Brianna woke up to the familiar pull of the earth. She had been so accustomed to it by now that she almost didn’t need to open her eyes to follow the short path from her bed to the forest across the yard. The pull was strong, and she had no reason not to tend to it immediately, so she shook the sleepiness away and got on to it.
As soon as Bree’s bare feet reached the grass, they started to tickle with the typical sensation of the earth’s calling. Each element had it’s own, and it was only fair that the earth would tickle instead of burn as the fire used to. She almost wished it was indeed the fire calling, for the slight burning would perhaps warm her a bit on that cold winter night.
When she reached the first trees, her whole body was already tingling, and she deemed she was close enough to perform whichever task the earth would require of her. She silenced her mind and reached for the soil with both hands, trying to feel the core of the woodland that called for her.
Easily enough, she saw a small set of new trees that stretched beyond the borders of the forest. The core was not strong enough to sustain the new land that was growing and requested her help to safely dispose of the wood that recently sprung.
By now she’d grown accustomed to those sorts of requests, but she recalled a time when the thought of disposing of nature of any kind would leave an acrid taste in her mouth. It was only by seeing great forests succumb to a dying core that wouldn’t provide for the whole land, that she understood the concept of killing to make room for life.
Brianna knew exactly what to do, so she wasted no time. She asked the earth to call for any life she wished would leave the soon to be wasteland and started the fire. It spread rather quickly and at some point, she thought it wasn’t even her doing, but soon enough she felt the comfortable warmth of pure fire and greeted the familiar element with a soft smile.
When the desired trimming of the forest was done, she called for the water to placate the flames. Oddly, she couldn’t feel the cooling sensation that came with the element at first. She shrugged and called harder, knowing no element could fail to attend her call. Granted they would sometimes play tricks on her and perform the task in a bad mood, but she was their master and obey they shall.
The rain began to fall as requested, and Brianna suddenly felt uneasy, as if the rain was not supposed to be there and that time. But the flames were already starting to consume the healthy part of the woodland and that simply wouldn’t do. The rain was almost done putting down the fire when Bree heard a terrifying cry, so full of pain and agony that she almost crawled to the ground to hold her knees up her chest.
Nathaniel was assigned to a village not far from his – first – birthplace. The place was surrounded by forest and, although he was not a fan of the whole “isolated and bucolic” concept, he could understand the charm that came with it. He was not quite sure as to why a phoenix would be assigned to that place. It was not as if much could happen that require the assistance of pure fire or even fighting in such a place.
Nevertheless, he was playing the big game here and if a couple of years of bird watching and crop harvesting was what it took, so be it. At least if rebirthing was necessary here, it would be easier than in the city, where one had no privacy whatsoever to burn down to giant flames and rebirth from the ashes.
The first rays of sunshine wouldn’t come for another three hours when Nate heard the element’s calling. Perhaps it was the earth or the air, hard to know since the calling was not for him but it was loud and desperate, and he was not one to ignore such power.
He followed the sound and got to a new part of the forest, that couldn’t have been older than a couple of months. Earth then, he thought. The wind was absent and therefore air was not likely to have called anyone.
He used the raw power of fire to pull a confession of sorts from the land. Since the earth was not his element, it was not as if he could simply ask her. Even with good intentions, the earth was not prone to spilling her needs to someone who was not her master. The Council wouldn’t be happy with his interference if they knew, but it cost him nothing to help and perhaps he could come collecting the favor from earth in due time.
Once he understood the toll the new land was taking on the forest’s core, he thought about his options. He could set a fire to burn the new wood, but with nothing to stop the fire, it would probably consume more than needed. He thought about going full lumberjack and cut it out by hand, but that would take forever.
Another option was to ignite himself and burn the parts one by one. It was safer than the first option and less work than the second. Of he went, pulling from the raw fire from his own core to put himself to flames. Strangely enough, he saw the few birds and small animals retreat to the deeper forest. Better off that way, he thought. He hated the aftertaste of burnt fauna.
Nate had barely begun to burn down the first set of trees when he felt a massive amount of fire burn outside his self-fireball. He tried to recap if he had fucked up somehow, pulling more fire than needed and accidentally condemning the whole forest. Without another power to stop the flames, the forest wouldn’t last till morning.
Without time to think about it, he ran towards the woods he wanted to keep safe and stayed there in a fighting position. He knew he looked ridiculous trying to stop the fire with his own hands, which were still flaming. Then the rain started, and he rejoiced in his fortune. Imagine what the Council would say if they knew he tried to meddle in earth business and accidentally burnt the whole thing down!
His joy didn’t last though, because as soon as the fire started to extinguish, he realized the water was also raw. The rain was not natural, it was conjured. He looked at himself still in flames and knew the time just wouldn’t be enough. He quickly left a message by fire for the Council to come revive him when possible.
They would take months to find the message and come to give him a new fire pump, plus he would be deeply scolded, but it was that or death and he was not done with life just yet. It was the last he could do before the water came upon him like a sick game of rock, scissors, paper. He welcomed the water that would extinguish his inner fire and put him in a coma-like state till they found him, but he couldn’t help de agony scream that left him when it came.