The Land of Four Elements

by Phaedra L., age 11
The Land of Four Elements Phaedra is in fifth grade and is eleven years old. She has a puppy named Dumpling. She plays guitar and loves to read.

“The long summer break lies in front of me. I have so many things I want to do, but I don’t know which one I should do first. Go bowling, go ice skating, go to the movies… But I have to choose one for tomorrow.”

                 

Chapter 1

Amber

The long summer break lies in front of me. I have so many things I want to do, but I don’t know which one I should do first. Go bowling, go ice skating, go to the movies… But I have to choose one for tomorrow. The choice lies in front of me like a shadow of doom. I gulp, not knowing what to do the next day, but I want to sleep well and not have all these thoughts dwelling inside my head for now. I push all my thoughts away and go to bed with a clear head. So I get into my coziest pajamas to celebrate the last day of school before the break.

“Night!” I call to my mom.

She still thinks I am like five years old, so she walks into my room every night and gives me a little kiss on my forehead. I sigh a little. It really is annoying and embarrassing for a mom to say good night to a sixth grader.

“Uh,” I sigh to myself, quiet enough so that my mom won’t hear me.

I look up at the ceiling. Mom keeps forgetting to take the glow in the dark stars off my ceiling. She says that they look pretty and that I should keep them there.

I wake up, hearing a rustle from downstairs. Daddy’s home! I jump out of bed and run down the stairs with my puffy, red hair bouncing against my shoulders and my milky, brown eyes sparkling with excitement. I don’t care what time it is. I jump into my dad’s arms. He lifts me up above him. All his bags lie on the floor.

“How are you, sweetie?” he asks me.

“I feel so much better since you’re finally home,” I say.

“It feels like this year has been so long without you,” he tells me.

He always goes on long business trips, but when he is here, he is the best dad ever.

“You should go to bed now,” he instructs me.

“Can I sleep with you, Daddy? Please?!” I ask him, pleadingly.

“No,” he says. “We can play and talk in the morning if you want.”

“Of course,” I say.

Why wouldn’t I want to do that? As I go to bed, I think of all the fun things I will do with my dad tomorrow, not caring about the list of things I had wanted to do. It will be the best day ever. The second my head hits the pillow, I drift off into dreams. Dreams of tomorrow.

 

Chapter 2

Ocean

I wake up looking up at my ceiling. The boring, white ceiling stares down at me. What would my playdate bring today? Would it bring a better life or my same, lonely life without a best friend to live with? My friend moved to California last year. I look at the clock. I have never slept this late. It is already 9:00. My “friends” are coming at 9:30. I have half an hour. Wait! I only have ten minutes, I realize as I look at my clock. I jump out of bed. My snowflake pajama pants trail by my feet. I slump over to my dresser. I don’t care about what I want to wear, so I slip into some jeans and a button down, red and black, plaid shirt. I look in the mirror. My hair is in a messy bun since I had never taken it out yesterday. My light, blue eyes stare back at me. I smile. Bring, bring, bring!!! The doorbell rings from downstairs. I rush out the door. I quickly untie my hair and put the rubber band back on my wrist. I open the door. My mom stands next to me now. The first one to come is Grace. I give her a little wave. No response. This is not going well, I think to myself.

“Come in!” I tell her excitedly.

She walks in while rolling her eyes. I gulp. I don’t think this is going to go well, I think to myself.

“You can take off your shoes if you want,” I tell her.

“I don’t feel like getting my feet dirty right now,” she tells me.

A butterfly enters my stomach. We walk into the living room. Dumpling sniffs around her legs.

“Uh, a dog. Do you really like dogs?” she asks me in a sassy voice.

I don’t know what to answer. What should I say? I think to myself. Finally, something saves me. The doorbell rings. I walk over to the door. The first thing I see is her hair. It’s all puffy and red. She’s dressed the opposite of Grace. Her pants are ripped, with holes spread throughout them. Her shirt is a red and white, striped shirt. She smiles at me. I wave back at her. She walks into the kitchen. Kicking off her shoes, they hit a chair.

“Sorry,” she quickly tells me.

I take a deep breath. This won’t go that bad. I hope. I also believe it, though. Amber walks into the living room. She ignores Dumpling sniffing around her feet.

“Amber!” Grace says while at the same time Amber says, “Grace!”

She goes to sit down on the opposite side of the room. I can hear Grace snarling. Why does this playdate keep changing? From bad to good and now back to bad again. The doorbell rings. That means this is the last person on this playdate. Ava. She’s dressed the same as Grace. She has a jean jacket on, a sparkly shirt under that, and her pants are jeans with a flower design going down the side of them. She’s wearing high heels. They are shiny and bright red. This time, I don’t ask if she wants to take them off.

“These people are so lame,” I hear Grace whisper to Ava.

“I know right. My mom made me come here. I didn’t want to go though,” Ava responds.

“We are not lame!” Amber says angrily. Her face turns red.

 

Chapter 3

Amber

I feel like bursting up in flames and throwing fire at Ava and Grace.

“This playdate isn’t even fun. At least not like the ones I go to,” Grace says.

“Well, what do you do then?” I ask her angrily.

“Well, uh. We…” she thinks for a moment. I am about to smile because I won this talk, but she quickly blurts out, “Truth or dare!” Grace smiles. “Want to play with us?”

“Yes. Ocean and I can be on a team and you and Ava can be on one.” I wanted to win this game. I needed to win this. “You can go first,” I tell them. “Try not to make it too easy.”

They whisper amongst themselves. “Okay, we got something,” they say.

I look at Ocean, and she gives me a little smile of worry.

“You have to go to the old warehouse.”

There are rumors about this place… that somebody went in there and never came out, that it is haunted, or something crazy like that.

 

We walk outside. We had lied to Ocean’s mother that we were just going to the park.

“I still don’t think we should do this,” I hear Ocean mumble.

I ignore her. I need victory between me, Ava, and Grace.

Finally, it’s in front of us. The old warehouse. It is covered in dust and has cracks in some spots of it. They wave their hands in the way of the warehouse. I walk over. There is nothing in the warehouse. Some furniture once in a while.

Ocean whispers to me, “Do you think we can go back now?”

“No!” I tell her a little loudly. “We have to make it to the end. Than we can go back.”

She nods. I want to tell her to toughen up, but I’m not that mean, so I keep quiet. We keep walking. I start to get bored. Then I don’t know what is happening, but it seems like around me is turning blue and the ground is turning green. Ocean also looks confused, but I don’t pay attention. We both keep walking. As we go farther along, we leave the warehouse behind and the world is different. In the distance, there are buildings. Red, blue, green, and I don’t know if I’m hallucinating, but I see houses in the sky. Where are we? I ask myself.

People are in front of me. They have armor all over their body. It reminds me of one you would see in a castle. On their armor, on their helmet, and chest there is a circle split into four parts. In each part a different color: red, blue, green, and white. Above that, it says, “The City of Four Elements.”

 

Chapter 4

Ocean

I’m excited now. What is this new place? I walk up to one of the guards.

“Show us your identity,” he tells me, pushing me through a thing that looks like a doorframe.

I feel power surge through me the second I get under the frame. My hands start getting cold, and I am surprised when I see a bolt of water spray to a part of the floor in front of me. The guard nods at me. I walk ahead. That surge of power is still with me. I look at Amber to see what will happen to her. I can see her face and see that she wants some of my power. Then out of nowhere, just to my right, a bolt of fire explodes from her hand. I jump back. Now I am surprised. What is happening to us? Do Grace and Ava also have powers, or is it just us? I now have so many questions bubbling up inside me. Amber’s looking at her hand. For some reason, I am not surprised they’re not burned or something. She’s pushing her hand in front of her like she wants more fire to come out of it. I stare at my hand, too. I push it in front of me. A bubble of water forms in my hand. I want to throw it. And I do. It shoots like lightning in front of me. It lands not too far from me. I smile in amazement. Amber’s face starts getting red. I gulp. Now I am even more scared of her. Now I think that this power is too much for her. I love what I can do, though. I go a little bit aways from the entrance to explore what I just learned about myself.

After I have been exploring a bit, I realize if I focus enough, I can make icicles come out of my hand instead of water. Amber comes up to me. Her face is not as red now, but replaced by that, is a big smile.

“This is so — ” I know she’s going to say something like awesome, but instead I hear something I never thought I would hear from her before. “This is so annoying!”

I never thought she would give up like this. I thought she would be the one to never give up until she reached her expectation but not now. Now she is the one to give up. I am passing a water ball from one hand to the other, while I listen to Amber’s speech of how she wants to be able to make fire appear from her hands any time she wants like I can.

 

Chapter 5

Amber

I am now aggravated that I can’t control my powers, but the second we get to the city, people crowd around us, and the guards that we saw at the entrance are pushing us forward towards a tall building. On it, there is a poster that says, “The Element Tower.” We get pushed into the building and up stairs to the tallest room in the building. I try to fight against the guards, but they are stronger than I expect. We sit down into chairs. I am about to jump up and run, but the chairs are too comfy, and I want to stay for as long as possible. A man walks into the room and sits down across from us. He is dressed in a suit, and his hair is slicked back. On his shirt, it has the same symbol as before and under it, it says, “Name: President James.” His face looks strict and serious. I sit taller, wanting to look stronger.

“We have been waiting for you. Our land is falling apart by the second, and they are coming,” the man says.

Now, I don’t feel strong anymore, and I don’t feel brave anymore, and for the first time in my life, I feel scared.

“You will be leaving in,” he looks at his watch, “around 10 minutes.”

“We don’t know how to use our powers, though.” I mumble, but before he can answer, we get pulled away, again, by guards.

They hand us each a backpack and push us outside into the streets of the city. I look to one side of it. It is blue, and all the houses are floating on water. I turn to one more side. It is red, and the houses are made out of fire. That’s the part that interests me. I walk over to it.

I ask the first person I see, “Do you know a family with the last name, Flame?”

“They died in the collapse two years ago. Don’t you remember?”

I don’t know why, but I start getting emotional. My parents are dead. This world is not where I want to be. I run to where the guards left us. I sit down and wish I could have seen my parents. I wonder, at the same time, what the collapse was.

 

Chapter 6

Ocean

I walk over to a land with houses that are floating on water. The houses are collapsing a little. It seems like this land is falling apart. Amber is still in the same spot she was when we got pushed outside. A couple guards follow a few feet behind me. I look around. But two people catch my eyes. The lady looks strong. Her eyes are my blue, and her smile is beautiful. The man looks brave, and his hair is the same color as mine. He looks into my eyes, and I look into his deep, brown eyes.

“Ocean?” they say.

That’s when I know they are my parents. Without thinking about it, I run to them. Water spraying behind me, I’m slipping on the clear sea, and then I feel their arms grasp around me. We stay there for a couple minutes. And then the guards take me away from them. Suddenly I feel the urge to save this world and come back to my family when I’m done. He brings me to the edge of the city. Amber comes a couple minutes after I get there. Her eyes are red, and a tear falls onto the the ground. The guards push us past the edge of the city. Now, darkness surrounds me. But it starts to turn into water, and now I’m in the ocean. In the distance, I see a cave. I can tell that’s where they want us to go, but to get what? I start to walk towards the cave. I don’t know why I feel like I should walk towards a spooky, dark cave, but I know I should do it to help The Land of Four Elements.

After I take a couple more steps, I realize I’m underwater. Why have I not drowned or stopped being able to breathe? That’s when I remember my powers. Wait, Amber! I think. I look across from me. Amber is looking ahead of us, right at the cave. But suddenly, a wave of what seems like nervousness hits her. I look where she is looking. Then it hits me, too. A giant monster is standing in front of us. Two, actually. In their hands are spears with a tip of crystal.

“You take this one,” Amber says, pointing to the one in front of me, “and I’ll take the other.”

I nod in agreement.

 

Chapter 7

Amber

The second I see the monsters, I know that we will fight them. Ocean is next to me, and I wonder how she feels walking on lava. I am fine with it because I have the powers of fire. But her, she has the opposite. The monsters look part-lizard, part-bird. Their eyes are red and filled with anger. Their wings are glinted with silver. Their bodies are silver and blue. I let fire light in my hand. Flames glitter before my eyes, red, yellow, and orange, but mostly blue. For a little test, I throw it at the ground, to show my opponent’s what I can do. Lightning shoots down in front of me, making the lava in front of me sizzle. The monsters’ hands are raised to the sky. They’re ready to fight, too. Ocean’s passing a water ball from one hand to the other.

One moment, we’re standing there, and the next, we’re fighting monsters. Water and fire shoot in every direction. Glints of crystal pass in front me. I have scrapes and bruises all along my body. Then, I don’t think I can take it any longer, so with one last blast of blue fire, the monster explodes.

Not explodes. More like disappears in a wisp of silver smoke. I see Ocean getting ready for her last hit, too. I am about to help her, when a blast of water shoots right at the monster. He whisps away into purple smoke too. I imagine telling my mom, “Mom, I killed my first monster!” We continue walking towards the cave once more, ready to save a world.

 

Chapter 8

Ocean

I just killed something, I say to myself, surprised.

Amber’s ahead of me, walking towards the cave. I run up to her.

“That was intense, wasn’t it,” I tell her.

“That was cool,” she says back. “Not scary.”

We walk into the cave. It is pitch black. But I see a light in front of me. It’s bright, or at least brighter than darkness. We both walk forwards, slowly. It is in a case without a top. The bright light is coming from a gem. It’s blue and has silver specks throughout it. Amber takes the gem out of the box. The gem illuminates her hands.

“Let’s take it back to the city,” I tell her.

We walk up the stairs to the office of President James.

“You found it!” he says to us, taking the stone from Amber.

He walks to the back of the room and opens a closet. He takes out a staff and places the stone on the top. A wave of light expands throughout the city bringing it together once more.

Once again, I’m back with my parents in their arms. We have the opportunity to go back to our real life, but I am staying here, and Amber is going home. They say they would erase all memories from everybody in my life. Amber says she would rather go back. Our lives will be happier now.

 

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