Nurturers & Destructors is a serialized novel, created during the 2021 A2Z Challenge hosted by Blogchatter
The previous evening, when Zacharia and Jill had left the clearing, it was definitely not filled with people in sleeping bags, lying around a dying fire, with their Grandpa drowsily (and possibly drunkenly) singing aloud, “It’s been a long day, without my friend Vas. And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again. Vasco’s come a long way from where we began. Oh I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again, WHEN I SEEE YOU AGAAAAIN… yeaah!”, with his arms wrapped around a grizzly haired man with a scarred face he kept hugging tighter, every time he sang “Vasco”. And this grizzly haired gentleman was busy conducting the song with his head.
Amidst this… scene, Jill and Zacharia stood, warily looking at their grandfather and all the people sleeping around them, some stirring amid their deep sleep, probably being disturbed by their grandfather’s off-key singing.
Jill & Zacharia picked their way through the maze like assortment of sleeping bodies and reached their Grandpa, who seemed to come out of his stupor when he saw them. “Uh, what are you guys doing here?”
And Jill, with her pent up frustration from the last day, just stamped her legs on the ground, threw her arms out in distressed anger and putting her face very close to their Grandfather’s sweaty face, asked, “What do you think you are doing? Who is this Vasco?” and they were amazed to see their grandfather’s face break out in a wide smile, with almost all his pearlies on display which then quickly disappeared as he anxiously asked in a slurred voice, “Did you like my song? It makes you cry, doesn’t it? We have been crying over it all night…It’s been a loooong day, without my Vasco. And I’ll…”
Jill snapped back, “Of course. Let’s get Charlie Puth here too and watch him bawl seeing how well you are murdering his song! What is this? Who is this Vasco? Why did you make us leave yesterday?” At the mention of his name, the grizzly haired, scar-faced man looked up and grinned. “Well, hello grandchild of Mike. It’s definitely nice to meet you too!”
Once they had washed up their Grandpa, changed him out of his soiled clothes and left Vasco stewing in the warm water filled bath tub, Jeremiah, Deborah, Zacharia and Jill sat down to hear about Vasco from Grandpa Mike.
“Around 14 years ago, while we were setting up the defences for the Elementals from a few invading Transformers -” “THE TRANSFORMERS WERE REAL! I KNEW IT!!” “Okay sonny, calm your pants. These are not the Transformers that you think they are or the Transformers that you saw in the movies. The Transformers… or rather, the real Transformers are Nurturers who can actually metamorphose into natural objects, like plants or animals. Now to become a Transformer, you need to undergo a very, very painful procedure, transfuse the essence of the animate object you want to transform into and then meditate for 3 months to attain the same state as the object. And your body will fight you all through these 3 months and only if you don’t react to the body’s attempts will you be able to transform into the object you so desire. Now there was a horde of these Transformers coming in from South Asia. They were really skilled Nurturers, who were worse than Destructors. All they wanted was to transform into the Elementals, for which they had to capture the Elementals and get their essence. Now we set up the defences and we waited. We waited for almost a year. The traps we had set started losing their Touch, they became weak. And we knew that the Transformers were still waiting, but we didn’t know where or how. They could be a plant near us, an ant scuttling on our boots, a leaf on a tree, a polar bear or even, a puppy. We didn’t know where to start and where to find them. And that’s when we brought in Vasco. Vasco was an accomplished Hunter whose tracking skills were honed extensively via research trips through the Amazonian forests and the Gobi desert, as well as the Arctic winter. He knew the difference in wavelengths of different living beings… he understood the pulse of life. And he was set lose on the Transformers and they didn’t even see him coming. That was the skill of Vasco… watching him hunt is like watching Mozart compile one of his pieces, the catch of the Transformer being the crescendo of the piece. It was beautiful. And that’s how we met. I was leading the platoon assisting him in the hunt… and we hit it off! Now, he still wanders the lands in search of Destructors and once in a while, he finds me. And all hell breaks lose. We party, sing, roast marshmallows & cry all night long in loving memory of our long lost hunts. And that’s where Zacharia & Jill came in today.”, concluded Grandpa Mike.
“Good old Vasco… I have heard a lot of his stories and now I finally met him”, said Deborah. Zacharia turned to look at her and asked, “You knew about him already?”
Deborah looked at him and replied, “Yes, young man. I knew about him. Now, care to explain why you didn’t bother to tell any of us what happened? Or even have an excuse for why you thought it was better for you two kids to wander off to some place to find someone you didn’t even know was a friend or a foe?”