Tag Archive: Michelle


It only took about a half an hour to reach the city of Piedmont by train. As the train rumbled up into the station, they could see a crowd of children with their parents getting ready to board the train. As with the children from Lyroron, they varied greatly in age.

Amelia saw one girl who looked even younger than Miles head back to say good-bye to her parents three times before she finally boarded the train. Others were boarding the train boldly and with a great deal of enthusiasm. She sighed and returned her gaze to the Ballards.

Miles was dozing, in spite of his father’s words. Emery was, like she had been, gazing out the window. He watched everything keenly for several moments, and then rose to his feet. “How long is the train going to be here?” he asked.

“Not long now,” Amelia said. “They only planned on stopping long enough for the passengers to embark.”

Miles sat upright and looked over at his brother. “Stay put,” he said sharply. “I know what you’re thinking, Brother, and the answer is ‘No’. If we miss the train, we have neither the time nor the money to get the next one.”

Emery sighed heavily and settled back into his seat. “We’ve never been to the city before. I was hoping for a little time to explore. I guess it’s near enough to lunch-time.”

Both boys opened the bagged lunches they’d been given. Within each was a sandwich wrapped in wax paper, a small box and a bottle. After examining the sandwiches for a moment, they traded.

Amelia chuckled and said, “I’m sure there’s an explanation for that?” By all appearances both were bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches.

“Miles gets dressing on his sandwiches and I get mayonnaise,” Emery said around a bite of food. He chewed for a moment before he continued, “Otherwise everything is the same; so Dad mixed them up.”

“He did it all through school too,” Miles said. He took a sip from the bottle and made a face before handing it over to his brother. “Peach nectar,” he said.

“He doesn’t like peaches, but they’re good for my aura,” Emery explained. He rolled his eyes as he handed the bottle that was in his bag. “I think this is orange juice.”

“Thanks, Brother,” Miles replied. He looked keenly at Amelia for a moment before he asked, “Did your parents pack you a lunch?”

“Grandmother gave me some money for something off the snack cart,” Amelia said with a shake of her head.

“They have snack carts?” Emery asked. He glanced toward the door, then beamed and said, “Hi.”

Miles and Amelia both looked at the door then. There they saw a girl about their own age. She was tiny with short dark hair. Her eyes looked huge behind a pair of thick glasses. “Is there room here?” she asked softly.

“Sure,” Emery replied as he pointed at the seat across from him. “I’m Emery Ballard and this is my little brother, Miles. This young lady is Amelia Fairisle. We all come from Lyroron. Are you from Piedmont?”

“Yes,” the girl replied. “My name is Michelle Drummond. Do you all know what year you’ll be in?”

“Fourth year,” Miles said in a quiet voice.

“Wow, I’m only going into second year,” Michelle said. She leaned forward in the seat. “Next year you’ll specialize. Do you know what in?”

Emery shook his head and grinned, “Not yet. If we’d stayed back home, we’d have been research mages, like our dad, but I’d like to see what other specialties there are before I narrow my focus.”

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Emery slipped into the class late, only to find that the teacher wasn’t there yet. “Where’s Master James?” he asked.

“Dunno,” Michelle replied. “We figured we’d wait. The headmaster might have caught him in the corridor and… you know how he can get.”

“He does like to beat his gums,” Emery said. He rolled his eyes and settled into his chair. “Master James hasn’t been here yet though, since there’s no assignment on the board.”

“I wonder – ,” Hadyn started. He stopped as the deputy headmaster entered the room.

“Gentlemen and ladies,” the man said as he stepped up to the front of the classroom. “Please assume your seats and remain quiet until you have been dismissed. I regret to inform you that Master James has been killed. This class is cancelled until a replacement can be found. You are dismissed to the library until your next class.”

He watched as the students gathered their belongings and began to leave. Emery waved at his classmates to go ahead of him and paused, turning to the headmaster. “Sir, may I ask what happened?” he said softly.

“Apparently someone had a… disagreement with their spouse in a restaurant he was visiting for supper last night. Shots were fired and Master James was one of the casualties,” he said softly.

Emery nodded and slipped out of the room. “What happened?” Hadyn asked as Emery joined him.

“Someone was angry and shot him. There are better ways to deal with anger – especially since it appears that Master James wasn’t even involved,” Emery replied. He shook his head. “I always kept a journal of my frustrations.”

“I write poems,” Hadyn said softly.

“Angry poems,” Emery murmured, shaking his head. “Better than getting violent, I guess.”

Emery stepped into the classroom and stumbled as he crossed the threshold. “That’s never good,” a young voice said from behind him. Emery looked up to find a red haired boy smiling at him. “I’m Allison,” he said. He poked a thumb over his shoulder at another red haired boy and added, “That’s Michelle.”

“Emery,” he said. “Why’s that not good? It’s a high threshold.”

“Vampires can’t cross thresholds,” Michelle said with a smirk. “Are you a vampire?”

“Would I tell you if I was?” Emery said. He settled into a chair and looked up at the chalkboard. “We have an assignment,” he said softly.

“What is the first lesson of magic?” the board read. It continued, “Name the opposing principles of magic.”

Emery began writing, though none of the other students seemed inclined to. He was finished by the time the prefessor entered the room. The man looked around and crossed his arms at the chattering students. “Well, have you all finished your study questions?” He began to erase the board. “Using what you know of them, tell me how or why you could use a full moon on the first of May in the casting of a spell.”

The boys and girls in the class began to chatter, but the professor held up a hand and said, “Silently.” Emery nodded and began to write. A glance around the room told him he was one of the few.

Monica Ferris

an author with many hats

A Land of Curiosity

From the files of Shynian Intelligence

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tales from the enchanted gardens and shadow hollow

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