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Chapter 6




Yulla steps forward towards a boy with black and yellow shaggy hair.  She grabs his wrist and throws him in the air, about a good twenty feet or so.  She disappears in a cloud of midnight blue dust and appears above the thrown boy.  She grabs his shirt and pulls him close, then throws him back down into a gray, protruding boulder.  Powdered stone and sand creates a wall in between the other students and the training duo.  

I hear a large crack, and my eyes widen.  Then there’s a large spark of black lightning and the wall of dust clears in one clean swipe.  Yulla stands at a distance from the boulder that is now split in half.  The boy -- who looks about as beat up as an old punching bag -- wipes a streak of blood from his lip and another bolt of lightning hits the sandy terrain.  Yulla doesn’t react.

He runs towards her, and then disappears in a flash of the lightning.  The skies darken into a deep, frightening gray and then a flicker of white light makes me shy away for one moment.

“Don’t look away,” Shane says, leaning down to me quite a ways.  I slowly turn back towards the scene of the sparring and I see the boy has got Yulla in a death hold.  Yulla sighs and says something to the boy.  He releases her and a crack of lightning occurs.  He’s gone and back to his old spot in the lined up group of students.  

As I look back over all of the unfamiliar faces, I come across the stoic face of Drew who’s on the seventh row of twelve, near the right end.  Avia is beside him, edging closer and closer to him and smirking confidently.  I roll my eyes.  The boy from earlier this morning, Geoffrey, is on the second row with a determined smile painted on his face.  It is then that I realize Shane had left my side and is now standing near Geoffrey, only three people away.  Shane stands next to a lime-green haired boy with glasses and a girl with orange, black, white, and brown hair that’s cut in a boy’s fashion.  

The last girl seems somehow familiar to me.  I shrug it off, knowing there’s no way I could’ve known her before seeing her now.  As the girl stands, I can see she is nervous.  Her eyes are too wide to be relaxed, she bites her bottom lip every minute or so, and she brushes one pesky strand of hair behind her ear.  Then the students‘ eyes go towards Ricardo.  I look as well.  He is pointing to one boy with fire-orange, neat hair and another boy with bullet-gray, wavy hair that waves upwards in the front.  They both take one step forward and the rest of the students back up a good ways, almost fifty feet. 

“This is your chance,” Ricardo exclaims to the two boys.  “You never know when this opportunity may present itself.  You may begin!”  

The one with orange hair dashes forward just as the other does.  The gray haired one is a bit quicker, however, and reaches the other first, grabs his shirt, and pulls him down to the ground as he leaps into the air.  The gray one’s fist changes into what looks like steel and goes in to punch the fire-haired one.  

At the last moment, the one on the ground rolls to the left and barely avoids the blow.  The punch causes a quick tremor and there’s a big hole in the ground.  The other who evaded the attack stands and runs towards the other, then jumps and spins in the air, causing a vortex of bright flames to surround him like a tornado.  His move is a direct hit, and the gray haired boy goes flying at least thirty feet away.

The students cheer the two on, some full out jumping and screaming with spirit, others simply clapping.  “Great hit, Damon!” one boy cheers, the one with the lime green hair.  “That’ll leave a mark!”  I assume the one that wielded the fire was Damon, for he turned to his one-man entourage with a confident smile.  

“Come on, Justin!” the girl with the orange, black, white, and brown short hair cheers.  “Get up!” she shouts.  She seems even more anxious than earlier.  Justin, the one who’s struggling to stand, looks at her and his eyes glow a metallic gray before he gets to his feet in one strong huff.  The crowd watches in disbelief as Justin starts moving towards Damon, even though the front of his shirt is gone, and he holds a red burn all along his chest.  It will surely leave a scar.

Damon removes his uniform shirt in a hurry and he has one long, scarlet red tattoo on each arm, portraying a long flame.  The tattoos glow a passionate red and orange, and his fists light on fire.  Justin flinches after one step, and clutches his chest.  Justin looks towards Damon, who looks ready to end this match, and his eyes glow brightly just as when the nervous girl cheered him on.  On the left side of his chest, there is a zig-zag mark that gleams the same color of his eyes and both his fists turn into a metal or steel of some sort.  

Damon charges towards him, yelling an intimidating cry of spirit.  Justin attempts to run forward, but ends up limping to him.  Damon grabs his arm and throws him down, causing Justin to cry out in pain.  There’s a small crater where Justin was cast and Damon draws back his right arm like it’s in a sling shot.  Justin weakly covers his face, but his opponent doesn’t finish it.  

“What are you waiting for?” Justin says, loud enough for everyone to hear.  

“... I can’t do this,” Damon says.  “I can’t do this!”  Damon’s fists of fire die down and he helps Justin up.  “I won’t hurt him anymore.”

“Fine,” Ricardo says calmly.  “Then the next two shall spar.”  Damon and Justin both walk towards a small building I didn’t notice before.  It has the symbol of a hand and a leaf in the open palm.  In the distant crowds, I hear a ruckus amongst the students.

“I’ll go next,” a voice says above the rest.  I turn and notice that it’s Shane who steps up to the empty, middle grounds.  The other that enters is Geoffrey.  Both boys have confident grins on their faces as they slightly squat and circle each other in a faux stand off.  Near the spot that Shane entered from, Avia sneaks in and I can see the same, aggravating smirk on her face.  Shane picks up the hem of his long shirt and glides it off, revealing the body I thought I was only fantasizing about.  His chest was broad, rippling with muscles, and he has a definite six-pack.  His arms were firm and bulging just enough to show that he had strength; a few small tattoos of sun-looking designs are scattered across his arms.  There’s even one on the right side of his neck and on the corner of his chest.

Geoffrey does the same as Shane.  He is also in shape, just not as muscly as his opponent.  He has a slightly less definite six-pack, his arms have good shape, and his chest is normal.  He has zig-zag lines and tattoos that remind me of cracks in a rock all along his back and his arms.  He is still quite something to look at.  

“I’m gonna beat you this time, Shane,” Geoffrey says.  “Even though this is my fifth try.”

“We’ll see, Geo,” Shane replies.  “We’ll see.”  Ricardo sounds off the start of the training match with that same gun shot sound and the two immediately charge into each other.  At first, it’s a stalemate, both having a strong hold onto each other and trying to pull the other down.  Their scuffle causes dirt and sand to kick up.  Geoffrey reaches onto Shane’s waist and adds pressure, trying to weaken one side so he may have a chance to take him down.  It doesn’t have much affect, but Shane copies his move and Geoffrey is the one to cripple under the pressure in his side.  

Shane knees him in the stomach and pushes him down onto his back.  Geoffrey lands somewhat softly, helping his fall with a guttural yell and he catches Shane’s wrists.  He pulls Shane downwards and then flips him over his body onto his stomach.  Shane makes a loud umph and pushes himself off the ground before Geoffrey can grab him.  Geoffrey’s tattoos glow an earth green and his eyes turn the same color.  He punches the ground and it’s like a miniature earthquake.  Shane jumps onto a rock just as his tattoos begin to radiate a beautiful gold color.

“That won’t help you!” Geoffrey yells, then kicks the ground, causing yet another tremor aimed towards Shane.  Shane disappears in a bright flash of golden yellow light and reappears in front of Geoffrey.  He tackles Geoffrey down and pins his arms above his head.  As Geoffrey kicks his legs, trying to get Shane off of him, the earth slightly shakes in their area.  I am thankful I’m not there, up close and in the danger zone.

Geoffrey flails just enough and Shane is forced to get off of him.  Shane’s eyes glow gold as they bore into Geoffrey’s gleaming green ones.  They momentarily stop, only staring and studying the other intently before Shane’s tattoos and eyes radiate a light so fierce it’s like looking directly at the sun.  Geoffrey flinches and covers his face, uttering a pained groan.  Shane’s light intensifies, and suddenly he lifts his hands to the middle of him and Geoffrey.

A smaller version of the sun itself builds from his palms and it floats up high and in the center of the field.  Geoffrey grows weak and takes a knee, still shielding his face from the burning light.  Shane then does something I didn’t expect: he duplicates himself into many copies.  They charge towards Geoffrey and take him down.  The artificial sun dies down and the copies disappear.  The real Shane finished Geoffrey off and the match ends.  

“I thought I had you that time,” Geoffrey says as Shane helps him up.  

“It was a great match,” replies Shane.  “You were much more of a challenge than your previous attempts.”  They both leave the center of the ring and head for the same building with the odd symbol on the front.  There’s a brief silence amongst the many students until Ricardo catches their attentions.  He signals the turn of another pair.  Avia is the one to step up.  She throws her hair back in flirty suggestion and she leans on her right leg, waiting for the brave soul to walk forward and fight her.  From the corner of my eye, I see Drew twitch in an unnatural way, and I almost believe he’s going to walk up there and challenge her.  

But he doesn’t.

The girl with the Calico Hair comes forward, looking none-too-confident while doing so.  Avia laughs an evil cackle and makes a quiet comment only a few could hear.  I once again look towards Drew.  I must have caught his attention, for he turns and studies me.  The crowd laughs with Avia after another incoherent comment.  He shakes his head.  I mouth to him the question “What’s going on”, but he doesn’t reply.  He looks away and I believe that he may have not understood me.  When he turns back to my direction, I ask him the same thing.  He quirks an eyebrow and turns away again.  I didn’t expect him to respond, anyways.

Ricardo’s surprising sound goes off and another match begins.  Calico hair flinches and brings her hands up, guarding herself from no attack.  Avia grins and her hair sways in a non-existent breeze.  Then, she disappears and Calico Hair’s eyes widen with utmost fear.  I feel the atmosphere change in the field.  It’s almost... hostile.  Aggressive.  Intimidating.  Calico Hair must sense this, too, since she frantically searches all around her, looking for a sign of where Avia disappeared to.  

In a bright flash and an evil laugh, Avia suddenly presents herself in front of the timid girl and punches her with unnatural strength, causing her opponent to be sent flying into the crowd.  The front line of boys catch her and help her onto her feet, but then shove her forward.  They give her an unhappy expression, almost a disappointed look.  Calico flinches and she glances back to Avia, who waits with her hand once again placed on her hip.  

“You can give up now,” Avia says.  “If that’s what you’d like to do.”  Calico looks at all the people around her and she takes a quarter of a step back, but catches herself and steps forward, albeit rather timidly.  She blinks hard, and pulls on a brave face.  Her fists clench and she stands in front of Avia.  

“I wont,” Calico responds.  “Not with everyone here.... already looking down on me.”  Avia snorts and laughs, casting her head back in a not-so kind way.

“Who do you think you are?” Avia asks.  “You’re a mere fledgeling in this world of hawks.  You think you can beat me?”

“I wont know if I don’t try.”

“Suit yourself.”  Avia takes a wide stance and turns in three quick movements.  She’s gone again in a bright, pink spark.  Calico closes her eyes and she runs forward.  For a moment, everything is dead silent.  The students that have formed the sparring ring merely watch in distaste as Calico Hair rushes towards slightly to the side, near the middle.  But we are all surprised when we hear a sickening shluck.  

Calico freezes and clutches her chest.  In a dizzying blur of pinks and purples, Avia appears with her finger about a foot away from Calico, but a bright pink, almost white, stream of what seemed to be lightning is going into Calico’s chest, dead center.  But away from her heart.  

The crowd gasps and Avia merely frowns and stops the bolt, retracting it like it’s a cat’s claw.  Avia kicks Calico in the stomach, causing her to collapse, and gasping for air.  She clutches her chest and curls into the fetal position.  I stare in disbelief at the sight of what Avia has just done.  Someone calls for medical help, and two older guys rush in from the depths of the ring of people.  They place Calico Hair onto a stretcher and hurry to the small building near by.  

“If there’s anyone else that would like to get a taste of this,” Avia sneers, a single, thin pink bolt shooting from her index finger, “then I suggest you step up now so I can fix my nails.”  No one moves in the crowd.  I can’t help but shudder at her ferocity, her coldness, her beastliness.  She struts out of the field, near Drew, but he steps up to the center just before she can grasp for him again.  His familiar frown is painted on his face as he slowly approaches the center.  A few on the other side stir until one purple haired guy smoothly enters the empty space in the human ring.  

Drew glares just as his opponent catches his eye.  He must know who he is.  

“It’s about time you stepped out here,” Drew spats.  “Dmitri.”  

“I was only waiting for you,” Dmitri replies.  He has lengthier purple locks that are short in the front, but the tips in the back end near his shoulder.  His bangs splay across his forehead and has two long strands near his ears.  His eyes seem to be the same color as his hair.  He is fairly the same height as Drew, but looks a bit older.  Maybe in his  early twenties or late teens.  Dmitri has -- in one, fluid motion -- removed his uniform shirt, revealing dark, swirly tattoos all over his back, arms, chest, and torso.  He is stretching his arms, popping his knuckles, and rolling his head in 360 degrees.  Drew’s eyebrow twitches, and the line on his forehead, already present from his glare, deepens.  I get the strange urge to relax it away.

Before Ricardo can signal the start of the match, the two rush together and its an automatic fist fight.  You can hear the two pairs of fists clash against a body.  They simply give everything they have in their punches.  Dmitri lands one blow to Drew’s cheek, causing Drew to pause for a split second.  Dmitri throws another punch to Drew’s chest.  Drew briefly gasps.  A small streak of blood leaks from the corner of his lip.  He clutches Dmitri’s fist before he can punch him once more.  Dmitri pulls free and back flips four times before landing near the front row of guys.  Drew spits to the side and rolls his sleeves up slightly.  Dmitri smirks and his tattoos glow a dark purple.  

“Come on, Drew,” Dmitri says.  “I know you have more than this crap you’re throwing to me.”

“Who said I’m giving it everything, you utter buffoon?” Drew growls.  Dmitri loses his grin and pops his knuckles again.  His eyes begin to gleam the purple color and he throws his hand to the ground.  Dark, swirling vines slither towards Drew.  

Drew’s frown sinks.  The black and purple lines that seem like they could’ve merely been drawings on paper travel even faster to his direction. Drew’s eyes flash dark blue before a flick of azure flame shoots up from the sandy ground in front of him, creating a flaming barrier.  Soon the flames crawl all the way around him.  I can barely see the top of Drew’s head now.

“Don’t be a coward!” Dmitri yells, and his eyes burn with the violet light.  Suddenly it’s as if his tattoos spread like a family of snakes, almost covering one full side of his body.  The slithering shadows swirl towards the barrier, and penetrate it in one slim opening.  Then the rest of the vine-like substances halt, almost waiting for the other to come out.  There’s a split moment where everything is quiet.  

Then Drew is yanked off the ground and is dangling in the air by his foot.  The shadow holds him as he struggles and his eyes glow furiously, changing from dark blue to light blue, much like his flames.  Dmitri uses the other shadows to run up to him and Dmitri’s whole body, almost completely covered with his tattoos, is flashing from normal skin tone to the color of his hair and eyes.  And some parts of him fade to black, like he isn’t human.  

Dmitri releases a quick jab to Drew’s stomach and there’s a blue-purple explosion.  The people in the front fall onto the people behind them.  Even I stutter backwards from the impact, and fall on my butt.  After the explosion dies off — rather quickly for one, too — you can hear Dmitri laughing evilly as Drew struggles to stand.  His uniform shirt that he had left on is now burnt to ashes.  His top is bare, and I can’t help but study his features more.  He is toned.  Very toned.  He has an eight pack and black and blue flaming tattoos that embrace the sides of his chest.  There’s one that crawls up from his lower back to his hip.  There are many on either arm, each similar to one spark of a flame.  

Drew clutches his stomach where there is a four-pronged gash.  His arms are burnt and bruised from his fall.  He has more blood coming from the sides of his mouth, even some from his nose.  But he still has the angry expression on his face, except now he’s gasping for air and barely able to stand.  I stare in disbelief as he growls and his dark hair seems to suddenly grow about two inches in length and his eyes become sharper.  His shorts are ripped, and dark blue flames are igniting from his body and the ground around him.  I suddenly feel a surge of fear as he seems to regain some strength.  Dmitri stands a little ways away, looking slightly nervous himself. 

You...,” Drew growls.  He rushes towards Dmitri with dark and light blue fire dancing around him.  He grabs Dmitri’s throat and holds him high in the air.  The flames dance upwards from his right leg, up his back, over his right shoulder, and to Dmitri, which sends him to the ground in a burning heap.  Dmitri yells in pain, but swipes away the flames.  Drew kicks him back down, holds Dmitri down with his foot, and holds a giant flaming orb in his hand.  In his eyes, there is no mercy for his opponent.  

“Stop, Drew!” Ricardo’s stern voice calls from a little ways from me.  “That’s enough!”  Drew clenches his teeth and pulls back more, as if he’s still going to release the fire onto Dmitri.  “I said that’s enough!”  

Drew blinks, and takes his foot off of Dmitri’s chest and the blue fire dies down to smoke. He shakes his hand off and walks away, towards the medical building.  Dmitri is left on the ground, in a burnt, wounded, and embarrassed heap.  The match is over.

Submitted: March 06, 2014

© Copyright 2023 R Anonymous. All rights reserved.


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