I felt my face burning as I walked down the street; you’d think I’d be used to it by now, being treated like a freak. Seriously, why did they have to stare like that? ‘The freak half-breed fairy with no wings’ I balled my hands into fists to stop myself from lashing out, but I could still hear them whispering, I knew exactly what they’d be saying, I’d heard it ever since I was little, ‘She’s not got any powers’ ‘She’s useless’ 'Half-breed freak'. I was sick of it. I was just as powerful as them. I could prove it if I had to, but I didn’t want to get into trouble again, mum wouldn’t be able to handle that.
Smack! I felt something hard hit into my back, I felt a shooting pain from where it hit, and then I heard: “Oi! Half-breed! You gonna show us your powers? Oh, no wait, I forgot, you don’t have any, do you?”
Mikey Gray, of course. I heard all his friends cackle with laughter, I took deep breathes trying to calm myself. ‘Just keep walking, don’t turn around, don’t look at them, and for God’s sake don’t do anything stupid’
“You just gonna ignore me then? You deaf as well as powerless, half-breed?” Mikey and his friends howled with laughter.
‘Don’t do anything stupid, keep walking, ignore him, ignore him, ignore him, ignore….’
“C’mon half-breed, show us your powers. Go on.” Mikey laughed once more “God, you’re so pathetic, and powerless, just like your human-loving whore of a mother…”
I snapped. I can’t remember what happened next, the next thing I knew practically the whole street was on fire, Mikey and his friends were on the ground, most of them rolling around, trying to put out the fire that was burning their clothes, I grabbed Mikey by the hair, began hitting, and kicking, blind with anger, pure adrenaline coursing through my veins, making me strong and powerful, Mikey was battered and exhausted, he was pleading for me to stop, but I couldn’t hear, he was bleeding and in pain. Good. He deserved it, how dare he speak about my mother like that. I drew back my hand, preparing to hit him with the full force of my fire power-
“Isla! What are you doing?!”
I instantly let go of Mikey, and the fire that was consuming the street went out.
I looked around me, at the terrifyed men lying on the floor, the burnt, leafless trees, at Mikey’s bruised and beaten face.
What was I doing? What was I thinking? I’d never done anything like this before.
My mum grabbed me round the shoulders and began dragging me back to our home.
“Mum, we can’t just leave them, we have to help, we can’t go,” I muttered, unsure if my mum could really hear.
“Don’t worry, it’s ok. Mr. Hallson’s gone for help, it’ll be ok.” She said, and then she just went on repeating that it would be ok, over and over.
No it wouldn’t. I could have really hurt someone. Hell, I could have killed someone. What was I thinking? Silent tears ran down my face. What was wrong with me?
It was a little over an hour later, I was huddled on the sofa, tears still spilling down my face, Mum came towards me and handed me a steaming mug of tea, I stared at her blankly for a few moments before registering what it was, and took it from her.
“Don’t worry, Isla, it’s ok, the healers have been, they’ve sorted everything out, they’ll be no permanent damage.”
“Aren’t I in trouble? Shouldn’t I be punished or something?” I asked, terrified.
“Honey, stuff like this happens, sometimes people lose control of their powers, especially teenagers, maybe if you were older, and if someone had been seriously hurt, but-“
”Don’t make out like it was nothing mum! I could have killed someone. I’m going crazy, there’s something wrong with me, they’re right…”
”You’re a half-blood; your human side makes it hard for you to control your powers, that’s normal. That’s why they won’t punish you, you just need to learn to have some control.”
”How will I ever learn that?”
Mum smiled at me, and then placed a letter in my lap, I opened it slowly, then stared at the contents.
Dear Isla Winters,
You have been accepted to study at the well-known school: the Night World Academy! Please arrive at the school by the last day of this month.
We look forward to meeting you.
TheNightWorldAcademy Head Board
I stared down at the letter in shock - the night world academy. It couldn't be. It had to be some kind of joke. That place had closed down years ago. I felt a faint bubble of excitement grow inside me, but it was soon dashed by a stab of fear and worry.
There was no chance I could go. I couldn't leave mum on her own with the boys, she would never cope. I had responsibilities at home.
"Well?" My mum smiled at me faintly, "Aren't you excited? The Night World Academy, Isla!"
I tried to smile at her, but failed; I sighed deeply and moved so I was sat closer to her.
"I can't go, Mum, you know I can't." I said faintly, taking her hands in mine.
"Why not? You need to go, you need to practice your gifts, and you can prove to the others that you’re just as powerful as them, even though you’re a half-blood."
I shook my head, "I can't go. You need me." The words came out so quietly I was sure she wouldn't hear them. I hated saying it, I hated admitting it after all these years, but it was true, I was the one who had to look after mum, she couldn't look after herself, not after dad died. There was no way she could cope without me.
"I can't hold you back anymore, Isla, these past two years you've been my rock, but it's time I learnt to cope on my own, you need to go and be a normal teenager, you need to learn how to control your powers. You have to go.”
I stared at the letter, allowing that hope and excitement to rise in me again. The Night World Academy. Maybe I’d finally found somewhere I belonged…