The three of them had been digging for hours, the world around them dark and humid. It wasn’t good, Danik grumbled. There was something unnatural about being this deep. Pleore knew he was right but they had their orders; whether they liked it or not they must obey. It wasn’t as if they could do anything; the earth-dwellers were a people of slaves. But the king had promised freedom if they did as he asked. What other choice did their leaders have if they hoped that some day they might choose their own destiny? It was probably a false promise; the king could stoop to such base means, but Pleore trusted in his leaders. They had a chance to change their fate. Under his pickaxe something gave way, the texture of the rocks felt different, softer, while the soil seemed warmer.
He gave another hit in front of him when the ground shook. Everyone screamed as the earth fell around them and in front of them. Pleore’s eyes widened. What treachery had they committed? He would never know for the world caught fire and he was swallowed by the earth around him along with his companions. False promise indeed.
Looking up at the silver divide where water meets the air, Malika knew something was wrong. The silver was turning white and the waters started receding. What the oracles had foreseen was happening on her watch. The world of waters and air were meant to be separated. Men couldn’t live without breathing, merpeople and their realm couldn’t survive if water and air were mingled. Malika turned; her duty as a guardian was clear. She was born to it. But considering the quickness of the tide, she might not be strong enough. She raised her hands calling upon the powers of air. Winds gathered around her; but they were unusually difficult to manage. She’d meant to call some trade winds, but some cold wind and mistral had come too. What did it mean?
The watch tower upon which she stood trembled in the swirling storm of winds. If it broke she might fall to her death; the winds were uncontrollable and she wouldn’t be able to use them to remain up in the air. The wood cracked underneath her feet. Malika did the one thing she could think about. She breathed in deeply and sent one last call to the temple.
King Floyd felt the shift in the waters; then he sensed the Guardian’s powers as she tried to control the tide that would destroy them all if it wasn’t stopped. He knew what it meant; someone had destroyed the barrier between the different worlds. And all the elements were about to come together in a chaos that would annihilate everything and everyone. His people panicked, as none could know what the shifting currents meant. He felt the whales’ distress in the North as the temperature of the water rose to an unnatural level. He felt the change in the way the sea moved about him. The bottom of the ocean trembled. And he knew; the earth dwellers had broken the barriers. They wouldn’t have done that unless ordered. They were slaves; they would have obeyed an order from the Earth King. So he had betrayed the alliance. For what?
It didn’t matter. There was only one thing to do. With a couple of flaps of his fins, the King moved to the Mirror. He leaned his trident and called upon the power. In it appeared two women; one had hair as white as snow, the other seemed made of flames.
Sharina had never believed she’d be called to the Mirror. Not in a thousand years had the barriers been broken. But she couldn’t deny she’d felt the conflagration when the earth dwellers broke the barriers between the elemental worlds. They had to act fast; and the three of them might yet lose their lives over it. Because the Earth King wanted something he couldn’t have. She knew why he’d done this. But the why didn’t count; not against the destruction of everything.
The Air Priestess was first to reach for the Mirror; then King Floyd proceeded to place his hands on it too. Sharina mimicked them, one hand touching the Priestess’s the other the King’s. There were few words exchanged; they knew what must be done. It might fail yet; after all it took the four powers a thousand years before to lock the elements against one another. Would it be enough?
She felt water and air mingle with her own power of fire; the King’s and Priestess’s thoughts became clear to her and she directed her own mind towards the breach the earth dwellers had opened. They focused there and using all their powers they attempted to close it.
800 words (4 x 200 words)
Still catching up on the Deviant Art Flash Fiction Month challenge. This was for July 4th 2017
CHALLENGE: THE SIGN OF FOUR
ELEMENT ONE: “Elementary, my dear Watson.”
Your challenge today is to write a four-part story featuring four different settings. These settings must, in no particular order, represent earth, water, air, and fire.
ELEMENT TWO: The Harmony Restoration MovementEach of the four parts of the story must have identical wordcounts. How you separate these parts is entirely up to you, as long as the division is clear.
Prompt: looking up at the silver divide where water meets the air – by Goldfish-In-Space (Year 2013)