Twelve Years Before (prequel to Journey of the Star Bearers)

Fantasy story about a girl who lives on a planet called Starre. This is her life before the War...


3. My Fifth Year-First Day of School

AT THE AGE OF FOUR, CHILDREN ARE EXPECTED TO BEGIN TAKING CLASSES. After my adventure on my birthday school seemed like a boring idea. Boy, was I wrong. For a four year old child, practising controlling her powers of fire seems like the best thing in the world.

On my first day, I was introduced to all the people who had already started school, most of the children my age, including Danny. All of them knew who I was but none of them had ever actually met me. We started off by having a register and then just going around chatting, so I could get to know some of the people in my class. The first person I tried to make friends with was Freddy, the bully. I didn’t know what would happen when he tried to give me a wedgy! Let’s just say he never picked on me again. And might have gone home with singed hair, but the details aren’t important.

I crept away from him and went over to the only girl who wasn’t giggling over what I’d done to Freddy, Xena. She was sitting in a corner, reading, when I went to sit next to her. Someone caught my arm.

“You don’t want to sit next to her. She’s such a weirdo!” sneered the girl.

I pulled my arm free and went to sit with her anyway.

“Hi,” I whispered “My name is Kara, what’s yours.”

She put down her book and looked at me with startling grey eyes “Xena.”

From then on Xena was never picked on again, for she had been chosen by Camilla’s blessing.

After a rather exciting welcome, my Master entered the room and announced that as Miss Harcourt was retiring, he would be taking over our lessons. The next lesson was fire control.

We filed into the big hall, which had been set up to look like a forest.

“Ok listen up.” My Master announced, silencing the whole room “There are a lot of you in this class with a lot of different abilities at control, so I’m going to take you one at a time, in age order. Kathy, you first.”

The girl who had grabbed my arm stepped forward and was set a load of different tasks to test her abilities. When she had finished, my Master wrote something on a sheet and told her to stand in one of six tents that stood off to the side and went onto the next person. It carried on like this until February and Danny. Then he divided us into girls and boys and, within those groups, youngest to oldest. I was then standing at the front of the line of girls. My master told me to step forward and just have a go at summoning fire. I closed my eyes and visualised a flame in my hand. There was a collective gasp from the people around me. I opened my eyes to see a small flame dancing on my hand. My master pointed to the first tent and I went inside.

There was no one in here. No one had enough control to be in here yet, my master had told me. I sat alone in the tent for ten minutes when Xena pulled the flap back. I knew then that she was like me, more powerful than the rest. I didn’t know what, nor did she, but she had extra powers, like me.

We waited in there but no one else came so we just practised summoning and controlling fire, mimicking some of the exercises my Master had been using for the training. Inside that tent, we bonded and got to know each other. Xena lived in a house in the centre of the town with thirteen siblings, all boys. The oldest was Adam, twenty nine, then Brian, twenty seven, then Christian and Charles, the twins, twenty five, Daniel, twenty three, Elliot, twenty one, Fredrick, nineteen, George, seventeen, Harry, fifteen, Ian, thirteen, Jake, eleven, Kaelan, nine and Leo, seven. She was the girl her mother had longed for but she had died giving birth to Xena. Her father worked for the Mayor and was out most of the day so Christian and his girlfriend looked after them during the day. We decided never to go round to her house.

Finally, the bell rang and we ran out of the tent and looked round for Danny, only to see her walking home on her own. We ran over to her.

“Where’re you going?” I asked, confused by her actions.

“Nowhere.” She answered brightly, as if everything in the world was suddenly alright.

We walked home together, bonding, laughing and forming a long-lasting friendship.

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