It was amazing to see that with the raise of my hand life could appear in front of my very own eyes in disguise of a mere flower. I whipped my head around, pleased to see the many amazed faces of my peers. Their eyes sparkled with admiration.
“That’s amazing Zanna!” Winter exclaimed her eyes focused on the tulip.
Pride swelled up in me. A clear picture of me growing trees with my mind started to enter my thoughts.
Winter stepped in front of me indicating my glory was over. She raised her hand and a small oak sapling rose out of the ground.
I rolled my eyes. Of course Winter decided to outdo me. My face felt hot. I scrunched up my nose and impatiently started tapping my foot.
A shout rung in my ears, pulling me out of my jealous trance. My stomach dropped and my shoulders felt heavy. Aven, the most experienced elder, was calling my name.
Afraid of making her angry, I ran up to her. She looked down on me, her cold grey eyes piercing into mine.
“Come with me,” she hissed, grabbing my arm aggressively.
I racked my brains as we walked. What could I have done? Aven seemed impatient and in a rush.
We continued to walk through the forest away from Clan Central. Finally we made it to Elder Territory. I sat down on a fallen log only to be quickly stood up again.
“You need to go,” She snapped.
Dread filled my stomach.
“What?” I asked, my voice cracking.
“You need to go, I said!” She hissed.
Normally I would feel upset about news like this, but I was more confused than anything. Where do I need to go? Why do I need to go?
“Find your Father and go,” Aven spat. “I don’t care if you have to travel to a Water Clan. Just leave!”
She moved from where she was standing, grabbed my arm, and pushed me towards my shelter.
I felt frozen. I couldn’t move. I didn’t want to leave my home, the Forest Clan, my friends.
“Go!” She shouted, with such force that I moved without thinking.
I ran to the tent where my Father and I lived, the wind blowing my hair in my face. I saw him with his head in his hands, sitting on the floor of our tent.
“What did you do?” I cried, my voice cracking, salty tears running down my face. My world felt destroyed. I could see it crumbling before my eyes.
“Sweetie listen,” He said so softly it sounded like a whisper.
“Don’t you sweetie me!” I hissed and yelled at the same time. “Tell me what’s going on! Where are we going?”
“There is another Forest Clan somewhere,” He said raising his head to look at me an inch. “But that will be a long journey.”
“Explain to me why we are going!” I yelled again.
We walked through the central of the clan silently. I saw my friends laughing and joking around with each other in the distance.
With my hand I wiped away the left over tears on my face and kept my head down low to avoid the embarrassment of them seeing my crying.
“Where are you going?” Winter cheerfully asked running up to me.
Her green T-shirt and pants were covered in dirt. Her blonde hair was covered by such a thick layer of mud and soil it was hard to tell it was blonde.
I just shook my head and walked away regretting not saying bye almost instantly. As we walked out of the forest, it hit me. That was the last time I would see Winter. Sadness filled my stomach, while my eyes focused on the grass below me.
After waling for a while, the trees disappeared and a grassy field was ahead of us. Yellow daises were scattered across the grass.
My legs ached from walking. I could see the exhaustion on my Father’s face.
“Let’s rest,” He said to me. “I’ve packed the tent.”
Although we were tired, the tent was put up quickly, but quietly, do to our Forest Clan skills.
Father pulled some sticks he packed out of his bag and made a campfire.
I kept my head down low trying to avoid eye contact with him, as we sat near the campfire. The silence lingered for a long time biting down on me.
“In the world there are many Clans,” My Father started. I sighed. If I had a coin for every time he told me that story. Memories of me as a young child being told the story almost made me smile. I caught myself.
“No one knows exactly how many Clans, each one has some kind of element or theme such as Water, Fire, Air, Jungle, Ground, etc.”
I smirked without thinking.
“Dad I know!” I said but then quickly dropped my head down low again.
“But there are also outsiders, called Humans,” He continued. “Humans are creatures blessed with creativity and intelligence, but cursed with greed and selfishness.”
He paused. I looked up slightly and studied his brown eyes and wrinkles. His eyes flashed yellow from the fire.
“Most humans don’t know about us. So if they see a Clan member great consequences may happen. They could either be sentenced to death or forced to leave based on the Clan,” He said.
I looked up. I had never heard this part of the story. Father stared at me with his dark brown eyes. I could see the dark circles under his eyes and wrinkles around his mouth.
“Why can’t they know about us?” I whispered putting the pieces together.
“Like I said before, humans are cursed with greed. Imagine how much ‘money’ they would get if they got a clan member on camera.”
“Did they?” I asked, my head spinning.
“Did they get you on camera?” I asked again.
“No,” He answered. “But it’s still too risky to be where that person was.”
“Why did I have to come to?”
My head was spinning with questions. Why? When? Where? I had so many more.
“I don’t know Zanna.” He said. “I think it’s time for bed.”
I could see the sadness in his eyes.
“But I have so many questions!” I yelled at him angrily.
“Good night!” He said gritting his teeth.
“Fine!” I exclaimed. “This is all your fault!” The words slipped out before I could stop them. I walked to the tent slowly.
The next morning I awoke on the ground to see my Father packing up the tent. I could almost see a raincloud about his head as he sleepily took it down.
He glanced my way, then quickly finished packing it up.
“We will arrive to the new clan today.” He said.
We walked across the field and up some hills until the trees came into our vision.
I squinted and stared off trying to unpack what could be through the trees. Thoughts of me having no friends in my new clan started to flash through my brain.
I looked up at my Father and resisted the strong urge to speak and ask him more questions.
We walked further until I finally laid eyes clan members.
My stomach dropped so quickly and unexpectedly that I leaned over and gagged. Panic rushed through me.
Eyes darted my way. They settled on me, judging, or so I though.
Panic darted around my stomach until I stopped it. I took a deep breath and tried to look around, focus on my surroundings. Still that tiny bit of panic sitting in my stomach.
A tap on my shoulder brought me back to reality.
“They say our shelter is over there.” Father said pointing to the left.
We walked that way until we saw a similar tent to our old one, its white fabric was held up by dark brown sticks.
“Excuse me,” A soft voice said behind us. I whipped my head around to see a girl who looked about twelve or thirteen years old behind me.
She had long curly red hair and bright piercing green eyes. Freckles we scattered across her nose and cheeks and she wore a brown dress
“I’m April,” She said. “Welcome to our Forest Clan.” She gently smiled at me.
“Over there is the Main Clan.” She pointed. “Follow me.”
“I’ll be there in a second,” I said back.
She ran off.
I looked up at my Father, who stood there watching April.
I ran up and hugged him. The warm embrace sent that tiny bit of panic in my stomach flying out.
“Thank you,” I whispered, and ran off to follow April.”