|The Watchtower Chronicles
Author: ShadesofBlue19 PM
When Emma McLean turns 18, strange things begin to happen to her. What she doesn't know is she is about to reenter a world far larger, and darker than she could ever have imagined, that becomes a race to save her life & the lives of others. REVISED - Chapter 5 up! R/R please!Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Fantasy - Chapters: 5 - Words: 10,909 - Reviews: 16 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 12-25-12 - Published: 11-04-11 - id: 2967456
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The only place I ever feel safe was in the water. It isn't something I can ever explain to anyone; not my parents, my best friend, even my now ex-boyfriend. The moment my body slips through the surface as I dive from the diving platform, I feel it. More powerful, flexible, and fast, like a dolphin riding through the waves of the ocean. My arms cut through the manmade waves when I propel myself forward with a simple front stroke, my legs kicking in rhythm behind me. My body is alert, as if it was just waiting for something terrible to happen so that I could speed off into the depths for safety. If only I could know what dangers were lying ahead of me...
"Emma McLean!" a male voice, deep with a tone of amusement, snaps me out of my rigorous routine. I bob to the surface and snap my goggles onto the top of my head, grinning at the site of the boy.
"Tyler Funke, didn't I ever tell you to never break my concentration in the pool?" I say jokingly. I've been friends with Tyler ever since the summer kindergarten, when we had both been enrolled in swimming lessons at the local recreation center. While Tyler had been hesitant about entering the pool, I had struggled to get out of my mother's grasp and hopped right in. My confidence apparently inspired Tyler to get in too, and now we've become inseparable. Birthday parties, vacations, play dates, wherever I was, Tyler always seemed to be. I usually shun my other friends' slumber parties because the other parents complain when Tyler would want to be there as well. In high school we both joined the swim team, and now in our senior year we spend most of our time at the pool, training for our final few swim meets, and set those last few records.
"I know what you said Em, and I choose to ignore it," Tyler says gleefully, holding out my towel for me. Knowing I was fighting a losing battle, I sigh and hoist myself out of the water. Immediately a rush of vertigo comes over me and I go sit down on the bench, taking slow, shaky breaths. The vertigo upon leaving water has been something I've lived with my entire life, but I can never get over the feeling.
"You alright?" Tyler asks, kneeling down to be eye level with me. I mustered a nod, unable to speak for fear of vomiting. After a minute, I stand up and take a few tentative steps.
"I'm okay, just the vertigo," I say and give him a smile. Tyler grins back at me and puts his arm around my shoulders, giving me an extra squeeze of strength.
"Good, you better be alright; it's your eighteenth birthday for crying out loud!" he says with a laugh. I smile; I hadn't forgotten about my birthday at all. Indeed, I already knew that Tyler had put together a big surprise party at his house in my honor for that night after my traditional family dinner. Unfortunately for Tyler, our other friend Keely had 'accidentally' let it slip that she couldn't wait to see me that night to celebrate. I haven't had the heart to tell Tyler though.
"I know, I'm expecting a big present from you," I tease poking him in the side. Birthdays were somewhat of a special time for both of us; on his sixteenth birthday, Tyler had finally come out to me during their lunch. It had been something I had known for probably as long as I had known him, but I felt honored to know he felt that our connection was strong enough to have me be the first one to know.
I look up at the big analog clock over the pool. Five minutes until seven; classes would be starting soon, and I needed a shower to rinse out the chlorine out of my white-blonde hair or risk having it tinted green on my birthday.
"Hey, I better go shower. I'll see you for lunch?" I say, inclining my head towards the clock. Tyler nods and squeezes my shoulders again before pushing me playfully towards the showers. I shake my head with a smile and head into the girls locker room.
"Thanks for being here on time Emma," Mrs. Edmonton chirps as I hurry through the door, hastily pulling up my still-wet hair into a sloppy bun. I utter a quick apology before taking my seat adjacent to Keely, who gives me an eager wave and mouths 'Can't wait for tonight!' Keely had never been too bright when it came to keeping secrets.
"Well, now that we have everyone here, we can begin today's lesson," Mrs. Edmonton says cheerfully. She is my favorite teacher by far. A pleasantly plump woman in her sixties, she rarely sticks to the stuffy, boring lessons of history; rather she would teach our class points of history that wouldn't have dreamed of being covered by other teachers. Today was no exception.
"As we are nearing Halloween, I thought today we would be learning a little bit about some mythology surrounding the holiday. Now, who can tell me what a Wiccan is," Mrs. Edmonton asks. Keely's hand surprisingly shoots into the air.
"Isn't it like, a witch or something? Like those people who can do magic and stuff?" she says, posing more of a question than an answer. Mrs. Edmonton seems to notice this, but she chuckles all the same.
"You're on the right track Ms. Hart, Wiccans are the foundation of what the modern world sees as witches and magic, however, they are much more complex and interesting than that," she says with a smile.
"Now, since we only have an hour to us, we'll talk about one aspect that was important to Wiccan culture and mythology, and that's the power of the elements. The four elements of course are Earth, Air, Fire and Water. The Wiccans would use the four cardinal directions with these elements to create Watchtowers, which stood as their guardians while they performed magic. They also invoked the power of the four high archangels Uriel, Michael, Raphael and of course Gabriel." Mrs. Edmonton pauses, a twinkle in her eye. I feel myself leaning forward in my seat, enchanted by what she was saying. I feel a thrill of anticipation, as if I knew exactly what she was going to say next.
"Legend has it that the four watchtowers were not just structures, but real beings, humans so powerful that together they would have the power to conquer anything. The archangels mentioned were used to protect these humans from their enemies until they were needed. Until then, they would walk obliviously among us like regular humans, distinguished only by the mark of their element somewhere on their bodies." Mrs. Edmonton lets out a giggle.
"Of course, this is only a legend, a myth. But what a wonderful story it makes doesn't it? Real figures of the elements walking among us with power they don't even know about." The rest of the class laughs, but I can only muster a small giggle. I look down to my left and gently pull up my shirt to reveal a small patch of peachy cream skin, darkened by a brown birthmark in the shape of a water droplet. My father has always joked that my birthmark should have been a clear sign that I was a natural born swimmer, but what if it meant something else? No, I shake my head to clear my mind. 'Em, you're talking crazy talk,' I think to myself. It must be the lack of sleep the past few nights; she had kept waking up in the middle of the night, sweating from a nightmare she just couldn't remember.
Mrs. Edmonton has gone on to talking about something else, but my attention is wavering. I don't want her to move on to another topic, so I raise her hand and wait to be called on.
"Yes, Ms. McLean?" Mrs. Edmonton asks, looking at me curiously. I clear my throat and pause before speaking.
"I was wondering, is there anything..written down about this legend of the elements?" I ask, my voice cracking by the end out of my nerves. A nasty chuckle rings out from the back of the room, and I don't even have to turn to know who it is.
"What McLean, you think cause you're such a good swimmer that you're an all powerful being or something?" the voice of Josh Samuelson, my ex boyfriend, sneers and makes a few other boys snicker. I can feel the hot flush of embarrassment creep up my neck and cheeks as Mrs. Edmonton tells him off. Josh had been my very first boyfriend, the first boy I ever thought I was in love with. Until a few months ago when I ended it on a 'gut feeling'. The real reason though was because of how drunk he'd get at parties and begin to pressure me into doing things I wasn't comfortable with. When I finally told Tyler about what he'd done, he helped me realize that in order to feel better about myself, I had to break up with him. My coverup reason didn't really settle well with Josh though, and ever since then, he had been less than pleasant towards both Tyler and I, Tyler mostly by association. Still, I feel the tears begin to well up in my eyes and I curse myself for them. I don't think I will ever get used being treated like this by someone who used to claim he loves me.
"That's enough Mr. Samuelson," Mrs. Edmonton says sharply, then turns back to me with a sympathetic smile. As if it weren't enough that Josh was treating me like garbage, the whole school including the teachers knew about it too. I wipe away the tears beginning to drip down my cheeks and manage a smile in her direction, hoping she drops the subject and answers my question. She doesn't press it, but gives me a sad smile.
"I'm sorry Ms. McLean, but these stories are only legend passed down by generations of storytelling; any written source of them is long gone." I sit back and take a deep breath, trying to hide my disappointment.
The bell rings, and everyone gets up to leave. As I pass by her desk, Mrs. Edmonton surprises me by reaching out and putting her hand on my arm.
"Don't let him worry you," she whispers, giving my arm a friendly pat, then adds. "Please, if you need someone to talk to, don't hesitate to come find me," I smile. It was strange to have a teacher offer to talk boy-problems with me, but at the same time I feel an odd comfort in her words.
"I will, thanks Mrs. Edmonton," I say, and I leave the classroom. Once at my locker, I rest my head against the cool metal and close my eyes, trying to regain my composure.
"Hey birthday girl you still coming over for our post-birthday traditional celebration?" Tyler's voice jumps me back to my senses. I open my eyes to look at him and smile.
"And miss a chance to watch the Star Wars trilogy and eat enough junk food to make me gain twenty pounds? Not on your life," I joke. Tyler grins and walks away. I know he knows something is up, but am relieved that he didn't ask. Having to walk the same hallways as Josh was painful enough; recounting any nasty incidents with him always left me with my ugly cry face and the strangest urge to punch through a wall. That's definitely not what I wanted for my birthday.
The warning bell rings and I shut my locker with a snap. Time for Physics, my least favorite class. I resist the urge to groan and begin to walk towards another full day of classes I can't pay attention in. At least it is my birthday and I have the party tonight to look forward to. As I walk, I give herself a birthday wish: that I would make sure that this birthday would be different from all the rest.
Annnd that's the first revised chapter! Please read and review to let me know what you think!
Love to all,
Shades of Blue