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The nursery was the thing that we would remember forever. The nursery where we grew up, that was where we were inseparable. We were all born on the same day, we would leave the nursery on the same day in fifteen years. Only we didn’t know what happened after that, as children we didn’t know about the whole faerie clan thing we just played together. I think the Matrons tried to hide it from us. Our lives probably wouldn’t have been the same if we had known that we were to be separated.
We wouldn’t be same from it forever for when we were ten we got our first taste of it. Amber’s friend, Felicity, was leaving the nursery. Besides us Felicity was Amber’s best friend. Amber knew that she couldn’t visit the nursery, not even our mothers were allowed there, only the Matrons could come and go. Felicity explained to Amber that even when Amber left the nursery she wouldn’t be able to see her for a few years.
None of us understood the Clan system and Amber became enraged. When Felicity was gone the next morning Amber wanted to go see her but the Matrons restrained her to stop her from tearing the place apart. That was when we all saw Amber’s Asher side. Onyx was her name, she had black hair, wings, clothes and eyes that kept switching between black and blue. She was screaming throwing hexes around the nursery; all the younger children were taken away to safety. Finally after hours of the Matrons and us trying to calm her down Onyx left, and Amber took over again. We all recognized her familiar red hair, red eyes, amber stones glittering on her shirt, returned to us.
We could tell Amber was still upset so we all stayed up through the night comforting her. Eventually she was fine but we were all amazed that sweet Amber was so…volatile. Well Amber is no sweet heart but she isn’t anything like Onyx. Our first taste of the real word was so sour.
After that though our lives were just like they had always been, until a few months before our fifteenth birthday…that was the day that definitely changed our lives. It started out like just a normal day, it was a Saturday so we left the nursery and went out to the Forest of the Elders. There was a particular pond in the forest that Brooke loved to swim in so we always went there when we went to the forest. “Catch me if you can!?” Clover yelled running through the forest.
“I’m going to get you!” Amber yelled leaning down to hear what the stones had to say. I’m an animal faerie so I asked the squirrels if they knew where she was. Brooke and Wendy climbed trees together knowing Clover would be near the trees. The squirrels had seen nothing so I climbed the trees with Brooke and Wendy. “I’m not where you think I am!” Clover shrilled happily. Wendy paused on a foothold and listened to the breeze. Jumping down from the tree she started running farther into the forest, she motioned for us to follow.
Brooke looked at me, puzzled, I just shrugged and followed Wendy. Amber looked up from her stones and sprouting her wings she started flying just a few feet over us. Finally we found Clover wrapped in moss and grass. Giggling we pulled her out and Brooke ran to the pond. We all followed and watched as she dipped herself in the cool water. She felt a special connection to the water because it was her clan’s element. The Clanmark just below her palm, two wavy lines signifying water, glowed a bright blue.
We waited, knowing how this felt for her, it was like when I got near animals, when there was breeze for Wendy, and when Clover got around plants. We waited until Brooke surfaced then her grin told us it was alright to come in. We all jumped in the pond splashing each other and swimming, playing tag. After awhile we all got tired and lay in the pond leisurely. Suddenly a figure lifted out of the water in the middle of all of us. All of shied away from the from her except for Brooke.
We all knew it was a water faerie. All of our Clan’s had a way of communicating through its element. Water faeries used their connection with water to move their own transparent forms through the element if they knew where it was. The form was tall with long wings and hair. Brooke stepped closer to her and the form smiled. “Brooke,” it said touching her cheek. “Come, come on I won’t bite,” it continued looking back at the four of us. Wendy was at Brooke’s side first then I gripped Clover’s shoulder and we moved forward trying to stay as far away as possible from the figure.
Amber was the least timid of us right now besides Brooke and she boldly said, “Who are you?”
The form looked at Amber, amused, and replied, “Paige Manian but that’s not what I came here to talk to you about. Listen to me well…your country, world, realm, whatever you want to call it, is about to fall. You five are the ones who need to save it.”
“What are you talking about?” I asked quietly.
“And why us?” Amber exclaimed.
Paige looked around hurriedly then looked at the five of us then said, “You must be quiet and tell no one what I am about to tell you. Now you must do what I tell you….word for word. Go to Piper in Darion and tell her Paige sent you. Tell her you’re looking for The Book of Ancient. She’ll lead you there. Then when you get there ask it for Council of Ancient.”
“What is the Book of-” I started but Brooke silenced me with a wave of her hand. “I know you have many questions but right now I won’t be able to answer those for you, you’ll have to answer those for yourself. Put your hands on mine,” Paige said holding out her transparent hand. Brooke lay her hand down first then we all followed. Paige smiled then closed her eyes and said, “I give you the power of water, stone, animal, plant, and wind. Use this power wisely or you will be punished. Swear this oath as I say it unto you. I solemnly swear to use my power for the task which has been put before me and never will I stray from this path.”
We all repeated it then looked as our Clan symbols started glowing. And I felt amazing power flowing through me; I knew that Paige was as powerful as I had thought. Her form though shimmered and lost its humanity. “I will leave you soon but don’t forget,” Paige said. Suddenly her form became more transparent than ever and she disappeared completely.
“Girls!” one of the Matrons called.
I jumped up out of the pond, Wendy and Clover followed me. Amber lay a hand on Brooke’s shoulder, Brooke felt a strong connection to Paige obviously and Amber as well. “Come on…it’ll be all right,” I heard Amber whisper to Brooke. Brooke hung her head then climbed out of the pond.
Finally we saw the Matron who had been calling our names. “Sorry Matron we were just playing around,” Clover said smiling. “Oh that’s all right dears. Just make sure that you don’t stray too far.” As soon as we got back we went to our room we shut the door then Brooke, using her new powers, froze the lock. “Okay…do you think we should tell someone?” Clover immediately asked. Brooke looked at Clover incredulously then said angrily, “Did you hear her? She said to tell no one!”
Clover who wasn’t one to usually get mad looked hurt by Brooke’s animosity then retorted, “Yeah I heard her…but I also don’t know her! Neither do you, none of us do…what if it is all a trick or something? What do we do then? This isn’t something where we can just listen to what some stranger said Brooke.”