15 Part 1

            Aelvyn handed Anna a sword. She was still confused as to the way he did this. Was he solid, as he almost appeared, and so able to pick things up, or did it require huge mental effort and a lot of practice? It was a question she would have to ask some time, and she resolved to do so as soon as an opportunity came up.

            “Is it a good idea to this in my bedroom, while I’m still in my pyjamas?” she said, laughing slightly. Aelvyn smiled slightly, too.

            “No, we might break something. Get yourself some clothes on, but nothing that will restrict your movement.” Anna nodded. It was hard to choose such clothes now that it was winter, because surely she would freeze without stiff, warm garments? Throwing caution to the window, Anna pulled on a summery dress, and lit a small fire under her skin to warm herself.

            “That okay?” she asked Aelvyn, whose eyes were wide with shock and awe.

            “Yes…” he said, still wonderstruck. “How did you learn to do that?” Anna shrugged. It didn’t seem like a big deal to her, because she’d been doing it since … the previous day. It was only then that Anna began to get an inkling of how precocious she was.

            “Just common sense, I guess,” she told her teacher, who looked at her with something akin to respect.

            “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,” he told her. “You are powerful - far more powerful than any I’ve met before.” Anna beamed with pride. She opened her bedroom door, and picked up the sword from its place on the bed, which is where she had placed it as she went to get changed.

            “Come on, let’s go,” she said, and she hurried down the stairs two at a time. Aelvyn followed, drifting sedately as though hurrying was something that, as a ghost, he had no use for.

            “We shall go out into the garden,” he told his pupil, who had already unhooked the keys to the back door from the key hooks behind the entrance to their cellar.

            “Obviously,” she said, rolling her eyes. “No where else is big enough.” Hurrying to the shoe rack, Anna pulled on a pair of boots, which although warm still managed to ‘go’ - somehow, inexplicably - with her dress. Her magic was powerful but she had just seen what the weather was like outside. It was snowing, and hard. She would freeze without shoes on.

            “Won’t people see us?” she pondered aloud as she unlocked the door that led from the conservatory to her long, thing garden. Aelvyn shook his ghostly head.

            “No, because it’s snowing, of course. Their windows will be so misted up that they won’t see a thing. Besides, did you not realise that it’s one in the morning?”

            Anna shook her head sheepishly. Her body clock was so out of kilter that she had no idea what the time was, and sleeping during the day - if she slept at all - seemed quite normal. Anyway, her fairy senses could see just as well in the dark as they could during the day, so the light was hardly any different.

            “Let’s get started,” she said instead, and started to stretch her muscles out. She did not know the nature of this training, nor did she know who she would be fighting, but as a child she had been prone to straining her muscles, and now that she was a teenager that problem had not left her.

The End

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