Varvana's Power

Scarlett Evangeline- just like any other teenage- has many secrets, except Scarlett's are a little more... dangerous if they were to come out. When her friend Henry gives her an envelope with an invitation to a secret competition at the king's castle, she finds out that it's not quite what she seems. Scarlett can control people's minds, and as she comes here she thinks she may have an advantage. But as she soon finds out, they all have powers, and the reason they are entered is to determine the new queen. Scarlett and her friends are forbidden to have any contact with anyone outside the castle, but she finds out the secrets the competition is hiding, she feels herself drawn closer than ever before to Henry. And with a king and a goddess planning to sacrifice one of the girls, the winner, she is terrified of what may happen. Welcome to the nightmare.

P.S. For people who want to know how often I'll update, I'll try to every two or three days. :)

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6. Chapter 6

Waiting under the bridge of my nose was a note when I got up the next morning. A note, with only four words, We need to talk. Immediately, I could tell who it was from; and I was anxious that the encounter would end up horribly. I peaked out of my window, since my bed was right against the wall, and was horrified to see that it was still dark outside. What time was it? I had no clue how early it was. I glanced to the right and saw that Provinia was still fast asleep, her hair tucked under her head, and looking peaceful, younger than what she actually was. She almost looked like she was dead, but I could see the rise and fall of her chest.

Getting up as quietly as I could, I got out a dress, the same one that I had worn the day I had left, and just stood there. How was my mother? My father? I wondered whether they missed me at all, whether the stress of me being gone would effect their unborn child. I hadn’t thought of that before, if my mother could lose her child because of me running away. I felt immediate guilt and an overwhelming feeling to go to my home 200 miles away and to see if they were all right. I wanted to know so badly.

Things had been going bad up until yesterday, the first real day in this competition. The first day I was running on adrenaline, on the ability to think on my toes. But yesterday I was tired, and just feeling dead, and like my luck was gone, sucked out away from me. I no longer felt the thrill or the rush of my opportunities. A dry sob left my body, almost without my permission. Face scrunching up, clenching my fists, tears leaving silent tracks down my cheeks. If only there was a way for me to see them the way that I wanted to, or someone to tell me if they were all right.

Think, Scarlett, think. Wasn’t there one girl who had the ability to see things that were happening? I was pretty sure that her name was… I drew a blank. I couldn’t remember to save my life. Provinia. Provinia would remember because she remembered everything. She would know the name of the girl.

I whispered in her ear, “Provinia! Wake up!”

When she grumbled, “Huh?” and then moaned, turning on her side, I tried to stop sounding so desperate. But that was how I was starting to feel: trapped, like a caged animal.

“Who was the girl-the one who can see what is going on right then…? The thing called Scrying… What’s her name and what does she look like?” I asked quickly, as though it was a matter of life and death. I knew it wasn’t, but I was anxious for any news I could have.

She started to rub her eyes, yawning. “Candance with black hair. Why?”

I didn’t answer, having already whipped away from her bed and searching the other ones for the head of black that Provinia said she had. There was no one here with black hair. No one. Not one person. I started to feel the edges of panic on the horizon, nipping at my anxiousness and feeding on the fears of my family. I just knew instinctively that something was wrong with them, that nothing else mattered except being able to see them, at least for a minute.

I stepped into the hallway without hesitation, taking a deep breath to calm myself. I needed it. I was aware that I sounded like a wild thing, like someone who was going insane. Rushing to the breakfast hall, thinking that was the only place she could be, the only place someone would be this early. I ran into someone, who caught me and held me up, and without whom I would have fallen. I had to look down to see the great strength that had kept me upright, and saw the raven strands I had been searching for only moments ago. She was smiling, but looked startled by my errant appearance, and concerned for my well-being.

“Candance, thank the Nameless god I found you.” I started, my voice increasingly edgy with each word. I imagined that I sounded on the verge of hysteria. “Could you please help me? I know that you can Scry and I was wondering if you could help me by seeing if my family was all right. I’m really worried about them.” All of my words blended together, strung like one sentence that you were unable to distinguish.

“Whoa, whoa, calm down.” She set a hand on my shoulder, comforting me. “Just tell me what’s going on.”

I was out of breath by that point, and had to take in deep ones to keep from blacking out. The edges of my vision was starting to go dark, but I kept focusing on her, and each moment passed with clearer eyes.

“Could. You. Please Scry. On my. Family?”

She was startled by my question, and hesitated before answering. “I don’t know…”

“Please.”

“No.”

“But why?”

“Because I said no.”

“That’s not a real reason.”

She groaned at me before frowning. “Fine,” she gave in. “But after today’s competition.”

“Why so long?” I whined.

“It drains me of a lot of energy to Scry. I need my strength for today. But after. I promise.”

I thought through it and bobbed my head. At least she was giving me what I wanted, instead of saying no forever. I didn’t know what I would do if she had said no permanently. But I wanted to know now how they were doing. Of course my father and mother would be sleeping, but it would be a relief to see them. It would help give me strength for today. Before I started the biggest change of my life. So far it had all seemed like a dream, but I had a feeling that today would make it all seem very real.

“But what if there was a way for you to have your strength after you drain yourself?”

“I don’t think there’s any way for that to happen. I would need to sleep for at least five hours. And eat.”

I thought through it. Would it be worth it? I knew that the answer would already be yes, but I had just wanted to make sure. I had a way to make sure that she would be up to her full strength just in time for the competition, a way for both of us actually, since I hadn’t slept well at all last night. My dreams had been littered with nightmares, of a Henry that was cruel.

I gestured for Candance to follow me. “Come on.” When she didn’t, I saying, “I’m going to make sure that we’re both at full strength. Scry for me.” I waited a second before asking a question. “What do you need to Scry?” I had no clue. I had never heard of someone who could see what was happening somewhere else at that very time. Of course, I didn’t think there was anyone else with the powers anyway.

“A basin to hold water.” She looked suspicious of me. “How do I know that you’re not just Scrying to make me a weak opponent for the competition?”

I told her simply. “Because, if you were a weak opponent, I wouldn’t get any satisfaction out of beating you. It would be no indication of my skills as a fighter of whatever else they have planned for us.”

 

Once we were in the bathroom, I was nervous. Candance had ordered a servant to bring her a bowl of water and some salt, and was sitting there cross legged on the floor. Her eyes were closed, and I had an urge to stare over her shoulder and to see if there was anything in the ripples of the water. She had explained to me how her gift had worked. She would concentrate on the place, and focus on the ripples of the water as they became pictures to her. All it looked like to me was just plain water that you drank and regular table salt.

She had told me that it wasn’t the ingredients that were important, though they could have an effect, it was the person performing the ceremony. Apparently some people were the only ones who had this blessing, which I knew that it was. I would kill to have her gift because there were no downsides that I could see. It didn’t force anything on you, only controlled by will, and the more control you had the better you got. It seemed like the best one out of them all. She could see for other people, only having to lay her hand on you to convey the visions she wanted you to see. I guess that it included a small amount of mind control.

I rocked on my heels behind Candance, listening to her mutter nonsense and words that were made up. Her breathing was deep and even, and she looked like she was on the fence between this world and the next. It was a pleasure and a privilege to look at her do this. She was tranquil. Her eyes snapped open suddenly.

She held her palm upward, seemingly in a trance, and pressed mine into hers. My vision went dark and I saw a flash of dark green light. I chased after it, swimming towards the surface of what I knew would be my home and my family.

 

My mother was lying on her side, hands on her not yet swollen stomach and my father had his arms wrapped around her. I could tell that underneath the covers their feet were intertwined, and it was bliss on their faces. Their was no trace of sadness, despair, anger in their expressions. I felt with a sudden realization that they didn’t care that I was gone, that maybe they were even glad I was gone.

My father would think of it as one less mouth to feed, that he had another chance to raise the perfect child. He had probably vowed to themselves that he would keep my existence a secret, that he would pretend as though I never existed. All of my previous drawings from when I was a young child were no longer hanging on any of the walls, and a single tear fell down my cheek.

I was yanked out of my parents’ house into the bathroom of a castle two hundred miles away, still wondering what I did wrong if they didn’t any longer want me.

After, Candance tried to console me, but I felt like a zombie. I had no motivation to do anything, moving slowly. She was limping and stumbling almost every couple steps, and I was holding her up. What a pair we must have looked like, worn and exhausted, and completely done.

“You promised that you would give me what I needed, energy, after. I need it now.” Candance prompted, and reminded me at the same time.

We fell into a non rhythmatic step in the hallway that sounded more like stomping than walking. Candance called out for a guard, for a servant, for anybody to come and help us. A guard appeared from what felt like nowhere, and I walked over to him slowly, in a trance.

“Give me your arm.” I commanded and he did as I said. Sylvilla had instructed everyone to do exactly as we had said.  We were to be treated almost like royalty.

I had to concentrate for the first time in my life fully on drawing his energy from him. I had to be careful not to drain too much, or he could die, but I felt as though I needed as much as he could provide, not counting I had to give Candance some as well. I pictured his life energy drawing from his heart in an electric blue line, flowing down his arm and into my hand. I felt a warmth I had been lacking, but I didn’t care.

I continued until the guard faltered, and waved him away, thanking him silently. I turned to Candance and gave her my hand, much like we had earlier, and focused on giving her part of the same electric blue that had flowed into my moments earlier.

She gasped as it made contact, breaking out of my grip when she had had enough. “That was the most awesome rush I have ever felt!” she exclaimed.

I gave her a, “Mhm.”

She gave me a slap that rocked to my very core, leaving a handprint and a very red cheek in her wake. “Wake up; I mean seriously.” She rolled her eyes, seeming like a very different person from earlier.  “If your parents don’t want you anymore, don’t care. Forget them. You’re in an amazing castle with fifteen other girls who are willing to be your family instead, and you’re sitting here moping. My parents don’t like me either, and I don’t care.”

Her words must have gotten though to me because I woke up, as if from a very long and deep sleep. I sighed and gave her a smile, saying, “Alright, I’ll try.”

And I did, because I wasn’t about to let my parents dictate how I felt.

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