Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Marbles of Patchwork Mt. (2008?)

[This story is based on a dream. When I wrote it down I probably didn't have any idea of the overall plot, or I would've written myself a note. I like the idea though, so someday I hope to develop the plot.]

I reached with all my might, straining my will to believe there was nothing I wanted more in the world than to get to that point one foot above where I was. For three or four feet this will held, and I entertained the thought that, finally, I was going to rise a good distance above the ground. I could use this power!
...Or not. My will failed, my eagle wings started to fail, to blink out as their absence sent me plummeting toward the ground. It was all right, I knew; I summoned the wind to my command so that it blew me sideways, making my fall less abrupt. What I didn’t count for, stupidly, was the patchwork cliff. My wind sent me right to the edge of it. I screamed, suddenly afraid of falling. What a joke. Me, the manipulator of air, fire, and my own pair of beautiful golden-white eagle wings, was afraid of falling. It didn’t matter if I couldn’t use any of these skills. My will lessened even more in despair. My wind wasn’t strong enough to catch me if I fell off the cliff, I could never use my eagle wings while I was falling, and my fire wings weren’t strong enough to hold me in the air. My legs slipped off the edge of the cliff.
“Help me!” I screamed in an inhumanly loud voice as my fingers frantically grabbed the black felt strands on the edge of the cliff.
“Hmm?” I faintly heard an interested tone from one of my sisters.
“I’m falling!” I was crying now, too afraid to even think of anything more to say that would convince them to rescue me.
Inaar, user of water, and my youngest sister, crept to my side. She was drenched, telling me she had been playing in Button Lake, almost 40 yards from where I was. Unlike me, Inaar was getting good with her power; she must have used the water to propel her over here. One of my elder sisters, Yimi, who controlled fire and earth, let out a long sigh as she held a hand out to me. Together my sisters pulled me back over the edge of the cliff, until I was comfortable enough to scramble away from the edge on all fours.
“You’re the one with wings,” I was reminded by a quiet voice. Nernul, who had chosen the single silver marble, with power over the metals of the earth.
“Thank you,” I said, ashamed that I’d had to ask them for help.
Yimi had taken two balls just as I did, but I was the one who’d ended up with a greater power of fire than she, and the eagle wings. I hadn’t known, when I took a blue and golden ball, what they meant. Neither had my sisters. But when Inaar started causing water to shoot up from the glasses we figured blue was water. Only when we went off to practice our new powers for ourselves did I find that my ball was actually indigo. Inside the blue ball was a tiny red one; air and fire. The golden ball was brighter than the one Yimi had chosen; she got earth, I got wings. Why I ended up with the two special marbles we don’t know, just dumb luck, but it made my sisters feel bitterly towards me. Neither Hinle, Caivu, or Jorba ended up with air or wings either.
“We’ll just have to find some more marbles,” Caivu insisted, refusing to speak to me.
“And this time, you don’t get any,” Jorba said angrily, glaring at me. Jorba glares at everyone, but this time I felt she was using her fire to burn my very skin. I knew she would never do such a thing — we sisters were sworn in our search for power to help each other gain as much as we could, until it was enough for us to band together in order to accomplish our goal. Still... sometimes, it seems they’re beginning to forget our goal, concentrating more and more on gaining power. I love the power I have, that makes me feel the most amazing things, but this can’t continue forever. I decided that, while my sisters were practicing, I would find them more marbles. I didn’t want any more, really, I just wanted them to feel better so we could work together equally. If I could have given them my marbles, I would have... but that was impossible. We gradually learned that at first we needed the marbles physically, to hold them in our hands our mouths, to use the power. Once we figured out the basics, had gained the knowledge of how our power flowed and where it was coming from, the marbles began to disintegrate, like they were getting very old very fast. Inaar swallowed hers right as it began to flake, reasoning she’d have it with her always that way. She was just being funny, not careful. Hinle forbid the rest of us from swallowing our marbles, but we saved the dust. When nothing bad happened to Inaar, except a stomachache, the rest of us swallowed the dust anyhow. It was at that point I not only got a stomachache but a great pain in my back, and the next day my sisters told me they saw the outline of wings behind me. I knew I hadn’t been able to manipulate earth, and had put the golden marble down as a dud, but I’d swallowed the dust of it anyhow. Maybe this made me feel more powerful, strengthening my will, or maybe it was whatever was inside the marble that I needed for the wings. We don’t know. We really don’t know anything. The cause of what sent us searching for power, where the marbles came from, what they were, how long our powers will last... we have no idea. All we know is that my powers are different from the others, and I hate it. I love the powers, but I hate the seclusion. If Inaar had been even near a cliff, all my sisters would have come rushing to her aid at once. Oh... that’s unfair, I suppose, as she is the youngest and cutest of all of us. Everyone loves her best. Me... whatever chance I had of being loved disappeared.
I’ve decided to combine my powers. What if I use the fire wings, my eagle wings, and the wind all together? I might be able to rise higher that way. But I’m scared to practice, especially because of what just happened. My sisters are still standing around me, looking rather like they disapprove of me. Three of my sisters didn’t even listen to my plea for help.
“Thank you,” I repeated, and we all walked our different ways once again.
We’d been practicing on Patchwork Mt. for a long time now, and no one was willing to stop. We were supposed to stop when we were ready, when we’d learned to use our powers, but what did that mean? We all knew how to use them, and could use them pretty well. I think I know... we all want to be as powerful as we can be, but we will continue to believe we’re getting more powerful because around us our sisters are. No sister will stop first. I fear we’ll continue until we all die of old age... or just die, I don’t know. Playing with water and fire around cliffs isn’t the most surefire way to long life. Especially when every moment we sit here is another moment for them to gain power. They might find us first.

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