Training Begins

Training Begins

A Chapter by Frankie
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3rd chapter of my book, Faery. This one's from 1st person, Nathan's point of view.

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The sun’s rays shone through the window, making me jump out of my skin when I opened my eyes. I had had one of the best sleeps of my life, but when I awoke and was hit with a sudden, blinding light the first thing I said, (well, more like shrieked,) was, ‘Gah!’ Had the other guys still been here, I would have definitely woken them up, but the only person who was there was Levi. Levi was also the one who sighed with relief when he saw I was awake and said, ‘Thank god! I thought you were dead!’ (I think he was being sarcastic.)

                I blinked groggily and sat up, rubbing the sleep from my eyes. Looking around, I noticed all the other boys in the dorm had left. “Where’ve they gone?” I yawned, making a failed attempt at sorting out my bed-hair.

 “They’ve gone down to breakfast. I decided to let you sleep, but if you hurry up we may be able to get down in time.”

                Groaning, I fell back into the bed and pulled the pillow over my head. “Five more minutes.” I mumbled. I would have fallen back asleep, but Levi grabbed a pillow off another bed and thumped it on my back. I yelped and glared at him from under the pillow. “I’ll be down in five minutes,” I grumbled.

 I heard Levi say, ‘Okay,’ and stroll off, laughing to himself. I looked around the empty room, before turning my gaze to the bright window.

                In the light, I finally got to see what the room looked like. It was old and weathered. The pale, grey walls were flaking and bits of the corners had chipped off, the floor an old, musty carpet. The room was long, with sturdy, comfortable beds running down the lengths of the walls and at the end was what I supposed was a bathroom, the room that Levi had entered. I moaned and pulled myself up. Abruptly standing up, I quickly sat back down as the blood rushed up to my head from standing up too quickly, blinking a few times to wash the dots in front of my eyes away. I pulled my shoes on hurriedly and tied my shoelaces in a rush.

                Levi came out soon after, fluffing up his damp hair with a towel. “You ready?” he asked, chucking the towel absent-mindedly onto the bed. I nodded and jogged to his side. “So, what are we doing today?”

“Training.” Levi responded simply. This confused me.

“How? For what?”

“Stuff. Shooting arrows, how to use faery-hunting equipment, what signs to follow. That kinda thing.”

 “Are we the only new ones?”

“You ask a lot of questions. I don’t think so; we give the Call to all thirteen year old clones at the same time, to stop confusion. We’ve just given everybody who needed the Call the Call, but it is a small society. Well, it’s actually huge because it’s all over the world, but in England it’s small. You should see the HQ in America, man, it’s massive.

 Any more questions?”

We were walking down the stairs now, a strong, warm, delicious, breakfast-y smell greeted us. I nodded. “Yes. You said hunting faeries earlier. I thought we were supposed to find them unharmed.”

“Finding, hunting, same thing. But yeah, we want them alive and unharmed.”

“Right. Why was Hazel jogging past my room all of last week?”

“To get your attention, I guess. We all know that the best way to catch a teenage boy’s attention is with a pretty teenage girl. You wouldn’t have recognised her when we came to collect you if she hadn’t been jogging past and then it would have been even creepier.”

“Yeah, I guess.” I agreed. “Though I think she’s slightly out of my league.”

“I don’t know. I just feel like my don’t-you-dare-hurt-my-sister glare is getting out of practise.”

 I chuckled. “You’ll have to teach me that for when Freya’s older.”

Levi grinned. “Maybe.”

I continued. “So, what you’re saying is that our mum went through the same thing, Freya’s not actually my sister and we never had any parents?”

“Yup, pretty much. Hazel’s not really my sister either, and that was quite a shock.”

“Cool.” I said, because there was nothing else to say. We were now in the room we met Hector in last night, the inviting smell growing stronger. “What’s that?” I asked. Levi sniffed the air.

“Breakfast.” He pushed open some double swinging doors that revealed a large, bustling dining room filled with people sat and chatting merrily on the long dining table. It was stacked with food of everything breakfast related you can think of. Toast, cereals, sausages, bacon, beans, mushroom, tomatoes, hash browns, black pudding, pancakes and waffles, porridge, kippers, etc.

                I gasped when I saw it, and my mouth watered. I hadn’t eaten since lunch yesterday. My stomach rumbled. Levi laughed. “I guess you’re hungry, then.” He led me down to some spare seats in the middle, opposite Hazel and Freya. No-one noticed us sit down. Hazel smiled while Freya just sipped at her orange juice, pretending not to notice us. “Mornin’” she noted as we sat down. I was next to a small, scrawny boy with a mop of brown, messy hair and beady, brown eyes, showing that he was a clone as well.

                “Hi.” I said, while getting comfortable. He turned to look at me, practically jumping out of his skin at the sound of my voice. He frantically looked around nervously, panicked. “Are you t-talking t-to me?” he stuttered. I stopped puzzled.

“Yes?” I tried.

“Are you new too?” he asked.

“Yeah, I think. Did you get here yesterday as well?”

                He nodded and then shuffled closer to me, nibbling on slice of buttered toast. “Am I dreaming?” he looked at me seriously. I just stared at him blankly.

“I... umm... don’t think so,” I managed.

Levi, overhearing our conversation leant over and said, “No.”

                The boy shuddered, and stared up at Levi, his eyes wide and frightened. I wanted to say something. “You mean it’s really real? All of it?”

Levi grinned. “Yup!” The boy slumped down into his chair, his eyes closed. I just sat there, in the middle, unsure of what to do. “What’s your name?” Levi asked. “Did you get the Call yesterday?”

The boy looked up. “I’m Tony. Yeah, I-I got here y-yesterday. W-with her.” He pointed over to someone sat across the table. Levi and I turned our heads simultaneously. Opposite us, next to Freya and Hazel, was a glamorous woman. It took me a moment to realise it was the lady from yesterday, the one who picked up the car at King’s Cross. She smiled at us, taking a delicate sip from some coffee.

                “She says her name is Lisa.” Tony stammered. “She’s my guardian. Well, at least she says she is.” The stutter in Tony’s voice was starting to disappear. I could tell he was taking the whole concept shakily. The woman, Lisa, made a point to roll her long-lashed eyes, obviously amused by Tony’s stubbornness to admit everything was real. To be honest, I was still finding it hard to believe we were grown by faery DNA. It was probably the most unlikely thing that could ever happen.

                But it did.

 I turned to Levi. “Does that make you my guardian?” I asked.

                He pondered this for a moment.  “Yes. And Hazel is Freya’s guardian. You’re the first people we’ve ever given the Call, so this is a bit new to us. We’re your Guardian for a week’s training, and then you’re on your own, ready to do missions. Of course you won’t be hunting animals with bows yet; it takes more than a week to master Archery.”

                I did the typical understanding head-bob. It was a lot to take in, in just two days. Tony carried on talking to me, but I didn’t hear a lot of it. He didn’t mind though, he just talked and talked and talked and talked and I only registered snippets of it. Seriously, once that guy gets started, he doesn’t stop. I helped myself to some waffles and apple juice. I have a bit of an obsession when it comes to apple juice. My stomach was grateful for the food and I was soon done.

                “So, what’s the plan for today?” Freya asked.

“Well, when breakfast’s over, we have to give you a tour, then we’re going to start your training.” Levi replied. I nodded, put down my finished glass and stood up. Freya looked at me questioningly. “Where do you think you’re going?” she asked.

“I guess if it is true, we’re going to have to start training pretty soon.” I said.

I was slowly starting to believe it, but my stubbornness refused to admit it. The sound of chairs being pushed out from under the table and scraping against the floor filled the room, as people slowly started to finish their breakfast. Levi, Hazel and Freya joined me and we waited in silence as most of the room cleared out. Tony and Lisa joined us shortly after. “Are w-we going t-to have the t-tour n-now?” Tony asked nervously.

                Ignoring him, Lisa said, “Is this it?” looking at the sad group of people now stood alone in the dining hall. When no-one answered, she continued. “I’ve been trying to tell Hector to bring up the cloning rates. The number of new recruits each year is beginning to lessen and lessen.” She shook her head sadly.

“I don’t think so. Apparently Joanne and Felix were giving the Call to some new recruit, but whether they succeeded or not, I have no idea.” Levi replied after some thought. After a painful wait, three more people hurried through the door and tripped over themselves on the rushed venture towards us, standing in the middle of the room. There were two boys, one of them a young adult, and a young woman. They ran towards us and a relieved expression crossed the older ones’ faces. The younger boy looked bewildered.

                He was ruddy and chubby, and there couldn’t have been much difference in age between us. Naturally, he had brown eyes. His neat, slicked back hair was sandy, and round his eyes was a pair of smart glasses. He had a confused scowl on his face, and his fat hands were stuffed into his pockets. His face was repulsive, with an upturned, snobbish nose and a splash of freckles across his cheeks. When he caught me looking at him, he stuck his pink tongue out. Disgusted, I returned the gesture.

                “Is this it?” Lisa asked again. The older girl nodded.

“Sorry we’re late.” She said, and wrapped an arm round the man.

“It was Alfie over here. Didn’t want to come down.” The man thwacked the boy, Alfie, on his shoulder to make a point. Alfie whimpered and rubbed his arm, glaring at the man as if he had just destroyed the world. The man took no notice of it, of course. Levi smirked. “Guys, this is Felix,” He gestured to the man, “and this Joanne.” The woman next to Felix waved. “And this guy is?”

“Alfie.” Felix smirked.

Alfie frowned, and lunged out at Felix. I winced. That kid could hit. “I thought I’d told you, my name is Alfred!” he yelled at Felix. Felix was trying hard not to laugh. Alfie had an annoying, nasal voice with a posh, very strong British accent. “You know, it’s funny, how Agent Barnes could bring up such an irritating kid.” Levi remarked. Hazel sighed plainly at her brother’s snide comment. The rest of us, (even Lisa and Tony,) were all stifling laughs. I guess we were stifling them because we didn’t want to be at the receiving end of one of Alfie’s hits. “Bronte Barnes is my mother!” he insisted sharply. “I’m no faery-clone and I swear unless you take me home right now, I’m calling the Police!”

Felix backed away. “Woah there kid, calm down!” he panicked, shooting a look at Lisa that read help me! Lisa just twisted her red lips into a smirk. Alfie was fuming and I swear if it had been a cartoon smoke would be coming out of his ears. Levi clapped his hands together, breaking the silence that hung over us. “Right then; introductions. We’re going to go round in a circle, and tell everybody our name, age and a fact about ourselves. I’ll start. My name’s Levi, I’m 16, I hate dogs and have an admittedly unhealthy obsession with ice-cream. I am an official member, and Hazel and I gave the Call to Freya and Nathan here.” He gestured to us. “Nathan, you’re next.”

                All eyes were on me. I rubbed the back of my neck; an annoying habit of mine I can’t seem to grow out of when I’m nervous. Pam had always nagged me about it. “Eh... I-I’m Nathan. I’m thirteen. Freya is kind of my sister. I like drawing. Levi and Hazel gave us the Call. I think.”

                Levi looked amused. “You next, Freya. Although the official members already know each other, it’s just so the new recruits do.”

 Freya sighed and spoke up. “My name’s Freya, I’m eleven and I play guitar.” She said simply and confidently, without any flaws. How she is not pressured in a situation like this is beyond me. “Hazel,” Levi said. Hazel’s eyes widened and she shook her head as if waking up from a distant daydream on Planet Hazel. “I’m Hazel and I’m thirteen,” she replied, before her eyes got that glazed look again as she drifted off into space. Levi rolled his eyes. “Tony.”

                Lisa nudged Tony in the ribs. He was fiddling with his fingers and yelped at her contact. “I-I’m Tony.” He said.

Levi sighed. “Anything else?”

“I-I’m thirteen. I like reading.” Tony suddenly became very interested in a hangnail. Lisa just ignored her... what’s the word? Student? Apprentice? Person you were assigned to give the Call too? She carried on. “I’m Lisa. Never ask a woman her age.”

“Come on guys, this is meant to be fun!” Joanne urged. A failed attempt. All eyes fell on Alfie, who was staring at the floor. “Alfie?” Felix tried. Alfie remained silent. “Alfie, it’s your go.” Felix pressed, the irritation in his voice clear. Alfie still said nothing. It was a while before he made any sound at all. “I don’t know why you’re looking at me. I’m not saying anything. It’s just a dream and soon I will wake up.” He responded, before turning his gaze back to his feet. I was compelled to slap him.

Levi hung his head back, annoyed. “Felix, if you must?”

Felix pursed his lips. “This is Alfie- I-I mean Alfred and he’s an obnoxious, spoiled brat who doesn’t know what’s good for him. Did I say that? I meant to say, this is Alfred. He’s thirteen.” Felix smirked. Levi coughed to hide his laughter, although he wasn’t the best at covering these things up. Alfie glared at him from his spot. “Felix, carry on.”

“I’m Felix, I’m twenty and I gave the call to Alfred.” He exaggerated on Alfie’s name, This is my foster sister, Joanne. You may think it’s pretty gross that we’re a couple, but we’re not actually related, and we’ve known that since birth. Our adopted mother told us what we were from the moment we could talk.”

                Joanne grinned, and rested her elbow on Felix’s shoulder. She had a crooked grin, a pretty face and short red hair that was in two loose, messy, short plaits. Felix had a matching grin and blonde hair. I quite liked them, especially after what Felix said about Alfie earlier. “Now that’s sorted, the tour can begin.” Joanne smiled. “Dining room.” She stated simply, as if we didn’t know it. Then she turned and walked to another set of doors at the opposite end. Easily pushing through the doors, she strode through them with Felix close at her heel. The rest of us followed suit.

                The next room was empty. It was steamy, and had the musty smell of food that had been cooked in here recently. It was like your average restaurant kitchen, but with stoves rather than gas cookers, old-fashioned gas lamps, stone-slab floors and old, peeling walls. “Kitchen.” Joanne said. Lisa crossed her arms.

“Couldn’t you be at least a bit more detailed, Joanne?” she asked. There was spite in her voice.

“I don’t see what there is to be more detailed about!” Joanne grinned, earning herself a wasted glare from Lisa. She just pushed back through the dining room and into the room we met Hector in last night. “Hall.”  Joanne moved over to one set of stairs. “Boys’ dorms.” She said, without even looking before hurrying over the other set of stairs. “Girls’ dorms.”

                I was beginning to agree with Lisa. Joanne gave the simplest and quickest tours I’d ever thought were possible. She carried on through another door. The next room was cosy. It was rich in colour, different tones of red, maroon, brown and burgundy. There was a soft, fluffy carpet beneath our feet. Plush, red sofas were everywhere, glass coffee tables were spread around in front of an old TV. There were a few people other than us playing cards and other activities.

“Lounge.” Joanne continued her ‘tour’.

“Where is everybody?” I made a point to ask.

“Training. On missions. Important Guild of Descendants work. It ain’t all fun and games, kiddo. Finding faeries is a tricky business, which is why it requires above average humans to complete it. A hundred years and they still haven’t succeeded.” She shrugged. It was odd. Joanne had a sort of gruff, yet still feminine voice. She did have a very strong country accent though. “Right then,” a mischievous glint appeared in her eyes, “I think you’ll like this next room, boys,” and she pushed us through another set of doors in the lounge. When we emerged on the other side, sharp intakes of breath aroused from the new recruits. We were in a small room, but the contents of it made the size unnoticeable. Strapped to the walls, hanging from racks in the middle, everywhere, were arrows, bows, swords, daggers, I even saw a few hunting rifles. Every kind of weapon you could think of.

                “The armoury,” Joanne said proudly and triumphantly, as if she owned it.

“Why would we need weapons?” Freya asked. Alfie pitched a whimper. “Just in case. However reasonable, faery tracking is an illegal business and we can’t get money. Therefore we trek into deserted, unknown English countryside to hunt food where we’re less likely to be found. Besides, if faeries did disappear from Medieval times, we might as well live at least slightly similar to the way they did if we want to find them,” Felix answered promptly. Freya’s eyes lit up as she realised that this weapon supply was all hers. I just sighed, knowing that holding her back would be pointless and let her explore.

                Freya walked slowly to and fro through the weapon aisles examining each one carefully. Laughter crept onto her face. She wasn’t a tomboy, no, far from in fact, but she always took fascination in things eleven year old girls don’t usually take interest in. “The rest of the house is boring, and half of it is off bounds, but you’re free to look round and take your pick. I’d take a bow though; swords and rifles are only there if we need them.” Joanne said, looking interestedly at a rifle. I plucked up a smile and followed Freya’s lead by walking down the aisles and inspecting each one.

                There was everything. I even saw a butter knife once. There was a sharp, harmful object for every occasion. I knew it had to be real. Everything, our heritage, the Guild of Descendants, it was all real. Why else would they have a massive weapons supply? Why they needed one, I wasn’t sure, but for one thing, faeries existed and we were born to discover them.

                Wow. That sounded a lot cheesier than I meant it to. Anyway, I just walked slowly, awe-struck at how they had kept these weapons without being arrested. When Tony didn’t move, Lisa pushed him forwards, (slightly harder than necessary) into the midst of the weapons, despite his yelp. Alfie just stood there doing his best to cover the surprise he held at seeing all these weapons packed into one room. His best wasn’t very good, but Felix knew better than to try and get him to take a look; it would have been hopeless.

                After a bit, I saw something that caught my eye. It was a bow, a beautiful one at that, with a unique, intricate design running down the sides. It had what looked like a firm, leather grip and a sturdy hold. I picked it up off the shelf. It was brilliant. It fit my hand perfectly, it was balanced just right and seemed to mould to my hold. I slowly turned my head to the rest of the group, waiting for us on the edge of the room. I looked at them hopefully.

                Seeing what I was holding, Levi wordlessly nodded as if to say, yes. I grinned, and picked up the arrows that went with it. They were mine now.

                Freya rushed over to me, peering at the weapon in my hands. “Why did you go for an old-fashioned one, Nathan?” she whined, as if my choice affected her life. “Why didn’t you go for a gun?”

At this, I rolled my eyes. “Because, little sister, we’re not allowed.” I glowered at her. She stuck her tongue out at me and turned on her heel, walking back down the aisle with her head held high, not taking a second glance at any weapons. I sighed, making my way back to the group. Felix and Joanne were pulling a face at me; it took me a while to realise they were trying not to laugh. After a bit, Freya had chosen a slingshot. It was the only thing she was allowed that wasn’t a bow. “Why do we need weapons, anyway?” she asked.

                “Being an agent in The Guild of Descendants is nasty buisness. A few agents have even died while on missions, we have to take precautions.” Levi explained.

I froze, and slowly turned to look at him. Tony was whimpering, Freya’s head shot up and even Alfie looked scared. “What?” I asked. Levi rubbed the back of his neck nervously. His eye twitched. “I... we’re not allowed to talk about it.” He managed. He, Hazel, Lisa, Joanne, and Felix all shuffled awkwardly.

“Oh, gee, great.” Freya said, sarcasm dripping from her voice. “Our mum sent us off to be killed.

“Not exactly! They didn’t die as much...” Levi trailed off.

“So if they didn’t die, what happened?” I challenged.

He winced. I could tell he was uncomfortable. “They went missing.” He said.

My heart dropped, and my stomach lurched. “How long ago was this?” I breathed, my eyes closed, expecting the worst. “It was...”Levi couldn’t finish, “it was...”

What? When did they go missing, Levi?”

Levi sighed. “The agents went missing six months ago.” He finally managed. I stumbled back, the bow dropped from my hand. “Six months ago?!” Freya asked incredulously. “I’m eleven! I’m too young to die!” her voice was high-pitched.

“This is why we’re not allowed to talk about it!” Levi whined, turning his moaning towards the group. They all shrugged blankly. Joanne sighed and took a few tentative steps forward.

“You’re not going to die.” She said roughly, as if leading a military camp or something. “That was a one-off.”

“Whatever. Why don’t we just start training now?” I said, my voice level and harsh. If we were going on life-defying missions, we better learn all we can to defend ourselves. Levi nodded. “Yeah, yeah, you’re totally right.” He agreed hurriedly.

“Choose you’re weapons. And hurry up with it!” Joanne barked. Tony jumped, grabbed the nearest bow off the shelf and hurried back to the group with Freya. “And while you’re at it, Freya, get one for Alfie. He appears to be stationery.” Felix piped in. Freya looked irritable, but she obliged, taking a bow off the shelf.

“We all ready then?” Levi asked far more enthusiastically than necessary.

I groaned; I wasn’t ready. No-one said anything. “Right then, I’ll take that as a yes. Let’s go!”

 

Levi swept across the grassy ground, a scowl and displeasure written across his face. “No,” he said. “You’re doing it wrong.”

I sighed. What now? I glared at him when he smacked my arm, adding to the agony that was already coursing through my veins from holding the bow so long. The string was really tough! “Arm up.”

I hung my head back, groaning. “It helps you have a clear aim.” He defended himself. “Do you have a problem with my teaching methods?” he looked hurt.

“No, it’s just... what about learning on the job? Why do I have to stand here holding this bow for half an hour without actually shooting any arrows?”

“It helps you get comfortable with holding a bow. Hopefully it will make you feel more at ease when doing archery.”

“I am in no way comfortable, nor at ease.”

“Get used to it. Pull your hand further back.”

“What? My muscles are already in pain as it is!”

                Levi ignored me. “It needs to be in line with at least your nose, maybe even against your cheekbone if you want a long-distance shot.” He explained. I sighed, and reluctantly edged my hand as far back as my sore muscles would allow. I narrowed my eyes with pain, my muscles aching and weak. “Put some effort into it, Nathan. This is life or death for you.”

“Great. That really makes me want to try harder.”

“It should do. Just talk to me, rather than concentrating on the pain. When it subsides, focus on your aim and concentrate again.”

“Okay...” I was slightly insecure about his teaching methods now... “I have a question.”

“Shoot.”

“What are we going to do when, or if, we discover the faeries?”

                Levi shrugged casually. “I think we’re going to try and befriend them if they’re friendly, if they’re hostile then we’ll fight back. But we’re not going to expose the Magic to science unless the circumstances are dire.”

“Okay, I have another one.”

Levi looked at me expectantly at me, as if to say go on, so I carried on. “Yesterday, when we met Lisa and the other guys, you said, ‘Guild of’ and they said ‘Descendants.’ What is that?”

“It’s a greeting. Although in the Guild of Descendant’s most people know each other by name, it’s an official thing. We have to say it to make sure they are who we think they are.”

I would have replied, but my position and aching muscles wouldn’t allow it. A bead of sweat trickled down my forehead. I clenched my fist harder, and grit my teeth. Levi grinned at my struggle. Totally sadistic, but being a guy like him I probably would have done the same. You might think that I’m completely unfit not being able to hold a bow without being in agonizing pain, but then you’ve never tried holding it for thirty minutes straight without letting go, and never drawing any arrows. “Anything else?” he smiled.

                I grunted, looking over to where Hazel was congratulating Freya on scoring a bull’s eye with her slingshot. Hanging my head back, I groaned and dropped the bow. “I give up! Why can’t Hazel teach me?”

Levi glanced at his watch. “And... now you can put the bow down.”

“Levi!”

“What?” he feigned hurt.

“Just, tell me what to do next.” I sighed, tired.

“Right. When you notch an arrow, you need to be swift. You need to be quick. You don’t take your time, because animals that we hunt for food are quick. By the time it senses movement, it needs to be dead, else it’s gone. It takes practise, but first, we’ll sort out your aim. Here are some arrows.”

I took the arrows, and slung the bag over my shoulder. I had tried archery before, but it was years ago and I couldn’t remember much. “Your fingers on your left hand,” he smacked my hand that was holding the wooden part of the bow, the ‘elastic limbs’ as Levi called them, “have to be like this,” he made an example by moving his index finger and middle finger into a claw-like shape, and grasped his bow with them.

                I studied his movement and copied it. Then, I pulled an arrow out of the bag slung on my back, and notched it as best as I could. “No, no, no, no, no, no.” Levi said hurriedly. “The arrow rests up here,” he moved the arrow I had notched like, a millimetre upwards.

“It’s exactly the same.” I said flatly.

“Aha! Now a true archer would notice the difference!”

“And are you a ‘true archer’?” I asked.

He puffed out his chest with pride. “Yes, in fact, I am.”

“Whatever, just get on with it.” I said, pulled the arrow up to my cheek and let go.

 

The first time I fired, I was miles off from the target. And the second time. And the third time.

And then the fourth time the arrow landed in a tree, and we couldn’t get it down. Levi said we should head back inside, so we headed back inside. Tony had made some progress, Alfie had touched the bow and ran off screaming, and Freya was scoring bulls-eyes all day long.

                But training wasn’t over. Every day that week, we trained in many different areas. First-aid, (don’t even think about asking me on that one. It was traumatizing,) how to use the scanning equipment, what animals to hunt and how to hunt them, the best, most unknown places in the English countryside in which to hunt, (places I didn’t even know existed!) and finally "

“Right then. Study up.” Levi said, slamming a massive bag of books on the floor with a thud, and walked off.

“Woah, woah, woah, woah, woah, woah, woah.” I said. “What’s this?”

“Well, you’re going to be finding Faeries. You might need to know what you’re finding in order to find them.”

“You mean read fairy tales?” Freya asked, disgusted. “Never. It would completely ruin my reputation.”

I scoffed. “What reputation? Since when you do you have a reputation?”

She pouted.

“Come on guys, it’s not that bad.” Levi urged. “Anyway, tomorrow, Hector will be seeing if you’re ready to get your first mission. If you want to pass, you’re going to have to know your stuff. G’night.” And with that, he walked back up the stairs to the boy’s dorm, leaving me and Freya in the hall with a massive pile of books. “Right then,” I said. “We better get started.”

 

                The next day, after lunch, Levi presented us in the archery arena with Hector waiting for us, after he had tested us on our knowledge of faeries. “Remember; this is serious. Just get straight on with it. No talking and no messing.”

And so me, Freya, Tony and Alfie stood in a line in front of four targets. We drew our weapons. Hector nodded. “Here, you first,” He gestured to Alfie. Alfie fired his arrow, and just missed the bull’s eye but a few inches.

Hector thought for a moment. Finally, he shook his head. “No. Another week with this one.” He said to Joanne and Felix, who groaned and made no effort to hide their disappointment. Alfie started crying.

“Now you.” He said to Tony. Tony fired his arrow, and just made the bull’s eye. Hector nodded. “This one’s ready.”

Lisa shouted, “Yes!” and Tony nearly fainted with relief.

“And, you?” he said to Freya. Freya readied her slingshot, took a deep breath and fired with flawless aim. Her projectile hit the bull’s eye, dead centre.

“Definitely.” Hector gave a hint of a smile. Freya shot me a smug smile that had ‘Let’s see what you can do!’ written all over her face.

“And you, last.” He came over to me. I took a sharp intake of breath. Then, as fast as lightning, I plucked an arrow from behind me and notched it in what felt like a second. I was just about to fire when Hector said, “No, no, no.” He took my bow and bag to my horror, “I don’t want you to be swift. I just want to see your aim.” And he handed me my bow and an arrow. I glared at him and I heard a loud groan from behind me; Levi.

I reluctantly picked took the bow and arrow. I slowly notched it, took aim, and fired. It was a few inches out of the bull’s eye. It wasn’t dead centre, but hopefully it was close enough. I turned my harsh gaze at Hector. After what seemed like forever, he said, “No. This one needs more training.”

                Even though I couldn’t see, I could just picture Levi’s face. Hector walked off, declaring the session over. As he left, I said, “Can I move?”

Hector turned, confused. “What?”

“Can I move?” I repeated. Hector looked blank.

To show what I meant, I picked up the bag of arrows and slung it over my back. Then I quickly grabbed an arrow, notched it and fired in what was less than two seconds. It felt like slow motion as the arrow soared through the air, and landed, just making it into the bull’s eye. “I’m better when I move.”

                I could hear Levi laughing behind me. Hector’s mouth was hanging open, like a codfish. And finally, after a long while he said, “Yes. He’s ready.”



© 2012 Frankie


Author's Note

Frankie
Next chapter is up! Please review. :)

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Added on May 6, 2012
Last Updated on May 6, 2012
Tags: Nathan, Freya, Hector, Levi, Hazel, Faery


Author

Frankie
Frankie

Derbyshire, United Kingdom



About
I love writing. So much in fact that my friends all think I'm weird because I actually enjoy writing in my FREE time, and don't see it as work. Most of the time. Being different? I relish in the th.. more..

Writing