Aeris stood upon the hilltop overlooking the carnage occurring in the valley. As she watched the village burn, the peasants’ screams drew her breath away, as she tried to give them life. Anger filled her. She warned the others the village needed protection, but they assumed she was overreacting. One by one, the villagers refused her breath until there was no one left.
Outstretching her arms, a stream of glowing white light flowed from Aeris’ fingertips into the sky. Leaning against the Tree of Ages, she waited for the others.
Terra arrived first, her green and brown gown swirling within the vortex, flowers dropping onto the ground beneath her feet. Before she could ask why she was summoned, Aqua arrived. Waves of foam flew from the vortex before she appeared, smoothing the skirt of her shimmering sea-green gown.
“What do you want Aeris? I was in the middle a dispute between those silly sea lions and the Orcas.”
“Why did you call us?” Terra asked, then her normally tanned skin turned pale. She pointed toward the village. “What happened to them?”
“Exactly what I warned would happen. The warriors from the mountains attacked the village. Everyone is dead. They’re looting the village and setting fires as they move from house to house.”
Aqua spoke, her melodious voice low, “I didn’t think the warriors would do this.”
“I told you the breezes whispered their plans to me. We could have stopped this. The villagers didn’t have to….”
Aeris stopped as two vortexes opened side by side. Flames escaped from one vortex as wind spiraled from the other. Ignis, her bright-red hair askew, snarled, “Ventus, can’t you control that power of yours.
Ventus, her gray eyes flashing, snapped, “You don’t seem to mind my power when you need to spread your flames.”
“Stop it both of you.” Aeris threw up her hands, “Stop squabbling. Earthlings are dead because you didn’t listen.”
The Five Elements stood on the crest of the hill under the Tree of Ages. The village below unknowingly kept their precious tree alive. It became a symbol of the village’s prosperity and was tended to with loving care.
As the enormity of what had befallen their caretakers sank in tears ran down their cheeks. Aqua voiced what they all thought. “We should have listened to you, Aeris. I suppose we were caught up in our own responsibilities, not paying attention.”
Ventus, her gossamer gray gown blowing about her, turned to Ignis. “Didn’t you realize what was happening when the request for fire came to you?”
Flames appeared around Ignis as she shook her head. “I thought the warriors were planning a feast. I didn’t…”
“It’s too late for apologies. Now we must deal with this.” Aeris said.
Terra nodded, “I will prepare the earth for the villagers’ arrival.”
Aqua said, “I will put out the fires.”
“No,” Aeris said, “First we deal with the monsters who did this.”
“I’ll take care of them,” Ventus said, “I was the one who thought you were exaggerating.”
With Ventus in the middle, the Elements, air, water, wind, fire, and earth, linked hands, concentrating their powers. Ventus unleashed the wind and an enormous cyclone, growing as it descended upon the village, stuck the warriors, tossing them into the air, then throwing them toward the mountain and into oblivion.
Ventus generated such power, the Tree of Ages bent toward the ground in response. As the wind ceased, the Elements walked down the hill to attend to the dead.
This story was written for the Moderated Selected Writing Exercise (#writingprompt) on the Writer’s Discussion Group community on Google+. The photo prompt for this exercise was provided by the group. (No commercial use intended.)