Aidan clicked at the computer with a vacant expression. Sure, computer games were fun. Books were interesting, too. But where was the real adventure? he wondered. Life was a series of homework assignments and forgotten responsibilities, but in the games he could live life as it was meant to be - full of magic and excitement.
He often found himself getting caught up on the console or in front of the computer. There he was, jumping through a magnificent world as a valiant hero when "AD, time for bed!" would ring out. He was so close to saving the day that surely his parents wouldn't mind if he played for just a minute longer. Before he knew it, that minute had expanded into an hour and he was in his bedroom, grounded and not at all pleased. Yay, more time to do homework, he thought bitterly.
He threw himself back against his pillow and stared at the ceiling. There had to be something better to do. He glanced around the room briefly. In the corner sat a box full of his favourite posessions. It caught his eye and he got up reluctantly to sift through the pile. Under a mass of toys and various knickknacks he found a book that had not been there before.
'Waimferth Academy' was written across the front cover in blocky white lettering. Underneath that was an illustration of five children -- three boys and two girls. Each one was engaged in something strange and magical. A stout boy with brown hair had his palm raised towards the sky with a rock floating above it; a small girl with swirling blonde hair was shooting a stream of water between her forefingers; a tall black-haired boy was bending a sheet of metal with his bare hands; a slender girl with wavy brown hair was engulfed in a miniature tornado; a sandy-haired boy with vibrant green eyes was shooting flames from his palms, directly out of the cover, as if attempting to catch the reader onfire.
Aidan shrugged. This had to be better than reading a school book and was most certainly better than doing math homework. He settled back into his bed and began to read. Whenever he heard his parents approaching, he would quickly shove the book under his blanket and shut his eyes tightly. Aidan simply could not stop reading. That night he did not get a wink of sleep.
When morning came, the house was still and quiet apart from the distant beeps of an alarm clock and the light chirping of birds outside. The first beginning of blue sunlight was glowing from the window. It was almost time for him to get ready for school when he reluctantly turned the last page. He wasn't prepared for the story to be over and he certainly wasn't satisfied with the ending.
See, the story had been very strange. Waimferth Academy was a school for witches. A witch was any boy or girl who could manipulate an element. There were five such elements: earth, water, metal, air, and fire. Each type of witch took their own special classes in their respective element, but all socialized together. The top students of each element were getting ready for training to become elite fighters and to help stop the forces of an unnamed evil. The top earth, water, metal, and air witches were discussed in the book and their descriptions clearly matched the cover image. However, a fire witch was not mentioned at all. The boy on the front who was shooting flames never appeared in the story, either. The book just ended abruptly with the children wondering who the top fire witch would be.
Aidan was sure that there must be a sequel, so he quickly snuck onto his laptop to check. He did a quick search for "Waimferth Academy" and what he found was impossible to believe. The book did not exist. In fact, the title brought up no search results at all. He was in the process of contemplating this absurdity when he heard a noise behind him and spun around do see his father standing in the doorway.
"I thought you were grounded from the computer," his Dad said.
"I was just using Google, Dad," Aidan replied defensively.
"Well, shut it down and start getting ready for school."
Aidan hurried to get dressed but could not shake the book from his mind. Why was there no fire witch mentioned? Why did the story end so abruptly? Why didn't the book exist at all? He spent most of his classes daydreaming about what the true ending of the book could be. In fact, he was so busy that he barely remembered being in school at all.
Aidan almost came to regret this later, because that lazy Monday would end up being his last day of normal school. He would almost came to regret it, but not quite, for his new school ended up being much more exciting.