A Chapter by mila

this day, history will be written. the day of the releasing




My eyes opened slowly and adjusted to the harsh light now shining through the curtains, carelessly flung apart by Arthur, my bunkmate. Groaning I rolled on to my side, curling into a tiny ball to escape his nervous pacing and muttering. I pulled my duvet up above my head and cocooned myself from the day that would inevitably commence, whether I liked it or not. Not.

Art and I had both found different ways of dealing with the emotional of strain of the upcoming Releasing. Months of anxiety had slowly unfurled and bloomed, the fruits becoming ripe, as the days had flashed by till, today, it was here. Art had long gashes down his arm from cutting himself to let some of the tension building up inside him escape. I personally thought this was ridiculous, and opted for the far more sensible sitting-in-a-dark-corner-and-thinking-happy-thoughts method. Happy thoughts could not save me now.


I emerged from my temporary refuge to stare Art with gummy eyes, giving him the glare, which clearly said: ‘get back into bed it’s 5am’. Wisely he avoided eye contact and sat on the floor kneading his temples like bread and wheezing slightly. Arthur Millar had hair like the sand, eyes like the sea and a smile that melted most girls’ insides. Having known him since he was a weedy six years old, my insides stayed firm. Best friend didn’t come close to what Art and I had. It’s the kind of relationship that only occurs within orphanages because you’ve got no one else.

“Arthur, please calm down.” I implored for the 57th time in the last 8 hours. To no avail, of course, Art exploded.

“How? NO tell me, how could I be in any way calm when the entire rest of my life is hinged on this one day? How could I be calm when there is the possibility that I might just be a Glower? Or you know, I could be a new kind of pathetic? I might have the ability to- to-” He pondered for a particularly worthless power “To communicate with shrews?”


This really wasn’t fair. My mind was now abounding with horrible images of different powers that could be bestowed upon me. Bound- the power to control gnats. Bound- the ability to tell whether it was raining thirty seconds before it began. Bound- the power to grow really long hair on my knuckles. I shuddered inwardly. Everyone knew that some people had powers like that, and worse. Their lives were hell, mocked and stomped to the bottom of society, like runts in a litter. Of course, like everyone there was a miniscule corner of my conscious mind, typically known as hope, who liked to whisper and murmur that I, Caelie, could be something special. Maybe I’d be able to fly (I liked the idea of that). Maybe, I’d be able to control water, or fire, or wind or weather or all of them at once. Maybe my power would be so great; I’d rise up to hero status, and be a key player in the war,  with people calling my name and young children looking up to me, hope in their heads too, whispering that maybe one day, they’d be like me. Special.

I quickly stomped on Hope deftly and stumbled out of bed to examine myself in the mirror. It was entirely ridiculous hoping for anything in this place. I eyed myself shrewdly: big eyes, small mouth, blotchy skin. Scowling I reprimanded my overloaded brain for letting these fantasies flash past my eyes. I gazed around the room at the damp corner Art and I never ventured into, and the family of beetles we had nesting under the dirty bile shaded wallpaper that was starting to smell like old people. I smiled slightly one of the beetles scuttled out of its hole. Out of boredom Art had named them all, and we actively encouraged them into the room, as they kept out ants and other irritating biting creatures that God should’ve stepped on with his almighty foot.

People would describe me as a pessimist. Realist I thought was far more accurate. Being optimistic is allowing yourself to believe something good might happen, which is just setting yourself up for disappointment- as it undoubtedly is at The Northern Peak Orphanage. My way of thinking is nice. Set your expectations really really low, and then reap the reward as you are pleasantly surprised that life didn’t completely screw you over.

Art didn’t think that way. Watching him as he swayed back on forth on the dusty stone floor (which was really unhygienic), like a neurotic rocking horse, I could see why. He was very good looking, not like the rest of the slightly feral looking orphans here. I knew he would imagine he was related to somebody, who was a somebody, and would have sensational powers of the first degree. And I ask you, who was better off now? Art- currently having a mental breakdown. Me- currently watching Art having a mental breakdown. I decided it tipped slightly in my favour.


Admittedly it wasn’t all bad, I tried to consider rationally as I pulled a pair of jeans over my goose bump ridden legs. It was well known now: most of the time powers are genetically passed down through families, with varying strengths. With most people at Northern Peak having the same amount of knowledge of who their parents are as a sea turtle, we could be anything. Of course, the fact that we are orphans, abandoned and unwanted, hints that our parents were completely unlikely to be anything interesting doesn’t stop the rest of the kids here covertly dreaming that they are going to have a power that will stun the world, revealed on the day of the Releasing, and will be whisked off to a golden land full of sparkles and rainbows.


All too soon the waking bell rang, and I was forced out of Fort Bed. Slowly putting my clothes on, I tried to drag out the precious time I was almost sure I would miss, when it turned out I in fact had a rubbish power. At least now I could dream. I could hear the other kids through the thin walls. There was quite a lot of sobbing and occasional thumps coming from the other bedrooms. I wondered at my ability to keep it all contained inside, and realised glumly I’d probably gone mad from stress.


I took one final look at myself in the mirror. Whatever happened today, I’d never look back and see this Caelie again. I’d be different, for better or worse. I saw my reflection’s eyes begin to water, so I grabbed the back of Art’s shirt and yanked him out the room with me. I was only half convinced he’d be able to make it to the dining hall, with his legs seeming to mainly consist of jelly. I prodded him gently and looked steadily into his eyes, trying to coax a little sanity out of him.


“Art, remember the promise?” I began.

“Course I do” He said gruffly, “I’ll stick with you no matter what. Even if I’m of golden class and your only power is to turn your hands into flowers”, poking me teasingly in the ribs. I relaxed as the old and boisterous Arthur began to reappear. “You know why?” Art grinned a wide smile, which actually reached his eyes as we broke back into our favourite promise.

“Because, we have no one on this planet who gives a monkeys about us other than each other. And if we stop caring, then that’s it, we could fall down a well-“

“-Or get eaten by an escaped rhino-” Art added helpfully.

“-Yes or that, and who would realise? Who would care? That’s why we’ve got to stick together. ‘Cos we’re the only family we’ve got...” We’d gone through this act a thousand times, but this time I felt tears spring to my eyes. Before I could wipe them away, Art saw and netted me in his burly arms for a hug.


And that was the first good moment of the day.


Sister Angela (known with us as The Tank) steamed into the room, cuffed us both of the back of the head and ordered us into the canteen. The Tank had an interesting and intimidating power, to turn various body parts to steel on command. We’d seen her once backhand a man who accidentally set part of the home on fire whilst trying to show off his flame throwing ability to his girlfriend. He’d gone to hospital and we’d all found a new found respect (some would call it terror) for her.

She questioned us about how we were holding up, and asked us very seriously whether or not we’d like to be knocked out till the Releasing so we could escape the torment of waiting. Art looked on the verge of nodding his head in affirmative so I once again frog marched him off.


The canteen was full of Arthurs. Just about everyone was having a crying or teetering on the bridge, apart from Finn, who was laughing hysterically into his orange juice and managed to spurt orange juice out his nose all over the table. Good moment of the day number two. Taking a couple of pieces of toast, I thrust one at Art, who looked as if I’d chucked a python at him. I tried to force myself to eat, but the bread stuck in my throat and clawed down my throat. I kept the eating façade until I’d made sure Arthur had taken at least a few bites, then dumped the rest in the bin, where everyone else’s rejected breakfasts lay forlornly.


In a morning that was dragging on, breakfast flashed past. The doors opened, men came in, we were ordered outside. The sky was grey as the contents of the canteen trampled out on to the awaiting bus. My breath curled out in front of me, freezing in the crisp winter air and escaping into the sky. I wished I could follow it. Art sat down on our usual seats in the middle of the bus. Carefully selected, it was located away from the back-of-the-bus kids who’d punch you if you made eye contact, yet carefully avoided the window that had been shattered on the left. Gripping on to the crusty bars, leaving my hand flaked with paint as the bus made its customary lurch forward, we slowly and stutteringly chugged off to our awaiting fate.



© 2014 mila

Author's Note

critisism is very welcome, hope you enjoy

My Review

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My only criticism would be things that you'd remedy using a re-write, so I won't mention those.

Quite simply, I enjoyed this and was genuinely entertained by it.

Good write.

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


10 Years Ago

Thank you, your kind words mean a lot with this being my first ever post

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Added on January 7, 2014
Last Updated on January 7, 2014
Tags: chapter1, power, heroine, funny, tense, releasing, fantasy, fiction, adventure, magic, hero, mila



London, Wouldn't you like to know, United Kingdom

My mind's always full of stories, I hope you like the ones I've written down more..

The Release The Release

A Book by mila