Winter Collaborations

 

The Creative Writing Club is proud to present our December Collaboration pieces.  While these are intended to be read a individual pieces some do have a bit of overlap.  The club was given the prompt:

Place a character with supernatural abilities into a “hell day” at Mines. How would they react?

Each writer was then given fifteen minutes to write as much as they could.  At the end of the time period, everyone switched to another piece.  However the catch was that they were then to introduce their character into that story and see what the resulting chaos was.  As can be seen, this lead to pieces with a considerable amount of overlap.  Since each author took the stories in different directions with each time they passed the story on, attempting to seamlessly mesh everything together would have been much like trying to untangle the Gordian knot.
So in the spirit of preserving each writer’s style and intent, the stories are being presented as is.


 

1. Ice

By: Kathy, Likith, and Joe

Serena sighed, running her hands through her shoulder length locks as she glared at the computer screen. Three lab reports and an exam all in the same week. “I swear this school is trying to kill me.” She mumbled, her head falling onto the big red textbook that sat innocently in front of her.

Sunday morning she had stationed herself in the library intent on getting something done. After all, with her exam on Wednesday, a lab report due on Monday, and the other two reports due on Thursday, she had to get something done. Well…that was her initial plan. It didn’t seem like it was likely given that it was 5 o’clock in the evening and she had one line written. One line.

She flicked her wrist, absently freezing the water in her water bottle as she tried to will her reports to do themselves. She didn’t notice the weird looks as the ice froze and unfroze, drawing the attention of the remaining students in the computer lab. She didn’t notice the temperature slowly dropping as her hands started slamming against the keyboard, her frustration clear through the loud clicks.

Serena grumbled in annoyance,pushing her chair away from the computer table and standing up. “Screw this. I need Marc’s help. I really do.” she muttered.

She tried as hard as she could to avoid seeking it out, but this week had been just about as unforgiving as any week could get. She would take Marc with her, and go meet her professor. What Marc saw always helped her understand the easiest way to get a good grade. It made all the difference. A month ago, Serena would’ve dismissed that idea as unethical and something that she just wouldn’t do. But not tonight.

Serena managed to convince Marc to go with her to talk to the professor. He didn’t even have to be in the room. If he focussed hard enough, he could even read through walls.Through a small wireless earpiece, she could receive instant feedback of what the professor was thinking, and she would’ve learnt the best and, more importantly, the easiest way to get a good grade. What could she offer him in return? Her freezing abilities didn’t just work on physical objects. It worked on the mind too. And what better gift to a mind reader than a time-out from that barrage of information he had to scan through on a daily basis. A couple of seconds of contact with his skull, and he would float away into the calm of nothingness. Perfect bliss.

As Serena and Marc were walking in the direction of her professor’s office, she heard the sound of footsteps behind her. Three sets of footsteps. Two of them muffled. Before he said anything, she knew who it was.

“Heeeello Serena!” Kayden chimed behind her as she winced uncomfortably, “Where ya off to?”

“See a professor,” she grunted, hoping he’d just go away.

“Gotcha,” he said, seemingly unaffected by her tone or the length of her answer, “Well, you can always count on me for a hand if you like. I could have my buddy here eat your homework, or rough up your professor’s office, or rough up your professor and steal his boxers! Right Wishbone?”

There was a small barking sound behind her. Serena turned around, her face flushed with anger. “Do you remember what happened the last time you set one of your dogs on my professor?” she asked, “He couldn’t show his face on campus for a week in fear of being teased because a dog marked his office as territory. In fact–” She raised a hand and put a quick ice wall between herself and Kayden.

“Hey!” he yelped, almost at the same pitch as the dog, “You froze my shoe to the sidewalk!”

“Deal with it!” she called back.

She continued on towards the professor’s office, Marc chuckling beside her. She would get her work done . . . ethically. Mostly.

At least she wouldn’t be able to humiliate anyone but herself.


 

2. Fire

By: Brody, Kathy, and Likith

Shit, I’m gonna be late, Ember thought as she threw on a shirt and jeans and darted out the door. Two quizzes, an exam and a presentation to look forward to today and she nearly overslept. She barely caught the bus. Sitting by the window, she sighed. The sky was overcast, and she feared it was a bad omen for the day ahead of her. The bus got to campus a few minutes early, so she grabbed a coffee for good luck and walked to biochemistry.

Adrenaline flooded through her as the professor began handing out the exams. Her stomach was overwhelmed with nausea. She pulled out her pencil and began circling answers. She thought she was prepared until this morning, when she realized she barely touched chapter 9. Classmates around her began sweating, and before she knew it her test was beginning to smoke.

“Why is your test smoking?” The professor asked nervously, and that was when Ember lost control. Her test caught fire and everyone began to run out of the room. She couldn’t believe it. She had done so well the last two years hiding her identity.

No one was supposed to know Elementals existed, much less that she was one. Fortunately, everyone was so riddled with test anxiety and fear for their lives that they would not realize anything was up with her. They would have no idea why her test caught fire. At least, that’s what Ember told herself.

The test was postponed, so she walked and sat outside her thermodynamics classroom to prepare for the quiz she hadn’t studied for.

“Morning Ember,” Serena said, her sapphire eyes locking onto the black haired teen sitting in the front row. Ember growled softly, lowering her head to the soft plastic of her notebook before mumbling, “Morning.”

She heard her long-time friend chuckle quietly before a quiet thud indicated that she had dropped her backpack to settle into the seat next to her.

“Did you hear? An exam in biochem caught on fire,” said someone a few rows up. Serena froze, her eyes landing on Ember’s still form as the class erupted into disbelief. “Someone must have dropped a match or lit it on fire with a lighter or something.”

“You had biochem before this class. Did you see anything?” Serena inquired quietly, her eyes locked on Ember’s form.

“Absolutely not.” Ember mumbled. “But they had to postpone the exam.” She lifted her amber eyes to stare at Serena, narrowing on the frozen water bottle. Cold as it is, her water bottle should not be that frozen….

“You sure?” Serena asked.

Ember nodded. “ ‘Rena, why is your water bottle still frozen? It’s eleven and you had work this morning.”

“Uh….” Serna said as the color drained out of Serena’s face. Just what is she hiding?

Ember frowned, feeling the pulse of the arcane magic before the room froze solid. Every desk, every backpack, notebook, and pen were all encased in ice. Startled screams echoed in her eardrums but all she noticed was the pale, sweating face of her childhood friend.

“Everyone, please leave the classroom quickly. The heating system must be out of whack in this room.” Their professor ordered, “Leave everything where it is.”

An accidental fire was believable, though the doubts still floated around. All those weird hypotheses that most were too shy to voice out, Marc read and laughed at. But a frozen classroom? All Marc saw were ellipses. No words around for a while, and then there were a massive barrage of curse words ill-fitted into open-ended questions. These newbies were just too careless with their powers. Some probably even thought they were the only ones who knew about it. How could they? Marc would never miss news like that. His gift was probably the only one which sounded so ridiculous no one could resist rejecting that was even a possibility. Except maybe Kayden’s. His gift was really ridiculous.

Anyways, Marc thought to himself, he was safe. He needed to help Serena. Obviously there was no traceable evidence that pointed to her, but this was something that the university wouldn’t just ignore. Something had to be done. Powers like this needed to be controlled if a good cover for the Elementals even had the chance to exist.


 

3. Spirit

By: J, Brody, and Kathy

Amy thought the day was going to be just fine, but that was before she accidentally slipped on a patch of ice while walking to class and slid onto the sidewalk with a crash.  Her ceramic coffee mug slipped from her grasp and shattered into millions of pieces.  She wasn’t bleeding, as far as she could tell, but her pride was wounded.  And her whole outfit was covered in coffee.

Someone behind her laughed.

“Shut up, Gray, it’s not funny,” she scowled.

“Yes it is.”

“Just because you’re dead doesn’t mean you have to be completely insensitive, you know.”

Gray’s transparent form flickered a little as he squatted down to her level.  “It was still hilarious.”

“Some days I wish I’d never met you.” She stood grumpily and adjusted her backpack.

The lecture hall was packed by the time Amy made it to her seat in the back.  She didn’t bother saving a seat for Gray; he didn’t need one.  Amy was the only one who could see him anyway.

They’d been friends for several years now.  Amy had finally gotten the hang of being able to see ghosts like Gray.  Sometimes she helped them solve mysteries or complete unfinished business.  But Gray was the only one who’d liked her enough to stay after the adventure was over.  He said it was because he liked to keep her company.

But why he wanted to sit in on today’s physics lecture was beyond her.  It was torture.

They got their exams back that day.  Amy’s professor handed them out with a grimace; the average had been higher than expected (a 62!) but no one was really impressed with this.

Amy turned her exam over, saw a grim red “45” and slid down in her seat, flipping the paper over again.  Gray tutted sympathetically.

“Rough.  That test must have been murder,” he whispered.

“You know, I can see dead people…but if we have another exam like this, I’ll probably get to meet a few more…it was awful.”

Gray nodded.  “And you didn’t even ask me to help you.”

“That would have been cheating.”

“You can’t cheat if I’m dead.”

“I beg to differ,” Amy hissed, trying hard not to draw attention to the conversation she was having.  If people thought she was talking to herself, they’d probably be okay with it, but that didn’t make Amy feel better.

Turning around, Ember asked, “Who the hell are you talking to?”

Amy froze for a moment before stuttering, “Uhh I talk to myself sometimes, especially when I don’t do well on tests.”

“I did bad too, don’t be upset,” Ember replied, attempting empathy.

“Don’t listen to her, she got an 86.” Gray whispered.

Sending a chilling grin to Ember, Amy asked, “Oh yeah, Ember? What did you get?”

Amy could have sworn that Ember’s hair was jet black, but now it looked like it was turning auburn. “I, uhh… I got a 62.”

“I’m sure you got exactly average. Now what did you actually get?”

“Fine I got an 86. I was trying to be comforting.”

Now the air felt like it was getting warmer. And Ember’s hair was definitely glowing. She can’t be human. Maybe she’s some kind of witch?

As if he read her thoughts, Gray answered, “She’s a Fire Elemental. Back in my village we frequently interacted with them. They were gods to us. I’d be more careful with my words if I were you. They’re usually kind… until you make them upset, that is.”

“I’m sorry, that was rude of me. I shouldn’t have snapped.” Amy said to Ember.

The air cooled down again and Ember’s hair returned to black. “It’s fine. It was wrong of me to get angry over that.”

“I should get going to chemistry lecture. We’re supposed to be getting our tests back there too. Just something else to break my ego,” Amy replied, her voice breaking into fake laughter.

“Hey, I’m in chem too! We could walk together.”

Amy was hesitant to agree, but the two set off from the physics lecture hall together.

It was when they reached CO209 that Ember dragged her away from the back row, settling them both down next to another girl, her silver eyes flickering briefly to them. “Hey Ember.” She greeted before turning to Amy. “I don’t think we’ve met. I’m Serena.”

“Nice to meet you, I’m Amy.” Amy responded, ignoring Gray’s introduction. After all, she was the only one who could hear him. “How do you think you did?”

Serena shrugged, her fingers playing with her metal mechanical pencil. “Probably not too well. I hated this section more than Quantum mechanics.”

Amy winced in sympathy.

“I don’t think anyone liked it.” Ember added.

Amy didn’t respond, bending over to her backpack to grab her own notebook for class. “You love quantum don’t you?” Gray inquired, his head tilting to the side.

“Shut up,” Amy hissed, absently accepting her exam from her professor. The best thing about having a small class was that the teacher knew who they were. She glanced down at the red number at the top of the page, cheering when the average of 66 was announced. She finally beat it, and by a full 23 points.

“That hurt,” Amy heard Serena murmur, instantly wondering what she got.

“Serena got a lovely 30 and Ember scored slightly higher at a 42.” Gray informed her doing back flips in mid air. “And I think she’s another Elemental, her seat and backpack just got coated in ice.”

Amy flinched, but some part of her couldn’t shake the feeling of triumph. Who cared about electromagnetism and electric fields? Quantum was far more interesting.


 

4. Speed

By: Grant, J, and Brody

It started off with the usual alarm.  Followed by a reminder alarm and another.  Hayden’s alarm joined in, adding to the cacophony in the room.  And shortly after, Mitchell’s alarm went off down the hallway.  I pulled my sheets up over my head and groaned.  Why did this morning have to be here already?  I had only gotten into bed…must have been only a few hours ago now.  How long was I asleep for?  What did it matter anyways?

I fumbled with my phone and managed to silence the annoying beep while my other roommates got up and went about getting ready for the day.  Sleep quickly found me again.  But it didn’t last either, it was all of maybe a half hour before Mitchell was up and in the shower singing a duet with his girlfriend, who, in all likelihood, was in the bathroom as well, brushing her teeth.  The temptation to run and shut off the hot-water pipe was all too great.  Oh what a laugh it would be.  Would serve him right for waking me up right now.  All I wanted was to sleep.  It was supposed to be a weekend after all.

I grabbed an extra pillow and crushed it over my head, trying desperately to return to the comfort of my dreams.  I could already imagine sleeping the whole day away.  It was the weekend and there was nothing I had to do right away.  Why push myself to get up?

It was maybe two hours later when a cold rush of fear seized my heart and snapped me up out of bed.  People always say they realize things slowly, but this hit me like a freight train on icy tracks.  It wasn’t Saturday, nor was it Sunday.  It was Wednesday.

“Well…shit.”

Two classes already blown.  Two classes that I slept through.  I had to get ready so I could at least make it to some classes today.  How many exams was I supposed to get back anyways?  Two?  Three?  Wouldn’t matter if I never made it to campus.

I had about ten minutes before the next one started, so I changed into something presentable and used the bathroom, which was now thankfully devoid of Mitchell and his girlfriend.  I had about seven minutes left.  Plenty of time.

I packed my satchel with books.  My mind was racing, trying to keep track of all the things I’d already missed that day.  Economics Quiz…that one paper for that one class…what else was there?

Mines is a tough school to begin with; a setback like this wasn’t exactly good news for my GPA.

Four minutes left.  Meh…I could leave now, if I wanted.

Two minutes before class, I walked out my door and heard the lock click.  I remembered my key was still inside.  Ah well.  Mitchell could let me in later.  It was the least he could do.

I got to the lecture hall fast.  When I say fast, let me put it into perspective.  I run at a speed beyond normal.  Like, hundreds of miles per hour.  That far above normal.  It’s about the only thing I can do well at this school.  It’s sad that I’m serious about that.

But anyway.

The girl to my left was covered in coffee.  It looked like she’d fallen on the way to school.  There were chunks of gravel in her brown hair.  She was hissing at herself, as if she was arguing with thin air.  But hey, who was I to judge?  Whatever gets you through class, I suppose.

The professor handed out our tests today.  Why couldn’t I have slept through that?  It’s not like I needed to see another reminder of my failures.  My D average is just plain sad.

The girl next to me was still whispering, but it was sounding more and more aggressive.

“Uh, you okay?  Rough test for you too?” I said, trying to sound nonchalant, like I didn’t just score a 50.

“That’s funny, Gray said that earlier-” the girl looked confused for a moment, then panicked.  “I mean…yeah.  Rough test.”

“Yeah.”

We just stared at each other.  I’m not the best at social interaction.

“I’m Amy,” she said, and held out a hand.  I shook it.  Her fingers were like ice.

“Paul.”

“Nice to meet you.”

The professor started talking over us.  The usual.  No, your test won’t be curved.  Yes, you’ll probably fail.  No, don’t worry about it.  Failing is part of life.

Thanks so much.

Just when I thought the day couldn’t get any worse, the fire alarm went off.  People rushed from their seats happily.  This is the one school where threat of fire actually improves people’s moods.  What was better than an official excuse to miss class?

I assumed it was just a drill, but as we walked to the doors, I smelled smoke.

Maybe my speed could be of use today after all…

A girl approached with jet black hair and amber eyes. I had never seen her before in my life. Yet something felt off about her. She smelled of ashes and wore a grin on her face. A grin that no student here would have, especially after getting back a test as awful as this one. The high was a 76 for God’s sake!

Just as I finished that thought the building burst into flames. Running with my speed, and pulling Ms. Ice-Fingers Amy along so she wouldn’t get hurt, we left the building in a flash.

The fire spread more rapidly than any natural fire. Maybe I wasn’t the only supernatural being here. My thoughts flashed back to that strange girl. It was her, I realized.

Amy pulled away, “Paul… is everything okay?”

I couldn’t speak. In front of me, the whole campus was nothing but ash. No one could have survived that…

I left Amy and started looking for survivors.

Then she came. The air felt like it was on fire, but still I had goosebumps. It had to be the same girl. She had the same face, the same creepy grin. But the hair that had been straight and black as coal was now coiled, red and orange.

“You’re a fast one, aren’t you? I’ve had enough of this school, the anxiety and pressure, I was bound to blow up eventually,” She told me with a soulless voice. Laughing maniacally, she added, “Sorry I had to go to extremes, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.”

She walked off without another word. I never saw her again, but I didn’t want to.  And who the hell is Gray?


 

5. Canine

By: Joe, Grant, and J

You know, college is significantly easier when you can command dogs with your mind.

I know what you’re thinking: But Kayden, wouldn’t that be conspicuous? Wouldn’t that be disruptive? Newsflash. Nobody believes in superpowers.

Today was terrible. It started with a quiz in Earth Lab at 8:00 am. Then there was another quiz in Human Systems. There was a midterm in P Chem which I feel nobody was prepared for (it was quantum). And as if all that weren’t enough, my DiffEQ professor decided everyone needed two homework assignments (seeing as he finally found last week’s).

Well, luckily dog-control is a great stress reliever. I had Wishbone, a fluffy little thing with tons of energy, walk me to class. People are used to this by now. Wishbone always walks me to class. No mailmen today though, so I didn’t get to send him after anyone.

I had Reggie, a huge bloodhound with a propensity for drooling, tackle my Earth Lab instructor on his way in the door. That put off the quiz for a bit, as he demanded to know for the hundredth time who had let “this mangy mutt” into the room. The instructor is good with alliteration. He should have been an English major. I had Reggie give his face a few licks to illustrate the point.

Between Earth Lab and Human Systems, I had the twins (I don’t know if they’re actually twins, but they certainly look the same) terrorize passersby on Kafadar. Every time someone calls animal control, I have the twins hide somewhere. They’re like the ghost dogs of Mines.

P Chem was a bit more interesting today though. We got out of the test when this one student barged in, white as sheet and panting like a dog.  He had this look on his face like he had seen his life flashing before his eyes.  I couldn’t help but smile a bit.  Both out of empathy and amusement at how late he was.  He’d missed an entire exam, who does that?

The poor guy stumbled to the front of the room, catching himself at the last second on the bottom step before he almost did a faceplant.  He looked up at the professor and mumbled a few nonsensical things.  Or at least, from my position in the room, I couldn’t tell what it was that he had said.  But, truth was it didn’t matter.  He was late, far too late, and I had dogs to go hang out with.  I had to do something to try and clear my mind of the previous few hours of hellish classes.  Might go out and have some more fun with the twins.

I had an hour break, and typically I spend the time doing homework or catching up on the sleep I lost when I had to write a lab report last minute and I was up until four in the morning.  News flash: this happens a lot.  Not because I procrastinate.

Okay, well, yeah, because I procrastinate.  But still.  The reason doesn’t make the lack of sleep any easier to bear.

But today, I was feeling relatively vindictive after my classes.  I snuck into Coolbaugh Hall, where I knew there were a few giant lecture halls I could mess with.

I summoned Cujo, my chihuahua.  Well, he’s not mine, exactly.  But I control a lot of dogs.  You get the point.

We walked to the basement floor, and I waited until a group of guys walked by.  Then a girl with red and orange hair stormed past, scowling.  When they entered a nearby classroom and the hallway was clear, I took Cujo to the little alcove where they have this sad little vending machine and table.

I told him to slip some tin foil into the microwave and set the timer for thirty seconds.  

I asked the dog to do it because he has this knack for opening doors.  His dexterity is amazing.   

And, I would have done it myself, but I was busy handling the fire extinguisher.  No need to actually start a raging fire.  Just make enough smoke to set off the alarms and evacuate the building.  Spare those students some of the horrors of class time.

Cujo did a great job.  The microwave started smoking.  It made loud pops and bangs and hisses; it sounded like a snake was dying and singing at the same time.  Then Cujo opened the microwave and I gunned it with the fire extinguisher.

I picked him up and bolted from the room before the alarms started to go off.  We made it all the way to the other side of the street before I started laughing.  Cujo was covered in the white foam; he looked like Santa Claus.

“Let’s get you cleaned up,” I said.

But then my day got infinitely worse.  The building burst into flames.  And then the buildings around it did too.  Before I could blink, the whole campus was ablaze…and it wasn’t my fault.

I waited there, frozen and confused.  If I didn’t start that fire, who did? A strange thought occurred to me.  The girl with the red and orange hair?

After a few seconds, I saw my girlfriend, Amy, stumble out of the now-crumbling building, clutching the arm of some guy.  They looked distinctly windblown, and she had this strange look on her face, like she wanted to kiss this guy.

I marched over.  “You okay?” I said to her, trying to sound as threatening as possible.  Which was hard to do while holding a foamy chihuahua.

“I’ve had better days.  You?”  She didn’t even ask about Cujo.  I was insulted.

“Fine.  Who is your friend?”  I turned to her right, expecting to see the guy and trying hard to quell the urge to yell at him.  But he was gone.  Must have been moving pretty fast.  

Amy seemed surprised.  “What?”

“Never mind, he must have run off.”

Good riddance, I thought.

 She looked relieved, then her eyes fell upon Cujo.  “What did you do to that poor dog?”

Ah.  Finally. She asked about the dog.

I grinned.  

“It’s a long story.”


 

6.Thoughts

By: Likith, Joe, and Grant

Thought bubbles… I’ve seen them ever since I could read. You think of them as something confined to comic strips. For me, they’re the point of origin for all social interactions.

This week has been the absolute worst ever. Yesterday alone, I had 3, three, super-important presentations to give. Each was worth around 30% of my grade. I’ve always been good at reading those thought bubbles above people’s heads and improvising to meet their needs. I guess some would call that an unfair advantage. Heck, some don’t even believe it’s true. I can read these thoughts, like a giant, intricate, 3-D comic strip. Luckily for me, over the years, I have also learned to scan the ginormous amounts of text thrown at me on a daily basis, and pay attention to only the really important ones. Like during my first presentation yesterday, I could see my professor thinking about his Thanksgiving dinner, and how he enjoyed spending time with his family and how rarely he got the opportunity. I could very easily have gotten distracted by all this, but when I really started giving it more than just peripheral attention was when he was thinking about this small point that he was looking for in my presentation. I said, not immediately though, for I’ve learnt that can be very suspicious, I’d forgotten to include it in the slide, but I did acknowledge it, and just like that, he was happy, and the grade I was going to get went up from 83 to 95…

I then had to sit through everyone else’s presentation. That might seem okay to you, but it can be incredibly boring to someone who can read exactly what someone is going to say in a thought bubble right before they say it.

I sat there for almost an hour watching presentation after presentation, bored to tears, until this one guy came up. He was presenting on something dull, just like the rest of us. I could barely keep my eyes open. Then something suddenly caught my eye. The first time I just dismissed it as a stray thought. Then when it came up a second time, I started to pay attention. People have all sorts of stray thoughts in their heads like the professor and his Thanksgiving dinner, but they don’t usually show up more than once. This guy, I think his name is Kayden, he thought, “Buffy, steal his papers!” with a picture of the professor attached. Most people don’t attach pictures to their thoughts. Then things got stranger. He thought the same thought three more times.

Then the strangest thing happened. A humongous sheepdog slammed through the doors and everyone in the room turned around. It thought “WOOF!” in about 30 point font and grabbed the professor’s papers. Then it ran back out the door it came through. I got suspicious and turned around in time to see a smile on Kayden’s face and the words “Good boy” in his thought bubble. The professor said we were done for the day and we could continue next time. So I decided it was time for my next class.

More presentations! Ugh!

My presentation went off mostly without incident.  Most of the other students in class payed at most mild attention to what I was talking about, the majority of them were stressing out about their own problems.  Though near the back of the class there was one student whose thoughts struck me as distinctly different.

His thought bubbles were very rarely focused on school, and when they were, the bubbles themselves always seemed to be made of ice, or had some icicles hanging off.  Today, though, he sat in the back of the class, a panicked look on his face.  His thoughts were far too scattered for for me to make much sense of the rapidly appearing and disappearing bubbles.  But I got the general sense that he had forgotten that there was a presentation in class today.

The professor called on him and his face drained even further of color.  I felt bad for the guy, but it wasn’t like we didn’t know about this presentation for at least a week by now.

He reluctantly made his way up to the front of the classroom and logged onto the computer, all the while cursing over and over in his mind.  Each new thought grew colder and colder, the bubbles themselves even started to look as though they were covered in ice.  I leaned back in my chair a bit and waited as the guy pulled up a half-finished presentation and started talking.  His thoughts didn’t even match what he was talking about, and as the time passed and he grew more nervous.  At this point it occurred to me that even the room had started to get cold.

I tore myself away from his thoughts and focused my attention just on the room itself.  I could see my breath in the air.  Most everyone else was starting to think of the rapidly plummeting temperature of the room.  Even the professor, who had previously been occupied thinking about how much he couldn’t wait to get home, had taken notice of what now felt like arctic temperatures in the room.

To my surprise snow started to drift slowly down from the ceiling, people’s thoughts immediately started to curse the school for poor maintenance of the furnaces.  The Professor got to his feet and announced that class was cancelled.

I got to my feet, I knew exactly what the problem was, Will, the student at the front, was another Elemental.  Another ice element with no control of his powers.  What was it with these newbies and their total lack of control?  They keep this up and they’d ruin everyone’s cover.  I suppose I was lucky in that my power was pretty easy to hide.

I’d have to talk with Will after class, make sure to set him straight.


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