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Naughty Gardener

Chapter 1:

The garden was still, no wind running through the many plants that had been arranged maliciously by their mother, no scuttling of bugs amongst the ground branches or leaves, nothing to break the concentration of the young brown haired girl that was crouched down behind the red rose bushes that had given her her name. Rose had dug her long slender fingers into the earth between her feet. Large green eyes where shut tight against the bright midday light so that her surroundings beauty did not break her concentration.

She felt the earths heartbeat; root systems growing and dying, rushing of underground water against stones and dirt, the movements of underground a****ls in their homes, and the chomping of worms. She focused on the gound around the gardens path, feeling for any footsteps that may belong to-
Freezing cold water fell onto her stoping her concentration completely. Her feet sank into the fine layer of mud that was created below her as she pulled out her now muddy fingers with an angry frown.

Her bright green as fresh cut grass eyes turned up toward the sound of snickering that echoed through an open window on the second floor of their home. She stood, cleaning her fingers on the hem of her dark shirt and turned to make her way towards the front of their large victorian style white washed home when she spotted her mother speaking with another older woman near the path through the woods to the lake.

The older woman turned to meet eyes with Rose before taking her leave by the path that lead out towards the town below. This encounter left Rose feeling odd, the woman had almost seemed to be looking through her when their eyes met. She shook off this odd feeling as her mother walked up to her.
Their mother was short but thin woman with long dark hair and eyes to match. Her skin was tanned from the days spent out in the sun and her slender hands where calloused from the many hours of work in the garden she did every day.

She had kind eyes and an easy smile, the kind of woman that Rose dreamed of being when she got older. However today her mother seemed a bit down about something, her eyes wherent full of their usual bright light and her lips pointed down at the corners. When their eyes met she gave what Rose felt was a f***ed smile.
“Do you know what day it is?” Her smooth voice rang through Roses ears.

“No. ” Rose tilted her head to the side as she thought carefully,” Is it time to go to town for more gardening supplies?” she asked. Her mother chuckled lightly and shook her head,
“No dear its your s****rs birthday. ” she stated. Roses mouth fell open at these words, she had completely forgotten about her s****rs birthday. They had been too busy being in a prank war during the past week for her to remember to even get her s****r a proper present.

She scratched her cheak and looked down at her mud caked shoes.
“I forgot. ” she admitted in a small voice. Her mother patted her shoulder gently and smiled.
“Why dont you take her for a picnic at the island on the lake? You know how much she enjoys the water. ” Rose smiled at her advice and took off to prepare a lunch fitting ofa birthday surprise.

Celsia Lakeland had forgotten amost immediately about her prank war with her s****r after the small tanned darkhaired girl had vanished from her line of sight in the garden.

She had sat back against the wall and ran her fingers along the thick woven blanket that covered her bed below her. Across the room a full sized mirror, that happened to belong to her great grandmother whom she was named after, proudly displayed the image of the pale figure she had become. Long almost white looking blue tinted blonde hair caught the sunlight shining through the window and appeared to become a waterfall cascading over simallarly pale shoulders, washed out blue eyes and baby peach lips made her face seem like it was almost painted with thin layers of water color paint.

Long thin legs and arms led into a simallarly thin torso and flat chest that made her appear more like a ten or eleven year old boy than a s*******n year old girl. She frowned and threw an overstuffed pillow at the mirror, only succeeding in tilting it slightly backwards so that she was now staring at a reflection of her popcorn ceiling. She groaned and fell forward to hide her face in her pillows.

Her birthday was weighing down on her mind now that her playfulness with her s****r had ended. She was another year older, another full year of living her life within the bounderies of the town that her great great grandfather had named after their f****y. Another full year of feeling like she was trapped whithin her own home, in her own name in fact.
Everyone in the town of Lakeland always sort of shyed away from her f****y whenever they where around.

Her s****r and herself where both homeschooled as was the tradition in her f****y, neither had the chance to really make any friends their own age, at first due to their mother rushed them away from any physical encounter, and then as they got older it became due to the fact that the others avoided the weird s****rs from the mansion on the hill. She felt a warm tear slip down her cheek as the thoughts invaided her mind.

She found herself curled around one very large pillow when her smiling younger s****r bounded into the room with a picnic basket cupped in the bend of her elbow and a checkered blanket slung over one shoulder. Immediately she sat up and quickly wiped her tears away and pasted on her best smile before turning to fully face Rose.
Rose was slender but not sickly so like her older s****r. Her body had curves that pulled your eyes to her hips and chest without warning.

Her arms where thin but muscular and very tan from working in the bright sunlight during the day. Her hair was a deep wet dirt brown and curly with windswept sides that made it appear like she was standing before one of those fans that glamorous women seemed to use in the books her mother used to make their dresses. Her eyes where bright earthy green and sparkled as the light hit them. Her lips where two dark petals upon her face, naturally painted almost like she was always wearing some sort of satian based lipstick.

At just sixteen, she could easily pass as a twenty year old, if not for her height. Sh stood with an air of confidence that could only be held by noble birth. That same confidence was lost on Celsia who should have had more than enough to go around due to their upbringing. Seeing her s****r always brought these feelings back to her mind, tickling it like tiny legs on the spiders of dispare.

“Happy birthday s*s. ” Her cheerful smile seemed like a ray of sunshine, too bright for Celsias eyes,” Wanna go for a picnic on center isle?” she asked holding up the basket. Center Isle was the name they had given the small island that was located near the center of the large lake that sat just on the other side of the woods that surrounded their home. She stood, sliding her bare feet against the cool floorboards as she tilted her body into a wide arch of a stretch.

A long yawn pulled itself from her throat before she slid back into her normal stiff backed stance. She shook off the stress that she had brought upon herself and shrugged.
“It’s a nice day outside. ” she stated before reaching for her veil like blue pull over, and slipping it over her arms to prepare herself for the journey through the trees to the water beyond. She followed Rose through the halls of the house that had never felt like home to her, and out to the gardens that may have well been a strange jungle from a country she felt she would never visit.

Towards the woods which seemed darker, more foreboding with each yearly picnic that she f***ed herself to join in on. She stopped just inside the tree line and looked behind herself quickly, for just the smallest of moments she thought she saw a figure of an old woman with long white hair and bright blue eyes. The woman had been staring at her, with her mouth ever so slightly agape. In the next second after she had blinked, the woman was gone.

She shook her head to clear the eerie familiar feeling from her mind and turned back to her s****r who stood before a large pile of undergrowth, Her elegant tanned hand frozen over the top layer of intertwining vines.
“Are you okay?” she asked with a worried expression.
“Yeah. ” she stated as she turned once more as if to make sure the woman wasn’t really there. Rose sighed and moved her hand in small tight circles and slowly urged the vines she had been tending for years to part and allow them access to the secret path beyond.

Celsia stepped past her crouching s****r who was busy letting a vine curl lovingly around her wrist and whispering gentle words to its bright green leaves. She followed the path until it opened up to reveal a sparkling blue mirrored top lake that seemed to pull at her. She slipped off her shoes and her pull over, laying the thin cloth neatly over the firm leather shoes so it would not get dirty, before steping into the cool waters.

Instantly she could feel the push and pull of the waters heart. Her own heartbeat changed to match it as her eyes slid closed. Her hands dragged smoothly over the waters surface as she tilted her body down to gather and form a small orb of water which hovered between her hands as she turned her body upwards, spreading her arms wide caused the orb to stretch into a thin stream that rushed between her fingers.

She twisted her wrists causing the stream to twist into a double curl before swinging her arms upwards and releasing the water, smiling as the water droplets fell in slow motion around her.
“Very impressive. ” She turned to see Rose, just putting the finishing touches on a woven vine canoe as was her usual for their trips to the island. She pushed the dark green still living canoe out the five feet into the water where Celsia was waiting to catch it.

Rose stepped into the water and hobbled awkwardly to the small vessel before pulling herself into it and breathing a sigh of relief. Celsia hopped into it gracefully and began to make a motion with her hands as if she where rowing the boat. Waves formed around the sides and pushed against the back until they where quickly moving through the water towards the center island. Rose was the first one off, leaping from the boat onto solid ground with an eagerness that only one who could not stand sailing would display.

Celsia took her departure much more slowly, easing one leg into the water just off from the beach before repeating the process with the other even more slowly, feeling the cool wetness soak into her skin before making her way slowly, dragging her feet almost, onto the solid land. She fell down beside her s****r who was preparing the picnic carefully and sighed up to the midday sky.
“Whats wrong s*s?” Rose asked as she placed a bowl of cut fruit down carefully and reached back into the basket for more goodies,” It’s your birthday, you should be happy.

” she smiled as she bit down on a piece of strawberry that had caught her eyes.
“Dont you want to go somewhere else?” she asked, rolling over to one side and propping her head up with her elbow,” Somewhere new? Somewhere different, excitng?” Rose sighed and rolled her eyes at the same old questions.
“You know as well as I do, mother has told us many times that we are special, the outside world is dangerous because it would not understand us for what we are.

” She droned out the same old mantra that their mother had drilled into their heads since before Celsia could remember. She grunted her annoyance at her younger s****r and sat up, grabbing a slice of apple and popping it into her mouth. She bit into the crisp juicy fruit slice and felt the sweet juices squirt back against her throat.
“That’s a load of crap. ” Celsia muttered as she pulled at a strand of her hair.

“Don’t you dare!” Rose exclaimed.
“Don’t what? Have my own ideas?” she grumbled.
“Disrespecting our mother. She’s worked so hard to protect us. ” Rose huffed as she poured a cup of green tinted tea.
“its not disrespect, I feel like im stagnating here. ” Rose rolled her eyes at her s****rs water puns and sighed.
“Its not like we cant go to the park or something. ” she muttered under her breath.

Celsia chose not to answer her at that point. Their arguments always ended up going in circles and she had enough of that. She pulled one of her s****rs peanut butter sandwiches out of its wax paper wrapper and bit down, chewing on the sticky food slowly so that her s****r would know she was done talking. Hours went by in this strained silence, they ate and drank, Rose even managed to make a water lotus take root just off shore and bloom in a matter of minutes.

Celsia for the most part just stared up at the ever darkening sky. She had often wondered why she was the way she was, old f****y photos showed her that the Lakelands where mostly muscular tanned dark haired people with either brown or green eyes. However her f****y portrait showed her in all her pale glory, off to the left of their late father while Rose stood off to their mothers right, perfectly blending in with her parents.

The image of that strange light haired woman with piercing blue eyes crossed her mind causing her to jump a bit.
“What is it?” Rose asked excitedly,” Did you find a lizard?”
“No,” Celsia replied shaking her head,” Just had a weird thought pop out of nowhere. ”
“Wanna talk about it?” Rose asked as her gaze returned to the lotus blossom and the fireflies that had begun to dance around it. Suddenly Celsia realized something that she had not noticed before.

Their mother had not called for them to return home to the inevitable cake that she should have prepared by now. She listened hard for any sound at all but the wood around the lake had grown quiet, no owls hooting or a****l scurrying about. Celsia had excelent hearing, beyond excellent, it bordered on supernatural. From the spot where they sat she should have been able to hear their mother moving about the house or even just lightly calling for them.

All she heard however was a strange popping noise she could not quite place.
“Rose, dig in and see if you can feel for mom. ” she stated in a flat monotone voice. Rose looked at her quizzically but did as she was asked. Pushing her slender fingers down into the now soft earth and spreading them slightly like a root system growing. She sensed it almost immediately. The faint vibrations that all forms of life usually sent up her fingertips to let her see beyond where she was had all but ceased, there where no footfalls to be felt from where their house was located, but every now and again a large vibration would be followed by several small ones.

A sensation she knew only as something breaking into several different sized chunks and falling to the ground. See, Roses sense of touch was on par with Celsias hearing, yet she felt blind and confused as to the sensations she was receiving through her usual method of locating.
“I don’t know what I’m feeling. ” she admitted,” Did she call?” the question was urgent and followed after her statement almost immediately.

” she was already getting the picnics leftovers packed up as she spoke to her younger s****r. Rose picked up on her vibes and set about growing another canoe as the first one had floated to the other shore. They slept into the structure even as Rose was tightening the vines to where the water would not leak through causing them to sink. Celsia stood up and pushed forward with her body, creating a large wave that rocketed them to shore where she slept out and slid into her shoes and pull over.

She smelled the faint scent of smoke as she kicked against the ground to f***e her heel into her last shoe.
Rose had been busy as well. Leaping to the ground fists first and burying her arms to the elbows before opening her fingers wide as they could go. More tremors of what felt like something collapsing now, but the only footfalls nearby where her s****rs. She bit her lip as she pulled herself free of the earth with a loupe pop.

Beyond the trees the light shone brightly with the colour of a setting sun, behind her however the light had all but vanished from the sky in preparation for the veil of night that fell over them. She looked closely at the light through the trees and saw it flicker and waver a bit. The wind picked up again, bringing with it the harsh smell of smoke. Celsia coughed into the sleeve of her pull over as the wind pushed against them.

“Something’s not right. ” Rose stated in a shakey voice. Celsia pushed past her and pulled at two interlocking branches that blocked her view. For a moment their small oasis of ignorance was lit from the bright light that escaped from the head sized hole that she had created. A tear welled up in the corner of her eye before making its way down her cheek, cutting a warm line on her all too cold skin.

She squeezed her eyes shut and shook her head, not wanting to taking in the image before her. Rose stood to try to peek past her s****rs shoulder, but the branches where already pushed back together by her s****rs shaking fingers.
“You should stay here. ” She stated in a hollow voice as she turned to look down at her younger s****r,” I’ll go check it out. ” she slipped through a small opening and disappeared from Roses sight.

She was gone only a moment before Rose was pushing a wide area of undergrowth down, and a few trees to the sides of the path. She stepped out and into the intense heat cause d by the light that was becoming dimmer and dimmer as time passed by. Celsia was about thirty yards away from her with her arms thrown up towards the sky and a large ball of water shook like a crying c***d above her head, She swung her arms forward sending the water ball into the inferno that had once been their garden.

Dark patches around her showed the areas where she had done this before, moving a bit closer to the house each time and pulling water from the lake to form her orbs that she used to try and put it out. The grass to the north side of their yard suddenly flared up to join in with the inferno and her s****rs cry of anger and pain reached her ears clearly, even without her s****rs hearing ability.

Rose ran out to stand beside her s****r and willed the ground from around her to shoot up into the air and pushed it forward over the fresh flames. She crumbled it to dust before allowing it to fall to the ground and snuff out the flames. More popped up around the garden however causing Celsia to cry out her anguish once again. Rose tried the best she could to snuff the flame with the wet soil around them but it was no help.

Celsias throat felt as if it were about the close up and the bile in the back of it made her gag. She fell to her knees and coughed harshly trying to clear her throat of the foul tasting slime. A loud crash made her look up at the flames that encompassed their home. The second story had collapsed in on itself and fallen through the first, making a few first story support walls tumble to the ground.

She stood then, more out of shock that anything else. Her fists clenched and unclenched as it dawned on her that her home was truly gone.
“No!” she shouted as she pulled two more orbs from the lake and swung them wildly over the trees behind her to fling them against the remaining walls. Tears streamed down her cheeks in torrets now, dripping from where the pooled at the base of her chin,” No, no, no, no, no!” She pulled from deep inside herself the strength needed to coax the entire contents of the lake upwards to hover in the air above the trees, fish and other aquatic creatures fell to the still moist ground and flopped about unseen by the s****rs.

She pushed it up, up, up, until it hovered high above the trees top branches and then urged it towards them. The stars distorted above their heads and the light from the flames seemed to bend around the night sky as it reflected off the water that was now completely covering the sky in their yard. Rose saw what was happening and jumped to grab a hold of her s****rs arms.
“Don’t Cels look what your doing to yourself!” Rose exclaimed as Celsia fell to one knee, a fine layer of sweat coating her face as her arms shook from the exertion of holding onto the hundreds of thousands of gallons above her head.

“No. ” was her weak reply. Rose petted her face and wiped away tears and sweat as she did so.
“Its gone. Its gone. ” she mumbled rythmically as she petted Celsia slowly. Her s****r shook but if it was from held back sobs or from her body’s strength wavering she could not tell. Celsias arms seemed to vibrate as she attempted to keep the water in the air. Then they lost all strength and fell to her sides as the wave of water fell over them, soaking them through and successfully putting out he fire in front of her eyes.

“No. ” the word was almost a whisper as her eyes fell closed and her body seemed to collapse against her s****rs sturdy form. Her body shook violently as the pained cry escaped her throat. It was followed by sobs that shook both of them to their core. They sat like that for a long time, each holding the other up and sobbing loudly into the night. By the time they moved from their spot the sun was beginning to peak out over the trees that where not touched by the flames destruction.

Celsia was the first to move, standing on shaky legs and wiping tears from her bl**dshot eyes. She looked around at the pile of ash and metal before her. She stepped up to where their front door once was and touched the half of the frame that remained standing before pulling her hand away and rubbing the soot between her fingers. She gasped as a sudden realisation dawned on her.
“Mom!” she cried out as she rushed into the debris of her old home.

She fell onto her knees and dug into the ash and rubble that once was a proud kitchen. She pulled at half burned floorboards in an attempt to find any sign of their mother. Rose joined her, opening up cabinets and looking in destroyed drawers, for anything that could be salvaged or saved. The hours passed as they moved from one room to the next. When they reached their mothers old room Celsia stopped short, suddenly afraid to go on and find her mother or what was left of her, in this room.

Rose moved past her, finding more bravery in herself than in her pale older s****r. She moved aside the still warm metal of her mothers bed-frame and gasped at the large hole that led down into the earth. She saw a glint of metal shining from about four feet down and raised one dark eyebrow. She tried to reach the metal box below but her fingers clutched the air just above its locked top.

She grumbled to herself as she f***ed a few living roots to twine around it and push their way upwards through the soil. Just before it reached the top ther was a loud metallic screech and the top fell to one side of the box.
“What is it?” she turned to see Celsia who had made her way to Roses side.
“I don’t know, a safe box of some kind. ” she stated as she reached the few inches into the hole to retrieve it.

She pulled it up into the light and tossed aside the now useless top.
“What would be so important that mom would bury it under her bed?” Celsia whispered softly almost scared to speak in the midst of their despair. She tilted up on her knees to see past her s****rs shoulder as she searched through the random land papers and a few old photos from back when the town was founded. Rose stopped with a small gasp and pulled out an old leather bound book with a strange cover.

It was framed in golf fibrillate, with a diamond of four stones on the front. The top stone was a clear diamond, going clockwise from that was an emerald, a sapphire, and a ruby. The centre once held the title of the book, but the words had worn down to unreadable smudges from use. The pages where yellowed and dog eared in many places.
“What is this I wonder. ” Rose muttered as she opened the front cover to see if the first page would help,” A History of how it Ended; Elemental Guide.

” she mumbled something under her breath and continued to flip pages carefully to where the thin paper wouldn’t rip. Seeing as her s****r was preoccupied with the strange book, Celsia decided to have a look in the strange box herself. She reached past the many old decaying papers, down to the very bottom, and felt a metal band sitting under a stack of old wedding napkins. She pulled it out and looked at her finding quizzically.

It was a silver band and a gold band, they seemed to be welded together some how with the silver band sporting a deep blue sapphire stone the size of her fingernail, and the gold stone sporting a similar sized emerald. She turned it around on her palm before slipping it onto her middle finger. It fit perfectly, and the sapphire seemed to glow a pale light. She turned to see Rose studying a page in the book and rubbed some soot off of her cheek.

“We should go, mom’s not here and I can feel a storm coming. ” she touched her dark haired s****rs shoulder as she spoke.
“Yeah. ” Rose closed the book and sniffled. The two made their way carefully past burnt out rooms and ashes of rose bushes and out to the opening of the path that led to the town. Celsia held her head high as they walked down the gently sloping hill, though with each step her heart sank lower.

She had to be strong for her s****r. She had to try to find their mom, then she would never ever try to even think about leaving her home ever again. Rose on the other hand had her head bent down low, with her back slouched and her fingers clutching the book tightly to her chest. Tears where cutting fress lines through the soot on the younger siblings face and she made no attempt to wipe them away.

She walked close to her s****r, her shoulder brushing her arm with every step. When they had been walking for a half hour she stopped short, her eyes growing wide as she remembered something she read.
“We are the last of us. ” she muttered to herself.
“What?” Celsia turned to see her s****r a few feet behind her.
“The book. It said that long ago everyone could do what we can, but not any more.

It said that ‘when the elements become but four the earth shall perish unless four can become one. ’” she recalled the line that had been dancing around in her mind for the last few minutes.
“That makes no sense. ” Celsia stated with a sigh. To this Rose reacted by pointing to a group of tree off to her left. Their leaves where turning a dark brown and they sagged, on the verge of falling over.

“The world is dying s*s. ” she stated firmly. She watched her s****r look around at all the other trees before sighing softly.
“What do we do?” she asked softly as her blue eye met her s****rs bright green hues.

“I don’t know. ” Rexx, the tall dark skinned fair haired teen boy stated as he sat down on a log near his tent. He rolled his grey eyes and glared over at his travelling companion who had just lit up a foul smelling cigarette,” Just because the town is called Lakeland doesn’t mean that we will find one of the others here.

” he waved away the cloud of smoke that trailed over to him from where the other male lay across the grass. Coale Embers was a tall muscular nineteen year old, his skin was tanned a golden brown colour and his firey red hair spiked up in wavy flame like locks that matched his deep red eyes. He wore a pair of shorts that where made of ripped pants and a tight black tank top that showed off his form, the exact opposite of his companions grey and gold robes and brown loose fitting pants.

He smiled around his cigarette as Rexx spoke and watched the long braided white ponytail sway around his back as he shook his head.
“Chill out, think about the rumours. The town was named after the f****y and this generation has two strange siblings who never associate with the townsfolk. I just hope those two guys pull their own weight. My mom didn’t send me to save the world just to have me fail because of two stuck up rich guys.

” he shrugged and snapped his fingers, causing a flame to appear on the tip of his thumb. A gentle wind began to blow across the meadow they had camped in, it grew more powerful until it was just strong enough to snuff out his flame. He cut his eyes to Rexx who was just putting down his hand.
“Who says they are guys?” Rexx tilted his head as he asked the question.

“I didn’t think that you would be a guy before I found you in that mountain temple, really I still have my doubts. ” Coale pointed vaguely to his hair.
“The priests at the order of the four winds do not cut their hair. It is an act of disrespect to bare such short locks. ” he cut his eyes angrly at Coale before turning towards the opening in the trees that showed a bit of the towns roofs.

Before Coale had come along he had never met anyone other than the priests who had raise him. The that boy had burned into his life with his firey hair and equal attitude, true he had nearly destroyed half the temple when he sneezed after inhaling what was supposed to be calming in scents. He was a danger to the order, especially after discovering Rexxs gift. Thus he had no other choice than to follow this red headed demon to places he had never even known of to find two people that hadn’t existed to him before now.

He thought of these strange events that had him now sitting on a log under a darkening sky, wondering if he had even made the right choice.
Coale frowned at the memory of when his mother sent him away. It had taken the pool in the middle of his home-town of Oasis drying up for his mother to notice something was wrong. She had spent weeks afterwards trying to figure out the problem and trying to provide water to her fellow citizens who had turned to her rather than to the lord that ruled over the half starved people in the town.

She had finally turned to her son; the rebel, the degenerate, the disappointment. She had come to him because though everyone else had called him that, she believed that his power was ment for something more than burning down palm trees or turning the sand that covered the village into glass under his teachers feet. She had explained to him the prophecy that had been passed down through their f****y for generations, and what it meant for the world.

The very soil under him at this moment was dying, all the plants, a****ls and everything in between was slowly fading away. He was give this opportunity to prove himself to his people and to save their lives and the lives of everything else on earth. He just hoped he wouldn’t mess it up.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” he glanced over to Rexx, who was placing an x on the map by the town they where camped outside of.

“I was just, thinking about home. ” he grumbled to himself more than to Rexx.
“I think that maybe a trip into town to scout it out would take your mind off of your homesickness. ” he stated as he pushed himself up from his log and dusted off his robes carefully. Coale sighed and pulled another cigarette from his pack.
“I really wish you wouldn’t do that. ” He sighed as coale lit it,” Your polluting the air that other breathe.

“Get over it,” Coale blew a cloud of smoke right in his face as he spoke,” You don’t want me to go without them, I get terrible when that happens. ” he smiled as he jumped up and pushed past the smaller male. Rexx was f***ed to follow him as he stomped through the under brush. He pushed through the last set of trees to step out behind a low fence that enclosed the large park.

Coale growled as he stepped over the fence awkwardly and made his way around the park staring at the people who walked or played around him. He sat down at a bench towards the west corner of the park and glared at a pair of males who seemed to be from a rich f****y. Rexx made his way to stand beside him with a sigh and a shake of his head.
A pair of girls walked by as Rexx turned to face the road.

One was taller than the other and sickly thin, she had pale skin and hair and seemed to move fluidly through the road, her eyes rolled over the others around them like waves and her white blonde haire shone a pale blue in the sunlight. The second one caught his eye. She had long flowing curly brown hair and deeply tanned skin. These two features brought out her brigh green eyes that seemed to linger on the ones around them rather than just passing them by.

She had a thin body like the first but hers held curves that where accented by her tight fitting brown tee shirt and her dark pants that made it seem that her legs went on forever. He was caught up by her bright face, with her high cheek bones and inviting lips, her features where corresponding, from her wide open eyes to her slightly pointed nose. She was what he thought of when Coale had asked him all those months ago if he had ever looked for love.

“What about them?” he found himself asking as he tilted his head in the girls direction. Coale looked over his shoulder for a second before shaking his head.
“No, I don’t think so. They don’t look like a pair of well to do siblings. They are dirty and covered in, what is that soot?” he snorted and shook his head once again,” its not them. ” Rexx felt his heart sank as he watched the shorter girls curly brown hair bounce as she walked away from where he stood.

He shook off the strange feeling of regret that washed over him and took a seat next to his red headed companion. He felt as if he missed the oppurtunity for, something, but he did not know what that something was.
“Should we go talk to business owners, they may know where the two are. ” Rexx suggested in a small unsure voice. Coale sighed and nodded, finally in agreement with his companion, and tossed his spent cigarette to the ground where it smouldered amongst the fresh cut grass.

Rexx held his tongue as he followed him through the park. His heart lifted when he noticed that they took the same path as the girl who had caught his eye. He looked for her, but by that time they had disappeared around a corner. They passed by a few window fronted shops which he glanced into to no avail. The girl that was now the only thing on his mind had simply vanished.

Coale turned it to a restaurant, almost knocking into Rexx as he did so. He stormed in and walked towards the back, knocking on the wall by the kitchen. When the scared looking chief popped his head out of the entryway.
“Do you know anything about the lakelands?” he demanded.
“The lakelands? Th-they don’t come into town often. The s****rs are home-schooled. ” he stuttered under Coales harsh stare.
“Any b*****rs?” Rexx raised an eyebrow at his companions line of questioning.

“b*****rs? N-no. No b*****rs in that f****y for a couple generations. ” the chief slipped back into the kitchen right before Coale punched the wall leaning into it.
“Sir you have to leave. ” before Rexx could blink he found himself outside thrown on the ground beside Coale, who was standing and dusting himself off. He turned and made an obscene gesture at the shop in general before heading back down the road towards their camp-site.

“Obviously they aren’t here. ” he grumbled as he led Rexx off the road and towards the trees. When they where almost to the tree line Rexx suddenly brightened with a new idea.
“Hey Coale, since we are moving on tomorrow anyway why don’t we splurge and spend a few giedians on a hotel room. A nice new bed sounds good right?” He saw Coale smile and scratch his head as he thought it over.

“Yeah a warm bed sounds good. Lets break down camp and then we will look around for a good room. ” he stepped through the path they had made and began to gather up bedding and toss it in his bag. His red tent was taken down as well and rolled up to fit at the top of his now full backpack. Rexx followed suit, neatly placing his few belongings and his tent in his roll bag and slinging the strap over one shoulder.

They kicked dirt over their fire pit and stepped back out into the town. They walked past the restaurant causing Coale to mumble angrily and glare into the windows as he slowed down to near stopping. Rexx had to grab his shoulder and pull him towards the small hotel near the edge of the road at the end of the town. He dragged the taller male by the shoulder along the side of the road before allowing him to fall as he suddenly released his shoulder.

Coale let out a loud ‘umph’ as he hit the hard dirt of the road.
As the doors to the hotel opened a cool wind blew over him. He smelled the scent of fresh picked flowers and warm baked sweets. The inviting atmosphere of the place had him stepping inside before the thought of Coale crossed his mind. He found himself standing in the middle of the large main room before his companion even caught up with him.

Coale leaned on him breathing heavily and growling with every exhale.
“Rose we have a room. ” He turned to the sound and saw the pale girl from before. She had washed off and now seemed even paler in comparison to the many shades of tanned people around her. She proudly held up a set of keys and waved them towards Rexx.
“Great, I need a shower. ” he turned to see her.

The girl that he couldn’t take his eyes off of. She stood and made her way past him will a gentle smile,” Excuse me. ” she said as she looked directly into his eyes.
“Y-yeah no problem. ” he smiled a big goofy grin and rubbed the top of his braided head as he stepped out of her way. She walked up to her companion without glancing back at him, though he couldn’t take his eyes off her, not even to see the pale girl glaring at him in a very protective way.

“Lets get a room and get some sl**p. ” Coale pushed past Rexx and stomped up to the reception desk. He watched as the red haired anger issue discussed receiving a room and laughed with the woman at something she said. She slipped him a piece of paper along with a set of keys and winked at him. He turned and smiled at Rexx as he wiggled the keys in the air. Rexx in turn chuckled under his breath and followed Coale towards the stairs.

“The last room they had open. ” Coale said proudly,” I sweet talked her into giving it to us for half price. ” His words made Rexx chuckle louder.
“I am surprised you didn’t yell at her to. ” he stated as they reached the second floor. Coale simply shrugged and smiled at his words.
“You gotta have a finesse when your speaking to women. Make them swoon for you, ya know.

” he stated as he slid the key into the lock on a door and turned it, cursing under his breath when it would not open.
“Are you sure you’ve got the right room?” Rexx asked as he peeked over his shoulder.
“Yes I’m sure, room six, it says it on the freaking key. The door must be stuck. ” he pushed harder, his face contorting as his rage built up inside him.

Suddenly the handle turned on its own and the pale girl from before swung the door in to stand in the threshold. Her light blue eyes locked onto Rexx and her lips turned down into a frown, then as they moved onto Coale her brow furrowed as well. She crossed her arms and spread her legs a bit to where they blocked the entry way for the two boys.
“What do you want?” she asked in a cold tone.

“What do we want? This is our room we want you to get out of it. ” Coale replied in the same scornful voice.
“This is our room bought and paid for. ” she stated as she reached to close the door, Coale slid hid foot in the way just before it closed.
“Well excuse me princess but this is our room see. ” he held the keys up in front of her face and she glanced at them before a knowing smirk crossed her lips.

“You’ve got to be k**ding me, what are you an illiterate? That say nine. ” she shook her head and pushed his foot away with her own before slamming the door in his face. They heard a loud click that let them know it had been locked behind her.
“That bi-”
“Hey lets just go see if nine will open yeah?” Rexx interrupted Coal’s outward thought as he grabbed him by the arm and began to drag him down the hallway to the ninth door.

Coal’s fury only grew when the door opened with ease.
“She had no right to do that, try to make a fool of me huh? Just wait until I see her again! That weird hair could use a trim. ” flames popped up in his palms before he clenched his fists causing traits of smoke to rise between his fingers.
“Hey now no need to let her get the best of you.

We will probably never see her again anyway. ” he tried to soothe Coal’s hurt ego as he led him towards the beds,” look I will get a shower, then you can and then we will hit the beds and leave first thing in the morning OK?” he gently pushed the furious Coale into a sitting position before running into the bathing room.

Celsia had a small chuckle to herself after locking the door.

The guy had nearly turned red at her words and with the color of his hair it had made him look like a near ripe tomato. She fell onto the small sitting couch as she giggled to herself. It had felt good to let out some of her anger on a complete stranger. Almost too good. She sat up quickly and turned towards the bathing rooms door. The sounds of Rose showering echoed in her ears.

She hoped for her s****rs sake that picking fights did not become a habit.
“Hey s*s are you almost done?” she called as she watched the steam creep out from under the door.
“Just about. I hate being over concrete, I cant really feel anything. ” Rose complained loudly to her s****r.
“It will be alright. Its just for one night. ” Celsia entertained herself by forming the steam into images of fish and birds.

They all vanished as Rose opened the door, drying her hair as she did so.
“Your turn. ” she shrugged as she tossed her shoes by the bed she would use for the night. Celsia hopped off of her own bed and made her way into the steamy room without any further argument. It felt good to be surrounded by water again. She could feel its every movement in her bones, and that familiar feeling made her grin.

The moment ended however when the thought of what they would do crept into her mind. They had to find their mother, who she hoped was still alive. There had been no sign of her or the strange woman she had been speaking to in the town, and even the older Mrs, Jenkins who used to baby sit the two wasn’t any help. She was the only one outside of teir small f****y who knew about their special talents, and when they had come to her for advice she had only said to turn to the book, before pointing to the one Rose had been clutching to herself.

“Don’t tell anyone about your powers. ” she had warned Celsia as she went towards the door,” There are those out there who wouldn’t understand, and worse there are those who would want to use you for personal gain. Trust in each other and trust in the book. ” as she said ‘each other’ she had made a motion to indicate Celsias ring. This had confused her to no end and still did, even as she stood under the flow of water, clutching the pull rope that let it flow over her shoulders in a white knuckled fist.

By: Andrew Bosnjak.

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