Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Poetic Justice
By Jeanelle Nicole Driver

I kept my eyes downcast, not wanting to stir up trouble, but the urge to observe was strong. My inquisitive nature made us late and got us into this mess. I didn’t need to sink myself in deeper. My hand twitched, building with power, and I thrust it behind my back.
There was no warmth, but I could feel the charred fabric as my fingers settled against my back. I was going to be in trouble, Mama made this dress for my Presentation. Now it was ruined, and magic causing the damage would only anger her more.
“Why must you always make a scene, Persephone?” my year-mate, Isis asked. “The Council Members are not blind, we will suffer once again.
I ran my fingers along the fabric folds. The threads were rough, but I could find no holes. I fought to suppress a smile. “It’s nothing but a scorch,” I said. “They will not suspect magic over fire, Isis.”
She scowled and stepped away from me. “Your over confidence will be your downfall,” she said. “I want no part of it.”
I couldn’t respond as the hawk-like gaze of the Council Guard fell upon us.
“You would do well to hold your tongues,” he said. “The Council Members won’t tolerate idle talk.” He stepped back as the heavy oaken door swung wide in front of us.
One of the pair who entered the room before us came out. Her face was neutral, but my heart started to pound in my chest, and I was no longer confident. Morgana was a friend.
Isis was at my shoulder again. I won’t be the one walking out the door,” she said. “Just wait.”
I shrugged undignified. “We shall see, Isis,” I said. “Overconfidence can be dangerous. I stepped away from her. The closeness was making me uneasy.
The silence between us was icy as the door closed once more. My impatience was beginning to show, and the tension in the room unsettled my stomach. The lack of prior knowledge about the Presentation set me at a disadvantage. All I could do was wait for our turn, and not exploit forbidden talents.
Magic was a forbidden talent, but it was governed by emotions. I did not intend to activate it and singe my dress. I just hoped the Council Members wouldn’t notice. I held my breath as the door opened, and Isis and I stepped inside. We didn’t know how the next few minutes would alter our lives.
I kept my hands folded behind my back and kept my features a blank mask. Isis flashed the men on the dais a bright smile. Her smile wasn’t returned, and I felt hope glimmer in my chest. She could win no favor from her charm in this room.
Chancellor Azazel stepped forward. “You are fortunate there are rules against exclusion from Presentation for tardiness,” he said. “Still, you waste our time with such practices, and it will not be overlooked.”
Isis sputtered. “Persephone, is the one to blame…” she ended with a squeak as he raised his hand.
“Both partners are responsible for making it to the presentation on time,” he said. “Individual blame is not considered.” He crossed his arms and his second—Falcon—stepped forward.
“Chancellor Azazel speaks the truth,” he said. “We cannot spare time for formalities, we must attend to other duties. Isis will remain with us, and Persephone is free to go.”
The look of hunger in Falcon’s eyes startled me, and my head dropped in shame as magic shimmered in the air around me. I bowed and looked down shocked as a golden envelop materialized in my hands. I clutched my envelope, and made a hasty exit as Isis began to scream. I didn’t look back to witness the horrors befalling my partner, and fled to the safety of the waiting room.
My fingers brushed the golden seal. I was chosen. Morgana, and I would be reunited. I was elated.
The guard placed his hand on my shoulder. “The Council rewards the rule breakers and feeds off the souls of the pure,” he said. “Welcome to the inner circle, Persephone. We’ve been waiting for you to join us.”
I smiled and hurried down the stone halls to pack my things and savor my victory.

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Jeanelle Driver is a Creative Writing Student.
She loves to write Fantasy. Check out her website for details.
She has been published in Linguistic Erosion.


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