If life is like a box of chocolates, then describe your box.
There was an old saying about life being like a box of chocolates. The gist being you never knew what you were gonna get. If that was true, Lara’s box had slipped through quality control and been run over by the delivery truck. The handy flavor map that usually showed which chocolates went where had been printed in a foreign language, the chocolates weren’t in the holes they were supposed to be in anyway, and she was allergic to half of them.
It was certainly a suitable analogy for her growing list of affinities, and therefore her list of struggles. Dual manifestation was rare enough, but she was up to four and showing potential for a fifth. She would never have the level of control over any of her affinities as her non-chimera mentors had over theirs. Not for the first time, she wondered how Shane managed it.
He was like her, a chimera. He was a Reader and an Elemental. He had an affinity for earth in addition to his telepathy, and he always seemed to be in complete mastery of both. His box of chocolates would have been pristine and in perfect order, she thought bitterly.
He had realized her affinity for water and taught her some of the art of elemental control but had never reported it to the Sages. Nor had he told them she was a Seeker. Her heart skipped a beat. Was that what had gotten him Exiled?
“Focus,” Katia snapped, bringing her back to her lesson in Moving.
Lara strained to hold the seated woman five feet off the floor with just her mind. “I am,” she muttered.
A dry cough from behind Lara burned her ears. “Don’t lie, child.” She wished Collette didn’t have to be in the room with them. “Your mind was on that Exile again.”
Katia frowned at both of them as Lara dropped her to the cushions. “Sorry,” Lara said.
“Shane was my friend too,” Katia said, “but he cannot help you now. We are your mentors now. Please trust us more.”
Lara scowled at Collette. She shielded her thoughts before thinking that the old woman’s box of chocolates would be hard and rancid, well past its “Best By” date. Katia’s, on the other hand, would be full of the liqueur- and fruit-filled chocolates. She nodded to Katia. “I do trust you. Please let me try again.”
Katia sat cross-legged on the cushions and gestured to Lara to begin again. Lara put thoughts of Shane and chocolates from her mind and went to work.
Notes: The longer I played with this the more fun I had coming up with the different boxes of chocolate for each character. My own box of chocolates probably wouldn’t be too far off from Lara’s. Little beat up, chocolates in the wrong spots, but still good.
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