By AllyTrish34, inspired by the FantasTeen novel of the same name.
Moonlight shadows glow silver on the navy blue night sky. Clouds shine as if pixies are living there. Lightbulbs in houses are turned on when the darkness comes. Nighttime wind blows in a quite low temperature.
The heart of Somerset, UK is Glastonbury. Just south from the debris of Glastonbury Abbey Church, something sparks weirdness. Purple smoke, the first thing to devise the weirdness. Glimmering pyrple, and exploding ever so slightly. This may intrigue and inspire fear in the security guards.
Tonight’s security guard is Mr. Bennett, a scaredy-cat old man. Spotting the shining purple smoke, he chooses to crouch in his security post, along with his five American Shorthair cats and a mug of hot marshmallowed cocoa.
If only Mr. Bennett didn’t chicken out and braved himself instead, he would see seven birds of different species, gathering together and morphing into seven fairies in the purple smoke.
A masked lapwing grows fairly curly brown hair and turns into Zachary Gray, clearly in his mid-twenties. He nods to a rose robin next to him, covered in billowing smoke and revealing her true self.
“Good night, Mildred,” she greets a young lady.
“There are only seven,” Mildred points out. “The superb lyrebird isn’t here. So is not the Vermont bird.”
“They can’t be present, Mildred! Anyways, the Vermont bird is called a hermit thrush.”
A bateleur turns into a stiff-faced woman. Mildred greatly dislikes her due to her strict nature.
One by one, the birds start shifting back. A drowsy harpy eagle transforms into a downhearted man. A canary turns into an Asian dude. A lesser ground cuckoo shifts back into an exuberant, corpulent guy. Last but not least, a great horned owl morphs into a gray-haired man, similar to a chubby Jason Murphy.
“Some are absent,” announces that man. “But, nevertheless, we’ll start this now. I’d like Mrs. DeLuca to open this.”
Mrs. DeLuca nods. She shuts her heavy-lidded eyes and swings her hand. The night’s air rumbles, giving a strange vibration. A Maine Coon cat opens its eyes, glowing electric blue. It witnesses the magic vibrations on the holy ground of Glastonbury Abbey. Faint blue light swirls to the beat of the ground’s breaths, creating circles and shimmering. Mrs. DeLuca takes in a deep breath.
“Espoma!” she cries. Mrs. DeLuca comes from Spain. When she was younger, she used to be a soprano in her choir. This causes her cries to come out deafening.
Behind the grasses, bubbly foams emerge. All participants of this event move back, yielding, avoiding the bubbles that spreads gradually and making a small lake.
Mrs. DeLuca goes breathless for a moment, but she nods. Others reach to grab their thin black wands. Each of them swings their hand and chants an uncanny song. Only one word is heard: “...Avalon, Avalon, Avalon...”
Alexander Bane stares into the dark pool. Then he nods, moving back. “Nine people, everybody,” he says softly. Others nod, inserting their hands into their pockets, pulling out an ice blue crystalline ball. Casting spells on the balls, and they soar upward in all directions.
Mr. Bane nods exhaustedly. “Now we just need to wait.”
A girl sits in front of the teachers’ office, unseeingly staring at her seniors dribbling a basketball and running around in jerseys soaked in sweat. She adjusts her earphone. Again, she’s bored. Just like yesterday and the day before. It’s been like this for the past few days. Peradventure, things aren’t going to change. Yeah, it seems like everything has been preset this way. Miele, that poor gal, sighs and stands up. She decides to go home.
A spherical blue stone rolls to her feet. Miele picks it up and examines it for a moment. Round and magnificent, a little bigger than a marble. What a beautiful stone.
Holding the ball, Miele is pleased. But suddenly, it electrocutes her! She lets go of her grip, shocked. The stone free-falls. Just before it hits the ground...BLAAAR!
Gone! Everything’s gone!
* * *
Miele wakes up to find herself in a place unknown to her, on her bed with her clothes – dark gray unbuttoned shirt, overlapping her white t-shirt underneath, and jeans. Light peeking from the curtains reveals to Miele that it’s morning. Her patent leather boots huddle on the floor, next to her bed.
“You’ve woken up?”
Miele looks over her shoulder.
A maiden with strawberry blond hair, holding a tray of scrambled eggs and pork sausages, mashed potato and broccolis, and a glass of milk, appears from the door. On the table next to the bed, she places the tray with food and drinks sitting on it.She sits next to Miele.
“Eat these, please. Bed service is only available on the first day. Starting from tomorrow, you’ll eat in the cafeteria.”
Miele only says that, because she’s surprised.
That maiden smiles, holding out her hand.
“Lockette Piff,” she says.
Miele shakes Lockette’s hand reluctantly, reminding herself that she’s nervous to meet new people. Lockette grins and takes a little breakfast for herself.
The sausages are roasted very perfectly, sending incredibly fragrant vapor upward. And the mashed potato is just about the right texture: smooth, soft, melting in your mouth.
“Delish, right?” Lockette titters. “Our chefs are from Italy and Mexico, countries famous for their scrumptious culinary. People say that the chefs used to be from China and France. But they bickered way too often because the French chef didn’t want to put too many food on the plates and the Chinese one said that the French was stingy.”
Miele laughs. “Really?”
Lockette giggles. “Really. I’m the witness,” she answers. She looks at Miele’s empty plate. “Finished? Wanna head to the hall now?”
* * *
The hall that Lockette mentioned is a spatially wide room, somewhat like a court. Miele and eight other faes, who she doesn’t know at all, sit on chairs horizontally. In front of them are older people. On the middle are a gray-haired old man and, next to him, a sour-faced woman. On the other side is a fat man. Lockette and two guys about her age stand up behind Miele’s chair row.
The white-haired old man, looking like Santa Claus, clears his throat. “Some staff isn’t here, but whatever, we’ll just begin this!” he says.
Of course the old man is Alexander Bane, the one who shifted into a brown owl. He smiles softly and it seems as if Christmas is coming to town. “Welcome, everyone! You are the chosen people to attend this magic school, Reign of Avalon.”
Miele can feel her jaw dropping. Magic?
“My name is Alexander Bane, head of this institute. This is the Glastonbury Abbey, located on Glastonbury, Somerset, UK. There’s a parallel dimension that opens once in four years, and this is where we are. You are going to be attending the practice for four months. Such an important priority, so magic keeps living on.”
A slit-eyed lady with short black hair raises her hand. “We don’t own magic, sir.”
“You don’t realize that you own magic,” explains the old man. “You will get the chance to ultimately realize it. Everybody has magic. But only few get to deploy it. You are chosen by the Glodscend, a water-blue translucent ball, which is crystallized magic. This year, we have nine people, and now, it’s time to get to know one another. Go ahead, Mrs. DeLuca,” he says, then sitting down.
The sour-faced woman stands up with a leather-smothered ring binder. “Listen! I am about to call out your names, according to the time order of when you received your Glodscends. Please, stand up!” she announces with an old-sounding voice.
She adjusts her reading glasses and begins to read a list of names. “Tanika Maud Shrivastava of India.”
A dark-skinned girl with hair as long as Rapunzel’s stands up doubtfully. She must be Tanika, the one called by the scary lady.
“Kenny Evans from Germany!”
A calm boy, sitting next to Miele, stands up. Next up is Alicia McVey, a blond gal from the UK.
Subtle murmurs spread among them. Each one has a unique story about how they got their Glodscends, which turns out to have different meanings.
Tanika’s Glodscend appeared in an Atlantic cod’s stomach when she was cooking. Kenny Evans won his as a present for making a website for a client.
Alicia McVey’s and Raphael Nash’s Glodscends landed on their laps after they won a competition each. Chase Csaplar’s Glodscend means that he has enhanced ability of communication. Abbie Shackelford got her Glodscend via an interaction with a sparrow, which symbolizes her talent of interacting well with nature. Louriza Tham’s Glodscend defines her negotiating abilities, while Corki Tsang possesses quite high cleverness.
Nervosity reigns over Miele, because she is the last one to get her Glodscend, and the way she did isn’t impressive at all.
“Well,” she mutters, when asked how she received her Glodscend, “the ball just virtually rolled itself to my feet, Just a coincidence, if there was one...”
Alicia McVey narrows her eyes. “What does it mean, Ma’am? A coincidence?”
Mrs. DeLuca, who has been defining the meanings of Glodscends, looks deep in thought.
“Two sweets in a sack...”
Miele looks over her shoulder. So does Mrs. DeLuca. Raphael Nash, an American teenage guy, who looks like Jace Herondale of The Mortal Instruments series, smiles and shrugs.
“Luck. I think that symbolizes luck.” He speaks with a Southern accent.
Mr. Bane laughs in his deep voice. “Luck. Correct, indeed. Of course, you’re all lucky to get your Glodscends. Miss DiBacco got hers without a medium. That’s very special. She has strong luck, like Mr. Nash said.
“Now, the time has come for you to start this practice,” he says cheerily. “Have fun!”
* * *
“Let me introduce myself, people. I’m Ace O’Neil,” says a brown-haired man. He points to his friends, standing behind him. “They are Riven Kirby and Lockette Piff. Just a note, these aren’t our real names; just our fae names.”
“We have our fae names? Sick!” cries a snobby-faced dude, Chase Csaplar.
Lockette nods. “After four months of practicing, you are going to have a farewell party and an official ceremony as faes, or fairies,” says Lockette. “There’ll be zillions of rules to obey when you become fairies, but they’re pretty easy to follow. Easier to get the license than attending the practice.”
“What are we gonna do for four months?”
Ace clears his throat. “Study, of course. There are a few basic magic, and you need to master them. You also need to attend classes. First off, Essential Magic with Mr. Carraro. Afterward is Telekinesis with Mr. Vega, the nicest teacher in the whole Avalon,” adds Ace.
“Then, Transformation will be taught by Mrs. DeLuca the Wrinkly Woman, the one who dictated your names just now. Poisons and Potions by freakish Mr. Thorne...you wouldn’t want to mess up with him. Defensive Magic by Mr. Carlo Moretti. Miss McLaughlin will teach you Curses and Black Magic. Mildred Talia Smith teaches Healing Magic and Austin Sousa does Attacking Magic,” he says. “There’s a lot to be learned in four months. I bet you can do it!”
Lockette blinks. “You have to be careful with all teachers. For instance, Miss Ainsley McLaughlin. Despite the fact that she looks like Taylor Swift, she may curse you and forget the antidote afterward.”
The newbies exchange horrified looks.
Corki looks downward, then murmurs, “How could we be gone away for four months without people searching us?”
Ace sighs. “Told you, this is parallel. We’re faes and Mr. Bane is a def fae. Avalon’s parallel is, like, like a gate to anywhere you wish. You can set where you’ll go to and go outside at, and when...”
Miele has been daydreaming unseeingly, biding her time to ask. Eventually, she raises her hand, saying, “Why do we understand one another’s language?”
Lockette shrugs. “That’s one of the trickiest questions,” she replies. “Avalon is indeed a little weird. I think, we might have been secretly equipped with a universal translator.”
“Whatever,” Ace says with a smirk. “Mysteries are more fun if they are unsolved. Now, we have to head to Morgenstern.”