Quintet Enchanted

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Five brothers, separated only by the different Elements they wield journey away from their home in the hopes of pulling the second eldest back from a ledge of self-destruction, only to find an enchantress that will forever seal their fates.

Submitted: July 18, 2017

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Submitted: July 18, 2017

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CHAPTER 1

 

The children were playing at the edge of the thicket when their aunt yelled to them that they must come back to the village centre immediately. Ignatius, the oldest of the five siblings, rounded up his younger brothers and they made their way over to where the people of the village had all gathered around the central well.

“What does Aunt Cona want?” Kaj, the second youngest brother asked.

“I’m not sure,” Ignatius replied, fixing his wiry red hair that had blown astray in the wind. He picked up his youngest brother Mancio and ushered the others along – they did have a bad habit of dallying and Aunt Cona sounded cross.

Reaching the outlying huts, the boys could hear a commotion going on up ahead. Calder, the second eldest, took Mancio from Ignatius so that he could go and talk to the elders.

“Put me down Cal,” Mancio yelled beating his brother with his little fists.

“Be quiet Manny,” Cal chided. “If I put you down, promise me you won’t go anywhere and you will stay right by my side.”

“Fine,” the little boy agreed begrudgingly.

As Ignatius went over to their Aunt, he could see redness in her eyes and a look of pain across her weathered face – her grey straw-like hair pulled back into a plait. The woman’s hands were gripping her skirt, her knuckles white and blotchy from the tension. Something was very wrong, Ignatius could feel it. He glanced back at his siblings, all standing over by their Aunt’s hut – all of them looking to him for answers. He and his brothers had been sent to stay in their Aunt’s hut for the last few days. It was cramped, very hot and the two eldest boys were getting very sick of having to look after their younger siblings. Boreas, Kaj and Mancio were born each two years apart. Calder and Ignatius were also close in age with only two seasons between them, but they were born to a different father. Their father had passed away some years ago and their mother had remarried. It was five years before she would bear another child – Boreas.

The boys weren’t told why they had to stay with their Aunt, and they knew better than to ask, but seeing Cona like this, Ignatius knew he was about to find out.

“Cona,” Ignatius reached out and released his Aunt’s hands from her skirt. “What is happening?”

Tears started streaming from her eyes, her breath quickening. “Your mother and Noshin have died,” she wailed, falling into her nephews embrace.

“What?” he asked shaking his head incredulously. “I…how…what happened?”

“The spreading sickness. It came on the other day. Your mother thought it was nothing to worry about but still sent you and the others to stay with me just in case. I hadn’t seen her for a day so I went to check on her. Noshin was supposed to be looking after her but when I opened the door I found them both just lying there. I thought for a moment that they were sleeping but when they didn’t wake to my calls…” she trailed off.

Ignatius felt his knees go weak and he looked over to his brothers wondering just how he was going to tell them. The innocent faces of children with their futures about to begin, stared back at him in wonderment of what was so important that required them to wait by the sidelines. He looked to Calder who had now lowered his head. It was as if he almost knew without having been told. He helped his Aunt to sit down and took the twenty long steps over to his brothers.

His face said it all, Calder knew instantly and dropped to his knees. Boreas stopped playing with Kaj and the two of them watched as Cal let out a low groan.

“Can I go talk to mother please?” Boreas asked and Kaj nodded in agreement. The two of them were so much more like twins than regular siblings – always in sync.

Ignatius looked to Cal and let out a long sigh, not knowing the right words to say. He knelt down beside Calder and drew the youngest in close. Mancio started to fight the hug, but soon realised he might just need it. Boreas laid his hands on Cal and Kaj sat down in front of him.

“Mother and father have died,” he said frankly still not knowing how to lessen the blow. “It was the spreading sickness. There was talk from the other elders that I overheard,” he paused searching for the right words. “They were saying that they refused the last doses of the Uvvweeya oil because there wouldn’t be enough if we got sick.”

“So they aren’t coming back?” Kaj asked, tears running down his cheeks.

“No stupid!” Cal lashed out. “They are gone. It’s just us now. They left us here by ourselves. They didn’t care.”

“Calder!” Ignatius boomed. “That is not helping. They did care and that’s why they did what they did. Half the village has been taken down by this sickness. Who is to say that we aren’t next? They died so that there could be enough medicine for us.”

Absolutely furious with his brother, Ignatius took hold of the younger three and took them to his Aunt’s hut, leaving Cal there to wallow. He needed to see them to sleep so he could go and make the arrangements for the burial.

 

********

 

12 YEARS LATER

“Aunt, Cal can’t help it. He hasn’t been the same since…well, you know.” Ignatius pleaded.

“He has gone too far this time,” Boreas chimed in. “We have to get him out of here before the rest of the village finds out.”

“Settle down boys,” Cona said reprimanding them before they got too flustered to talk rationally. “We don’t know for sure that the elders will hand down the white death. They haven’t done that for more than one hundred years.”

“We still can’t take that chance,” said Kaj as he walked in the room, apparently have overheard the conversation. “We need to get him out of here and take him far away so he can get himself together.”

“I agree,” Mancio piped up as he dropped down from the loft. It seems the conversation was not as private as Ignatius first thought. “Why don’t we all go south? I hear there is some really nice people living about two weeks journey from here. There are rumours that there is a woman there that helps people like Cal.”

“What do you think Cona?” Ignatius asked.

The woman paused in reflection before saying, “I don’t think it’s a bad idea. But would he agree to it?” her eyebrows raising with hope.

“Cal always said he wanted to go exploring, so why not now? He knows the situation he has gotten himself into is a serious one,” Kaj added making himself a hot drink from the water that was over the fire.

Ignatius turned to the young man, “You don’t even know what he did Kaj.”

Kaj opened his mouth to speak and Cona cut him off, “And you won’t find out either. I will not have you poking your noses in things that aren’t your business. If Calder wishes to tell you all then that is up to him, but until then, mind your own business,” she finished, quickly gathering the plates from breakfast with not much care towards them. Turning her back to the four young men to place the dishes on the counter she sighed. “Look,” she said. “With these new…abilities you boys have, it’s no wonder that people in the village are getting a little nervous.”

The brothers glanced at each other.

“We aren’t sure what you mean Cona,” Ignatius said warily. It wasn’t something that the boys had openly shared. Each of them seemed to have developed a strange ability with a particular element the day they turned twelve. Ignatius had the ability to create and manipulate fire out of nothing as Calder did with water. Boreas was able to manoeuvre the wind to do whatever he wanted it to do. It was no surprise that Kaj, having spent much of his childhood obsessed with different types of rocks, turned out to be one with the Earth. He had the ability to move all parts of the physical earth into any shape or formation, which was incredible to watch. Calder on the other hand, found nothing but destruction with his ability to create and influence water. If someone spoke anything against him, he would fill their lungs up so slowly with water, that you could watch the life leaving their bodies with every gasp and gurgle.

“Oh don’t try and pull one over on me. I’ve known since Ignatius was thirteen. He tried hiding it from me of course,” she laughed while taking a seat. “But when he accidentally set the roof on fire, I saw the whole thing and after helping to extinguish it, I just kept it to myself hoping that one day you might tell me of your own accord.”

“How did you find out about the rest of us though?” Boreas asked.

“Well, Calder dunked Kaj with a wave that was nowhere near the ocean. You, Boreas,” she pointed at him grinning. “Yours took longer to become obvious. I remember one day when you were fifteen, Macie Muntin was walking along in a beautiful new, cobalt dress and you couldn’t stop looking at her. The funny thing about that day, was that there was not a single breeze. But her dress managed to fly right up when that gust came along,” she paused, staring straight at Boreas waiting for his reaction.

“Hey, come on now. There wasn’t no breeze at all that day. I just helped it along a little. How was I supposed to know that her dress was going to fly up like that,” he defended.

“Sure,” Cona sarcastically agreed. “The only one I haven’t been able to pick yet is Manny.”

“I wasn’t as lucky as the others,” Mancio said disappointedly. “I guess being that there are only four elements and five of us, that someone had to miss out.”

“You never know what the future holds little brother,” Kaj said hopeful that he would not miss out.

“Whichever way you look at it, the people of the village have you all painted as evil because of Cal and now you are all treated as outcasts. I fear that the only way to get some form of redemption is to get him away. You must leave tonight,” Cona pulled out five packs from under the table and started packing them with food and blankets. “We break him out just after sun down.”


© Copyright 2017 Kathryn Lee. All rights reserved.

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