I remember the day my powers were bestowed upon me; it was at a camp in the New forest. As a girl guide we all had to go on one camp at some point to earn some badges, I was just 12 at the time.
I set up my tent, not an easy task on my own, just behind some trees near the main camp. I used to like my solitude, I still do, but I'd learned to 'communicate' with people since then. Night fell and everything seemed normal. I couldn't sleep. I had gotten up, which thinking about it was most probably reckless, I walked down to a pond about 30 minutes away. The night sky was beautiful as I recall. The wind whipped around my dressing gown and the stars glimmered against the black waters. I remember the next bit as clear as day.
I heard a cry not far off, a sob but also full of pain. I went to it, thinking it an animal in distress but when I got there the sight shocked me. I very old lady, about eighty and dressed in thick woolen clothes head to toe, woolen skirt, woolen jumper and shawl but suede boots. Her arms were decked in all manner of golden and silver bangles. She was bleeding profusely and seemed wild and confused. I immediately went to her, asked her what was wrong. She told me there was no time, she placed her hands on my shoulders and looked into my eyes, she scared me with her strength and her fingers pulled tight on my gown.
"Child, what I will do now is of the utmost importance, I know I am dying and there isn't much I can do about that. The Shadows are closing in and I must pass on my knowledge."
"OK, what do you want me to do?"
"Just stay very still and listen." Her hands gripped tighter and tighter, so tight I could have sworn her hands became part of me.
"I shall pass knowledge of the winds, the airs and the governing bodies of the skies. Hear me know before the Shadows descend and I as I am known disappear into the void of unknowing. The shadows are much to be feared, they creep and tinker with the workings of the mind, but this knowledge may help you drive them off with powerful winds into oblivion themselves." I didn't know what to do, this woman was speaking of nonsensical things, of shadows, I thought it to be her last speech, her dying words so I continued to listen, staying supernaturally still.
The winds behind us picked up, blowing with such a ferocity that I felt I was raised into the air. Suddenly it was still but my wandering eyes saw that around us that the trees were threatening to lift from their earthy roots and leaves were off into the atmosphere. "Hold this state child, imagine that you are in control of these forces, no matter how deadly and Natural they seem, imagine that you alone can control the very winds. Hold us here in this bubble of hardened air, hold the winds about our place blowing to the distances. Hold these feelings with all your heart and mind." Then she started to speak in a language I didn't know, some I did, each word seemed to be different, no accent or intonations the same. But the meaning seemed clear as air.
Clear as air! If I could describe the sudden flurries of the air around us the way each molecule in the air was suddenly highlighted to a point that I found myself blind to all else. I could seen how around us the air was stagnant and I felt myself hold it in place, I could see the rushing of the air outside the hardened bubble. I also held that blowing. I could see everywhere, every single particle moving.
"Now child this power is yours, the Shadows temporarily nullified. You can let us down now." I looked down to the ground and saw we were high from the ground. Very high. I felt trapped and let go of all my thoughts of holding on. The winds around us halted to their 'natural' breezes and our bubble disappeared. I hit the ground beside the woman with a sickening crunch yet didn't feel any pain. Her was hurt.
"I am but a regular mortal now child, do not be alarmed, I told you I was dying." I felt a pull toward the lady as if she were my mother or something more, something much more important. "I would like to be alone now to die in peace but remember child that if you believe and think hard enough the powers you now possess are yours only to control. Never let the shadows undermine your spirits, that is how they'll kill you, and if you do I only hope you are as fortunate as I in finding another." I watched her for but a second and ran back to my tent, sleepy and buzzing with energy at the same time. I ran so fast I was flying, in fact when I stopped thinking of getting to the camp momentarily I dropped to the floor. This woman had done something to me, something wonderful and frightening.
When I returned to my tent there was a band of others, 'Elements' they called themselves, and I was formally enrolled into the world that I could never have believed let alone thought I could belong to. They told me all of that the woman hadn't and I thought of her often and fondly as if I had know her always. I found out that her name way Kelios and she was about eighty, she was planning on passing her power soon but had been ambushed, I was the lucky new element.
I zoned back into the present, I watched the familiar flicker of the campfire, the new molecules of air that danced in the still of the night. I watched how the sausages on the metal skewers were bubbling from the inside, the air inside expanding with a resounding bang of meat. I looked at all my fellow elements now, how different a band we looked from that night in the New Forest, The old Water and Earth Elements Frelia and Grehan were gone and replaced by Alexa and Ryn. Tobias had joined us not long after I joined, Phaedos had thought that I needed someone I could relate to and he also said he was too old to be gallivanting about. He stayed with us though, mentoring us. I was the oldest element in two ways, I had been an element for longer than the others (bar Phaedos) and I was also older than all of them. I felt ancient among them.
I loved the old group of us, how we traveled in the nights battling the dark forces known as the 'Shadows'. The old woman made more sense in my mind from then on.
We stayed up late and used our powers for good. Not long before Tobias joined the group Phaedos had been accustomed to quiet nights and taking the back defense, Frelia would take the front and Grehan and I worked the sides, I always preferred to fight on the East. Phaedos always fought further back than the rest of us, He told us it was because he made us safe, we weren't too happy about this as the Shadows had more power of a singular element but when he passed his powers to Tobias our fears were quelled.
The new group no longer took to these night-time quests, preferring to work by the light o day if they could help it. These people were all my family, I never thought of them otherwise. My biological family thought me dead, and that was what I'd become to all the outside world. I was an unsung hero for the elements and I'd never looked back with regret at the actions of Kelios, before or after I knew why she had passed her powers on.
The group watched me because I watched them without speaking, I was comfortable without the exchange of words, I still was unsure of their thoughts on the matter.
"Anyone for a sausage?" I pulled the hot sausages that were spitting fat from the fire and passed them out.