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|
AN: This chapter is far from my favourite, and I know there are issues with it. I'd love if you could tell me which sections need rewording and help me catch some errors. I've edited it for days and finally decided that even though it's not perfect, I've kept you guys waiting long enough. So here you go; chapter 1.
Please review with your comments on how to improve it :)
Analese ran past her parent's open door, unlocked at 7:30, and spared only a glance into the family office. She took the stairs two at a time and slid to a stop on the laminate in the front hall where she composed herself before walking into the small kitchen.
She breathed in the rich scent of sugar and warm maple syrup. Her mother was mixing pancake batter, long dark hair tied up in a messy ponytail and dark green eyes accented by her day clothes. "Hi Hun, how was your sleep?" She greeted her daughter while laying plates out on the counter.
"Good. Took me forever to fall asleep last night though." Analese joined her mother behind the counter and began searching the cabinets for matching cups.
Her mother laughed, "Anticipation can do that. Tonight may be just as bad." Analese huffed and placed the cups on the table.
"I hope so. Where's dad?" She asked, now sitting in a stool and shifting a flowerpot filled with dirt between her hands.
"Your father didn't get much sleep last night either, his little girl is developing her Element today. I got him up but he fell asleep on the couch ten minutes ago." She gestured into the adjacent living and dining room. Analese crept over and jumped onto the couch, feeling like a Small waking up her parents when she still slept in their room. She gently poked her father's cheek, and he shifted. A slight breeze floated through the room.
Analese frowned. Her father was an Air and when agitated he could create quite a windstorm. Last time she had woken him up before 8:30 it had taken an hour to fix the room, not to mention her hair. She gave him one last poke before returning to the kitchen. "When do you think he'll wake up?"
"When he smells the pancakes." Her mother chuckled. "Speaking of which, what do you want in them?"
"Strawberry." Analese responded, and stopped pouring orange juice to watch. Her mother fished a seed from the pouch on her hip and rolled it in her hands. She held it up to her mouth and breathed on it, though Analese knew it was actually whispers that danced across the shell. She then pressed the seed into the flowerpot and used her hands to sprinkle water over it. A moment later the stem peeked through the soil and quickly grew into a small plant, ripe strawberries hanging off of it. Her mother smiled at her handy work and washed her hands before picking the berries.
"I had been hoping for a challenge," she joked, "you know I can never perfect star fruit." Analese laughed and continued to watch as the now empty stem shrunk back into the soft dirt and folded itself into the seed capsule. Her mother replaced it in her pouch with the others.
Analese found plates while her mother poured the pancakes onto the stove. Moments after the first was finished, her father woke up and joined them.
"Hey birthday girl." He greeted her, gently tugging her braid.
"Morning dad." She hugged him before returning the pancake ingredients, in their identical, decomposable plastic containers back to the pantry and fridge. Her father cut the strawberries and flew them onto the plates after her mother set each one. She joined her parents at the table and they ate quickly, each trying to distract from the anticipation in the air growing denser. The quiet scrape of forks on plates filled the dining room, and gradually died away as they finished eating.
"What would you like to do today?" Her father inquired as he gathered the plates.
"How about a movie?" Her mother suggested. Analese agreed and moved to the living room. She tapped the remote and drew up the menu, easily navigating until she found the available movies. There was a new documentary, as usual, but no new movies. The few that applied were usually turned down by the government, so the ten or so in archives she had already been watching for years. She selected the documentary and the movie window appeared in the center of the living room wall. It automatically expanded itself and they settled down on the couch to watch. She clicked through the menu again and the lights dimmed.
The camera panned down over an island, as always, and a monotone voice began introducing the documentary. She let her mind wander, not having intended the movie for actual entertainment.
Before the new government, the changing of eyes could be a public affair. Granted, she hadn't been alive then; but for that matter neither had her parents, or their parents. Now though, birthday homes were locked and only opened twice: When the government recorders came in, and when they left. After her birthday, when her eyes had shown and only the Abilities were still to come, her parents would be allowed to leave as long as one remained with her. She still couldn't go out, and her communication was shut down. No talking to Shannon after her Showing.
She smiled at the thought of her best friend. She hadn't seen her nearly as much the last few weeks, as after Shannon's Element developed she had moved to the Elemental Academy. Analese was still in Basic School. After this week, when her abilities showed, she would also move to the Academy. Most likely not in the same classes as Shannon though, as Shannon was an Air, like her mother. That had amazed people. With no genetic links to Elements, two female Airs were astounding.
Analese wouldn't share classes with Shannon, except perhaps an advanced Element History. But that would only be for the first two years. After that she would be moved into the history of her own Element for the remaining years. The length of one's time in the Academy depended on the rate of development of one's abilities, averaging 7 to 8 years.
After school she'd be off to whatever job she chose. There were usually two or three options for each Element, or a government job. If she were Air she could work outside everyday powering windmills, inside in wind tunnels, repairing things up high, or as a personal shuttle service for those who couldn't afford cars or hovercrafts. She shook her head. Air was too rare in girls, and she was too average. She was afraid of heights anyways. She moved on with her list; if she developed Fire she'd be a firefighter, wildlife protector, or help heat the city. If Earth she could build homes, landscape, or help Natures heal the environment. If she were Water she could power the hydro mills, desalinate seawater, help clean up pollution and oil spills from years ago, or pump water through the city. Water would also mean that she wouldn't need to move after school; she already lived near the coastline. Her mother worked in the crop fields outside city limits and her father for the government so they were some of the only non-Waters in their city. All Waters lived along coasts, as islands weren't inhabitable. They all contained government factories, as the documentary showed, because for maximum efficiency and lowest waste production they needed to be loud which meant they isolated them from people. She stopped her mental list. There were too many possibilities and it made her head hurt to think about them all.
She would find out soon enough what to narrow them down to, and during quarantine she could begin to decide. She frowned at the thought of her quarantine. Up to a week of solitude, waiting for the wonderful explosion of power that was puberty. The event that would leave her, and the house, in disarray, singed, flooded, covered in dirt, or overcome by plants. If she were a Double, it would be twice as bad.
Analese was snapped out of her thoughts by Chester – her mother's dog - jumping on her. She smiled and scratched his head. If she were a Nature she could have a dog or cat when she was older. Waters and Air were also permitted pets, but only fish or birds. Analese shuddered. She hated fish, and wasn't all that fond of water in general. She tolerated swimming where she could see the bottom and that was about it.
Chester snuggled up against her, and she pet him for a moment before he decided to shift to her mother's lap. He of course spent most of his time with her mother- she being the Nature, but he was friendly with Analese and her father as well. Chester often followed her mother to work; the crops on weekdays where they wandered the fields talking to plants and bugs, and to beatification on Saturdays to convince grass to be orderly and weeds to avoid sidewalk cracks.
She watched her parents; her mother was curled under her father's arm. His fingers were drawing patterns on her back, miniscule twisters following them. They had met when they lived in a small agricultural town in the foothills. Her father had been assigned to a windmill in her mother's crop section for a month, and managed to draw her out of her seclusion. He begged to be reassigned the next month and many after that, and eventually convinced her to marry him.
Analese pulled her thoughts back to the movie. The monotone voice was describing an island facility. She had missed the intro but believed this was a factory that made clothes, though wasn't positive. They all looked so alike she sometimes wondered if all the documentaries had shots of the same building at different angles. The island looked familiar too, she realized as the voice described the Tablet facility. The rest of the movie was just like the others. It described a facility while giving a hidden threat: showing how much everyone depended on the government, and how little people would be able to do without it.
At some point the monotone voice and repetitive aerial shots lulled her to sleep. Her mother woke her when the movie ended. Analese panicked at first, what if she had missed her Showing? She hopped off the couch and checked the mirror. The same grey-eyed girl stared back at her.
Analese sighed. Today was taking forever. She wanted to go to the park nearby like she and Shannon usually did on their days off, but she couldn't leave the house. She'd go insane if her Abilities took the full week to develop. She checked the kitchen clock. It was 11. With a dramatic sigh that proclaimed her deep teenage frustrations for her, she fell back on the couch. Her parents were selecting another movie. Analese groaned; she hated not doing anything productive.
"Let's play a game instead," she pleaded.
Her father smiled, and clicked the TV off. "Good idea. I hate those documentaries."
"You just don't get along with the guy who makes them." Her mother retorted.
Analese jumped up and ran out of the room. She inspected the game cabinet in the study. She found their game of LIFE and carried it back. They set up and chose their characters. She chose the dark blue car, it being the closest to her favorite element color, as she was too nervous to actually think about what Element she wanted most. That, and they had lost the Air car.
Her mother chose the red car and her father the green. Her father rolled first. He landed on one of the "pre-13th birthday" squares, and passed the dice to her mother. She rolled a seven and reached her 13th birthday. Analese fanned the element cards and her mother picked. She was Earth. After she had replaced the grey person in her car for a light green one, Analese rolled. She got an eight but had to stop at the birthday square. This was always the most suspenseful part for anyone whose Element hadn't developed yet. Some kids made games of it, saying that whatever you drew was your Element. This of course was soon proven wrong when they realized they had drawn every card at one point or another. Analese usually ignored them anyways, though now, on her actual 13th birthday, she found herself hoping it would be as easy as the game made it. She held her breath as she pulled out her card.
Water. She frowned. The underwater treks to "save the ocean" that most waters performed daily didn't appeal to her. She swapped her person out anyways- it was just a game after all. The game proceeded slowly but steadily. Her father was an Air, and his job was working the windmills. Analese worked with fish and her mother made houses. Analese had married another Water and was adding a baby girl when she felt it.
Her head was tingling. It started in behind her eyes, a light tickle before jumping throughout her skull and back, concentrating behind her eyes. She screwed her eyes shut and grabbed her head with one hand, steadying herself with the other. She was suddenly dizzy.
"Whoa-" She muttered, blinking at her parents, who had now gone slightly fuzzy.
"Your Element!" Her mother said, slightly panicked. She could just make out their faces; pale. With worry or excitement Analese didn't know. She shook her head and blinked a few moments later the tingling-turned-throbbing subsided abruptly. Analese was in front of the mirror a second later. She stared in.
The grey-eyed girl was gone, and another reflection stood in her place.