Nurturers & Destructors is a serialized novel, created during the 2021 A2Z Challenge hosted by Blogchatter
“So, you are saying that I may be the Promise of this century?”, Zacharia asked. Deborah let out a hearty laugh before saying, “Oh no baby, don’t worry. The next Promise was already chosen 3 years ago, in fact. They still have another 5 years of training, before they become the Promise-in-Waiting, unless the current Promise passes away before that.”
Zacharia still didn’t look convinced. He asked, “So, I have magical powers?” Deborah said, “No. No, no. Magic is… how do we call it, imaginary. And whether you are able to harness the elements is, yet to be seen. So, we can’t say anything about that also now.” Then she too leaned back in the sofa and closed her eyes for it had been a long day.
The old wry smile crept back onto Zacharia’s face as he said, “Okay. Makes sense… be right back, mom.” He went back upstairs and took the potted plant that had been the center of attraction for a while. He gingerly brought it down the staircase, hoping not to disturb it or the Touch on it and set it on the little table in the center of the living room.
Then he went and poked his mom in her eyes to wake her up from the stupor that she was just slipping into. She awoke with a startle and gave him the dagger eyes. “I just told you the whole story. Now which part of Harry Potter do you think you are going to be?”
It was Zacharia’s turn to smile. He just turned back to the plant and looked at it intensely. As she followed his gaze, he pointed at the plant on which grew a new bud, which then blossomed into a flower just like the one already there.
“So, let’s talk about those spectacles that can See and the School of Nurturing. Please tell me there is no math there…”, said Zacharia as he leaned back again into the bean bag.
After a few hours of sleep that definitely didn’t do wonders for any tempers and another bloom-of-the-bud demonstration for a still-in-disbelief dad, everyone got into the old Bronco that Jeremiah was nurturing as his own baby. This time, the journey was not to the ice cream parlor or the Walmart or the church. This time, the journey was to the Sunglass Hut.
As they walked in, Jim who had been Zacharia’s optometrist looked up expectantly and said, “I hear it’s your 10th birthday, pal!” Zacharia just nodded vigorously. Deborah said, “Yes, Jim. It’s time!” Jim smiled and exclaimed, “Perfect! I have been waiting for this for a while. Come along with me & let’s get you that pair.”
Jim went up to a wall where a bust wearing a rectangular frame was sitting and whispered into the ear of the bust, “We need to See”. The face on the bust broke into a broad smile and winked, as the wall on which it was sitting, folded inwards like a door, opening up the hidden doorway to a dark room, that had an eerie tingling sound along with glimmering walls. Deborah clapped Zacharia’s shoulder and said, “Walk on and watch us come in”. Zacharia gave her a puzzled look and apprehensively took a step into the room, afraid to go further.
He could hear Deborah telling Jeremiah, “He looks handsome, doesn’t he?” and Jeremiah replying, “Not as much as your dad in full gear”, neither of which made sense to Zacharia, and well, it was not like any of the Nurturer-Destructor nonsense made sense, anyway. What is the point of magic if you can’t call it magic?
As Zacharia looked on, through the doorway framed with ancient hieroglyphics etched on a stone arch, came a Nurturer and a Hunter, followed by Jim the optician in his white lab coat. And then, there was light.
Zacharia looked around the room in wonder as the lights came on, revealing rows upon rows of shining frames and glasses on shelves lined along the walls, reaching high up until the ceiling. And there was a marble topped table in the middle, on which most of the light in the room was focused.
As they walked towards the table, Jim was at hand asking his preferences, whether he liked to go old-school or new, maybe with a dash of gold or perhaps, a strain of precious stone. As Zacharia spoke, robotic arms came out of the walls next to the shelves and lined up frames that matched his wishes on the white marbled table. Once they reached the table, Zacharia spent no time in reaching for a frame that looked exactly like Harry Potter’s. Black, plastic coated metal frame, with round glasses, but unfortunately, it just didn’t match him. And so, the next choice, an almost rectangular carbon fibre frame with steel around the glass and a small indent in the corners, through a tad too big for his eyes. This might have worked, at least from Zacharia’s point of view, had it not been for both Jim and Deborah saying, “No” and emphatically shaking their heads even when he looked at them beseechingly. If not Harry Potter, he at least wanted to be like Tony Stark.
With each selection that Zacharia made and each feedback from the others, the robots were busy bringing in new frames and removing the old ones. And finally, only one remained.
“This is it, buddy. This is the one. Go on and put it.”, said Jim. Zacharia looked at his parents and they too were nodding encouragingly. Only thing Zacharia wanted to know was what would be different when he put it on, that didn’t happen for the last 27 frames? What was so different with this jet-black, medium-thick, rectangular frame?
And then he put it on…