Nothings fair in fairbanks, pt.3
In the corner of some abandoned fire pit, a picture sat smoldering. The smoke was due to its dampened state. The challenge was to light it aflame in the first place, and get all the water smoldering out. The person who happened to light the picture on fire, was an experienced Pyro - maniac
Her level of expertise, ranged from building fire pits underground, and ones that sat up high. She could even engineer what she described as a fire starting pulley system. An intricate design of buckets full of coals, and kindling, being pulled along a mile wide diameter, fifteen feet high pulley system. Her own idea for it, was that all of the buckets could simultaneously ignite different areas of forest or whatever setting they accessed.
Forest fires weren’t for fun though, they were infact just a savage defense for the savage beast.
“is he down still?” the woman who could blaze anything away, was intrigued.
“yes. He will be until we get there, keep moving.” A taller, athletic man kept pushing ahead in the cold bitter forest. The yukon region in alaska to be specific, just south of an area dubbed as ‘Whitehorse’.
“..I think we should tell him. As soon as he wakes up.” The Pyro sorceress was burning up inside, it was a long time since she last seen clay. He was just eight years old then, and had a far less distinct jaw. Wasn’t as well matured and muscular. He also wasn’t as much of a happy-plant enthusiast then either. But he reminded her of her son.
“He doesn’t need to know, all he needs from us is to get there.”
The Pyro didn’t like this, but she bit her tongue for now, as they kept moving along. In the Yukon, the southern region had a fair continental climate, they ventured to an from that region and the more vicious subartic region. The path they were trekking seemed to be meandering, quite a bit. But finally as the body snatching duo, reached the northwestern territory, it was night time.
The Pyro attacked, and stacked. She surveyed some of the ground and established a good camp with the taller male assailant. Cozy enough, both of them eventually sat down by her firey prey, to talk more about clay.
At first neither said a word then after a few moments the man spoke.
“I told him I’m micheal.” He looked into the fire waiting for her turn. The Pyro was digusted by this.
“..why the hell would you say that?” the fire seemed to grow larger when she responded to him.
“I swear kali… micheal said he would be here with us. He swore that clay and him could come. Then he dies, and clay was about to die too-”
Kali, the Pyro scorched over his words “-He was his best friend Nigel. There’s no reason you had to do that..” she then looked at clay and felt a new kind of disdain about the plan. Nigel wanted it more than she did now.
“..this is just wrong now Nigel, we need to just take him back. We don’t even know if this ritual will work anymore.”
Nigel was looking at clay too, his faces expression showed someone who was both compassionate and exhausted of it. A man on his wits end of ‘what to do’.
He knew the ritual needed four journeymen, one of wood, one of fire, one of air, one of desire. Kali was the fire, Nigel was the desire, clay the wood, and micheal the air.
All together this had a big purpose, in some specific location. and though the purpose was still an ulterior one, it suggested a grand purpose for Nigel. The allure of reaching an ultimate purpose, would not stop enchanting him.
“Listen kali, we’re going to do this. We’ve waited most of our lives for these boys to grow up and become ready. It’s bigger than just us, we’re going to unlock something that all of humanity has never been able to.”
Kali felt rebuttals were pointless now, and clay needed to be saved. Nigel and her could, in-effectively dance around for hours with words.
“Nigel, why do you insist on this.. I mean we know it takes four people. And not just any old person will do. Where the heck in Canada or anywhere else on earth, will we find our ‘air journeymen’. It takes ten years of the right dreaming, one year of nature’s assimilation, and a birth mark that matches the legend.”
Nigel had a thinking pose, as two fingers caressed his jaw line. He knew she was right but felt like there was something both of them were missing.
There in fact was, and it was within clays head.
Within clays head, he sat near the same ravine back by Tanana forest. “..muh.. uh..” he moaned as he rubbed his head. He looked up and seen the northern lights swirl all the way down to his level. ‘A facade’ he thought, as he stood up and brushed his snow layers off. He looked up again and seen them, still as surreal as before. They grew brighter and more lengthy, until they started to spin inward and collect even more on the ground level. Clay was more awestruck than he had ever been in his life. What he saw seemed so vividly real, and he could feel as if it were no dream. Once the brightest light he had ever witnessed stopped and dimmed, it was him. This time for real, it was micheal.
“hey buddy. It gets cold out here, you know.”
Clay shot out and tackled him with a hug. It felt even more real now and he began crying. After a long moment of reuniting ended, clay had to know.
His face contorted up as he started inquiring his dead friend.
“..why you’d do it?.. Why kill yourself? Did you even think of cat?.. of Me? Your family? ..you hurt us.. we miss you man..”
Micheal appeared to be zen, and responded quickly.
“clay.. I can’t explain anything to you now. Just know i dance in the northern lights..” he looked up and so did clay.
As clay looked back at micheal he felt it wasn’t the same friend anymore.
Micheal wore the same kind of clothes he always did. A Hawaiian shirt - sleeves missing, two sweaters underneath, and black pants with brown boots. Just random assortments of old clothing thrown together.
Clay itched for more from his old friend.
“..yeah..well.. I mean that’s nice an all.. but why micheal?” clay was getting a little bitter.
“clay. You and her will be happy. Everyone will be fine in the end, just go ahead with their plan… you’ll see.. Make sure you tell them i keep the air”
Clay felt jiped. His friend gave no reason he killed himself and what’s worse is that he had no idea what he was even talking about.
“micheal this is stupid, you should still be here. I guess you can’t tell me why.. but at least tell me you want to come back to us.. don’t tell me your better off.”
Micheal smiled at this and began to turn into light. Swirling faster and faster until the upper atmosphere which held the northern lights, reached down and picked him back up.
“don’t forget clay.. I’ hold the air..”
Clay mocked his voice now, so frustrated he turned and punched the ravine wall. All of a sudden the ground started to shake and a beast lept out. The beast looked horrifying, covered in molten lava, earths bedrock and it had metalic claws. It stood there looking around and shaking itself off. The lava came off, it hit the ravines ice walls sprinkler style, but the bedrock stayed smoldering. Clay froze up, and couldn’t command his body to run or fight. The moment stretched out like a snail race. Finally the beast lept at clay and knocked him awake.
“t a— uuuuuugh” clay sat up with a deep breathe. Panicked and flushed he stood up to start running but fell. Kali spotted him from twenty feet away were she was doing her morning hunting. She dropped her knife and she quickly raced over to him.
“wow he’s gotten so fast.” clay only took up smoking his senior year. The rest of his time previously smoking, was just on occasional occurrences. So he still retained some decent speed and stamina. Nigel admired it watching from camp, with a higher up view over the southern part of the forest clay raced toward. Kali had to stop him but he was too fast.
She had to yell at him “stop clay!.. stop!!.” clay looked behind himself, he stopped when he saw her.
“how do you know my name?” she didn’t expect his eight year old mind to hold on to her.
“you and another person.. who was it.. uh… ni..ni..Nigel or something.. you two visited me when I was alone one night. And then there were some more times you visited me for just about a month.. then.. you vanished.”
Kali hated the fact that they left clay. But clay needed more time back then, his dreaming wasn’t at par yet. He could fester a subtle connection, but would never be able to see what’s called chosen fission. A link between the four travelers of fate, an ability to communicate any distance apart.
This ability is prudent, if their able to make it past the obsticles ahead.
“clay.. do you remember me-” kali was cut off, and clay had regained his sense of direction.
“..look. I’m not interested. As much as I’d really like to see how crazy you two are, I’m afraid getting knocked unconscious by an imposter and forced into a trip makes me detract.”
As clay started walking away, kali started laughing.
“Your isolated clay. Just like half the kids you see everyday, your isolated. Your going back to demons.”
“you know what.. I remember you both and your stupid questions”
He turned around and scoffed.
“what are you dreaming?, how do you do with sleeping outside? how often do you predict certain events? These questions to a kid. I mean they made sense, to a young exuberant boy. But all I think of these things now is fantasia, a delusion, deja-vu, non-sense.”
Kali smirked and inched closer, she looked to be forty years old. She had a sanguine face, and pitch black hair. But her eyes were fierce, and jolted out a sense that demanded some respect.
“clay. Did you know that what we observe as the northern lights is due to the sun. Sun storms that batter our planets magnetic field, reveal the excited dance of particles. Particles like oxygen which glow green when excited, or nitrogen a misty maroon.”
Clay had no real expression, just a humored mask hiding his own demur.
“what’s interesting is earlier within your own thought, some ‘perplexity’ still remained with the northern lights.”
Clays hairs rose on his neck. He did not like what this implied.
“..you have a constant pyshic connection..? No..you got inside my head as a kid....”
Kali didn’t confess to anything, just changed her tone and tried a better approach.
“I know you don’t want to stay clay. You can hardly trust a couple of people that look like us, but we believe there is potential in you. If you don’t want to find out, I can’t help you and you may leave.. but know we tried to help micheal.”
Clay scratched his head, ‘is this crap real? it seems like a morphed version of one of micheals bad novel scripts, brought to life. She and her imposter boyfriend are liars. But these two also have some kind of link to my thought patterns. The birth mark check is necessary, right micheal?.’ He couldn’t confirm for himself if he left, and micheal was nodding green in the sky. The air that might be accessible in some fringe type of ritual power.
“what does this adventure entail?.. what lengths are we going to.. and why is Nigel even more deranged then he use to be?”
Kali burst out laughing and this concerned clay. It was odd because the situation was still very convoluted to clay, and in his eyes these two individuals may be flirting with demons.
“this isn’t an adventure clay, it’s something that’s going to take some time, a few months. An odyssey.”
Clay prodded his fingers upon both his eyes, and once clear he looked into the fiery black eyes kali had.
“ok.. i have to see your stomach.”
Kali nodded as if she was waiting for it. She lifted her layers of clothing to reveal the mark. The same mark micheal had, and clay assumed Nigel as well.
Clay nodded and finally shared a tid bit of his dream.
“micheal said we’re linked once, I never believed him. Now when I seen him in my dream he said he keeps the air, what ever the hell that means.”
When clay said this aloud he finally seen Nigel approaching. He wore a big heavy coat, with bear fur. He was tall like micheal, and maybe was even a little taller. Clay could see that his face was scarred from his chin up. He couldn’t remember if it was like that in the past.
Really clay thought his encounter with these two were dreams. Just some events that he played out with a lucid dreaming ability.
But now as he continued questioning the scar, the drearily dreamed man stood before him.
“hello clay. Im.. very sorry I lied and subdued you like that..”
The voice was really low and had bits of gravel. It seemed genuine but wasn’t very comforting.
“ya.. well I’ guess you better tell me something really important If you want me to stay with.” Clay reached for one his smokes that he seen in Nigels bag pocket.
“just explain this plan.. Micheal also said something about a plan.”
He lit a match, seemingly out of nowhere but was tucked up his sleeve. The smoke exhale happened as they started to move again, and Nigel led.
“Walk with us clay, and we’ll break down who the aurora-keepers are.”