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  • Writer's pictureCasey Truly

Sorce: Birth of Echo (Preview) Pg.8

“I know your minds are eager to learn, but remember I said groups of two at most.” Master Uphraeus says.

I’m not sure if he was around for Laurie’s outburst, or the stare down me and this Rhody guy were having, but he was clearly here to break us up.

“Come along Charlie. I’ll set you up with your own crystal.” Master Uphraeus says.

As he turns me in the opposite direction, I look at Laurie one last time and she almost looks sad. Rhody turns his back, grabs Laurie’s hand and walks towards a crystal. Walking alongside Master Uphraeus, I’m lost in thought about the whole situation. How long has she been with this guy? Rhody. Is that why she broke up with me? Did he convince her too or force her? Was he in the shadows of our relationship the whole time?

“Charlie?” Master Uphraeus says.

“Charlie, what’s on your mind son?”

I snap out of my focus to realize we’ve stopped in front of a crystal.

“Huh? I’m sorry Master Uphraeus, I was lost in thought.” Master Uphraeus chuckles.

“Yes, my boy, I can see that. Something to do with that altercation I pulled you from?”

“You heard that?”

“No. I saw the palms of your hands glowing. It looked like I was going to have to break up a fight and suspend someone or worse, expel them.”

“Glowing?” I examine both of my hands and don’t see them doing anything unusual.

“Yes. You were channeling a large amount of sorce – and from the look on your face – it might have ended with someone being harmed”

Master Uphraeus positions himself on the other side of crystal, putting it between us.

“Charlie, I want you to try the exercise on this crystal. See if you can manipulate your sorce in and around it.”

I’m looking at my hands. Glowing? What was I about to do? Usually, it takes a bit of concentration to use sorce. I don’t think I’ve ever used sorce subconsciously. I look at Master Uphraeus and he gives me a slight nod.

“I’m here. Don’t worry.” Master Uphraeus says.

I take a deep breath and position my hands on either side of the crystal. The crystal’s blue light gets a bit brighter. I try channeling more sorce, manipulating it through the crystal, but it doesn’t do much more than just alter the brightness of the blue. I look around and see the other students struggling throughout the field. Most seem to have their crystals shifting to green or yellow. Only a few have made their crystals look like prisms. Then I notice a couple of guys trying to put a crystal back onto one of the pillars and failing miserably.

“Um. Master Uphraeus?”

“It’s alright Charlie, just relax.”

“I am, but should the crystals be able to come off like that?”

I then point toward the dynamic duo fumbling around with one of the crystals.

“Mighty crustaceans!” Master Uphraeus says.

“Y-you keep practicing, Charlie. I’ll catch up with you later.” Master Uphraeus quickly power walks over to the other side of the field.

“Gentlemen! Please step away from the crystal! How in the stars did you manage-“

I focus back on the crystal, attempting to make the color change again. I know if Laurie was here, she’d be able to walk me through this. Then I’m reminded of last week, the last week Laurie and I were together. We’d just watched a movie and everything seemed perfectly fine. Or was it? I start analyzing that night trying to find out what might’ve happened. Any clue or foreshadowing to the current situation.


I hear someone from behind me. It’s Jessie.

“Mind if I join you?” Jessie says.

“I would say no, but I could use a friend right now.” I say.

“Oh! So, we’re friends now? Cool…”

She moves around to the other side of the crystal and faces me with a big goofy grin on her face, I can’t help but laugh.

“Yeah, yeah, I guess we’re friends now.” I say.

“It’s a pleasure.” Jessie says.

“Where’s Nathan?” I say.

“Probably looking around for me. Is it just me or is he super clingy?” Jessie says.

Well, it seems pretty obvious to me that he’s got the hots for her, or at least wants to take a shot at her. I look at Jessie, then turn my head to try and locate Laurie and Rhody. I see the two of them using their crystal. It’s changing all sorts of colors with a prismatic aura. They’re both laughing and having a great time and I notice Laurie seems relaxed now. Rhody is flailing his arms around acting like an idiot. Does he know all the fun conversations we used to have? Charlie. The arguments? The embarrassing things I’ve said and done? Did she complain to him about me? Charlie. Was she cheating on me? Has she slept with him?!

“CHARLIE!” Jessie shouts.

I turn my head just in time to see the crystal’s bright orange light and low hum. My hands are glowing with the same intensity. A brief second of realization comes to me, then…


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Daria Good
Daria Good
Jun 20, 2023

Cliffhangers are the bane of my existence, what happens next?!

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