The Council

By: Kayla Krantz

Witch's Ambitions Trilogy Book One

Chapter One

The Last Day

MY HEAD DROOPS in exhaustion as the guest speaker at the front of the class rambles on. Several times I consider walking out, but the effort seems too much. She’s an older witch, from Mentis, I believe, but I haven’t listened enough to be sure. She talks about her telekinesis as if it’s an achievement, and while most of my classmates listen on in wonder, I shake my head in disappointment.

I’ve started developing telekinetic powers too, but there are two major differences between me and the girl—I don’t brag about it, and I’m from Ignis, land of fire.

Helena, sitting in the desk beside me, elbows me. I look back at her through unapologetic eyes, and she frowns at me. I can tell what she’s thinking without her saying one word—she believed the teacher when he said it was important for our studies to listen to the lecture.

Helena and I both originate from UnEquipped parents—we aren’t meant to have powers, only to be protected by those fortunate enough to develop them…that was before mine started to form, of course. I haven’t told her yet, mostly out of fear of how she will respond, while the rest of me is worried about hurting her feelings.

Will she be excited for me or will she be jealous because of the absence of her own?

I smack the small pencil off the desk so I have an excuse to look down at the floor. I scoop it up before I take the opportunity to reach into the folds of my robe, feeling for the thin black chain hidden in the depths. It’s connected to a small, beautiful ruby—a present I had gotten from my Healer, Ambrossi, years before. It’s meant to be worn around my neck, supposedly imbibed with the power to lessen any physical pain from my childhood accident, but I didn’t feel it. Instead, I had found a better use for the amulet. When I’m nervous, it serves as a source of comfort, the closest it comes to usefulness.

I hide it, not wanting to admit to anyone that I like it.

“And that’s why you should always expect the unexpected at your Arcane Ceremony,” the witch at the front of the room finishes her lecture.

Beside me, Helena begins to clap, but I don’t join in as I slide my hand out of my pocket and go back to fiddling with my pencil. It seems ironic, expecting the unexpected—like she had fabricated pieces of her story to make it more interesting. Considering my boredom with the current version, I can’t imagine the first draft. I push my pencil tip into the cover of my journal and turn it in place until a small black smudge forms.

“All right, class. I expect you know the etiquette and proper attire for the ceremony tomorrow. Last minute details will be handled by your Coven representative, but before I dismiss you, I need to ask, does anyone have any final questions?” The gaze of my teacher sweeps across the room before it temporarily rests on me and continues on its way through my classmates. “No? All right, class dismissed!”

I sigh in relief and grab my bag from under my desk to sling it over my shoulder. I won’t miss it like I know the rest of my classmates will. I can’t wait for the Arcane Ceremony, and my resulting freedom from the mundane lifestyle that comes with UnEquipped parents.

The next chapter of my life is bound to be better than the years that have passed so far.

Helena sighs wistfully and takes her place at my side. She hooks her arm over my shoulders to help me out of the classroom as I struggle to squeeze between the desks. “You were so rude!” she scolds, smacking me in the arm with her notebook for effect. “Misty was pouring her heart out up there!”

I shrug. “I wasn’t impressed. Of all the presentations we’ve seen this week, hers was the worst, especially considering the fact that both of her parents were Equipped. Her story was just one in a million.”

Helena shrugs. “I thought it was inspirational.”

“The girl with the astral projection was much more impacting.”

“Why do you have to be such a grouch?” Helena asks, deepening her frown.

“I’ve waited years for it to be the last day of class, and it was disappointing that she was our final lecture. I’m sure if Clio were here, he would’ve handled it in the same manner.”

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