I watched the thick beams of sunrays color my ceiling honey, lying awake. I heard the others in their bedrooms start to rustle, the clatter of footsteps on the stairs and the murmur of voices. At the moment, I was simply content with doing or saying nothing, my thoughts lingering on little as I observed the light shift ever so slowly as the sun put more of his face over the horizon.

Suddenly my back felt very itchy....though it seemed like some unusual sort of one, almost feeling to squirm around like it had a life of its own. Both annoyed and mystified, I told myself it was nothing and struggled to contort my arm so I could reach it, scratching at it with the little fingernail I had. It only seemed to make matters worse, making the thing sear and burn.

I sat up, tossing off my covers and throwing my legs over the side of the mattress. Standing, I moved to my dressing table with the mounted mirror that appeared so old, worn and chipped with age in a style of long ago. Turning away from the mirror, I tugged off my bedshirt to reveal my chalky white back where it appeared my narrow shoulder blades poked at my skin, some of the rear of my ribs were visible, yet it was not that I stared at. Where I had scratched so vehemently was red and irritated, but something else was forming there, a darkened marking near the top of my spine just above where my shoulders met.

Alarmed, I pulled my shirt over my head to hide it once more. The itch seemed to fade slightly, though it still tingled mildly. Maybe it was just my imagination. Shaking my head, still swarming with thoughts, I made my way out of my room and towards the stairs.

Just then Daren was trudging up the stairs, stinking of puke and looking was all in his hair. I didn't ask. I didn't even want to know. He grumbled something to me as we passed, probably something of a good-morning. 

As I turned into the kitchen, I came face-to-face with Shyran and Emma. "Morning, Kirana," they both chimed.

Distracted by the unusual feeling this morning, I returned their welcome, seating myself beside Emma, who I supposed was something like my sister excluding we were not relations by blood. What a strange situation we lived in, yet it was all regular to us, with Shyran acting as our guardian and father. I couldn't think of living any other way.

"Kirana, I have something of news," Shyran began. "You all are going to go to an Academy."

"What?" I was stunned. This was beyond uncalled for. An Academy--why? What? We were just fine how we were, where we were.

"I'll explain more when the others come," he appeared half-depressed, not too enthusiastic about his 'news'. It certainly didn't make me feel any better about it.

An Academy?

The End

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