The Adventures of Finch Harrington Pt. 1


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Lily Pliske, Editor

Finch could barely sit still in his seat. He was so excited for the choosing ceremony. He had finally turned twelve, which made him eligible. This was his year to get chosen, along with fifteen other kids to go on a quest. He had been dreaming about this day his whole life. His chance to leave Bent and see the world.

Finch would have left Bent a long time ago if it wasn’t strictly forbidden to everyone. Not without a quest. The world was dangerous, filled with monsters that you could only imagine. So you can see why only the most powerful, clever, and promising got to leave. 

“Mr. Harrington?” Finch twisted his head to the front of the classroom, where his teacher and all the other students were staring at him. 

“Yes, Ms. Thorn,” he shrunk back into his chair as she glared at him.

“Would you like to tell the class what you’re daydreaming about?”

“No, Ms. Thorn.”

“Then pay attention,” she enunciated the last two words and turned swiftly back to the chalkboard. Finch sighed and stared aimlessly at the board. He wasn’t normally a terrible student, he just couldn’t contain his excitement about today. This was the day he has been waiting for, dreaming of his whole life. How in the world could he be expected to concentrate.  

Finch bounced his leg up and down as he looked at the clock. It was almost time. One minute and class would be over. RING! He jumped out of his seat, swept all his belongings into his bag, and ran out the door. 

“Mr. Harrington, don’t run!” Ms. Thorn shouted from the classroom door, but it was too late. Finch was already down the path and running through the meadow. He hopped over the small stream where he could see fish swimming about. He turned onto the road, barely missing someone on a horse, and ran to his house. 

Finch burst through the door, and it smacked into that wall with a loud THUMP. He pounded up the stairs and tossed his bag onto his floor. He quickly changed from his shorts and shirt into his nice pants and white button up. 

He ran down the stairs, jumping the last one, and turning into his kitchen. 

“Hey mom,” he plopped into a chair at the table. 

“Hey Finch. I’m so glad you banged the door into the wall and ran up the stairs like a herd of elephants, because then I never would have known you were home,” she gave him a slight smile as she stirred a pot on the stove. 

“You’re welcome,” he gave his mother a cheesy smile. “Are we ready to go?”

“Finch, we still have a few hours. Go do your homework or play outside.” 

Finch groaned, “can I go play with Irina?” 

“Sure.” Finch excitedly ran outside and to the house next door. He knocked on Irina’s door three times, waited a few seconds, then knocked twice more. He heard running towards the door, and Irina swung it open. Her blond curls bounced around her face, and her blue eyes sparkled in the light. 

“Hey Finch, excited for the choosing ceremony tonight?” 

“Yes! Are you?” 

“Yes, my parents expect me to be chosen, because my brother was a few years back.” Finch remembered Irina’s brother’s quest. He came back successfully, and the entire town celebrated for weeks. 

People ignored that most of the kids that went on quests never came back. That did not dampen his mood though, Finch was determined to succeed. 

“Do you wanna go play in the tree house?” 

“I would, but I can’t. My mother has me doing a bunch of stuff with her. Thank you, though.”

“Oh, okay, see you later then.” Finch sulked back to his house. What was he supposed to do now?

After what seemed like forever, it was finally time to leave for the ceremony. It took everything in him not to jump up and down; he was so excited.

“Finch, I don’t want you to be disappointed if they don’t choose you this year. There is always next time, okay?” 

“It’s okay, I know they will choose me this year.” Finch practically dragged his mother to the stage, where he would stand with everyone else eligible. Kids between the ages of twelve and eighteen could choose to take part, and almost everyone did. 

“Stand in that line there, so they can check you in. I’ll meet you after, by the entrance.”

“Okay, see you later.” He waved at his mom as she turned to go sit where parents and people not taking part would sit.

“Next.” Finch walked up to the desk and told the lady his name. She marked his name on a list and told him to place his arm in the machine. 

“What does it do?” 

“It’s a tattoo. If you’re chosen, it will change from black to silver, and won’t turn back until you complete your quest. If you’re not chosen, it will turn gray.” Finch stuck his arm into the machine. There was a hot burning on his wrist just above his palm, and then it beeped.  

He pulled his wrist out and examined his tattoo as he walked away. It was a circle of stars and a moon in it. He spotted Irina and ran over to her. 

“Hey mind if I stand by you?”

“No, not at all.” She stepped to the side so there would be room for him. Once everyone had been checked in, the leader of the council stepped forward. 

“Good evening everyone. I am so glad you are all here today to celebrate this exciting journey for fifteen, lucky kids. Let us start with the first name.” She looked at the list she had in her hand. “Now, after careful evaluation of everyone who volunteered, we have decided that Olesia Evers should be the first to go on a quest.” Finch looked over to see a tall red-haired girl step forward. She was wearing a white dress that flowed behind her as she came and stood on the stage.

“Brock Thatcher.” Another boy with dark hair cut short to his scalp stepped forward. He was big and looked to be almost eighteen. “Irina Muna.” Finch snapped his head over to Irina, who was smiling. 

“Bye,” she whispered as she hurried down to the stage. 

“Come on, call my name,” Finch thought to himself. The counselor called all the names until there was only one left. 

“And last, but certainly not least, London Rhys.” Finch crumpled with defeat. He watched a small girl walk onto the stage. Her hair was so long it went past her waist in long, thick waves. Finch walked over to his mother, who was waiting by the front, and burst into tears. 

“It’s not fair.” He sobbed into her stomach. Finch didn’t understand why they didn’t choose him. He wanted it more than anyone else. He deserved to go on a quest. 

“Don’t worry, there is always next time.”

“But that’s two years away,” he sobbed even harder.

“I know, but it’s gonna be okay. Let’s go home.” Finch’s mother led him home as he sobbed. Finch cried himself to sleep that night, but before he went to bed, he made a pact with himself. He would be chosen next time.