This week’s edition to our Olympia Extracts is a wonderful science fiction - Elementals by Matthew Alec!
It happened again. The same nightmare. It’s the exact same one that I get every night, the stupid forest, the eerie mist, that immense gut wrenching feeling of fear and that voice. The soft, whispering voice, calling my name throughout the darkness urging me to walk towards it. Being the stubborn seventeen-year-old that I am, I naturally ignore it. The dream never lasts long as before I can make out any real details, I am forced back into the land of the awake. I sit bolt upright in my bed, cocooned in my bed sheet, and stare into my bright room. With light pink walls, rich pink carpets and fluffy pink teddy bears you can really tell that my parents wanted a girl.
My mother’s voice pierces the silence and draws my focus back to the present moment. “Hurry up sweetie you don’t want to be late on your first day back.” Her voice comes calmly through my door. Damn, it suddenly dawns on me that today is the first day back to school after what could be considered the most glorious summer of my life.
I begrudgingly leap out of my comfortable bed and walk towards my wardrobe and stare at the many colourful and extravagant clothes that my doting mother gets me in an attempt to make me ‘fit in with all the trends’. Dressing to impress others has never really been my main focal point when choosing what I wear. The clothes that I choose are ultimately ones that I am most comfortable in; be that a hoody and sweats or a blue lace dress and knee high boots.
Actually, I would never be caught wearing sweats or a blue lace dress in public.
I eventually decide on a simple red t-shirt coupled with my favourite black leather jacket and black skinny jeans. Now the choosing of shoes is an almost perilous decision for most girls my age but I simply grab my black wedges and, after the quick-change act, I stare at myself in the mirror. With light blonde hair that falls past my shoulders in naturally messy curls and both my eyebrows and ears covered with thick bangs, smooth and fair skin that look like fresh milk, probably due to my supposedly Scandinavian heritage, eyes that are a striking blue but splashed with little flecks of green and lips so red and full that I do not have to wear lipstick. I get compliments all the time but I rarely listen to them. Looking good doesn’t matter to me as I refuse to be one of the image obsessed teenagers that my school already has so many of.
Well actually, there is one thing that I could not leave the house without.
My pendant is a solid egg shaped piece of silver intricately decorated with small green swirls that interlink around the pendant like a spider’s web wrapped around the metal. At the front of the pendant, there is a small ruby that when it is hit with light it casts a soft red glow. Now I have had this necklace for as long as I can remember and I have never been able to open it. The front half and the back half of the pendant look as if they are welded together, and after many hours of trying to prize the halves apart I gave up.
Then it catches my eye. The small plant pot on my windowsill.
Looking at my watch and seeing that I have a couple of minutes to spare, I walk over to the windowsill and pick up the plant pot and sit with it on my bed. After a few seconds of me staring intently at the small green plant I slowly extend my arm and spread my fingers. The familiar feeling of warmth spreads all around my body until it accumulates in my hand. The little green plant starts to tremble until a brand new leaf sprouts from the stem, adding to the new group of leaves that I routinely create every day, as a way of exercising my powers. The plant continues to grow until a knock at my bedroom door breaks my concentration and the now bigger plant stops growing.
“Evelyn Frances Harp, I will not tell you again.” Okay, as my mum is using my full name, I can tell that she is getting kind of pissed now.
“I’ll be down in a second!” I yell as I hastily grab my bag and return the plant pot back on the windowsill and, after a lingering look; I shut the door, leave my room and descend the stairs into the busy kitchen.
It’s all stations go at my house, with my younger sister Lisa colouring in and talking to our cat, Mr Truffles, whilst my mother rustles around in the cupboards and my father perches silently at the table reading this morning’s newspaper. The members of my family are carbon copies of one another. We all have blonde hair and pale skin with the exception of a few grey hairs on my dad and the slightly darker blonde hairs evident on my mother. My younger sister on the other hand is the spitting image of me. It’s like looking into a mirror eleven years into the past.
My mother and father seem to be in the middle of a heated conversation when I enter the room, something along the lines of being late home and picking up dinner. I rarely listen to what goes on in my house.
“I just hope that once in your life you can get out of work early enough to be home for dinner,” my mother mutters whilst her head is buried in a cupboard above the sink apparently trying to find something that does not want to be found.
“And as I always say, the time I finish work actually has nothing to do with me.”
I think it’s my time to leave the house before there is a full on war.
“I am going now!” I shout above the volume of the TV, radio and my six-year-old sister.
“Okay, sweetie, have a great day,” my mother replies as I am leaving the kitchen and walking towards the front door.
I swiftly exit my house and head straight to my lime green little Volkswagen Beetle, named Bessie, parked on the front curb, and drive off into the most boring place in the world.
Originally called ‘Corvos Vallis’, which directly translates into ‘The Ravens of the Valley’, it was soon shortened into Ravens Valley due to the prevalence of the bird.
It is the kind of town that you see on those old-fashioned postcards; with every single house next to each other and exactly the same. Every single piece of grass in the front garden is cut to the perfect height and the white picket fences stretching as far as the eye can see. It really is picturesque. At least for the first few times you look at it because after that it gets very annoying. If the houses weren’t boring enough, the people are even worse. The men go to work each day to complete mundane tasks and then return home to doting wives in 1950s pinafores who have spent all day baking and looking after their brood of children. The whole monotonous situation is enough to make you sick. This town might not be as boring if there were things to do. But there aren’t.
Apart from Ravens Church and the few shops and the small hospital, the town really is empty. Driving to school every day only further enhances my unparalleled desire to leave the town that time obviously forgot.