The Rings of Fate
Author's note: Please leave comments...I need to see what I need to change. Thanks! :-)
The Beginning“James, wake up or you are going to be late!” James could hear his mom yelling from the kitchen.
With a groan, he grabbed some clothes and hit the shower. Five minutes later, he stumbled down the stairs, fully dressed, but definitely not fully asleep, at the counter. Several of toast and a glass of milk were set in front of him. He stuffed the bread into his mouth in one bite. His dad was reading a Chinese paper. His mom was dicing carrots for dinner. He could smell the mouth-watering aroma of curry coming from one of the pots. Their house is decorated with traditional Chinese symbols and sculptures. James’ favorite is the red dragon on top of the fridge. It looked like it was ready to spring into action any minute. According to his mom, it was a priceless heirloom passed down generation by generation. She also says this in her particular Chinese accent: “It weill be urs someday.” Both of his parents were Chinese immigrants. But he is adopted. As he brushed his teeth, he stared into the mirror. Looking back was a seventh grade looking boy whose blond hair sticks out every which way. One more thing, he was a total Nike freak, as his dad tells him every time with a smile. As long as he could remember, he had been wearing Nike. Yup, that describes him perfectly, blond and a Nike freak.
“Hurry up, James.”
His mom’s shout broke through his thoughts. He quickly rinsed, and grabbed his backpack and rushed out the door. The bus was almost leaving when he arrived, panting. He staggered into the vehicle and collapsed into an open seat. His mind wondered to a subject he has been thinking of lately: Who were his birth parents? Well, he doesn’t mind being adopted. They are like his real parents despite most people think it is weird to have an American adopted by the Chinese. To them, it should be the other way around. James felt perfectly normal with that stuff. Sometimes he even forgets he was blond and American.
The bus came into a stop in front of the San Francisco Jr. High. He sauntered into the building, already wishing the day was over. In his first class, he sat near the window, where the teacher would not notice him zoning out. His day at school went like this: Go to sleep during classes, avoid bullies in the hall, and try to look innocent in the principal’s office after pointing the laser pointer in his eye and listening to him giving the normal lecture about respect and responsibility.
The day was finally over. He let out a sigh of relief. But the feeling didn’t last for long. As he walked home, his walkway was crowded with police cars.
Polices? He didn’t do anything, so why should they be at his house? He was sure his parents wouldn’t break a law or something. He slowly approached the house. The police officers turned to look at him, faces softened with sympathy. Ok, now I am REALLY confused. He thought. An officer pulled him aside.
“Your parents were in a car crash and the damage is not light? They are in the hospital right now. We are responsible for getting you there, but you have a choice whether to go or not. Do you want to go?” His gruff voice was lined with concern.
James’ heart stopped. Car crash? How can this happen to him? This seems like something from the news. He faintly nodded; he wanted to see his parents. He got into the police car. But it doesn’t feel like him anymore. It felt like he is watching someone else’s life unravel before him. He barely noticed when they pulled in at the hospital. A police officer opened the door.
“Your parents are in room 444,” The officer said.
“Thanks,” He mumbled, still in a trance.
He walked in the hospital, immediately was greeted by bright lights and the smell of medicine. The front desk lady was looking at him weird, as if he didn’t belong there. He ignored it and went to 444.There were two beds in the room, jammed closely together. There was not much space between the far wall and the beds. It looks like the room is designed for one person only. His parents were sleeping; he could see his mom’s head and his dad’s leg wrapped in bandages. He squeezed himself in and tried to be as quiet as possible. But since he has always been a careful person, he pushed a water bottle to the floor. His mom’s head jerked up, and sank back down when she realizes its James.
“Come here, James,” she rasped, her voice breaking with the effort.
He obeyed quickly, only to trip on the water bottle. He got back up, and walked to his mother’s side, this time carefully not to trip, or knock over anything. She looks even worse, up close. Bruises cover her whole body and her face was scratched in multiple places. Her left wrist was broken, leaving her right hand with all the scars.
“I need to tell you something before me and your father die,” he opened his mouth to object, but she shot him a look that holds poison. He closed his mouth again, feeling foolish with his open mouth. “yes, we are going to die. Did you see the room number, 444? It is the homophone in Chinese for die, die, die. They don’t have a single open room except for this one for us. Fate placed us here and it is destined that we die.”
After the end of the long speech, she turned around and coughed her lungs out.
“Hand me the water bottle,” she said.
He scooped it up from the ground and placed it into his mom’s shaking hand. She took a long drink and regained her composure.
“Don’t worry about us; it is supposed to be this way. You have much more important things to attend to anyways and this can mean life or death,” she took a deep breath and looked at James in the eye.”What I am about to tell you, is an ancient secret. It has been in our family ever since the Qin dynasty. You have to guard to secret closely, and not tell a single living soul about this.”
She had never been this serious about things before. The intense fire in his mother’s eyes made his throat suddenly very dry.
“So you know the Qin emperor wanted to live forever and he did everything he could to get it right?” Before he could respond, she continued the tale. “Well, towards the end of his years, he realized that it can’t happen unless you’re a god. And rumors stared around the court that he was going to become one. This one cunning noble, who wanted the throne, convinced the emperor to go into the mountains and meditate to become a god. The noble led him into a cave and closed off the entrance with magic, thinking the emperor wouldn’t be able to survive. He went back to the court and pretended to be the ruler for the rest of the dynasty. That’s when the country started to see the cruelty of the noble. Many men were forced to build the Great Wall of China and many other things just for his entertainment. The empire was fine before that, for the true emperor was fair and just.”
“But the emperor learned a little sorcery from a witch hidden in his court. He took four of his rings, each of them are gold with different gemstones around it and filled them with elements,” James opened him mouth to question his mom but her look stopped him. “He sent it to four of his most trusted subjects, as well as a written account of what happened and what they should do with the ring. Our family was one of them. We have guarded it and hid it, waiting for the right time. In the letter, the emperor told us to over throw the tyrant when we could. Over the years, we thought he was dead and gone, but he has proven that he is back. He attacked me and your father today, trying to gain possession of ring. Fortunately, we didn’t have it with us and we were able to convince people it was a car crash. But he will be back, and this time, for you.”
Okayyyy, James thought. Maybe Mom just got hit a little too hard in the head today. Just to humor her, he continued listening.
“You have to find all the rings and families and unite them. It is time to fight back. Our enemy has gained a lot of supporters. Be careful who you trust. Also, you can turn the ring in to a weapon, an unbeatable weapon, if you trust it with your life,” she closed her eyes and murmured. “Crusk! “
Suddenly, a small gold object zoomed into the room and rested on her palm. It was a gold ring, with ruby chips around it.
“Here is the ring. It will lead you to the others; just listen with your heart. Now go, you will only have a little time before our enemies tracks you down. Me and your father have another adventure in front of us,” She looked at him one more time, as if to memorize his face, and closed her eyes. A minute later, she stopped breathing. His dad hang on to life a little longer, but he too, passed away.
He stood numbly in the hospital room. He just watched his parents die, and given a golden ring that was supposed to be the master of an element, whatever that is. He slipped the ring on his forefinger. It fits perfectly, as if it was made for him. Crash! The window was smashed in a million pieces. Two people covered in black clothes and cloth over their face like a ninja. How did they get up here from the window? He thought. This is the freaking fourth floor! But he couldn’t dwell on it long. Both of them drew daggers and knives from their belts, pointing it at him. One second before they lounged, they suddenly became torches. Flames cover their bodies, licking their clothes and weapons. Strangely, the fire didn’t catch on anything except those two intruders. They writhed on the ground, from pain and trying to put it out. Their effort proves fruitless. The fire claimed their lives and body, burning it into ashes.