My Ranking Points
I haven’t written in a long time, but I hope you enjoy this. Please don’t skip parts, even though this POV is long. It’s very interesting! I had TONS of fun writing this!
StarsShineBright- Please don’t include the scene where Peony helps/saves Sienna in your next POV. I was thinking that I would introduce the topic and you would POV about it, but we need to get what is going to happen planned out.
Anyway, I sincerely hope you enjoy. I LOVED writing this and just this chapter, overall!
I apologize in advance for all the times I say Trail instead of Trial. I probably just typed it wrong, and you all know what it’s supposed to be!!!
And, before you ask, yes, I did use a Harry Potter spell in this POV.
It was a peaceful fall morning. Birds flew gracefully through the sky, calling to each other. Leaves rode on drafts of wind, up and up and up. The sun shone lightly behind stratus clouds. And yet, the mood was interrupted early on.
“Attention, all Trial by Tale contestants!” Castor’s voice boomed at 5:30 in the morning. “Please report to the Candy Classrooms! It is your last day before the Trial and SOMEONE wants you to be PREPARED. Hem-POLLUX-ahem.”
Sienna groggily sat up. She was used to getting up early, being a morning person, but this was WAY too early. Across her pink room, Sienna could see her roommates stretching and yawning.
It was the day before the Trial. The Eve of the Trial. Sienna scrambled out of bed, hurried to her closet where she had safely hidden away the little blue box her parents had given.
However, as Pollux’s and Castor’s heavy footsteps faded down the hall, Sienna mentally shook herself. It was the day before the Trial! There was so much to do! Train, practice, study, repeat!
The little blue box could wait, Sienna decided as she grabbed black leggings, a pink skirt, and a pink shirt. It was lucky that the teachers had agreed that for the Trial there was no need to wear uniforms. They might be the difference between winning or losing, the difference between life or death. Imagine an Everboy’s coattail getting caught on a tree, or an Evergirl’s dress preventing her from running away from a heavily armed opponent?
As Sienna dashed off to the bathroom, her roommates began to sit up and get ready as well.
It was going to be a looong day.
It was precisely 6:15. Sienna, Lola, and Skylar were standing huddled around Pollux and Castor. Sienna glared up at the sky, only for a splash of rain to fall into her eyes.
“Where are those stratus clouds now?” Sienna whispered to Skylar.
Every Ever and Never in the Top Ten were out in the Clearing, soaked thoroughly from head to toe, for an impromptu cloak fitting. Apparently, someone had sneaked into the closet where the trial cloaks were kept and messed up the sizes. Pre-Trial jitters were common amongst people in the Top 10, but pranks were common among bored students that weren’t in the Trial.
As Pollux called Sienna’s name and draped a cloak around her shoulders, Sienna warmed up slightly. Anything was enough in this weather.
“Hmmm. Bad weather we’re having. Completely messes up the sizes. But it will have to do,” Pollux mumbled under his breath while securing Sienna’s hood with magic.
A couple feet away, Castor was fitting a Nevergirl in a dark cloak. He obviously didn’t know what he was doing, much to the girl’s dislike.
“IRTA!!!” he finally screamed at her complaints. He ripped the cloak off her angrily. “This cloak will have to do!” he yelled.
Irta glared daggers at Castor, mumbling an irritated “Fine!” Irta’s wavy red locks fell in different lengths to about her shoulders. Her pale skin and green eyes contrasted with her scowl.
Those green eyes were too familiar, but Sienna couldn’t remember from where. Peony? No, Peony’s eyes were blue. Monika Sholz? No, Monica looked different.
Finally, as Pollux lifted Sienna’s Trial cloak off her and went to help another student, Sienna realized. Sienna had seen those very same eyes watching her before. Sienna gulped, hoping that the eyes wouldn’t notice her this time.
“Ahem. All Evers, you have been fitted-AGAIN- for your Trial by Tale cloaks, and may now go back to your dorms or practice areas. Good luck tomorrow!” Pollux said, Castor still frowning from Irta’s jibes. Sienna nodded at Pollux and began to walk towards the School for Good, rain now dripping from her hair.
*** (The P.O.V. changes to First Person here)
At the School for Good, the Evergirls in the Top Ten wanted to practice in a large group. However, I politely declined Lana and Lexi’s invites and went back to my room.
Once in my room, I went into my closet to get the gifts my parents had given me. I had returned the books that I had used to help Skylar catch up in the first weeks of school to the library already, as the books about dreams and nightmares. It was strange, really… I hadn’t had another dream yet since my paranormal one.
The books that my parents had given were already on my bookshelf, the ballet gifts in the bottom drawer of my bureau. The small blue box sat hidden under my pale yellow leotard. None of my roommates were in the room, presumably studying and practicing with the other girls that would be competing in the trial. It was weird- you would assume that the Evergirls would distance themselves from other Top 10 students before the Trial.
I suddenly walked out of my closet. For some reason, I thought that the box should really wait for the evening. It was only 9 o’clock, and my parents really would’ve wanted me to prepare. I’d always thought that I was an independent person. That I liked to do things by myself.
That was the reason I found myself walking to my wooden bookshelf while the other girls helped each other study.
The bookshelf stood between two crystal-decorated mirrors. A smaller shelf to the side of it held my book club books. My bigger bookshelf was nearly full, containing a few more books than Lola’s and Skylar’s. My parents really encouraged me to read, but it wasn’t like I needed any encouragement.
I glanced across the titles of the heavy volumes that filled my simply massive bookshelf, ready to read the most helpful one. The first shelf was devoted to Evergirl books and books that I had received from the School at the beginning of the year. The second shelf held thinner books; works of fiction and poetry. Half of the third shelf held the ten volumes of the history of my kingdom, while the other half held books about the history of the endless woods. The fourth shelf held my subject books: math, science, literature, geography, social studies, grammar, and exotic language textbooks. The fifth shelf held educational magazines, much like “National Geographic” (a magazine Tammy used to read before she was kidnapped. She showed me a few copies). It also included DIY books. The sixth shelf contained my spell books, the ones I had tried to learn from before coming to the School for Good and Evil, trying to imagine actually being able to do the magic shown in the books. The seventh shelf contained ballet and dance books, and well as books about flute and piano (instruments I played), books about photography (a very big hobby/passion of mine), and books of games I like to play (chess is my favorite, I have three big books on it, but I rather like checkers as well, and I have two books explaining strategies and the game itself). The eighth and final shelf contained my favorite books. To this day, I still remember pointing at a picture of Camelot in one of the huge picture books of the Endless Woods when I was three and telling my mom that I wanted to go there someday. There was my magical storybook, of course, hidden between two ordinary books of stories. There were the books my parents had given me on Visiting Day.
I slid one book out, its blue leather cover smooth in my hands. In golden calligraphy, the title was printed onto the front: “The School for Good: An Evergirl’s First Year.” There was no author. I opened to the title page, but no author was shown either. Finally, I turned to the table of contents, not remembering having read the book before.
Whoever had written the book had obviously attended the School for Good. There was no other explanation: the white parchment page containing the table of contents held chapters for everything we had learned so far at Good, and more. It was divided into two sections.
Section One: Classes
Chapter One: Animal Communication
Chapter Two: Beautification
Chapter Three: Good Deeds
Chapter Four: History of Heroism
Chapter Five: Princess Etiquette
Chapter Six: Surviving Fairy Tales
Section Two: Magic
Chapter Seven: Finger Glows
Chapter Eight: Mogrification
Chapter Nine: Controlling Elements
Chapter Ten: Controlling Weather
Chapter Eleven: Controlling Change
Chapter Twelve: Defensive Magic
Chapter Thirteen: Offense Magic
Chapter Fourteen: History of Magic and the Trial by Tale
Chapter Fifteen: Complete List of Known Spells
I gasped. History of the Trial? I wasn’t sure if I needed to read that, knowing what I did about the gruesome side effects of competition that happened in the Trial. Instead, I settled on reading the other chapters about magic, especially defensive magic. The longest chapter was the complete list of spells, which took up more than two hundred pages. In truth, the book was the biggest I’d ever seen; each of its chapters had more than one hundred thin parchment pages.
I didn’t notice how the time rushed by as I read through the book, sometimes out loud to help focus, sometimes trying out the spells I read, sometimes having a panic attack because I couldn’t memorize everything and tomorrow was the Trial!! At last, it was 6 pm. I had read through the spells, preparing myself as best I could.
I had a small, rather pathetic plan to survive: turn myself into a bee as soon as I entered the forest, fly higher than everyone else, and wait for morning to come. I was glad that my finger glow was yellow.
After a quick dinner, I fell asleep on the textbook as my roommates went off to study and practice again. I had the weirdest possible dream.
For some reason, every spell that I had learned and remembered that evening was floating around a white room in differently colored speech bubbles. The room was so full that you could barely make out the walls, but I glimpsed a door behind everything.
I tried to wade through the mess to the other side and escape, but every time I touched one of the speech bubbles, the spell happened. I turned into a pine tree. Then a chicken. Then a walrus. Then an ice cube. Finally, I turned back to myself by touching a magic-effect erase spell I had learned just that evening. The door was right in front of me. I reached out to grab the door handle and pulled the door open.
I was in a blue room now. I felt like Alice in Wonderland. There was an ordinary wooden table with a liquid labeled “Drink me.” I drank it, and I promptly woke up. I gasped. It was seven. The eve of the Trial. The blue box.
I sprang up, closing the windows on the dusk light. I switched on a light and ran to my walk-in closet.
I opened the bottom drawer, reaching for the blue box.
I sat criss-cross-applesauce on the carpeted floor and slowly untied the gold ribbon around the box, then lifted the top off. It was a mirror. The mirror.
I recognized it from storybooks. It was the mirror my father had given my mom. I smiled.
“Show me my parents,” I said. The mirror magically clouded, but then I could see my mom and dad’s faces.
“Hello, sweetie!” they said in unison, then laughed. I laughed too.
“Are you nervous about the Trial tomorrow?” my mom asked.
“Of course!” I said with a giggle. “But I found a book today that helped me.”
“In the library?” my dad asked.
“No. It was on my bookshelf. It was called “the School for Good and Evil: An Evergirl’s First Year.”
“Oh, that book is okay,” my mom said to my dad after a minute. I wrinkled my brow.
“You know it?”
“Honey, your mother wrote it,” my dad said. I looked shocked.
“You WROTE it?” I exclaimed.
“Yes,” my mother said sheepishly. She could tell that I wanted an explanation. “I thought it would help other girls going to the School for Good. I slipped it into your suitcase before you left.”
“I-I didn’t even notice it…” I said. “Huh.”
My mother grinned.
“I hope that I’ll remember what I learned today,” I said.
“Don’t worry, you will,” my mom said. “Are you having fun at School? How is it?”
“It’s… very cool,” I said after a moment. “Apart from the Trial, that is. The Trial is sort of nerve-wracking. Oh, and thank you for the ballet clothes and books!”
“You’re welcome,” my mom said.
“I really hope that I’ll do well tomorrow. I mean, even though it’s scary, it’s a competition!”
“You’ll do fine,” my mom said. “There’s nothing to be worried about!”
“But you do need to get a good night’s sleep,” my dad said.
“Put the book under your pillow tonight,” my mom said. “In the morning, go over the offensive and defensive magic sections again. You won’t forget what you learned.”
“I will. Goodnight. Love ya,” I said. My parents blew me kisses and returned the ‘goodnight’.
“Love you too,” they said before the mirror went back to reflecting me again. I sighed, sitting and looking at the mirror for a long time. Finally, I put it back in its box. Just as I was tying the ribbon, Lola and Skylar came into the room. I put the box hurriedly back into the bottom drawer of my bureau, under my leotard once again.
“So… did you guys have a good studying session today?” I asked them.
“Yep,” Skylar replied, climbing into her bed.
“Yes,” Lola said. “What about you? I didn’t see you in Lexi’s room, but she said she’d invited you to study, too.”
“Oh, I, uh, studied on my own today.”
“Did you get much studying done? I know sometimes studying with a lot of people can be hard.”
“Well, we reviewed a good amount of our notes, and read through spell books and textbooks. I also read some books on my own.”
“I read a new book I found,” I said, not wanting to reveal my mother’s book just yet. “Maybe I could show you it sometime.”
I didn’t know why I didn’t want to show the book. Maybe because I wanted to share a secret book with my mother. Maybe because if one person found out about it, everyone else would want to see it, too.
“Yeah,” Lola said, walking into her closet. A few minutes later, she came back out in her new pajamas, one of the things her father had brought her on Visitor Day.
I had already changed into a blue and purple nightgown and taken my hair down. Now, I lay in my bed, the secret book under my pillow like my mother had advised.
Lola’s and my bedside lights were on because Skylar was already asleep and we didn’t want to wake her with the regular ones. I was just about to turn mine off when Lola put down the book she had been reading.
“Sienna?” she asked in a small voice. “Are you… nervous? For tomorrow?”
“Yes,” I said simply. “I don’t know of anyone who will be competing that isn’t nervous!’
Lola smiled but seemed sad.
“Don’t worry about it,” I told her. “It’ll be fine. I mean, you’ve made it into the Top Ten. We’re tied for the first rank. You’re able to beat anyone out there in a fair duel.”
“Sometimes-Sometimes the Trial isn’t fair.”
I couldn’t say anything because I knew the statement was true. Finally, I spoke.
“We’ll just have to hope that this time it will be.”
Lola bit her lip for a second and continued reading. Silence. Utter silence pierced the night. It was only 7:30, but darkness had fallen. I dabbed lavender oil around my temples to relax, turned off my light, drew the curtains around my bed, and went to sleep.
The air stood still. Like the creatures knew something big was going to happen. Like they knew it was the day of the Trial by Tale. Like they knew that everyone was practically scared out of their wits.
I sat in my walk-in closet again, reviewing spells with my mom via the enchanted mirror. Skylar and Lola had long gone to breakfast, but for me, I had eaten in about six minutes and zipped back to my room. It had been chaos in the lunchroom. Nine students (not including me) had their textbooks held to the table, diligently studying. The count went down to eight when one girl had a breakdown and had to leave to go to a quiet room.
“What is the shield spell?” my mother asked.
“Protego,” I answered quickly.
“Perfect,” my mother said. “We’ve gone over all of the offensive and defensive spells. I think you’re ready. Unless you want to keep studying?”
“Can we go over defensive spells again?” I asked. “I don’t have much time until the Trial and I think those will prepare me the most.”
“Okay, dear. What is the spell to camouflage yourself into the background?”
After a day of studying, including a two-minute break where Skylar and Lola had walked into the room, I hid the mirror and declined a studying invitation, and they left, my mom had deemed me ready, and I was free to do whatever I pleased for an hour before the Trial. I chose the Groom Room.
I changed into a blue and green ombre tankini with crocheted lace, blue board shorts, and a white shirt over my suit.
The Groom Room was empty, everyone having a high enough rank to use it being busy with studying. It didn’t matter whether the room was open or full, seeing as I just wanted to go swimming to relax.
The water was comforting, the smell of chlorine familiar. I had loved to go swimming back home. I had usually gone swimming in the pond, but my family did have an indoor pool as well.
After about twenty minutes of swimming, I was joined in the pool by a giggling mass of girls, Skylar and Lola amongst them. Apparently, they had finished studying for the Trial as well.
Skylar and Lola made their way over to me, wearing colorful swimsuits. Lexi and Skylar’s and Lola’s other friends were at the other end of the pool, splashing each other and dunking themselves in water.
“What are you doing here?” Lola asked me.
“Same as you… I’m done with studying and there are thirty minutes before the Trial that I really need to use to get rid of my stress!”
Lola nodded. I splashed her and Skylar with water.
“Thank goodness the pool is heated,” Skylar said.
“They wouldn’t want us freezing to death,” I said. “The boys wouldn’t have anyone to go to the ball with!”
Skylar and Lola laughed. We talked about the trial to each other, bouncing up and down in the water. Finally, I jumped and floated on my back on the water.
“Let’s see where the water takes us,” I called. Skylar giggled and started to float on the water, too. Lola looked unsure for a minute but soon followed suit. I giggled as I almost crashed into Lexi and one of Lola’s friends. The girl mock-shrieked and splashed me with water. Swimming was so much fun.
Soon, the wolves howled and some of the girls (including me, Skylar, Lola, and Lexi) scrambled out of the water and into towels and clothes. The other girls called out to us, things like “Good Luck” and “Hope to see you win!” as we rushed out of the Groom Room and into our dorms. The Trial would soon begin.
Ten minutes later, I stood in black leggings, a black skirt, and a black shirt, cloaked in a heavy fabric as dark as the night, a white flag in my pocket. There had been a mix-up earlier, so the Trial had been momentarily postponed. It was so confusing because Lola and I had tied. Since I was younger, I was to enter the Trial last, paired with Monica Sholz. Lola had looked relieved at this news; she would enter with the 2nd ranked Never. The order would kind of be off, Liam, Lana, and everyone else entering with a Never ranked one below them, except for the 10th pair.
The wolves howled. The first pair went in. Then the next. Then the next. And so on. And so on.
Finally, the wolves howled. Hands pushed me inside the gates, and I sprinted away from Monica Sholz. I am subconsciously pushing away leaves and trees when, suddenly, I realize that the shrubs are trying to bite me. I run away from them, trying to stay on the path where the mouths cannot reach me. I realize that everyone else is already in the forest. I run east towards the Turquoise Thicket, and the canopy starts to grow larger, shielding any moonlight. There appears to be nobody anywhere close to me, and so I scramble up a tree as fast as I can. At the top, I sit, silently watching people fight monsters and run away from each other.
I go over the pairs in my head, not having anything else to distract me from having a panic attack. Liraryz Belzasd entered with Lexi, Peony entered with Peter, Riter Moss entered with Carly, Irta Berry entered with Elaina, Mahagy Jurt entered with Skylar, Leert Serx entered with Constantine, James entered with Lana, Phar Kirt entered with Liam, Marazene Leecook entered with Lola, and I entered with Monica Sholz.
Liraryz Belzasd had surrendered when a harpie attacked him, but everyone else was still in the Forest. I was gripping a branch with my arms and legs (sloth-style) to prevent falling out of the tree, and I had tied my handkerchief around my neck, I would have thought that stylish if I wasn’t too busy thinking about getting killed, or worse, eliminated (I was, despite being frightened, still trying to win). Under me, I could hear the heavy footsteps of Nevers, the quick footsteps of Everboys, and the light footsteps of Evergirls. Even if they looked up, the only thing they would see through the thick canopy was a dark mass of what looked like leaves. Even though I could see my friends’ fingerglows beneath me or in the forest, I didn’t say anything. I just hoped for the best, because in this twisted game, it was everyone for themselves.
I had a plan to survive this game, though, even if mogrification was necessary. Before mogrifying, I would take off my skirt and my shirt and trial cloak, hide them in the tree, and mogrify while wearing my undershirt and leggings. If I needed to change back, I would go back to the tree, change back into human form, and change into my clothes. The trial cloak would keep me warm, but my skirt had built-in shorts so I didn’t have to worry about running or climbing trees.
None of the girls had come up with plans like that, I know. They were too busy sucking up to boys to protect them or studying. Skylar and Lola had come up with their own plans, but I doubt that they were similar to mine. Most of the girls had, after all, worn leggings and shirts under their cloaks.
I heard screams coming from the north, in the Pine Glen. Then stomping footsteps came from under me, shaking the trees.
I ripped a leaf off a branch, turned it into a rock, and threw it at a Never passing by the Carnivorous Shrubs. They held their red handkerchief in their hand, and dropped it when the stone struck their arm. Red sparks flew up and Mahagy Jurt vanished from the Never’s board. Mahagy had come dangerously close to seeing me. I was lucky that the stone had hit her arm, but the red sparks had surely attracted someone else.
As sparks after sparks flew up from the Forest, and name after name vanished from the Schools’ boards, my blood turned to ice. Because this awful, vile, twisted game had only just started.
The night had just begun.
@nadea, PLEASE finish the Trial. Same goes for everyone else. I can’t write until you do, and I’m sorry but I think I speak for everyone when I say that before-trial preparations that don’t have to do with the main plot aren’t very interesting. You’re an amazing writer, but one thing you could improve is staying on track with the most important points.
Okay. Thank you so much. I didn’t want to just randomly cut to the Trial, and I wasn’t sure whether to finish or not, seeing as everyone who POVd didn’t really end with getting eliminated, or winning, etc. Okay, I will. I’ll go the point where only Lola, Skylar, Sienna, Peony, and Liam are left, as well as a few Nevers (so there is still a chance of getting eliminated by an enemy). Then we should work out a plan of who wins or if it will be a tie.
Thank you so much for your suggestions! I will do that next time!