The Secret in the Woods: Jay

Jay has spent her life always feeling like the odd one out. Well, she is, no denying that, what with her powers, but that doesn't make trying to live a normal life any easier. Especially because she is constantly jumping from one foster home to the other. One day, she experiences something amazing and terrifying that will change her life forever... and she's not alone.

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1. The Collision

                As soon as I smell the smoke, I start sprinting. After just getting into my millionth fistfight at that butcher’s shop of a foster home, Sunny Side Home for Girls, I’ve had enough of it all and I’m ready to electrocute anyone who gets in my way. When in doubt, I go to the clearing. Ah, just thinking that place makes me feel better. The place I belong; the only place that has seemed like home in years, and it doesn’t even have walls or a roof. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always felt attracted to it. I think of looking up at the sky, framed by the green leaves as I lay down on the dusty floor of the clearing and how happy I always feel when I’m there. I also think back to all the horrible foster homes I’ve been in, all the fights, the chores, and the rejections. Then I think of the clearing yet again and how many times I’ve listened to the leaves rustle in the wind, how they seem to say, “It’s all going to be okay, tomorrow is another day.” 

    I also think about Ellie, my only friend from the foster home. She is so nice and the only one who treats me as if I’m not a total freak. She’s the only reason I haven’t run away from our quaint little town of Dalimon. 

    I almost trip in my frenzy and that brings me back to reality. Only too late do I realize that I’m a yard from the clearing. I burst through the undergrowth and am still going full speed when I see that I’m about to collide with three other people. The momentum from running is too much and I try to summon the winds to stop me, but it isn’t enough. As my body comes in contact with the other girls, I feel myself involuntarily spark and hear thunder rumble. Oops. I smack my head directly into another girls skull. I get a really odd sensation on my forehead of a wave crashing on it and I hear the blood roar in my ears. Thankfully, I’ve been in so many fights that I can take multiple punches and kicks without even a wince. I’m on my feet in less than a second. The girl, on the other hand, wasn’t so lucky. 

    I could see the blood starting to well on her head. I take off my ear cuff, and watch as it quickly elongates into my sword. A gold Roman style gladius with the image of a lighting bolt on the hilt. My sword crackles as I send a pulse of electricity through it. The other girls are quickly recovering too. I take inventory of them and notice that the girl I hit head-on is wearing a flowing blue dress. Her hair is long and blonde, like mine. Only, instead of white-blonde highlights, she has deep-sea blue. Her eyes are likewise. My eyes, on the other hand, change according to my mood. Right now, they are probably dark gray with the occasional yellow flash, like lightning. I am pumped for battle. The girl to my left, looks less pumped. She has long brown hair, longer than mine, with green highlights. She wears a green shirt with blue shorts. Meanwhile, the girl to my right has strawberry blonde hair with light blonde highlights. She looks like she’s going to be the hardest to beat, yet for some strange reason I feel attracted to her.

    The girl with the green shirt steps forward, and at the time I had thought she was going to strike, so as quick as lightning, I launch myself at the girl across from me. I have the element of surprise, so she has trouble deflecting my first few strikes with her trident. We wrestle on the ground, and just as I think I’m going to win, I hear and just barely see a flaming arrow whiz by my head. I get off the girl in the dress and charge the girl with the arrows. I will my sword to change into a spear. Right when I was about to throw it, the brown-haired girl starts to throw knives then yells “STOP!” for some strange reason. 

    Faster than their brains can register, I unfurl my bluejay wings from my back and feel them shift into their full 15-foot wingspan. I quickly fly up to the bough of a tree and perch there for a second, with my wings out to help me balance. A knife narrowly misses my head and we finally stop fighting. I decide to speak up. “Oh, you’re a feisty one,” I say to the knife-thrower, “Anyway, what are you guys doing here! This is my place.” This sends the other girls into a round of arguing with each other how this is also their place.

    I get bored and glide down from my branch and fold my wings in then promptly feel them shrink into the tattoo in between my shoulder blades. I’ve had it since birth, and I’m glad I don’t always have to have my wings out. I was actually named Jay after the wings I have. 

    However, I don’t know anything about my parents. I don’t even know if they’re alive. If I did ever meet them, I would be mad at them for doing this to me: Putting me in foster homes, and giving me up in the first place.

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