My Ranking Points
Hi everyone! Here’s Chapter 13 of The Death Trials! I am no longer accepting bios. I’m sorry for not posting for so long! I’ll make an effort to stay more on top of the story. Here’s the Doc link with all the chapters in case you’re new or need to catch up! https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zYuSpDUbB67ZbtbNVciBoghTZwagsJZ0XRCSALCnc4A/edit
I slogged my way through training: more push-ups and crunches and sit-ups. I’d done more close combat training, once with my falchion and once with my fists. Coach Arkson had called us pathetic and taken away our weapons. A huge bruise throbbed on my cheek, given to me by a fierce girl named Aria.
After training there was a quick cooldown, then lunch. We finally got food that wasn’t in a can, though the lettuce shreds with tomato bits were far from fresh.
Once lunch was over, I had to go to Water Training with Coach Vrielle. A boy near me started sweating and hyperventilating. Another girl looked as if she were about to faint. I didn’t blame them; these pools had really bad memories associated with them.
“We will just start with a simple race,” Coach Vrielle said with a smile. I exhaled in relief. This shouldn’t be too hard. I glanced around to see if Cassandra or Hyperion or my roommates were in my group with me. I didn’t find them, but what I did see made all the color drain from my face.
A tall girl with bright pink hair and violet eyes stood by the edge of the pool, cracking her knuckles and smirking. This had to be the girl Lio told me about. Rebel McDoon, the one who passed the Military Approval Tests at just fifteen.
“Take your places!” Coach Vrielle said, and the teenagers lined up along the edge of the pool. Rebel strode confidently, a determined gleam in her purple eyes. Lio’s words echoed in my head. She’ll pass every test with flying colors, and it won’t be enough. She will kill us all first. Despite the warm air, I felt a shiver run through my body. A bead of sweat dripped down my forehead. She was probably planning the most efficient way to annihilate every one of us. I noticed her fingernails, an inch past the tips of her fingers and sharpened to a point. Small daggers, disguised with black lacquer. Her pink hair, up in a ponytail, was likely concealing some kind of device, perhaps a throwing knife, that she could remove and throw at a moment’s notice. Her arms were pale and sinewy, and her muscles looked like they could tear steel. In fact, they could: she had defeated the first challenge by twisting the metal arm. My pulse quickened as I realized she didn’t need weapons to win a battle: she could kill me with her bare hands.
A whole new wave of worry washed over me. What would happen in this race? Relax, said the sane part of my mind, you’re good in the water.
I was. The first time I went into a pool, I was 11 and my first day at the Bandar Academy of Defense. I’d never been in a body of water that wasn’t the bathtub, and I was scared out of my wits. The Academy had a water class and I was required to take it. When our coach told us to jump in, I stood at the edge of the pool and stared into the water. I wouldn’t budge. The other kids were fearless, jumping in without hesitation, but I was rooted to the spot. My coach decided she’d had enough and pushed me in. I had screamed and kicked, but my coach did nothing. As I flailed around helplessly in the water, I realized that by thrashing my arms and legs, I was staying afloat. I managed to paddle to the other side, and along the way I discovered that the pool wasn’t so bad.
I stayed after school for weeks, perfecting my dive and learning strokes. My legs became stronger, and I was able to shoot through the water like an arrow released from a bow. Soon, I was one of the strongest swimmers in the Academy. I just hope it was enough.
“On your marks, get set, GO!” Recalling training from school, I performed a swan dive into the pool and took off, using the freestyle ****** to glide quickly through the water. My hands were cupped in just the right way so that I could move faster. I didn’t look back, my arms already starting to feel sore. I was reaching the end when I saw a flash of bright pink. Rebel. My stomach churned with worry, and I swam faster and faster. Forgetting to come up for air, I sped at top speed, terrified of the girl in the next lane. Would she pin me underwater, never letting me come up? Or would she be more subtle, using some kind of tranquilizer dart? I told myself to just focus, but I was petrified. I had to do something, but what? FOCUS!, My brain screamed. Just finish the race and you’ll be good. All of a sudden, my outstretched hands brushed the wall. I was done.
Hoisting myself up onto the pool’s ledge, I saw that everyone else was still swimming, even Rebel. She came to the surface a few seconds later, in disbelief that I’d beaten her.
The rest of water class was mostly endurance training. We had to see how long we could hold our breaths for underwater. I got to two minutes and thirteen seconds before I started seeing spots. Then there were long distance races, short distance races, and diving practice. I was a strong swimmer, but these exercises were still strenuous. I was top of the group in most of the races, with Rebel close behind. With every win for me I saw her become more agitated.
When training was over, I dried off with a towel and started inside. I was walking down the hallway when Rebel appeared and pinned me to the wall, limiting my movement by barring her arm against my chest. Her fingernails dug into my arm, drawing small crimson pinpricks of blood.
“You better watch your back, Brenley,” she snarled, a wild look in her eyes. Startled, I locked eyes with her. I didn’t know what she wanted, or why she was going after me, but I did know that I wasn’t going to mark myself as an easy kill. I grabbed her arm, flipped her around, and pinned her against the wall.
“You’d be wise to watch yours as well,” I said, staring up into her cold violet eyes. She bared her teeth and threw me aside, stalking down the hallway. It wasn’t until I reached my dorm that I realized how strange it was she knew my name.
@SNAKELOVER → Cynthia
@POCO → Rebel
@BRYANNAHSTEVENS → Hyperion
@JAFARISTHEBEST → Amikaz
@ALANASGE → Ena
@RAINBOWLION → Lio
@LSOLIVEN → Sienna
@SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS → Fahira
@LUNALOVEGOODFAN → Cassandra
Soon, I will be hosting a Q & A session! You can submit questions about The Death Trials, or about me!! Just comment your questions. I will answer them on Friday!! Have a great day and stay safe!
I love it!
I wish I had pink hair…
Nevermind that. I hate water. Literally. Sometimes water just… freaks me out.
Except shower water, of course. But the beach… sometimes I can’t stop thinking about sharks or stingrays and death.
And in pools, I think about those new flashes about people getting electrocuted because of a malfunction.
I love this story so much, Keira. You are an amazing writer!!
Thank you so much, Lio!! I’ve wanted to be a writer since second grade and it makes me so happy that you believe in me. Yeah, water can be scary. I did a project in fourth grade about the underwater ecosystems, and I learned about the Mitsukurina owstoni (don’t look it up), and it scarred me.
AYE KEIRA THIS IS AMAZING!
Rebel be intense, lol. sHe’S sO cOoL tHo-
giewqbjkd this chapter was beautifully written! It keeps you paying attention without just being packed with action. Love eeeet!
Ahhhh wonderful spectacular fantabulous Keira this is AMAZING!! I love your style and also how you did the swimming–I love swimming and it’s so fun to read about people who also do!! And Rebel be intense XD
Aww, thank you so much Penelope! I really appreciate it. Some day I hope to publish this story, and comments like this make me feel like it might be possible some day. Rebel was really fun to write about, ngl.