Memoirs of an Elemental is my weekly running Fantasy story, following Merrick, a military contractor, whom falls in love with a mysterious and alluring Earth elemental woman. The story that unfolds takes him down a path he never thought he would ever tread, flipping his world upside down and forcing him to come to terms with the new life he must lead.
Updates are every Sunday.
Cosmina stared out of the observatory’s large glass window, taking in the spectacular view of the Nebula beyond. The Pillars of Magic was its fabled name, although she liked to simply call it The Hand. As she gazed outwards, she dreamt of its story; of a powerful god creating the universe and all the life within it. Wispy tendrils of rust coloured cosmic dust snaked around the 5 fingers as they rose up from the main body of the dazzling cobalt blue Nebula. It was truly a wonder to behold, and luckily for Cosmina, the observatory where she worked was placed perfectly in line to see it in all its glory. Her work wasn’t your ordinary kind, by any stretch of the imagination. You see, Cosmina was a witch, and a damned good one at that, well at least she liked to think so. Her kind had lived on Earth for generations, hiding from the ordinary and magic less population. But, as global warming and war descended upon earth, they seized an opportunity to rise up and help repair it, at last coming out on top. Their magic made them gods among ordinary humans and they were worshipped. They built a vast empire upon their magic, but like all good things, it eventually came to an end.
A new authoritarian government, The Terran People’s Republic, rose up out of nowhere, spurred on by that typical human blindness to reality, coupled with the innate need to follow the masses. They fought for freedom from the witches, yet supported a regime that eventually enslaved them all, forging strict laws against freedom and free thought. The result of the uprising was banishment for the witches who had given so much to Earth and its people, the final insult. But that didn’t matter now, Earth was nothing more than a molten ball of rock and metal, destroyed by humankind. Cosmina didn’t know exactly how it had happened, but she guessed that the human condition for war had finally taken its toll on the planet. Perhaps if she were to one day visit it, she would find old and frozen missiles still floating in a distant and broken orbit, evidence of a war no one had won.
Cosmina was suddenly pulled from her thoughts when the door behind her slid open, allowing light to cascade into the darkened observatory. She turned and looked behind her, squinting at the light from the door. She couldn’t make out the face; only a shadow stood in the doorway, un-moving and silent.
“Ava, is that you?” Cosmina asked, hoping against all odds that it wasn’t Adria, the clan’s matriarch, omnipotent leader and also her mother.
“No, it’s me, Serra.” The voice announced. “Ava sent me to check up on you, apparently you haven’t submitted your report yet and she was getting worried.”
Cosmina’s shoulders suddenly relaxed and she squinted at the shadow of Serra. “You can come in you know, you don’t have to stand there in the light like that.”
Serra stepped into the room, closing the door behind her with a wave of her hand. She paused for a moment and smoothed down her long blonde hair while her eyes adjusted to the darkened environment. The observatory was small, a tidy desk stood by the far wall, a singular computer screen lighting up the space around it with its pale blue glow. Next to the desk was a large bookcase, filled with journals and books about the magical studies on the unknown qualities of Dark Matter Magic. The other 3 cupboards in the room had been pushed right back against the left wall, making space for a large and intricate pentacle drawn out of white chalk, with white candles sitting on each point. In the centre of the pentacle was a dead and blackened rose, sealed within a domed glass container. Serra stepped towards the pentacle and bent down, examining the lifeless rose from a distance. It was well and truly dead by the look of it, certainly no hope of saving it. She stood back up and looked down at Cosmina, noticing a small black notebook sitting neatly on her lap, partially hidden.
“What are you doing?” Sera asked with a concerned voice, “This doesn’t look like any dark matter experiment I know of. Where are the rest of your testing apparatus?”
“Gone,” Cosmina replied, partially lost in thought as she looked out at the Nebula. “They can wait.”
Serra moved closer, hoping to get a quick look at the notebook, but Cosmina turned around and caught her, quickly hiding it out of sight.
Serra frowned. “If your mother finds out that you aren’t doing your experiments she’ll…”
“That won’t matter soon enough.” Cosmina interrupted. “What I’m doing here is far more important.
Cosmina didn’t like having Serra in the observatory one little bit. Not only was she one of the nosiest members of their clan, but also the biggest gossiper by a large stretch. On top of all that, she was now interrupting Cosmina’s important work, something that she couldn’t allow.
“Please tell Ava that she’ll have her report shortly.” Cosmina explained, brushing an errant brown lock of hair out of her eye as she spoke. She waved her hand and the door behind Serra opened, flooding the room with that bright white light.
Serra turned and looked at the door then quickly returned her focus to Cosmina. “I’m not leaving till you tell me what you’re doing with that rose. Why are you being so secretive?”
Cosmina stared up at the shadow of Serra. “You’re just Ava’s assistant, nothing more. I don’t have to explain anything that I’m doing to you. So please, just run along and stop interrupting my work.”
Serra stood there in silence as Cosmina’s words flooded over her. A moment later she strolled out through the door, intending to leave in complete silence. Well, that was the case, except Serra just couldn’t help but have the last word, it was in her nature.
“I wonder what your mother will say when I tell her what you’re really doing in here!” She exclaimed.
Cosmina leapt up from the floor and charged at Serra with fury in her eyes. She pushed her against the shiny metallic wall of the corridor and pinned her there, bringing her face close.
“You won’t be telling her anything, because if you do then I’ll personally make your life a living hell. You forget that I’m the matriarch’s daughter, and I can get away with things that you can’t. Right now you’re pretty safe, working for Ava, but that can quickly change!”
Serra’s face turned a crimson red as her eyes began to well up with tears. She didn’t offer any spoken response, just a quick gasp as she tore from Cosmina’s grip and bolted down the corridor, trying to escape before her tears came gushing down the side of her face like a waterfall.
Cosmina didn’t move; she just stared at her reflection in the metallic wall of the corridor, taking a moment to calm herself down. She gazed into her own eyes, thinking about a time when they had been a vibrant shade of blue, back when things had made sense, when she had been happy. Looking at them now, they were a deep, almost iridescent purple colour, an unusual side effect of studying dark matter magic. Not only had her eyes changed, but also her heart too. It had grown heavy with sadness, shadowed by a strong longing to be loved again. You see, Cosmina had once been so close to her mother, back when her father had been alive. They had been a happy family, always laughing and joking around. Then one day, after a complicated spell backfired, her father was gone, just like that. Her mother had taken it badly, retreating into herself, becoming sad and hateful as time went on. Cosmina couldn’t even think of a time recently where her mother had even smiled or said something nice. It was almost as if her mother had died along with her father that day, and that saddened Cosmina to her core.
But there was still hope, hope that she could make her mum smile again, that she could save her from her prison of sadness. It all came down to one dead rose sitting forlornly inside a capsule made of glass. That rose, the last of its kind, had been gifted to her mum by Cosmina’s father on the day of their marriage. He had put a spell on it, allowing it to be eternally full of life, a symbol of his never-ending love for her. However, upon his death the rose quickly withered away, turning black and grey as all life left it. Cosmina had found it one evening, sitting in her mother’s bin. She remembered staring at it, the finality of her father’s death descending upon her like a wave of sorrow and despair. She’d spent that very same night crying, cuddling that dead rose and thinking of her father. It was such a simple thing, yet it meant everything to her. Ever since that night it had become her life’s mission to restore the rose back to life and to somehow make her mother smile again.
Suddenly, Cosmina snapped out of her thoughts as a single tear trickled down the side of her cheek, dripping onto the cold metal floor. She rubbed her eye, trying to control the sadness that begged to surface. She took in a deep breath and looked back at the observatory with the dead rose sitting inside the pentacle. She was so close, now wasn’t the time to give up. Just a little longer. She strode back into the room and sat back down, facing the Nebula. With an errant wave of her hand, she closed the door and surrendered herself to the darkness, her old friend. With her mind she focused on the blackness of space, the stars, the gasses, the eternal struggle of life and death. She placed her notebook onto her lap and began to draw a series of symbols without looking. As she did so she whispered a string of words, filling them with meaning and emotion. In response to the words, the scribbled symbols began to glow a bright purple. Keeping her mind focused, Cosmina waved her hand, pulling the symbols from the page and attaching each one to a candle around the pentacle. As a symbol latched onto the wax, the flame would ignite, bursting into a brilliant magenta colour that lit up the room as if the Nebula itself was inside with her. She focused on the power as it pulsed between the candles, creating a magical barrier filled with Dark Matter. Cosmina stood up and walked over to the pentacle. Using her magic, she sliced open her hand and let the blood fall onto each pentacle point. Life for life; a sacrifice made in blood. As if accepting the trade, the chalk drawn lines of the pentacle lit up with that same magenta colour.
“I miss you.” She whispered, pouring all of her emotion into the phrase.
Tears quickly began to well up in her eyes but she didn’t brush them away, she let them fall. Teardrop after teardrop landed on the pentacle, infusing it with her love for her father, the sadness of his loss, the longing to see the rose live once again. As soon as the last tear hit to the pentacle there was a sudden flash of purple light, then the whole room was plunged into darkness. Cosmina closed her eyes and prayed that her spell had worked, that all the months of preparation hadn’t been a waste. She opened her eyes and almost choked on the sadness that lurched up into her heart. The rose was still dead, black and grey just like before. She stood and cried her heart out, giving into her failure. But all of a sudden something warm brushed her cheek, jerking her eyes open. There, in front of her face, floating a mere inch away was a small white orb of light. It stayed there for a moment before shooting into her chest. Cosmina immediately felt warm, the kind of feeling you get when someone hugs you. Her father! She didn’t know how it was possible but she felt his presence in the room with her.
“Why did you leave me?” She asked in a hushed tone. “I still need you, I can’t do this anymore.”
The orb of light flew from her chest and floated towards the rose, passing through the glass and into the flower. Then as if by magic, the rose lit up and shone a bright and glorious medley of colours. It was so bright in fact that she had to shield her eyes from the light out of fear of blinding herself. Then, just like that, the rose began to fade in brightness, finally revealing its new form. Cosmina stared in wonderment at the new rose within the glass dome. Its petals once blackened and dead now resembled a cluster of stars. The whole flower looked like someone had taken a galaxy and trapped it inside. Purples, blues, rust coloured clouds, bright yellow suns and meteor streams, each one crisscrossed and spiralled around the flower. Cosmina didn’t even wait, she stepped though the pentacle and bent down, picking up the glass dome by its base. Taking care, she lifted the glass off and took the rose in her hand. It was warm, so very warm and filled with life, the life of a galaxy.
“You’ll find me in the stars.” Her father’s voice whispered.
“Forever and always” she whispered in response; a phrase that she had shared between her and her father in the past.
A single tear trailed down her cheek, but this time it was joy that floated within her heart, not sorrow. With the new feeling of hope, Cosmina knew what she had to do; it was time to give her mother the rose, to finally try one last time to save her.
Her mother’s office was at the top of the station, overseeing everything and everyone. The corridor outside was cold and uninviting; all forms of character having been stripped away years ago, giving it an almost medical feel. Cosmina paused outside of the door and took in a deep breath, the starlit rose hidden behind her back. She hoped with all her heart that it would work, that her mother would come back to her. She knocked on the door, loudly and with meaning. There was a pause, and then the door swung open with force. Her mother glared at her as if even her own daughter was an irritation.
“What is it Cosmina?” she demanded.
“I have something for you…”
“I don’t have time for another one of your games,” she interrupted. “Just leave it on my desk.”
Cosmina’s heart sank, why was she always so difficult, why didn’t she care? Her mother turned away and went back to reading through a folder filled with reports.
“It’s important.” Cosmina said. “I made it for you.”
“Well it will have to wait!” Her mother retorted, not looking up from her reading.
Cosmina stamped her foot in frustration. “Why won’t you look at me!”
“Because I don’t have any time, please leave whatever it is on my desk as I told you.” Her mother explained,, still reading the report.
Tears of frustration rolled down Cosmina’s cheeks “I want my mother back; I’m sick of who you’ve become. You don’t care about me; you don’t even love me anymore. I’m just another clan member to you, that’s all I am.” Cosmina pulled out the rose and walked up to her mother. “Here, take it. You don’t deserve it but I fixed it for you.”
She shoved the rose into her mother’s hand and turned away, hiding her tears.
“What…what is this?” Her mother asked, taken aback.
“Its dad’s rose, the one he gave to you on your wedding day.” Cosmina rubbed the tears from her eyes and turned back. “I wanted to fix it and make it live again, but it didn’t work. Then dad came to me and made it like that. He doesn’t want you to blame yourself for his death anymore; he wants you to forgive yourself.”
Her mother just stared at the rose, her features softening for the first time in years. She looked younger.
“He wants you to stop being sad,” Cosmina continued. “You need to be free of your regret and wake up to what you still have. Me.”
Her mother’s eyes saddened and tears began rolling down her cheeks, spilling onto the starlit petals of the rose. The spell that she had cast upon herself; the one that had suppressed her emoticons for all those years; finally lifted from her soul and drifted away. The spell, while helping her deal with the loss of her husband, had been too effective, suppressing all emotions and leaving her in an almost robotic state. But now, thanks to Cosmina and the rose, she was finally free.
“For…forgive me,” her mother sobbed, lowering the rose down to her side. “What a fool I’ve been.”
Cosmina didn’t say anything; she just stepped forwards and hugged her mother, a hug that she had dreamt of having for so many years. She wanted to stay like that forever, finally having that warm and comforting embrace. She closed her eyes and everything from the past washed away, the sadness, the loneliness and the pain, all of it washed away.
“You’re just like your father, you know.” Her mother said mournfully. “Every time I looked at you after his death I was reminded of what had happened, how I’d failed him. It was too much for me to bear, living with that guilt. When his rose died, that was it for me. I broke down. So, I made a spell to get rid of the pain, so I could stop feeling empty inside.”
Cosmina stepped back from her mum and shook her head. “You couldn’t have saved him, what happened wasn’t even your fault.”
“Oh Cosmina, when you love someone as much as I loved your father, you will one day understand.” She looked down at the rose in her hand. “You know, he used to promise me that he would one day take the stars and give them to me. I remember laughing at him; he was always such a dreamer.” Her eyes began to well up again as she looked at the starlit rose. “The silly fool always did keep his promises.”
Cosmina followed her mother as she walked over to the window and looked out at the Nebula.
“I think it’s time we took a break.” She said, looking over to Cosmina. “Just you and me, like we used to do when your father was around.”
“I hear the glowing beaches of Kalinissa are beyond beautiful.”
Her mother smiled, the soft glow of the Nebula highlighting her high cheekbones. “It’s settled then, we’ll go there.”
She walked away from the window and strolled over to her desk. “You should go and pack, we’ll leave first thing tomorrow.”
“So soon…what about the clan?”
“It’s about time I started thinking about what’s truly important. They can manage without me for a few weeks…or more.”
Cosmina’s heart jumped with joy at the prospect of spending so much time with her mother. All those years of dreaming had finally come true. She bounced over to the door, hardly containing her excitement; it had been a long time since she had left the station. She paused by the door and caught a glimpse of her mother smiling, the starlit rose held within her hands as the dazzling view beyond the window lit up the room with a multitude of colours. Cosmina smiled too and walked out of the office, closing the door behind her.
She left her mother there, with her memories and the rose made of stars.
Awarded 1st place in the "Scribbathlon 2" Competition by Shining-Scribe
I'm very proud of this story as it was a pleasure to write and the world that I created is one that I may have to visit again some day.
Synopsis: Cosmina, a young witch living on a space station, is on a mission to regain the affections of her cold and uncaring mother. With her loneliness reaching its peak, Cosmina must trust all she has on one little but very important rose.
A Spoonful of Regret[a chapter of lost potential]
There were moments- so, so many- in which he loathed himself for the path he had chosen, his very spirit mourning the innocent woman he had manipulated, his nightmares plagued by the betrayal in her eyes, the heartbreak he felt as he held her, watching her fear and agony flow through her as surely as the poison-
His dreams fluttered to the possible futures that his actions had prevented. Had he been honest, had he tried to protect her, assure her she was not alone. If he had just-!
But it was too late.
The kindhearted girl who used to dance with her handmaiden through the market square, playfully fired volley after volley of jibes at her brother, negotiated matters of state with her father, and confided her darkest secrets in him-
She was gone. Her body still roamed the earth, void of her loving spirit, a dark plague upon the land, a scourge of his own creation.
He had wrought his own creature of darkness, a being so
Hello and thanks for stopping by! My name's Mark, I pretty much spend all my time writing fiction stories (Fantasy and Sci-Fi) as well as creating whimsical Poems. I've been writing for over 8 years, and I'm currently in the final stages of editing a teen fiction fantasy novel, prior to seeking publication. If you've had a look around (which I encourage you to do so, if you haven't already), then you'll likely have noticed my weekly running story "Memoirs of an Elemental" (I know, I know...Its a bit of a mouthful). Anyway...every Thursday I deliver another chapter for everyone on here to read. It's a fantasy story with delightful bouts of action, romance and of course, elementals! (Honestly, what is not to love about that eh?) A word of advice though, read chapter 1 first! (Seriously, who jumps straight into chapter 3? No wonder you're confused about what's going on).
Also, in my spare time (Haha, spare time....that's a cute notion) I dabble with photography. Oh who am I kidding, I say I dabble but I bought a Cannon 500D a few years back, so I guess its more serious than mere dabbling (now that i'm reading this, dabble is a funny word when used consecutively) OK, back on track because I'm aware I'm now waffling. So photography, yes, so...I focus mainly on nature, landscapes and Macro photography. Although, I'd love to learn how to take portraits and personal photos of people.
I am up for working on commissions and collaborations. Perhaps you're an artist who is seeking someone to help write a story for your comic, or you need someone to create a poem. Whatever it is, give me a shout and I'm sure I can help you out (oh look, it rhymes!). I am also happy to do Critiques and offer writing and photography advice, so don't be shy!