Rita Walker (Blog Thirty-two): By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris
This is the conclusion of the Rita Walker story…so far. Normally I would remove a story once it’s completed but Taylor and I agreed it has a lot of environmentally important links. So we’re leaving it up for now. The next blog story is a thriller and takes place mostly in Russia.
Zsofia does not go with them. She tells Rita she will wait for the elementals who will be returning. She has also agreed to take over Rita’s class until the end of the year. As they hug good-bye Zsofia tells Rita to wait one moment. Out of her purse Zsofia gives Rita a stem of a weeping willow, its bottom covered in a glass aquatic stem tube.
As the longboat heads towards Tasu, Rita peers out into the ocean. Giant bubbles of water are causing tiny eddies that are creating unusually large waves for a sunny day. The Elder lands the boat on a rocky shore near a floating fishing village. Rita sees the familiar line where the shore ends and the dense growth of cedar trees begins.
“Go inward a bit,” the Elder says. “And don’t use the fishing lodge. Kanecki will bring a storm that might crush the lodge.”
As Rita and the others get out of the boat the Elder passes Rita two heavy sacks. “Go up that path near the lodge until you find a row of totem poles. That is where I recommend you try to stop Kanecki. I will come back after the eclipse.”
“Should we meet you at the shore?” Ember asks.
A dark look crosses the Elder’s face. “If there is a shore.” He waves as turns the boat around and heads out into the choppy water.
“It’s getting cooler and the wind is picking up,” Aella says.
As they follow the path between the yellow cedars and Sitka spruce to the totem poles Marlo takes the heaviest sack from her. “Smells like food,” he says.
“If we succeed we’ll need it,” Rita replies.
“And if we don’t?”
“Each of us will have to change into our element,” Rita replies. She sees the totem poles but that’s not what she’s looking for.
The wind is blowing everyone’s hair now and it feels chilly as the sky grows darker. Rita stops between the totem poles and unfastens the mouth of the sack she was carrying. She grins. Inside are red blankets with fasteners. On the back of each blanket are the different symbols for each element. She passes them around before putting hers on.
“I’m feeling much better now,” Kanayago says with a grin.
“And I’m freezing,” Ember says with a groan.
“Do we need to draw a circle or anything?” Aella asks. The wind does not seem to affect her as much as the others.
“No,” Rita shouts through the growing wind. She peers around and sees a young red cedar growing amongst yellow cedars. “I’m going to sit beside that redwood with one hand on its bark. The rest of you will grab a hold of my other arm. Except you Marlo, you will grab my hand. Stare at the ground or close your eyes but do not look up into the sky until I tell you to.” Rita clasps the weeping willow stem Zsofia gave her in the hand she places on the redwood.
Rita feels a different tingling feeling as each of the elementals grabs a hold of her. The flowing of water from Marlo, the wisp of air from Aella, heat from Ember, and coolness from Kanayago. Rita closes her eyes and focuses on the bark of the redwood.
She can see Onya, Ailbe Rose, and Rán at the same time. Onya by the weeping willow, Ailbe Rose by the hedge, and Rán crouched down with her hand in the ocean water. She can sense Rae but not see her.
Her mind configures an image to explain something unimaginable Rita had once heard. As the wind pushes through the dense growth of trees and in the distance she can hear the fishing lodge banging against the shore Rita sees an image that terrifies her. A man with jagged metal hands and feet tearing up through the ground of the Queen Charlotte Fault until his head is covered in the water more than five hundred feet deep. His mouth opens and out of his nostrils blow bubble of air that rush towards the surface. His hands and feet mutate into long thin paddles that he uses to swim towards the surface.
Her hand starts to sweat and she feels an oily sensation from the others’ hands. Kanecki is walking onto the shore of Tasu. She can’t make out his appearance because it keeps changing from facial features similar to images she has seen of Samurais, Zulu warriors, Roman Legionnaire but the eyes stay the same; metallic grey and determined.
Energy swirls around her from the other Elemental Elders and the Elementals holding onto her. Then, Rae appears before Kanecki, with one arm behind her head as she stands wearing little garb. Kanecki’s ever changing face grins. He reaches out to touch Rae.
But Rae’s eyes turn to fire and the hand she kept behind her strikes forward with flames bursting from her fingertips. Kanecki buckles over, stepping back farther and farther until the waves of the Pacific Ocean retreat, pulling him back into the depths. Rita hears Rae say in a kindly lament, “Fire melts metal.”
Gasping for air and covered in a sheen of sweat Rita opens her eyes. She can no longer feel the other elementals touching her arm. Instead she feels the brush of a small whirlwind, the heat from a fire that does not grow from a dead branch near her feet, and a large metallic rock that rests beside the redwood. From a few feet away she sees a large puddle of water. She removes her hand from the redwood and Marlo, Kanayago, Ember, and Aella reappear as themselves. To keep warm in the darkness of night they all huddle together; too exhausted to use their talents. Rita sits with Marlo to her right and Ember to her left. Beside Ember is Aella and beside Marlo Kanayago.
In the morning the Elder returns but he only takes back Kanayago, Ember, and Aella.
“Where should we go?” Marlo asks her as they stare across the Pacific Ocean.
“Australia,” Rita says hugging him tightly to her.
With Thanks to in order:
Taylor Norris, RMT, and co-author for portraying Rita Walker—earth elemental, photos by Dan Watt
Dr. Arla Kasaj, ND, for portraying Zsofia, firstname.lastname@example.org, photos by Dan Watt
Andraya Watt as Vilas, female spirit
Kaitlyn Lindemann as Tuath Dé Danann, supernatural race in Ireland
Leah Weir, as Ailbe Rose, picture taken by Kimberley Lee, www.kimberleyleephotography.co.uk
Brenda Gabet as Airmid
Gloria Antwi as Oya, Yoruba Goddess and Mother of Nine, Gloria is associated with La Sab Hotel—Ghana West Africa
Gunnhildur Gubjornsdottir as Rán picture taken by Gunnhildur’s husband Freyr Holldorsson
Kyle Montyro as Marlo—water elemental, guitar maker, photography by Taylor Norris
Kaitlyn Lindemann as Kanayago—metal elemental–Ankh by https://www.instagram.com/34thandvinejewellerydesign/ photography by Dan Watt, woods photo taken by Katy Waring
Katy Waring as Ember—fire elemental–photo taken by Kaitlyn Lindemann
Victoria Givlin as Aella—air elemental–model, actress, and www.artals.com Shannon Fitzgerald, photographer: https://www.instagram.com/sfitz_photography/ Tiffany Meatherall, makeup and hairstylist: https://www.instagram.com/tiffanymeatherall/?hl=en
Nicki Henry as Rae, Fire Elemental Goddess, pictures by Darren Henry, email@example.com,
Associate with: https://www.facebook.com/BikersAgainstChildAbuseInternational/