Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-seven): By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris
In Chinese herbalism there are not four but five elements: Fire, Earth, Water, Wind, and Metal. Metal fears Fire for Fire can melt Metal. But in our story Fire refuses so far to get involved with stopping Metal from destroying our planet’s surface.
It’s Saturday evening and she’s parked outside the new Grand River Conservation Area headquarters on Jennings Road near the Oakhill Cemetery. She’s about to get out of her car when she notices a young woman standing near the entrance to the Conservation Area headquarters. Rita immediately sees a blue with wisps of white aura around the woman, exactly the same as what she sees when she visits Oya.
The young woman’s eyes turn sky blue. This is the last piece of the puzzle. Rita dashes out of her car towards the young woman but it’s too late.
She feels a gust of wind press her back as a crow flaps its wings to the ledge of the building’s second storey. With head turned the crow watches her with one beady eye.
Just as she did with Marlo, Rita needs to decide whether to trust this stranger or not. She walks over to a nearby maple tree making sure the crow can still see her and decides to take a chance. She sees the reflection of the crescent moon in the crow’s eye. Closing her own eyes she feels the change as her extra weight flows off her shrinking body. Shaking she watches as the crow steps on the ledge her wings flapping.
In an instant Rita finds herself in the crow’s claws ascending to the top of the Conservation Area HQ’s roof. Once there she feels a constant whirlwind of air and realizes the young women’s extra weight has become dispersed air that swirls in a single location. The crow disappears and Rita sees a honeybee. She follows the honeybee to a vent and they both enter the building’s ductwork.
Rita hears voices with her chipmunk ears and stands still near a vent just above her head. A woman is arguing with a male.
“You can’t fudge the amount of toxins in the river Norm,” a young sounding woman is saying.
“I’m just adjusting the inaccuracies,” a male voice grumbles in reply.
“Too much cadmium, lead, or mercury in the water will kill the wildlife.”
“It’s only until the next lunar eclipse.”
“What?” the girl shouts.
“Wendy, very rich and intelligent people explained this to me. I only need to fudge reports until the coming eclipse blocks the sun so the ancient metal elemental can finally flow out of the Earth’s surface. The sun is the only thing stopping him because the ancient elemental of fire is hiding. Look I’ll give you a percentage of what I’m being paid.”
“You cannot fudge reports Norm! You have a drug problem and its affecting your sense of reality. So let’s get you some help.”
“Take the money,” the man named Norm says in a threatening tone.
“No,” the woman named Wendy replies.
Rita hears scuffling and gasps. She gazes towards the vent above her and sees the honeybee fly through it.
Model for Aella: Victoria Givlin
Makeup and Hair: Tiffany Meatherall
Photography: Shannon Fitzgerald