Authors: Michelle Madow
Tags: #Teen & Young Adult, #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Fantasy, #Myths & Legends, #Greek & Roman, #Paranormal & Urban, #teen, #elemental, #Magic, #greek mythology, #Romance, #Witch, #demigods, #Young Adult, #Witchcraft, #urban fantasy
Book One in the Elementals Series
Published by Dreamscape Publishing
Copyright © 2016 Michelle Madow
This book is a work of fiction. Though some actual towns, cities, and locations may be mentioned, they are used in a fictitious manner and the events and occurrences were invented in the mind and imagination of the author. Any similarities of characters or names used within to any person past, present, or future is coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the author. Brief quotations may be embodied in critical articles or reviews.
The Elementals Series
The Prophecy of Shadows
The Blood of the Hydra
The Head of Medusa (coming June 29, 2016)
The Transcend Time Saga
The Secret Diamond Sisters Trilogy
The Secret Diamond Sisters
Diamonds in the Rough
Diamonds are Forever
To Kaitlin, for being an amazing roomie while I wrote the first draft of this book!
In the beginning of the new year, the Olympian Comet will cross the sky and the wall will grow thin. Five representing each part of the world will work together to restore the balance, the power of the Aether igniting them. The Journey will lead them East on the path to the Shadows, which will serve as their guide.
-Written on June 2, 1692 by Abigail Goode in Kinsley, Massachusetts.
The secretary fumbled through the stacks of papers on her desk, searching for my schedule. “Here it is.” She pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to me. “I’m Mrs. Dopkin. Feel free to come to me if you have any questions.”
“Thanks.” I looked at the schedule, which had my name on the top, and listed my classes and their locations. “This can’t be right.” I held it closer, as if that would make it change. “It has me in all honors classes.”
She frowned and clicked around her computer. “Your schedule is correct,” she said. “Your homeroom teacher specifically requested that you be in the honors courses.”
“But I wasn’t in honors at my old school.”
“It doesn’t appear to be a mistake,” she said. “And the late bell’s about to ring, so if you need a schedule adjustment, come back at the end of the day so we can discuss it. You’re in Mr. Faulkner’s homeroom, in the library. Turn right out of the office and walk down the hall. You’ll see the library on the right. Go inside and head all the way to the back. Your homeroom is in the only door there. Be sure to hurry—you don’t want to be late.”
She returned to her computer, apparently done talking to me, so I thanked her for her help and left the office.
Kinsley High felt cold compared to my school in Georgia, and not just in the literal sense. Boxy tan lockers lined every wall, and the concrete floor was a strange mix of browns that reminded me of throw-up. The worst part was that there were no windows anywhere, and therefore a serious lack of sunlight.
I preferred the warm green carpets and open halls at my old school. Actually I preferred everything about my small Georgia town, especially the sprawling house and the peach tree farm I left behind. But I tried not to complain too much to my parents.
After all, I remembered the way my dad had bounced around the living room while telling us about his promotion to anchorman on the news station. It was his dream job, and he didn’t mind that the only position available was in Massachusetts. My mom had jumped on board with the plan to move, confident that her paintings would sell better in a town closer to a major city. My younger sister Becca had liked the idea of starting fresh, along with how the shopping in Boston apparently exceeded anything in our town in Georgia.
There had to be something about the move for me to like. Unfortunately, I had yet to find it.
I didn’t realize I’d arrived at the library until the double doors were in front of me. At least I’d found it without getting lost.
I walked inside the library, pleased to find it was nothing like the rest of the school. The golden carpet and wooden walls were warm and welcoming, and the upstairs even had windows. I yearned to run toward the sunlight, but the late bell had already rung, so I headed to the back of the library. Hopefully being new would give me a free pass on being late.
Just as the secretary had said, there was only one door. But with it’s ancient peeling wood, it looked like it led to a storage room, not a classroom. And there was no glass panel, so I couldn’t peek inside. I had to assume this was it.
I wrapped my fingers around the doorknob, my hand trembling.
It’s your first day
, I reminded myself.
No one’s going to blame you for being late on your first day.
I opened the door, halfway expecting it to be a closet full of old books or brooms. But it wasn’t a closet.
It was a classroom.
Everyone stared at me, and I looked to the front of the room, where a tall, lanky man in a tweed suit stood next to a blackboard covered with the morning announcements. His gray hair shined under the light, and his wrinkled skin and warm smile reminded me more of a grandfather than a teacher.
He cleared his throat and rolled a piece of chalk in his palm. “You must be Nicole Cassidy,” he said.
“Yeah.” I nodded and looked around at the other students. There were about thirty of them, and there seemed to be an invisible line going down the middle of the room, dividing them in half. The students near the door wore jeans and sweatshirts, but the ones closer to the wall looked like they were dressed for a fashion show instead of school.
“It’s nice to meet you Nicole.” The teacher sounded sincere, like he was meeting a new friend instead of a student. “Welcome to our homeroom. I’m Mr. Faulkner, but please call me Darius.” He turned to the chalkboard, lifted his hand, and waved it from one side to the other. “You probably weren’t expecting everything to look so normal, but we have to be careful. As I’m sure you know, we can’t risk letting anyone else know what goes on in here.”
Then the board shimmered—like sunlight glimmering off the ocean—and the morning announcements changed into different letters right in front of my eyes.
I blinked a few times to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. What I’d just seen couldn’t have been real.
At least the board had stopped shimmering, although instead of the morning announcements, it was full of information about the meanings of different colors. I glanced at the other students, and while a few of them smiled, they were mostly unfazed. They just watched me, waiting for me to say something. Darius also stood calmly, waiting for my reaction.
“How did you do that?” I finally asked.
“It’s easy,” Darius said. “I used magic. Well, a task like that wouldn’t have been easy for you, since you’re only in your second year of studies, but given enough practice you’ll get the hang of it.” He motioned to a seat in the second row, next to a girl with chin-length mousy brown hair. “Please sit down, and we’ll resume class.”
I stared at him, not moving. “You used … magic,” I repeated, the word getting stuck in my throat. I looked around the room again, waiting for someone to laugh. This had to be a joke. After all, an owl hadn’t dropped a letter down my fireplace to let me know I’d been accepted into a special school, and I certainly hadn’t taken an enchanted train to get to Kinsley High. “Funny. Now tell me what you
“You mean you don’t know?” Darius’s forehead crinkled.
“Is this a special studies homeroom?” I asked. “And I somehow got put into one about … magic tricks?”
“It wasn’t a trick,” said an athletic boy in the center of the room. His sandy hair fell below his ears, and he leaned back in his seat, pushing his sleeves up to his elbows. “Why use tricks when we can do the real thing?”
I stared at him blankly and backed towards the door. He couldn’t be serious. Because magic—
magic—didn’t exist. They must be playing a joke on me. Make fun of the new kid who hadn’t grown up in a town so close to Salem.
I wouldn’t fall for it. So I might as well play along.
“If that was magic, then where are your wands?” I held up a pretend wand, making a swooshing motion with my wrist.
Darius cleaned his glasses with the bottom of his sweater. “I’d assumed you’d already started your lessons at your previous school.” He frowned and placed his glasses back on. “From your reaction, I’m guessing that’s not the case. I apologize for startling you. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to say this now, so I might as well be out with it.” He took a deep breath, and said, “We’re witches. You are, too. And regarding your question, we don’t use wands because real witches don’t need them. That’s an urban legend created by humans who felt safer believing that they couldn’t be harmed if there was no wand in sight.”
“You can’t be serious.” I laughed nervously and pulled at the sleeves of my sweater. “Even if witches did exist—which they don’t—I’m definitely not one of them.”
The only thing “magical” that had ever happened to me was how the ligament I tore in my knee while playing tennis last month had healed right after moving here. The doctor had said it was a medical miracle.
But that didn’t make it
“I am completely serious,” Darius said. “We’re all witches, as are you. And this
a special studies homeroom—it’s for the witches in the school. Although of course the administration doesn’t know that.” He chuckled. “They just think it’s for highly gifted students. Now, please take a seat in the chair next to Kate, and I’ll explain more.”
I looked around the room, waiting for someone to end this joke. But the brown-haired girl who I assumed was Kate tucked her hair behind her ears and studied her hands. The athletic boy next to her watched me expectantly, and smiled when he caught me looking at him. A girl behind him glanced through her notes, and several other students shuffled in their seats.