Of Noble Chains Online - D.L. Miles Page 0,1

to usher Zia towards the door, the history lesson with the kids was now over.

“Alright children,” Mrs. Mayfield sighed and pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose, “say ‘goodbye’ to Ms. Noble.”

The kids did as they were told and the librarian was already motioning Zia towards the door, shooing her as if she were an intruding cat. She hoisted her backpack over her jacket, hoping the knife she hid there didn’t clink against anything to give Mrs. Mayfield yet another reason to kick her out. She loved coming to tell stories to the kids despite how often it ended like this. Zia’s feet shuffled against the thin carpet as she made her way to the door.

“You’re going to be late,” Mrs. Mayfield smirked at her before glancing at the clock. Zia followed her eyes to the wall and realized that the ceremony had already begun. Much to the librarian’s annoyance, Zia swore rather loudly and dashed out the door.

Her bike wasn’t that far from the glass doors, but it seemed like a mile now that she was in a hurry. Zia hopped on it and began to race down the street, careful to avoid traffic, when her phone began to ring. With some careful maneuvering she got it from her pocket.

“Where are you?” Iscah hissed into Zia’s ear. “The ceremony has already started and I just told your parents that you were already in line!”

“I’m on my way,” Zia shouted, narrowly dodging a large pickup. It blared its horn at her and she yelled right back at it. “Sorry Issy, I’ll be there though. I’m like, five minutes away.”

“Well you better hurry because your mom already has her camera out; I think she’s on her second memory card.”

“That sounds about right. I’ll see you there!” Zia ended the call before her best friend could say anything else. She was a soon-to-be Tracker, or Ventori to those that were part of a clan; dealing with a bit of rush-hour traffic was nothing. Zia’s smile grew wider across her face, the summer breeze blowing her hair back. Today was the beginning of her destiny, and nothing could ruin that.

It wasn’t long before Zia was leaping off of her bike and running for the auditorium of the New Havilan Community College. She could already hear Principal Smithers calling out names as her heels clicked on the newly buffed floors. She reached the huge wooden doors of the auditorium but stalled as her hand stretched towards the handle.

Glancing down at her attire, Zia didn’t think jeans and a tank top with matching army bag were appropriate for this occasion. Her lips pulled towards her teeth when a noise caught her attention.

Wheels squeaked and echoed down the hallway, bounced off of the glass trophy case and towards Zia. Her head swiveled around to find someone rolling a cart of costumes towards her; one black robe that hung on the rack was exactly what she needed. As the janitor stopped at another wooden door, he began to jingle a roll of keys in his hands, searching for the right one.

“Hey,” Zia said, running up to him, wary that the Principal was getting dangerously close to her name. “Can I borrow one of these?”

She ripped the costume from the hanger and threw it over her head before the man could refuse. He didn’t seem to try though, just continued to look at his keys. She tossed her bag into a corner by the trophy case, figuring it would be safe enough there.

The robe she wore was obviously made for someone much taller than she and the edge of it pooled on the shining floor. She quickly thanked the man and ran back to the doors of the auditorium, being sure to hold up the robe so she didn’t trip.

Taking a moment at the doors, Zia ruffled up her hair, getting it to the perfect tousled look. As she pushed the doors open with a little too much force, the Principal was just turning back to the microphone.

“Kehzia Noble,” he said into the thin silver mic. Zia glanced over at her classmates, hiding at the back of the room and awaiting their names to be called. A few of them rolled their eyes at her, as did the parents and teachers. The Principal peered over his glasses, unimpressed. “I’m so glad you could make it to your own graduation.”

Everyone laughed, but that didn’t slow Zia down as she walked across the blood red carpet of the