Chapter 1: Chapter One
Nowles runs ahead of Lur with a bark and a big dog smile on her face, pulling from cheek to cheek. Her paws churn into the soft dirt and she leaps forward through the trees, as light as a leaf fluttering down to the ground. Lur smiles broadly in return but realizes her actions aren’t as innocent as they seem. Nowles ears pull back as far as they can go, and her entire body quivers. Her best friend isn't being just a dog; most careless in the world, she's protecting her. The young girl looks around her; suddenly weary, scanning the surrounding trees with goose bumps dancing on her skin. Nowles returns to Lur's side, her tail fluffed and the fur on her neck standing so tall that it is a wonder on how it didn't all pop out. Lur walks forward slowly, one hand tangled in Nowles' matted fur, protecting both of them.
Around them however, everything is normal. Wind pushes at the leaves and branches, creating a soft rustling sound. Sunlight drifts in between the cover, creating patches of warmth against the normally damp ground. The pair approaches a small pond surrounded by weeds and tall grass, the same one they've returned to everyday for years to sit and watch the sunset over the trees.
Today, however, Lur is still cautious and Nowles is pacing back and forth at her side, never wanting to stop moving and acting as if the entire world was pit to rage against them any moment. Lur takes one step, then another, until she reaches her favorite spot. Her heart acts as if it is going to explode in her chest and she nearly expects someone to burst out of the trees surrounding them and attack with fists swinging and weapons flashing in the setting sun. After a few minutes of gut-wrenching pacing, Nowles visibly relaxes, all of her fur lying flat against her skin once more. The tension melts away in a split second and she turns to look at Lur. The big dog falls into a trot around the pond, completing a ritual she does everyday. Lur watches the dog she has known for nearly her whole life and sighs in contentment, feeling much more secure than just a few minutes ago.
30 minutes pass and Lur can hardly remember her fear from earlier. She's completely calm and laying in the grass. Her dog is on a stick hunt, looking for the perfect one to drag around. She suddenly reappears from some brush and brambles, shaking her head in a lively manner with a stick lodged between her sharp teeth. Growling, she moves closer to Lur, nudging the branch sized stick into her hand, encouraging her owner to grab it and play. Lur grasps it tightly, pulling and moving it back and forth aggressively. Nowles follows her lead, leaping and bounding across the grass. Her tail wags at almost an impossible speed, and the young girl snorts in amusement.
She smiles, releasing the stick and letting Nowles sprint away happily. Lur leans back on the palms of her hands, staring up at the sky. She smiles as she remembers when she first got Nowles. She was 5 and she had been begging for a puppy for ages. Her parents decided to get her one and began secretly for a breeder. Lur overheard one night and burst into the room, screaming about how she wanted a shelter puppy. She wanted to 'save a puppy', so her parents accepted the easier route and took her to the pound. Lur searched and searched, practically crawling through all the kennels to see a dog she might like. Her mom wanted to get a little Chihuahua puppy that was a caramel color, and while Lur thought he was cute, she didn't want that dog. Her dad wanted to get a Yorkie; he said she was a little girl, so she needed a small, fluffy, dog. But Lur still shook her head. Then she found Nowles; a massive puppy that couldn't handle her own paws. As Lur watched her in the kennel, she scrambled towards her. She didn't bark, just jumped and her tail wagged like it was powered by a steam engine. Lur instantly knew that the spunky brindle pup was the one that she had to have. She pressed her hand against the linked cage, and it was decided from there.
When it came time to name the new puppy, her parents let her choose. They expected 'Sweetie' or 'Pink', something that a little kid would name their dog, a word they were likely comfortable with. But when Lur said 'Nowles', well, they were surprised to say the least, and even asked her many times if there was any chance she wanted to change the pup’s new name. Lur didn't know why she said Nowles, all she would say is that it felt right, and so, they went with it. Family members even asked her where she heard the name; no one could find out. Lur would just look at them and stare, stating again and again that it felt right. And so it was Lur and Nowles from then on. They were everyone's favorite pair. Family friends cooed over how close they were, how Nowles was so well behaved and surprisingly tolerant to a small child. Life was great and happiness was the only thing Lur felt in her life. Until it came time for Lur it start school. The first day she went, she came down with a fever. She was sent home after she passed out during recess. The whole day that Lur was away, Nowles was whining and stomping all over. She acted up, and kept trying to rush out of the house. But the moment Lur got home, they both were perfectly fine. Lur's fever vanished within minutes, and Nowles sat down at her side, resting her head in her lap.
They've been inseparable ever since. Lur has been home schooled now, and no other problem has arisen. If Lur has to leave for a few days, she spends weeks attached to the hip to Nowles, if it’s even possible for them to be any closer. She talks to her and explains that she has to go for a little while, and she tells her, fully detailed where she has to go, but she tells her that it is okay because she will be back soon. That she needs to be good while she is gone. And it has worked every time. Lur doesn't get sick, like they have found out she does when she is away, and Nowles is perfectly fine. They've been better than best friends.
Lur shakes herself out of her head, smiling broadly as Nowles sprints back towards her from the pond. She has another stick this time, much bigger. One end drags on the ground as she lugs it around, dropping the other end in Lur's hand. Curling her fingers around it, she grabs and tugs backwards into her chest, a goofy grin plastered on her face.
A blinding light flashes from across the pond and blue, white and gold seem to blend and stir together until it's a brilliant beam of something that would remind someone of soaring winds and clear skies. Nowles raises her head and drops the stick, curling in front of Lur with a sharp glance. Lur's mouth opens in awe, but every muscle in her body was tense. Two eyes, the same color of that blinding light, glow from the edge of the pond across the way. They blink once, then twice, and no more.
The whole forest seems to fall silent around them. Tension is dancing between the girl and her dog, and the mysterious eyes that glow brighter than the sky at noon. Lur and Nowles prepare for a conflict, or at least an impact if they cannot fight back. And it almost seems like the eyes expect the same thing, they are tense and almost squinting. But instead something small and dark colored is thrown at a considerable speed towards them. Lur covers her face with her hands, expecting it to hit her. Instead, a bubble appears, with the object inside. It continues to float there, a translucent bubble with a distinct green tint. Nowles approaches it and sniffs until Lur is sure her lungs will implode. Distracted by this new shock, the pair almost misses the second flash of light. The same color as when the eyes appeared made a second beam and a moment later the eyes are gone.
Lur continues to look in confusion from where the eyes were; to the object floating. Her green eyes focus narrowly back on the bubble lying in front of her and Nowles. The aggravated dog walks up to it, her tail raised straight up. She sniffs at it once more but then she shakes her head from side to side, almost as if she's startled by the smell. Leaping into the air a second later the mutt storms over to Lur and releases a low bark. Mud flings in all directions as Nowles shoves Lur to her feet with her nose. She yips and nuzzles her head into Lur's back, walking forward slowly until Lur gets the hint. Lur reaches a hand out to the bubble, Nowles continuing to push the backs of her legs.
Her hand makes contact with the pulsing, glowing orb; and it pops. It shatters into minuscule fragments of pieces, and they seem to fly in every direction imaginable. But they don't touch anything; they glide through Lur and Nowles without a trace, and continue until they simply disappear from sight. Inside of what used to be the bead of translucent green glass, was a necklace. It was a simple chain, appearing to be silver, and had one pendant, that of which was a carving of a tree, made of some stone.
The instant the bubble popped, the necklace that resided inside started to rise. It was slow and gradual but enough time had passed of both Lur and Nowles looking at the orb shards soaring through and through that when Lur's eyes registered and locked back onto the necklace, it was 10 feet into the air. It stops, soon after, still in sight, but out of reach. Curiosity gets the best of Lur and she sits down, watching it. Nowles barks in a very low tone a few times before circling on the ground and dropping with a thud. She looks at Lur with a curious glance, seems to shake her head, and closes her eyes to sleep, sensing they would be there for a while.
Lur relentlessly stares up into the air, watching and waiting for the mysterious necklace to fall or float back down. She isn't really sure that it will, but she is always hopeful, and this experience has certainly gotten her attached to it. She must see it to the end. Soon however, the sun starts to set. Mosquitoes appear seemingly out of thin air, and start to buzz around; much to the annoyance of Nowles, who has awoken and keeps flicking them out of the way with her ears. The sun glares brightly in Lur's eyes and she squints, but her head is still raised high, determined to look at the necklace until it comes down.
Lur's unceasing watch is soon to reward her, and just a little while after the sun has set well below the horizon, the pendant begins to sink. It was the exact opposite of how it rose; the necklace shot down from the air quickly enough that when it hit the ground, a small puff of dirt floated into the air around it. Nowles jumps with her ears perked straight up, startled and she snarls for a while before stomping to stand in front of Lur, between her and the object that had laid inside of the orb. Regardless of her previous behavior, this was once again a strange object and her duty was to protect Lur. She leans forward and ruffles the fur on Nowles' head, much to the objection of her beloved dog.
The young girl steps forward and something within her stirs and whirls quickly, almost like a sandstorm. If you asked her later, she wouldn't know how to explain it; she would sheepishly say it was just a feeling of the moment. But it was not. Her heart starts to race at an uncountable speed; her breathing quickens as if she had just run a marathon. It was as if a lost link that her body had accepted she would never find had just appeared, and it was the ultimate joy. Lur breaks into a sprint, Nowles so close on her heel that she could feel the hot breath on her leg. They approach the site where the necklace fell, and Lur drops to her knees. She feels a pull to it; but it was more than a pull, it was a yank, a tug, as if chains were linked up to her heart and the necklace was ever so slowly reeling it in.
She feels that if she doesn't reach out in this exact moment to grab the necklace, she will die, she will burst into flames, she will fall apart at the very seams if she does not get her hands on this wonderful object. With shaking hands, she reaches down as slowly as a mother would as she grabbed for her child the first time. While Lur is in absolute awe, something within her is also in fear. There is no telltale voice asking her not to do it; but a raw, pure emotion. It doesn't want to stop her, simply warn. It is like overcoming a fear. Telling the truth. Something so right, but so powerful it could hurt you in an instant.
And then she touches the necklace.
It was as if her eyes had been opened, as they had never been opened before. Her senses burst open, working at 500%. Everything seemed sharper, she could hear birds scratching in trees, animals burrowing and digging into the soft ground around them. Even Nowles panting out short breaths from the run; but it wasn't just that; she could hear her tail whip through the air, her paws moving tiny jerks in the ground. It was as if the world was anew again; everything in the ground was the perfect example for life.
Then she was thrown. It happened on the spot in a dramatic, sudden change. In just a second she was holding the necklace, feeling as if she could hear the entire world if she wanted to, then she was being thrown through the air at the speed of light. She's flipped over onto her stomach as she slices through the air. Oddly enough, she misses the trees; she curls and whips and turns to avoid every object that could hurt her. As quickly as it happened, was as quickly as it stopped. She was at her house. She slammed into the ground, coughing and choking.
She panics and looks for Nowles, jumping up and getting ready to dart back into the woods she just came from to find her dog. But Nowles appears, right by her side as if she had never left, her tail wagging, her tongue lolling, and moving her body in every direction. Lur opens her hands that were both closed into fists tight enough to be considered a death grip; and notices the necklace is still there. She studies it for a moment, then another; running her fingers over the rough edges. It was made out of some sort of stone, but it was smooth, and etched enough that anyone could distinguish that it was a tree; enough that Lur could even see little leaves.
Lur shakes her head as she looks up. She scans the trees, in awe and shock from the events today. Yet oddly, she is calm. Like it is normal for this to be happening, to fly, a necklace to pop from a glowing bubble, for unnatural eyes to glow at her from a shadowed part of the forest. She seems to feel as if nothing was out of the ordinary.
And right as she starts to think so she notices the eyes again. They are the same from before, an unnerving blue, cold and obvious. They glow with a strange, bright light. And again, they blink once, then twice, and vanish without a trace. A shiver goes down the young girl's spine and she turns to head inside, Nowles hot on her heels, both simply exhausted.
Lur opens the door to her welcoming, warm house. It smells like cookies and strawberries, two of her favorite scents. Nowles darts in after her, weaving through the furniture with a single bark; leaping over to greet her parents with pants and wet fur.
"Nowles! What are you doing, shoo, shoo!" Lur's mother's panicked voice sounds from the other side of the house and Lur chuckles, covering her hand with her mouth to stifle it. She follows the trail of dog prints into the kitchen where her mom is standing, hands locked on her hips and mouth agape at Nowles, who just happens to choose that moment to sprint in the other direction, her tail almost knocking over a lamp in the process.
The girl grins sheepishly at her mother, hoping for just a warning as they both watch Nowles storm and trip through the house. Her hoping was granted exactly that; her mom breaks into a smile and laugh, her grin reaching from ear to ear, as she shakes her head in just the manner that a parent shakes their head at their child. "Just go clean up where she got mud…so everywhere" She says with an audible snort in her words. "Before your father sees and makes you clean the whole house". She winks at her young daughter in a playful way and Lur laughs, heading to the laundry room to grab a mop.
As she cleans up the mess her beloved dog so graciously left behind; she thinks about today, and all the odd events. Sure it didn't feel weird, but that doesn't mean the situation wasn't off in general. The eyes, the flashes of light…it was all so Aunexplained. Nowles was pushing her to the bubble, she wanted her to touch it and get the...necklace! Lur remembers the necklace that the glowing capsule contained once more. She shoves her hand into her pocket and pulls it out, setting the mop down, as she is finished anyway, and lays the charm across her hand. It still looks the same; but it is more beautiful than she saw at first glance. It's a simple tree etched into stone, yet it seems like something more, something that Lur can't understand on her own. She clutches the necklace tight in her fist before tucking it back into her pocket, but only for now.
As soon as she settles down and starts to turn back to her parents, something attacks her from behind, lifting her high up into the air and spinning her around in circles and circles. A wicked cackle sounds all around her, filling the atmosphere and the air surrounding her with what could easily be seen as aggression. But Lur only laughs, struggling only slightly before her feet touch the floor once more and she spins around, lifting her fists in a mock defensive pose.
"Come at me...old man,” She says, barely containing her laughter as she stares down her father, who was coyly grinning; until she mentions old man, then he puts on a facade, pretending to be offended in every way possible. "Me, an old man? How horrible. I am not old, I'm graciously aging, and there is nothing to do, I'm afraid. One day you'll beat me in a fight.... But! That day is not today!" Lur's father's voice grows louder with every word until he charges forward, throwing Lur over his shoulder and shouting out a victory. The man's daughter tries to struggle, but her limbs have gone weak from her laughter and she simply lies there, splayed over her father's shoulder; her face was as red as the raw clay you find along river sides from the lack of oxygen. She can't help but to continue to cackle soundlessly, pounding her fists against his back, wiggling her feet.
He sets her down once more, thrusting his balled up hands into the air and letting out a roar of victory which earned a smack on the back of the head from Lur's mother. "Just because we're out in the woods doesn't mean you get an excuse to yell like a wild animal. You crazy nut." She says, but even though her tone is scolding, her face is filled with amusement and love towards her husband and daughter.
A sudden sense of drowsy tiredness sinks over Lur, almost like a thick fog of a blanket setting in over the morning day. She shakes her head, yawning broadly. Her parents stop their mock bickering and turn to look at their daughter with a curious glint matching in both of their eyes. "Are you okay sweetie? It's only 9, you never usually get tired so early...most of the time we have to force you to go asleep." Her mother asks with an almost teasing tone playing in her voice. Lur's father chimes in right after her mother finishes talking, with a just as equally joking undertone in his speech "Did Nowles finally tire you out? I swear you two have always been perfectly matched in energy; though I would have thought that Nowles would tire out quicker, she is getting a bit older."
At that exact moment, Nowles came trotting in, her tongue hanging from her mouth so low it seemed that it was an impossible length. She walks up to Lur, and curls around her legs a few times, whining. "But look, even she's tired." Lur's Dad nudged his elbow into his wife, jerking his head in a kind manner towards his daughter and her companion. "Now they're both tired; though that's always been how it is. One gets sick, the other does. One gets upset and something upsets the other. I don't understand how they're so inseparable." He smiles though, while his wife nods knowingly and they intertwine their hands together.
"Maybe they're meant for one another. Pieces of the same soul trapped in different vessels." Lur walks up to her mother and father, giving them both a quick hug and kiss goodnight. She yawns loudly and waves them goodbye as her parents discuss the antics of their child and her best friend. “Love you!” is the last thing she yelled to her parents and she earned the same. As their voices fade in the background, Nowles pushes up against Lur gently, her tail thumping. Lur curls her fingers into the big mutt's fur and they support each other in the kindest way. She opens the door to her bedroom and allows Nowles to enter before her. Nowles leaps onto the bed and pulls the covers down for Lur before curling near the foot of the bed in a big bundle of blankets.
Lur gets into bed soon after, and starts to close her eyes, relaxing all her muscles and being perfectly ready to drift into a realm of sleep and peace. Too bad that didn't happen.
She does get to sleep, but it's anything but peaceful. As Lur drifts away into unconsciousness, Nowles beating her by just a few moments, something amazing happens. Though compared to the rest of the events that day, Lur may have found it quite boring. The necklace she tucked into her pants now rises into the air once again, just like before, and glows softly with a bland green light. It's not just one shade, however. Every color in the green and brown spectrum twirls and dances around the tree pendent; flowing like the wind blows the leaves on a bright summer day.
After what must have been an hour of floating there, it almost seems as if the necklace grows impatient, and it starts to move towards Lur and Nowles, flashing brighter. Closer and closer it gets, yet neither of them notice. They simply continue to sleep for the time being. Finally, the slow moving tree pendent reaches the young girl and her dog, and it lowers down, but much quicker. It acts as if the matter is urgent now. Time was wasted and it must hurry. Lur shifts in her sleep and as she makes the simple movement, the necklace appears on her neck. In a low flash of light it rests against her collarbone.
If Lur had been awake she would have described it as warm and heavy, but not weighted heavily as if you'd want to put it down right away, more...comforting heavy. Like when you pick up a rock that's been sitting in the sun all morning; or the dew and fog that lies over the grass sits on your shoulders as you walk at the break of dawn. She would have felt the change right then, that it wasn't simply a necklace. It was going to alter her, and help her along in something that was already in motion long before she saw the eyes in the woods today.
Lur was having a dreamless sleep until that point. It was empty and calm, full of blackness, but she wasn't even aware she was asleep, or awake. She was simply there. But the second the necklace curled around her neck, everything flashed in a beam of bright light.
The young girl found herself in a meadow of sorts; it was a large clearing with tall trees that were waving in the wind. She knew she was dreaming, somehow. A bark to her left alerted her and Lur quickly realized Nowles was in the dream with her. The big dog sprints off into the woods and panic floods Lur as quickly as it can travel through her body. She breaks into a run after her dog, moving gently through the trees. She starts to slow as Nowles does.
Something feels different. Running is easier. The trees are swaying, but it's gentle, and almost loving. Lur can hear the leaves moving and see them flashing in the bright sunlight as easily as ever. She slowed to a walk and Nowles walked alongside her. Everything was tuned in; it didn't seem like just the forest anymore, birds, plants, rivers, all have their own sound and rhythm pulsing through the forest. Somehow Lur thinks it has always been this way, she just couldn't hear it. She had felt closer than others to the trees, and forests, and the earth in general forever, but it seems she was still missing out on a large chunk of it all. Glancing behind her, small flowers and grass is growing ever taller where she stepped.
Nowles in front of her slows to a stop at the edge of a clearing, her tail tucking into her hind legs. She lets out a whine of fear and her ears flatten as much as they can against her head. A low rumbling sound erupts from her throat just a moment later and she turns to look at Lur.
As she approaches, staying close behind her dog, Lur shakes her head vigorously. A buzzing sound is growing in her ear and for every step she takes forward it's as if the volume is increasing tenfold. She finally breaks from the tree line and is entirely shocked by what she sees. Across the way, four columns of pure light are glowing. They shoot into the sky and seem to have no end.
The first is blue; it contains every shade and sheen you could ever imagine, from the color of the sky at noon to the brilliant gloss of sapphire gems. Baby to royal to nearly indigo, they swirl and flush within each shade, making infinite shapes and signs. They ripple like water flowing in the column, appearing like waves crashing.
The next one is red, but not just red. It's yellow and orange and blue. The only thing that comes to Lur's mind is a flame. Blue is at the bottom, because it's the hottest, then red and yellow and orange flicker up and down. Everything is flashing and rising and falling in the colors.
The third is white, with gray, golden; silver, even the smallest tones of blue. What could be considered swirling before is now perfectly and exactly that. All of the colors blend and twist into loops and jumps and rises and falls. Like the unpredictable pattern of wind as it changes into other directions and turns.
The final one is green. It's orange, brown, and every color of grass and trees any time of the year. Orange leaves like the middle of fall, brown in the dead of winter. The shock of unusual green of flower stems and the grass of spring, the colors that seem to fake but are really just brilliance. They change in a pattern, just like the seasons.
Nowles barks quietly with her tail wagging furiously at an impossible speed. She points her nose at the green beam of light, sniffing so much it's acutely audible. She seems so interested in just a small column of light. Lur walks closer after her dog, and she turns to reach her hand out to the mysterious thing, but she glances back to the others and curiosity takes the best of her.
She looks at Nowles and makes the motion for sit, laying her hand flat, palm up towards Nowles with only her index and middle out. She then curls those in too. The large boxer huffs loudly, shaking her head, but after just a moment she sits down, taking time to look around her instead. Lur then walks to the right, wanting to go down the line.
As she nears the one closest to her, the white one with colors of the air and wind, she notices something is inside. Walking closer evermore, she gasps quickly, her hands clenching by her side. She unsteadily heads forward just a few more steps, and she frowns. Her curiosity is still there, maybe even stronger than before.
Someone is inside of there. A thin figure is just a blur from deep within the swirling colors. Lur can make out only a few features. Whoever is inside is very tall and they're thin. Lur could guess they're pale. And with somehow not much surprise, she can see a large bird perched on the person's shoulder. Lur would say some sort of bird of prey. All of a sudden the figure moves, and the person inside lays their hands out, palms up, in the universal sign of peace. The young girl backs up from the column, stumbling and nearly falling into the grass behind her.
With that idea in her head, a shiver goes down her spine, glancing at the other two beams of light. She walks up to the next one, the flares of fire. Looking inside, her suspicions are confirmed. Another person is inside. They're tall, but not taller than the person in white. From inside they appear to be strong, muscular. Peering in closer, she notices a long creature curled around the person's arm and Lur assumes it is a snake. And just as before with the column of air, the person inside moves. They cross their arms over their chest, fists balled in the universal sign of protection.
She shakes her head before turning to the final beam. The ocean of water rising into the sky. The figure inside is short, but thin and lithe, built lightly but nimble at the same time. Lur narrows her eyes at the assumed humanoid feet and notices the outline of what is probably a feline. Larger than a housecat, but smaller than what could be considered a big cat. After a moment of studying the person and their matching animal, they move. They lift their middle and index finger on both hands and rest them against their temple on either side. The universal sign for wisdom.
As Lur finishes studying the people inside of each capsule, Nowles barks loudly. Lur turns to the right and peers at her dog, who thumps her tail harshly against the ground and barks again. Lur laughs and smiles slightly, heading over to the green beam of light. Moments after appearing next to her dog, Nowles walks into the column. Lur gasps and stumbles in after her.
The second she does, everything feels calm. It feels cool, and warm at the same time. Nowles beside her looks up, her brown eyes appearing as if she was a puppy again. The young girl smiles, and as she does, the necklace around her neck floats upward. Just the pendant appears to glow even brighter than the column she is inside.
She takes a glance towards the other columns, and a necklace does the same on each of their necks, matching the colors of the others. After a moment, Lur finally realizes. They're the elements. The colors. The animals. The bodies inside. They're the four elements. And she's Earth.
Instinctively, her feet spread, firm on the grass below her. She raises her hands, presses them palm-to-palm. Her eyes flicker and they close, a single phrase flashing in her mind. The universal sign for strength.
Things are going to be different now.
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Lur awakes with a start, her heart pounding so quickly she could have easily believed she was having a heart attack. She was sweaty all over, her limbs were trembling and she felt something off in the air. Something was wrong. Just a split second later, Nowles wakes up with a rough bark, leaping to her paws and standing as if someone had poked her with an electric cattle prod. Lur instantly curls her fingers into the large dog's short fur, getting her to sit down. The pair leans against each other for a few moments, until they remember the dream. The young girl reaches up her chest and her neck, grasping the necklace that now lies there. It doesn't surprise her, just confirms...something. She doesn't know what, not yet at least; but something deep within her heart and head alike say that she will find out soon enough.
After just another couple of minutes, everything becomes chaos. Lur hears a loud crash downstairs. It didn't sound like a lamp or something her parents could have knocked over. It sounded like something being destroyed; as if a large being or object slammed into a wall and broke it down. At the thought, Lur leaps out of bed with Nowles so close on her heels the dog's fur brushes against her every once and awhile. The girl and dog both sprint down the stairs, skipping a few steps and stumbling as a result. Nowles skids into the wall and jumps back on her paws, while Lur slides and slips, but manages to take the corner and head towards the source of all the noise.
What Lur and Nowles appear around the corner to see, neither will forget. Even being a dog, Nowles can feel Lur's pain and suffering the second they see. Lur falls to her knees in an instant, trembling and tears streaming freely down her cheeks like a waterfall. Where Lur's parent's bedroom once was, is now a pile of rubble and flames dancing freely into the night sky as it spreads at an alarming rate. A scream sounds and Lur jerks her head up, only to fall entirely to the ground as the scream is cut off with another crash of furniture and ash. Soot and flames lick at the young girl's face as she cried out, her body limp in the hallway. Nowles nudges her slowly, trying to keep her up.
The cries rack her body, she’s furious and destroyed and she is confused. She knows her parents are dead and she can’t do anything about it. She doesn’t know what happened, how it happened. As soon as Lur thinks it, a dark memory creeps into her head. Somehow, she feels like the fire was on purpose. It was violent, but it happened so fast. She lets in a shaking gasp and cries out once more, her body trembling.
The fire is spreading, and the girl's best friend noticed. Dancing colors and flashes of light are flickering closer and closer as Lur does nothing, only lay on the floor and cry. But as Nowles yips when the heat gets to be too much, Lur seems to be brought back to reality. She flips into the air in an instant. She's angry, still crying, and wanting revenge on whatever caused this horrid event, but she can't sit here and die. Nowles takes the hint and seems to nod at her owner, sympathy plain in even a dog's eyes. She takes off around the corner, sprinting up the stairs while barking the entire way up. The girl lets out a hearty sigh, barely keeping her voice in check through her gasps and sobs, but soon follows after her dog.
She enters back into her room and slams it shut as if keeping the door closed will erase the events that just occurred and keep her safe from whatever is going on outside of her bedroom and throughout her house. Nowles is headfirst into Lur's small closet, rutting through something. Her tail is erect and straight out, while her body is tense and quivering. Lur watches her for just a moment; she seems to be lost in her thoughts.
But just as she begins to ponder the ideals of what could be beneath the basics of this tragedy, Nowles barks loud enough to rustle the windows. She drags a large bag out of Lur's closet, tugging it with all of her canid strength. Nowles ears are flattened against her head as she gets her owner’s attention, biting gently on the bottom of her pajamas. She pulls Lur to the girl's dresser and prompts her with her nose.
Lur finally jolts herself out of the stupor that she's fallen into and shoots into action. Dashing and twisting across her room, she quickly packs the bag with anything she could need. The fire crackles from outside her door and she can feel in the floor that the deadly flames are reaching ever closer to her, slowly, as if they had a purpose.
A shiver goes down her spine despite the heat radiating around Lur in every direction. Trying the best she can, with all of her mental strength, she ignores the impending doom circling around her like a fox tracking a rabbit. She runs down a checklist of everything she may need.
She was clothes, shirts, pants, bras, and underwear. Jackets, socks, and she only has one pair of boots. She grabs a comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, and tampons. She has her phone, and her charger for some mystical reason, for pure comfort. She has a photo of her Mom and Dad; they were her favorite people in the world. Her blanket, a collar and leash for Nowles even though she hates it and she wouldn't go anywhere without Lur anyway.
Nowles starts to bark and yip, sounding more panicked and frantic with every sound she makes. The house starts to rumble and crumble from the foundation and fear shoots through the very core of Lur. She snatches up her backpack that just became her home. Waving to the horrified dog, Lur walks slowly to the door. Before opening the entrance of death, she drops down to the balls of her feet and cups Nowles' muzzle in the palms of her hand.
"Now we can do this, okay? We just have to get outside. You know to stay by my feet and that's all you have to do. I'm going to open the door, and we are going to run as fast as we can to the back door. Once we are outside, we are okay."
After giving a pep talk to her dog, even though it was more to herself to show she actually had the courage to do this, Lur throws it open by the handle and stands in the doorway for just a split second before sprinting down the hallway and to the stairs.
Everyone always told Lur that fire was hot; to never touch it whether it was large or small. It would burn you and leave you in a state you would never wish to be in. But nobody ever told her that they would feel like nothing. That the flames would not tingle or sting or cause even the slightest pain. When Lur ran through the flames that were consuming her house little by little, she would have never imagined that it would be cold. That you could easily compare it to be in dunked in the Arctic Ocean while the cold licked and crawled up your skin, causing the strangest feeling of peace and terror one could ever feel.
But that is was happened, and Lur was so startled she stopped. Dead in the middle of the fire. She reached her arm out into more of the flames, and the cold seemed to spread until it was taking her over and her teeth were chattering. Nowles yipped and squealed, she felt no pain either but she was still afraid. But she refused to leave Lur behind. Once the young girl heard her dog, she was boosted back into action, keeping a tighter grip on her backpack and sprinting down the stairs. She nearly stumbled once again but caught herself, whipping to the right and charging forward towards the back door. She practically crashed straight through it with no regards and tumbled face first into the grass.
Nowles came out right behind her with her tongue lolling and her breath coming out in the smallest of panicked pants. Suddenly she leaps as if she was lashed on the back with a cold whip. With her tail tucked in between her legs, she grabs her exhausted owner and starts to drag the girl further from the house, dread building and dragging the feeling in her gut lower and lower.
Lur fights against her dog for the first time in her life, yelling and hollering at the top of her lungs. She goes to punish the well-meaning mutt when she realizes why Nowles pulled her. Not a moment later, the house explodes. The place where she spent her entire life until this moment is now destroyed in a ball of fire and gas. Debris flies in every direction and the fire curls and swirls until a column of pitch-black smoke is reaching to the stars. Windows shatter one after another, the broken shards falling all around her into the grass, red with heat.
As the girl and her dog sit in the chaos around them, Lur swears her life is over. Everything seems to finally clink in her mind that everything is different now, and she falls forever in despair. Tears flow down her face like her eyes were a dam and it all suddenly broke down in a sudden wave of hurt. Curling on the ground, her entire body trembles with agony and pain.
After what felt like years and years of crying and exhaustion, but could easily have just been 5 minutes, the world seems to come back into motion. In a matter of simple seconds, everything flares and falls in what could only be described as an explosion of action. Behind her three flashes of light glow and warp, respectively matching the colors of the remaining elements: Fire, Water, and Air. After each beam of light fades away bit by bit, people appear in its place.
A tall boy with woven dreads and dark skin the color of the night. He stands still but him and everything in his presence seems to wave and flicker, as if the embodiment of flames themself. His eyes glare red as if in a permanent state of anger, and a snake curls around his neck, looking just as ominous. Its scales reflect every inch of light and cast them back off, every color in the rainbow appearing over the length of its body.
Beside him, a shorter boy stands, but is constantly moving. His eyes are a piercing pale blue that could only ever be sighted in the dead of winter at the Poles. His skin is tan and appearing to be rough as leather. At his feet sits what could easily be mistaken for as a large house cat. Until you notice the bobtail, feral appearance and tufts of fur perching on its ear tips. Not to mention fur the color of ash and snow along with piercing eyes deeper than a human could fathom.
And next to him in turn, is a girl who could startle even the strongest person into backing away. She stands taller than the first boy, and her skin is pale enough anyone could believe she had never been outside in her life. Her hair isn't blonde, or white, but golden and every range of color in between. Her eyes appear so milky and white she could be blind, but they track everything without emotion. Perched on her arm is a Red-Shouldered hawk, its golden hazel eyes locked onto the scene in front of them all.
The three stand in such a regal and powerful manner that Nowles and Lur both can feel the change in the air around them and Lur lifts her head. Tears streak down her cheeks and stain the ground beneath her. To her surprise, the grass where she was crying is dead. Brown and crisp, like Mother Nature raged in that very spot. Nowles stands quickly and places herself in front of the girl she's known for her entire life.
The dog lets out a faint snarl, but she seems to recognize the people and creatures in front of her. Lur does too but can't escape the events that just happened and the tragedy in her mind. The girl breaks down further and trees start to fall. They uproot and crash all around the four young people. Tree after tree tumbles to the ground until the earth itself starts to rumble and quake violently.
Lur starts to emit a brilliant green aura, the color of fresh grass, new buds, the eyes of mysterious cats that seem to know more than they should. She lifts her head and her eyes are wide open, but they are darker than coal and the four young people can feel the anger and hurt from 300 feet away. The soil raises into the air just a foot or two and every plant smaller than a tree suddenly dies, wilting to the ground and creating rings and rings of dead organisms around the distraught young girl.
The tall girl with the hawk walks forward as if on queue and kneels in front of Lur. She whispers something to the bird and it slowly spreads it's wings, lifting off and quickly turning down to stand in front of Nowles. In less than an instant, the two animals seem to start a conversation. It was silent but apparent to everyone who could watch. After a moment of looking at the pair herself, the element of Air puts her hand on Lur's shoulder.
Every plant that was rising up into the air and twirling around now falls to the ground, hard enough that most of them make an audible thud. A low gasp can be heard from Water and Fire, along with a rumbling groan from Earth. She wobbles on her hands and knees for just a moment before she falls onto her back. Black dots dance around her vision and multiply slowly, growing larger and larger until she can see nothing.
The last thing she heard was footsteps rushing towards her, and pained whines from Nowles. Although she is unconscious, the drama doesn't stop there. The element of Fire rushes up to where Earth now lays, and Air now stands. He shoves the palm of his hand against the taller girl's head and nearly bowls her over, her being slight. "What were you thinking, dumbbell? It's not as if she's going to react well to her parents being murdered, even more not so when three strangers with animals appear and knock her out!"
At the mention of the word animal, the snake curled around his wrist lifts it's head and seems to narrow its eyes at him, along with the large bobcat and the hawk. He waves them off with a motion of his hand "You understand what I mean, she doesn't know what's going on and she probably just thinks her connection with Nowles is just...special."
The Element of Water speaks up, shaking his head. "But you're forgetting, I remember nothing from the day my parents died, neither do you Enya, or even you Makan, with your perfect memory. She most likely won't remember anything when she wakes up, other than her parents are gone and now she is with us."
Makan shrugs her shoulders faintly, letting out a low whistle to her Red-Shouldered hawk, Nodian. Nodian squeaks once and stares Nowles in the eyes until the dog, too, collapses to the ground with a small whimper.
She speaks up after watching the scene, her voice echoing pain and sadness thinly veiled but an attempt at uncaring "You may be right Calder. But whatever happens. We will find out soon enough." With flashes of each element respectively, the four young children and adults all vanish into thin air, leaving behind and still burning home.
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It's been three weeks, and Lur is still unconscious. She twitches in her sleep and lets out small cries as frequently as birds call for its friends. Nowles woke up after a single day and hasn't let anyone near Lur then entire time, even going as far as to bite the other Elements and snarl threateningly.
No one understands what has happened, and the other three Elements now sit down at a table to discuss their options.
"You woke up after a week. I woke after a few days, hell; even Air woke up after only a day! I don't understand why she is taking so damn long!"
Enya's face is contorted into a rage, flames lighting along his arms and licking upwards to cover his hands, which he slams down into fists on the table. Calder lifts his head and flashes him the middle finger, his cool element being lost in his frustration. Moments later, Enya is covered in water, his fire fizzling out with an angry hissing sound.
"Cool off Flameboy. I think you are forgetting she destroyed roughly 3 acres of land. Also known as Earth smartass. She's not going to be feeling that great for a while, it's not like Fire or Air. They can't be destroyed in the same way Water and Earth can. Especially since she did it herself. Her body is angry, her spirit is hurt, and she just lost who she believes to be her parents. Let her be, she'll wake up soon. Nowles isn't too worried, it will be fine."
The tall boy shakes his head, shoving his palms against the table and storming away, leaving a trail of burnt wood in his wake. An onyx snake moves after him quickly, seemingly trying to calm the angry teenager.
Makan's dull eyes are filled with amusement at the quarrel between the two boys, her fingers tapping on the table at a slow and patient pace.
"Well it seems he is done with the conversation, don't you think Calder?" She turns her gaze on the element of Water, who in turn tears his sight from the burnt footprints and to Makan.
After a few moments of silence, the pair breaks out into coarse laughter, trying to break the tense air that threatens to choke everyone out.
"I guess so Makan, I guess so. I don't understand what he's so worried about. Sure, Lur hasn't woken up, but Dark has broken all of the seals, we are together now, it's not as if he's going to come after us for a while. We need to focus on training and getting back in contact with Light. He simply vanished."
The conversation takes a cold turn and the oxygen in the room is cut off for a split second. Calder expects it coming and pinches his nose for the moment, suckling in a deep breath. Soon, Makan relaxes and the air is released once more. The Element of Water racks out his breath and gasps for air for a solid twenty seconds, giving Makan the death glare, and a "What the hell!" sounds from Enya in the other room. She merely shrugs, rolling her eyes.
Seconds of silence pass, and then minutes. An hour of no sound fills the flat the four elements reside in, tensions building from differing opinions and stress over their unconscious friend.
Makan sits on the roof, smoothing the feathers of her hawk, who in turn playing bits her with his beak, nipping only a little.
Enya is in his room, laying on his back and staring at the ceiling. Lonato is curled into a pile of scales and eyes, whispering softly into the boy's ear, trying to comfort him the best she can.
Calder is sitting across from the girl herself, the bobcat sitting neatly at his side, their only sign of companionship being that her paw rests softly on his hand. Nowles has fallen asleep at Lur's feet. She lets out the occasional yip and whine, always facing Lur. She's ready for her best friend to wake up at any moment.
All at once, glows fill the house. The necklace still resting in the hollow of Lur's neck now emits a solid green light, rising until it strains to escape from her hold. Calder's head flies up at the speed of light as his necklace does the same, it's own respective color. One could only imagine Mayan and Enya's did the same, as a moment later they appear at the Element of Water's side, all three staring in anxious anticipation.
Three pairs of eyes are locked onto the young girl's unmoving form, fear and excitement practically materializing in front of them. Lur lies for a minute longer before releasing the loudest, most exaggerated groan that any of the teenagers have ever heard. She lifts her head as if three thousand pounds, or rather the entire world, is bearing on her body. Even though she doesn’t know it, it actually does.
Lur sits up slowly, her head resting in her hands. Looking like she just woke up from a massive hangover. Calder, Makan, and Enya are still looking at Lur in earnest, practically falling over from the angle of their leaning forward. After a moment of silence, she reaches her right hand out, searching for Nowles. The dog, whom had been watching her solidly with deeply concerned eyes, now shoves her head under the girl’s hand, whining quietly and leaning her entire body against her legs.
Calder clears his throat awkwardly; realizing Lur is most likely completely unaware of what has happen, and probably believes she is just groggy and at home. In an act looking as if it was prompted, Lur heaves up her head with visible struggle. When her eyes meet his, fear spreads in her eyes, narrowing like a jaguar caught in the jungle at night. Her muscles tense and Nowles whimpers in response, unsure what to do. “Crap” Enya utters under his breath “Not this again”
The obviously prideful boy releases a hearty sigh, yet he slowly lowers himself to his knees, laying his hands out flat in front of him, and bowing his head respectfully. “May you please remember me, Earth.”
The boy with tan skin and piercing eyes does the same, but more gracefully and as if he is almost hurt he has to perform the task. “May you please remember me, Earth.
The tall girl that has the fairest hair, moves slowly, falling to her knees before bowing forward. Sadness radiates off of her in waves, and Lur can hear the pain in her voice as she softly says, “May you please remember me, Earth.”
Lur isn’t sure what to do, she is in a strange house with three strangers, and Nowles is looking at her as if she is the one in the wrong. But looking up once more at the people bowing in front of her, she is guided. Standing up on shaky knees and wobbly legs, she walks over to the boy with skin of night. Leaning down, she raises two fingers and presses them gently to his forehead.
Memories appear at the speed of light. It’s Lur, or at least she believes it is herself. In front of her is a boy and it’s not the same boy she just laid her hand on…in looks at least, but regardless of that she feels as if it is. Just in a different body. He’s laughing, and letting a brilliant smile shine, wrapping his arm around her. Another scene appears, and they’re fighting. Fire rages all around them, and soot is smeared all over his face. Another body, another time. A scream rings out, and suddenly the boy is falling off of a cliff. A spike of earth shoots out from below and pierces his stomach. His face goes slack in disbelief, pain on his lips and dancing in his eyes. Memories go by faster and faster. But things change. They are dancing. Sparing. Making jokes. Sitting on roofs and leaning against each other. But to follow it up, there is always some sort of fight. It seems to be a constant battle of love and hate.
In the end, Lur remembers everything. He is fire. He is Enya. Her friend, but never close. They were the forbidden support to one another, and always would be. In this life and the next. She lifts her hand gently, and whispers only “Enya.”
Regardless of his rough attitude, he lets out a sigh of relief that Lur does remember him. She moves on to Calder, looking down at the practically weeping boy and mimicking her actions with Enya, peering into his memories.
His images were different. Through his eyes, he was watching Lur, from a short chubby black girl, to a tall, lanky Indian beauty, all with the strangest companion of the Water element. They are laughing, him always with the strongest admiration for Lur. It could almost be seen as more. The boy was always watching her in a curious way, keeping an eye that could be taken differently if someone thought about it.
Looking deeper, she views memories through his eyes. He’s watching her as they are at a lake with Fire and Air. It was now a campfire, a cabin, and the tall and craggy mountains. His eyes are always on her, constantly looking at her. She can feel his admiration seeping off of him in strong waves. She’s taken aback until suddenly, the memories flash to the beginning of the planet. Fire was first; he is the ultimate core in the land. Earth is next.
Then Air appears, surrounding her two friends in forever comfort, protecting the planet from the harshness of the rest of the universe. Then, Water appears. He’s hugging Earth. And she realizes that he doesn’t love her as she first thought. They are just companions. Closer than Fire, Air, and they are stuck at the very seams, able to create and destroy hand in hand. Water is like her little brother and she’s the big sister to teach him what happened to the world before he came along.
Lur smiles, moving her hand away and looking down at the boy on his hands and knees, ruffling his hair; much to his disapproval. He looks up at her with watery blue eyes, sniffing slightly before lowering his head once more. He knows she remembers him.
The young girl’s body tenses as she looks at the final element; Air was the one who knocked her out, she doesn’t know how to feel about the elegant girl with the cold eyes. However, she still approaches her, her hand trembling in just the slightest. She goes to put her head on her forehead when the girl suddenly lifts her head, and Lur’s fingers end up on Air’s lips. Both of their faces flare red, but it’s too late, Lur is delving into their memories.
They had their own…relationship. Shivers go down Lur’s spine as she travels further and further through their past lives, reliving every memory they ever shared. Earth and Air were always together but separate. Air is in the clouds, quite literally, and Earth was always grounded, curled around the world protectively. They’re at the lake, from a memory with Calder, but it’s another time. The sun has set and they are sitting on a dock.
Lur remembers them talking about the world, and how they could possibly be in charge of this. How they can be a force that created the basis for the entire world. It flashes forward, or maybe backwards, and they’re holding hands. Another, the four elements are charging down a hill, laughing and pushing into each other. Their familiars are chasing down after them, Nowles and Leith running side by side with Lonato curled around Leith’s neck and Nodian flying low overhead.
The four are together in their eight vessels, having the time of their lives. But Lur and Air are closer to each other, practically holding hands.
Once again another flash and they are on a mountain, standing on the tip of the Earth, and Air has wings. They are massive, twice her height, and as golden as the Fleece mentioned so deeply in Greek Mythology. Air is hovering in the air, staring down at Lur with the biggest smile on her face, and Lur is sitting on the top of the world, the top of her Earth and looking back up with a mirror expression of joy. They meet between their worlds.
Lur is then jerked out of her memories as Makan pulls her face back with it being red like a stoplight, and she dropped her head, obviously embarrassed. Lur does nearly the same but quickly whispers “Makan,” signaling that she remembers everyone. She backs up to face the three people and their matching three animals. She stands straight, her fingers curled into her companion’s fur. After a moment, she bows her head.
First towards Air, and she says, “I remember you Makan; and you Nodian. Earth has missed Air.” Then to Water, and she says, “I remember you Calder; and you Leith. Earth has missed Water.” Finally to Fire, and she says, “I remember you Enya; and you Lonato. Earth has missed Fire.”
Raising her head she notices a physical relaxation that pulses through the three elements in front of her. She smiles crookedly, every memory of their journeys filtering through as if water was simply slowly falling back into her head. Enya is the first to break the silence, his eyes full of sorrow with even all of his pride. “But do you remember our parents,” are the only words he can muster before he lowers his head further than before, barely missing the daggers that Calder and Makan shoot him. The air around them thickens in an instant, and from outside, branches mysteriously crash to the ground.
Lur’s body tenses and Nowles barks once, sharp and clean, leaning against her companion with a doggy grin, her tongue lolling out of her mouth. She doesn’t understand what is going on, but Nowles knows, and regarding her friends reactions, it can’t be good.
“You’ve had the positive Lur, but now it’s time for the bad. You have to see the deaths and what has happened. You know all of our lives have not been happy.” Calder pipes up, his voice thick and harsh, Leith raising her head to look at her counterpart before rubbing her face against his arm and purring loudly to comfort him. Enya looks up with a steel glint in his eyes, tinged with regret and hope. He grunts his agreement and lifts himself from his knees, sifting to sit on his butt, legs crossed in his lap. Makan rolls her eyes and sits similar to Enya, but next to Calder.
The three are sitting in a near square and in a silent plea they join hands. Makan shows to her hand to Lur, palm up, and Enya does the same. A moment of hesitation stops Lur in her tracks, before her mind oversteps another part of her brain and she sits down, locking her hands into Makan and Enya’s. At one time, their heads fall backwards, and their eyes turn their respective colors, glowing brightly and illuminating the room with an eerie light.
In what could be easily remembered as just a minute, their entire existence flashes before their eyes. They appear in front of one another and turn to face the world ahead, the journey through their memories. Their birth, so to say, plays before them against a foggy background. A figure shrouded in black is joining hands with another figure in white. After a while of watching, they break apart, taking four paces backwards and lifting their hands upward, seemingly into nothing. Flashes of light appear between then. Next to the dark light is a being made of pure red light. Fire. Next to Fire is green, Earth. Then next to Earth is blue; Water. Finally, between Water and the being of light is white and golden, Air. The people of Dark and Light turn to the figures created just moments before, and begin to chant. They grow larger and larger in size, towering over the light pillars until they are like giant adults and the soon to be elements are toddlers. They speak in a quiet and hushed voice, creating their powers and abilities. After minutes, maybe hours, of chanting, four figures crumpled on the ground, in small heaps of cloth and skin. The elements were created.
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Chapter 5: Chapter Five
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Fire was the first to rise, followed quickly by Air, Earth, and then finally with Water. They peered at one another and from how it looked, they instantly knew who they were, who the others were, and what their purpose was. They turn to look at Light and Dark who are now standing next to each other. The two parent elements looked as proud as any other normal human parent. But out of the visual field of the elements, Light and Dark shared a…worried look. With a quick huff of sigh, they turned back to the newly created elements.
The current elements could not hear what they were saying to their first incarnation but suddenly the view flashed to a barren speck of space. Time went into hyper speed and it was a fast mash up of the elements creating the earth. Fire created a deep and fiery core that would be the center of what they knew as Earth. Earth makes a cover, the actual earth, and curls it around Fire’s creation. She then manipulates the blank slate, making mountains and gorges and rifts. After finishing, Water appears and he pours water out of thin air, or rather space. It pours into the creaks and crevices but is in reality oceans, ponds and lakes. Air then makes a soft movement with her hands and the air surrounding Earth, what makes the planet habitable, is made. The four join hands and stand around the small planet they just made. Their eyes close and an eerie glow sparks off, the details and creation of the Earth itself is being completed, and together they are making the final touches.
But then, a sound screams in the all of the Elements head’s. An earsplitting, unearthly, mournful wail is played over and over in their minds. The elements collapse on the ground and they call out of their companions, only to open their eyes and see that all of them are unconscious. Nowles is curled in a ball and trembling, Lonato is draped out in a long length, Nodian lets out a avian scream that is cut off and Leith can be heard crashing to the ground.
The young but ageless elements stumble to their feet, using one another as supports. Lur’s ears are still ringing and everything seems to shake, as if the treehouse was coming down. Anguish fills her body for fear of Nowles not being okay and having a repeat of her parents…or her…caretakers. Her heart begins to race and the tree sways violently as if the ground itself was trying to spit it out. Her breath comes out in racks and Fire soon notices. Enya’s eyes go wide and he yells, realizing it is Lur doing the damage to the house. He is quickly at her side and grips her in a tight hug, isolating her from running away. A dome of white flames leaps into the air and surround the pair. The flames hiss and crackle but do no damage to the wooden floors.
Slowly, the house resting in the tree stops thrashing. Enya whips Lur around to face him, his eyes matching his element, angry and practically sparking at the tear ducts. “What do you think you’re doing? You need to keep yourself under control! Aren’t you supposed to be the stable one?” His voice rises dramatically at the end and his fists ball together tightly, beginning to glow a dark red color. “These past weeks we’ve been watching over you, but for what! To almost kill us the moment you wake up!” His voice is raised and he heads no mind to Calder and Makan staring at him with wide eyes from outside of the dome.
Lur had been standing quietly up until this point and she raises her head all at once when Enya stops talking. When she finally speaks, her voice is hoarse and she is obviously on the brink of tears. “Weeks?” Ends up being the only thing she can manage before tears spill over and run down her cheeks. Enya is taken aback and he sighs, letting his fists uncurl. “Yes. Weeks. You’ve been asleep for weeks. Nowles has been worried for you, you know…We all have.” His voice is much gentler than just a moment ago and the dome is starting to lower, revealing the pair to the other two elements. The element of Earth hears a quick “Just be careful, okay? We are all tense and we can’t lose control” before the mighty fire giant backs up, rubbing his arm as if embarrassed from his sudden outburst. Makan looks tense, her muscles tightening harshly against her pale skin, and suddenly, as if a message clicked into her head, she remembers about their companions.
She lets out a small cry and rushes into another room, soon to be followed by Calder who both release an earsplitting yell just moments later. Calder runs out first with his companion in his arms; the small bobcat hanging limply. Makan comes out much slower, tears streaming down her face as Nodian is stiff as a board with his wings outstretched, as if in shock. Enya jolts out of his initial shock and runs to Lonato, brushing into Lur. The contact jumps her into action and she kneels down at Nowles’ paws.
The four elements stare in shock and confusion at their seemingly fallen comrades. Air is sobbing, Water is stroking Leith’s fur, Fire is mumbling to himself over Lonato’s long body and Lur only raises her head, eyes growing cold. She reaches her hand over and holds her pup’s paw, barely containing her anger. She’s furious; she’s lost her entire family, magically been told she is some secret fantasy master and now her best friend is dead.
She says nothing, only stares up at the ceiling and cries. She continues to hold her friends paw, simply ignoring the other elements when they rise and begin to converse in the corner, probably to discuss their next move. Then a pain starts in Lur’s head. She dismisses it at first, chalking it off to her losses. But then it grows, blackening out her sight and blocking her hearing. She whips her head around her and begins to speak rapidly and slurred. “I can’t see anything! Air! I can’t hear! I can’t…” Lur had stood to try and walk to the other elements and she collapses on the ground.
Her head slams onto the wooden floor beneath her and she does nothing but curl up into a ball until she can feel the presence of Air and Water. Makan leans down and grabs Lur’s hand to help her stand. Water rests his hand on her back to steady her and Lur begins to cry again, mumbling quietly about how she can’t see, she can’t hear. Her voice is slurred enough to be drunk, and she can barely stand. But as soon as her blindness came, it goes. The screen of black is replaced a white contrast background. A voice sounds in her head and Lur’s eyes open. They are not glowing green like they do when her powers come in, but a brilliant white.
The other elements gasp, realizing that Light is contacting them. When Lur speaks, her voice is soft but booming and has an eerie sound to it, Light is reminiscent to a human male and his voice is aggressive, but caring.
“Hello. I see that you have found the last element. This is a wonderful chance to continue your training. As I am sure you have noticed, your companions are not in the shape to be going anywhere. However, if you ever want them to move again, you will heed my directions. But do not fret, they are alive…For now” Lur’s controlled body lets out a shockingly cheery laugh and Fire’s face grows cold. Flames begin to lick up his arms and the floor at his feet blackens. Water and Air move backwards to his side, trying to calm him.
“If you would like your companions to be restored to their normal state, you have to go on a journey. You are not in your final transformation and you have to complete it in order to continue with your next task. N-” The possessed element is cut off by Air, who quickly says “Task? What do you mean, task?” Her voice is almost panicked and her grip visibly tightens on her stock-still bird.
Once more, Light lets out a chuckle “Yes. You did not think that your time on Earth this cycle would be carefree did you? Dark is rising quickly and we have to thwart her efforts if her are to continue. You must complete your transformation and then you have to move forward to defeat Dark herself. I have given you all the powers I can by myself, but you have to venture on your own from here on out. Each of you must venture to the heart of your creation. You all have your locations of the greatest power, Earth, to the tip of her kingdom; Water, to the depth of his; Air, to the place where your power runs fastest; and Fire, where your warmth is felt the most wild. I will be watching, as I’m sure Dark will be too. I wish you luck on your journey.”
The moment the Element of Light finishes speaking, Lur’s eyes flicker closed and she wobbles for just a split second before her eyes open once more and her face is grim and prepared.
“So I guess we are going on an adventure then?” Is all she says, the tree rumbling threateningly. Enya seems shocked by Lur’s sudden change and he lets out a throaty laugh, quickly followed by Calder, but tailed by a concerned look from Makan.
The four elements sit down at a large wooden table. It’s shaped in an oval and is divided into four sections for each element respectively.
Water’s quarter has a tall arched chair with wave patterns topping the crest and the ends of the arms. The cushions on the seat and back are both a faint, almost baby blue, with darker and lighter tones swirled in like waves. The feet are curled outward and spread out. His table part is lined with an inch wide band of black shined wood, and the inner rest is a polished, sapphire sheet.
Fire’s chair is a deep red and the crest seems to rise up like flames, reaching the highest in the middle. The cushions for both back and seat are a deep red, staying true to the image of the flame. The feet are straight and the legs flare up larger and larger until they meet the bottom of the chair. His table is lined with the same black shined would and the inner part is a polished ruby sheet.
Air’s is by far the most elegant and stays true to her fast paced, yet gentle element. Her crest of seat is nearly flat; the wooden crown sloped gently with large swirls of wind reaching off the tops. The back and seat cushion is a white upholstery with golden mixed in. The legs and feet are curved themselves, both out and in. Her table part is lined with the black shined wood and the inner is a large reflective opal sheet.
Earth’s is set with the idea of her solidity in mind, and it most likely the bulkiest of the four. It is solid and rounded off in the corners, with leaves etched into the crown, arms, and legs. There is a slight rise on the sides of the top with a rose embedded on each. The cushions are a darker green, the color you would find on a well-grown rose bush. The legs and feet are rounded and the bottom is entirely flat. Her table is lined with the same black shined wood as the others and the inner is a bright malachite sheet.
“So”, starts Makan, her voice grim and her face tense. “What exactly is the plan? Where is the end of our domains? He seems to have put that as if it was the core of where we created our regions. But that was millions of years ago! That was hundreds of regenerations. I don’t know about you guys but I have no idea of mine.” She ends on a frustrated note, her eyes flickering and growing darker by the minute.
Lur perks her ears up, getting a sudden idea. "What about our necklaces? They're a source to our soul, just like our companions, so if anyone captures one part, they don't have the complete power, right? Well that means each component carries a certain thing. What if our necklaces hold our original creations? When you..." She shoots a glare to the other girl, raising her eyebrow. The pale air element blushes and rubs the back of her head. Lur snorts a little and continues "...gave me my necklace, I sat outside and stared at it. Well, while I was looking, I got a vision. I didn't know what it was of course, but I think now I do. On my necklace it's a tree, one that's ancient. At first I thought it was just a tree, but in the vision it was in a mountain range. It was the only mountain that was snow free and the tree was massive! It reached up higher than anything else I could see....the end of my domain" She ends with a nod, a faint smile on her face, as if she pieced everything together perfectly.
Enya slams his fists down on the table, rattling Calder from all the way on the other side. "Okay! Let's get this shit done then!" A crooked smile is splayed across his lips and he shoots a quick glance at his frozen and unmoving companion. His smile falters and flickers for a moment, his composure lost, before his wall is put up again and he grins just as bright as before. "Let's go outside and stare until we a get a vision. That's how you got yours, right?" He calls to Lur who had joined in a conversation with Makan. She nods and stands, quickly followed by Makan and Calder. Calder let out a sigh, gripping his necklace tightly and smiling weakling.
The four young teens climb down from the tree house, each in a way matching their elements. Lur experiments with her powers and a large curling vine breaks through the ground, reaching up to her eagerly. She steps gently onto it and holds on tight as the vine retreats into the ground. Makan simply steps out the door and slowly floats down, manipulating the air around her. Enya moves, as he always does, like a brute. He jumps out of the house, smashing to the ground below. He brushes himself off and joins the others. Calder was the last the leave, and following the others leads, he concentrates for a minute or two, seemingly caught in his mind. Water soon comes in a wave, swirling and self-pushing. As it grows nearer, it turns into a thick rope of water. Approaching Calder it forms a chair and he sits down. It lowers him to the ground and he steps off, not wet in the slightest. He tips his head to the water dramatically and it retreats, presumably to where it came.
Earth is the first to sit and the others quickly follow her lead. Even though she has already seen her location she demonstrates how she did it the first time, sitting criss cross and staring intently and her necklace; which she took from her neck and is now resting in her hands. Water is the first to find his location, his eyes releasing a brilliant glow, similar to how rays of sunlight shine through water. Fire is after, and Air is last. They are locked in their own memories, searching out the place where they first created the world.
The atmosphere changed in an instant. Lur looked up from her necklace and let out a gasp. Fire was surrounding them in a large circle, licking harmlessly at the grass but creating a huge dome. The air around them was whipping in huge gusts, not harming the fire but instead intertwining with the fire and creating another layer. The water from before has returned and it has made a net pattern, lying just inches over the fire and water wall. Everything around them is screaming energy and power and Lur is worried they could be found.
Getting an idea, her focuses on her necklace once more, and moments later, her eyes begin to glow. The trees around them grow larger and their branches grow up and around, creating the final layer in their orb. Each layer is like the orb that Lur found her necklace in. She raises her head and the others do the same, their energy increasing.
The orb comes out of the ground and the children are floating inside it the four layers of pure power. They can feel that they are being transported, and rapidly at that. But to where? They have no clue.
Lur's eyes flash open and she blinks in rapid fire, opening her mouth to gasp for air, only to find none. Water rushes into her mouth and she begins to choke, flailing her arms and kicking her legs, fighting against a weak but debilitating current. She thrashes her head back and forth, struggling to see the others. After a moment, she can see Makan fighting; throwing bursts of air jets against the current, but Enya is sinking rapidly, the water completely counteracting his element. She spots Calder looking almost calm in the water, but still struggling to get such an apparently large body of water under control. He realizes what is happening to his friends and fellow elements just a split second later and his eyes go wide. He flips in the water and pushes his hands out harshly, closing his eyes and shooting a current of water towards each of the elements respectively.
The water curls around each of the now unconscious bodies and bring them quickly towards Calder, the streams and jets circling them and keeping them afloat. Calder takes a deep breath, completely in command and his eyes flicker open once again, his hands curling into fists. The water around them starts to bubble and gurgle, aggressive and seemingly fighting against the Water’s element; but then it stops. The control is handed over to Calder without a second glance and he sighs in relief.
Getting back to his friends who were protected in a wall of foam and air bubbles; he concentrates for just a moment and with a flick of his wrist each of his fellow elements have a orb of air encasing their heads. Now able to breathe, the previously unconscious teenagers begin to come to, groggy and forgetting where they are. Lur’s eyes narrow as she looks around, seeing not the surface or the ground around them. She tries to speak but only hears her voice echoing back to her within her air bubble.
“Guys? Can you hear me? Where are we, we’re floating…but I don’t see the sea floor, or the top of the ocean.” She flinches as the sound of her voice shoots back to her once more. After glancing around, she realizes the other elements seem to be having a similar experience, unable to speak past the confines of their air pockets. Calder notices and lets out a hearty laugh, a smile spreading from cheek to cheek. The water seems to not affect him in any way and his speech reaches the other elements just as it would normally.
“Unfortunately, sound doesn’t carry very well underwater. For many creatures it does, generally in cases of animals who live underwater, but for humans, our hearing just never seemed to be good enough.” Enya fires a glare that could kill towards Calder at the term “humans”, he’s never liked being compared to the creatures he helped create the ability to live for. He was their help along in their survival, not an equal. Regardless, the element of Water seems almost cheerful in the peace of his friend’s complaints, but realizes that he will need to be able to hear him.
With a sigh and an additional swish of his hand, small tubes of empty air separate the water and connect the air bubbles of Enya, Lur, and Makan. Small holes appear by each of their mouths, presumably to speak to Calder, and seem to let in no water. “There, now you will be able to hear each other, and yes the connectors extend; but only to a certain extent, this should keep you together, and you can speak to me without you…you know, drowning.” He beams a bright smile at his friend, winking before heading off towards something on he knows about.
“Wait! Where are we going? Do you know where we are?” Makan cries out, swimming awkwardly towards her waterborne friend. Lur is yanked along side her and she strokes easily, watching with wide eyes at the blank yet alive landscape in front of them. She was used to swimming in the ponds she came across at home and she feels mostly calm, even in this vast open water. Enya on the other hand, not so much; he’s grumbling and mumbling to himself, complaining about how we just had to go to Calder’s element first.
“Swimming around in this crap ocean, so dark I can barely see my hands, where I’m going. How does he even like this place” His eyes are dark and he can barely keep up with the two girls, the connecting tubes seemingly acting as somewhat as a leash to keep him with them.
Calder hears him complaining under his breath and shoots over to the fire element in the blink of an eye, seething and feeling more powerful every minute they are swimming. “You know Enya, I get you are Fire. You don’t like Water. Cool. But I keep you alive, I keep people and animals and plants alive. You are destruction and as much as you simply love that fact; you are in my world now. This is near the center of what I have created for the earth and you can either suck it up or I can wash you ashore to never see us again. I would advise you to leave me alone, hot head, I have more power than you here.” His eyes have an odd glint in them and the water around them begins to churn.
Enya reels backwards, shocked by his sudden outburst of anger. He rubs the back of his head sheepishly, his hard, unfeeling exterior breaking for just a moment, realizing how much he hurt Calder’s feelings. He lets out a sigh and looks up with the sorrow appearing in his eyes. Calder is unaffected however, and wheels around to Makan and Lur.
“Well girls! Welcome to the point of my creations! I'm sure we all remember, to a little extent, that this is where I made all of my water on Earth!” He says it all in a dramatic voice, holding his hand up and acting like a television game show host. With a sloppy grin on his face and the smooth and calm movements he is making, anyone could tell he's simply overjoyed. Though no one could see him, with the whole underwater thing.
"So, we're here. What now? What are we supposed to do?" Makan pipes up, her eyebrows furrowed in a small amount of frustration but mostly discomfort, confused and feeling out of place. Lur nods her agreement but feels a little more at peace, simply peering around with open eyes.
Calder suddenly stops in his exaggerated motions and floats in place; realizing that now he's here he has no idea what he is even supposed to do. "Well... I don't know." He admits, feeling a little sheepish at his excitement when it's seemingly not useful, especially with the life of their familiars at risk.
Enya raises his hand almost meekly, wanting to make up for his earlier outburst that clearly upset Calder. "Maybe find the exact place where you made it? I'm sure the surge of power may have made some sort of impact into the sea floor, it may be almost like an artist's mark?" He finishes his idea much stronger than he began it and he practically beams with Calder's eyes light up.
"Of course! It does make sense at least. But honestly, it could be anywhere within a 3 mile radius, it would take way too long to find it." Even though he ended with a negative response, he feels a lot better with some sort of idea.
Makan pipes up, speaking in rapid fire as if talking faster would somehow speed up the process. "Well if it left a mark because of the surge of power, that means it is unique to each element and therefore linked to each one of us. On top of that it is your element and you could do whatever you like with it. So mainly, we have two options." Taking a deep breath, she starts again. "One, you could search for it. Not actually, as that would take a lot more time than we have. But connect with it? If it's where you helped make the world than it should be easier to hunt it out. Like our memories and how we unlock them, it's there somewhere and we know that for sure. Or two, you make the ocean take it to you. This is your element and since you made it, it should have some memory of you, right? Or at least where it originated. Ask it to take you to it."
With another gasp of air, she stops, seeming satisfied with herself. Lur lets out a little huff, tired from even following that rush of words. Calder nods slowly, taking in her words carefully.
"Okay. Stay here. I'm going to protect you because it's more dangerous if you come with me. And… I feel like I should do this alone. You weren't with me when I made it, we were all off in our own little parts of this planet, it doesn't feel right now." With the end of his sentence, water boils up in a screen of bubbles and currents. Calder is pushed off at an unearthly speed and disappears from his friend's view an instant later.
Enya grunts, back to his disgruntled attitude the moment he realizes that he is forgiven. Peering at his hands he moves them around in the water, somehow amused with the exact opposite of his own element. Although his hands are pruned and his whole body is bobbing gently with the current, he seems more at ease; if even in his own way.
Makan and Lur have been watching Enya and they share a knowing look, oddly in cahoots in the short period of time they have known each other in this form. Makan’s eyes fill with amusement and she puts her fingers to her lips, urging Lur to be silent. She lowers her hands, palm down towards the bottom of the ocean, and concentrates. A few moments later, the water begins to surge and bubble, the air she controls urging to reach towards her.
Enya is still enraptured in his own mind but is interrupted, his eyes nearly perking up as he hears the air rushing towards him. He realizes what is about to happen but he is just a moment too late and the air shoves into him, the current and force knocking him backwards. Makan laughs loudly, a bright and light sound, fitting for her element. Her face splits into two and her smile is radiant, a little crooked but nice just the same. She elbows Lur in the side, encouraging her to laugh along too. Lur complies after getting over her initial shock. Her head shakes her head and rolls her eyes so hard she wouldn’t be surprised if they popped out. The three elements begin to bicker lightheartedly.
Meanwhile, Calder is certainly taking an adventure of his own. Weaving through coral reefs and winding around deep sea creatures on any other occasion would be simply amazing, but now he doesn't find the idea appealing. Nonetheless he has to find where he created the water on Earth so he sets off, shooting through the ocean with a flurry of water currents. True to what Makan said as he moves deeper in the water, he begins to feel a tug. But not on his heart, or even his gut or his brain. It feels like it's coming from his soul. His very cumulative being and the supernatural spirit resting within his vessel.
He takes a deep breath and fires off his gusts of water towards where he is being tugged. The closer he gets, the tighter and more clamoring the pull is becoming. It moves almost as if it is alive itself, pleading and nearly suffocating, behaving like a dog who has not seen it's owner in years. Calder scoffs at the idea but then realizes that it almost is the very situation. He created all water in that very spot and he has not come to visit it once. It would very well be upset.
He comes to a slow stop and rubs the back of his head, a flitting thought going through his mind that suggests the ocean could possibly not be forgiving or missing him. It could be angry, in turmoil and upset because it was created; then abandoned. His eyes are suddenly drawn to a trickle of light appearing from the ocean floor. Slowly the light builds, more of the ground cracking and revealing more and more.
So Calder kicks his legs, floating forward slowly and deliberately. He takes a deep breath once he is only a few inches away and reaches his hand out as if he was to a snarling dog. Pushing forward his heart pounds violently, threatening to break out of his chest. Calder gasps harshly, the air he was previously able to collect from the water simply vanishes. He chokes on the water and it feels like it is beating his insides. A hand of water grabs his throat and he is slung around like a ragdoll.
But soon, it stops. All at once, the hand lets go, the water leaves his throat and he is left with only a lungfull of air. He is floating in a gentle current and everything around him is perfectly calm. He catches his breath and wonders what on Earth and throughout space could have stopped the violent assault the waves laid on him. The young boy looks down and notices his hand had come in contact with the ocean floor.
He grins and finally lets out a sigh of relief. The water was only protecting the spot; it didn’t recognize him but the second he did, it realized. As happy as he is that he didn’t, you know, die, a tug of pity pulls at his heart and in his mind. He created the oceans and all water billions upon billions of years ago and it protected this very spot, even after he didn’t visit once. He never came to say hi, to bond again, anything. And yet it acted just as fiercely protective as if he had made everything the day before. It also calmed down just as quickly when it realized it made an error. Calder was proud.
He lets out a small coo, gently stroking the ocean floor as if he were petting a puppy. Manipulating the currents, he sinks down and sits flat, his hand still grasping at his contact point. Even though he is happy and nearly overjoyed at the energy and happiness rushing through him, Calder has no idea what to do. It is not as if Light gave them very much to go off of, simply telling them to venture to where they made the world. He searches his body, his mind, and his very soul but cannot find anything. There is no welcoming anymore, there is nothing calling out to be completed. His creation has fell silent, as if awaiting orders. But as eager as the ocean can be, Calder is unsure of what he is meant to do.
With a frustrated scream he beats his fists against the ground, his hold loosening on the ocean. His body floats up slowly and he scrabbles to clutch at the ground once more. Calder grabs a clump of sea grass and as he does, he notices something. While the light is coming from a crack, there seems to be a footprint just a few feet away. It too glows and with further inspection there is another one. He aligns his feet with them, his bare heels and toes lining up perfectly.
Calder snorts at the prospect of all of his regenerations having the same size feet, or even that his first and his current have the same exact feet. Shaking his head and focusing back on the situation, he stands up straight. His hair flows in the water, twisting and moving as if he was caught in a breeze. He looks around; still feeling like something is missing.
The young boy shuffles his feet slightly and notices that as he moves, the glow does as well. Intrigued, he moves them again, making a swirl with his big toe. Suddenly he gets an idea. Everything in his life seems to be connected, even in a simple little way. His hand grabs at his necklace, the third attachment to his soul. On it is an engraved pattern, a water drop that curls inside and makes a separate swirl. Much like Lur’s it is very intricate, carved into a thick chunk of sea glass.
He studies it for a few moments longer and takes a deep breath as if he was steeling himself for the task ahead. Calder moves his life foot forward, almost gliding along the sea floor. Left, right, right. A dance begins to form and the young sea lord twirls and slides through it like he was a seasoned dancer. His feet slip apart into a near split and he whips them together with a small gust of water. Calder finishes on his tiptoes, out of breath and his arms spread out like wings.
He glances down at the glowing design he made in the sand and he grins, feeling satisfied. His heart begins to basically sing and something from deep within him yells, overjoyed with being returned. Slowly, achingly slowly, Calder’s eyes glow a brilliant blue. They shine so bright that if someone happened to be above the surface in this unknown part of the ocean they would see it like a beacon piercing through the sea. The water churns and whips violently, surrounding Calder in an orb of bubbles and foam. The glow moves from his eyes to his whole body, but it can’t escape the now fully enclosed bubble. It glows brighter, and brighter, and suddenly Calder begins to change.
Calder’s kicking legs come together, melding and churning into a single mass of skin and bones. Scales grow one by one until they reach a thing translucent fin at the end. It curls into a moon shape overall, and the tail moves gently in the water. His ears elongate until fins are created out of them also. Webs sprout to connect his fingers together to move easier through the water. His hair grows a whole two inches until it hovers just above his shoulders. And finally, small glowing tattoos appear on his skin, swirl for swirl. They appear the same color as his piercing eyes and create patterns that almost appear to be a language. Finally, the bubble dissipates and the sea lord is left in the dark deep sea. And he is completely changed.
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Calder admires his new skin, especially his long flowing tail. It stretches longer than the typical mermaid myths, reaching out to a tapered end and continues for another foot in a thin connection until his tail fin. He wiggles it experimentally, and it flashes fast, shooting him off backwards. Calder bumps into a huge boulder and all of his breath disappears. Grunting, he moves again, but this time trying to feel the muscles and moving each one individually. He moves forward gently, and notices more fins hanging at his hips. Choking out a gasp, he realizes that he is shirtless…and technically naked.
Calder sputters and laughs harshly at his situation, completely forgetting how he looks nearly nothing like his previous form. He is a mermaid. A merman? A sea creature? He doesn’t have gills, no claws or fangs. But he has a tail, webbed fingers, fins for ears, and tattoos littering his midsection and arms. Caught up in his own fascination, he completely and utterly forgets about his friends. And all at once he remembers them, floating out in the middle of nowhere with very little protection.
Shaking his head, he flips his tail one more time, shooting off into the water. Admiring its power and finesse, he moves once up, and once down. His face breaks off into a wide smile and he continues its movement. He shoots off just as far as he would if he were using his powers. The young man decides to continue without the additional boost and simply enjoy the journey. He can feel his friends through the water, sitting still in the depths of the ocean and bobbing aimlessly a few feet to and fro. Nodding, he twirls through the water like a dancer, much like when he was performing his final transformation symbol.
He makes a chuffing sound and sends vibrations out through the water, attempting to listen and pinpoint where his friends have drifted off. Calder finds them between two reefs, the live plants curling over them like a protective dome. A flicker of confusion passes through his mind, knowing that he didn’t order them to do this. As he approaches, the reefs slowly recede and it comes to him that the ocean recognized them as the other Elements and wanted to protect them.
He lets out a sigh of relief; the urge to protect his friends comes on stronger than ever as he moves through the waves. Without the final transformation they are powerful, but the pieces of their soul aren’t as closely intertwined as they could be. Now that he has transformed he feels so much stronger.
The waves above them are calm in a perfect orb while the waves surrounding that part are choppy and harsh. Light filters around them, twinkling and shining through the odd water. Calder hangs back from his friends, exploring more of his newly connected soul. And with a heartened exclaim, he notices that Leith is awake. She is panicking, looking around at her fallen friends. Her claws scrabble against the floor of the tree house and she leaps from one piece of furniture from another.
As relieved as the sea lord is that his friend is awake, alive and well; he can’t help but panic a little himself. He can feel everything through his bobcat friend and can’t stand to know that she is so distraught and afraid. With a deep breath and a freakish amount of concentration he is able to connect with Leith, transmitting to her what has happened. He speaks slowly, calming her down moment by moment. Calder waits for a reply and soon notices that this is a one-way connection. He can talk to her and know what she is thinking but she can only speak back by using actions that he can “see” her doing.
He sends that everything will be okay, that she should calm down and he will check on her again soon. She makes a sort of nodding movement and Calder lets out a little sigh, everything seeming to be in order. He flicks his new bodily appendage and floats gently through the water to his friends. Lur is the first to notice him and her eyes blow wide, her air bubble fluctuating with her panicky breaths. She grabs Makan’s arm by instant and yanks her closer to her, pulling the tall and lanky girl around to see what she is seeing. Makan has a close reaction to Lur, letting out a small squeak and backing up a few feet. Enya on the other hand, falls still. He gaps, his cool guy façade completely shattering in confusion. After a moment of silence, he begins to laugh. It’s a loud, snorting laugh. His face is broken into a wide grin and his laughter is dancing off of the rifts surrounding them.
Calder was first elated at his friends’ responses, soaking in the shock at his transformation but after Enya begins to chortle his face falls. He rubs his shoulder self-consciously and mumbles something under his breath. His tail moves gently back and forth in the water and flicks irritatedly, almost like a cat’s tail.
“What! What is so funny!” The sea lord’s eyes flash in the light twinkling down from above the ocean. His teeth clench in the slightest and the water churns around him.
“It’s ridiculous! You’re a merman! No, a mermaid! You’re like a damn fairy.” He senses the change for a fight and his smile becomes wicked. His hands lay flat against his side and the water heats up around him.
“Excuse you! I’m the one who’s actually tried! You care for no one but yourself! You’re just a stupid street kid!” But the moment Calder finishes his sentence he slaps his hand over his mouth, letting in a gasp. He knows what he said was too far and he begins to back away from his friends.
Enya’s face goes slack. All expressions, all emotions, everything that makes his vessel even slightly human vanishes. His eyes glow eerily and he pinpoints on Calder. The water around them feels more like lava second by second and the two girls back up, separately themselves and severing their breathing connection from him.
The fire king and the sea lord face off, hot against cool, fire against water. Calder lets out a resigned sigh, realizing that he messed up and he is going to have to face Enya’s wrath. He stops moving, his tail flicking back and forth in the water to keep him upright. Chilling the water around him, he tries to prepare himself for his companion’s onslaught.
Enya lets out a vicious hiss, flinging his hands out to his side, his fists balling. The water begins to bubble and boil violently, the water thinning and raising up, evaporating in the midst of this angry beast. He continues to move towards Calder, his body leaning forward into the remaining air and using it as a propeller. The sea lord winces at the aggression of his friend but he knows that no matter his rage, he is not a challenge. He is connected to every aspect of himself and there is no more building his power. He has access to every fiber of power he posses and it far surpasses Enya’s.
But his friend does not know that, he only knows he is furious, angry at Calder for bringing up his past. He knows he may not truly be this person that he only has to live his life in order to have a vessel. Yet, it is his life. He knows that those things did happen to him, even if it does not actually halt his ability to everything,
And suddenly, he stops. Enya is caught into his mind, reliving every single one of his past lives. Almost none of them are better than his current. All of them he is in pain, furious, trying to escape his past. And he is furious. His body begins to quite literally vibrate as he delves further and further into his mind. His teeth grit and his fists clench and the very air and water around them seem to tremble in fear.
Lur and Makan back up further and further until their backs are against a wall of coral. Their hands grasp for each other and they cling; creating an orb of air and sand around them. Deep into a primal part of their souls, they can feel Enya screaming. His is opening his very heart and they know he is going to explode.
Calder knows it too. He is trying to reach out to his friend, he is trying to help his companion. He knows he is not really mad at him; at least not anymore. His eyes grow sad and he actually moves to come closer to Enya.
In the past few minutes, Enya’s head has fallen. His eyes are closed and his hands dropped to hang at his sides. He is floating straight up as if he was standing limply on actual land. He was quiet, but crying; his tears melding into the rest of the water around him. But Calder made a mistake.
The fire king raises his head in a flash, his teeth bared and gritting. Now his friends can see his tears truly falling down his face. His eyes open and are red one more, swimming with the colors of fire and raging. He looks as if he is the physical representation of pain.
And all at once, he breaks.
“IT’S NOT FAIR!” He screams, and his voice rings out across the world. His hands go straight out in front of him and he whips them back, as if he was ripping something. And suddenly, the earth breaks along with him. The sea floor cracks and rips at the seams, lining up with Enya’s hand movements. He falls forward as lava breaks the surface and pools around his feet.
Calder screams in return, acting as if he was in actual pain. Part of his land, his water, his being, is now destroyed. He doesn’t understand what his going on and he whips his tail, swimming over to his now cowering friends. He floats in front of Lur and Makan, creating a hardened wall of water in front of them, much like the sand and air orb.
But Enya does not react. His face goes slack and he stares into the lava, which is quickly hardening, as if it is speaking to him. Drifting forward, he gets closer and closer to the hot mass of molten Earth. And with a final intake of his breath, he touches it.
He is completely unlike Calder. He is fire, the king, the lord, the complete master of fire, lava, magma, and the fury that builds beneath the surface of human beings. Anger and rage makes up his very soul, the grinding of teeth as people bite back harmful words and cruel actions. And Calder is water. He is the lord of the sea, the calm in the world of chaos. He is the ponds and rivers and gentleness. He contains harshness but others always unleash it; it is never by his own hand.
If someone were to ask the elements in a few days time what had happened at that moment, only Enya would be able to explain. And even his explanation could not describe everything.
In a heart of the heart, Enya was sucked into the hot abyss of lava boiling on the seafloor. Calder was thrown backwards against the coral wall, smooshing the girls behind him. The breath is knocked out of them but really; their eyes were locked onto the event unfolding in front of them. Minutes passed of staring blankly into the glowing red mass of Earth. It seems like nothing was going on at all, and Lur tried to feel if Enya was even alive. She probed the Earth, trying to reach under the surface. “I can’t do it, I can’t feel anything. That is his domain, it’s earth but it’s not me.” She lets out a hearty sigh and a shiver goes down her spine.
` How is she so calm? Two days ago she would have never thought of something like this, not even in her wildest dreams. But now, she is underwater, not dead specifically, and she’s a vital part to how the Earth was made. She knows of her other past lives, and she thinks that contributes to her not having a mental breakdown, but it still almost sends her into shock.
And although she has concern for herself, she is more worried about Enya. She knows they have never really had a good connection with him, but they were still close. They are hand in hand in the main creation of the earth and she can’t just let him die.
Well, if he does die, she thinks with a flash. Her memory of her past lives does not extend to her deaths. She can remember up until her very last day, but it cuts off before it gives any clues to how she dies. Lur wonders if the memories are unlocked once they transform and she opens her mouth to ask Calder but with a quick look to his face and the situation in front of them she snaps her mouth shut. Now is not the time.
While it does not look as if anything going on, with bubbling lava still hardening in the moving water, in reality under the surface, everything is going on. Enya is floating, sitting quite peacefully with his eyes closed. He knows he needs to finish his transformation, he can feel the core of the earth yanking and pulling at his soul, but he isn’t ready. He is sad; he is trying his best to stop crying but he can’t help it. Anger always boils at the edge of his skin but now it is gone, replaced by hurt and longing.
None of his lives were good. Not a single one of them. Each was riddled with death, agony, and injury. He was never allowed to be happy. His fuel was is anger and he can think of no lives that were positive after six years old. Enya opens his eyes and gazes into the sea of red in front of him. The magma is gently and slowly churning, a very calm motion. And it vaguely shocks Enya; it is a single part of him that is not harsh and violent. He knows it is destructive and ruthless; but it is also calm and slow. So he is still startled, wondering how something that has so much power, so much force is meandering along like a snail.
Then it comes to Enya, how the magma and lava are slow yet ruthless. It’s exactly like him, and then he realizes it is him. He is the lava, the fire, the flicker and flames; and he almost smacks himself in the forehead. But the fire king does not; instead he takes a deep breath, leaning his head backwards. He knows he needs to transform. And he has no idea what is going to happen, how he is going to change.
Slowly, ever so slowly, he reaches his arms outwards. He opens them and spreads his fingers like he is reaching for a distant movie. And in a way, he is. The fiery earth core moves in gentle waves around him and it envelops his body even more, almost cradling him. Enya’s eyes droop closed and he finally answers the call of the fire. Instantly, he merges with it. The process was faster than Calder’s by a split heartbeat and his body tenses. His top canines elongate and when he moves his body, it’s hyperactive, faster than normal. His heart slows, and slows, and stops. Enya’s eyesight grows sharper, his smell better, and his fingernails harden and sharpen into near claws. Tattoos similar to Calder’s appear, but in red. They swirl up and down his arm, glowing and fading until they stay a solid color.
The process begins to slow and Enya moves closer to normal speed now, his body relaxes and he lays back into the thick substance. He lets out a sigh, his eyes still letting off an eerie light. He knows that he’s transformed by a low chiming in the back of his mind. It’s singing, cheering, that he is whole again, every part of him is together. And he can feel Lonato wake up. She raises her head gently and peers around with her near-sighted eyes. The leucistic snake calls to Enya and the fire kind answers, his voice calm. The pair communicate with his new founded ability for a few minutes while she roams the tree-house, looking for Leith. She eventually finds her and the two sit together, no longer alone and unable to move.
Once Enya is satisfied his other half is okay, he heaves out a heavy sigh. He needs to be prepared for his return back to his friends. The young boy knows he’s now a beast, and he already left them on bad terms. He shouldn’t reacted like that, a piece of his mind yells, but he quickly silences it. He knows it was wrong and honestly a dumb idea, but Calder stepped over the line too.
He makes a resolution; he isn’t going to apologize. Calder is; he is the one who said rude things, who blew up just because he laughed at him. Enya laughs a short back, remembering Calder. He means, who wouldn’t? He’s a mermaid for Light’s sake. He has fins, a tail!! And Enya catches the reference to Light he subconsciously makes.
Not knowing how to go about it, he pushes it aside. More memories of his past lives well up insides of him but he knows how is not the time, he doesn’t have the patience for anything new to happen at this moment.
And so with a flick of his wrists, the previously closed seal in the earth is once more torn open. He stops the lava from bursting forth, knowing that he can’t afford to injure his friends any further. To Calder it would simply be a nuisance but Lur is not transformed and it could very well hurt her.
To the other elements his entry is grand, the sea floor breaking open just to release him. His body floats upwards until he is level to the ground and he can swim forward. The light from the molten earth illuminates his passage, twinkling through the water and shining on small pieces of plants and tiny animals. Enya looks around, his eyesight locking in on microscopic floaters drifting through the water. He can hear beasts of the ocean bellowing from thousands of yards away and with some concentration he can even hear the ragged heartbeats of his friends. They are beating harshly against their chests, out of worry or anger, no one would no.
The fire element nearly scoffs, noticing his own heart thumps no more. But it is also confusing, because in reality, it never needed to move or pump blood through his veins, because this was just a vessel. The Elements’ powers were so strong they could move and do every function of a normal human without any other need. They truly did not need to breath, eat...anything. And now that it has ended without his intervention, Enya feels stronger than his friends. More in control of a body that is not really his.
But before the newly cockier boy can boast about his abilities and lack of bodily functions, a jet of air knocks him over and he is flipping head over heels into open water. His body goes limp and he coughs, practically hacking up a lung. He doesn’t realize it was one of his friends and he raises his head with a snarl on his face. Yet Makan appears in front of him, apparently unfazed by the aggression flashing on his face. She snorts and reaches out her hand towards him, which he grabs with a grumble.
“You’re an idiot” She states, grasping his hand a lot harsher than necessary. “You try to beat up Calder, you bust open his domain, and you show up from the earth like you're the freaking god of everything, ever.” Her face goes slack as she hears a satisfied chortle from Calder.
Her hair drifts in the water very calm compared to the speed at which she turns around to face Calder. Her anger has turned on him and proves just as ruthless. “Don’t you make that sound, Calder, it’s just as much your fault as his. You provoked him and right after you connected yourself. You knew you were stronger than him and still poked and prodded at our weak spots. We may not truly be our vessels but we still have emotions.” She spouts, her pale complexion turning red in her anger. She whips her hands in a swirling motion and the air in the water pushes the two boys until they are in front of her, shoulder to shoulder.
Behind her, Lur grins at the fierceness in Makan and she swims forward the best she can until she is right behind her. She puts her hand on her shoulder in an attempt to calm Makan in just the slightest. Makan visibly relaxes but her grip on the boys falter in no way.
“Well, as much as you both are complete morons, you did manage to transform two of us in the same place...even if it was by provoking one.” She finishes with a very pointed glare at Calder and grumbles, but releases them nonetheless.
Enya rubs his shoulder once his elemental companion lets him go, the captured air filtering out and going into its normal cycle. He stares at Calder, his new eyesight locking in on his scales, his ears, his fins. They are translucent and the fire god is caught into them, how the light shines through and how he can see Calder’s muscles moving as his tail flips back and forth to keep him upright.
“You can look away now” Calder says with venom, still upset, but all of the elements can see the slight blush on his face as he says it, flustered by the intense stare of Enya. The young boy himself looks as if he’d been woken up roughly and he nods, turning his head away.
The girls had watched the exchange with interest and they laugh quietly to each other. Lur leans over and says something that they boys cannot hear into Makan’s ear and the other girl lets out a string of laughter. She shakes her head and elbows Lur in the ribs, but she’s beaming.
Lur smiles back in response and she turns around, moving off to head to the boys. She beckons for the Makan to follow and soon the four are in a similar position as when they first appeared her. In a square shape, Enya facing Lur and Makan facing Calder.
The Earth element takes a deep gasp of air from her bubble, preparing for a review. She looks Calder over, details specific aspects of his transformation. She does the same to Enya and looks vaguely confused as she notices very little change in him, excluding the massive tattoos now lining his body.
“So, we have...a mermaid? And a...Enya with tattoos?” She starts, hesitation apparent in her voice.
“A mermaid! No; a merman” Calder quips back with a certain defensiveness in his voice. “At least, I think so. I’m not exactly what they show in the myths. I don’t have gills, and I think I still have lungs. And the fin is here, for sure, but I think I would still have my legs if I were to go on land. It’s hard to explain. It’s kind of like they are there, but they aren’t.” He shrugs in the end, his ear fins opening and closing, like a sign of nervousness.
Makan chortles, rolling her eyes at his awkward explanation. “So...a mythological, not mythological, merman? Sounds about right, fish boy”
Enya’s lips curve up into a smirk and he waves his hand at Calder as if he was dismissing him. The sea king’s mouth had opened to continue to speak but he closes it, rolling his eyes and crossing his arms. Lur notices his pouting pose but ignores it for the time being, knowing they needed a run down of their current situation.
He folds his arms outward and sends a vibration through the water. Enya does it subconsciously to show his power and as the waves reach his friends, their bodies go lax and their faces turn to him, eyes blank and their faces a slate of impressionability. Their consciousness is still free to roam and Lur begins to panic as she realizes she can’t move her limbs. Makan takes in the situation but keeps her focus on Enya.
She doesn’t know what is going on but she doesn’t want to fight it, somehow she thinks it has purpose. Calder has no opinion and almost zones out, still frustrated with his fiery friend. Enya did not mean to keep his friends from leaving but takes it to his advantage to demonstrate.
He takes a deep breath and looks around at his friends, slowly taking away the hormone he sent out that kept them from moving. “So, I’m not really sure either,” he mumbles, his voice unsure, which is certainly rare for him, “I know the word, but it doesn’t sound right. It doesn’t fit me. Not really. But the powers...they are amazing.” The more he speaks, the more excited his voice grows. His eyes sparkle and he approaches Makan, her body still not able to move efficiently.
He runs his hand along her face, his nails elongating like before, and takes care not to hurt her. Waving his arms to show where he is, he flits to Calder, moving faster than his friends’ eyes can track. With an evil smirk he shoves Calder backwards but before he moves, he appears behind him and pushes him back.
Slowly this time, he comes to float in front of Lur. A smile grows on his lips and a harsh shiver goes down Lur’s spine. She doesn’t feel afraid, not in the least, but something sinister has gotten into Enya. No one knows if it is because of the power or this is the real him. But Enya leans in and peers intently into Lur’s eyes, tracking her pupil dilation and the quick movements of her iris.
The young boy concentrates and suddenly Lur goes rigid. She can feel her body slip out of her control. It rests in Enya’s hands and all she can do is struggle with her mind. He backs up slowly, the water letting him pass faster than a normal human could.
Hesitantly Lur follows after him, her motions shaky and unsure. It’s clear that what she is doing is not under her control. Her teeth grind in a subconscious act and she presses against the pull of Enya’s will. But no matter how hard she tries, she comes closer and closer to the powered element. He grins wickedly, showing off sharp canines and a vicious intent. His body oozes power and his other elements overlook with extreme weariness. Yet with a sudden change of attitude, Lur is released. She falls backwards in the water, revealing the strength he was exerting in order to get her to go forward.
Enya takes a bow, moving fluidly and he seems pleased with how he got his point across. His teeth flash once more as he smiles, before standing up straight once more. Makan is the first to clap; her weak grin is somewhat tense but she is genuinely impressed. The feeling of not being equal to his power, because she is not transformed, calls in the back of her mind. Two are changed, are stronger than they ever have been in this life. The fact of her and Lur being subordinate in terms of what they can and can’t do, nags her.
The young Air elements shakes herself out of her thoughts and rubs her hands together, which would have made a clapping sound if they weren’t still underwater. She notices that their air bubbles have been slowly getting smaller and knows they need to get back to dry land soon.
“We need to move again, you know” She says, matter-of-factly; but anyone can see the tinge of fear in her eyes. She can see the bubbles shrinking more and more and it only reaches an inch around from her head. Lur looks over and her pupils shrink just the tiniest, the situation coming to mind.
Calder nods and puts his hands out to Enya and Lur. Lur takes his hand and reaches her’s out to Makan, grasps it, giving Lur a small smile. The Earth element smiles back and squeezes, intertwining their hands instead of overlapping them. If Calder or Enya noticed they chose to say nothing and instead give one another a dirty look before they hold hands to. The connection is complete with Makan yanking a reluctant Enya’s hand.
The transformed element huffs a little, rolling his eyes. The curling red lines on his arms begin to move, and Calder’s does the same.
“Really, why am I surprised?” Lur mumbles, jealously tugging at her. She pushes it away mentally, attempting to comfort herself with the fact that she will be transformed soon. The jealously continues but calms down. A voice in the back of her head whispers that is it not necessarily jealously, but longing for their own connection to be back. Lur nods and notices that the other elements had their eyes closed, ready to make the connection and transport to their next destination.
She closes her eyes, feeling the uncompleted ripple of power seep into her. Deep breath in, deep breath out becomes a subconscious chant to keep her in beat. Slowly the power rushing throughout the four teens began to accrue, growing stronger and stronger.
It begins to burn, to hurt even to Lur and Makan alike. Because they are not transformed, the energy is overpowering their own, and irritating their minds. Makan squeezes Lur’s hand tighter, her hand cold, even in the warm water they are in. With a final breath in, Lur’s heart racing, they begin to spin.
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