After countless conversations with my parents about my plans, you’d think I’d finally learn my lesson. Each and every time they dismissed what I wanted, as though I’d come to my senses eventually. Neither of them actually accepted the fact that I was truly leaving.They both expected me to stay and dedicate my life to taking care of my brother. The moment I graduated high school; Mom insisted I enroll at the community college two towns over. I avoided that conversation at all costs. I wanted so much more than staying in this town and doing online college. I wasn’t sure why she wanted me to go to c
Adley and I left the library only to head to Stella’s Diner once the heat became too unbearable. Stella’s had an abundance of milkshakes, coveted on days like today. The short walk from the Library to Stella’s Diner had the two of us coated in a thick layer of sweat. My damp hair had dried quickly as we walked in the humidity, and now clung to the back of my neck.“Y
Disappointment continued to bubble within me as I scanned the room looking for Aiden. His trip with his Dad was taking longer than anticipated, and I refused to stay at this party longer than necessary. I promised myself I’d wait another half hour then make my escape. I would just have to meet up with Aiden this afternoon, alone, as he suggested.As Adley wandered over to one of the tables, Leo approached me. His face was friendly, and for a moment I allowed myself to relax. Irritation blossomed within me as I watched his eyes flicker over to Adley, lingering on her exposed legs for a few seconds
As a child, I remember the excitement each year as twenty people gathered for Iridian. Parades would be thrown, people dressed in costumes depicting magical creatures that had once roamed our earth. Countless celebrations would be held as families gathered together and hoped for an invitation of their own. I had loved watching the parades on our old television, had loved the glittering costumes of the dancers that pranced down the streets. The celebrations continued until a victor emerged, gloating of the adventure and wonder that is Iridian.What the television didn’t talk about
A rough knock sounded on the front door, taking Mom’s attention off of me. She brushed past me with a disappointed sigh, walking from the kitchen into the living room. The floor creaked under her feet as she padded over to the front door.“You’ll thank us for this someday, Rachel.” Dad frowned, and though I could see the concern burning in his eyes, it did nothing to stifle the anger running through me.
My Mom's warning stuck with me as we drove down the road. I contemplated asking the man when the game actually begin, but I doubted he would give me a straight answer. Those who returned from Iridian were unable to speak about the details of the game, but I heard the rules and setting changed every year.'Must be a lot of work to change your entire pack every year.' Rayna mused, 'If they change the rules and setting, why are they so secretive about the game itself?''Maybe, they're trying to hide the fact that they don't have Magic. After all, Grandpa Kent said Magic left us a long time ago.' I shrugged.'Maintaining a healthy skepticism, I see.' Rayna chuckled, 'Grandpa Kent also said, the only place that still has Magic is the Iridescence Pack.''Maybe they don't want people finding out how some of the contestants vanish, or how some are driven mad.' I grimaced, feeling the food I had eaten at my birthday party swirl within
After Apollo's vanishing act, I wasted little time stepping onto the train. The sliding doors opened with a quiet hiss, revealing a guy just a few years older than myself. The guy was nothing like Apollo, with his flamboyant suit and shimmering hair. This boy looked quite normal, and was sporting what looked to be a waiter's uniform. His lips turned up with a polite smile, and I visibly jumped as the doors behind me closed. "Welcome, Rachel. I am sure you have questions, but unfortunately, I am not the one to ask. This entire compartment belongs to you and four other female contestants. Food and drink are provided, as are sleeping quarters for your time here. We will arrive at the Iridescent Pack in four days. This train also houses the other contestants, male's included, though you will not have access to them. Do enjoy your stay."Without another word, the guy gestured to his right. The scent of food wafted in the air, much different than wha
I had slept like the dead, only waking to the sound of two unfamiliar feminine voices. Sliding the door to my small sleeping quarters open, I peeked my head from the room. The woman with a permanent sneer on her face, Liliana, was chatting with another woman, one I hadn't seen before. I assumed she was the fifth contestant on our small portion of the train. Her hair was impossibly long and curly, her skin a shade of deep bronze. She looked as though she spent most of her days under the sun. I'd have assumed she worked outside if it weren't for the shimmering crystal necklace that wrapped around her throat. She held the same air of superiority Liliana sported. Whatever conversation they were having halted at my entrance. Two sneers turned on me, and I didn't bother resisting the urge to roll my eyes.'Already making enemies, I see.' Rayna yawned, shaking out her fur.'I didn't do anything.' I snorted, padding down the hallway to the small bathroo