By K. M. Wray
(This story is part of The Original and takes place in September when Brie returns home. The elders have talked her into working with the teens and their magic. As a doctor, teaching doesn’t come naturally to her. New teacher. Teens with magic. What could possibly go wrong?)
“So the shifter magic is white?” Liam asked when he entered the training room where I was setting up.
I scratched my head wondering if I was a bit in over my talents. I was a doctor, not a teacher, but I was the only one of my tribe with such strong magic. And I still wasn’t fully certain how I’d describe it or help the group of teenagers, my students, prompt their magical skills.
I handed Liam one of the floor mats.
“Hi Dr. Brie.”
I turned and smiled as Cadence and Reese entered. This room was part of a community centre but had been set aside by the elders for magical training. The girls walked over to us and settled on a mat Liam had just thrown on the floor.
I’d only returned home to Niverville a few days ago from Grandma’s in Revelstoke, and since unlocking my magic over the Labor Day, and the constant back and forth phone calls with Peter and the rest of the elders about my magic—our tribe’s inherent magic—the elders had decided I’d work with a few of the older teenagers.
“Dr. Brie, what will we be learning today?” Reese crossed her legs and settled her chin on her palm to lean forward. Her wide eyes watched me as I handed the last mat to Liam then sat on an empty one.
“Cool!” A distinctive tenor echoed in the gym.
Cadence shook her head and rolled her eyes.
“Hey Jayden and Cashton,” Liam greeted the new arrivals with a fist bump then sat and the brothers joined him.
“So defensive magic. Does that mean we’ll be able to attack each other?”
Caston shoved his brother. “Jayden, no! Duh defensive magic means you protect against an attack.”
“Hey Dr. Brie, can we learn to attack each other as well?” Jayden asked. His smile and wide eyes made me wonder if his eagerness might be trouble.
“Sorry I’m late.” Matt, the last to arrive, said softly and settled between me and Reese.
“No worries. You’re not late. And Jayden, I think we’ll save attack magic for another day.” Inwardly I was already a nervous wreck. I had no idea how to teach magic let and seriously doubted the eager students would leave with any new skills. But the elders and Peter had faith in me. I took a deep breath to steel my resolve.
“So is it true you killed a vampire,” Jayden asked.
“And are vampires really really real?” Cadence asked.
Oh boy, news traveled in a small community. “Uh, well, yes to both questions but think we can talk about that another day.”
“What was it like?” Jayden leaned forward.
I squeezed my eyes shut and sensed a bit of a throb at my temple. “To be honest, it was horrible and not something I think I should talk with you about.”
“But if you don’t tell us, then who will?” Cadence stated.
“And you’ve actually seen stuff.” Reese nodded.
All eyes were on me and this wasn’t how I wanted or planned for the class to go. “We really should focus on the class.”
“Ah, come on Dr. Brie, this is part of the learning.”
Like I thought, Jayden’s eagerness was going to be trouble.
“How about we focus on magic and if there’s time, maybe I’ll answer some of your questions.” There were a few reluctant groans and I could tell they were eager for my stories but I couldn’t glorify what I’d been through with the vampire family I’d taken down about a month ago. It wasn’t something I wanted to remember but at the same time, I also remembered how frustrated I’d been with the stories from the elders about the monsters that attacked the tribe. The truth—when I finally learned it a month ago—had been freeing for me and my magic.
“Okay, let’s start by taking a few deep breaths,” I said and took in a deep inhale. The six students followed my lead with Jayden the last to act. I focused on my shifter magic which was easy to separate from the kaleidoscope of magic swirling inside of me. The magic had always been there just supressed under the comfort of my healing magic which often smelt like cool peppermint.
“Now focus on your magic. Take a moment to let it surface and focus on the healing magic then sense the different threads of texture.”
The room filled with the smell of peppermint a clear indication that they’d all easily tapped into their healing magic. I thought there was a faint whiff of blossoms but I wasn’t sure. It hadn’t even been a month since the fullness of my magic had been restored and I was still trying to figure it out.
I thought it’d be easiest if we started with the familiar healing magic and see if the students could actually sense their shifter abilities. While they could attack with their shifter magic and change form into unicorns—things I’d learned while visiting Grandma and fighting vampires—being able to defend themselves seemed like the best place to start so if any of them did come up against an enemy, they’d be able to protect themselves.
“Matt, what do you sense?”
The teenager’s face was screwed up in concentration. “I think I just feel the healing magic.”
I pursed my lips feeling bad for singling Matt out. “Does anyone sense a different strand of magic?”
“What does that mean?” Liam asked.
“Hmm, good question. When I feel my magic, there’s different colors and scents. What I’d like you to try to feel is white magic. Where healing magic is cool, the white magic will be hot.”
“Oh, I think I feel something.” Reese’s eyes fluttered open and she started to emanate a soft glow.
“Good, hold it. What’s it feel like?”
Reese wiped away a trickle of sweat rolling down the side of her face. “It’s… it’s… oh…” Power burst out of her like a shockwave and plowed into all of us. My back hit the floor and all the wind was knocked from my lungs. It took me a moment to regain my composure while I remembered the bursts of power I’d sent towards the vampires. Is this what it feeling like to be on the receiving end? Okay, maybe I have to teach offensive and defensive together.
“Oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to do that. Is everyone okay?” Reese’s eyes were darting around at her classmates as they slowly resumed a seated position.
“Don’t worry about it. That’s what the mats are for.”
“Was that an attack?” Jayden asked.
“It’s one way we can fight. Yes. But remember it’s about mercy not destroying enemies.” I quickly followed up with the purpose of our magic. I didn’t want to give the wrong impression. The unicorns—who’d gifted our people with their magic—were clear about its uses and while we could fight, we weren’t meant to go around hurting and attacking.
“I know but don’t you think we should learn to attack if somethings coming at us?”
“Let’s just focus on one thing at a time.” I turned to the rest of the group. “Did anyone else sense the white-hot magic?”
“I did.” Liam raised his hand.
An idea struck me. Maybe I could teach both defensive and offensive. “Liam, Reese, I want you to stand and face each other. And Reese, I want you to try to repeat what you just did but target Liam.”
“Hey!” Liam’s brow dropped into a scowl.
I rested a hand on his shoulder. “It’s okay, since you felt the white-hot magic, I want you to focus on defending against the attack.”
I bit my lower lip. How indeed. “Try picturing a protective dome or shield.”
Liam climbed to his feet and I got the impression that he was holding back an eye roll. The truth of it was I didn’t really know what to suggest. The elders had tasked me with something I didn’t fully understand and when I was fighting the vampires it was mostly guess work.
“You can do it.” I smiled and hoped I sounded encouraging.
“Uh, Dr. Brie, I’m not sure I know how to repeat the same thing.” Reese stood slowly and glanced between Liam and me.
“Uh, just let the magic build and then push it out but focus it towards Liam.”
“Um, okay.” Reese closed her eyes and the soft glow started again showing she’d tapped into the white-hot shifter magic. Her hands started to shake and a soft whimper escaped her. “Liam?”
“Hold on,” Liam replied. He was also concentrating but his eyes were on Reese.
“Don’t look at her. Focus on your magic,” I said.
“I can’t hold it anymore.” Reese sagged and barely a second later, Liam folded over like a large round ball had struck him and he flew backwards about two meters and landed outside the padded area. Note to self, next time we’ll need more padding.
“Cool!” Jayden shouted.
“I don’t want to try that again.” Liam moaned and rolled onto his feet.
The strong sent of peppermint filled the air as Liam’s healing magic worked on his bruises.
“Nothing serious hurt?” I asked.
Liam shook his head and settled back on the padding.
“Hey Reese, how’d you do that?” Jayden asked.
Reese stood awkwardly her concerned gaze on Liam. She shrugged.
“Jayden can you even feel the white-hot magic?”
I held back an eye roll. “Okay, why don’t you try to block this time. Resse are you up for another try?”
Her eyes popped. “I don’t want to hurt anyone.”
“You won’t. Jayden wants to try and practice will only help you learn to direct and control your magic. Ready Jayden?”
“Yeah.” He launched to his feet and faced off with Reese.
Reese magic came faster this time and she didn’t seem as overwhelmed by it. I shifted my gaze to Jayden and was surprised to see him also pulsing with a soft light. My stomach turned.
As magic burst from the two students, I shouted, “No!”
The magic, not visible but something that I could certainly feel and hear clapped together between the two then bounced backwards mowing Reese and Jayden to the ground. Jayden sat up slightly dazed but a huge grin on his face.
“That was great.”
Cadence shot to her feet glowing and pointing a finger at Jayden. “You did that on purpose!” Her magic erupted and flattened Jayden.
“Hey.” Cashton moved to stand in front of his brother and glared at Cadence. White-hot magic ripped off him but before it reached Cadence, Matt was in front of her and I could tell he was trying to summon protective magic. Unfortunately, he still didn’t manage to find his white-hot magic and both he and Cadence landed in a heap.
“Okay that’s enough,” I moved to Resse, Cadence and Matt to help them.
Jayden and Cashton started to face off against each other and sent each other flying backwards.
“Guys!” Liam stood and tried to stop the brothers when they’d regained their footing but it only put him and the rest of us in the path of a double portion from both brothers. This time, I landed on top of Reese.
“Sorry.” I groaned as I peeled myself off her. In my peripheral vision, I saw Jayde and Cashton send each other flying backwards. Matt, Cadence and Liam were back on their feet and appeared to be preparing to send their white-hot magic against the brothers.
I groaned. This class had quickly gotten out of control and these students weren’t using the gift of their magic as it was meant to be used. I seriously wondered why the elders had chosen these six as students.
Magic built in me and the strong scent of floral blossoms filled the air. I’d only mildly scented it before but it was much stronger now and reminded me of lavender. Lavender was knowing to be a calming agent, but I’d never used this magic before. I closed my eyes and sent it out with a strong sense of calming these six down. A moment later I opened my eyes when all noise had ceased.
No one was moving. In fact, it was like everyone was frozen. A smile curved my lips. I wasn’t sure how long the magic would last but for now, the mini battle they’d been fighting had stopped and hopefully the class would be more focused after this time out.
A chuckle escaped my lips as I moved back to my spot. Well, at least we’ve learned something. I thought to myself and seriously wondered what had possessed me to think I could teach. I’d stick to being a doctor. It was much easier.