Destruct

The Guard Trilogy

By Sheridan Anne

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17 min.
40
Chapter 1

My best friends’ scream jolts me out of my daydream. I whip my head in her direction, trying to figure out what’s going on. Jacinta dashes across our small room, fumbling and cringing as she tramples every piece of our belongings on the way. I try my hardest to hide my smile at her comical performance but I just don’t have the willpower to last before laughter takes over. She makes it to her bed and flops down as more cries of pain come flying from her lips.

“What happened?” I ask as I try to smother the smile across my face.

Jacinta’s head snaps up with a fierce glare. “It’s not funny, Bianca. It freaking hurts,” she moans, tilting her head towards a large cardboard box. “I stubbed my toe on the stupid boxes.”

Tears begin to swell in her blue eyes and guilt pours through me as I realize she must actually be in a lot of pain. I haul myself off the floor and cross the short distance of our room. Hitting pause on my IPod, I crouch down in front of her bed and reach out, taking her foot in my hand and do my best to pry away her manicured fingers, which are doing a great job of cutting the blood circulation to her toes. “Give me a look,” I request.

She groans as she pulls her hand away from her foot and sucks in a pained, deep breath.

Leaning over her, I take a good look. Her fair skin is quickly turning an angry deep shade of red and there is no doubt in my mind that come tomorrow, she will be sporting a nasty bruise. “Well, at least it’s not bleeding,” I say with an encouraging smile. “You’ll have an awesome bruise though.”

Jacinta stretches her leg out, giving her toes an experimental wiggle. “It will be okay in a bit,” she pouts as she studies her toes.

“Oh, well, in that case… Get off your ass, we have packing to do.”

“Fine,” she smirks. “But we’re switching. I’ll do the wardrobe while you do the bathroom,” she demands as she gets up off her bed and slowly puts her foot down, testing her weight on the injury.

“No way, I’ll do anything but pack that bathroom,” I beg as images of the jam-packed bathroom drawers assault my mind. Jacinta hobbles over and plonks herself down in front of the wardrobe.

“Tough luck Hoochy, I’m here now,” she grins. “Besides, I’ve already done most of it, there are only a few things left,” she informs me, tucking a stray lock of blonde hair behind her ear and turning her attention towards the wardrobe.

I give Jacinta my best ‘you owe me’ look and make my way into the bathroom, hitting play on the music on my way past. I take a quick look around our cramped bathroom, finding the box that Jacinta was half way through packing and allow my mind to drift as I get to work, preparing to move our lives to the senior campus.

Thirty minutes later, I’m tossing the last shampoo bottle into the box and taping it up. I pick up the box to place it on the ever growing pile of crap near the door and catch my reflection in the small bathroom mirror. My green eyes stare back at me as I take in my long dark hair that looks like a bird’s nest after I neglected to brush it this morning, but usually with a little attention, it’s actually quite awesome. My small frame mimics Jacinta’s, though lucky me, I’m just that bit taller and proud to say that since the awkward teen years, I have most definitely filled out.

Jacinta walks past the bathroom door holding a box full of clothes and catches me admiring myself. “Careful,” she warns. “An ugly face like yours is bound to crack that mirror again,” she laughs as she adds the box to the pile. I give her a one fingered salute which earns me a wicked grin from the blonde goddess.

I grab the permanent marker and scribble the word ‘bathroom’ on top of my box before glancing up at our now empty room. A sudden wave of sadness courses through me as I recall how fast the past few years have gone by. Now I’m about to move my life over to the senior campus and start a whole new chapter.

I make my way over to my stripped bed and sit on the edge, letting a loud sigh slip from my lips, imagining the photograph that I used to keep on my bedside table which is now buried deep in boxes.

My eyes scan across the room and come to a stop on the naked wardrobe and I laugh as I recall the fond memories of Jacinta and I struggling to close the doors, time and time again as our clothes threatened to splinter the wooden doors apart.

“What crawled up your butt?” Jacinta asks as she hobbles over, probably milking her injury as usual.

“I’m going to miss this place,” I sigh, scanning the room once more.

“Don’t tell me you’re getting all sentimental? Or is it that time of the month?” she mocks in a sarcastic tone.

“No,” I laugh mimicking her earlier tone. “But seriously, as if you’re not going to miss our little room, we have so many memories here,” I say, remembering our first junior year party we held, being the only students who were able to get our mischievous hands on a bottle of Vodka, making us the life of the party and every other party since.

“Yeah, I know what you mean. I’ll miss this little shoe box too, but come on, It’s not like were moving schools or anything like that. It’s the same people, same place just a different room and a shit load more freedom. I’m too excited about the next 12 months to worry about how much were going to miss our little shack here.”

“You’re right, it’s going to be a great year. I can feel it,” I grin, my earlier memories completely forgotten as thoughts of Combat Training shoot through my mind.

An unexpected knock sounds at our door. I give Jacinta a quick look, soundlessly asking if she is expecting anyone. She gives me an un-lady-like shrug and I jump up to answer it, finding our dorm supervisor, Mrs. Clark. The old bat must have been the dorm matron here for at least a million years and of course the absolute bane of my existence. She adjusts the small glasses sitting atop her nose and runs a hand through her greying hair before giving me a polite smile.

“Hey, Mrs. C. What can we do for you?” I ask, pulling the door wide.

“Hello Dear,” she greets. “I’ve come to see if you girls are ready to move your belongings to the senior campus now? We’re running ahead of schedule. Apparently, last year’s Senior’s couldn’t get off campus fast enough,” she says, with a giggle, taking amusement out of her own wit.

I glance back at Jacinta, who is still sitting on my bed. “We good to go?”

She takes a quick glance around the room “Ah… yeah. Pretty sure we’ve got everything, it’s just your iPod and speakers on the desk.”

I quickly pack up my things, throwing them into the closest box and turn back to Mrs. Clark. “Hell, yeah, Mrs. C. Let’s get this show on the road.”

Jacinta attempts to stifle a laugh while Mrs. Clark gives me a stern look. “Watch your language, Bianca. I know you're still on holidays but I am more than willing to write you a detention slip for your first day back.”

“Sorry,” I smile at her. She gives me a warning look with a raised eyebrow before turning around, wobbling down the hallway and disappearing through the double doors to find a platform trolley to move our things.

Mrs. Clark is back in no time and we load up the trolley before exiting our room for the last time. We walk out across the academy towards the senior campus and I realise, that with majority of the students still out on Christmas break, I have never quite seen this place so empty. A feeling of loneliness washes over me and is gone quicker than it came.

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The Guard Academy, home of The Children of The Guard, basically a boarding school for kids like me who were born into our society or ‘community’ as the older and wiser members like to call it. Their official name being ‘The Guard’, a fancy name for humans who know of the supernatural world and strive to protect the rest of the world from its existence, mainly through physical means.

The Guard like to think of themselves as a tight-knit community. The families generally live in the same neighbourhoods and don’t tend to socialize with the regular humans as we’re taught that our society is superior due to our ‘protective capabilities’. Which really is just a load of crap and another way for The Guard to talk themselves up and remain relevant. Our neighbourhoods keep getting bigger and bigger to the point where The Guard now have a Headquarters and community in each state of nearly every country.

As I was born into our society, my future is pretty much planned out for me. I will spend the rest of my life serving The Guard and protecting the human world from any and all supernatural creatures. Which means my childhood and teenage years, along with all other Children of The Guard are spent at one of our many Academies. I think I got the lucky end of the stick though as I ended up here in Australia where our summers are scorchers and our winters, well, they certainly aren’t cold. I’m still hanging out for snow to hit the Academy but after my seventeen years, I’ve learned, it’s never going to happen here.

The Academy is broken up into three campuses. There’s the Elementary campus, for children aged five through to twelve. The Junior campus, for ages thirteen through to seventeen, meaning my little sister Millie, who turns thirteen this year will be moving up to the Junior campus. Last but certainly not least, is the senior campus, for students turning eighteen, which would be me and Jacinta.

Here at The Academy, we learn and study all things supernatural from Fairy Enchantment Defensive skills where we are taught how to use counteractive spells through the use of nature to defend against fairy magic, werewolf and vampire studies where we are taught every detail about their kind from strengths and weaknesses, diets and habitats to my very favourite class being Combat Training. Here we learn to physically defend against these creatures. Well, usually only Vampires and Werewolves, the fairies tend not to fight as they prefer to use their magic as their main defence, which, to be honest, I consider cheating. During our training we cover all other supernatural creatures such as mermaids and trolls but for the past couple of hundred years the Vampires, Fairies and werewolves have been our biggest threat.

Combat Training is the only class where I am not required to have my head stuffed in a textbook. We’re taught to fight, to use weapons and not to mention, the boys tend to get quite competitive during this class which means, well-built boys, full of testosterone fighting till the death, or well until someone is on their ass, glistening with manly sweat. So yeah, Combat Training is definitely my favourite class, though on of the best parts are that the week following our eighteenth birthday, we are sent out into the wilderness with an instructor of equal gender to complete our Navigation Test. 48 hours of nothing but forest while completing challenges. It is going to be awesome.

During our schooling we are taught all the regular subjects like Math, Science, History, and languages. The Academy has always put a lot of strain on us to be fluent in as many languages as possible as we never know where we will be placed after graduation. On top of these ‘normal’ classes, we then participate in each of the five elective classes. Fairy, Werewolf and Vampire Studies, Combat Training and then Alchemy which teaches us all sorts of useful things such as supernatural disposal, which sounds kind of epic, but to tell the truth, it’s a lot of book work so it really isn’t for me.

At the end of junior year, we are tested in each of these elective classes. These tests determine which elective class we will be placed in for our senior year. Which, in turn, limits the type of assignment we will receive after graduation, so pretty much, Junior year was just as important as what senior year is going to be.

All junior year I made sure I worked my ass off in my Combat Training. Well I guess that’s exactly what the other 50 students moving into their senior year have done to get into their desired elective. It has been my ultimate dream to be on the front lines of The Guard, which in the human world, I would say is the equivalent of a SWAT team, a really epic, awesome SWAT team. So at the end of junior year, when I was placed in Combat Training for my elective class, I was absolutely stoked, on cloud-freaking-nine. Well, to tell the truth, I was actually quite shocked as well, I had always assumed, that being a girl with a small frame, I would not be chosen to go ahead with Combat Training for senior year.

Females are rarely placed in Combat Training due to sheer lack of size and strength but I’ve always wanted to prove that I’m the exception. I won’t be held back because of petty reasons like that and besides, my Dad always told me I could be whatever I wanted to be and I chose to be just like him, a fighter on the Front Lines. So when I received my test results at the end of the year, I couldn’t be happier. This also came with the realization that I would most likely be the only girl in my Combat Training Class and would ultimately mean that I am going to get my ass kicked, day in and day out unless I put a ton of effort in. So with that in mind, I have a lot of hard work to do.

Christmas break for our community is our most treasured time, as it is the only break we get all year round. So for many families, it is the only time we get to see each other. Though luckily for me and Millie, our Mum doesn’t live too far away and visits as often as possible. So naturally, most of the students have gone to stay with family before the new school year begins. The majority of the students finishing Junior year had opted to have two weeks with family, then return to the academy early to get themselves set up for senior year. Jacinta and I being no exception to that.

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A nervous, excited energy begins seeping into my bones as we reach the senior campus. We stop just inside the door of the female dorm rooms waiting for Mrs C. as she pulls out a piece of paper that looks as though it has been folded and unfolded a million times. Adjusting her glasses and using her finger to scan the paper, she finds what she is looking for.

“Ah, here we go,” she announces. “Looks like you’ll be in room twelve. Follow me,” she orders and continues wobbling down the hallway, stopping at the supervisor’s desk and fishing through a small container filled with keys. She pulls out a key with a yellow tag reading ‘Room 12’. She nods to herself and continues down the hallway without a backward glance until we finally reach lucky door 12 that will belong to Jacinta and I, for the next year.

“Here we are girls. I’m sure you can handle it from here, just remember to bring the trolley back to the junior campus when you’re done,” Mrs. C instructs before stretching out her hand and dropping the key in mine. “Don’t lose it.”

We nod eagerly at her as Jacinta rips the key from my hand and jams it straight in the lock, giving it a swift flick of her wrist. Jacinta grabs the handle and pushes her way in with me closely on her heels. The room is a complete opposite of our old room and nearly twice the size. Fresh cream paint adorn the walls opposed to the dull grey of our last, two beds sit under a huge window which lights the room up brilliantly. There’s a small couch and desk to the side of the room with a mat laying on the ground in front, creating a sort of lounge room.

My mind is blown. Our last room hardly had room to move, I had to do my tummy crunches on my bed as it was always too hard to find space on the floor but now I’ll be able to do a complete workout. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit.

I lock gazes with Jacinta and a wide grin spreads over both our faces. “I know, right,” I say, agreeing with her smile. We step further into the room and start exploring. I beeline for the bathroom while Jacinta dives deeper into the room. I push the bathroom door open and I instantly fall in love. It is most definitely better than our last, the shower is bigger, the vanity is bigger and the mirror is much, much bigger. My old bathroom had a crack in the mirror, which if you stood directly in the centre, it would distort your image so we always had to stand off to the right. If you went to the left, there was a good chance of falling into the shower, a shower that had a loose shower head, cracked tiles and water that never seemed to get hot enough. I mean, I had always heard stories about how awesome the senior campus was but I never actually saw for myself. I guess, I’m a ‘don’t believe it until you see it’ kind of girl.

“You have to take a look at this,” I shout.

“No, you have to take a look at this,” she calls back.

I run out of the bathroom and find Jacinta standing in front of our new wardrobe, her mouth hanging open in disbelief. I make my way over, curious as to what could possibly be so exciting about the wardrobe when I finally see it. What I thought was a wardrobe door is actually a door into a tiny little kitchen. Complete with a kettle, microwave, and a teeny, tiny, little fridge.

We have hit the jackpot.

“You’re kidding me,” I say, my eyes bugging out of my head and my jaw dropping to the floor.

“What did I tell you? This year is going to be awesome.”

After I finally get my mind around how unbelievably amazing our room is and wipe the drool off my face, we begin to unpack, setting up our room just the way we like it. I grab the box with my speakers in it and set them up on our new desk, plug my iPod in and hit shuffle. “Welcome home,” I smile as we get on with the task of unpacking this monstrosity of boxes.


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