A/N: This is a collaborative story that the people mentioned below are working on. We're writing it on , and we decided it would be nice for radha24(me) to put this up here so that others could see our wonderful story!
Ink weavers so far:
Disclaimer: We do not own anyone in this story (so far!).
(And now for the tale to begin!)
Our story begins in a city where all five elements come together: Land provides the basis for this tale, a place where Water threads its way into every corner, the setting sun's Fire flickers gently across the ripples of water stirred up by the Wind; and a boy, Scipio, sneaks through the shadows like a Spirit…
He is looking for the personifications of the other Elements. Ones like himself, who are the embodiment of their source of power. The rumors he has heard are leading him to strange and unknown territory.
'Rumors that were true!' Once when he was hurrying back from the Palazzo Ducale in the dead of night, with his pockets crammed with stolen goods, and a mask slanting his handsome features into those of a dark bird, he caught a glimpse of the spirit of a young girl. She was about his age, seventeen, with blonde hair that curled precociously to her shoulders - the kind of girl he never went for, but she shimmered, as though not really there! Intrigued, Scipio followed her through winding alleys and under the shadowy Ponte Vecchio until finally she materialized, not silently, as she had been moving before then, but with words weaving through the air that sounded sweeter than his mother's lullabies had been as a child.
At the time, he was sure that his late night was causing him to imagine things. But the more he thought about it in the coming days, the more he became sure that she HAD to be like him. He fancied the thought that she was the Wind, what with the way she just…blew away. And the way her words carried to his ears, as if floating on a summer's breeze. He tried to remember her name, it was something generic, easy to recall, but it just kept evading his memory. In his sleep, he still heard her words, her light gasp as she saw which story she'd read herself into…
'Meggie!' Yes, that's it. He finally remembered. Such an easy name to remember and to forget. He resolved to search for this fascinating girl who could appear with the uttering of just a few words.
But there were others too. He couldn't just let himself think of Meggie! The rumors told of children in the forms of all the elements: He himself (Spirit), Meggie (Wind), his best friend, Prosper, who had the solid stability of Land, and others…
Scipio had heard that there was a young dragon that could possibly be Fire. But having no real lead on who Water might be, he was at a loss.
Except, Water could be a boy he'd dreamt of. Ben, water-cool and silver grey like the dragon he rode in Scipio's dreams. But they were just dreams, surely!
Scipio was confused: The dragon was definitely connected into the equation somehow, but whether it was Fire, or whether its rider, Ben, was Water, he had no clue yet. He'd heard there was a young boy around town at the moment, connected to Meggie. Someone named Farid, who tamed and teased Fire as well as the dragon did, but Scipio couldn't choose between the two Fire potentials.
But he also had to remember that there was someone else. It was Farid's teacher, the one that they called the Master of Flames, the Fire-Dancer. No, he definitely couldn't afford to forget him, so Scipio decided that the dragon itself must not be Fire, but his rider could be Water. That made it sort of easier for him to figure out, too.
So many options, and so little to go on. Scipio decided the best thing to do would be to get Prosper and have him help with talking Meggie into joining them. Obviously, with the way she could just disappear, they needed her.
They needed her for the Plan. Something terrible was brewing, and they'd all been brought together to stop it.
'Five children' - so it couldn't be Farid's teacher, or the dragon - unless the Ink-Prophecy was wrong…
The Ink-Prophecy had been running a constant loop in his head ever since he heard it four weeks ago:
"Five children, five fast friends
will come together in the end
to stop the turmoil caused by Man
and bring back balance to the land.
Five elements, five great strengths
work together to reach great lengths
Spirit swift and Fire strong
must cease their feud, and get along.
Five enemies, five rivals mean
will try to crown their evil queen.
Sturdy Earth and Water true
Must help Wind claim the things she knew.
Five ordeals, five proving tasks
They'll strive to do whatever's asked
Their bonds will grow to heroes' size,
And in their hands are all our lives."
These ominous words…playing like a broken record in his head…
He couldn't seem to figure out what it meant! Well, he needed to figure out who the five elements were, first of all. So there was no real point in worrying about the prophecy… yet.
Scipio drew his coat closer around his body, and hurried faster through the streets on his way back from a raid. He was so focused on the Ink-Prophecy, that he'd hardly noticed how fast his feet were going until he reached the door of the Stella, his secret abode. He knocked thrice, and before he had time to gather his wits, Prosper threw the door open.
"You didn't ask me the password, again. But never mind that. I need to talk to you." Scipio pulled Prosper along with him up to the projection room, where there were a couple of seats and movie reels scattered all over the place.
Prosper ran his hand through his black curls.
"Scipio-" he began.
"Listen to me!" Scipio hissed, taking hold of Prosper's shoulders, and the two glared at each other through the darkness of the cinema.
"I saw Meggie again today, Prop - I can't get her out of my heart - umm, head!" Scipio threw himself down on a beanbag, dramatically.
"Scip, I don't need to keep telling you how dangerous it is that you have a crush on an ethereal girl, particularly not one that's the embodiment of wind." Prosper rubbed the bridge of his nose absentmindedly, and scowled at his friend.
Scipio abruptly turned his head away and the two of them were silent for a few moments.
"I don't know what I'm going to do if-" Scipio cut himself off and stood up, turning his back so Prosper couldn't see his face.
"If anything happens to her!"
"...sigh…Alright then. Let me put it this way. If we don't continue trying to figure out our prophecy; If we don't get Wind…er…sorry…Meggie to help us; If we don't find Fire and Water soon - Then it won't matter what happens to her! Do you know why? Because apparently somewhere, someone is trying to 'crown their evil queen' and we're all going to die anyway!"
Prosper was exasperated…He had to knock some sense into the disgustingly lovesick Scipio.
"What's this about an evil queen?" Scipio asked, startled out of his romantic thoughts.
"The one from the Ink Prophecy, Scip! Where has your head been? In the clouds?" Prosper asked, very exasperated.
"I—" Scipio started, but Prosper cut him off.
"No, don't tell me. I know that your head has been in your lovesick thoughts about this . . . Meggie."
"It has not!" Scipio cried, indignantly.
"The first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one!" Prosper told him sternly, holding his hands up in surrender as Scipio looked as though he was about to punch him.
But Scip didn't punch Prosper. He hugged his friend slightly too forcefully, and said:
"Thanks, Prop. I think it's time that I start admitting my *ahem* true feelings." He paused for a long time until Prosper started to look moody.
"What are you trying to say?" He asked.
"Uh…ah." Scipio couldn't say much more than this.
"Hey! What are you gonna say?"
"Uh…I'm…ah…" Scipio's mumbling was a bit over-the-top.
"Scip! Come on! What are you gonna say?"
"OK! STOP, I'll tell you! My crush isn't on Meggie…but it's on you! I'm crushing on you, Prop!"
Prosper examined his friend quietly, before he noticed Scipio trying to hide a cheeky grin, and the way Scipio seemed too forcedly sober. He cuffed Scipio over the back of the head, annoyed.
"That's not funny, Scip. Don't try and make light of this! She's Wind! And… and… You're Scipio, the Thief Lord! The boy with more Spirit than an ice-cold Russian vodka! You know what's happening right now. You know what we need you for. Don't put some random girl, who may or may not exist in our world, before me!"
"But she's just so . . . beautiful! And amazing. I just CAN'T get her out of my mind!" Scipio said, half whining, half protesting.
"Scip! Snap out of it! We need to figure out who the "evil king" is, who Fire is—there's so much to do, we don't have time for your lovesickness!" Prosper shouted, now extremely frustrated at his friend.
"I'm TRYING! Maybe we should start talking and try to figure everything out. Maybe then, I'll be distracted out of thinking about . . . Wind." Scipio said that last part as if he was trying to force himself not to say her name.
"Well then, at least we're getting somewhere." Prosper mused about whether Wind and Spirit would really make a good couple.
"Alright" began Scipio, "According to the Ink-Prophecy, all five of the elements have to be children. That puts out anyone over 18."
"Right. So Fire is probably that fire dancer you were talking about. Farid. But…where is he? Who is he? All we know is his name and his profession!"
Scipio slumped back onto the bean-bag, and sighed. What were they going to do? Hard as he tried to focus, his thoughts just kept straying back to Meggie… He'd been thinking about her more and more recently. It made him wonder if she had some special Wind-power he didn't know about, that was infatuating him so deeply.
Prosper brought him back to reality. "Farid… Remind me how we know about him, Scip?"
"I heard… Meggie… say his name." Scipio scowled.
"Maybe they're dating?" Prosper suggested hopefully.
As soon as he said it, he knew he'd hit a wrong chord with Scipio. "Or… maybe it's her brother? Either way, that still means we have to find Meggie in order to find Farid. By the way, where ARE we going to find Meggie?"
"In . . . my dreams." Scipio said dreamily, then shook his head as if to clear away the thoughts that plagued him.
"I'm SERIOUS, Scip! If you don't stop, I'll . . . I'll do something." Prosper finished, lamely.
"Well, it WILL be pretty hard to find her, since she's fast and almost invisible like the wind. It may even be easier to look for this . . . Farid first. After all, such a good fire-eater may not be hard to find." Scipio said.
"I think that's a good idea." Prosper conceded. Finally, Scipio wasn't thinking about Her anymore.
"I'm going to get some sleep" said Prosper finally, suddenly weary. "And I suggest you do the same."
He fell asleep quickly under the thin rug but the golden light of dawn was already rising over the canals by the time Scipio drifted into an uneasy slumber.
END OF CHAPTER ONE :) :) :)