Earth’s Wrath: The Fall of the Sky

“No! No, please don’t take me there. Please!” My tears fall in huge rivers down my face. They drag me to my feet — my nurse, who cared for me since I was a babe, and my teacher, who taught me everything I know — even when I could barely stand, let alone walk.

“You must be brave, little one,” nurse says. “You’re the only one who can save us all.”

But I don’t understand.

“Teacher! Teacher, you said I should never go near the cliffs. You said if I stay away the orb will be safe! Please let go of me, please.” I sob. “I don’t want anything to happen to any of you.”

“You don’t understand, child,” teacher says. “Everything is falling apart. Air, water and fire have unleashed their powers upon the land. You’re our only hope. Sky is our only hope.”

“I’m not ready,” I whisper.

All my life, I have been trained to listen to my own voice, my own consciousness because the orb we have is more aware than any of the others. It can control me against my own will. And I’m not yet strong enough to resist it.

My arms are bruised by the time we arrived at the peak of the mountain, where a simple altar stands along its edge. One step beyond means certain death. I fall to the ground with a thud, my knees in sharp pain, when they finally let go of me.

“Teacher—”

“Call to it, child. You are its master. You have the control to do it.”

I cover my ears with both hands and refuse to acknowledge the possibility that I can make the orb of the sky fall down on its knees for me. I scream my denial and then—I hear it. Calling. For me.

beware…

…beware of…those…

 …around you…

Without warning, strong hands push my back. In my utter disbelief, all I could do was turn my head and watch my teacher’s upraised arms, his lips set in grim determination, his eyes fevered yet cold. At his side stands my nurse, her fists trembling at her sides but her head held high. Then gravity pulls me down.

And.

I.

Fall.

Betrayal. Pure unadulterated betrayal pulses through my veins, mixing with my blood and out the air I breathe out. Why? A single word escapes my lips as I shut my eyes and wait for my impending death.

they…

…they thought that killing you…

…will stop the change we are bringing into your world…

…open your eyes and let us prove them wrong…

I open them and see the vastness of everything. I am floating and in my hand is the orb of the sky pulsing with energy and glowing with power. I look around me and wonder if the other girls with the other orbs also feel the same way I am feeling right at this moment. If they feel alone and guilty and vengeful and resigned.

The world needs to be reborn anew. I look down and let the sky fall.

­To a new beginning.

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The need for company

My utmost need for a company

Isn’t my heart’s desperate plea

It is for my safety

And my mind’s sanity

Some thoughts I have are uncanny

I could and would act strangely

The other side of me

You don’t want to see

To be left alone with my thoughts

Is a dangerous place to be

It whispers insanity

It entices me to play with reality

A Kiss

First, I would kiss
Your eyes that see beauty in the most dreadful things
Then
Your ears that hear my secret meanings
Followed by
Your nose that smells my longing for you
Down to
Your soft lips that tastes like clouds and truth
And there I would linger
A peck and then another
A smile and then the words:
“I love you unlike any other”

Enough

I want to write about you
—but my hands refuse to scribble words,
my mind refuses to construct thoughts,
even my tongue refuses to articulate your name.

I want to write about the pain
—but my tears tell me it was enough,
my hiccups tell me it has been too much
my lips tell me it’s time to pull them up.

I want to rest my breaking heart
—it only tells me ‘Please take care of me,
don’t give me away too easily,
I’m your life and not just some property.’

Locked up

I must escape
 From the horrors
  Of my mind.
I am trapped
 In an endless torture
  Of my own imagination.
I hear things they don't.
 I see things they overlook.
  I feel things they ignore.
I run and run
 With nowhere to go
  And nowhere to hide.
I know you have the key.
 Let me out.
  Set me free.

Earth’s Wrath: The Rage of Fire

I have lived in darkness for the past three days.

I am alone in this small room with nothing but a bed, a pot for my wastes and a door. No windows or candles to provide the smallest hope of light. My hands are tied behind my back. I have tried to escape thrice only to be thrown down by a man twice my size and my bonds made tighter. But I am not the only one suffering.

There are four of us — there have always been four — here in this temple. I hear one of the girls at night, crying to sleep. One prayed, only stopping when it’s time for dinner — the only meal the men provided us. The other one is silent that I wonder if she can’t talk at all. Then the last one is me, who always fought. I will never stop fighting till I died.

Today’s the fourth day, the last day. And the men have come for us.

The sun is almost setting but the light still hurts my eyes. The men lead us out the temple, toward the raised dais where four posts were set, facing each direction. Below the dais are people whom we know. We have lived in the same village, smiled at one another on the streets, and helped each other in the time of need. But tradition dictates that four women must give their own life for the continuance of other’s. There are many who supports this tradition; I am one of the few who don’t.

The men tie each of us to individual posts and I flex my wrists apart so they can still move. Kindlings are set upon our feet, encircling the posts themselves. They intend to burn us. I will not let them.

A priest starts bringing the orb of Fira into the middle of the dais, his lips moving faintly with his prayers. The crowd is silent as the priest bellows, “Praise be to the goddess of Fire!”

“Praise to her and all her glory!” the crowd answers.

“Today we shall witness yet again our goddess’s love and passion sweep over our lands and families. And how else can we show her our gratitude? How else can we make sure that she never leaves our side? Today! These four young, beautiful souls will enter our goddess’s sweet loving arms and make the goddess divine satisfied!” says the priest.  The orb glows bright red in the center and I know that if I somehow get a hold of it, I might get the chance to live.

The priest then takes hold of a torch, walks toward the praying girl at my right, shouts, “Let the fire burn our diseases!”, and sets fire to her.

The crowd cheers but the sound of the girl’s cries rings louder in my ears. Soon her cries are doubled by the girl opposite from me and then tripled by the girl at my left as the priest lights them up one by one, burning away “calamities” and “conquerors”, as if us girls are manifestations of the things they hate and fear.

I am wrong to stay in this village for too long. I am wrong for thinking I could live here in peace. And I refuse to let others live while I die for their sakes.

The priest comes for me but I have already loosened the rope around my wrists.

“Let the fire burn the wicked!”

I wrench the torch from the priest’s hands and hit his surprised face with the burning end. A satisfying crunch and the sizzling of burning flesh fills my ears as the priest went down. The crowd gasps and the closest to the dais backs away. But I don’t worry about them; let them help him to his feet. The orb of Fira has already caught my attention.

I sprint toward it; the men guarding us realizing too late that it isn’t the priest’s demise that I am after. It is my freedom and life of all the girls that would have succeeded our sacrifice. I reach towards the glowing orb and I’ve prepared myself to be burned but —

What? The orb is…cold?

Suddenly I feel…lighter than I’ve ever felt before. My flushed body calms as brightly colored wind — no, not wind but fire! — envelope my body. Flashes of blues and greens and golds lift my hair and swirl around my arms.

I look up the sky and laugh. So this is power.

I lower my gaze upon the crowd that not so long ago cheered for the deaths of four girls. Four. Because the girl I was died and now I am reborn as fire. I open my arms and release myself unto them.

            Burn them all.

Earth’s Wrath: The Cry of the Ocean

It was said that the water from Eau temple could heal. The temple itself was in the middle of the sea, and only us, priestesses, were allowed inside. Later this day, I received a letter containing my sister’s plummeting health condition. I had prepared a full canteen of the temple’s water when a second letter arrived. With greatest sadness, my sister did not survive.

It was said that the water from Eau temple could heal. But I believe it could do so much more; no, not the water, but the source. I believe it could bring back the dead.

I didn’t allow grief to sway me from my plan. Coincidentally, it was my turn for performing the cleansing ritual, an act which would allow me to go near the source, and borrow it for a few moments. I promised myself that I would bring it back once everything was done.

Our house wasn’t far from the shore and all members of my family were there; my sister in her simple white dress lying on her bed. She looked like she was sleeping except for the absence of the rise and fall of her chest, of the color in her cheeks, of the movement of her eyes beneath her lids. I gripped the glistening Eau orb to my chest as I slowly approached her.

“Daughter,” mother managed to rasp from her hoarse voice and tear-stained face. “You are too late. She is gone. You are far, far too late,” she accused.

As if my sister’s frail health was my fault. As if I was to be blamed for her death. I refuse to accept my sister’s end even if it goes against what was taught in the temple. “It is never too late, Mother. Not with the orb of Eau with us.”

My mother gasped. And so did my father and brothers. “What have you done, child?” my father bellowed. “That sacred orb must never leave the temple.” His eyes were panicked as he continued, “You have doomed as all.”

I stopped hearing everyone’s fearful cries for safety and stopped caring for their silent, frantic steps to flee. I knelt beside my sister’s bed and placed the orb right above her chest, made her small, delicate hands to wrap around it.

The orb started to glow and with it my hope grew. This was the right thing to do. I will save her, I thought. Outside our house, people were screaming for help, for salvation, for safety.

“The sea! The sea is retreating! Run!” they called.

Suddenly, a huge amount of wind shook the thin walls of our house, lifting my hair and skirts in every direction, lifting my sister’s body off the ground.

“No!” I screamed and scrambled atop the bed, covering my sister’s body with my own. “Ilyanae, wake up!”

And she did.

It worked! The orb worked! I was so happy a tear escaped my eye.

But as I studied my sister’s features, her eyes… Her dark blue eyes were blank and stared at nothing, her face impassive. “Ilyanae?” I whispered. Her skin turned from cold to freezing. And as her chest expanded in an inhale, water leaked out from every hole in her body so cold it burned then quickly froze. I snatched the orb before it stuck in my sister’s frozen body and watched in horror as cracks slowly formed from her eyes like tears running down her face, splitting in every direction, every part of her body, until finally it shatters into a million broken pieces.

No!” I screamed, clutching the orb to my chest, just as the ocean came crushing down upon me.

I shut my eyes. I’ve failed —failed to save my sister, failed in my duties as priestess, failed as a daughter. And yet, even as I wait for the crushing pressure to drown me, nothing came. I took a breath and realized that I could. I opened my eyes one at a time and saw the ocean above me, beneath me, around me and I realized that I’ve been cocooned in a bubble of air.

But where there should only be water, the faint light of the sun illuminates the destruction the water has done to my village. Huts that should have been in the sand floated around in pieces, carried by the strong current. Worse, I saw bodies of men and women and children, some already bloated, some still struggling to resurface, some only parts of them remained.

The terror gripped me so hard, I shook. Why was I the only one unharmed? Why was I the only one left alive? Why—

My eyes drop to the orb clutched to my chest and my father’s voice echoed to my ears.

I have truly doomed us all.