My Disloyal Followers

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Hello! Remember how I said I would soon be coming up with more bribery to earn more followers for my blog? Well, I finally got around to taking pictures.

Let me give you some background information first. My mom is a jeweler, and therefore I too make jewelry. Two years ago, I think it was, my friends and I decided to make a club over the summer, where we would sell earrings and donate the money earned to veterans. Usually, no one thinks about veterans.

We made the, but we have a few left over. I decided, to give you guys two of these pairs for free. I have one condition though.

This is a raffle. Each follower will have their name added once into the drawing. BUT. If YOU get another person to follow, such as one of your friends, then YOUR name will be put in once more. One more for each new follower YOU help me get.

The drawing will take place once I have 50 followers.

So yeah. Get your friends to follow!

Also, when I draw the names, I'll need your address if I'm going to send a pair to you. So make sure it is okay with your parents! : D

The earrings:

Made of copper wire, sponge coral beads, copper beads, and crystals.

Made of copper wire, copper beads, agate beads, and fresh water pearls.

So yep! Followers!

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Hunger Games

Well...I'm sure everyone was really excited for the movie, huh? I'm not really a THG fan, but I have read the books and I went to see it yesterday morning with one of my friends.

So you know how I don't really like THG?

Well I LOVED the movie. It was really well made. I can't tell you what exactly made it so enjoyable to watch, as I am not really a movie person, but I can say it was an amazing movie and I would love to see it again. I do recommend it, if you have not yet seen the movie.

And Haymitch was awesome! I love Haymitch. Everyone is on Team Gale or Peeta, and I am so Haymitch. My only problem was that he wasn't drunk enough in the movie! He needs to be drunker. Like falling around, and etc. But he still was really funny. I love when that woman is yelling at Katniss for shooting the apple, and Haymitch walks in and grins really big and gives her a thumbs up. Everyone started laughing then.

Anyway, if you haven't seen it yet, I suggest you do! It's an awesome movie.   : D

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Competition Round 4 Results

Good job Contestant 6! You won by just four points!
Ideas for how to make the finale exciting?

Contestant 3 ~

Nope! Chuck Testa
It was officially the weirdest day of Cricket’s life. She was sitting in science class, same as usual, when her teacher announced they were going to watch a YouTube video. Okay, first of all, since when could anyone access YouTube at school? Not even teachers were able to do that. And second of all, why a YouTube video? Why not like, TeacherTube or something? Cricket was seriously feeling puzzled.
“Don’t worry about taking notes. This video is in no way relevant to anything we are doing,” Mrs. Rotthammer was saying. “Just sit back and enjoy.”
Cricket shook her right ear, wondering if she had heard correctly. This was seriously unlike Mrs. Rotthammer, who was known to be a no-nonsense, strict lady. She stared at the Smartboard in a daze, as a YouTube video popped up on the screen.
“Oh my goodness! We’re seriously watching this?” Billy asked in an excited voice. “This thing is so funny!” Cricket shivered. Billy’s idea of funny was probably Caesar escaping from jail and running down the street wearing an ape suit, passing out bananas. Caesar was the scariest gangster in Santa Martina, and if Billy found that funny, Cricket wasn’t sure she wanted to watch this video.
Mrs. Rotthammer shushed the class with her expertise black magic skills and clicked the weird isosceles triangle that was supposedly a play button. Cricket widened her eyes.
“This is a song about a taxidermist?” she whispered to Billy, who was sitting next to her.
“Wait really? I thought it was just some old bald dude playing with puppet animals and singing. It’s about a taxidermist? Way cool!”
Cricket rolled her eyes. That was typical Billy nature. He had no idea what was going on, as usual. She decided to put her head down and tune out the annoyingly auto-tuned song. The bell rang just as the video ended.
“That’s all guys. No homework! School’s out!” Mrs. Rotthammer called over the noise of slamming binders and zipping bags. Cricket waited patiently in her seat as her classmates stampeded out the door. When the classroom was empty, she stood up, slung her back over her shoulder, and walked out with an air of dignity.
Cricket walked on and on for a while before she realized she had no idea where she was going. She turned to her right. She turned to her left. Cricket couldn’t recall ever having seen this place before, yet she felt like she’d been here before. Maybe it was déjà vu. Or maybe not…
Cricket spun a wild 720° and somehow ended up facing a completely different direction that she had been facing before. Wondering how that’s even possible? We all know that 720° is two 360° turns, so she should have been facing the same direction she had started off with. Well, she would like to tell you that it was a result of her mad ninja skills. Jealous yet?
The wind blew suddenly and Cricket realized where she was, just like that. Hint: perhaps in this context, wind symbolizes ideas. Another hint: it doesn’t. The wind is there for fun. Blame global warming.
Anyways, back to our story. Cricket realized she was at the History Museum. She had come here before with Sammy and Casey, when they were trying to contact a taxidermist about a missing condor. That was one of the best days of Cricket’s life.
In case you didn’t know, nostalgia is quite a strange thing. Right now, it hit Cricket with force and she decided she was going to go visit the taxidermist. Now pay attention ladies and gentlemen, because this is where it gets really weird.
For as long as Cricket could remember, Lester Blunt had been the one and only taxidermist in the city of Santa Martina. So obviously, when Cricket walked into the taxidermy office, it was only proper that she would call out, “Lester Blunt?” Being one for proprieties, Cricket was about to do this. She opened her mouth to call this out, but something else happened. The moment she set foot in the office, she let out an ear-piercing, glass-shattering shriek. She was face to face with a deer, a coyote, and a pheasant.
Cricket staggered backwards, clutching the doorframe with one hand and her chest with the other. It was quite uncomfortable, take her word for it. She gasped for air and slowly started breathing normally. Unfortunately, however, Cricket was not given much time to recover because a majorly bald, old dude with a lichen green colored shirt stepped out from behind the walls and grinned at her. And then… he began to sing.
“You probably thought this deer was alive, and this coyote was alive, and this pheasant was alive,” he started. Cricket nodded, thinking he looked mighty familiar.
“Nope! They’re dead. They’ve been taxidermized by Chuck Testa.” * Insert suspicious eyebrow raise from Cricket here* “I specialize in the most lifelike dead animals anywhere.”
Realization dawned as Cricket realized this psycho singer dude was from the video they had watched in science that day.
A fat guy walked out and pointed at a standstill truck with an antelope sitting inside. “Look at that antelope driving a car!” he exclaimed.
“Nope! It’s just Chuck Testa!” the old man sang, popping out from behind the antelope.
Cricket was starting to get a little freaked out. “Um, I think I get it!” she assured them.
“Aw man!” a girl’s voice snapped. “I didn’t get to play my part yet!” The source of the voice, some teen girl with strawberry blonde hair stomped out. “The economy is down! I want my money back!”
Cricket was most definitely frightened now. “I should be leaving right about now…” she said.
“Wait! It’s tea time!” Chuck Testa exclaimed in a creepily happy-go-lucky voice. Chuck Testa began to morph into some clown with a make-up caked face and an Abe Lincoln hat. The other boy completely disappeared.
“Mad Hatter?” Cricket asked disapprovingly.
“I only make $20 a week, okay? If you want to see something more fascinating, drop your donations in my hat.”
“Um… no thank you,” Cricket responded politely.
Chuck Testa who was now the Mad Hatter muttered a curse under his breath. “Cheap people with high expectations. Figures…”
Cricket was now annoyed, irritated, vexed, and irked. “I’m just going to go now,” she stated with complete firmness.
The Mad Hatter frowned. “Fine. Be that way.”
Cricket scrunched her eyebrows in confusion. Nobody stopped her as she walked out the building and back home.
And that was how this day was one of the weirdest days in Cricket’s life.
What? You’re wondering what the point of that story was? Well, Cricket would like you all to know that her life isn’t super amazing. Not everything that happens to her has a purpose. That’s how most things in life are. Pointless. Cricket would like us to politely laugh at her oh so interesting story and move on with our lives. She thanks you all for wasting your time reading something so pointless, and wishes you a good day.
Creativity ~ 8 Well. That was pretty creative. I like how I had no clue what was going on.
Vocabulary ~ 7 It was pretty good, but no words really caught my attention.
Sentence Variety ~ 7 It all flowed well, though maybe if you could add a little more detail, that would be cool.
Character Development ~ 6 I think you could have elaborated more on them, I really didn't get any of the characters. And this wasn't really the type of story that you were supposed to know as little about the characters as you can.
Action ~ 7 Cool. XD I still don't know what went on in the story.
Final Comments ~ Haha. I enjoyed reading this. Maybe getting stupider as you write isn't that bad. :D I love how all of your stories have that kind of ridiculous side to it. You received a 35! Good job. :)
Memories of a Dying Betrayer
When I joined Kronos' army, I never thought of myself as a betrayer. I don't know what I thought, really. But now, as I take my last breaths, my head resting in Clarisse's laps, my mind wanders back into the past.
~Flashback 1~
I was wandering around in the woods. It was a short time after Clarisse had left for her quest to get the Golden Fleece. Percy, Annabeth, and Tyson had also sneaked off, so the woods were unusually empty. I was just walking around out of boredom when I heard a soft rustling behind me. I turned to see Luke stepping out of the bushes.
"So Silena, how's everything going?" he asked me, grinning. I felt a rush of anger. Luke was a traitor. He had joined Kronos, turned against us, and here he was, acting as if all this was completely normal. I tried to put on a mad face as I said,
"What do you want Luke?" Problem was, Luke looked really cute. He was tall and muscular, he had blond hair with light brown streaks, beautiful blue eyes, and a friendly smile. I couldn't help smiling sweetly at him. It was obvious that Luke knew his looks had an effect on me. He brushed his hair out of his face.
"I want you to spy on the kids at Camp Half Blood for Kronos." he pleaded. “Please.” He looked so cute and charming that I finally gave in.
"Here Silena." Luke handed me a silver bracelet. "It's your communication device. Anytime you find important information, just use it to contact us." He then showed me how to use the bracelet. When I had mastered that, he slipped away behind the bushes and left me to my thoughts.
~Flashback 2~
"You ain't touching Silena, punk. Not unless you want to get pulverized! Why don't we try that out. I can practice for when we fight Kronos!" Clarisse yelled at Travis and Connor. Ever since I'd given her advice for her relationship with Chris, she'd become my friend, making sure that if someone did anything wrong to me, they'd get pulverized. I'd learned that Clarisse was a great person to hang out with if she appreciated you. When she mentioned Kronos, I suddenly felt really guilty. All this time, while she was protecting me, I was being a backstabber, spying on our camp.
"I feel sick," I said. Then, before anyone could say anything, I ran off into the woods. Luke, I need to talk to you. Luke stepped out of the bushes as I was thinking this.
"Luke. I... I don't think I can do this job anymore. I don't think it's right."
"Silena. You can't back off now. I promise, you're saving lives this way. Fewer people will get hurt this way. I promise." Luke told me. I knew I couldn't back off. I wanted to believe him, so I nodded. "You're doing great Silena. It's for the better." Then, Luke grinned and left.
~Flashback 3~
Beckendorf and I had been together for a while. I never thought I would find somebody I loved so much. Every once in a while, I would feel guilty about being a spy for Kronos, but I couldn't bring myself to tell Luke. But this particular day, I decided to do something about my condition. So, I went to go talk to Luke, same thing I'd done when I befriended Clarisse. When I got to the bushes where I'd met him both times before, I found him waiting for me.
"I know what you want to say Silena." Luke said, holding a hand up to stop me from talking. "You can't do it. You can't back off."
"I have to. I feel so guilty, cheating Clarisse and Charles and the rest of the campers! I'm serious, I'm quitting!" I said, and tears started rolling down my cheeks.
"My dear Silena, you know Kronos will kill you the minute you quit. No warning, nothing. One second, you're relieved because you think you've done the right thing,. next second... you're gone." Luke said. "But... if you still want to back off, then it's fine with me. I can summon Kronos." He moved his finger towards a special button on his bracelet. Terror took over me.
"Nonononono! I'll continue my job!" I cried.
"Alright then. But if you ever decide against that, I'm always ready." Luke told me. I didn't answer, I just ran back to my cabin.
~Back to the Present~
Now as I die, I regret my decision. I probably could have saved many lives if I hadn't continued spying.
"Charlie, see Charlie," I mutter. Then I take a last breath and fall asleep forever.
Creativity ~ 7 It was an interesting idea. Though, I could DEFINITELY tell it was a fan fiction. ;)
Vocabulary ~ 7 You could have used more.
Sentence Variety ~ 7 Same as the Chuck Testa one. :)
Character Development ~ 9 That was really good! I really got Silena there.
Action ~ 8 I think just a little more excitement would make it perfect.
Final Comments ~ PJ fan fictions are always awesome. :) You scored marks of 38. Good job!

Contestant 6 ~
Princess of Herself
“Sorry, I won’t take the offer. I’m happy where I am.” She said stiffly, her rigid blue eyes staring coldly at the lady perched on the couch in her sofa. Her arms came across her chest as her eye-brows furrowed into what was known as “the look”. It was the only look that she gave- and it was when she was extremely pestered.
“Mother, Father,” she said, giving them both her look, “I’m not leaving Missouri. I have my friends here and here is where I’m staying.”
“I’m sorry Mrs. Latin…” Her mom said, dipping her head sideways and letting out a long sigh to the lady on the couch. “Lila dear will you leave us for a minute?” Her mom smiled at Mrs. Latin but then she gave a blunt stare at Lila.
Lila stood there for a heartbeat, listening to the thud of her heart against her chest. Then, she stomped up the stairs. When she heard talking resume, she quietly crept down and eavesdropped on the conversation.
“I’m quite disappointed in Lila- she’s usually not this…” Lila’s mom was searching for something to say. “This way.” Was all she could blurt. “We’re definitely moving to California, and not even Lila can stop us.” Lila’s mom, Cherry, looked towards her husband for support, but her husband remained still.
Mrs. Latin sighed and put her hands in her face, leaning over.
“I’m terribly sorry. I feel exasperated right now. Do you mind if I have a little talk with Lila?” She asked.
“Oh, of course not, please, help yourself!” Cherry said, moving swiftly off the couch and coming towards the staircase. Alarmed, Lila fled up the staircase with deathly silence.
“Lila dear, please come down, Mrs. Latin would like to speak to you!” Cherry said, pausing to glance at her husband’s disapproving face. “What?” She hissed to him. “At least try and smile!” Her mouth lit back up into a smile when Lila came down, the look still written across her face.
“We’ll leave you two alone, now.” Cherry said, dragging her husband up the stairs.
“Caroline Lila Mary Jones, nice to finally meet you in privacy.” Mrs. Latin started, her voice down to a hush. Lila took a step back, her arms uncrossing and a look of confusion in her startled face.
“How… do you know my full name? I thought you were just a real estate agent…”
“Dear Caroline, I am here to invite you to Honnsworth Preparatory Academy.” She whispered, a smile escaping her lips.

You could say that Caroline Lila Mary Jones was a girl full of many interests. She was born in Washington D.C., and then moved down to Texas where she had one boyfriend whom she still missed with all her heart. She was skinny- had just a little fat around the stomach area and she carried these beautiful blue eyes that sparkled wherever she went, catching the eye of any stranger. Because she was just fourteen, her height was average- perhaps a little shorter than average. Having curly hair made her look just like the normal popular girl at any middle school. After a round-up in Texas her family and her flew to New Jersey where she became best friends with a girl named Jenny and close friends with a boy called Derrick. The only other thing I would advise you, as the reader, to understand about Caroline Lila Mary Jones was that she was special.
Very special.

“I’m sorry, I don’t do Prep. Academies.” Lila said flatly, her lips unmoving. “I go to public schools, for an FYI.” She looked directly in the eyes of Mrs. Latin and the stare back made her shudder a bit. The house was oddly quiet.
“Lila, you probably don’t’ know this, but you are a very special girl.” Mrs. Latin said quietly, taking off her glasses.
Lila shifted her feet uncomfortably under Mrs. Latin’s stare. “I already know that- I can do things that others can’t…”
“Like…?” Mrs. Latin started.
“Well believe it or not I can talk to animals!” Lila blurted out loud, and then covered her mouth, her eyes open with surprise. “Sorry I didn’t mean to say that-“
“It’s alright, darling. I expected you to do be able to do that, seeing your attitude.”
Lila was dumbfounded. She cocked her head sideways and glanced at Mrs. Latin.
“Um… Mrs. Latin? Are you really a real estate agent?”
Mrs. Latin guffawed. “It took you quite a while to realize I wasn’t, darling. Now come with me.” She said, offering her hand. Lila took a step back, shivering with anxiety.
“Where are we going?” She asked.
Taking her hand, Mrs. Latin smiled at Lila and started walking with her in circles. “Lila, we are all people of magic. People of Magic, or POM as we call ourselves, cannot go to school with People of No Magic, or PON as we call them. Therefore there are several schools constructed for magic! You are one of those POMs, invited to attend OUR school.”

Now here as a typical reader reading typical books you might expect the main character, Lila, to shout, ‘that’s not possible! This is hogwash!’ And run away from her as fast as possible. In this case however, Lila believed every word that Mrs. Latin said and was adamant on going to one of these special schools.

Mrs. Latin stopped walking in circles and turned to Lila. “Here we are- the School of Honnsworth!” She exclaimed. Lila opened her eyes and gasped- it was an amazing scene- trees that had leaves of gold, sidewalks that were moving (like those moving belts) and children crowding all over.
“Come this way, and quite quickly please, Lila.” Mrs. Latin said, moving through the crowd of students. Lila looked at some of them and noticed each of them either had a blue hat or a purple hat. She caught the eye of a prissy girl and the girl turned around to gossip with her friends. She tried to keep up with Mrs. Latin but was caught within the tussling of students as they rummaged to find class after class.
“Excuse me, will you mind telling me what you’re doing without your hat?”
Lila turned around to face a young, handsome, boy about one year older than her. His facial expression was dark and bold as he stared down at her- and there was a challenging look on his face. Dark hair and green eyes mingled in his complexions as Lila stared at his hat color- Purple.
Lila coughed slightly. “I’m sorry, kind sir,” She added hastily. “But I don’t go here… umm I was supposed to be with Mrs. Latin…”
The cold look transformed into a warm, gentle, loving stare. “Oh! You must be a new student here.”
“I’m not sure, to be honest. Mrs. Latin just took me here.”
The boy bowed low and brought himself back up. “Mrs. Latin is our dean of students! She’s awfully kind and helps out all of us, wouldn’t you agree?”
Lila didn’t answer- she kept staring at his full eyes, moving from side to side and searching her body for answers to who she was. She looked down hastily.
“I really ought to be finding her now. I think she had something important to show me.”
“Well, I’m Victor. If you DO come to this school, come see me. I’m the head of the purple family.” He winked at her and she felt a warm feeling creep up her throat. Holding Victor’s offered hand, she was dragged by him through the crowd of students till they reached an empty hall.
“Down the hall to the right is Mrs. Latin’s office. She’ll be waiting, I suppose.” Victor whispered. Lila felt uncomfortable- he was still holding her hand. Sweat trickled down her forehead- she was suddenly feeling a bit hot as he drew her into him. For a split second they both said nothing- only looked into each other’s eyes and felt the air between them decrease as they became closer and closer. Lila closed her eyes… what was this feeling? Then, their lips met. It was a slow process- First his mouth going over hers lightly, and then enveloping hers totally. Then drawing back and going back in. She felt his mouth taste of sweet vanilla and cinnamon and just wanted more. They held each other for a split second, and then this time Lila started it, diving into his mouth and sucking his lower lip for a brief moment. She didn’t know what feeling it was that overwhelmed her- she had just met him! Then, he broke off, smiling giddily and laughing as he released his hand.
Winking, he said nothing and disappeared into the crowd.
Taking a deep breath and realizing what just happened, Lila went into Mrs. Latin’s office.
“There you are! I was testing you to see if you could find your way here!” Mrs. Latin said, smiling.
“Well, here I am.” Lila said bluntly.
Mrs. Latin smiled. “Now, let’s get enrolling!” She said excitedly.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa.” Lila said, taking a step back. “I never said I wanted to come here.”
Mrs. Latin sat there, a stupid look over crossing her face. Then she folded her arms neatly.
“That’s certainly all right! Just give me a ring when you want to come.” She said, shoving her phone card inside Lila’s pocket. “Listen closely, girl.” She suddenly snarled, pulling Lila in. “There will be… others who want you to come to their school, alright? But just remember Honnsworth!” She said, pushing her back. Lila frowned, recalling her last words. Others? What others?

“Lila, are you alright with us moving now?”
Lila opened her eyes. Mrs. Latin was sitting across from her, her arms still neatly folded. Shifting her weight from side to side, Lila could still feel Victor’s lips in hers and wanted to go back to that beautiful moment. She stood up, and felt the crinkling of the phone card in her pocket.
So it wasn’t a dream after all. Cherry and her husband came up the stairs.
“Yes I believe it’s alright for us to move.” Lila said, a bit faintly after the experience.

Lila fumbled with the phone card in her bed, staring at the simple number.
All I have to do is call her. And then I get to see Victor. She thought. It was the tenth time she had imagined Victor again- in her arms and up her lips. The want to see him was so terrible she couldn’t stop thinking about what Mrs. Latin had said.
Suddenly, her cell phone rang. It was the simple, big “bang boom” tune her cell phone usually gave off and she picked it up.
“May I speak to Caroline Jones?”
Lila paused and looked down at the number. It was un-recognizable. She wondered if she could reply.
“Yes, it is Lila speaking.” She tried softly. There was a pause at the other end and Lila could sense it.
“Lila, I’m sure you had an encounter today. With the School of Honnsworth.”
Lila fumbled with the phone card. “I did. Are you one of the ‘others’?” She asked.
There was a sigh and then: “I am. Now let me ask you, Lila. Did you somehow get lost at Honnsworth? And then did you meet a boy?”
“…how did you know?” Lila asked, beginning to feel nervous.
The speaker ignored her question. “And let me ask you, did the boy kiss you?”
T hat question made the butterflies go out against Lila. How did she know? She did not respond to the question, so the speaker assumed it true.
“Listen to me, Lila. Mrs. Latin got you lost on purpose. The boy kissed you on purpose. (At this part Lila closed her eyes and shook her head vigorously.) It is all a plan to get you to attend Honnsworth.” The Speaker rasped.
“So?!” Flared Lila. “What if it is? What if they wanted Victor to kiss me so I could go there?! At least I’d be attending the school Victor goes to!”
“You wouldn’t be with him- dear.” The speaker softened up. “They would isolate him and save him for the next girl to kiss- to lure her into Honnsworth.”
Lila felt like her heart would shatter. “What’s bad about Honnsworth?”
“Don’t go there. It is full of malicious people who trick their students. I am here to invite you to Elesmere. If you would like, I could offer you a three-night stay to see what it’s like.”
Lila gave a shrug, even though she knew the lady couldn’t see her. “I know now that time is frozen when I enter the schools,” she thought. “but is it really worth 3 days?”
“I’ll give it a try.” She thought. “When do I start?”

Lila opened her eyes. She was standing in front of the largest crowd ever- students upon students upon rows upon rows of students. And they were all staring at her.
“This is our newest student, Caroline Lila Jones. She will be staying with us for 3 days to try out Elesmere . Now I want you all to make her feel welcome as if she’s a new student here.”
There was lots of cheering from the crowd and Lila felt amazed at how these students transferred from the real world here.
“For now, Lila will be staying in Planet Jupiter!” The lady, Mrs. C., announced.
There was roaring and cheering from the left side of the room and Lila felt a sweep of pride enter her- she had a supportive Planet!
“Lila,” Mrs. C introduced after the announcement. “I am Mrs. C., counselor of Elesmere. Here we are divided into Plants- going by age. Mercury being kids at age seven and Pluto being kids at age 18 and older… I assume you would be about the age of… fourteen?”
“Absolutely correct.” Lila said, feeling a bit more comfortable with Mrs. C than Mrs. Latin already.
“Very well then, I will let you explore on your own and have the kids in Jupiter help you out- classes start tomorrow morning at 6:50 am strictly!” She smiled.

“Hi Lila! My name’s Rosaline… I’m fourteen too!!”
Lila spun around to face a rosy-cheeked girl with a handsome smile and long, dangling, curly light brown hair that went to her waist.
“I’m Samantha.” Announced a blond, slim, girl with eyes of sapphire. “Elesmere is a GREAT school- much better than Honnsworth!” She whispered softly and Lila giggled. “When I auditioned there, a handsome boy kissed me!”
“Me too…” Lila said, disappointed Victor had not actually liked her.
“Don’t worry.” Rosaline said, seeing Lila’s expression. “There are plenty of boys to go around her at Elesmere, but magic is our number one priority.” Immediately, she flicked up a flame with her finger and Lila’s eyes went round.
“This is our dormitory. Across the hall there are a couple of boys I know whom I could introduce.” Added Samantha, raising her eyebrows at Lila, who blushed.
“What about all my clothes and toiletries?” Lila asked.
“Don’t worry they’re all provided.” Samantha said, starting to braid Lila’s hair. “Rosa, help me put some make up on her.”
“I don’t do make-up.” Lila blurted, flinching when Rosaline shot her a frown.
“It’s okay- it’s only a little mascara, eye liner, and lipstick.” Rosaline said. Her tone had definitely changed. Lila bit her lip. Would her new friends abandon her just because she didn’t wear make-up?
“Come on let’s go see those boys.” Samantha said, dragging Lila down the hall and knocking on the door.
“Who is it?” Yelled a voice.
Samantha giggled and Lila shot her a frown. “It’s Samantha and Rosa!” She called.
“Sam, Rose, go away we’re practicing magic!” Yelled a new voice.
“AND it’s Lila, the new girl!”
There was no response. And then, moments later, the door slightly opened. “Come on in- but hurry. Don’t want ole McArthur catching us.” Whispered a boy. Samantha pushed Lila and Rosa in before slamming the door behind her. The light opened up and Lila saw four boys- three of them had dark brown hair and one of them light hazel hair. All of them were handsome and had blue eyes staring at her.
“Hello.” She whispered softly.
“Don’t worry Lila.” Said the first boy, Nick, with the light hair. “We don’t bite.” He took a step forward and shook her hand. His shake was confident, but he avoided looking into her eyes. Eventually all the boys met Lila and they broke off into a more comfortable conversation with Samantha and Rosaline- the two girls were obviously frequent visitors and it looked like both Samantha and Rosaline had their eyes on Jake.
“Hey Jake want to go get a soda with me?” Asked Rosaline, wanting to steal him from the crowd. Jake shrugged, and got up to go with her. Samantha’s eyes flared and she followed them, shutting the door and leaving Lila behind with Nick, John, and Ryan. She shifted her eyes uncomfortably as silence dwelled between them.
“So… how do you like Elesmere so far?” John asked her.
“I’m getting used to it.” She replied honestly. “And I think that there are some really nice kids here. I can’t wait till training tomorrow.”
“I hope we share classes. I really look forward to spending some quality time with you.”
The sentence was awkward for both Lila and for the other boys. John started to stand up and went to the bathroom. Nick rolled his eyes, apparently knowing what was going on. Lila stood fixed to the ground, until Nick coughed.
“Well, aren’t you going to go?”
Lila looked at him. “Go where?”
“Go to the bathroom! With John!”
“That’s DISGUSTING!” Lila cried.
“No! no… no… never mind.” Nick said.
Lila hesitated. John WAS handsome. She did want to meet him more. Besides, she only had three days here. ‘Here goes nothing.’ She thought, and got up slowly. She turned the doorknob to the bathroom, and opened the door.

“Hey there.” He said. Like Nick said, he was sitting on the sick, kicking his legs back and forth. “I just need to get to know you more and I can’t do that with Nick and Ryan in the room.”
Lila smiled, feeling her heart pump a bit more and more. He hopped down.
“So, where are you from?”
“Missouri. Texas. Washington D.C. New Jersey. Everywhere.” She sighed and sat down. “I was born in Washington D.C.” She finally said. “How about you?”
John got up and sat next to her. “I was born in Colorado. What’s your favorite hobby?”
Lila thought about the question. “I LOVE horseback riding. It’s just been in me.”
“I swim. I’ve been doing it for about 9 years now.” He said, leaning back against the wall.
“Wow!” Lila said, having a feeling of leaning into him. “What magic do we learn here?”
“Well, you have to start off with the basics- defense. And then during offense lessons, which I’m a majority into now, you can choose what you want to learn.”
“That’s amazing! What are you learning right now?” Lila pushed; suddenly aware he was staring at her full, red, lips.
“How to breathe under water… I’m sorry are you wearing make-up?” he asked.
Lila looked down. “Samantha and Rosaline made me.”
“No it’s nothing bad- I think you look REALLY pretty in it.” He said. Lila smiled, and then hugged her knees. “I CAN’T wait till training tomorrow.”
It was true. Lila wanted to put her gift into use- not spend time babbling over math and language arts. John moved closer to her and put his arm around her. She tensed, and then backed off. He was just being friendly! When she didn’t do anything, John stood up with her, holding her hands.
“Look, Lila. I have no idea where you came from or how you got here, but you are like, the kindest and most beautiful girl I have ever met.” He breathed.
Lila gulped down her saliva. “Thanks.” She whispered. She knew he was going to kiss her- his mouth was so close. They were so close- bodies almost touching. He was staring at her lips so intently she almost felt as if he was going to bend over and lick them. ‘Funny.’ She thought. ‘I’ve never had such powerful romance thoughts outside of here. Is this magic?’
The thought over took her. Was John part of Elesmere’s luring technique? How did Rosaline and Samantha someone just leave? Was this a trick too?
But before she could think any more, their lips met. Her lips clung tenderly onto John’s lips as he hugged her tightly. Pushing and pulling apart, Lila never knew someone could kiss so tenderly yet forcefully.
Finally, after minutes, they broke apart, still in each other’s arms.
There was nothing to say- nothing to think about. Lila was in love.

The sun lit up the window- rays of light streaming into Lila’s dorm. She opened one eye and sighed, remembering where she was and a part of her missing home. She got up and quickly took a long, hot shower, feeling the wet drops of water soak on her skin. She felt a surge of excitement throttle her as she imagined what the day’s magic lesson would be on. She quickly put on her make-up (she had taken brief lessons with Rosaline) and pranced down to her first lesson- defense.

“Shields are the most basic form of defense.” Mr. N, the instructor, said. He had a thick, curly mustache and round, white, glasses and bulging green eyes. The small potbelly he had rounded out of his stomach area so that he had to wear suspenders- and he was pretty short with the fact that he wore size 14 shoes. “They defend the most basic forms of offense, but can break easily after the power increases.” He continued, pausing to move his suspenders up. Lila held back the temptation to yell: “How do you do it!!??” Instead, she kept quiet and let Mr. N continue.
Walking around, he lit the candles. “To begin creating a shield, beware that some of you are more naturally gifted than others. You must be in a peaceful environment, and you must control your inner fire.” Mr. N kept talking, explaining on how to create a small, medium, and intense shield to the other students.
Control your inner fire… thought Lila, closing her eyes and focusing on her breathing… in and out, in and out. Someone jabbed her in the side and she opened her eyes, preparing to glare at her neighbor. It was a young girl probably in Planet Venus. Her eyes were round with innocence as she tugged on Lila’s sleeve. Lila bent down so her head was level with the young girls.
“Yes?” She asked quietly, trying to keep on her patience.
“Please. Please teach me how to do it.” She whispered.
“What? Teach you what?” Lila snapped, rolling her eyes as tears almost came out of the little girl.
“You did it- you made the shield.” She whispered.
Lila stood up, complete shock overcoming her. What was this hog-brained girl talking about? She had done it? To prove herself, Lila went over to the corner while the other kids started talking and playing around. She stared at the candle… how the flame flickered to one side while licking its way around the other… dancing on the wax as mounds of it dripped down.
I am untouchable… there is no one who can harm me… She thought, intense lights flashing in her mind. There was a brief moment of silence in the room, and then a bright yellow aura began to shine around Lila’s body, at first faintly glimmering but then bursting into a humongous bubble, flaring each time as Lila made a moment.
“My Maloney!” Shrieked Mr. N. “She’s got it! She’s made her shield!”
The students paused as all eyes were on Lila. Mr. N stumbled over, his belly bouncing with every step. “Now, Lila, carefully try and see if your shield will follow you with moment. Keep the thoughts in your head- keep being peaceful…”
How can I keep peaceful with you jumbling in my ear? Thought Lila, but she kept her mind clear and walked around the room. A brief murmur started in class as the students followed her, trying to break her “bubble”.
Finally, the shield dwindled down to nothing, and the class erupted in cheers- some angry she was so naturally gifted and others impressed.
“My, my, miss Lila. You are a natural, aren’t you?” Mr. N said, stroking his beard. Lila shrugged and blushed as the little girl she had spoken to earlier came up to her and crossed her arms over her chest, sticking her tongue out.
The bell rang, making the bustling of students going out the door a rampage.
Lila, thrilled she had mastered her first class, was eager to proceed to the next. Skipping down the hallway, she looked at her schedule:

Schedule for Ms. Lila Jones- Planet Jupiter: BEGINNINER
Defense Class: Mr. N
Animalism: Mrs. R
Lunch Break
Fire: Ms. L
Water: Mr. K
Afternoon Break
Elective Choice: See the back
Note: If you are tardy to class your Afternoon Break will be taken away. If you fail to commit to a class, you shall face Ms C. If you feel you deserve to move up a level, see Ms. C or the head of your Planet.

Animalism, huh? Thought Lila. The normal thrill she usually had erupted as she walked towards class. Her hike was pretty far- outside of the building and deep into the woods until she saw a simple and small building perched on a hill. She saw the staircase climb and felt the challenge already rising up in her.
“If you would like, I could fly you up there.” Said a silky voice. Lila turned around to see a Pegasus with purple wings and a shimmery body. Her mane was silver- with gray strands entwined together. Her eyes were a clear blue that stared intently on Lila as she waited.
Lila felt a smile creep up on her. This was what she was born for.
“How did you know I can talk to animals?” She asked as she climbed on the Pegasus.
“Oh we animals can tell.” The Pegasus said, a hint of amusement in her voice. Lila felt herself being lifted from the ground as the Pegasus soared up through the sky, dipping up and down through the air. Lila felt the wind ruffle her hair and felt the Pegasus’ wings flapping, defying all laws of gravity. They hit the pavement and Lila slid off, bowing low.
“Thank you so much.” She added before the Pegasus launched away. Lila turned and saw the other students still climbing- their faces red with agony. She couldn’t get away with a smirk as she skipped inside the building.

“Animalism is more than caring for animals and talking to them. It is about understanding them and feeling them- all of you are here because you have this gift.” Mrs. R stated, looking directly at each of them.
“Now in this class you will learn how to call the animals to your help and not only that but you will get to interact with all of them. At the end of the year you will get to choose an animal companion to share forever.”
There was a burst of whispers in the class, Mrs. R smiled.
“Now I’m glad you all are excited, but beware that you will not only have to choose the animal, but the animal will have to choose you.”
The class was silent. Lila felt her heart burst with sadness. The end of the year? She would be gone tomorrow!
Unless you stay. She thought. She already loved Elesmere- not only the people but the classes. Yet she knew there would be other amazing schools out there ready to prepare her full magical potential.
“Follow me class!” Mrs. R said, bounding into the forest with incredible speed! Laughing, Lila followed her.
“You look new here.” Said a voice behind her. It was a boy who belonged in Planet Mars.
“I am.” She said, dignified. “My name is Lila, yours?” She asked, determined to make one friend in her classes.
“I’m Mark- do you have an animal in mind to share?”
“I’m only going to be here till tomorrow.” Lila said, a little too quickly for herself. She looked down as she felt Mark’s shock. Then she raced away, trying to keep up with the others.

“Class, this is Megan. She is our wonderful horse and she is an Arabian brown and white pinto. She is very shy and quiet but protective over her herd. Know her well and respect her. I will let you all dwell in the horse plains for a couple of minutes.” Mrs. R announced, and then stepped aside. Lila breathed slowly, sensing Megan’s nervous tension building up. She avoided eye contact as she stepped into the plains. Megan snorted wildly and trotted away quickly, nickering a warning to her friends. Mark caught up with Lila, panting.
“Jeez Lila, what’s wrong with you leaving tomorrow? Can’t we be friends for one day?”
Lila didn’t reply. She was just focusing on Megan. She closed her eyes, trying to communicate with her through telepathy. It was too hard- students were swarming all over her, petting her- talking to her. Lila glared at them and decided to peer at the other horses. Most of them shied away from her except for a beautiful black bay gelding.
“Hello there. You’re beautiful.” She whispered to him as she stroked his star in the front. He nickered softly to her and rubbed against her back.
“Mrs. R,” She asked, turning to her teacher. “Why don’t they talk to us?”
Mrs. R looked up. “Oh, I forgot to explain, how silly of me! The animals won’t talk to you children! Not till they sense something in you that they can trust.”
There was an “oh…” from the crowd as many moved away to other horses.
But the Pegasus talked to me. Lila thought, still stroking the black horse’s mane. Does that mean she trusts me?

Lila didn’t get a ride down from the Pegasus- however she sensed she was being watched by the beautiful horse as she nimbly leapt off the stairs. The question kept tugging at her at why the Pegasus would talk to her as the Lunch bell rang. Eager to meet and talk to her friends, Lila pelted off to the Jupiter’s lunch room. There she hugged Samantha, Rosaline, and sat down, explaining all that had happened. However, she kept the Pegasus part a secret- part of her did not want to tell them.
“So you’re going to stay?” Rosaline asked her, half munching on a hamburger.
Lila shrugged, feeling uncomfortable with the topic. “Did you guys see any other schools before choosing Elesmere?”
Samantha thought about it. “Yes I saw Rowath Academy. I saw this CUTE guy there.” She added.
Lila rolled her eyes impatiently. “Well how is the school? And the classes?”
Samantha took a deep breath. “The classes are different there- each group of students has one teacher and that teacher teaches them everything. To me that’s not right because then you won’t really go into depth with one topic, you know?”
Lila shrugged as she turned to Rosaline.
“I saw Groth School. It’s an all-girl school.”
“Well that sounds interesting.” Lila added.
Rosaline wrinkled her nose. “You LIKE an all-girl school?”
Lila thought about it. “John’s nice and all,” she started, “but there are other guys out in the real world. Besides, I came here to learn magic.
“Psh!” Rosaline threw a hand at Lila. “Elesmere has it ALL- great magic and the boys.” She winked, but Lila didn’t give her the wink back. She kept eating the rest of lunch in silence.

Ms. L was a tall, powerful, woman with blond, curly hair. Her eye-glasses were oval and through them her piercing brown irises glared at all the students.
“Fire is dangerous.” She began, her voice ringing out into the hall. All the students were standing behind a pot of fire burning inside. “Fire can be destructive. But once you can play with it, the real magic begins.” She said, her tone lifting with excitement. “If you let the fire drift too much, it can go wild. Control is the key word.”
Control. Lila repeated to herself, staring at the fire dancing inside the kettle.
“Soon you will be able to make fire balls, fire animals, and much more.” Ms. L said and whispers of thrill lit up in the students.
“OPEN THE KETTLE!” She roared loudly and the students all opened the door to their kettle. “Is there anyone brave enough to… touch the fire?” She asked, looking around.
“I shall!” exclaimed a voice. All the kids spun around to look at a buff girl in planet Uranus. She knelt down and prepared to put her hand in the kettle. Ms. L’s eyes flared as she quickly stepped down the staircase.
“Now, Karina, don’t be so brash here, just take it easy- Karina careful!” She said as Karina put her entire hand in the fire.
“OW! THAT BURNS!” Karina said, snatching her hand out of the fire and blowing on it. The students shrieked as fire began to form on her hand. Karina let out a death-defying scream and bellowed all around the classroom.
“KATRINA! DO NOT panic!” Ms. L shouted at her, picking up her pace to her hand. Lila watched curiously as Ms. L put her hand over Katrina’s hand, and the fire left instantly. Her head was full of wonders over the fire. She looked inside the kettle- the fire was almost taunting her, laughing at her for being a coward. Taking a deep breath, her hand advanced in the kettle.
I shall control you… She thought as she placed her hand through it, wincing a bit for she was expecting a burn.
There was a soft tickle on her hand- a warm sensation that climbed up her arm. Lila scooped up the fire and brought it out, her heart beat in control and in rhythm. She stared at the fire still burning in her hand, now and then it flickered as if to go out and sometimes it flared as if to spread, but she kept is steady the whole time.
“Excellent class! I am glad to see some of you picking up the fire! Remember the key word! Now, Lila and Lily I want you to try and transfer the fire from hand to hand.” Ms. L said, watching Lila nervously. Looking at the fire intently, Lila poured it in her other hand, the flame getting a bit smaller before coming back to life. Then, Lila cupped her hands together and then instantly brought them out. Fire erupted through her hands- she had made a fire ball! It was spinning tightly in her hands. Lila began to panic. She didn’t want to make a fire ball she just had wanted to see if the flame would have gone out! She lost her control, and the fire spread out. The last thing Lila heard was screaming and Ms. L’s enchanting voice over the crowd.

“Lila. Lila. Wake up.” Lila felt someone smack her on the cheek and her eyes flew open. Samantha and Rosaline crouched over her, their eyes filled with worry.
Lila’s hand moved to her cheek, feeling the burn.
“Ow.” Was all she said getting Samantha and Rosaline smiling.
“Thank goodness- we thought you had passed out there for a second!” Rosaline said. “John left a couple of hours ago.” She added meaningfully. “He didn’t want to miss his class.”
Lila sat up, alarmed. “What class is going on right now?”
“Afternoon break.” Samantha said. “Sorry but you’ve missed your 5th period class.”
Lila hung her head. She had missed her water class. Pain swelled in her neck and she rubbed it painfully. “What happened?”
“Well apparently you freaked out after you made your fire ball. Ms. L said you went into a panic attack and threw the fire ball up in the air making the light bulbs crash and then you fell, hitting your head on the desk.” Samantha summed up.
“Quite a story there.” Said the nearby nurse, coming up with a remedy in her hands. “Here, drink this. It’s Lavender Rosemary Juice. It’ll help with the pain.” She said, a worry line creasing in her forehead. Lila drank it slowly and obediently. She got off the bed and jumped a little bit, testing her mental and physical confidence.
“I think I’m good.” She said to the nurse. “Come on Sam, Rosa, let’s head back to our room.”
Hand in hand, the girls walked back to their room and sat on their beds, all in silence.
“Well we still have one class left after the break. It’s elective.” Lila said, keeping the spirit up. She looked on the back of the paper. There were tons of choices.
“Oh gosh which one do I choose?” She asked aloud.
“I picked dance class. You can join me.” Rosaline said, imitating a ballet spin. Lila shook her head.
“What about orchestra?” Asked Samantha. “I am playing the viola.”
Lila sighed as she looked down the list. Something caught her eye. Elite Training. She looked up.
“What’s Elite Training?” She asked.
“Oh- that thing.” Rosaline said, yawning. “It’s only for those who have mastered the highest offensive class there is which is bringing back the dead. Then they go into this squad thing called Elite Training. Quite boring anyways.” There was silence. “You’re not thinking of doing it, are you? You’re not even allowed to!” Rosaline said, amazed. Lila shrugged. Why not give it a try? She thought.

“LILA JONES. REPORT TO MS. C’S OFFICE NOW.” Came the overheard intercom. Lila looked at the ceiling and gave a huge sigh. She hopped up and gave a small wave to Samantha and Rosaline before skipping down to Ms. C’s office where she pushed open the door.
“Hello Ms. C.” She said with her most mature tone.
“Greetings Lila. Take a seat here and we’ll do some talking.” Ms. C said, smiling warmly as Lila took a seat. “Now tell me, how do you like Elesmere so far?”
“It’s been great!” Lila said honestly and openly. “Much better than Honnsworth. Besides, there are great classes and students here!”
“Did you take any particular interest in a student?” Pushed Ms. C. “Any… boys?”
“Oh yes.” Lila said, laughing as she said it. “John is handsome- he’s a great kisser.”
“That’s fabulous!” Ms. C said, her cheesy smile making Lila feel a bit awkward.
“Now unfortunately we said we’d give you three days but just in case you ARE going to a different school you can’t learn too much from us here so we’re going to have to send you home now.”
Lila blinked. All she had heard was the tick and tock of the nearby clock.
“Sorry?” She asked, implying she hadn’t heard correctly.
“You’re going home right now.” Ms. C said gently. “Remember, if you want to come back here to see John or anyone else again, it will have to be a permanent attendance. Now here’s our phone card-“ Ms. C stuck her phone card inside Lila’s pocket. “And you can be on your merry way.”
“But wait I don’t-” Lila was cut short as she found herself on her bed.
“Lila, dear! Wake up!” Came Cherry’s voice.
Lila gave a deep sigh. Was all that a dream? There was only one way to test it. A faint glimmer glowed around her body- it was her shield. So again, it wasn’t a dream. Lila smiled and pulled out Elesmere’s phone card, imagining herself with the Pegasus and John- and Samantha and Rosa. And the fire and water. She sat, and waited. For the next school.

The next morning, Lila sat up, still thinking she was in Elesmere. The pang of not seeing John, Samantha, and Rosaline made her sigh deeply. She trudged downstairs and when she saw her parents she flung her arms around them in a great hug.
“Uh… well then… here’s a letter for you, Lila.” Cherry said. Lila snatched it away and quickly opened it. In it was bright, flamboyant letters.


Lila opened her eyes and gave a great big sigh. This was the third time she was at a school. This time however, she was at the front of a huge castle. The stones were painted purple and pink- the drawbridge had a huge smiley face on it and she frowned, not used to the kiddy treatment. She remembered Samantha’s experience here but tried to put it out of her mind as she walked in, trying to make the best out of her one day here.
“Greetings Ms. Jones.” Came a sweet overtone. Lila looked up at the speaker above her and felt awkward looking at the big, black speaker. “We have tested your magical ability and it seems you fit in best in Classroom 985- Mrs. Jewel’s classroom. I hope you find this day wonderful, magical, and inviting. If you need anything, speak into the intercom, have fun!” The speaker shut off and rolling her eyes, Lila set out in search of Room 985.

After fishing around for minutes or so, Lila’s eye caught the numbers 985 from the corner of her eye. Excited to learn something new, she raced towards the classroom and tried to open it. It would budge.
“Password, please?” Came a voice above her.
“I’m new here and I belong in this class.” Lila guessed, impatient. There was a buzz and she sighed, knocking politely on the door. There was frantic shouting in the classroom, and then the door slightly budged. A face popped up- it was a young girl about the age of eight and she looked at Lila, raising one eyebrow.
“Mrs. Jewel, there’s someone out here!” She cried loudly.
“That’s alright sweetie let her in.” Came a warm voice like honey. Lila swept in the classroom and was surprised to see half boys and half girls- all of different ages. She surveyed the students and found that most of the girls looked extremely girly and cared so much about their appearance while there were some cute boys around.
“Everyone, this is Lila Jones and she’ll be staying with us for the day. Lila, we were just learning about shields and defense- do you know how to perform that task?” Mrs. Jewel asked.
Lila closed her eyes and a shimmer of yellow burst around her. There were gasps from around the crowd, and then cheers.
“Excellent!” Cried Mrs. Jewel, smiling widely. She went on lecturing about the important of shields while Lila started thinking about Elesmere.
“Since everyone knows how to get their shield I think we can move onto invisibility.”
Lila’s mind snapped into focus. Invisibility! Perfect to spy on anyone- any school. She listened intently as Mrs. Jewel taught them the concept of being a then sheet of paper- flying away with the wind so that no one cares or sees you.
“Invisibility isn’t quite so easy, darlings.” Mrs. Jewel said, seeing Lila’s effort. “We will be working on it for the next week.”
The next week?! Lila exclaimed to herself. Gosh this pace is so slow! She treats us like we’re little kids!

“Hi this is Caroline Jones, may I speak to Ms. C?” She spoke politely with manners. There was a bit of movement on the other side before there was a clear voice.
“Hi Lila are you ready to enroll in Elesmere?” She asked nicely.
“I think I am!” Lila said, heart pounding with excitement.
“That’s wonderful- now I’ll need you just to come over here for 2 straight days to seal the pact and sign on the paper.” Ms. C said. “I look forward to seeing you again!”
“As do I.” Lila said quietly, before pressing the end button on the phone. She was officially enrolled in Elesmere!

Lila skipped down the hallway till she stopped at her original room. Slowly, she opened it, and then screamed.
Screamed with delight as Samantha and Rosaline rushed in her arms, giving her a humongous hug.
“OMG I totally knew you would stay at Elesmere!” Rosa said delightfully, squealing with laughter. “We’ll be the best trio of friends!” Samantha added.
“Oh gosh this is so exciting! Ms. C said that I could take a tour of the school today and start my classes tomorrow.” Lila told them.
Rosaline gasped in awe. “Do you want us to help show you around?!”
“That would be amazing!” She agreed and the three friends skipped away together.
Samantha and Rosaline showed Lila everything- every inch of Elesmere. They toured her around the ball room where the monthly dances were, they took her to the archery practice room, the dining room, each planet’s main hall, the secret passageways they knew from place to place to escape discovery, and they even detoured her to the garden.
“Is that all of Elesmere?” Asked Lila when they came back to their dorm.
Samantha looked away. “Not really. There are other places- like outside of the forest. And the dungeon.”
Lila sharply turned her head. “There’s a dungeon?”
“There’s nothing in it right now.” Rosaline said, a bit too hastily that confirmed Lila’s suspicion of their secrets. “Only people who have been here for a long time can go down there- we haven’t gone at all.”
Lila looked away. “I can’t wait for training tomorrow. It’ll be amazing.”
“I’m sure it will be!” Rosaline added, to take away suspicion from what she said. “John is SO eager to see you again- he’s been jumping about it for all day!”
“Where is he?” Asked Lila, eager to see him also.
“He’s not here.” Was all Samantha would say. Lila frowned, and narrowed her eyes, but continued the talk about her daily life and her experience at Rowath. In the back of her head, she knew something was going on with Elesmere- and her friends were keeping it from her.

Lila looked at the map for Elesmere. She noticed there was no dungeon sign on the map which made her more suspicious. Then she caught something with her eye- Elite Training class was in the Widow’s Window Room. Samantha and Rosaline had sworn it was haunted, but Lila wasn’t so sure. For her elective class she had chosen Foresight. She felt she needed to know her future and be aware of it.
It was 2nd class, and Lila was just on her way to Animalism when she caught John trudging into the nurse’s office. Panic flew over her and she followed him. She caught up to him and spun him around.
“John where in the-” Lila’s sentence was cut short as she saw the state he was in. Blood had been splattered all over him- a deep gash in his stomach. Her eyes widened as he was ushered to a bed and nurses crowded around him.
What in the world is going on? Something’s up. I’ve got to figure it out before I become a permanent member of Elesmere!

Lila tiptoed around the nurse’s door. She was taking a great risk by missing her Lunch break. She knew Samantha and Rosaline would be looking for her, but she didn’t care much. She put her ear on the door but could only hear muffled conversation:
“I couldn’t- can’t you see me? Attack… lost. Are you kidding? Hard. Dangerous- dungeon. Just some people.”
Lila frowned. It sounded like he was in a battle!
“Don’t bring her into this. No. New- it’s okay. Lila’s-”
Lila almost gasped upon hearing her name. She was certain it was Ms. C talking about her. She leaned in to try and grasp the whole conversation.
“She’s new. She could have been the spy.”
“Stop talking about Lila like that- she could never have.” John defended and Lila felt a swell of happiness in her.
“Anything can happen. She could have been working for Honnsworth.”
There was silence and Lila felt confusion and hurtfulness rise up in her. What in the world was this spy thing about? She heard footsteps coming to the door and panicked. She fled the scene, confusing thoughts still swirling around in her head.

Lila slowly walked back to her room. She had tons of fun practicing her powers, but didn’t feel comfortable around all the people. She opened the room door and walked in quietly. She was sure Samantha and Rosaline were with Jake and the group, so she didn’t look up or say anything. Then she stopped at her bed and looked up. It then hit her in the face. All her belongings had been thrashed around, ripped apart. Her bed mattress had been flipped over- all her letters that she had kept were ripped open and shredded on the ground. Her diary was open- the pages were fluttering in the wind. Her makeup supplies were spilled on the floor and all her combs, brushes, and toiletries had been tussled with. Lila stood there, wide eyed. Then, panic began to flood in her. She looked around the ground, making sure nothing had been stolen. She put everything back into place and flipped her mattress back around. Nothing had been taken. Confused yet angry, Lila slammed the door behind her. She had someone to visit.

Lila ditched her elective class and headed straight to the nurse’s office. Frustration was boiling inside her as she cut across the grass and opened the door quietly. Some nurses were just heading into another room so she ducked past to the last room. Entering, she closed the door and locked it.
“Lila what are you doing here.”
It was a statement, not a question. John’s tone was monotonous as he looked at her with his eyes. She sat down next to him and held his hand, pretending as if she knew nothing. Then she leaned forward and kissed him long and romantically on the lips- her plan was going well. It was to lure the truth out of John. She kept kissing him till he responded- by kissing her neck and all around her face.
“I’ve missed you.” He said simply. Lila didn’t respond, only kept kissing him.
“Something happened to me, John.” She started. He tensed a little, but relaxed.
“What’s wrong?” He said cautiously.
“Someone broke into my room and crashed up my stuff. Nothing was stolen, but I think it was a prank.” Lila said. John didn’t meet her eyes. “John?” She asked quietly. “Do you know what this is about?” She waited for his answer. When he didn’t start talking she started to lean forward and kiss him more- her lips slobbering all over his face and down his neck. This brought it out of him.
“Alright Lila I’ll tell you but don’t tell anyone, alright?” He said, whispering. Lila sat back up and nodded vigorously, her heart pounding.
“Okay. So there’s a reason why all the schools are trying to persuade students to come there.” John started, hesitating a little. “It’s because they need the strongest students for their school. Why do they need strong students? It’s for the competition- the battle.”
There was a pause- the silence was heavy in the air.
“The battle is against all the schools of magic. The schools send 12 representatives to the Center of the Earth to kill the other students.”
Lila’s eyes widened. Kill?!
“The last student who remains is the winner. The school gets the fame- a trophy, and the title School of Magic.” He finished softly. Lila let out her breath as he continued.
“Now I went to spy on Honnsworth the other day- to see what was going on over there and how their training was going. But they apparently knew I was coming over there and they sent a student after me- they tried killing me but I survived and stumbled my way back here.”
At the thought of John almost dying, Lila put her hand over her mouth to pretend she immensely cared about him.
“There obviously is a traitor within us.” John murmured. “They suspected it was you- because you’re new. So they probably went through your stuff to try and find out.”
All this news dawned on Lila- so that was why Honnsworth and the other schools were trying to get her to come. The more options, the better the chance.
“That’s stupid! Who kills other students just for a trophy and title?” Lila exclaimed. John smiled, expecting it.
“It’s more than that. It’s been a generation of battle for the schools- each one claiming they are the better school of magic than the other. Each year when this takes place, it proves to the others that they are the best.” John sighed.
“Who won last year?” Lila said, hesitating.
“Honnsworth. Apparently the boy-kissing technique worked on all the girls and the girl-technique worked on the boys. Elesmere doesn’t approve of the luring technique.” John said.
“Then what is Elsmere’s luring technique?” Lila pushed, raising one eyebrow. She saw hesitation and a bit of panic in John’s eyes.
“Having good magic teachers.” Was all he said. “Did I tell you enough?” He asked weakly. Lila smiled.
“You told me enough.” She said, leaning forward to give him his reward. Lila and John kissed for the next hour.

The next morning after defense class, Lila hummed happily to herself all the way to Animalism. When she reached the forest she was looking forward to seeing her Pegasus and talking with her. She scanned the forest- looking for a beautiful purple and silver horse with wings. Nothing caught her attention- except she felt she was being watched. Slowly she spun around and caught eyes looking at her. They disappeared under the log, and panic seared through Lila. A spy! From another school. This was her chance to prove herself to Elesmere!
“Reveal yourself!” She cried out loud. Nothing moved. There was rustling- and then a huge fireball was thrown her way. With a cry of anguish Lila skipped out of the way and launched a fireball back. It crashed into the trees and started to light up the forest. Her eyes widened and she started breathing slowly, willing the fire to coming back to her. Slowly, the wisps of smoke found their way back to her and she made a fire sword. By now she could see her intruder- it was a boy of age 17 perhaps. His eyes were smoldered with anger as he created fire whips, lashing them out at Lila.
“How dare you spy on us!” Hissed Lila, charging at him with her sword. She was pushed back- the whips cut her on the face as she swung her sword blindly in front of her.
I need help! She thought to herself. Any animal out there! Please! Help me! She thought frantically as the fire whips entrapped Lila in their flames. Suddenly there was a piercing neigh- and the sound of hoof beats. Lila and the intruder both turned their head to see the Pegasus snorting, changing at him. Her body turned into a glow of purple as she reared up and let out a death defying roar, lashing out her front hoofs at the intruder’s face. The man yelled as he created a flood of water that poured into the forest, soaking Lila to her knee. She weakly stood as her Pegasus fought definitely against the man. Finally he was blown out from a kick of the Pegasus’s right front leg. The Pegasus snorted with defiance and galloped to Lila.
“Thank you, oh thank you!” Lila cried, throwing her arms around the Pegasus.
“All in good favor, my dear. The people from Honnsworth are very competitive.” The Pegasus responded, bowing her head and restoring her wings. She glanced at the passed out man.
“I suggest we bring him to Ms. C and report the news.” The Pegasus suggested. “I shall do that. You hurry to class and tell Mrs. R.” with a snort, the Pegasus hauled up the man on her body and soared away, leaving Lila to race up the stairs and frantically report Mrs. R her first fight.

“Charlene helped you?” Mrs. R said, raising one eyebrow and looking at Lila with disbelief. “The Pegasus?”
“Her name is Charlene? That’s beautiful! But yes, she saved me from the intruder.” Lila said, smiling grandly at the thought of the Pegasus helping her.
Mrs. R gave a huge sigh. “Well you’re lucky Charlene favors you! Usually she leaves all the children alone and dwells deep in the mountains… anyways class! Class today you will be assigned a very special project! In the hat I have the animals that are living on Elesmere campus. Choose one and for the next week you will spend time with that animal- and notice their behavior, food, personality, reactions, etc. Then next week we will present!”
The class gave a huge sigh, but Mrs. R didn’t notice. She held up a hat.
“Each of you will pick an animal out of the hat! Please, form a line!”
There was pushing and shoving to be in the front until Lila found herself somewhere shoved in the middle.
Please don’t take Pegasus. Please don’t take Pegasus! She prayed as the first girl went up. The line slowly moved up, each student either groaning or celebrating. The girl in front of Lila agitatedly moved up and put her hand slowly in the hat, shuffling the papers around till she found one and opened it.
“Pegasus!!! Yay!!” She cried, jumping around. Lila felt crestfallen as she walked up. She stared into the hat and saw a crevice of blackness. She stuck her hand in there and felt around for the right paper- the right time. Finally she took it out.
“Horse.” She said softly. Horse? Well, she presumed it wasn’t THAT bad. But she still wanted the Pegasus really bad. The class poured out into the field- each of them looking for their creature. Lila jogged all the way to the pasture where she saw Megan and her herd grazing in the field. She slowly opened the gate and sat in the very corner, away from the horses. She took out her pen and paper, and began to observe. A shriek made her head spin around and she saw a young girl try to pet a tiger. Sighing, she watched the beautiful horses from afar.
Not moments later did Megan’s head tilt up and see Lila. She snorted in curiosity and trotted over.
“What are you doing here young one?” She asked quietly.
“It’s for a project.” Lila replied. “I was assigned horses.”
Megan blinked and then nickered softly, pawing the ground.
“Well if you’d like, we can go for a ride.” She said, her tone lifting.

“Water is not like fire- it is, in fact, the opposite.” Mr. K said, pausing to glance at his students. “As I already have told you, to control water you have to move with the motion. Repeat after me: move with the motion.”
“Move with the motion.” Lila said softly. She was eager to be able to play with water. Watching Mr. K’s movement as he swayed from left to right with the water just in front of him, she felt hypnotized with the movement.
“Once the water is responding to you, you can shape it and play with it in any form.” Mr. K said, and in a flash he had created a humongous water ball. The students gasped and the cheered. The water melted away.
“Alright students, let’s give it a try.”

“Lila, do you, by some funny chance… know about the Competition?”
Ms. C stared intently into Lila’s eyes- just in case Lila had decided to lie to her.
“Yes.” She said honestly. “John told me.”
“Now Lila would you be interested in being one of the twelve?”
Lila sat there, looking Ms. C straight in the eye.
“Say that again? Me? One of the twelve? Is this a trick? I thought that only experienced magicians could represent Elesmere.” Lila said.
Ms. C laughed. “Many questions, Lila. No, this is not a trick. Most of the time only experienced magicians can represent us, but with your natural talent, as I heard from many of your teachers, and the experience with the intruder and talk with the Pegasus, all agree you have a great talent. With a bit of training I think you could fare well in the competition.”
Really? Thought Lila. Or are you trying to get me killed?
She bit her lip. “I’m not sure… after all I could be killed… I could never see my friends or family again.” She reasoned, trying to get Ms. C’s initial reaction.
Ms. C sighed. “I know the pain of representing us, but it is an honor, whether you live or not. Give me your answer in two days. If you choose to, you will immediately go into elite training forces. If not, you will just continue your regular school day.”

Lila lay in her bed, staring up at the wooden board in front of her. Her thoughts were racing with confusion- and an unknown longing to be home with her parents. She had learned so much- in so little time. She had come so far, with such little effort. She turned sideways and took a deep breath, looking out the window with the moon light wavering in the sky. There was movement outside her door. Frowning, she got up and opened the door, looking outside.
“Hello?” She whispered quietly. “Anyone here?”
She saw a shadow slip away at the end of the hall and her curiosity got the best of her. Tiptoeing quietly across the hallway, she turned invisible, scanning the room for more evidence. Nothing. Her heart beat slowed, and a sudden calmness took over her. Nothing was here- nothing would harm her. Yet a twinge of uneasiness fell over her as she returned to her bed. Something was brewing outside.

Arching her back, she pulled the string tighter till she thought it would break. Images of fire rose in her mind and the tip of the arrow caught on fire. And then, she launched. It struck the dummy right in the left eye.
“Excelling work Lila!” Exclaimed Ms. L, clapping her hands together. “You’ve come a long way.” Lila didn’t smile- only watched as the dummy lit on fire- and then exploded into ashes.

“The monthly ball is coming up next week.” Samantha giggled excitedly to Rosaline and Lila as they sat during lunch, munching on their food.
“I want someone cute to ask me out.” She finished.
“No one will, are you kidding me?” Rosaline teased, rolling her eyes. “They’ll all want Lila.”
“What are you talking about?” Lila asked innocently.
Samantha sighed. “Everyone knows you’re the top notch in all your classes- and everyone knows you could be one of the twelve. You’re not doing it, right?” She asked, biting her lower lip. Lila looked down, not replying.
“I’m sorry Sam. I’m doing it.”
Creativity ~ 9 This was really cool!
Vocabulary ~ 8 I liked your words. They added.
Sentence Variety ~ 8 I like how each sentence flowed, and it captured my attention.
Character Development ~ 8 Um...Lila seems kind of like a...never mind. But she just goes around kissing people she doesn't know!
Action ~ 9 WHOA. That was so cool!
Final Comments ~ I liked this! It was a pleasure reading it, it was exciting and you always wanted to know what Lila does next. You got a 42!