They scattered, ants afraid of the large drops leaking from the swollen sky. They fled to their cars, not even taking the time to say good-bye as they peeled away. The hungry wind caught a half empty bag of chips and lifted it away for snack. Empty beer cans clinked together as the beach toasted the sky.
Ginger was left behind in the parking lot, each friend assuming she rode with the other. The sky’s tears pelted her, soaking down to her skin.
She hurried down the uneven wooden steps back to the beach, careful on the slippery surface. Shadows moved through the fluid curtain. She sunk into the wet sand and breathed a sigh of relief.
Until the shadows retreated, revealing the identities of her only classmates crazy enough not to seek shelter: The Five.
Each one new to the school for senior year. The three girls and two boys sported hair past their waists – the girls so blond it was nearly white, the boys black enough to hide shadows. Each always clothed to match their hair.
Every person who had crossed them had paid a price.
Ginger swore they had not been at the graduation gathering mere minutes before.
A white flash cut through the air – a spotlight highlighting the group. The answering boom rolled onto the sand from the churning ocean.
The Five inhaled the power, forming a circle of joined hands around the fizzled remains of the bonfire. She saw their mouths moving, the sound lost in the storm.
A chill cut through her and she no longer cared about getting a ride. She tried to turn and run, only to find her body paralyzed and unable to move.
Another crack split the sky, the white hot beam so close she was temporarily blinded and every hair on her body sparked with electricity.
Ginger’s vision returned to see the bonfire spark to life, impervious to the sky’s weeping. The flames glowed an unnatural blue, matching the lightning’s intensity. She watched in horror as they grew higher, until the flames kissed the black clouds.
Fear laced her as she became a puppet: kicking off her sandals, peeling her sodden shirt from her skin with a sucking sound, and shimmying her flowered skirt down her legs.
Her tears mixed with the sky’s. She unhooked her bra, doing a strip tease for mother nature. Her hands shook as her thumbs caught her underwear, her body refusing Ginger’s commands as she tossed it onto the ground.
She was the moth, unable to stop moving toward the towering inferno. The sand sucked at her toes, saying good-bye with each step until she reached The Five.
Her lips were granted freedom. “I never did anything to you! I’m only eighteen! I don’t want to die!”
They chanted as one. “Through death, comes rebirth. Receive our blessing.”
Heat surrounded Ginger, a warm blanket welcoming her with its embrace.
Her fear ceased as she ducked beneath the latched hands and walked into the flames.
Pick four numbers, each between 1 and 10.
Write them down so you remember.
Then take the four elements and combine them into a short story.
All four you picked MUST be your main elements, but you can add in other characters, settings, times and situations. 500 word limit.
* * *
3. A recent high school graduate
7. A beach
2. During a thunderstorm
1. A death