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“Alright. We need a phoenix feather, moonstone, emerald, never-melting snow, ruby, aquamarine, diamond, amber, two daisy chains, and 10 seashells.”
“Great. What are you doing now Amenina?” I asked as I walked into the tree-lined clearing, trailing snowflakes behind me.
“Hey!” shouted the Ess. Rissa, who is super smart, flipped though her books, ignoring us all as she shook her head, while my sisters Autumn, Daisy, and Summer, shivered simultaneously. I started to walk to my sisters, when I felt a hot wind blow against my back. I turned around, seeing the rest of my friends huddled around Jean, since her body temperature was a whole 50˚ higher than ours, because she controlled fire. That is, everyone except Amenina. Amenina controlled earth powers, so she couldn’t come near fire.
“Do you mind?” asked Amenina, her brown eyes shooting daggers at me.”The rest of us aren’t immune to cold like you Melody. Just because you can control snow doesn’t mean you should show off!”
“Let it go Amenina. She doesn’t mean to start a fight.” I heard my cousin Harmony, say.
“Get out of my head!” I said in exasperation, as plopped onto the short green grass, now covered with snow an inch thick. Since Harmony controlled the wind which now moved my chin length chestnut hair, she could breeze though anyone’s thoughts with ease.
“Harmony’s right Amenina.” commented the soft-spoken Summer, who controlled the season of her namesake.
“Yeah! Stop being so judgmental!” interrupted the not-so-soft-spoken Autumn, who also controlled her namesake.
“Please don’t fight!” moaned the peace loving Daisy. She had harnessed the power of spring.
“Look, I’m sorry Amenina. But I can’t control the snowflakes!” I added. “I may have the powers of winter, but I can’t control all of winter. Look at Jean. She can’t keep her body temperature below 148˚, and Daisy can’t help it when flowers bloom and the grass green. You can’t even make the grass grow! You’re not perfect, and neither am I! So can you please tell me what’s going on?” Silence filled the clearing as Amenina gazed thoughtfully at Outreimer, the sun.
“Well?” Asked Harmony, directing a warm breeze toward the shivering Ess.
“Fine!” Exclaimed Amenina, her face brightening in a smile. “We’re having a scavenger hunt!”
“Yes!” I shouted as I jumped in the air. “What are the teams?”
“Well I figures that you could be with your sisters, while I’ll be on Rissa, Jean, and Harmony’s team.”
“Sounds good to me!” I nodded.
"So we have eight seashells, never-melting snow, a daisy chain, amber, a phoenix feather, diamond, and ruby. That means we need ….a moonstone, emerald, aquamarine, one daisy chain, and two seashells. That’s right you guys?” I asked as I trudged through the forest of Luaria.
“Daisy? Autumn? Summer? Am I right?” I looked around myself, trying to see around the trunks of thousand year old trees.
“Alright Autumn. This isn’t funny anymore…..Autumn?”
Hearing a sound behind me, I spun around to see a man in black stalking towards me, an unsheathed dagger gleaming in the pale sunlight. I tensed, waiting for him to strike, when I heard a loud TWANG!
The poor man didn’t have enough time to duck away from the deathly accurate aim of the arrow aimed at his heart. I winced as he fell to the ground with a thud.
“Thanks Amenina, but you didn’t have to kill the guy.” I commented dryly.
“That wasn’t Amenina.” Replied a male voice. I froze in terror as a stranger dressed in a black hooded cloak walked out of the shadow of a giant tree.
“Wh- who are you?” I questioned the man, who was now retrieving his arrow from the body of the attempted assassin.
“My name is of no importance to you.” Remarked the stranger, smiling a wry smile from underneath his hood.
“Well, since you rescued me, can’t I even see who you are?”
“Hmm….I would think that that would leave you in debt to me, not the other way around.”
“So…” I muttered stubbornly as I stared down at my feet.
“Well, I am afraid I must leave you now.” The man said as he rose from the ground from where he had crouched to retrieve his arrow.
“Wait…but…huh?” I stammered. “Wait up! Please?” But still he melted into the shadows. I ran behind him into the black. After a while, I saw a patch of white on a tree, with an arrow through it.
My heart beat faster as I walked in that direction. A piece of paper was stuck in a tree with an arrow. The letter said,
I bet you’re wondering where your sisters are. Well I know. They’re with me.
I’d come soon if I were you. Hurry.
My knees started to shake uncontrollably. Hawthorne was an evil possessor who occupied my uncle, the king of Luaria. He wanted to kill the Ess. Wait. Hawthorne was the stranger? I was examining the arrow when I heard a voice behind me.
“Great. What happened to your sisters, Melody?”
I spun around. “Oh good Amenina, it’s you!”
Amenina stood with her arms akimbo, wondering at my shaking form.
“Huh. I guess you aren’t immune to cold like we thought.” She remarked.
“I may be immune to cold, but not fright.” I remarked as Harmony, Jean, and Rissa filed into the small clearing I stood in.
Looking around, Rissa stated, “Your sisters were kidnapped by Hawthorne. “ Harmony, Jean, and Amenina gasped and turned towards me.
“Yeah….it’s true. Look at this.” I handed them the note, while I continued to examine the arrow. I exhaled in relief. It wasn’t the same arrow as the stranger’s.
I pocketed the arrow as what remained of the Ess turned towards me.
“So we’ve got to find my sisters.” I stated to the friends. “Why not start now?”
“Ugh. If these weren’t my sisters we’re talking about, I would so be heading down this horrid hill, instead of continuing up it!” I complained, moaning in pain as my tired legs lifted me up from one rock to another.
“Amenina, can’t you like, soften the path or something?” I complained as I climbed down the horrid mountain.
“Wow. Normally you don’t complain this much!” Amenina stated.
“Your sisters haven’t been kidnapped, and you aren’t trekking across an entire country to rescue them!” I retorted.
“Oh be quiet.”
Harmony sighed. “Must you two always fight?”
“Yes.” Amenina and I said at the same time.
“As I trudged ahead, I saw a black shadow on the path ahead of me. Anger filled me as I sprinted ahead of Amenina.
“You!” I shrieked as I caught up to the shadow. “Hawthorne!” I shouted as I sped up. The shadow froze.
I stopped beside the shadow as a familiar voice reached my ears.
“You seem to make mistakes often. I am not Hawthorne either.” Now I froze.
“Will you ever tell me who you are?”
“UGH!” I moaned.
He chuckled dryly. “Fine. I will tell you.”
I looked up. “Who are you?”
“Frost.” He said, pulling down his hood, revealing long, blue tinted silver hair.
“Frost…” I said. “By any chance do you have any powe-“
“Hey!” Shouted Amenina. “Wait up!”
Frost jerked his hood up over his face as my friends approached us.
Harmony, Jean, and Rissa stared at Frost while Amenina glared at me.
“What was that all about Melody? Why’d you race ahead like that?” Amenina challenged me.
“I am sorry. That was my fault.” Frost said as he crossed in front of me, almost protectively. Amenina tensed, about to strike out at Frost, when I ran out from behind him to calm her down.
“Amenina! Calm down!” I mumbled as I held her back.
“Let me go!” Amenina shouted.
“Promise not to hurt him!” I shouted back.
“I hate to disagree with you, but I think I could protect myself.” I heard Frost say behind me as Amenina caused tree roots to grab my ankles and wrists, and yank me away.
“Ungh!” I moaned in pain as I was thrown to the ground. I saw a shape leap at Amenina.
“Stop!” I yelled. Frost and Amenina kept fighting, so I yelled , “FREEZE!” A frigid wind blew past me in a streak of blue, freezing the tips of blue, and splintering the tree roots into icy shards. I sat up, seeing everyone frozen in their positions.
“Oh great. Now what did I do?” I moaned as I placed my head in my hands.
“That’s a good question.” I heard Jean say.
“Oh good! You’re not frozen!” I heard Jean say.
“No duh. Fire, remember?”
“I knew that.”
Jean walked over to Harmony and placed her hands on the top of Harmony’s frozen head. She slowly melted from head to toe, and when she was completely unfrozen, Jean silently moved onto Amenina. As soon as Amenina was melted, Jean started walking away.
“What about Frost?” I asked.
“Who?” Jean asked.
“How do know who he is?” Amenina challenged me.
“He saved her life.” Harmony breezily stated. I glared at her as Jean started to unfreeze Frost. “Hey! It’s not my fault you’re practically yelling your thoughts at me!” She sighed.
“Hmm” I turned around as Frost started to talk. “You defiantly need some training.”
“What do you mean?” I asked, confused.
“I mean I can help you.”
“You have powers?!” I exclaimed. Frost snapped his fingers, and alight sprinkling of snow shot out from his fingers as I watched in awe. His hood blew off of his head in a breeze.
“How did you do that?” I asked.
“It just takes practice.” He smiled.
“Alright, let’s break up the party. You teach, we walk.” Amenina interrupted.
After trekking across the land of Luaria, we finally reached the gates of Hawthorne’s castle.
“So what do we do know? Do we walk right in, ambush, or what?” I asked.
“I vote for ambush.” Amenina replied.
“I agree!” exclaimed Jean.
“Whatever.” Rissa said noncommittally.
“So ambush it is.” I remarked.
“Let’s go.” Frost said.
“Here we go.” Harmony blew open the gates of the castle and we stormed in.
“Alright Hawthorne! Come out and fight!” I yelled.
“Way to blow our cover Melody!” Amenina sarcastically whispered as a purple and red cloaked figure came out of the shadows, gold glittering everywhere. When I could hear him, he was calmly talking.
“Thank you Frost. I didn’t think you could do it, but you actually brought themhere. Great Job.” I turned in shock to Frost.
“What is he talking about?” I whispered fervently to him as he looked down in shame.
“I’m sorry.” He mumbled. He looked up with tortured eyes as I backed away in disgust.
“Why?” I simply asked. “Why?” Out of the corner of my eyes, I saw Hawthorne nod from behind Frost. At this, I was jerked to the ground and my hands roughly were shackled behind my back. I kneeled roughly on the ground, tears leaking from my eyes as the rest of the Ess fought back.
“Melody! What’s wrong with you?!” Amenina shouted in the background.
“Help!” Harmony yelled as Jean and Rissa fought. Hearing my friends in trouble, I struggled to my feet and wrenched my hands from the shackles.
Stretching my hands in front of me, I pointed at Hawthorne and yelled, “Enemies, FREEZE!” Hawthorne and the guards froze in their attack positions, right after a loud TWANG filled the air. Wide-eyed, I cringed to the ground as the ice arrow plunged though the guard behind me and shattered in the body of another behind him. Shaking, I stared up into the ice-blue eyes of Frost.
“Hmm. You’ve already learned a lot it seems.” Frost outstretched his hand, smiling. Glaring, I turned around and tried to stand, but my left leg buckled out from under me, causing me to fall on Frost.
“Oops.” I could feel heat pulsing on my cheeks as I tried to get up, but failed again.
“Here, let me see your leg.” Frost said, worry and concern coloring his tone. Sighing, I stretched out my leg. Frost sucked in a breath as I stared at the arrowhead dangling from my jeans.
“Does it hurt?”
Amenina rushed over. “Melody! What’s wrong?”
Harmony followed, her face pale. “Melody, what happened?”
Then came Jean. “Here, let me take care of that.” She said, grabbing for the neck of the arrow.
“No!” Frost yelled. The whole Ess jumped back, including me, well, as best as I could with an arrow in my leg.
“Let me make sure the wound’s clean, and that it’s safe to extract.” Frost continued. He tugged gently on the arrow. “How badly does that hurt?”
“Not much” I lied.
“Alright. I’m just going to snap off the neck, then wrap it up. Does that sound alright?” Frost asked, looking at me.
“Sure.” I gritted my teeth as I heard a wooden snap, and then felt a coarse fabric on my leg. I looked down, and I saw Frost was bandaging my leg, a tense look on his face.
“Wow,” I mumbled.”Does it normally get this dark, this fast?” I felt four pairs of alarmed eyes on mine.
“What do you mean? It’s daylight!” I heard Amenina nervously say.
“Huh.” I started to wonder at that, but black unconsciousness swallowed me before I could figure that out.
I felt a pair of hands shaking me, but I couldn’t see anything. I heard some voices then.
“Melody, Melody! Wake up!” a strangely familiar female voice said.
“Melody, please! We’re free now!” another familiar voice. Wait, who’s free?
“Melody.” This time it was a male voice. Did I know him? “Come on, you can wake up now. It’s safe.”
“Ugh. I have an idea.”
My eyes shot open as I was jerked in the air on a tree branch.
“Amenina! Let me down!” I shrieked.
“Hey! You’re up! Finally!” I heard a chorus of relieved voices exclaim.
“Sorry!” I heard Amenina shout. “But it did work!”
“Just let me down!”
After my feet touched the ground, I saw Autumn, Daisy, and Summer running towards me.
“Autumn! Daisy! Summer! What happened to you guys?” I questioned happily as I was hugged by my sisters.
“Just what the note said. Summer, Daisy, and I had seen a whole pile of gemstones when Hawthorne attacked and captured us. W kept hearing how Hawthorne is almighty, and how he will defeat us. Ugh. I still have a headache!” Autumn joked.
“As long as you’re alright.” I laughed.
Oh, and by the way Amenina, Jean, Rissa, Harmony,” Daisy shyly added. “We win!” Autumn, Daisy, and Summer held out their hands, filled to the brim with gemstones.