Day 46 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write a character that represents a season.
Erin: Winter was impossible to pin. One day I would go up to her and she would ice me out completely. I’d ask her how her day was and she would just say “bad.” I would ask her if she wanted a cookie from the break room and she would just say “no.” Then other days her beauty would blanket the room and despite her constant scowl, there were days I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. She would say “good” and “yes” on those days. Days like that were usually dangerous, I would slip on my words and her chuckle would send me spinning out of control.
I understood why she could be that way. Her desk was covered completely in white. People were always dropping projects off for her and there was no way she could finish a page’s project before she got another ten. Her projects all revolved around children’s books, so she brought joy to so many others. Too bad that came at her expense.
It all changed at the same time of year though. She always had all of her vacation in one long four-week trip. To prep she basically lived in the office, until she turned on her out of office.
I never saw her during her vacation, but rumor has it, she is the most beautiful and warm person laying on the beach. When she comes back she still has a bit of that glow. Slowly though her desk will start to fill and her mood will start to chill. Her stress will build day by day, until yet again vacation will come around. From what I am told, that four-week span makes the rest of the craziness worth it.
Shannon: April was the type of person who could bring a little hope to even my darkest moments. To cheer me up she’d offer her warmth, but never ask me to completely forget about my memories of when it was cold. A much-needed conversation with her was both refreshing and unpredictable at the same time. I could never bring the same advice to the table, even though at times she needed it just as much as me.
She felt each emotion so deeply, so she never had a shortage of tears. She produced so many she probably could have used them to water her gardens of beautiful flowers. I think that’s where she found the most peace, just caring for them in the quiet. She wasn’t afraid of silence, because somehow she never felt alone. Now as I lie in her favorite spot, amongst everything she has grown, I realized she wasn’t.
Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer… pick your poison.
My mind wandered as I strolled toward the library, the book on transference of magickal abilities weighing on both my bag and heart. By the time I was aware of surroundings enough to look up I’d overshot the archive and was standing before an ice field. Stunned by the frozen liquid I took a few steps closer, leaving the safe, magickally-dampened constraints of the sidewalk behind. As I peered into the vast yard I searched for any semblance of a dwelling; if I recalled correctly there should have been a small bungalow with fire damage on the roof.
I took a few tentative steps on the frost-covered grass and spotted the house, completely encased in thick ice. When I stood still below massive weeping willows I could see my breath hanging like a cloud in front of my face; the air here felt like mid-winter. Shivering slightly I continued to gradually pick my way toward the house before a noise caught my attention and sent chills up my spine.
A pitiful wail like a child sobbing reached my ears along with what sounded like glasses being smashed. Somewhere nearby someone was in trouble and I shouted warmly, my voice quaking in the cold, “Hello!? Are you alright? Hello?” As a tremble rocked my body I nearly landed on my face on the icy surface.
Instead of a reply the noises ceased and I was about to continue on when a slight figure stepped out from behind the house. With straight, frost-bitten hair and bluish skin the young girl looked like death itself before I saw her eyes; one was forest green while the other glowed with the palest ice-blue. Her thin arms were wrapped protectively about her, this strange girl I’d never seen before, and she stared at my feet anxiously. At her neck dripped a snowflake pendant that shone like a star.
Smiling at the scared girl I called over the icy landscape, “Hi. Are you okay?” Her eyes fleetingly met mine before they were glued to the ground again, but she nodded hesitantly. After a few moments of waiting for a real reply I puffed out a small cloud and tried a different approach, “I’m Lily. I was just on the way to the library when I saw your ice. It’s pretty cool.” When she didn’t laugh at my pun, not that it was a good one, I elaborated, “You know, cool? Because it’s ice?” forcing myself to laugh I almost pulled a smile out of her.
As she peered at my under her eyelashes the ice immediately around her began to melt away, as though she were gaining control of the random ability. Taking in a breath she finally replied, “I’m Crystal. I didn’t mean to make the ice. It just-” her voice quivered and the water solidified again, trapping the bottom of my boots in a new layer of ice; I was now stuck in this strange girl’s dangerous yard.
When the tears began to fall down her cheeks I realized what the glass breaking sounds had been; Crystal crying. This whole mess was all because of an emotional outburst and I needed her to calm down before I could reach her. Thinking fast I riffled through my bag for the bag I kept in the bottom lining. Contained within the suspicious bag was an herbal mixture I used sooth anxiety attacks.
I twisted around to find a way to get the sweet blend to her and found nothing. Swearing under my breath at the elements, I spilled some of the herbs into my hand and began a fire spell I hadn’t used in a while. Eventually, as Crystal’s tears continued to shatter gracefully on the ground, the mix began to smoke and spark like a new flame was emerging. There was a pause as the smoke curled up to the treetops and I sighed in relief; then the ice promptly started to wind its way up my legs.
Attempting to stay calm I called out to Crystal monotonously and pointed to the smoke, “Crystal, this will help calm you. I’m a trained apothecary. Please,” as my voice cracked on the last syllable I could see terror in her eyes; that was the last thing I needed if I wanted to escape this. She started forward on shaky legs as the fire scorched my palm excruciatingly. But I just needed her to relax so I would be released by the magickal outburst.
Her little bare feet landed on the crackling grass and I reached my hand out, softly chanting the incantation that went with the herbal mixture. Traditionally you ingested the concoction but I found smoking it produced faster results; that’s why I didn’t carry a tincture with me. As the tiny girl breathed in the fragrant smoke the tension left her features and the tears stopped falling.
As she opened her eyes, blinking in the sudden warmth, I saw her toothy grin for the first time. She giggled when I doused the flames, admiring the steam it through off, as the ice around us faded away. When my feet were freed I did a goofy jig she loved and she whispered, “I’m sorry, Lily. I didn’t mean to do it.” Childlike eyes shone up at me from a lovely, pale face.
“It’s okay, Crystal. It’s fine. But you need to learn how to control it.” As I said so the ice around the house cracked in half and magickally disappeared. The whole yard was suddenly full of fiery garnet flowers that spread from the walkway to the house in a wave.
Crystal squealed in delight as someone’s high heels clacked along the walkway behind me. Turning to follow her gaze, a tall woman with a blaze of hair tied back neatly and an ensemble that would make a nun faint sauntered toward the house. When she saw me she stopped, considered me and continued to embrace the pale girl who’d rushed passed me.
As they broke apart the tall woman addressed me plainly, “And who are you?” her voice was protective of the girl in a restrained kind of way. There was power and intent in her blazing red eye but a playfulness hid behind her forest green one. I’d obviously taken too long as she held Crystal beside her and reiterated, “Who are you and what are you doing with my sister?”
Stuttering, I managed a weak, “Sorry, she was crying and I came to help.” I stared into her eyes, pleading her to believe me and, when she turned to her sister, I saw she did.
Finally she grinned solemnly, “Thanks. She’s been having a terrible time with the ice. I shouldn’t have left. I’m Ember, by the way.” Stepping forward, we shook hands and I could feel the residual heat emanating from her palms.
“Well, I should really get to the library; this book isn’t going to return itself.” Bowing to the younger sibling I cheerfully skipped down the walkway toward the archives thinking about the two opposite sisters. You couldn’t find two people that embodied different seasons better. Crystal was the frozen, lonely winter with her Gelu (Ice) powers; uncertain of herself with magick that lashed out like the chilly winter wind. Then there was her sister Ember’s fiery and passionate summer attitude that embodied the Ignis element.
(Little behind. Let’s see if Spring can help.)
Created to Write:
Jacey looks at the lounge outside her room. Other bedrooms are lining the walls, with curtained glass walls showing the contents. There were other girls that lived there, but most were out. She stares out at one of the newest arrivals; a girl with pink and green streaks in her otherwise black hair. They were all given new looks, all based off their abilities.
Jacey walks over to the girl, who looks to be about her age. She sits on the couch. “Hi.”
The girl looks at her, then looks away, shy.
“What’s your name?”
“…Rosemarred,” she whispers.
Jacey knew that they also changed everyone’s names. It made them more unique, and if Jacey was more bold, she’d say they made them less human.
“What’s your real name?” Jacey asks.
Rosemarred looks at Jacey again, with hope and fear. “We aren’t supposed to talk about it,” she says.
“Just for me, please,” Jacey says.
The girl looks away, as if her name pained her. “Kara… Kara Alfreds.”
Jacey extends her hand, “Jacline Sallow. But people call me Jacey.”
Kara looks at Jacey’s hand. She takes it carefully, but takes her hand back with it starts to turn green. Shoots and sprouts come out of her palm. She closes her eyes, trying to quell her powers. But the greenery grows. It bends over and touches the carpet, snaking along until it bumps into the coffee table.
“Kara, relax. You can’t control it when you are stressed,” Jacey says calmly. Kara looks at her, tears in her eyes.
“It hurts,” she says. Jacey puts a hand on her shoulder, which is sprouting moss.
“Deep breaths,” Jacey whispers.
Kara nods, taking a slow breath. The vines stop, and the moss starts to turn gray on her shoulders. It stops creeping up her neck, as well.
The vines turn gray, breaking off her palm. They wither away into the carpet, only leaving a faint green and gray stain. Jacey brushes the moss off her friend’s shoulder, “There.”
“Thank you, Jacey,” Kara says. She goes for a hug, but then thinks against it.
“…Later, but for now, focus on your powers.”
“…What do they call you?” Kara asks.
Jacey hesitates. But if Kara is going to talk to her among the others, she needs to know. “…Maître de la bête.”
“Is that… French?” Kara asks.
Jacey nods, “For Beast Master.”
“I hate it,” Kara says, curling in on herself. Little blossoms appear over her bare legs. “…Like mine,” she whispers.