Have you ever had the feeling that your heart is just going to explode out of your chest?
That's how I felt when I stood on the wooden platform, waiting my turn to be Tested.
In Narua, everyone is Tested for magic when they turn twelve. When they call your name out, last name first, you step up to the podium and place your hand on the Naruan Diamond. If it turned white, you were a Mystic. If it turned black, you were a Mythic. If it turned gray... You were one of the Powerless.
My heart was thumping for that last reason. If I was a Powerless...
No. I told myself firmly. You are not powerless. Do you hear me, Simon Walker? You have a power.
That's what I told myself over and over again as the time of the Testing grew nearer. Beside me, my twin brother, Lar, stood. Despite the fact that we were twins, we looked absolutely nothing alike. I had dark, curly brown hair, freckles, and sapphire-colored eyes, Lar had straight blond hair and aquamarine-colored eyes. Often, people looked confused when they realized that we were even related.
On my other side, my best friend, May Evans, stood. Her green eyes reflected anxiety and worry, and her shoulder-length blond hair was slightly tousled, as if she hadn't spent much time on her hair. I reached over and grabbed her hand. We'd known each other since we were six, and yet, she still surprised me at the least expectant times.
"You scared?" I whispered in her ear. She grinned, pushing away all the worry that had been stored in her green gaze. "You wish."
I opened my mouth to say something else when I heard the fanfare. May let out a long sigh. This fanfare was really getting old. Every child in Narua learned the melody of the fanfare when they were five. Why? Because the fanfare was so special. What was special about a bunch of trumpets playing a melody over and over?
Exactly. In my amateur musical opinion, nothing. (Don't take this personally. I'm just not a fan of fanfares.)
Two hooded figures stepped out from behind the curtain. The one in white placed a clear crystal on a large wooden pedestal. They spread their arms. "Welcome, Naruans, to this year's Testing!"
It was a female voice that spoke from underneath the white hood. I assumed that this was Daylight, the guardian of the Mystics. She was a legend in all of the recorded history of Narua.
Beside her, I guessed was Nightfall, the guardian of the Mythics. He was known for being dark and moody about everything.
The crystal was definitely the famous Naruan Diamond. Whatever color you received upon your fingers touching the cold crystal determined your entire future.
Daylight unrolled a scroll and cleared her voice. Then, she called out, "Austin, Quail!"
A girl named Quail Austin stepped up onto the raised wood platform and placed her hand on the Naruan Diamond. A mist appeared in the clear crystal, and I watched as it turned inky black. Quail drew her hand back and walked over to Nightfall's side of the platform, which was painted a night black color.
Daylight then read off the second name. "Bailey, Dania!"
My mind was pretty much numb through the Testing until Daylight called, "Evans, May!"
I released my hold on May's hand as she stepped up to the platform. She placed her hand on the Naruan Diamond, and the mist turned white. She removed her hand and walked over to the white side. I then proceeded to daydream until I heard a very significant name.
Lar walked up and turned to glare at Daylight before he placed his hand on the diamond. "Just call me Lar."
He turned back and pressed his hand against the misty crystal. The mist turned white. He removed his hand and walked off to the white side to stand next to May, who was watching me with a worried look on her face. I swallowed as Daylight read a name off her scroll.
I felt a hard lump in my stomach as a wave of fear engulfed me. I stepped up to the platform, and placed my hand on the diamond. The mist changed color, but it wasn't white. Or black. Or gray.
It was a brilliant sapphire blue.