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The Blue Scarf
I walked down the dusty sidewalk, enjoying the sun’s rays barely filtering through the clouds, giving the day a spring-like feeling. The backpack digging into my shoulders served as the painful reminder that I’d need to get around to my homework…eventually. I might as well enjoy the walk home to unwind.
I knew exactly what would be waiting for me when I got home, anyway. I’d get to the orphanage (or as I call it prison), only to be ushered off to my room, have one of the wardens stalking over my shoulder to make sure I was doing homework, eat a crappy dinner, and then enjoy being alone for as long as I could.
Upon impulse turned from my regular path home and made a detour, turning into a row of more run down houses. I’m not one to judge, because I don’t exactly I don’t exactly live in a mansion, but the rusted doors and mangy lawns didn’t exactly scream welcome. Despite the bad feelings the neighborhood gave me, I continued on, still determined to make the walk home last.
I heard a scream coming from around the corner, and my legs were moving before my mind could register what was going on. Something you should know about me is that I don’t always think things through before jumping into them, and I had no idea what I was about to get myself into.
As I rounded the corner I saw a group of girls around sixteen surrounding a little girl who couldn’t have been older than twelve lying on the ground. She jumped back up, her whitish blonde hair now mixed with dirt, and she glared at the girls fearlessly with her deep blue eyes.
The tallest girl who had short, jagged, red hair, who I assumed was the leader, spoke first, “Now I’m gonna ask you one more time. What did you with it?”
“I don’t have to answer your questions,” the little girl said matter-of-factly.
“Search her,” said the girl with red hair briskly.
The girl struggled futilely against the girl that easily pinned her arms behind her back.
“Four against one, that seems fair,” I said sarcastically.
They all turned to face me, just now realizing my presence. The leader just scoffed and turned back to the little girl, barely acknowledging my presence. Immediately, I was enraged. There was nothing I hated more than being underestimated.
The little girl stopped struggling when she saw me, and a strange look came over her face. I stepped closer to the group, avoiding the little girl’s wide eyes as they watched my every move.
“Look, why don’t you just let her go,” I said with strained patience, trying my best to reason with her.
She turned toward me, almost a full head taller than me even though we were the same age, and gave me a disdainful sneer. “Why don’t you mind your own business. And what’s with the scarf? It’s almost summer.”
My cheeks got hot, and my hands shot up to my slightly tattered, blue scarf.
I’ve had the scarf for as long as I could remember to cover up a strange scar on my neck. I’ve only taken the scarf off once before. I was five-years-old and a bully at the orphanage kept making fun of my scarf, so I decided to run away (I know, stereo-typical). I grabbed a few things and ran out the door. In my fury, I yanked off the scarf and threw and threw it on the ground.
The only person who happened to be walking down the street was an old woman. As soon as she looked at my neck, she screamed, passed out, and never woke up again. I ran as fast as I could, terrified by what I saw.
I promised myself that I would never tell anyone about the scarf or ever take it off again.
Suddenly, the little girl screamed, “Get off me!” and jolted me back into reality.
With all my icy anger, I was pushed off one the bully gripping on to the girl. The bully stood in shock, not moving
“Run!” I told the girl, who hesitated, smiled, and ran off behind the houses.
“Get her!” the leader barked, and all the bullies scrambled past the one standing frozen, looking for the girl.
“She’s gone,” A girl with long black hair reported.
“Great,” The leader mumbled, turning toward me. “Now, you’re gonna pay for this.” Before I could react, she had my hands pinned painfully behind my back.
“Em, you grab her scarf,” ordered the leader, looking expectantly toward the frozen girl. “Em!” The girl still didn’t move. “Ugh, fine. Melissa, you do it.”
“Don’t!” I shouted, panicky at the thought of losing my scarf.
The girl paused for a moment.
“I said get it!” shouted the leader, getting agitated.
She reached out again, and I kicked back with all my might. The leader gasped and sucked in a sharp breath as her arms loosened their grip. I turned to run, but the leader had quickly regained her grip on my arm, and she roughly ripped my scarf off.
Suddenly, I was blinded by a bright, blue light. I heard a rush that sounded like a crashing wave, but we were far from a coast line.
I blinked, trying to clear the spots in my vision and saw I was lying on the ground. I feebly raised myself onto my elbows and saw the bullies lying on the ground drenched, even the girl who was still standing frozen.
Wait, what? Why were they wet? What stopped them from attacking me? What was the light I saw?
A sudden wave of exhaustion forced me to lie down again, and I felt my lids begin to flutter shut. The last thing I saw was the little girl, smirking at the chaotic scene.
My normal life was officially over.
Slowly, my heavy eyelids peeked open. My head was spinning and, my limbs felt heavy. My mind was running a million miles per hour, trying to figure out where I was and how I got there.
I lifted my head cautiously and finally sat up. I looked at the dark walls around me, trying to figure out where I was. It looked like an hotel, with only a small, dim light hanging from the ceiling. I saw some cabinets inside of tiny kitchen and a large mirror to my left. I was lying on a soaking wet silk comforter, and I noticed that my clothes were also dripping wet. I franticly racked my brain of how I got here, but all I could remember was a little girl with whitish blonde hair.
I jumped up from the bed and searched for a way out.
“It’s no use trying to get out of here,” said a deep voice.
I gasped from surprise and immediately shut my mouth, cursing myself for making myself seem weak. A dark figure appeared from one of the shadows. The man had eyes so dark they looked black, light brown hair, and looked like he was in his thirties. He was dressed in all white, and he had a grave look on his face.
“Don’t kidnappers usually go for black clothing? You know the whole blend into the night thing?” I said standing up and trying to put on a brave façade, while my eyes flitted around the room for escape routes.
“Don’t worry,” he scoffed sarcastically, “I’m not the one you should be afraid of. The only reason I’m keeping you here is to insure your safety. If it wasn’t for me they would have already tracked you down.”
“Wait, who’s tracking me? And why?”
“You don’t need to worry about that right now.”
“Why won’t you tell me? And where am I?” I demanded with confidence fueled by my anger.
“All your questions will be answered soon enough. First put that on,” he said gesturing to the jacket lying next to me. I hesitated, naturally wanting to resist his commands, but I was shivering so hard that I had no choice. I slipped it over my head, half-expecting a bomb to go off, but nothing happened.
Suddenly, the mirror hanging on the wall across the room from me floated over and landed in my hands. I screamed a blood curling scream and dropped the fragile mirror. It crashed against the hard rock floor, and the shattered pieces pierced my hand, but I could care less right then about the pain because I was looking at my reflection through the shattered glass, and I could see a faint blue glow emanating from my scar.
“You didn’t have to do that now did you?” he muttered as a broom started sweeping up the mess by itself.
Suddenly, the TV hanging on the wall opposite me turned on, and a man that looked like a news reporter began talking quickly in a foreign language. The image changed and there was a picture of a girl with long, brown hair and blue-gray eyes, smiling.
I gasped. “Is that…me?”
The man froze, white with fear, and the broom slammed to the ground.
Underneath the picture I saw words that were translated into different languages. My eyes quickly found the English: Hope Evers-Height: 5’7”, Weight: 110 lbs., Age: 16, Hair: Brunette, Eyes: Blue-Gray. Wanted alive by the Guardians. Great rewards will be given to be whoever finds her.
The man quickly regained himself, and powered off the TV. He threw open the cabinets, grabbed a bag, and began to throw in mysterious objects.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
“They know about you. We have to go. Now,” he said
“Wait, I don’t-”
“I’ll explain it later. Just follow me,” the man interrupted, “And put your scarf back on.”
He grabbed his bag and rushed out the door that opened in front of him.
I hesitated, glanced down at the shattered mirror, and saw the blue glow around my neck now fading. Should I follow him? For all I know he’s some kind of crazy serial killer that made this all up. But it all seemed so real….I grabbed my scarf and rushed after him.
We walked through the long hallway until we reached another door which also flung open in front of us. We emerged into the broad daylight in a rush, and I was blinded for a few seconds. When my vision finally cleared I looked around to see what looked like a run-down train station. Rusty trains, broken pipes, and only a few people walking leisurely through the station.
Before I could ask where we were, the man dragged me forward into a nearby train. We sat in the back of the nearly empty car, and the train lunged forward. After a while of starring out the window, trying to get a grasp on reality I asked him, “What’s going on?”
“Well…” he began, “Do you remember the girls who tried to take your scarf?”
My eyes narrowed, suspiciously. “How did you know-”
“Do you remember?” he interrupted in a harsh tone, and glaring black eyes.
“Yes,” I replied, quietly.
“You did that to her. This is a little hard to understand, but you have control over water. You can move it with your mind.” He paused, waiting for me to say something, but I just stared at him with a blank face, unable to form words if I tried.
He continued, “Your scar is your power source, and your scarf acts to help harness your power into a useable form. When they took your scarf away, your powers released themselves as a defense mechanism.”
I paused. “And this is why they want me?” I said slowly, trying to keep my voice steady.
“Yes. The “they” you are speaking of are the Guardians. They are similar to a private army. They are made up of exspecially talented Controllers, and they’re purpose is to destroy all those you and all those like you so they can assume the power for themselves.”
“People who have any kind of super-human abilities, anywhere from the ability to move objects with only a though to super strength or foreseeing the future. Not all are Guardians. Some chose to respect things the way they are.”
“And you said there are others like me,” I said quietly.
The man took a deep breath, and his eyes flashed with pain. He looked out the window as he replied, “Were. There were others like you a long time ago. They stood up against the Guardians, and were killed because of it. You are the only one left now,” he said turning back to me. “The only one who can defeat the Guardians.”
I averted his gaze, not knowing what to do. I blurted out the first of the many questions that flooded into my mind, “Can’t people who practice telekinesis move Earth, Fire, Water, and Air, too?”
“No other powers can do anything that affects The Elements,” he said.
I sat back in my chair trying to understand everything that just happened. He can’t be talking about me. I can’t destroy the Guardians.
“I’m sorry. I think you have the wrong person,” I said quietly.
“There’s no way out of this, Hope. You were chosen at birth to do this, and the Guardian signal means they know about you. Even if you were to return home and pretend like this never happened, they will find you and kill you. At least try to fight back,” he said the last part almost like he was begging me.
I sat back, thinking it over.
“What makes you think I will survive when the others couldn’t?” I asked him skeptically.
“Hope,” he said looking out the window again. “Hope for a life where the Elements can be restored.”
My head was spinning with the worst headache I’ve ever had. There was so many questions I had, but I didn’t have the energy to ask them. I closed my eyes and let the exhaustion that came with the truth overwhelm me. Before I knew it, I was asleep.
I woke with a start as the train stopped abruptly. My eyes blinked rapidly shocked by the bright sunlight. I tried to remember where I was and why.
Reality soon hit me like a ton of steel.
My head began swirling; I was confused, partially from drowsiness, and partially from the truth. I had to sit down before I collapsed. I plopped back down in my seat, and clutched my head in agony
“Come on,” said the man harshly, already at the entrance of the train. I tried to regain myself and clumsily made it to the door. I began to fully awake, and managed to catch up with the man.
I looked around to find myself in a busy train station, packed with rushing people; the exact opposite of the train station I had just come from.
“Where are we?” I asked, curiously looking around.
“We’re in New York,” he said, quickly striding forward without as much as a glance in my direction.
The man stopped in his tracks so abruptly I nearly ran into him, and he stared straight ahead. I looked up; trying to follow his gaze, but all I could see was a couple of police officers gathered at the entrance.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, confused by the man’s hesitation.
The man slowly bent down to my level and whispered in a surprisingly shaky voice, “These are the Guardians. Just calm down and don’t say anything.”
“Those are just policemen,” I protested.
“Trust me, those are Guardians,” he replied firmly, “They’re on high alert now that they know you’re alive. There stationed around the world. There is nothing we can do now, we’re going to have to face them. Here,” he said pulling my hood up, hiding my hair and took some oversized sunglasses on me. “Let’s hope this buys us some time.”
He walked forward giving the impression that he was relaxed, but I could see that his hands were trembling slightly. The man flashed a tight smile at the stiff policemen, and they nodded back politely.
I followed his lead trying to keep a nonchalant look on my face like he did. Just as I reached the door one of the policemen stepped forth, blocking my path; and glared down at me with cruel, knowing eyes.
“Excuse me, I’m going to need to ask you a few questions,” he said in an accent I couldn’t place.
“Sure,” I said, trying to sound bored.
“How old are you?”
“Sixteen,” I said and immediately cursed myself or telling the truth.
“What’s your name?”
“Elizabeth.” I lied smoothly.
“Where are your parents?” he asked. There was something about the way he said it, like he was so much more important than I was, that suddenly pissed me off.
“Outside waiting for me, and I’m sure there getting impatient by now. Is there a problem officer?” I asked rather harshly.
“No ma’am, sorry for the interruption,” he said briskly.
I walked past the officers, smiling inwardly. When the man saw me walk out of the building he kept walking quickly with his head down, but I couldn’t help but look around. Skyscrapers stretching endlessly into the sky, vendors around every corner, and the craziest people you will ever see. I never imagined that I’d ever get to see New York, but then again, I never imagined I’d get abducted and told I have control over Water, either.
“Where are we going?” I asked.
“We’re meeting a man I know. Let’s just hope he can help you,” he said mysteriously.
Before I could ask any more questions the man turned into a dark alley. A strange silence fell over us. I felt a sudden panicky sense someone or something was watching us, and I heard the ominous sound of echoing footsteps.
“It’s just him,” whispered the man looking off at something in the darkness. As the footsteps got louder, I could finally make out a dark figure in the distance.
“Why have you returned, traitor?” asked the voice hostilely from the darkness.
“I have brought a girl I found. She needs your help, your training. And I have decided to give up my position, for your information,” the man said.
The dark figure stepped even further out of the darkness so I could barely make out the brown glint of his eyes. He looked over me, his eyes stopping on my scarf.
Without instruction I pulled off the scarf, revealing the scar. I saw his eyes widen slightly in disbelief before turning to glare at the man. “Why should I help her? How can I trust you, or her, after what you did to us?” the figure said in a cold, accusing voice.
The man hesitated.
“Just leave,” the figure said. I stared mystified by the figure, which turned and walked back into the darkness. The man pulled me back into the busy sidewalks of New York.
“Wait, what was that?” I asked, confused. He strode on still gripping my arm tightly. “What’s going on?” I repeated. He ignored me.
I pulled my arm away from his grasp. He stopped and turned to me. “What just happened?” I asked.
He looked jittery like he wanted to get out of here as soon as possible, but my feet were planted firmly on the ground. He sighed. “That was Matthew. He’s a trainer. His power is to help people learn to use their powers. He was my friend while he was training the man who could control fire. I was hoping he would help you, but it seems like he’s still stuck in the past,” he said quickly
“Wait…” I said, confused, “I thought you said that the man who could control fire lived a long time ago.”
“He did,” the man said, “The Guardians give anyone who stays faithful to them eternal life. Matthew is alive because he’s been blessed by the help of someone even more powerful than the Guardians.”
I narrowed my eyes. “Then how are you still alive?” I questioned. The man didn’t answer, but he didn’t need to.
“You were working for the Guardians,” I said loudly in disbelief. A few people gave me a weird look as they passed, but I ignored them.
“All I did was look for suspicious activity,” he admitted.
“You turned in the man who could control fire, didn’t you?” I questioned.
“I didn’t mean to. I was just-”
“And you were going to turn me in, weren’t you?” I interrupted.
“That was before I changed. Please, just let me explain,” he pleaded, but his words meant nothing now. The man betrayed me. He tried to walk up to me, but I darted out of the way in disgust; I couldn’t even stand the thought of being near him.
My whole life had changed in a few days, and now I find out it’s all a lie. How am I supposed to know what was true and was just made up to get me to the Guardians? My mind was swirling with questions I couldn’t stand to think through.
I turned and ran as fast as I could, not caring where I was going, as long as it was away from the traitor.
I ran until my legs burned and the sun had hidden behind the water. I collapsed to the ground in a heap and rested my head on a wall, breathing hard. I looked at the deserted streets; silence incasing me in its deadly grip.
I tried to process what was going on, but thoughts were racing by too quickly in my head. Anger, betrayal, sadness, abandonment, loneliness were swirling around my brain with blinding rapidity. Who could I really trust? Where would I go now? I closed my eyes trying to block out the world.
Suddenly, I felt a cold breeze wrapping around my body. My eyes snapped open, and I started breathing rapidly and images of dark creatures lurking in the shadows filled my mind. Shadows shifted playing tricks on my eyes. I squeezed my eyes shut like a child trying to get rid of a nightmare. I felt a brush against my shirt, and my eyes shot open again.
The cold breeze immediately stopped, and I looked around to see if anything had changed, but everything was just as it was a few seconds ago.
I looked down and saw a neatly folded letter on my lap. I slowly opened the letter and, stricken with fear, read the calligraphy-like handwriting.
I know who you are, and it is impossible to hide from me. I will be at your old school tonight, where we can finally meet and have our battle, settling this once and for all, or I will track you down and kill you without the fight. Who knows? You might even get to take revenge on Nicholas, the man
Who was going to turn you into us. Decisions, decisions. Just remember,
Your clock isn’t the only one that’s ticking.
-M, Head of the guardians
I stared at the paper with shock. How did “M” know about me getting mad at the man, or Nicholas, or whoever he was? And what did he mean by “your clock isn’t the only one that’s ticking”?
Despite my confusion, my mind was made up. I was going back to Arizona, and I was going to fight “M” and find out what he knows.
I needed to take revenge on Nicholas, even if it would cost my life. I needed to take revenge for all the lives he’s cost. I was going to make things right and hopefully end the Guardians once and for all
The faded glow of twilight slowly began to disappear beyond the thick, plexi-glass window of the plane. I rested my head on the window watching the bare desert pass by below me. I thought of all the things I may never see again: my bed, my foster house, this may even be the last time I ever see the beautiful desert I’ve come to love.
I blinked the tears away and shook away the thought of what was going to happen when I got to the school. I focused my attention on the desert again.
All of a sudden a blinding light illuminated the sky and the plane lights flickered off as the hum of the plane stopped. I waited for someone to scream or for the pilot to make an announcement, but there was only dead silence.
An eerie cold breeze filled the plane and the lights flickered back on just in time for me to see a nearly transparent hand by the window disappear.
I looked around to see the other passenger’s reactions, but everyone seemed to be perfectly calm. The lady next to me was still in the same position reading her book.
“Did you see that?” I asked still in shock.
“See what?” she asked.
“The bright flash, the lights flickering, the-” I stopped short deciding not to mention the floating hand. After all, I could have just imagined that.
“No,” she said turning back to her book.
I sat back in my seat with confusion. How could she not see anything? I looked back to the window and I saw the same scrawling writing from the letter.
Hurry, Hurry! I’m getting impatient and when I get impatient people get hurt.
-M, Head of the Guardians
I got out of the plane; my legs stiff from sitting so long. I strode out of the airport, and into the familiar streets. I looked to the sky and decided it was probably midnight by now.
Suddenly, I stopped dead in my tracks, ignoring the pounding rain. Was I really doing the right thing? What if I wasn’t doing the right thing? I had made this decision out of the blue. I put those thoughts behind me and reminded myself that I had no other choice.
I looked up to the giant school building, and slowly pulled open the double doors, and the chaos begun. I was overcome by shock at what I was looking at. The furniture was destroyed, the windows were shattered, and all around me were people hiding behind whatever they could find.
I heard the noise of crashing chairs coming from the cafeteria, and I charged through the small halls and burst into the room.
If the halls were bad then this was a thousand times worse. There was a giant hole in the wall and kids were lying unconscious on the floor like this was a battlefield. I even recognized a few faces among the kids, and they might be dead because of me.
I glanced up and saw where all the noise was coming from. A man with short blonde hair was hurling chairs across the room. I watched as each one flew across the room as fast as lightning and crumpled to the floor as soon as they hit the wall on the opposite side of the room.
I mustered up all my courage and shouted, “Are you M?”
“No,” he replied without turning around, “I’m his son, Drake, and I was sent by him to destroy you.”
My heart sank. M lied; he said we would end this, but he meant end me.
Drake turned around and said, “I have the powers of strength and speed.” Suddenly he was standing right next to me. He grabbed a table and with the flick of his wrist it snapped in two, and he threw it aside. I looked up at him, for he was now at my side again, and realized his eyes were blood red.
Drake was on the other side of the room again with a chair in his hands. “Let’s end this,” he said eerily echoing my thoughts.
The chair shot across the room and I barely slid out of the way as it shot past my face. He threw another and I ducked behind a turned over table as it soared over my head and crashed to pieces behind me. I held my hands out trying to summon water, but nothing happened.
Drake paused at the sight of my scarf. Suddenly, Drake pushed the chairs aside and appeared beside me with a knife in his hands and he slashed my arm, but missed.
“Nice try,” I said sarcastically. I saw a water pipe above his head and I tried to make the water burst out. Slowly, the pipe broke, but he moved out of the way before the water could hit him.
I couldn’t see him anywhere, and I stood in defense.
Suddenly, a voice whispered smoothly in my ear, “Sorry to inform you, honey, but water’s not going to make me melt.”
I spun around in time for Drake to make a deep slash on my forearm. I clutched my arm and picked up a piece of wood with my other to protect myself as he attempted to stab me again. He threw the knife to the side and grabbed a chair.
He thrust the chair as hard as he could as I tried to block his hit with my piece of wood, but it was in vain. With the tremendous hit I flew across the room and was thrown into the hard metal lockers.
Slowly, the sound of his laughter deceased. The smell of blood and rain began fading. The taste of defeat that stung bitterly in my mouth dissipated. The feeling of pain and misery that over whelmed my body was no longer there. My eyes took a last glance at the horrible sight of this ruthless battle before closing. I was surrounded by darkness.
The only thing left of me, my mind, began faltering. First, went my past. All of my memories, my life, gone. Then went the present. All my awareness and pain, gone. Finally, the future. All of my hope and belief, gone in an instant. There was nothing left of me, but a ragged doll thrown into war.
My heart started steadily beating again. I managed to open my sore eyes and looked around me, but my vision was just a hazy blur. I tried to figure out where I was, and what made my body ache so badly, but there was a blank wall blocking my thoughts. There was a cold breeze all around me. I lifted my arm and noticed there was something familiar about the silky quality of the air, and how my limbs seem to float on their own. All of a sudden the wall in my mind collapsed; I was underwater.
When I attempted a gasp at this impossible thought; my lungs filled with water and I was being strangled, pulled down to the bottom of the glass tank. I ignored my heavy lungs and screaming muscles, and kicked as hard as I could, flailing my arms reaching for the surface.
As the wall I in my mind cleared away, I remembered everything. The betrayal, the fighting, the bitter defeat, all weighing me down even further. I kicked harder and finally broke through the surface, gasping for air.
I instantly started looking around me to try and see where I was. I was in a big warehouse-like-building with a small bed off in one corner, a big screen with a huge keyboard below it, and in the center, a glass tank filled to the brink with ice cold water.
I slipped and struggled trying to get out of the tank until my tired muscles forced me to sink back into the water. I pushed against the tank again, and vaulted over it. I hit the ground a few feet below in a crouched position. I felt energized as the water sank into my skin. As I looked down I noticed that the arm Drake stabbed was almost completely healed except a small white line.
“Well done, well done. See I knew keeping you in water would heal you,” came a voice from beside me.
I stood up, whirled around, and saw Matthew standing and smiling. For the first time I saw him in the light. His hair was a sandy blonde, he was about my height, and he, like Nicholas, looked to be in his thirties.
“What?” I asked brightly. “But I thought you didn’t trust me.”
“Well, when Nicholas brought you here after you almost killed yourself by fighting against the Guardians I had no choice, but to believe him.”
“Nicholas saved me? Why didn’t he just let me die there, his job would’ve been done,” I said bitterly.
“Why don’t you ask him yourself,” Matthew said.
“I don’t want to hurt you,” Nicholas said coming out from behind the corner, “I was going to, I admit, but I changed my mind when I saw you save that girl from the bullies. It reminded me that I have a choice to fight back against this.”
I looked at him trying to see if there was any hint that he was lying, but his face was the same sincere, unwavering mask.
“All right, I believe you.”
“Then it’s time I show you something,” Matthew said leading me to the big screen.
“I assume that Nicholas has told you there are others like you,” he said.
“Well they’re going to help you-“
“But they’re…dead. Aren’t they?” I interrupted him.
“Not exactly,” he replied, “When the Guardians defeated them they didn’t just die. They took form.”
“What do you mean ‘took form’?”
“They turned into an object related to their powers and stayed that way forever; waiting to one day to be brought back by the most powerful of them all…you,” Matthew said.
“Who exactly were these people?” I asked ignoring what Matthew said about me saving them all.
“They are people of the Prophesy.”
“Wait, what prophesy?” I asked.
Matthew shot Nicholas an accusing look, sighed, and began to rummage through a file cabinet filled with piles of yellowed and frayed papers.
Finally, he pulled out a round, gray stone. The front side of the stone was divided into four parts. The first said Earth and had a leaf, the second said Air and had a swirl representing a gust of wind, the third had a flame and said Fire, and the last said Water and had a droplet of water on it. I turned it over and there was a poem on the back.
He handed me the stone and I read it out loud:
“There’ll come once a day on which Mother Nature will retire.
‘But who will take my place?’ she did inquire.
So forth she will send for four heroes to one day arise.
She will anoint the parents who will soon after demise.
First will come the woman of the Earth, as happy as could be,
Until she’ll be killed oh so mysteriously.
Next will come the man of the Air,
Whose life will end in a way so rare,
Hiding away safely, or so he thought,
Until redemption one man sought.
From the desert will come the man of Fire,
He will put up a fight before his time will expire.
When all hope is gone,
A new age will dawn.
An age of battle led by the last.
This war will end far from fast.
The dictatorship will fall,
And, in the end, one will reign above all.
“After Mother Nature decided this she created me to be the caretaker and teacher of the Elements,” Matthew said.
We all stood in silence not knowing what to say next until I ask, “So…what were they like?”
“I’ll show you,” Matthew said his face suddenly lighting up. The screen directly above him flickers to life and a picture of a painting depicting a girl in her twenties. She has long, black hair; olive skin; and warm, green eyes. She was standing in a grass field wearing a cowhide dress and light brown moccasins. She also had a bright green ribbon tied around her forehead.
“Who is this?” I ask.
“This is Faith, the first of the Element controllers. She was born May 5th 1601 and became Chief of the Abenaki near Plymouth Rock. When Faith learned about her powers, she used them to help save her tribe by replenishing all the grains stolen by a neighboring tribe. The more she showed all the wonderful things she could do, the more widespread her stories became.
“Soon her stories reached a man in Europe who started the Guardians, and he knew the Prophesy had begun. He immediately sent all of his recruits to kill her. They boarded the Mayflower disguised as Pilgrims and sailed to Plymouth Rock. The night they arrived they sought and found her tent, stabbed her with a dagger, and escaped in the cover of darkness. When Faith’s tribe members came to greet her, they saw her and, in their grief, blamed it on the Pilgrims. Her tribe had decided to let them starve as punishment by not teaching them how to grow crops in this new land. Luckily her brother came along later to help them.”
I glanced over at Nicholas who was staring intently at the screen.
“Did you know her?” I asked.
“No, not really. I was one of the men sent to kill her, but I couldn’t do it. I could only watch as my friends killed her. I couldn’t go back with the rest of the Guardians, though, I knew Master would be ashamed of me so I stayed. I met Matthew there and learned he helped train her and was seeking the next Element controller, so he could train him in advance. I realized then, that I could return to master and tell him about Matthew.”
“And ever since then they’ve been searching for me, but they’ve never found me,” he said, “But no worries all those years of hiding are worth it now that you are going to save us all.”
“Then is Air, right?” I asked quickly, trying to change the subject.
“Yes,” he said completely forgetting what he was just saying as the screen automatically switched.
It was a portrait of a man with curly, blonde hair and eyes so blue they seemed purple. He looked like he was in his twenties, he was wearing a deep, purple suit and had a serious look on his face. I noticed he had a purple band on his wrist with the Air symbol on it.
“This is Michael. He was born November 15th, 1835 in London, England. He was a scientist working in the field of air travel. He toured around giving speeches of the possibilities in this field without revealing himself. People began to listen to his speeches and believe in his ideas.
“As the Guardians heard of him, they planned his assassination. I, who had heard of this, immediately took Michael away to hide him.
“I’d met him since he was five. I saw him making a model out of twigs of what would become the first plane in a fish market while I was teaching a group of mind readers. He explained to me how a plane would work. I immediately knew there was something different about him. When he mentioned how he was adopted by a fish vendor, my suspicions were confirmed. I told him about the possibilities of his powers, the dangers of the Guardians, and the supreme secrecy of it all; managing to keep his inevitable death out of it.
I watched Michael grow up like he was my son, and I began to believe the Prophesy was wrong, and that maybe he would survive. Then came the threat. The Master now knew a way to get to the Element controller, through me. He sent troops around the world to leave a message. If you give up we won’t hurt you, we only want him. Finally, the message got to me and I decided to bring Michael into hiding. We took refuge in an old laboratory and explained the rest of the story to him.
“Since Faith’s death, he had become a special agent of the Master and was sent to find me to kill Michael. He searched the globe, looking in each and every continent, country to country, visiting every village and city in sight.
“Finally, he ran into me while I was on journey back to London from a nearby town where I stayed with some old friends. I invited him to join me on my journey home, since I was unaware that he was working for the Guardians. He accepted my offer; but little did he know that Michael was hiding away in the back of the horse buggy. When we reached the lab I figured I could trust him so I told him about Michael. The next day he left while I was giving a seminar to my students in the town to round up his troops lodging nearby. Nicholas came while I was still teaching with only his second in command. Just before stabbing him he stopped, again unable to do it, so he had his best friend do it. Then, he locked his best friend in the back of his buggy to starve, not wanting the Master to find out about his second failed attempt. When I came back to the horrid scene I didn’t even suspect Nicholas; I figured the Master heard about me and came to kill Michael himself, but that was crazy, the Master would never do his own dirty work.
“When Michael was alive and giving speeches about air travel had begun to shape the world. The Wright Brothers’ great-grandfather, Jesse, had attended one of these and began to come up with some ideas of his own. These passed down, generation to generation until it reached the Wright Brothers. They, as you probably know, created the first airplane based off five year-old Michael’s sketches.
When Michael was killed he was twenty-two years old.” he concluded.
My heart started to sink as I think about how bad this really is. Killing innocent people just isn’t right. I suddenly felt disgusted to be standing next to the man who did this, but I remind myself that he never actually killed any of them and that he has changed.
The screen flickered again and the final man appeared on the screen. It was a picture of a black and white photograph that showed a man of average height standing in full cowboy attire, gun, boots, hat, and all. He had glinting amber eyes and spiky black hair.
“This is James, the man of Fire,” Matthew began in a sadder tone, “He was born July 17th, 1910 in Columbia, California, a gold mining town. I found him when he was seven. I was currently living in Chicago with Nicholas because the Mater found out he killed his best friend and banned him from the Guardians for not only for murder, but also because he failed to kill Michael. He remembered me and asked to stay with me.
My friend, who was a doctor in Columbia, told me about a boy sleeping in a barn when it suddenly burst into flames. The fire department immediately came and put out the fire. They ran into save him, but realized he was still in the middle of a deep sleep. They rushed him to a hospital. He had no damage from the heat or anything. The doctor knew to contact me because there was defiantly something strange about the boy. I traveled out to California with Nicholas tagging along, and asked the boy what truly happened that night. The boy said he was having a nightmare about his parents dying and he could vividly remember the look on his dad’s face. The boy was angry that death had claimed his parents and was frustrated trying to bring them back in his dream. I knew exactly what happened; the boy was angry and it triggered his powers.
“I explained to him about the Guardians and who he was. Over the years I trained with him I began to love him like a son, even more than with all the others.”
He paused, his gaze far away. He continues staring like that and says, “I remember his last day. It was dusk of a warm summer day. We had been expecting the Guardians for a while by then. Nicholas claimed he wasn’t feeling well so he stayed home that morning. James and I stayed waiting and staring at the horizon. Finally, we heard thunderous horses making their way across the dry, cracked ground. We saw hundreds of them making their way towards us, and we began to prepare ourselves for the impact. It wasn’t until they got close enough that I recognized the man riding in lead, Nicholas. He barreled through first and knocked me off my horse while I was still in shock. He turned around to go after James. James threw a flame wildly as bewildered at him, as I was that it was Nicholas. Nicholas reacted quickly and threw something in the path of the fire to protect himself, but it still managed to burn his horse. He dismounted with sword in hand, and he pushed James off his horse and…and he…” Matthew faltered. “I have to go,” he said then rushed out of the room in a hurry.
“Wait!” I called, but he was already gone.
“He doesn’t like talking about James,” Nicholas explained looking down in shame.
“Um…so what happened next?” I asked.
“When I stabbed James he didn’t die, but he was dying. I fled to Chicago after I stabbed him, and he felt angry and betrayed so when I returned to Chicago he created what became known as the Great Fire of 1910 to try to burn me down. I managed to escape, however, with only minor burns,” he paused, rolling up his sleeve to show me a burn scaling all the way up his arm. “Then James took from. No one was with him and he left no signs so we’re not really sure what happened to him.”
“Who is the ‘Master’ you keep talking about?”
“He is the Head of the Guardians…and my father. He’s also leading the expedition to kill you,” Nicholas concluded.
“M is your father?” I asked as Matthew reentered the room.
“How do you know his name is M?” Matthew asked.
“Well, I’ve been getting messages from him. He told me your name and said that you would fight me at my old school. I went there out of anger, but neither you nor him were there. Only Drake was there, who I guess is your brother.”
“So they know for sure who you are now. Then that means we’re going to need to start our mission immediately.
“Mission? I thought the plan was just to hide me from the Guardians.”
“No, we’re not just going to be spending all our lives hiding, we’re going to fight,” Matthew said smiling.
“You know how the Prophesy said you would defeat the Guardians? Well obviously from what you’ve seen with Drake you’re going to need some trainings and reinforcement. We are going to find the Elements and bring them back to life. You’ll train with them until the Guardians attack but by then we’ll be ready for them,” Nicholas explained.
“And I get no choice in this?”
“Of course you do. You get to choose whether you fight or you die.”
“Then I choose fight.”
“Good,” Matthew said, smiling. Then he walked out of the front door and into the sunlight.
I followed after him, trying my best to ignore the sinking feeling in my stomach, telling me I just made the wrong decision.