Nurturers & Destructors is a serialized novel, created during the 2021 A2Z Challenge hosted by Blogchatter
“Let me come clean with you. The reason behind bringing you guys out here was not just to show you what working with the Elements is all about. It was also… well… this is a little, uh… hard for me… I know I should have told you this earlier… but… umm”, Grandpa Mike stalled as though waiting to receive some encouragement to continue talking, which both Jill and Zacharia didn’t seem too interested in indulging.
And so yet again, Grandpa Mike gave in. “Oh well, here goes. Again. I don’t know if you guys know. But, I am a member of the Grand Legionnaires. We enforce practices to ensure that the balance of Nature is maintained and of course, try to curb Destructor activity. And I was hoping that one of you would have the Nurturer skills to take after me… to perhaps become the Captain again. And I’ll be honest, I was a little let down when I first saw that you both were having troubles with controlling the Air Element. And though I remember Jill metamorphosing the plant on Zach’s birthday, I just thought it was an uncontrolled moment, which happens in budding Nurturers. But today, when she managed to get that tree wrap around me so perfectly, that… you know…. that, that gives me hope. Except for one thing, her inquisitiveness.”
Jill who had been grinning happily at Zacharia’s apparent discomfort in missing out all the praise meant for him, turned around startled. She asked in a shrill voice, “What do you mean? All this time, I was told that being inquisitive can only lead to good things, except for cats, because curiosity kills the cat and so on. Right? Right? I am right? Right?”
Grandpa Mike simply laughed and said, “There are some things that however anyone explains, people just wouldn’t understand. And this is one of those things. All I pray for you is that you do not delve into things that are beyond your powers to fix. Remember, the world you both are entering into is an ancient one. There are powers that neither you nor I can comprehend, there are phenomena that have gone unexplained for years and indeed, might even be beyond the Elemental’s wisdom. If you cannot understand something, leave it alone. If you cannot identify the Touch, do not try to improve on it nor undo it. If you feel an immense power weighing down on you, leave the place immediately. And never, ever take anything lightly, even this advice that I am giving you.”, the last bit being delivered with a particularly warning tone, that seemed to be directed at Zacharia, who was aimlessly blowing winds through the tree’s branches. And hence, this time, it was Zacharia’s chance to turn around, startled.
“Well, well, well. If it isn’t old Michael ‘Mighty’ McLoughlin with his grandkids!”, said a gruff voice from the thicket just beyond the field in which Mike, Zacharia & Jill were playing with the ball. Grandpa Mike froze, all blood drained from his face and he closed his eyes. Clenching his fist, he called out, “This is not the time. And you do know that it’s best for you to let us go. But you were the best Hunter of your time, weren’t you Vasco? So, I guess you aren’t leaving without me. Let me save you the trouble… but only if you let the kids go now.” All of a sudden, there was raucous laughter echoing all around them. It seemed that the voice that they first heard was not the only one that had eyes on them. As the laughter died down, the gruff voice in the shadows that had first called out to Grandpa Mike said, “Whatever makes it easier for you, Cap. Whatever makes it easy for us!”
Grandpa Mike put on his glasses and removed his ring. Rubbing it, he muttered under his breath. Then, giving it to Jill, he whispered in her ear, “Both of you, put your glasses on. Now! They have come for me. Jill, put this ring on, hold Zach’s hand, blow on the ring and close your eyes! It’ll take you both home. Go home, say nothing. If I don’t come back for you tomorrow morning… then tell your parents. They’ll tell you everything you need to know. Put it on… NOW!”, as the white stone set in the ring glowed.
Stricken with panic, Jill and Zacharia looked around and grabbed each other’s hands. As they closed their eyes, the last that they saw was their Grandpa’s eyes glowing green around the edges. His face was set hard and his fists were clenched again.
After 8 years, he was once again Captain “Mighty” Mike.