Beginning of chapter 1
I was fighting the urge to give up and I should probably add that I’m usually a very patient person. The potted, yellow tulip was placed on the floor in front of me and still hadn’t shown any obvious change. No matter how hard I tried to concentrate, the flower didn’t seem to grow, burst into flames, speak to me or basically do anything but look pretty in its pot. The only change that was slightly evident, probably only to a very observant and desperate person like me, was the sickly appearance of the plant. If anyone would bother to inspect it closely they would see that the bright yellow color of the tulip had faded a little and the once strong stem looked like it could collapse at any moment.
I couldn’t explain those changes to myself. To be honest there are many things in my life which I cannot find reasonable explanations for. The only logical thought that came to my mind was that somehow I had drained the tulip, but why would that take this long? Were my powers really that weak?
The other students had finished their experiments hours ago. The moment they had sat down in front of their experimental tulips you were able to see abrupt changes. Some of the flowers had burst into flames after a few seconds leaving only a pile of grey ash on the wet soil, some had grown larger and higher until they had nearly reached the sealing, some even had seemed to dance which looked pretty ridiculous. There even had been some flowers which had sweated, at least it looked like sweat, water had dropped out of their leaves and after some minutes they had been totally dry and could be crumbled to pieces by a slight touch.
The only person left in the room besides me was Ilayne. Ilayne had always been an angel-like person, nice and helpful. From where I was sitting I could see her light blond curls and the back of her blue T-shirt, which said “The Sky is the greatest place on Earth.” I didn’t think much of those slogans, but I guess when you find out to which element you belong to you feel proud even though it might kill you in the end.
Ilayne always tried to look at the bright side of everything. She was like sunshine, always trying to make you smile and you just felt better when she was around. She encouraged others and never had I seen her be selfish about anything. She even thought those ridiculous slogans on the T-shirts the Grahams came up with were funny.
As I looked across the deserted room I saw that Ilayne’s bright red flower was swaying back and forth as if touched by a light breeze. She had figured out who she was and unlike me she knew her powers. She was probably only still here because she was hoping to do something greater than creating this light wind which I could have caused by blowing through my mouth.
I knew Ilayne pretty well and I also knew that she was ambitious. She tried to make people think that she was grateful even for the weak power she had, but I had figured out long ago that she would very much appreciate being able to do something greater, and who could blame her?
However to me even the wind she had created by her thoughts seemed like a great ability since I had no idea what I was able to do with my tulip. I was even starting to have doubts about the existence of my powers, but I had never heard about a child of disaster without any extraordinary ability.
I am a child of disaster and of that I’ve been sure of my entire life. I knew there was something extraordinary I could do, there had to be. I was pretty sure most of the mentors had already found out about my abilities, but of course they wouldn’t just tell me.
The mentors were like our family, they were like parents or siblings to us since our birth was actually caused by disasters, literally. They were the ones who cared for us, gave us a home and helped us grow up. In most cases they were also the ones who found our dead bodies and sometimes even had to watch us die.
I knew that the more our mentors helped us, the harder it would be for us to survive. So they kept most of the relevant information to themselves. We should become stronger and wiser by solving our problems ourselves, which also meant figuring out our abilities.