Rikki Martinez #2

In the beginning I was like, so all of these weird Zemainy what’s their faces people expect us to believe that they’ve been making babies with Earth since B.C.E? And that they control the universe?

Yeah right!

But now I’m like, that sort of explains how Jason got killed by rocks.

So I’m guessing I’m the Earth element because of… that. So as soon as they walked us through how the testing works, I instantly ran to the front of the Earth line.

“First up!” shouts one of the instructors. Sounding bored as if he’s done this a million times. I step forward, confident. And a little nervous because while the Queen explained to us how the games worked, I had spotted Emily in line for the Fire test. So I wanted to impress her.

“Okay, see that little circle in the middle of the floor over there? You go stand on that and then I’ll explain the rest.” I ran to the circle and stood with my arms at my side, my feet together, my chest out, and my chin up like my mama taught me all those years ago.

My mom had taught me how to stand like the people in the military did. My mom had also been in the military, that’s why I have the decency to not act like a complete delinquent in front of adult figures. When my mom was home she either yelled at me or hugged my sister and I. Anytime she would come home, my dad, my sister, and me would stand on the side of the driveway the way she taught us with our hands on our foreheads and one by one yell, “Soldier (our name), reporting for duty!” At that part I would always giggle because of the word duty. Mom would say, “If you did that on the force, they would have said, ‘if you want to laugh at something like that, then you should go where the duty comes from!’” That would always make my sister and dad laugh, but I didn’t get it so my sister just ruffled my hair and said, “you’ll get it someday Rick.”

That was when everything was normal, or at least normal for us. My sister yelling at my dad once in a while about how he didn’t get her and how she wished mom was there. She called him a sad drunk one day, he responded by calling her a annoying little brat and sent her to her room. I just watched the argument from the staircase never really getting caught. My sister would storm upstairs and tell me to go to bed. “I can’t daddy needs to tuck me in” I said back to her. She looked at my dad asleep on the couch, drunk and sad. “I’ll tuck you in Rick,” she took my hand and led me to my room.

“It will all go away tomorrow Soldier Rick. He’s going to forget about it tomorrow and I’m all ready over it. I would much rather babysit you than hang out with Kacy anyway.  Kacy’s a fat female dog.”

“What’s so bad about fat female dogs?” I would ask her.

“Someday, I’ll tell you Rick.”

“What do I do now?” I say, the words echoing off of the walls.

“Get out,” the instructor says lazily. Wow really specific.

“Um, how?”

“Use your powers.”

“I don’t know how.”

“Exactly,” says the instructor with a tinge of amusement.

“Great, just great.” I walk around the room and drag my hand along the walls looking for a crack in the rock. I find a small crack near the sound of the instructor’s voice. “Okay Rikki, focus, you can do it. You did it when you were angry at Jason, so you can do it right now. I’m angry at Jason – a bit, um, I’m mad that…” I’m mad that Emily doesn’t like me back, I’m mad at my dad for being a bad parent, I’m mad at my mom for not being there as much as I needed her to be, and I’m mad at the fact that even Cameron has a girlfriend and not me.

I heard a shift in the rock. It’s working.

“I am mad at myself for not being smart enough for Emily, for not deserving Emily, for bullying Emily and Cameron so I could feel better about how Emily didn’t like me back…” The crack was now a foot wide, and guess what I saw? I saw Cameron passing the life test, cheering for himself, getting pats on the back. I wrinkle my nose.

“I’m mad that Cameron can pass a test and I can’t! I’m mad that Cameron can do everything that I can’t. I’m mad that Emily dated Dylan Ryan but not me! And I’m mad that I ruined any chance of dating Emily by beating Dylan up at lunch a week after they got together.” I realize that I had opened up the rock five feet wide.

I scratch the back of my neck and instead find a hard, rock like substance. I look at my arm and find rock. My other arm…rock. My legs, my feet, my toes… rock. The instructor comes up to me and brings up a slab of coal from the ground. He shatters it to reveal a huge diamond showing me my reflection. “Congratulations, you are now in one of our most high ranking training programs,” he says impressed.

I see Emily come out of the fire that was meant for the Fire test, choking on ash. The instructor sees me looking at her. “She’ll be fine. They sometimes do that in the beginning. Just go down that hall to the left, your mother is waiting for you.”