny interrupted.

“I can’t leave. Ash is in there,” Shae said.

“Ash is in there?” Penny repeated. Quickly going back through what she had seen in her earlier observations, Penny finally remembered a familiar brunette man had been seated towards the front of the room.

“I’ll go get him,” Rain said, dashing back towards the door. Shae followed, blindly racing after her.

“He’s not hurt, is he?” she inquired.

“I didn’t see him,” Rain answered as they entered through the doorway.

The light of another fireball catching the corner of her eye, Shae squealed and ducked as it sailed mere inches over her head. Rain jumped backwards, avoiding its path. Ahead they saw Ashley pulling people from their seats and pushing them towards the back door. He coughed, shaking his head as he came closer to them. The fireballs seemed to be bouncing all over the place now, random missles of heat that moved in every direction. Shae grabbed Ashely’s arm and pulled him along with her, one ball passing where his head had just been, another grazing his shoulder. He cried out as it singed through his clothes, dissipating a short distance past him.

Penny hung up her cell phone and pushed it into her back pocket as the three emerged. She waved them in the direction of the university carpark, the four of them racing across the freshly trimmed lawn and down the asphalt until they were out onto the street.

“I called Uncle Michael to pick us up. We’ve gotta go somewhere safe. I said we’d meet him at Justin’s work,” Penny explained.

“You’re worried something’s happened to him?” Ashley asked.

“I hope not. He’s the only one who’ll be able to stop this,” Penny said. She glanced quickly to Shae, the only mortal one of the four. The blonde remained oblivious to what they were saying, her hand tightening around Ashley’s.

They ran slightly west of the University, across flattened roads and leaping over tracks until they were on the right platform leading into the centre of Woodcroft. The train pulled in within seconds and the four of them hopped on board, seating themselves on the side seats by the door. Rain turned, kneeling on the seat and peering out the window to see whether they were being pursued. Penny sat across from Ashley. He wove his fingers between Shae’s as she looked around the carriage nervously.

“Someone must have really disliked their exam,” Shae said. “I mean, who would organize to have so many Molotov cocktails thrown into the hall?”

Penny locked eyes with Ashley. They both knew Shae had seen incorrectly, but without being exposed to the magical world she would have no clue what the fireballs were. The side door between carriages swung open and Shae screamed. Rain jumped, spinning wildly.

“Tickets please,” the conductor requested.

Penny let out a breath, her heart pounding in her chest. Hastily she fumbled in her pockets for her student pass, the other three following her lead and displaying them to the conductor.

The train rattled over the Pontus Lux Lucis, the long and tall bridge the most glorious sight in all of Woodcroft. It passed over a large body of water known as the Cyron, a welcoming sight for the university students running from fire monsters. South-east of their traveling path they could see the headland where the Mendel’s waterfront property was located. To the west the city stood tall and prominent, the sun glinting off the panes of skyscrapers in the centre of town.

They alighted the train at Luxford Park, though the station was actually several blocks from the park itself. Two blocks away, however, was DVG Skate – the skate shop that Justin worked at. Shae eagerly raced ahead, encouraging the others to follow.

* * *

“Hey, I know you! You’re the guy that did that cannonball over the quarter pipe!” the young boy exclaimed.

“Yeah,” Justin answered, smirking with pride as he lowered his arms down onto the glass counter to be eye level with the twelve year old again. “You go to the park much?”

“You bet! You guys are awesome!”

“We try,” Justin returned, amused. “What’s your name?”

“Wheaton. Wheaton Brown.”

“Well, Wheaton, you look like an alien workshop kind of guy. Am I right?” Justin asked, rounding the counter filled with wheels, wallets, badges and grip tape.

“Yeah, I dunno how to build them but...” Wheaton said.

“No problem, little dude. We can do that for you here. See anything you like?” he asked, indicating towards the decks that lined one side of the store walls seated five across and four rows down. They only ever had twenty decks on display at a time; there wasn’t enough room in the shop for any more. The majority of their sales usually went on the two rows of clothes that lined the other wall of the shop as people attempted to look in fashion with the trend whether they skated or not. And, of course, there were also the name brand shoes that all young adults loved to wear which lined their back wall. “Or if you want a buddy of mine can design one for you?”

“Really?” Wheaton exclaimed. “That is so cool!”

“It might cost you a little though,” Justin warned.

“I’ll have to ask my parents,” Wheaton said after thinking for a moment. It was the only time his enthusiasm had dulled as he immediately brightened again, obviously in awe of the man who was trying to sell him something from within the store. “What do you use?”

“Element, bro. Always element. Kinda like this one,” Justin said, fastening his hand around one of the boards on the end. “But my friends can recommend any of these. We’ve all got different styles and use different boards.”

The deck he was holding rattled beneath his hand. Looking at it curiously, he took a step away from it. The piece of wood stilled. Shrugging it off, Justin moved towards Wheaton within the centre of the room.

“I want one that lets me do cool stuff like you!” Wheaton declared. “Can you do a one-eighty Japan?” Justin nodded. “How about a double kickflip?”

“Nah, I’m still stuck on the single, dude,” Justin said.

He heard the rattling again behind him. Peering over his shoulder he saw the whole wall was vibrating now. All twenty decks violently rocked back and forth on their hooks as if a freighter train was passing by on the other side of the wall. His brows dipped as he witnessed them break free, each row lifting in succession and turning towards him, points bared, hovering in the air threateningly.

“Woah! How do you do that?” Wheaton asked, impressed. Justin wasn’t sure how. Justin wasn’t doing it.

As if released from a slingshot, all twenty boards hurtled towards them. Justin didn’t have time to think. He fell back, ducking for cover, raising his arm to shield his face. One deck smacked into his arm, its path alternating upwards with the blow. He heard Wheaton go down behind him with a thud.

“Justin? What’s going on out here?” his boss asked, the noise in the shop drawing his attention from the back room.

Justin turned over, crawling up to Wheaton and patting his cheek. Chin clasped in one hand, Justin used the other to brush the kid’s hair aside and saw a red and swollen cut forming just above his right eye.

“Hey, dude, wake up,” he said. With no response he glanced to the manager. “Think we need an ambulance. He’s not moving.”

Tags: fic, the gathering

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