Year of study: third
Assignment type: paired (with mentor)
“Here’s what I think,” says Jasmine between chattering teeth. “If these humans are stupid enough to go hiking in this—” she gestures to the thick mist swirling around us “—then they deserve to be led into a marsh and drowned.”
Nearby, I hear a sigh from our observing mentor, Bran.
“Well, here’s what I think,” I tell the girl who can’t seem to think of anyone but herself. “Firstly, we would fail our assignment, which is a big deal. And secondly, people would die, which, you know, is also a big deal!”
“But it’s cold!” complains Jasmine, as though that should be reason enough for letting a bunch of human hikers be led to their deaths by a will-o’-the-wisp.
“So shield yourself! You are in possession of some magical abilities, remember?”
“Oh. Yeah. I forgot.”
I’m about to ask Jasmine why she even wants to be a guardian when I see it: a bobbing light gleaming faintly through the mist.
“Hey, there’s someone else out there,” shouts one of the hikers we’ve been keeping up with.
“Okay, you ready?” I say to Jasmine.
“Wait, what are we doing again?”
I force down the almost overwhelming urge to strangle her. “We create our own lights, remember? We draw the humans this way instead. The will-o’-the-wisp gets jealous, follows the humans, and we catch it. Any of that sound familiar?”
“Uh, sort of.”
Sort of? SORT OF?
I turn back toward the will-o’-the-wisp, wondering if any trainee has ever killed their assignment partner before.
~ ~ ~
Like this flash fiction? Find out more about the Creepy Hollow series.
If you'd like to know more about my A to Z flash fiction pieces, read my A to Z Challenge Theme for 2012 post.