The Valkyrie’s Daughters
Part VI: Clique
Avery and I went to the cafeteria and looked around the options. Much to my dismay, they didn’t have curry, so I joined Avery in the fast food line.
“What are you getting?” I asked them.
“They have chicken nuggets.” They said with a smile, it came their turn and they ordered. “Look at them, this one looks like a heart!” They said receiving their plate, all happy and bouncy. “Is it bad if I only eat these and don’t get anything else?”
“Maybe a little. But if it’s just this once, it’s okay.” I laughed. “No curry here so I guess I’ll have some nuggets too.” The cook took my order along with fries, but they didn’t have curry ketchup, just the regular kind, which was a shame. “Do you see anyone?” I asked, once I had my food.
“Yeah, there’s my roommate, Drew. Do you want to meet her? She’s really awesome and she has these fire powers that are so amazing. She lit a candle from across the room yesterday. That was awesome. But then I smelled it and it gave me a headache and we had to put it out.” They spoke so quickly and excitedly, it was adorable. “Anyways, let’s go say hi!”
They started walking and we reached Drew’s table. She was all by herself, others were on the same long table a few seats away though. Drew was black like me, but unlike me her hair was the more the kinky type and made into little braids.
She was wearing dark blue jeans, a purple tank top under a green jacket, high heeled boots and her eyes had purple eyeshadow. A long crystal necklace hung from her neck, plunging toward her cleavage. She had style, I was kind of jealous.
“Hey Drew!” Avery said. “This is my new friend Michelle. Can we sit with you?”
Drew smiled at us, looking up from her wonton soup. “Hi Avery! Hi Michelle, nice to meet you, I’m Drew. Of course you can sit here. I was looking for you earlier but didn’t see you.”
“We took a detour at the house. I needed to change.” I explained.
“Drew, look! Michelle gave me a chewy necklace!” Avery added, pulling the necklace from around their neck closer to Drew.
“Okay, that’s cool.” She said to me, then looked at Avery. “That’s really neat Avery!” She then looked back at me. “How are you enjoying Ravenhold, Michelle?”
I nodded. “I love it. I always wanted to be a hero, but I didn’t have powers until a week ago.”
Someone else came to our side. They were also black and they had this amazing multi colored afro. Their clothes were odd and patchworked. “Hi! Mind if I sit with you guys!” They asked. They carried this plate with a huge pile of food on it.
“Hey Riley!” Drew said.
“Hey!” I waved quickly at them. “What did you get?”
They sat down and for a moment I saw something on the corner of my eyes, like there was something on their shoulder, but when I looked at it there wasn’t anything there…
“Oh a little bit of everything. I’ve never seen this much variety in one place!” Riley said. “Michelle, right?”
They extended a hand, I looked at it for a moment before I realized they wanted me to shake it. I took it and shook it awkwardly.
“Riley! All my friends are here with me, this is great.” Avery said with a little excited clap. “Did you get chicken nuggets? They’re really tasty, like even tastier than my favourite ones from home.”
I took one of the nugget and popped it into my mouth. They were great. “Avery’s right.”
“Yes, I’m glad they’re good!” They dug around their mountain of food until they got to the nuggets.
We all enjoyed our meal for a moment. “What do you all think about the school?” I then asked.
“Everyone is so cool!” Riley said between two bites.
“Oh, can Michelle bake the cookies with us?” Avery asked.
“The more the merrier!” Riley said.
I looked at them and Avery explained. “We were going to have a cookie baking party after school. We’re making all kinds of cookies. Wanna join in?”
I wanted to, but I’ d already promised Ike we’d hang out. “Oh, I already had something planned with Ike this evening. We’re going fishing.”
“Aw, too bad. Maybe some other time. Have fun fishing, though.” Avery said.
“That sounds fun.” Drew said. “We’ll save you some cookies. What’s your favorite?”
“Chewy oatmeal cookies.”
“Awesome!” Drew answered. “I think we were already making some so that works out great!”
“Thanks.” I said with a smile. Fresh oatmeal cookies were like the best cookies ever. Too bad I couldn’t bake. “Do you bake a lot? I don’t know how. I’m not good at cooking.”
“I love to bake!” Riley said. There was a little puff of black smoke over their hands and suddenly they had a tiny notebook in hand. They wrote something and it disappeared in the same manner.
“That’s cool.” I mumbled.
“What? This?” Riley said, doing it again except now they had a bottle of water in their hand.
“Where did you pull it out from?” I asked.
“Hell” They answered. I couldn’t read their tone. Surely that was a joke?
Riley shrugged. “At least that’s what Teddy tells me.”
“Teddy?” I asked.
“Not a lot of people can see him so I’m not surprised you can’t but…” They gestured to their shoulder. “My friend Teddy is here. He kinda gave me my powers.”
When they said that, I felt a little bit of tension in the air, it was hard to explain.
Were they teasing me? It was so hard to tell… I looked at Avery. Hoping they might clear things up.
Avery sighed. “Why is this the first time I’ve heard about this, Riley? That’s so cool! Seriously. Why didn’t you tell me this yesterday?”
Riley shrugged. “Just didn’t think to.”
“You seem serious.” Drew said. “I mean, that’s really cool. Hell is real? I mean, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but…wow”
“Ah.” Avery said. “Well, from now on I’m reading your brain to see all the interesting facts you have stored up in there. Like, hey, you made friends with more demons than just Teddy.”
I turned to Avery. “Demons?”
“Yes. But they aren’t bad though!” Riley said.
Demons weren’t real… But Valkyries also weren’t real, but I was one… I really wasn’t sure of what to think anymore. Was this all a prank on me? They didn’t seem the kind to do that… I focused on my fries for a moment. I noticed Avery had already finished her food so I gave them some of my nuggets.
“Thank you for more chicken nuggets, Michelle. You’re my favourite!” Avery said.
I smiled at them. “You’re welcome.” My wings stretched and the next thing I knew the one on Avery’s side wrapped around her shoulder. When I realized what had happened, I pulled the wing away.
Avery giggled. “Michelle, we’ve been over this. Give me your wings back and never let go!”
I blushed at the thought. They wanted me to wing hug them. I’d never had someone want to be close to me like that. I wrapped that wing around their shoulder again, consciously this time.
“Better?” I muttered.
“Much! Thank you.” Avery answered. “They’re so fluffy and soft and warm! Riley, you gotta feel how soft!”
Riley looked at my wings. “They’re so pretty… can I touch them?”
Was it weird to let them? Was it weird to only have Avery? I carefully reached out with my wing over the table. Riley reached out and pet the white feathers.
“Your wings are gorgeous. I’m glad I’ve met you all, you’re so nice and welcoming.” Drew said, I offered her the chance to touch it and she agreed. “They’re soft.” She smiled. “Can you fly?”
“I just grew them last week, I’m still getting used to them and I only learned how to fly yesterday. I can carry people too, I’m strong enough that I lifted Ike into the sky this morning.”
“That’s really cool.” Drew said.
“Avery told me you control fire. That’s pretty cool too.” I said.“Can you fly? Like do a rocket thing some pyrokinetic do?”
“I probably could? I don’t know, I’ve honestly never tried.” She said.
“That’d be cool.”
“Yeah. I have pretty decent control over my powers, but I’ve never really had the chance to practice something big like that. It’s one of the main reasons I wanted to come to Ravenhold.” Drew said.
“How did you all get here?” I asked everyone. “I almost got killed by nazis.”
“I heard of it and applied so I could get away from my parents.” Avery said, looking down. The wing around her shoulder moved to be tighter around them. The move startled them but then they rested against the wing. “You’re my best friend, Michelle. I never had friends before but I’m pretty sure you’re the best one in all of history.”
“I try my best.” I said with a smile.
“I have a mentor and he recommended I come here.” Riley said.
“Ooh, who is it?” I asked. Mentors were rare nowadays, it wasn’t like the old days when to become a superhero you become someone’s sidekick.
“Tohu wa Bohu.”
My eyes went wide. “Tohu wa Bohu? From the Legion?” I squeed at the thought, if Riley was his apprentice, then maybe we’d meet him too!
“One of my reasons was kinda like yours Avery.” Drew said after a moment. “My grandmother is really conservative, so it’s a bit hard living with her, seeing as I’m a gay mutant…”
“That’s not good. But here it’s going to be better.” I said.
“I really hope it will be.” Avery said. “I just wish I could forget about them but seeing as that’s literally impossible, I guess I’ll settle for never seeing them again.”
“Me too. Ravenhold seems so much better already.” She said.
There was a little bell ringing and we looked at the source.
“Is that a desert cart?” Avery said.
“Looks like it.” Riley answered.
So we got up and lined up for desert. Hopefully, they had blondies, those were great.