Nurturers & Destructors is a serialized novel, created during the 2021 A2Z Challenge hosted by Blogchatter
Amidst the lush green sloped hills in the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve, there was an enormous structure made of metal, concrete & glass, that melted in with Nature. So much so that, it was difficult to see where it began and where it ended. Over it, evergreen pine trees soared into the sky while in summer, wildflowers bloomed all around. A little walk away from it through the pines and willows, would lead you to a meadow, on the other side of which was an alpine lake with water so pure that you could see until it’s bottom. In fact, amongst today’s over-populated areas, it would be all too easy to consider it as a spot of land that Nature had reclaimed and made it’s own once again, but, it wasn’t.
It was the Elementals Academy, set in one of the largest dark sky nature reserves in the country and this was where Nurturers came together from all over to learn how to harness the power of nature and to preserve the chastity of nature for eons to come. Indeed, being set in the middle of a dark sky reserve ensured that it was as far away from any other towns as it could be and considering it’s lack of road connectivity, people really didn’t bother walking through the forest.
At the shore of that clear alpine lake, a herd of deer stood in solitary silence, some sipping the pure water from the lake, while others were chewing the cud, as slow waves of water kept crashing on the stones smoothened by the water breaking and flowing over them for years. As yet another wave came in, broke over the stones and retreated, it left behind a woman kneeling on the shore with her hand where the water had just been. She would definitely not have been out of place in a corner office on the Wall Street or equally, as a member of the Secret Service, with a face that you forgot as soon as you turned away and an outfit that was clearly on the side of functionality rather than fashion. Some of the deer who were closest to where she appeared, looked up in mild surprise. But even after she stood up in one lithe movement, they continued gazing at her with their mournful eyes for a moment more, before they went back to hydrating their soul. In the very first glance, they knew that they did not need to fear her, for she had Nature’s touch.
Jennifer Linnerst was a Water Nurturer, which explained why she had to travel until here via waterways only, and reached the lake. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath of the clean mountain air, a rather refreshing change from the choking smog of New York City from where she had just arrived. Then, she looked around and realized that all this, the meadow, the lake, the pine trees, the deer and the top of the Elementals Academy just peeking through the willows, were all just as she remembered it. Once she had fixed her skirt & pulled her jacket a little closer around her thin, yet well-built frame, she set off on the last leg of her return to the Academy, in the chill that the alpine winds brought.
Walking through the familiar hallways, lined with trees, stones, soil & birds, Jennifer couldn’t help but revel in memories from her time here. Graduating at the top of her class, she had gone on to join the Grand Legionnaires, serving them for 5 years. But now, she had been asked to return to the Academy, for times were turning darker and the Academy needed some help.
At the end of the long corridor that she was walking along, she saw a tree that she used to walk past as quickly as she could when she was last here. But this time, she slowed down and when she reached the old banyan tree, she just stopped in front of it. That tree was indeed quite out of place in a modern building, but for some reason, when you looked at it, you knew that it very much felt at home. As she reached the tree, she raised her hand and stood. The cascading branches of the banyan tree that fell over it’s trunk and formed a curtain, folded up and beyond to reveal what looked like a short passageway through it to the Headmistress’ office.
On the other side, the Headmistress of Elementals Academy, Ms. Anastasia Asanovic was waiting to meet her new Defensive Elemental Science teacher, who had come over from the Grand Legionnaires. And she also had a bit of bad news to share.
The Elementals had been attacked.
Next: Chapter H – Hors d’oeuvres of Defensive Elemental Science
Releasing on April 9th