Working with some scenes in Harvest. Came up with this and I like it more than what I had before 🙂
Katara walked through the halls, her fingers lightly trailing the wall to her right in order to keep her on track as to where she was going. Her worn down sneakers squeakd against the tiled floor of her school and her long shorts made the skin underneath her knee itch. She kept forgetting she hated this pair of jeans.
To her left she heard a group of Angels speaking in hushed tones.
“You think it was a Rat?” a boy said, his voice wavering with puberty.
“They’re constantly doing this sort of stuff,” replied a girl, her voice deeper than the boy’s. “The question is, which one of them did it?”
“Inet likes to throw stink bombs in the bathrooms. I bet it was her.” Their voices trailed off as Katara continued walking, a small smile playing at her lips. Rats enjoyed using their stealth to play pranks on the Angels. They particularly liked sabotaging the combs for the Angel’s massive wings so that glue would keep them grounded for several days. Angels usually got the Rats back somehow, though Katara never paid too much attention.
The voices of Lizards taunted the Shifted, each arguing which was better: being able to turn into a humanoid-lizard with claws, scales, and tails, or being able to turn into something like a bird, a lion, a dog? Katara shook her head as their words grew ever more aggressive; they were always arguing over who was better.
As she wandered further through the school, she moved to the left just in time to miss the lockers that lined the wall. Her fingers trailed against their doors as she strode forward, knowing the school better than her own home. She frowned at the thought of home.
She heard a loud grunt to her left and the crumpling of metal as a fist punched into a locker. Katara shook her head with a deepening frown as a teacher rushed past her—at least, she thought it was a teacher—to separate the brawling students.
“Soldiers should not act like this,” the teacher hissed, voice low and hard for Katara to pick up over the crowd of students. “You should use your strength to help each other, not fight.”
Soldiers, always testing their strength against each other. Katara’s parents had both been Soldiers, their skin tinted orange and their strength far past that of a human’s. The Soldiers in the school made up the security force, though until the shooting, the group was mostly for show.
A shoulder caught hers and made her stumble into the locker to her right, too distracted by her thoughts to hear someone approaching directly at her. She scowled towards the person.
“Watch it, blindy.” The voice was feminine. Katara made a single rude gesture and continued on her way.
“Excuse me?” the woman hissed. Her hand landed on Katara’s shoulder. Kat sighed and turned towards the voice.
“You think because you’re blind you can just run into people? What makes you so special, anyway? Why are you always having separate classes?” Katara wished she could roll her eyes. “What? You want to say something, blindy?”
“You think because you’re a Wielder that you can just burn everyone in your path?”
Katara imagined the woman’s eyes would be narrowing because her grip got tighter on Katara’s shoulder. “What did you say?” the woman’s voice was low.
“You heard me, Aria.”
Aria’s Gift activated—Katara could feel the heat of fire close to her face. “I dare you to say that again, blindy.”
“What’s this?” A new voice interrupted. Katara flashed a grin. She had the situation under control—no one dared to seriously hurt each other in or out of school—but she was glad for some back up. Samuel strode up next to her. “You’re not going to try and hurt Katara on school grounds, are you, Aria?”
Aria scowled and shoved away from Katara, the flames’ loud sputters dying down. “You won’t always have your bodyguard with you, Baneswing.” She turned on her heel and strode away where Katara could no longer assess where she was. A heavier hand rested on her shoulder.
“You all right, Kat?” Samuel asked, voice low as he moved protectively closer. She put a hand on his chest and pushed him away teasingly.
“I had it under control, Sammy.”
He flashed a smile and put his hand over her’s. “Sure you did. Want me to walk you to class?”
Katara snickered and shifted the weight of her backpack’s strap on her shoulder. “Fine, fine, since you’re bending my arm.”
With a light chuckle, Sammy took her hand in his and strode down the hallway, pushing others aside if they dared stray too close to Katara. His hand was warm and suggested his inner Gift: that to Wield fire. Katara only wished she could see him spin around with flames in his hands, daring anyone to come near. She flushed slightly at the thought and tilted her head down, letting her shoulder length hair fall around her face.
“Did you hear that the Sweepers are getting in on this prank war?” Sammy asked, voice booming over the cluster of sounds in the hall. He turned right to head for the stairs and take her to her first class.
“No, I didn’t. People don’t really tell me much.”
“It’s because they’re jealous.” She felt his hand move as he shrugged. “Anyway, apparently they weren’t very happy about the Rats’ latest trick they had to clean up. So now they’re putting all the garbage from the cafeteria into their homeroom.”
Katara crinkled her nose. “Ew.”
Sammy laughed. “I know, it’s pretty gross. What’s better is that they refuse to move it, so the Rats have had to move it with their hands.”
“Must be nice,” Katara muttered as they entered the stairwell to the second floor of the school.
“I dunno. I think if I was a Sweeper I’d be pretty lazy. Using my mind to bring me my soda and stuff.”
Katara laughed and punched his arm. “And you’re not lazy already?”
“Why must you hurt me so?” Sammy teased, carefully leading her hand to the railing and walking in front of her so no one would get in her way as she climbed the stairs. They walked in silence for a while, listening as chatting friends passed them by. Katara wasn’t a slow climber however, and soon Sammy and her were racing to the top. Katara burst through to the second floor first and stumbled into a fellow teenager. The girl grunted as the two of them rammed into the wall together.
“If you wanted me alone you could’ve just asked,” the girl teased, shoving Katara off her. She reached up and brushed her ash brown hair out of her face, her hazel eyes flicking to Sammy as he walked through the door, panting.
“Hey, Alex,” he said, raising a hand momentarily as he caught his breath. Katara giggled and leaned against the wall.
“Beat you again, slow-poke.” She pointed her jaw in Sammy’s general direction and he rolled his eyes.
“I let you win.”
“Mmhhm.” she hummed. “Was that Alex I heard a moment ago?”
“The one and only,” Alex said. She did a mock of a curtsy that only Sammy appreciated. “Why? Were you looking for me?”
“You haven’t been at school for a month.” Katara replied, her words slow and deliberate. Alex’s faint smile faded.
“Yeah. Well.” Alex’s voice was flat. Sammy moved and put his hand on her shoulder.
“I just came for some books.” She brushed past him, moving quickly down the steps.
“Alex!” Katara cried, running towards the sound of Alex’s footsteps. Sammy’s hand reached out and snagged her arm before she started to tumble down the stairs after Alex, though she fought him momentarily.
“Alex, please! Just talk to me!” Katara shouted, her voice echoing in the well. Her shoulders slumped when she received no reply. “I just…don’t know what to do.”
“Give her time, Kat.” Sammy whispered. “She’ll come around.”
The shrill ring of the bell bounced through the halls and Katara jumped at the sound.
“I’m late! Thanks Sammy, I can make it from here!” She gripped the strap of her bag and ran down the halls of the school, one hand outstretched to run along the wall. Samuel sighed and shook his head.