I was born on the edge of the world in a small village called Waterfront. To the west lay highlands, to the north and south coast; but to the east there was nothing but sea for miles and miles all the way to infinity.
I was never afraid of the sea unlike many others who grew up alongside me. There is a certain fear surrounding the unknown that is inexplicable for the most part, and yet most everybody feels it. I think what people fear, is not what is unknown about an object, but what they imagine in place of that object. For example, it is not the dark that people fear, but the lurker in the dark. So I do not think it was the sea that people feared, but what they imagined might lie beyond it. For me, it was different though. I’ve never really been afraid of anything. Most might call that stupidity and some might even call it bravery, but in truth it was neither. It was pure curiosity that drew me to the sea.
Earth, wind, fire, and water. Four elements. That’s what we’re taught in school. That’s what they know how to teach. Almost everyone is born with a gift. The gift to move, change, and manipulate these elements. The gift of power. And in fact, most are born with more than one. Having all four is rare, but not unheard of. What no one teaches us though, is that there is another element. Another more precious, more volatile, more powerful. This is the story of the fifth element.
She needed something. Not just anything, but something. Maybe it was the feel of an autumn breeze on her face or the feel of mud between her toes. Maybe it was the need to remember summers long forgot or dreams barely formed. Or maybe… it was the feeling of belonging she had felt in the arms of the only man she had ever really truly loved. Her life had been a mess of lost opportunities, but she needed something and this time, for once in her life, she was going to get it.
Suzette lie in the grass with her eyes closed listening to the urgent hum of bees hard at work. The early autumn breeze felt perfect on her porcelain skin as the brilliant Massachusetts sunlight filtered through the oak leaves above spreading its warmth over her. Her life was in shambles but here, among the bluebells, she felt content. Serene, even. They had taken her sister away, but her father was safe and so was she. Safe, but for how long she thought as she let out a short abrupt laugh startling a nearby blue jay which chirped at her indignantly before taking flight once more. No one ever wins a trial once they were accused, and her trial was tomorrow. Suzette pulled out a tuft of grass and threw it skyward watching the blades fall back to earth in graceful arcs. She closed her eyes painfully tight trying to shut out the onslaught of memories pouring into her mind but it was useless. She relaxed a little, gave a heavy sigh, and succumbed.
Her sister Eloise was nine years old and a simple minded child. She saw how the other girls in the village looked at her with disgust and treated her like a dog so it wasn’t that much of a surprise that once the accusations began, they rounded on little Eloise. Suzette watched Eloise burn through eyes flooded with tears.
It was late afternoon and she was toying with the idea of heading home when she saw a flash of white light and felt someone standing behind her. She froze, her body tense.
This is part of a book I’m currently writing where I introduce the second main character. Let me know if you guys want to hear more.
There’s something about a mirror that I’ve always found unsettling. I’ve always had this eerie feeling that the person I find looking back at me is not me. When I was younger, I would try to catch her off guard by moving really quickly to one side or making an unexpected face. She was never fooled, but always, I fancied I saw something moving out of the corner of my eye when I looked away. Her eyes always seemed to know a secret that I never would and her smile always seemed to taunt me. I’ve always been afraid to touch mirrors. It seems ridiculous, but I think that somehow if I get too close, she’ll reach out and grab me, sealing me into her world and taking my place in mine.
Then I’ll set it on fire, this hatebox of mine,
And watch it burn ‘til the end of time.
With hate as its fuel, my box will burn bright,
And I’ll use it to lighten those cold winter nights.
The thunder resounding off of the rocks in the canyon all around him made his horse uneasy. He still had at least a day’s journey ahead of him and if the clouds grew any darker he would be caught in a heavy storm. He urged his horse on with a swift kick in the side, only slightly concerned with the impending storm. Dusk was fast approaching as he came to the river, a fallen tree lay in the middle of the bridge, still burning from where the lightening had struck it down. His horse refused to go any nearer to the fire. He carefully slipped off of the horse and led it to the foot of the stone bridge, assessing the situation. There was no other way for it, he thought, tossing his cloak over the back of his mare and rolling up his sleeves. He closed his eyes trying to clear his mind and listened to nothing but the steady rush of the river flowing around him. He could feel the water taking over now, his heart pumping it to the surface of his skin. Water, where blood should be. He pulled it out through his pores, forcing it to his fingertips. In one brisk movement he sent a torrent of it cascading onto the fallen tree, dousing the fire completely. He remounted his horse. He would be on time.
She could feel the anger pulsing through her veins—little trails of fire, igniting everything in its path. Every heartbeat pumped the fire closer to the surface, closer to breaking through. She wrapped her arms around her body, trying to compress the heat within but it was useless. It had been years since she had let her anger show but here, among the bodies of the only family she had ever known, she let herself succumb. The flames seared her flesh as she released them: it felt even better than she remembered. This was what I was born to do, she thought. There was no denying it anymore; no one was left to protect her. She sent the fire out of her in every beat of her heart, catching it in the palms of her hands.
“You know what you have to do,” said a small voice in the back of her head. And she did.
Never before had she wanted anything so badly. She licked her lips in hungry anticipation as she watched the baker’s boy crossing the road a few paces in front of her. The smell of the freshly baked loaves washed over her like the welcomed embrace of a lover. She dashed around the corner after him just far enough to still smell the bread without being noticed by the young man who carried it. Down the cobblestone streets she followed him, all the way to his stall at the market where he set down the tray of warm bread next to the plump golden honey cakes that were his specialty. She waited for him to turn around before slipping into the stall behind him. Almost salivating with the expectation of finally being satisfied after so long she reached out her hands and grabbed the boy from behind. He started then turned around to face her, a smile creeping across his face when he saw her.
“A pleasant surprise,” he said, leaning down and gathering her up in his arms, “I wasn’t expecting you until late afternoon.”
She pulled her cloak tighter around her small frame toying with the notion of going back. No one need ever know she was here; she could pretend as if she had been in her room the whole time. She paused staring at the old run-down cottage in front of her as the wind blew in angry gusts giving her a halo of snow. She clenched her fists and almost turned to leave but as if by magic the door swung open and she saw the old witch spinning wool by the small hearth. She stopped, captivated by the liquid movement in the old woman’s fingers and enthralled, she drifted closer almost in a dream-like state into the warmth of the cottage.
“Welcome child. I knew you’d come.”
She almost felt bad as she thrust the dirk into the soft skin between his ribs. His eyes looked at her pleading, not quite comprehending her actions. She leaned down and kissed his cheek noticing that the smell of the whore still lingered in his long unwashed hair. A small smirk crossed her face as she took out the blade and shoved it in again, this time twisting. Almost.
Maybe it was because he knew her so well. He knew exactly how she was going to react. He knew that she couldn’t let anything go without a fight and he was playing her. He was her master and she was his puppet and damned if she was going to let him win. She leaned in closer to him, her smile plastered to her face not giving anything away. She could win, it was no longer his game to lose, but a fair fight and damn him and his status and his land but she could win.
“Tell me again,” she purred.
It’s that time of year again! NaNoWriMo is where you write (or try to write) a novel of at least 50,000 words in the month of November. It doesn’t matter if it’s not good, the point is to get you WRITING. Quantity over quality! Even if you scrap the whole thing at the end of the month, you still practiced your writing, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time.
So how many of you are participating? My NaNo name is MellyBOOM so add me and we can be writing buddies.
Reblog this with your NaNo name so your follows can follow your progress through the stressful month of November! Good luck and above all, HAVE FUN!