“Love Song to California” by Jen Hickman Inspires Jen

LoveSongtoCalifornia_JenHickmanQueen of Trees: an Elemental Extra

“Cameron.”

My name startles me out of concentration. The baby summer squash plant I was urging out of the soil explodes under my hands. The spring sun is multiplied tenfold under the greenhouse’s glass and sweat burns my eyes. As part of the nature facet of Elemental power, my connection with plants guarantees a plentiful summer garden as long as the plants don’t explode. Like this one. I toss the it’s shriveled root ball into the compost bin.

“Oh, sorry,” Tess says, brushing leaves off the worktable next to me and hopping up to sit. “I didn’t mean to ruin it.”

“It’s okay,” I smile over at her, “there only a hundred others.” Her booted feet swing above the ground and her hair escapes from the messy knot she’s tied it in. Tiny dark curls wisp at the back of her neck, and I want to tuck them back where they belong.

I wipe my forehead with my sleeve, wondering if I smell as dirty as I feel. She smells like rain and woods, which is like a mixture of the two of us. She’s the most talented Tempest this world has seen and she can mix a storm out of nothing. Impressive is an understatement.

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Jen’s No Rules Friday

Under Dublin Skies © Anne Marie 2009

Under Dublin Skies © Anne Marie 2009

The weather is as dangerous as I feel.

I’ve never heard the sea growl, until today.

I am high above it, sitting on an outcropping of rock, my knees pulled to my chest. It snarls, dark and roiling. The air is taut as a rubber band, charged with something that feels slick and cold, like the chill of fear down the back of my neck.

The sky is thick over head, steel grey and angry, and it has followed me here. Clouds are always following me, and the whispers in my head respond to them, a growing buzz in my ears, like an incessant bug. The heavens press down, making my ears pop and my head pound painfully. The feeling is always there just like the clouds and never ending rain. It hurts, and I can’t get away from it. I come the cliffs to let the weather have me for a little while. Sometimes it helps, but today is different. I can’t stop it.

I suck in a breath and rise. My beat up sneakers scrape against the rock. Maybe I can make it back to my apartment before the sky comes crashing down.

I’m at my limit. I think about what it would be like to stop breathing in and out, but I’m not fond of unknowns. The cliff edge beckons, but contemplating death and welcoming it are two different things. I don’t welcome death. I hold onto that and try to remember the sun.

I sigh, the sound getting lost in the wind. It’s been three years since my fifteenth birthday; three years since I’ve felt normal. That was the day the pressure in my head grew to a roar and the murmurs started. There hasn’t been a day without them.

Sometimes I feel close to the rain, like it could wash away whatever is eating at me, but then everything creeps back in. Lately not even the rain can help, and the tapping on the roof sets my teeth on edge. I’m reeling all the time, never in control.

Nausea rolls over me, and the whispers get so loud that I drop to my knees to wait it out, head in my hands. Wind pushes at me, as if it wants me to stand and fight it. I feel like I do that everyday.

The weather is crazier than I am, and neither of us should be here.

I stand, and the rubber band snaps. The sky explodes.

Maine doesn’t get tornadoes. Not in autumn.

Today it does.

The cyclone lands in the water and fights with the surf. I don’t know if it’s the wind or the twister pushing and pulling on me, but my feet are lead and I stand against it. It pulls branches from the trees as it heads inland. A sharp sting across my face makes my eyes water, and my fingers come away from my cheek dark and wet. The tornado bears down, and I can’t move.

I never thought death would be so loud. I don’t welcome it, but the storm and darkness swallow me.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Stay tuned for Anne’s No Rules Friday next week.