I wake as the sun begins to rise. I had gone to bed early. But, judging by the way my stomach is doing flip flops, it’s more likely nerves that woke me. Knowing better than to lie abed; I get up, shower and dress in my practice outfit. I feel slightly calmer with the lavender around me. I wonder if I’ll need my sword. Dad would know, but it seems I am the only one up.
I wander down to the kitchen. I don’t really dare touch anything. Aunt Latina doesn’t seem to like me, so I’d rather not offend her. The envelope from yesterday’s orientation, if one could call it that, beckons me from where it lies on the table. It wouldn’t open last night. This morning it does.
I look inside and see it’s divided in two halves. One side says Candidate, the other Guardian. Well Guardian must be my Dad, so I must be the Candidate. I reach in and pull out the papers from my side. They are light yellow like the envelope. Pulling out a chair I sit at the table to read them.
Today your testing shall officially begin, as you are aware. The testing shall start promptly at 12 noon and each candidate shall be appointed to a court elder. Quest based testing this year will involve interaction and instructions from each assigned elder. In order to achieve this each envelope holds one small, electronically engineered, magnet. Please hold the ringed side against the back of your earlobe. The rest of your instructions will be delivered more timely. Good luck.’
That’s it? I look into the envelope. There at the bottom of my side is a tiny wrist watch battery sized disk. I take it out and set it on the table beside the paper. I reread the letter.
Should I put it on now, I wonder as I look again at the ring. I don’t even know what time it is. I look around for a clock. It’s seven thirty. I hastily stand as I hear someone coming down the stairs. It’s my Uncle.
“Good Morning, Morgan,” he grins at me. “Got your things from the envelope I see.”
I nod and watch as he rummages around the cabinets.
“Would you like some toast or perhaps some pancakes this morning?”
“Toast is fine thank you.” I don’t want to be a pest.
He sets some jellied toast and a glass of orange juice down in front of me. He studies me for a moment.
“Why don’t I take Mike’s papers up to him and get him up for you?”
“Thank you,” I make myself smile. He nods, grabs the envelope and heads up.
Once I’m done eating I make sure to clean up. I wash the plate and glass and set them in the dish strainer to dry. It sounds like the house is beginning to wake up. I look at the papers and ear piece.
I might as well put it on now so as not to lose it. Carefully I bring it to the back of my left earlobe. I jerk my hand away as it snaps into place. There’s a buzz, then white noise, then nothing. I tug on it slightly. Apparently it’s not going anywhere.