Chapter One: Learning What I Should've Never Learned

It was like I stood alone in the field, reaching into my Elemental. It was cold, but that was expected, as I was an Ice Elemental. I could feel the chill running through my veins, reaching my hands as I focused on making my companion. Mom, also known as Ms. Honey to the other campers and Stella to her workers, had told Michael, Harry, Chiro, and me to make our Elemental Partners. They're animals that live and breathe and are made out of your elemental. I felt sorry Michael. He's a double Elemental. He controls both the Ground and Plants. His partner was starting to take shape, but it was looking like a blob with four legs.

Mine had four legs, a tail that looked fluffy, and a slender body. I thought it was some sort of canine, since I had been obsessed with dogs and wolves my whole life. My mom always said I was her little wolf so I'm hoping that's what I get. "Oh man!" Chiro groaned. "Lynn's going to get hers first!"

"Shut up Chiro," Michael said. "At least yours is starting to take shape. My animal looks like a blob creature while yours looks like something missing its upper chest and head!"

I looked over at Harry. His greyish blue eyes were shining with tears and his black hair was matted down with sweat. He's an Electric Elemental. Electrics are really rare and Mom said we were lucky to have him in our camp. She also said that when multiple Electrics are in one place, they'll fight to the death because they never really get along. Sort of like Fire and Ice. Chiro's Fire and I'm Ice and we fight just about every day. I try to get along with him for Michael's and Mom's sakes but we just don't mix.

"Don't worry Harry," I said. "If you need a minute to recollect yourself, we'll wait for you to come back,"

Michael nodded and Chiro sighed. I knew he was afraid that, if he stopped, he wouldn't be able to start again, but he would stop for Harry. Everyone knew they were practically brothers, even though both came from different families.

Harry smiled and relaxed. His ball of electricity was still there but he walked away and sat down. I looked at Harry's. I saw one paw. At least he had gotten started. I was proud of Harry. He was one of the last kids in our class to gain control of his Elemental, yet his was one of the first in our class to start forming his Elemental Partner. He was truly a fighter and was one of the smartest and bravest kids in our camp.

I started to turn off my Elemental Power that was rushing to my partner but, before I could complete the task, my animal exploded in a flurry of snowflakes and ice chunks. I looked away to avoid get hit in the eye. I could feel the ice chunk leave little tears in my clothing and the brightness of the flakes would blind anyone who was stupid enough to look at it.

Then I heard a howl. I looked at my classmates. They were all looking where I was making my partner. I looked too and gasped.

Where my ball of ice once stood was a little ice wolf. It had its tongue out and was looking at me with light blue eyes. It barked and pounced on me. I let out a little shriek and the rest of the boys started laughing at me. The thing was harmless and I was being tackled to the ground and being licked to death. "Come on Bliz!" I shouted. "Get off!"

"Bliz?" Chiro asked.

"Short for Blizzard," I said.

"So that's what you're naming it?" Michael asked.

"He's a boy," I said. "And yes, I'm naming him Blizzard. That's practically what he emerged from!"

"Nice job Lynn," Harry said, looking better since he sat down. "I think I'm ready to get back at it,"

"Then go for it!" I said, getting Blizzard off my chest. "Show us what an Electric can make!"

That seemed to be the magic words for Harry. The moment he started creating he made the paw grow a leg and had three other paws with legs. Michael moaned. He had just got half of the body done, and now Harry was just about finished.

Chiro finished before Harry or Michael. Soon he had a fiery little monkey climbing on top of his head. Chiro laughed as it started to sniff his hair. "What is it and what's it name?" I asked.

"It's a boy," Chiro said. "And I'm going to name him Wild Fire,"

"Describes his personality," Michael whispered to me. "Completely uncontrollable,"

I giggled at what he said. Chiro was completely uncontrollable. The only person that could calm Chiro down when he was angry and turned himself into a flaming ball of boy was Mom and sometimes she admits she thought she wouldn't be able to calm him. I felt sorry for her. She has to calm us down, teach us, and raise the little ones. Sure, she's got six other Elementals to help her but she normally does everything on her own.

We heard the crackle of electricity and the roar of a lion from over where Harry was. Where his one paw was, was now lion or lioness. He or she was beautiful, crackling fur and golden eyes. "It's a girl," Harry said. "I think I'll name her Anice,"

"That's pretty," I said.

"Thanks," Harry said, suddenly blushing.

Chiro and Harry went off to show Mom their partners while I stayed behind with Michael so he wouldn't have to go back to camp alone. I knew Michael had a lot more people to make proud. He had his brothers, Shane and Patrick.

Shane is a Water Elemental. He created his partner the year the camp was founded. His was a female bear named Hope, because he thought her and the camp were giving him a new hope in life. He's twenty now and helps out around the camp. He's left camp a few times with Greg, the only other full grown man Elemental here, to go get supplies. He's told us that people give him dirty looks when he goes into town. He has dark brown hair and ice blue eyes.

Patrick is a Wind Elemental. He created his partner; a male pony named Mouse, when he turned fourteen, a decade after the camp was founded. He's never left camp, but he remembers the day they had to run to the Teller's home and leave with Mom. He's got a bright smile, light blond hair, and warm brown eyes.

Michael is currently fourteen. He's an artist, even though his brothers aren't very big on art, and he even sings with me. He's got dark red hair and light green eyes. I love those eyes. They make me smile whenever they look at me and make me angry whenever they show pain and hurt. I guess that's why I love Michael.

I stared at Michael as his partner started to take shape. It had a slim body and legs that looked perfect for climbing and jumping. Now it just needed a head. Michael was so close to discovering his partner, but he looked about ready to pass out. "Michael?" I asked. "Do you need to take a breather?"

Michael moaned and looked at me. "Almost there," he gasped. But I was scared. He was turning snow white. Sweat was pouring down his face. I was afraid he was going either pass out or die in the attempt to bring his partner into the world. I was about to freeze that boy and force him to stop. I would rather him not have a partner today instead of him being in the infirmary for a week.

Then the ground practically exploded with chunk of dirt and grass. Roots of trees rushed up and wrapped themselves around anything nearby, almost catching Blizzard and I as we jumped. I could see Michael on the ground, a small cheetah made of blossoms and dirt trying to awake him. Blizzard ran forward and I joined him, barely dodging the roots. 'Dude!' Blizzard shouted. 'Make the ground stop attacking us! We wanna help!'

The cheetah looked at Blizzard, sighed, and made the ground and plants stop. I let go of the breath I didn't know I was holding. The cheetah let us get close to Michael. "We have to get him to camp and fast," I said. "His heartbeat's really messed up,"

Blizzard and the cheetah ran ahead while I got stuck dragging him back to camp. "Blizzard!" I shouted. "Can you find Harry and Chiro? They can find Michael's brothers and help us out!"

'Got it girl!' Blizzard shouted back.

'Take care of him!' the cheetah yelled.

"I will!" I yelled. "He's my best friend!"

I went straight to the infirmary and saw that Mary, a Plant Elemental who was known for her experience with healing herbs, wasn't there. I groaned, knowing that Shane was going to have my head if I left him alone to find her.

I put him on the bed and pulled up a chair. I knew Shane had some experience in the medical field and he'd know what to do. I wished I knew what each of those medicines did, but Mom was teaching me about the emotional properties of each Elemental, so I would be able to take her place as the director of the camp. I would learn some medicine later on in my training, but I wished I had known now.

Shane and Patrick burst into the room. "Lynn!" Shane shouted. "Where's Mary?"

"I don't know!" I said, suddenly scared. "She wasn't here when I brought him in and I didn't want to leave him alone in case he woke up or started having a nightmare!"

Shane groaned. "Can you go find Mary?" Patrick asked. "We need her and fast!"

I nodded and dashed out of the infirmary. She must be at a meeting with Mom. There was no other explanation to why she wasn't there. She was always in the infirmary!

I stopped at Mom's door, about to knock, when I heard Mom yell, "No!"

"She's joined him Stella," Mary said. "We did our best, but apparently she wanted more power, not just what we offered,"

"I just can't believe it," Mom said. "Ashlee was one of my star students. She was practically Chiro's sister. She was close to Lynn. She was the baby of the camp. Everyone loved her and always was willing to help her out when she needed help. Why would she want more power? Why does Lynn have to stop her and Will?"

Will? Why did that name seem so familiar?

"Teller was right," I heard Francine, a P.E. coach, said. "He admitted Ashlee would be on a dark path. We could have hidden her from darkness her whole life and she would have joined him in the end. She likes danger and that's what Will offers; power and danger,"

I gasped. It all came back to me. The night my mother took us to Teller, hearing his prediction, being handed to some child and riding into the forest. My mom had never wanted me to fight her, to have a sister suddenly become my worst enemy. I gathered my breath, but on a mask of worry for Michael and knocked furiously. "Mary!" I shouted. "Michael got hurt while making his partner!"

Mary rushed out the room and to the infirmary. The other teachers followed behind her to their posts, but Mom ushered me in. I knew she was onto me. She knew I had heard what they were discussing. "How much?" she asked.

"When you screamed no," I said.

Mom sighed. "You weren't supposed learn about this," she said. "But I guess it was inevitable,"

"Mom?" I asked. "Is Will the one who made you start the camp?"

Mom's head shot up. She obviously never expected me to ask that question. "End this conversation today, start again tomorrow?" I asked.

She nodded and I ran out the room. I had to think. My friend, and practically sister, Ashlee, had joined the man who nearly destroyed the nearby village.