I folded my arms over my staff. “We’re not going anywhere,” I said.

The lady sighed, and nodded. “That is already one demerit. Add another because you were late, and you are already in the bottom third of your class, Miss McKay.”


She tutted. “Emelia. No nicknames at Blue Wheel.”

“Good, because we’re not going.”

“Two.” There was a notebook in her hand, and a slim pen in the other. She made a notation. “Miss McKay will be tending to the fourth floor Zen garden it seems.”

I stuck out my tongue. “Get out of our house.”

“This spire, as you illegally house yourselves here, is of no consequence.” She looked up at me. “What is important is that you and Lana Woodland come with me, now.”

“And I said no.”

“You might as well give up,” Sela removed her mask, and sat down. “Mel’s got an idea in her head, and she isn’t going to let go of it.”

I nodded. “So go ahead and make your threats or promises. We’ve got a lot of stuff to do today and we can’t have school messing it up.”

“I see,” she said. “You believe that being at school will make it harder to accomplish your goals?”

She set a pendant on the table. “Well, first let me assure you. Blue Wheel Preparatory Academy is the finest school in the hemisphere. We mold young minds into the leaders of tomorrow, exemplars of their ages. The fact that you were accepted out of term, and with no recommendations, turns my digestion. But you will find an education that will exponentially aid in your endeavors.

“As to threats,” she sneered. “We do not deal in threats. Our reputation precedes us. We are the elite. We are respected. Something that you may need should you hope to survive the fortnight.

“Now, will you come with me, or shall I inform the school of your declining their invitation?”

I was about to shout a yes, when a voice below us answered.

“They say yes.”

An elf popped her head up. Surly, looking at me.

“The idiot doesn’t want to be an idiot anymore.”

Merryl. The proprietor of a local bar, she was a survivor. The two of us had already run into problems with each other.

I knew she was only trying to do her best. But it was not going to work.

“Merryl,” I said. “We’re not going.”

“Yes, you are.” She looked at me. “Blue Wheel is the best school for miles, even days. Can’t find anything better.”

“Doesn’t matter, it isn’t going to help in superheroing.”

“You don’t think knowing new spells, or having the best physical education, or actually knowing the criminal code, is going to help?” she asked.

I stopped. “Well, not help that much.”

Merryl sighed, and knelt down next to me. “Tell you what. For every day you spend in that school, I’ll help fix up one building. I’ll even talk the Half-Men into helping.”

“No criminals!”

“Then no city,” she muttered. “Mel, you have to work with what you’ve got. You’ve got a death threat outside the school, and peace in. Might as well take the offer, and figure out where to go from there.”

I fumed, but it started getting in my head. I nodded. “Come on, girls.”

“No, just you and Lana,” the lady said. “Sela is far too old for the Academy, she shall remain here.”

copyright 2019 Jack Holder

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