Hello Morgan, are you ready to begin?
No, is what I want to say, instead I stammer out a nervous “Yes, Sir.”
Listen closely and listen well to this clue that I do tell.
There is a short pause. I close my eyes and concentrate on what he says next.
Shining bright in the golden sun,
This lesser idol is a tricky one.
Hidden inside the Dragon's Pyre,
Only the sharp mind can see its fire.
“What’s Dragon’s Pyre?” I wonder out loud. I hear a snort that seems to have come from my earpiece. Obviously I’m not going to get an answer from him. I look into the pond, where I have ended up yet again.
My worried face stares back at me. At least it looks like me, but at the same time it’s not. I kneel down to look closer. She smiles at me then fades as a leaf falls and makes ripples in the pond. A willowy voice whispers, call on us, use us, we will help you.
I stand and look around. There is no one here, and yet. I close my eyes and link with nature. I am enveloped in a warm embrace. A picture comes unbidden into my mind, of vibrant red and orange blossoms on tall wood stalks that sway in the breeze. My feet take off before I can open my eyes. Nature is with me, she guides me. I must trust her.
My senses feel sharpened, my speed heightened. As with the fitness test, I am running leaping and dodging trees and logs in a way I would never have thought possible. The forest gives way to scrub brush and the scrub brush gives way to a field. I stop at its edge, catching my breath.
Golden waves of grass wave in the morning sun. Flowers of all colors dot the landscape like an impressionistic painting. Something tells me the idol is here; hidden somewhere in this field. I wish I could fly. If I could fly, I could get an overview I would easily be able to find the colors I’m looking for.
I smile. I don’t need to fly. I build air underneath me, solidify it then heat it. I rise up towards the sky. A touch of wind and I’m floating over the field taking it in with my eyes. I gasp. It really is an impressionistic painting. The flowers and the colors have all grown to resemble a dragon in full flight breathing fire.
Nearly knocking myself off my air disk, I return to the ground. I know where the Dragon’s Pyre is now. I race for it with my mind locked in on its location. I stop when I reach it, and lift myself into the air again, but not quite so far. I scan the flower made fire.
“Only a sharp mind,” I whisper.
There, a glint in the sun, at the tip of a flame. It is the only pointed flame in the picture. My fire affinity latches on to the idol and I drop down. As my hand grasps the figurine someone calls my name. I look up in time to see Katha speeding towards me. My heart skips a beat, I feel guilty. I just stole an idol from a friend.
“Woo Hoo!” She yells at me, “Show them…”
Her cheer fades out as the world swirls around me and in a flash of blinding light I find myself back at camp. I’ve appeared between the fire pit and bungalow. Charles looks up from the book he’s reading.
“Back so soon?” he asks a grin on his face. “Well let me take the idol from you so you can get your next clue.”
I exchange the idol for a drink that he hands me. I drink it as I watch him flourish his hands to make the idol disappear. It’s no less impressive than it was the first time. He takes the empty cup from me.
“Now off you go, don’t want you hanging around here in case the next person with an idol comes in.” Charles gives me a gentle push towards the edge of the camp.