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Everything stood still as the light breeze that passed through did not seem to be enough to disturb the leaves, grass nor the silence. The sky rested at a navy blue, lit dimly by the stars that were dotted randomly around it, and the moon glowed a ghastly silver against the sky’s darkened hue. In the distance, the faint sparks of city lights gave a misty shine. The faint outline of rooftops illuminated by that shine could be seen if one’s eyes were squinted just enough. On the clearing that stretched out for miles ahead, a personalized van sat. This particular van housed not adults, but a group of ten teenagers. Nine teenagers with powers no normal being could imagine possessing, and one normie. Fire, ice, lightning, water, uranium, metal, wood, smoke and darkness. The silence could have drowned a small army with its uncomforting tension.

Hours after the sunset, a reticent groan erupted from the lips of the youngest aboard the vehicle. The young female could feel her body being shook as she layed on the front seats, facing towards the windscreen. As she became more conscious, she heard the faint whispers, “Hey, Christine. Wake up.”
She attempted to ignore it at first, but she rolled over anyway and opened her eyes, staring up at the familiar face that towered above. Lucas Cole, the 16-year-old among them that had the ability to create and control ice. Her hands rubbed her eyes tiredly, then came to rest upon her hair, which was frizzing everywhere from her tossing and turning so much during her restless sleep. “What?” She muttered her response to him.
“Wanna join the butt-kicking division?” His half-grin, half-smirk was barely visible in the little light that was present: just enough for her to sleep. She yawned, stretching her arms out in front of her, then setting them upon her stomach.
“I’m not very good at fighting,” she responded, her voice barely a whisper, “Plus, I can’t exactly control my other form that well.”
She decided to leave out the part where she admitted she feared herself, more specifically the darker side of her. She knew that she’d love to join the squad, but she just wasn’t sure whether she could.

“That wasn’t the question.” His voice pulled her from her thoughts, “Do you want to join?”
’I’m too tired…’ The thought left her mind as swiftly as it entered, “Yeah, sure.”
“Great. Drink this,” he pulled what seemed to be a can of espresso from his pocket and held it out, “And come with me.”
The girl’s eyes lit up at the sight of the coffee, quickly taking it from him and opening it, careful to be quiet as to not wake any of the others. She held it in both hands and took a few small sips. She nodded in clear approval, and then stood carefully. Luke slipped through the passenger side of the van, grabbing his jacket from under the seats, and slipped it onto his shoulders. Christine quickly followed, jumping down out of the van’s side, landing on her feet. She pulled her hood up which allowed her to hide her frizzy hair. She yawned once more, muttering the words, “What time is it…”
Luke glanced quickly at the watch placed on his wrist, and smirked, “It’s best you don’t know that.”

She groaned softly, then rolled her eyes. She motioned for him to begin walking, to lead her wherever he planned to take her. Assuming he did want to take her somewhere. He nodded in response, then entered the first layer of trees of the forest that stood tall beside the clearing. She followed wearily, as she felt a strange breeze brush passed her. He stopped in a large opening, and then turned back to her with a glint present in his iris’.

“So, here we are.”
“And… We’re here because…?” She responded, dragging out the and for a bit longer than normal.
“We’re here,” he stated confidently, “Because I’m the only person -- aside from Winnie -- who approves of the concept of teaching you how to fight.”
“You’re going to…” she trailed off, almost in disbelief that the thought of her even being able to fight was possible, and then she spoke again, “Uh… O-Okay.”
“So, for people like us: who can’t throw fireballs or shoot blasts of smoke or passively give people cancer, we have to learn to kick butt without our powers first.”
Christine nodded, silently listening to every word he said. She clenched and opened her hands in her pockets, feeling the warmth slowly being drained from them as they flexed, “Okay…”
“But don’t underestimate how badly we need our powers. We’ve got all (organization name) after us, and we’re just teenagers.” His chuckle echoed slightly in the open area, “But we’ll start with the basics.”
She nodded once, “Right.”
“So the most important thing is to be rooted. Anyone who knows anything about fighting will try to trip you, and subsequently stomp all over you,” He chuckled a little, “So it’s important that you stand well so they can’t do that. Got it?”
She nodded once, again. He walked up to her, and sweeped her legs out suddenly with his foot, to which she responded with a squeal and a glare.
“I disagree.” He chuckled once more, and extended a hang to help her up.
“Screw you…” She accepted his hand and pulled herself up, pulling him down to the ground as she did so, and the tables were turned. She spun around promptly, and looked down at him. She smiled brightly, that of a young child.
“Touché.” He laughed, propping himself up on his bo-staff Lillian, and stood with impressive speed.
She giggled, “The tables were turned. It was fun being at the top while it lasted.”
He laughed again, patting her head gently, “One day, kid.”
She glared at him, a playful one, “I’m small but I can still slap you, ya know? Don’t ever pat my head.”
“Alright, alright.” He chuckled, attempting to trip her with Lillian but failing as her footing was steady and firm this time around, “Nice.” He smiled.
She smiled brightly back, putting a thumbs up out again.
“Alright, that’s pretty good, but what about when they realize you’re not about to be tripped?”
Being honest, she simply shrugged her shoulders, silently admitting that she had no clue about this stuff.
“Alright well, you’re not gonna have a lot of luck trying to stop an outright punch, so you’d probably be better off moving out of the way. Your height- or lack thereof- can be a huge advantage.” He smiled, a genuine smile.
She blinked a few times in disbelief, “Being this short is good for once?”
“Yeah, shortround, it is.”
She held her hand up and did a swift slap motion, almost like a silent slap threat or warning. He laughed, stepping back to try and regain his composure.

As the owls started to become active in the early hours of the morning, a rustling emanating from the bushes and leaves scattered through the environment as the breeze became ever so slightly more intense. The city’s lights slowly dimmed, blacking out one by one like the power progressively shut down, as the citizens began their nightly routines. The only ones left active must’ve been those of the night shifts. Voices and whispers were carried into the clearing by the wind, as caution alarms set off in Christine’s mind, making her ten times more wary of her surroundings. She attempted to ignore it the best she could, and forced a smile to her lips.

Luke seemed to see through the charade, and his expression changed from a smile to a more concerned look of worry, “You OK?”
She glanced to the right subtly and tried to calm herself, “Yeah, why wouldn’t be?” Her voice was quieter than two minutes ago, even if it was just by the slightest bit.
“I dunno, you just seem… tense. Like you just noticed a Xenomorph behind me,” he smiled, though clearly still concerned, and looked behind himself.
She forced another smile, shrugging, “It’s nothing.”

She looked down at her arm, where her sleeve was bunched up to reveal her hand and wrist. Her hand was completely jet-black, and it was starting to spread up her wrist onto her arm. She gulped and quickly hid her hand in her pocket, biting the inside of her cheek.

He turned back to her, and shrugged, “Well, kiddo, if you say you’re alright, I’ll take your word for it.”
“Yeeaaaahhh…” She dragged out the word. She felt the warmth being drained from her body slowly as the darkness continued to spread at incredible speed. After five minutes, she had almost completely turned, “L-Let’s just continue.”
“Alright, so I’m gonna throw a punch OK? If you don’t move out of the way, I WILL hit you.” He chuckled, “Probably.”
She gulped and nodded, zipping up her hoodie more than she ever had before in an attempt to hide the darkness travelling up her neck. She stood firmly, ready and prepared to duck.
(....Quack quack.)
He threw a punch, not at full speed but fast enough that- if it hit her- it would probably, definitely hurt her. She responded by ducking quickly, though a pain tore through her spinal cord as she stepped to the side and regained her posture: flinching noticeably. The darkness became impossible to hide as it slowly glided up the left side of her face. With no words escaping from his mouth, Luke swiftly moved to kneel in front of her, and turned her head gently to the side as he looked at the darkness. She gulped nervously and took one or two steps back, putting her sleeve over the patch of darkness sitting on her cheek. When she glanced down however, she found that it had been turning her hair black, too.

“I-It’s nothing.”
“It clearly isn’t nothing,” He said, standing up and sighing, “Embrace it, Christine.”
She looked at him, her eyes flooded with fear, “E-Embrace it?”
He looked her dead in the eyes, “You’re not gonna understand it by hiding from it,” He smiled, “Don’t worry.”

She looked down at her visible hand, which had already been enclosed and infected by darkness. By complete accident, her eyes flashed for a second before she stumbled back and fell flat on her butt as the heat in her body was drained and replaced with strength, and an unusual energy. She panicked, frantically looking at herself to see what she had turned into, and attempting to hide it from Luke.

“It’s alright Chrissy, just focus on me and we’ll get through this.” He kneeled down in front of her, like he had before. She looked at him, her now silver -- or perhaps grey -- eyes sparkling like metal in a strange way yet somehow holding complete and utter fear at the same moment. Her hands trembled as she gripped fiercely at the grass beneath her. She didn’t speak a word, afraid if she had she would’ve sounded like a monster. He reached out and placed a hand on her shoulder, gazing at her with reassurance, “You alright?” He smiled.
She wasn’t entirely sure if she was OK or not herself; so she just nodded, muttering the words “It’s strangely cold…” quietly, her voice sounded a little deeper.
“See?” His smile widened more, “It isn’t as scary when you’re calm, right?”
“I-I guess…” She looked down as she muttered her response, crossing her legs. Everybody else’s powers had the ability to be so beautiful, and she just felt… “I feel like a beast…”
“You’re still you. You just look a little different.”
“And feel a lot different,” she paused before she decided to speak up again, staring at her lap and forcing a pained smile, “You’ve all… you, Winnie, Philly… you’ve all got powers that can be so beautiful…”
She sighed as she slumped slightly.
“And then there’s mine that creates an abomination like this,” She forced a laugh: which was wrought with pain and sorrow.
“Hey now, don’t be like that,” He held her chin up with his thumb and index finger, to allow her to have looked into his eyes, “Didn’t anyone ever tell you that beauty’s in the eye of the beholder?”
She looked at him, her eyes still flooded with sadness, “No…”
“Well, I’m telling you now,” He smiled, “Personally, I think you look pretty damn cool.”
He grinned as she smiled, and then let out a small laugh, “Really…?”
“Damn straight.” His grin persisted.
Her smile kept its place, and she scratched the back of her neck, “Can I be a cool kid now?” She laughed a little.
“You already are, stupid.” He lightly punched her arm, as to not hurt her.
“Me? Cool?” She just ended up laughing more, “Since when? What world are you living in?”
“The one where I can freeze stuff with my mind and you can turn into a cool shadow.” He laughed.
She snickered: this had been her at her most talkative around anyone in a few years, “Huh, me too.”`

He looked up, noticing the sun had start to ride from underneath the horizon, “Come on, we’d better get back.” He stood up and extended a hand for her to grab. She accepted his hand, and stood but quickly became self-conscious of her form.
“I can’t go back like this… what if the others see?”
“Then they see. It’s not that big of a deal. Besides, I’m sure you can find a way to change back if you focus.” He smiled towards her. She smiled back, though worry coated over it.
He seemed to notice her worry and sighed, then held his arms out to his sides for her, “Come here.”

Not realising that the motion was for her to join him for a hug, (because frankly, she’s quite stupid) she hesitantly stepped closer, eyeing his every move. He shook his head and sighed at her lack of wit, before pulling her into a secure- yet still loose hug. She squealed at the suddenness of the motion, but soon relaxed as she finally realized he was just giving her a hug.
“See? It ain’t so bad.”
“Mmmm,” she hummed her response, as she felt a strange sense of security and warmth. She allowed her eyes to slowly close and her legs started to feel slightly numb, while her breathing steadied to a natural, calm pace.

He sighed with a small smile, looking at her and then lifting her up by her shoulders and knees, into a bridal carry. He started walking back to the van where the others still soundly slept, Christine soundly asleep in his arms: humming a tune all the while...

Really well written and interesting short story. :) I especially think the idea is cool, I've never seen uranium, smoke, and darkness being written as powers quite like this before. I also think the background descriptions are very eye catching, especially the very first line: "Everything stood still as the light breeze that passed through did not seem to be enough to disturb the leaves, grass nor the silence." Your first six lines are really just beautiful and amazing to read, and really sets the scene.

If there's something you'd maybe want to work on, I'd say you should look over your grammar, for example, "(because frankly, she’s quite stupid)" is in present tense while the rest of the story is in past tense. Another example is "--", which should just be "–", or "must’ve been those of the night shifts", which I believe should be "must've been those on the night shifts" or "must've been the night shifts".

Most of your dialogue is also very good and feels natural. Another tidbit criticism I have is on the "(organization name)". Instead you can use "––––", "XXXX", or "*****" to specify that it has been censored out, because the parenthesis breaks the reading flow here by taking the reader out of the story. Because your dialogue otherwise is so well written, this parenthesis becomes even more annoying. I do however like your other parentheses, because these work in your story. :) The characters are likeable and even though it's a short story, it's very obvious that they are different people. They are bursting with personality, especially Christine and Lucas, who are very well rounded considering the length of the story.

Overall, this short story really is great, and the only criticisms I have are minor, compared to all the good parts of your story. :D These good parts are especially interesting ideas, good characters, mostly natural dialogue, and amazing descriptions. I hope you'll accept this critique in the best intentions, as it was given as such.

I was going to say this was a wonderful read and kept my interest. I’ll add that Mia’s articulate words really say it all. You are quite the writer young lady. Thank you for sharing!

MiaLouise wrote:
If there's something you'd maybe want to work on, I'd say you should look over your grammar, for example, "(because frankly, she’s quite stupid)" is in present tense while the rest of the story is in past tense. Another example is "--", which should just be "–", or "must’ve been those of the night shifts", which I believe should be "must've been those on the night shifts" or "must've been the night shifts".

Ah, yeah ^^; I have a tendancy to switch tenses in the middle without realising it actually happening and then switching back to the other. It's really weird and I don know why I do it XD

What I've said to some of my friends on here, I've gotta say to you as well: you should be a writer. Especially thinking about your age--this is so vivid and the plot moves and the ideas themselves are unique twists on a familiar themes (in other words, you've got good plot ideas); this is very impressive. If you're writing like this now, I can only imagine what you'll be coming up with in 5 years or more.

And yes, I've been unknowingly switching tenses as well, ever since I started RPing in both tenses. Which is a bit frustrating. Lol.

Thanks for sharing and you're one of the people who, when I don't have 20 some-odd active RPs (too many for me to keep up with), I'd enjoy doing an RP with. Thanks for sharing the short story. I especially like the ending--it's sweet.

You are quite the writer. I really enjoyed reading this. England is famous for writers willam Shakespeare the beatles and someday soon you.

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Forums > Art & Creativity > Short Story by Me~