Author: TurquoiseLove PM
In a world where everyone develops their element on their 16th birthday, and the government is ever so slightly overbearing, one girl's element developing will turn her whole world upside down and pull her and her family into the whirlwind of change too.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Fantasy/Adventure - Chapters: 2 - Words: 3,460 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 06-09-12 - Published: 05-26-12 - id: 3026237
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The glowing numbers on the alarm clock flickered and changed. 6:59. A faint glow was cast across the room, illuminating the bed and outline of the sleeping girl. The simple quilt was pulled over her head, and the end of a long brunette braid drifted out from underneath.
The alarm clock flickered again. 7:00. A soft drone reverberated through the room and gradually grew louder. The girl shifted, groaned, and clumsily slid her hand across the clock's controls. The droning was replaced by radio static that then spiked in volume before changing to a song and finally falling silent. The girl pulled back under the covers.
A moment later, she had remembered why the day was special, why she needed to wake up. She clambered out of bed and rubbed sleep from her eyes. A lazy smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. She mentally assessed herself and found that she felt the same as always, though morning fatigue lingered throughout her body. She continued to massage her eyes as she crossed the room. Her bare feet stuck to the false wood floor and made quiet smacking noises when lifted.
The girl tested the hallway door as she passed it, though she knew it was locked. Just as it had been since 9:00 and would remain until 8:00, in accordance with regulation. The regular frustration was a sort of reassurance today, that everything was still normal. Even though today she was so much closer to adulthood, she could still be a child for a while longer.
She slid the small closet door open and pulled one of the generic grey clothing sets off its hanger. The natural color and thin fabric had been chosen by the government because of its low production cost and waste output, though the common thought was that nobody had bothered to try it on before approving it.
The girl moved to the bathroom, the clothing draped over her arm. She watched her reflection in the mirror, searching for a sign that she had changed. She was the same small, dark haired girl she was before. Though a year older now, she had nothing to show for it besides more freckles. The girl fingered the fabric of her thin night clothes, twisting loose threads between her thumb and finger. When her Element developed she would be given new clothing with sturdier fabrics specific to her Element and more practical for training and schooling.
She frowned at her reflection. Surely that wasn't her, but another citizen that frowned back. Surely she was still a Small, not yet ten years old and with only daydreams of her Element and future. But it was her in the mirror, and she merely had her memories of daydreams, not daring to become attached to an idea so close to when it may be crushed.
When she was young, she had a daydream for each possibility. Air, Earth, Nature, Water, and Fire; all had seemed incredible. Now, they all terrified her. Today she would learn which was hers. The girl tore her gaze away from the mirror and quickly undressed. She showered, dressed in her day clothes, and brushed her hair while lost in a state of both intense thought and complete serenity. She braided her hair over her shoulder, the end resting below her ribcage.
The clock read a quarter till, and she turned to the mirror. She gave in to the Little inside of her, and inspected her eyes, trying to mentally replace the dull grey with various colors. The characteristic colors for some Elements were easy to imagine; the brilliant turquoise of Air- her father and best friend's element, or the deep green of Nature- her mother's. Earth was merely a lighter green, and Water a darker blue, but Fire she had never been able to picture though, not knowing whether the color was red or orange.
The girl sighed and padded over to the desk. Her small Tablet lay charging on the shelf and she picked it up. The motion brought the small screen to life. She had been reading before she slept the night before, and "Preparing For Your Element; What to Expect On Your 16th Birthday" was still displayed. She swept it closed, and glanced over her home screen. Many of her icons were dulled and had a Q imprinted over them. Her Quarantine had begun; no outside contact for up to a week.
She set down the Tablet and returned to the mirror. There was 10 minutes before her door unlocked and so she entered the abyss of thought once more. She returned to trying to imagine different eye colors. Many people thought that the light blue or light green of air and earth would look good with her dark hair, so she imagined each, but soon decided she preferred the darker colors.
Whatever she developed would have both perks and downsides though. Whether it was the color or the abilities or her job. The girl stopped herself, not wanting to think about the jobs. She had avoided the topic for nearly a year now; not wishing to become attached to one before the potential disappointment today. The anticipation was much greater now though, and she felt the taboo calling her.
The girl glanced at the clock. Two minutes. She allowed the child deep within her to come out, and bobbed gently on the balls of her feet while fingering the fray of her day shirt. She glanced one last time at herself in the mirror, taking in the nearly-sixteen-year-old she had become. Her day pants ended just above her ankle, at the awkward length that was not yet short enough to qualify for replacements. The hem of her day shirt was frayed due to her nervous habit and the collar was crushed on one side. One minute. She tugged at it with her other hand and inspected the slightly-too-short sleeve.
Her braid fell over her shoulder, stray hairs framing her freckled face. She realized she was biting her lip and ran her tongue over the rough skin. Thirty seconds. She squinted at herself and the reflection blurred. Her hair blurred into an orderly mass, her skin tone evened, her few pimples vanished, and the fray on her clothes disappeared. A solid click echoed from the door and she blinked at herself. She was sixteen.
Analese pulled open the door and ran down the hallway.