The young man fumbled with his keys, struggling to find the right one that would open his door and let him in to his apartment. He longed to be inside, where he could at last turn on a heater and warm his body some, granting him a slight reprieve from the freezing blizzard that continued to rage outside. Finally finding the key, he shoved it into the lock before his shaking hands made him drop them, and unlocked the door.
"Your a hard man to find," came a voice from in the room, startling him as he closed the door and making him drop his keys. He turned, looking around, but could see nobody from which the voice might have come. Cautiously, he pulled the gloves from his fingers and grabbed for the wooden bat by his door, and walked into the walkway into his apartment's kitchen. There wasn't anybody that he could see in that room, either.
"I've been looking for you for weeks, you know." The voice came from behind him, and he quickly turned and swung the bat toward the sound before he could even see it. A hand blocked it, and before he could react further it pried the bat from his frozen fingers and tossed it aside. It was a haggard looking mand, with long, unkempt hair and a face full of wrinkles, but what set him off the most was the man's eyes. Instead of whites they were as black as coal they sat in his sockets, but with irises as red as a ruby.
The old man smiled a wide, toothy smile, as he began to reach into his weathered trenchcoat for something. Taking a step back, the young man darted his eyes around, hoping quickly that some other sort of weapon was within arm's reach, a gesture to which the old man simply laughed. Removing his hand from his trenchcoat, the old man didn't show a weapon, but simply a cube. "It's a new year," he said as he held it forward, "and time for a new game to begin. But too bad for you, the other's have already started playing."
Cautiously, the young man took the cube, after the old man shook it towards him a few times. The cube was roughly the size of his palm, and ornately detailed with gold, silver, all sorts of precious jewels. On four of the faces, around the sides, there were carvings of triangles: two of them pointing up, two of them pointing down, and with a line running through one of each of them. "Have you wondered," the old man said with another smile, "why the weather is so strange as of late?"
"You see," the old man continued, turning and walking out of the doorway to the kitchen toward the front door. Cautiously, the young man followed, still holding the cube in his hand. "The Ancients were more right than modern science believes. Things can be reduced down to just four classic elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. These four elements control every aspect of life, lord over all elements of modern science, and keep the weather in a delicate balance." He turned back to the young man, and smiled again. "And the power to control them comes from that cube."
The old man held out his hand for the cube, but before the young man could hand it to him he quickly touched something on one of the free sides. The box suddenly began to vibrate, and the young man tried to drop it, however it stuck to his palm. One of the triangles then lit up, glowing a bright red, and a strange feeling overcame the young man. He was no longer cold, no longer still struggling to move from the chill that was lingering in his body. He felt warm, as if a gentle fire was coursing through his veins.
"You are now Fire," the old man said, as he grabbed at cube and removed it from his hand easily. "Four elements, four players, a new year brings the game to begin again. But unfortunately for you, the others started early." The old man placed the cube back into the recess of his coat, and with his other hand turned the door handle and pulled the door open. A pickup of the wind blew it into the wall and snow flew in through the opening, but strangely, the young man did not feel cold from the wind or snow.
"This blizzard is not natural, you see," the old man said. "Water and Air started started early, and have allied themselves together. And they have taken Earth as a hostage, which leaves you the only free player left to fight them." The old man turned to walk out the door, but before he could, the young man reached forward to grab at his shoulder. As he put his hand on the man's coat, a sudden flame burst from his hand, and began to spread across the coat.
"I don't understand," the young man said, and was met with a laugh. The old man did not react otherwise, as the flames spread out along his jacket.
"You have to bring the elements back into balance," he said in reply, face suddenly serious. "Or human life on this planet will probably ceace to exist as the weather shifts into an ice age from Air and Water's collaborations."
"I don't want that on my hands! Don't I have a choice in this?"
"No," the old man said, as he stepped out into the snow, vanishing in another blast of wind and snow. "You have no choice," came his voice, echoing on the wind.
Date posted: 01 01 11 - 21:27 Used tags: dream, regularspelling, the_grand_game, writing
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