I hate planes. The height doesn't bother, I've gone rock climbing enough to alleviate that fear. It’s just being miles above the ground in a heavy piece of metal. Logically, I know why a plane flies. I had to study it in physics, but damn it all, I'm still sitting here gripping the arm rests.
Why did my parents decide a trip to the Alaska was a good idea? It’s not like it’s any different over there than here. We had just spent the week in Japan, some damned world tour my parents wanted to go on. I'm the son a diplomat for England, (my mother, not my father).
My mother does her job well, well enough that we've moved around quite a bit. Most of my childhood was spent in the European nations, beginning with Italy, then moving to France, and ending in the States. My father is a writer, though he spends more time reading books, leading me to believe he is a philosopher, more than an author. He's done well enough on the two books he's gotten into print, but Mom's job seems to more than cover our needs. I really don't know what he does most of the time, since he just seems to be thinking a lot about things.
Now granted, I've had fun visiting Africa and parts of Asia, but the last couple days have not been my best. So seeing the sights in Japan while fighting off the start of a small cold wasn't the greatest. Now here I am, several miles above open frigid waters like the ones back home. Granted probably not this cold, but this is what my parents get for wanting to go on a wilderness hike in Alaska.
Back to the point. I'm in my chair, wrapped in a blanket, alternating between shivering and sweating my balls off. I've been coughing up a lung, or it seemed like it, for the better part of two hours, and on top of that ,my entire body is sorer than when one of my gym class teachers decided a run through the countryside would be a good way to start the hour.
My parents have been looking after me, and my mother has only left when she had to take a conference call. Telecommunication. Damn thing will steal the only time you ever get with your parents if you’re not careful. My mother wasn't around much because she was always off meeting with other foreign officials. My father on the other hand was focused on his writing, almost lost in the words it seemed sometimes. Whenever I asked my father about it, he would give me a sad smile and tell me that I'd be told when I was older.
I'm almost sixteen years old, dammit, I think I have a right to know things if they are going to affect my life as drastically as my parents' work has affected it. Or even MORFS.
My mother has had literally hundreds of meetings trying to work out problems with MORFS cases before they become a international problem. It’s hard to say how the damn virus - a transition, not a virus as my mother keeps telling me – has effected the world powers, but we'll know soon enough. I've been to school with loads of people who've gone through the transition, and to be honest, it’s really not as bad as people make it out to be. Changes in hair colors, maybe a little telepathy, fire control or the like. They don't know everything about MORFS yet, and from what my mother told me, they probably never will. What we do know right now are some basic statistics about MORFS.
It seemed as though only about 50% of kids have any detectable changes due to the altered strand. About 15% develop extraordinary abilities and/or body changes. And about 1% develop what would be called supernatural abilities. Another fair percentage seem to show signs of hybridization with other species, with highly variable results.
The hybridization is probably the most interesting outcome of MORFS, the worst being the gender change. I knew a guy from a boarding school in Europe. He ended up having to leave because of MORFS since it was an all guys school. There were a couple guys who grew some fur, tails, wings, claws, fangs, and just about anything else. I've never really seen a complete hybrid before, most of them were just partial ones at school.
Part of me thinks that if this is MORFS, it'd be cool, but most of me thinks that MORFS is horrible, messing up your entire life without a second glance. I felt a shiver run through me at the thought. My father looked over at me for a moment before moving to the seat next to me.
“You okay chief?” He set his book aside, looking directly at me. I know this is going to sound strange, but when my father asked a question, I can't help but feel that I have to tell the truth. I've never lied to him, sometimes to my mother, but then when my father asks me the same question he just gets me to tell him the truth.
“Bad question, don't answer that,” he said as I started choking on my lung. He rubbed my back, giving me a little comfort. “I wish we could do more for you son, but there isn't much we can do until we land.”
“I know,” I muttered. My body was sore all over, and I wanted to stretch, but seemed too tired for even that. “How much longer?”
“Only a couple more hours, Donovan. We'll have someone take us to the hospital as soon as we land.” By then I was pretty sure that it was something worse than a cold, and knew they wouldn’t have enough medical supplies on board. My parents do overreact to things like this at times, so I had my fingers crossed at the moment that it was just that.
I'm told I look exactly like my father did at my age. Above average height, above average build, above average looks. Above average sums up most of my life, actually. Donovan Cole, 16 year old virgin. I've been on dates, but nothing has ever even threatened to go that far before. I wasn’t not happy with my life, but I wasn’t really upset with it either. Bad things happen, and so do good. I'm hoping for this to be one of those good things, i.e., not MORFS.
I let sleep overcome me, but it really wasn't sleep, but rather just a sense of exhaustion. I hoped when I woke up, that this would all be over and I'd be better.
“Put this on, quick.” My father stood in front of me, holding onto a backpack. No, a parachute. What, why do I need a – No. I'm not going . No way. Not a -
The plane began to shake violently and I grabbed the parachute faster than anything I've seen. Clinging to it, I slowly began to put it on, my father helping me out as much as he could.
See? This is why I hate planes, cause I've got no control right now. I got the parachute on and clung to the straps. Those oxygen masks came down and my father swatted my hand away from it. He gave me a stern look and motioned with his head toward the back.
“We've got to get back to your mother.” He pulled me up from my seat, dragging me, my parachute, and the blanket I was wrapped in with him. I've never seen my father so determined, so strong.
“What's going on?” I asked. He pushed me aside as the plane shook again, this time dumping luggage down where he was standing.
“I'll tell you when we get out of here,” my father pushed past several people to the conference room my mother was last in. She opened the door as the plane tilted to the left, grabbing onto my father as he held onto me. I've never been more afraid in my life, never felt sicker in my life, and never known that I would make it through a moment then right now.
My body still felt sore as my mother held me tight. I vaguely saw her give my father a look before nodding. “What's going on? Shouldn't we strap in?”
“We've got no time for that, honey.” My mother held me tighter, and I couldn't help it; I clung to her. She gave me a sense of strength and warmth. All I wanted to do was go to sleep right there, but I had to stay awake.
“Son, stay with us.” My father wrapped his arms around us as the plane began to shake again. We must have changed directions as the plane shook. I shouldn't have been watching the door in front of us being ripped forward in a gust of wind. I shouldn't have seen the horror on the other passenger's faces as they fell along with us. I shouldn't have ... but I did ...
We fell hard and fast. I just gripped my mother's arm tighter, hoping to escape this horror. The plane disintegrated around us as we fell to the freezing ocean. My mother held onto me tightly, screaming as we dropped.
It's strange the things that go through your head when you're about to die. Like, ‘I've only kissed a girl, barely made it to second base, and am now dying a virgin. Does God have a special place for boys who died a virgin? He has to, I mean really, if you think about it. We're young and innocent, how could He not? What about kids with MORFS?’
That was what I hoped I had, or a least had a week ago. Maybe then I might have some gift or something to save my parents.
My father remained calm, his eyes on the fast approaching rocking waves of the sea. He gave me a fleeting smile. A smile asking to trust him. I nodded, gathering my breath in what lung space I had left. My cold felt like it was wavering. Maybe that energy bar I had before I fell asleep was kicking in.
We hit the water with the force of a thousand angels. My father hit first, giving me enough time to know it was coming. My neck snapped back, and I prayed it had not broken. My mother loosened her grip on me, but not I on her.
For a moment, nothing else was upon. Even my grip on my mother's arm. All I had was the water, flowing around and letting it move through me it seemed. Even in the dark I could see something pass beneath us as we rocked in the waves. It was massive, though it did not look like it would harm us. It was only the burning in my lungs that stopped my moment.
I pushed with what energy I had to get my mother back to the surface. She gasped in the air, and I felt myself beginning to do the same. My father appeared beside us, unhurt, unafraid, determined, and angry. The last was something I don't think I'd ever seen in his eyes.
“You got a hold of your mother?” my father asked. I stared at him, trying to find something to say. “Donovan! Listen to me! Do you have a hold of your mother?”
“Yeah, I think so,” I said. I reached for a piece of the wreckage, helping my mother hold onto it. I felt my eyes droop slightly, my trend waver as the adrenaline began to leave me.
“Stay awake son, you're doing good.”
“Dad, what happened?” I asked above the roar of the waves.
“I promised Mum that I'd keep quiet about this son, at least until we get back,” my father said. My mother was gripping the wreckage as we looked over at her. The two of them shared a look before she rested against the piece of seat, holding tightly to it. “I hope the rescue comes soon. I don't know how much longer I can keep this up.” I grabbed onto a piece of wreckage, it looked like a suitcase, using it to keep my tired body afloat. I should be sick, I know I should be sleeping right, but my father asked me to stay awake. I've never crossed my father.
“You okay Dad?” I kicked the luggage piece over to him, offering him some it. He grasped on with one hand, looking up into the sky.
“I wish things had been different son,” he said. The waves began to pick up. In the distance, I saw what had to be a helicopter coming our way. “I wish I had more courage.”
“What are you talking about?” I looked back at my father, surprised to see his lips turning blue. I knew the water had to be freezing, but I was barely feeling it. The sickness was still there, but I couldn't feel the cold anymore. I still felt the water , but it didn't feel cold anymore.
“I wish I had told you sooner, son.” He wasn't looking too good, but I didn't know what to do. The helicopters looked like they were almost here.
“Hold on Dad, they're here to save us,” I held onto his hand, doing my best to keep what I could of the sickness at bay.
“Not everyone can be saved.” A wave hit us and he began to cough. I barely felt it, like my breath was gone from me as I stared at him. “Look after your mother.” I looked back at my mother, to see her slipping off of the wreckage. With the next wave that hit us, I lunged for her, desperate to keep her afloat.
She stayed there, holding onto both me and the piece of plane. “Donny?”
“I'm here mum.” The waves were getting worse as we held onto each other. Her arms overlapped my own, clinging to not only each other, but to consciousness.
I wanted to just sleep, and my parents were there, so things were going to be okay. They had to be okay.
The helicopter was above us now, the waves racking use as the spotlight scanned for others. I looked at my Dad, or where he had been. The spotlight moved over where he should have been, but there was only the wrecked luggage.
“He'll be fine, honey.” My mother finally spoke calmly, like she knew something about all of this. Her voice was wavering, whether from the winds and waves, or because of the helicopter, I was not sure. “We'll be fine.”
“We'll be down there shortly, hold on!” A voice from above. I squinted into the light, the feeling of hope letting my eyes grew heavy. I wanted to stay awake, to find my father, to know that he was okay. But the sickness was becoming too much for me. I felt my mother hold onto me tighter as my head grew weary and heavy. The world turned black. And then there was just water.
My head felt heavy as did the rest of my body. I wanted to open my eyes, but they too were tired. My ears worked and the voices around me started to focus more.
“It's hard to say. MORFS is ...” The voice trailed off, but it wasn't my mother's or father's. Were they talking about me? Did I have MORFS?’
I tried to turn my head, to move just a little. The fog wanted to stay settled, though. I felt someone running their hand over my hair. At least I still had hair, and from the way it felt, it was still short. I hoped that I hadn’t changed too much.
My mind was too tired to catalog whether I had any changes just yet. If there was any part of me that had changed, I hoped that it was not a very big change. There was change that hadn't occurred as I began to feel a pain down below.
'I am still a guy. A guy with a rubber hose shoved up my penis, but a guy, nonetheless. Any other changes I think I can deal with, but I'm still a guy. I hope I can deal with them.’
“...looks like he is doing well. Should wake up shortly.” The doctor again. I was not liking the sound of this. I hoped that my MORFS transition wasn't too bad.
I wanted to ask him to get right to it, but lucky me, all that came out was groan. Damn it, I wanted to know what happened. My mother was alright, but what about my father? Where was he? Maybe he hadn't asked a question yet or a spoken or maybe he just wasn't talking.
“You're awake?” My mother's weight was noticeable next to me. Hers was the hand through my hair. I lifted my eyelids, flinching slightly in the bright lights of the room. They had to be bright, or maybe I just hadn't opened them in a while. Someone moved a cup to my lips and I slowly drank from it . The water felt cool, welcoming. I drank as much as I could, which had to be the whole glass, since it was tipped up as far as it could go. As the water traveled, it felt like it was healing my system. Who knows.
“What ... what happened?” I got out. I pushed myself so I was sitting up. My body felt tired, and I wanted to see the changes, but I had to keep things in the proper order. My arms were still covered by bandages, from cuts from the fall perhaps. That was not important at the moment though. I needed to know what happened before I could worry about myself.
“We should wait to-” the doctor began, but my mother cut him off with a wave of her hand.
“The plane had engine problems, we don't know if it was sabotage or not, but most of the people on the plane died,” Mum said. “You're father saved us. He made sure that the fall did not hurt us.”
“How?” She paused here, looking at the doctors before turning to look at me. She stared at me for several moments, as if not knowing what to say.
I knew what to ask though. “Mum, please, how did this happen? If you can't tell me that, then tell me what's wrong.” She nodded, brushing away some of the hair on my head. I had surprised myself by speaking so many words in a row; maybe that water helped me more than I thought.
“You've gone through MORFS, just like your father had,” she said calmly. The doctors behind her inhaled sharply, not expecting her to respond in such a manner. To be honest, neither had I.
“MORFS?” I struggled to sit up more, but my mother's gentle hand stopped me.
“Donovan, no matter what you see, you are my son,” she said with a sad smile. I had to return it. What else could I do right now?
“Well, I'm just happy that I'm not your daughter.” She laughed lightly at this, tears in her eyes though. I raised my hand, touching hers softly. I paused at the strong contrast. Hers looked pale against my new hand, despite a healthy tan on her hand.
The hand was black, darker than the night could ever be. I turned it over, finding the same darkness upon the palm, as well. My fingernails were now grey, whitening as they moved away from the cuticle. The hand was slightly larger, as well. I flexed it, finding strength there that I did not know I had. I looked at my mother, then back at my hand.
Before, hers and mine were about the same. She wasn't a small woman, but I wouldn't classify her as large either. She was tall, about as tall as my father. Now my hand held hers as if she was a child.
I sat up further, letting the sheet fall from my chest. I was slightly shocked to see the whiteness of my chest, stretching down underneath my sheet (I'd look in private how far down it went), up to my neck. I looked at my mother for confirmation about that as my other hand went to my neck. She nodded, tracing a line just my jaw. I flinched slightly, flexing the muscles across my body. Apparently I had a lot of them, cause my whole body began to ache with that reaction.
“You mustn't provoke him, Madam, we don't know what he can do,” one of the doctors said. I turned to look at him, glaring slightly as I held my mother's hand in my own. While I did not know my strength, I knew that I would never harm her.
“My son deserves to know what happened.” Mum gave me a smile before reaching up to touch my face. I leaned back from the hand, afraid of what changes there were to my face. She wasn't deterred though, her hand rested against my cheek. I leaned into the touch. “We'll get a mirror, but you look just about the same. All black, except right here.” She traced an awkward oval around my left eye. “It's white, like your chest. Your eyes are a deeper blue now too.” She broke down and I wrapped my arms around her, holding her gently as I felt my own tears fall.
“I'm glad to see you're up once more, Donovan.” A tall black man walked in. Well, not as black as me, but you get the idea, right? “Why wasn't I paged right away?” He addressed this to several other doctors standing around. They began to mutter, and I had to throw my guess that they were interns. “Why don't you leave us alone and return to your rounds?”
“But sir?” one of the interns said. The one that had tried to stop my mother from touching me.
“Do you know this patient's name?” When none of them responded, the doc moved with an angry calm. You know, the calm when you get so mad, it's crazier to talk in a calm level voice? Like from that old movie Silence of the Lambs when Hannibal Lector talked to that FBI girl? That kind of crazy. I’m telling you, that was exactly like what the doc sounded like.
“If you do not treat the patient, how can you treat the disease? Now, I want you all to leave and consider if this profession is really what you want to be in. We are here to help people, not to just cure a disease or fix them like they are a car or an appliance.” He paused, taking a deep breath as if calming himself down. “Missus Cole, Donovan, I hope they haven't caused you too much grief.”
“No, they were just leaving, from what I understood,” my mother responded. She moved into that voice that she used when working with some of the idiots sent by some of the other countries. The interns left quickly, leaving mum and I alone with the Doc.
“My name is Doctor Alexander, I'll help you as best as you can,” he said. “If I don't know something, I won't bullshit you. I'll get you the name of someone that does know and have them help you. I am not an expert on MORFS. However, I have treated several cases this year alone. While not uncommon with the populous, most do not go through it in the manner that you did, son.”
“What manner would that be?” my mother asked before I could.
“You started going through the process while on board a plane. Normally, you'd begin treatment immediately following landing.” He checked something on the clipboard in his hand before looking back up. “We've even got it down that the plane called ahead to have a pickup for you. But then, it happened. We don't know how, or why, but the plane just broke apart.”
“That isn't what's important right now,” my mother said. She gave my hand a squeeze before looking at the Doc again.
“Quite right you are ma'am. Now, we're going to start the testing once you are ready.”
'Testing? Testing? What testing?'
“Relax, Mister Cole, the testing is simply to assess your abilities as a newly MORFS transient. This is so that you may begin to train your abilities and return to a normal life.”
“That's fine, but we'll get to that after I see my father,” I moved to sit up, but stopped at silence. I looked at the Doc first, before looking at my mother. She was crying again, squeezing my hand tightly as she looked at me. “Mum? Isn't Dad here, I mean, he's got to be here, right?”
“The Coast Guard was unable to find your father's body. I'm sorry,” Doc said. I looked at him, wishing this was a joke. Just a cruel joke, and then my father would pop out and surprise us all.
'I wish this was just a cruel joke. I wish.'
I drew my knees up to my chest, not surprised to see the white on my stomach pass all the way down and even getting the sides of the upper thighs before ending at my knees. The catheter was held against my leg by the boxer shorts I had on. Part of me was curious as to which color I was down below, but at the moment, I just pushed that thought out of the way. I felt a rumbling in my throat and the tears in my eyes. I let the rumble loose as the tears began to fall onto my altered body.
My mother's arms did not even reach around my new body, but she hugged me nevertheless. I cried even louder, feeling too lost to even recognize the change in my cries. Higher, then lower. My cries rolled out of my throat and felt my mother pull back before wrapping her arms even tighter around her.
I don't know how long she held me, or how long I cried, but by the time I stopped, my eyes didn't even feel dry. My mother gave me a kiss on the cheek, running her hand through my hair as she pulled back. Her eyes were bright red, still sad, but there was happiness in her eyes.
“That was beautiful,” she said.
“What?” I looked at her before looking at Doc.
“You were singing,” my mother answered. I raised an eyebrow, or at least did the equivalent with what I could.
“Whales have been recorded singing, similar to the manner that you were just doing,” Doc said. “I'll see if I can get you some recordings of them.”
Mum let go of my hand, sitting back on the bed as she looked at the Doctor.
“I'll arrange that. Now, when can we leave?” my mother asked. She’d had enough surprises for the day it seemed. “We've certainly got doctors back home that can handle this.”
“Madam, it's not that simple,” Doc said.
“It really is that simple. We are British nationals, we wish to return to our home in London to attend to my husband's affairs.” My mother stated that as a fact, using the strong presence she has. My mother grabbed onto that firm holding of strength she had. I always knew she had it, but usually it seemed as if she was happier with letting others decide certain things. Like getting me out of here. “If this testing is necessary, then we shall carry on with it immediately, otherwise, may I suggest that my son's papers are drawn up so that we may leave?”
“We can proceed with the testing tomorrow morning, and then have you out of here by the afternoon.” Doc looked defeated.
"Seriously, what else can they do for me? If I’ve finished the second stage of MORFS, then I am immune to 99.9% of all diseases and illness for the next couple months."
“Thank you.” After my little outburst, my mother had grabbed hold of the decorum that she always had. She was a diplomat after all. “We do appreciate your help, but understand that we need to go home before the healing can really begin.”
Doc nodded before leaving us alone. “Ready to go home?”
“I guess.” I was still hugging my legs, hoping that this was a dream. I knew it wasn't though.
My day began horribly, to say the least. Those interns were back, poking and prodding me from a restless sleep that had been filled with nightmares over the horror that my life had become . My mother quickly kicked them out of the room, working with the storm of advisors that she had amassed over night. Doc even made the comment that the advisors came faster than the common cold. I'm not going to disagree, I've known them all for a long time.
First, there was Jonas McBride, an average man who has been working for my mother since before I was born. I should say that he doesn't work for my mother, but worked with her, as an information man, gathering what he can so she can take advantage of a situation. He's the man behind the scenes.
Jenny, I seriously do not think she has a last name, was my mother's secretary. She worked to get anything for my mother. Part of me questions how close they are, but to be honest, I don't care. Jenny was close to my father as well, so whatever they had, its not up to me to judge.
I should note right now that my parents taught me to be accepting of everyone and anything. It's probably why I was not freaking out so badly. I don't know, acceptance had always been a part of my life. The way I talk, act, and do just about anything reflects this. That's not to say I won't get angry about people being stupid. Stupid people piss me off. Or to say that I can't be prejudiced against specific people. I'm just saying that I try to respect everyone, but I am far from perfect and probably make assumptions like everyone else does. Anyway, where was I? Jenny? Jenny.
My mother had Jenny arrive her first, giving her comfort. Jenny looked nearly as distraught about my father as my mother did when she entered the room. Jenny was like an Aunt to me, and about the only other person I'd really wanted to see after this all started.
Then there was Alberto Horiato, an associate of my mother. Associate is the only word I can apply to him because the man acts like a jackass around me whenever we meet. Today was no different then any other day. Except there was a little fear in his voice when he spoke to my mother. Not to me, never to me. He’d never spoken to me, even before this.
My testing was relatively normal for a MORFS transition. They began with a basic physical, finding my new height was just on the other side two meters. My weight about doubled, landing me at 24 stones, though, the doctors think I am going to gain more. Lucky me.
Because of my orca-like appearance, they made me swim. The pool was a little too small for me though. By that, I mean they had an Olympic size pool in which I finished my laps, all 20 of them, with only a single breath. And in about five minutes.
It felt great to be in the water. I swam like I normally would, but the feeling was amazing. As the water moved across my slick skin when I got in, a chill ran down my spine. The water was cold, but it didn't feel it, not to me at least. The chill came from how right it felt, like when I’d kissed my last girlfriend, but different. The doctors who were testing me said the pool heater was broken, but I couldn't tell the difference. Mind you, I turned the shower up all the way after this to see if I could feel any heat: nothing.
Back to the pool, when I got in, the feeling was amazing. I had taken off, swimming to the other side in a couple of strides, feeling the power of my muscles propelling me at amazing speeds (for me a least with regards to swimming). I finished the lap in a single breath and didn't feel like I needed to take another one as I popped back up. It scared my mother like nothing else, Jenny just had a good laugh on my account.
Water to me was like a second home. I felt good there, not threatened by the doctors (they couldn't catch me), not letting my mother worry about me. I felt as if my father was reaching out and giving me a warm hug or squeezing my arm, one last time.
They had me test my singing again, against several whales songs. Similar, but the cadences were still distinctly human. My throat felt so sore after they did this damn test. They had me trying to sing for half an hour, even under the water. The singing was exactly like the whales, though as if it was coming from the larger whales rather than the toothed whale I resemble. So not only is the song rather low in cadence, my voice was lower. Jenny was the first to point this out, saying my voice sounded grainier than it had before. Mum just kept saying she was happy I was alive.
I sat there, finishing drying off from the pool. It felt odd to not have wrinkly skin. But then again, it felt odd to be nearly two meters tall and two dozen stones. With my mother helping though, I think I can learn to handle whatever curves life may throw at me. Jenny is a staple in our house to begin with so she's going to be there for the ride as well.
“You ready for the next test?” Doc said. I had only a large pair of grey sweat pants to wear. Nothing else really fit me, or at least yet. We were planning on buying new clothes when I get out of here, hopefully at least.
“And that is going to be?” I tossed the robe and towel into a large bin with others.
“Elemental testing,” Doc said as we walked down the sterile hallway. My feet padded against the cold flower, but we hadn't the chance to find me shoes. “Our telepaths found the potential in you for an elemental control, yet we don't know which one. Something was blocking us. Which is why we need to test you out.”
“You don't know what I have control over, yet you're going to test me anyway?” I stopped walking, not sure if I wanted to go through with this.
“Now that you're awake, we can use a deeper probe to further assess what you can do,” Doc explained. We were far off the hospital's normal grounds, in an area where they test just about every MORFS case in hopes that it will not only protect the workers here, but the MORFS transients as wells.
I entered the room without much fanfare. I asked that my mother and Jenny not be there for this part, as I felt this would best be left private. The room was sterile like the rest of this place
“Welcome, my name is Dorian, I'm the one they have testing you today.” The man was dressed rather casually for a hospital, but then again, there is little need for formalities with something like this. He also had black cat ears, which looked odd against his orange shirt. “Now, if you could take a seat, please?” He motioned toward a seat across the table for me.
I sat and nodded, letting Dorian know he could start. Doc stayed around, to monitor both of our vitals and ensure if something wrong did happen, we would be safe. I felt the tendril of something pushing against my mind. Like it was knocking on the door, I concentrated and opened the door up for me. That's the only way I know how to explain it.
The tendril passed into my head, dipping into the depths of it. I felt it swirl and swim around me, passing by me as I treaded there in my mind. Things passed by me, fish I think, though they were not a part of what had caught my attention. Large shapes swam above and below me. Whales, I thought, or maybe even a shark. What light I had in my mind was refracted, giving everything an odd sense of glow to it. I followed the tendril out of my mind as it receded, closing the door as it left.
“Well, you have very limited telepathic abilities, which would explain why we couldn't enter your mind before,” Dorian said. “Now for your elemental abilities.” Dorian stared at me for several moments.
“What about them?” I asked after the pause.
“You have a potential unlike any I've ever seen, especially in someone so young,” Dorian said.
“I'm not that young, and I'd like to know in what I have potential.” I was beginning to get angry with him.
“You're a water elemental, a strong one at that,” Dorian said. He looked at Doc who took the moment to start explaining.
“ A water elemental is a MORFS who has the ability to control water,” he said. I nodded, figuring the statement was self explanatory. “You'll be able to use the water to form things, like a shield or possible a weapon if you worked hard enough. I don't know. Most water elementals are able to move the water from one place to another, find water, or even to speed the movement up through it. The farthest end of the spectrum we've reached is simply finite control over the water's movement. I suspect you might go even further than that.” Dorian nodded in agreement.
“Let's get your mother in here so we can talk,” Doc suggested. I sat back in the chair as he left to get them. Dorian had moved to gather a glass of water and tray, placing them in front of me. When I gave him a questioning look, he just said it was for testing purposes.
My mother came in with Jenny, who was arguing with Doc about being there. My mother shot them both down, saying that their argument wasn't important. She gave me a hug and kiss on the cheek when she came. Her eyes were still red, but she looked like she was doing better. Jenny looked did pretty much the same thing, hug and a kiss on the cheek, except she ruffled my black hair (which had been brown before).
They sat on either side of me, as Doc moved over to stand behind Dorian. “Donovan is a water elemental, Ma'am.” They paused, why did they do that?
“Are you expecting me to be shocked? It doesn't matter what he is now, he has been and always will be my son,” she said, staring them both down. I held back a laugh as the two doctors gulped in fear. “Now, if we can get this over with, we can get home sooner.” The two doctors looked at each other before nodding. I guess they really weren't used to be being bossed around like that.
“Donovan, could you move that water onto the tray?” I looked at them both, as if they were serious. Looking over at Jenny, I gave her a smirk. I picked up the glass and poured it into the tray. The doctors stared at me as Jenny broke out into laughter.
“We can leave now,” I said, standing up from my chair.
“You can't leave yet, we're not done testing.” Doc said, stepping forward. I held my hand down to the ladies sitting next to me. My mother had instilled the strong sense of chivalry into me, which always made me stand up first and help the ladies up. As well as half a dozen other things, but that's neither here or there.
“No, we are done, I finished your testing by moving that water into the tray,” I said. I let Jenny led my mother out of the room, slightly in shock at what I had done, mainly so she wouldn't see what I'm about to do.
“Now listen here, I don't care if you are the son of a diplomat, you can't just-” I moved across the table, quicker than he or I thought possible.
“I can't what? Stand here and let you all barrage me with a million and one tests?” I stared down at Dorian, daring the telepath to get up. While I wasn't angry with him, the situation that man was in only made my anger worse. “My father just died, and all I want to do is get home. You've done your tests, let me be.”
I walked out of the room, finding Jenny holding up my mother. I walked over, gathering them both in my arms. I guess something good to come from all this was to be the rock that they broke upon. I never noticed the water shoot up from tray, off the ground. Or I guess I noticed, just never thought about it again.
I had been home for a week now, adjusting to everything from my father's disappearance, (I refused to look at it as anything but), my mother’s taking a leave of absence of work and letting Jenny move in with us, (which is nice, because she's helping my mother out so much), finding out that my father also had MORFS, and so had Jenny. She wouldn't say what her transition was, but it was something. Surprisingly, my own case of MORFS doesn't bother me that much. Granted, I've stayed inside and most of the public knows of the change now, but really, it hasn't been that bad.
I've been working on my abilities with water, finding myself drawn to it at times. I haven't been able to do much besides beginning to manipulate it, making it do things such as spin, move about, even stop the motion of it like it hit a wall. I figure that I was manipulating the pressure of the water, giving me the ability to change its directions and stuff like that. Density at that too. Playing with a ball of water was fun for a while, but I've gotten bored of it.
“Donny?” I looked up from the small pool in front of me. I had made it out of, well, out of water. Nothing was holding it up but the water pressure. I was making the ends push against the center. The pool though, wasn't made to be and fell apart, filling the floor with water, again. “That's why we're having you practice in the bathroom. You won't ruin the floors,” Jenny said with laughter in her voice.
“You needed something Jenny?” I looked back at the woman. I had always been taller than her, but now I towered over her by half a meter or so.
“The tailor's here.” I nodded. I'd been wearing just sweat pants recently, just that. We can't go shopping until we get my measurements, or so my mother said. Either way, I really didn't care. Right now, the most important thing in my life was protecting my mother. The tailor had come once to take my measurements when we first arrived and now was returning for the actual fitting.
Mum was doing alright, as most of the necessary affairs had been covered by our lawyers, but still, there is no way you can go through this without being scarred in some way. Our first day back, we spent just in their room. Me holding mum and she holding a photograph of her and dad. We didn't talk about it at all, and to be honest, we still haven't. I don't think my mother can handle talking about it yet.
I followed Jenny to the parlor room, where the tailor had already set up his mirrors and other materials. My mother was still in her room, taking a nap. “You think you can go check up on Mum, maybe get her to come out here and take a look at me when this done?”
“Might do her some good,” Jenny nodded as she left. If they weren't together, maybe getting together might do them some good. I took the set of clothing he held out in front of me.
Changing quickly, I looked down at the grey suit coat and blue shirt. The pants were the same grey as the coat, and fit well, if not a little tight around my upper legs. I finished putting on my light blue tie, nothing special about. The shoes weren't going to come in, not for another day or so. They had to be specially made for my foot size, UK 15, or something like that. I think my bare feet would be closer to black than the shoes would be, so it'd probably go well with this setup. I didn't know, Jenny had picked out the colors.
It was hard finding colors to go with my new skin tone, specifically something that black did not overshadow. To be honest, a lot of this still hasn't sunk in, but I know it will. I just hope that it doesn't happen at the wrong time.
My mother walked in with Jenny as we entered, the two talking in hushed tones. There was even a hint of a smile on my mother's face. “This good enough Mum?” I asked, holding out my arms. Her smile widened at me as she nodded. My other clothes for school were going to have to wait. I don't even know if I want to go back. I know it would be better for me if I do, but right now, family is more important to me.
“Four other suits then please, in the color schemes I picked out,” Jenny said. The tailor nodded, moving out to finish the order.
“You look so handsome.” My mother walked over to me, touching my face lightly. “You have so much of your father in you.” I felt the tears in my eyes even as they formed in hers. Not knowing what to say, I could only wrap my arms around her in a bear hug, holding onto her as tightly as I could.
“It's going to be alright,” I told her softly.
“We're going to be strong,” my mum said as she pulled back.
“I just take my cues from you. mum,” I said as she let go. “Has anyone come and talked to you about it?”
She shook her head before looking back at Jenny and then me. “I'm thinking about taking a vacation, a real one,” she said. “I'd...I'd like it if you both would come with me. I'm just not ready to go back to work right now, if at all.” She started to hug her body as she looked out the window.
“Mum, all I ask is that if we go somewhere, you have to keep teaching me.” I sat down on the couch in the room. The small chairs really don't fit me all that well and after breaking one, I planned on avoiding them.
“Home schooling perhaps?” Mum said with a smile on her face. “You'd give up going back to the Academy?”
“With how I've changed, I doubt anyone at the Academy would know it was me returning anyway,” I shrugged my shoulders. “There are more important things to be dealt with right now.”
“He's right, Ang,” Jenny said. (My mother's full name is Angela Bea Cole. ABC, cool huh? Yeah, you're right, corny.) “I don't know if I can afford it, but-”
“Nonsense, Jen, we'll cover everything,” Mum said. “I need you both right now to help me. Your father was my everything, Donovan. I just ...” Jenny wrapped her up in a hug as I stood from my seat to let them down. Jenny gave me a smile as they sat, holding tightly to each other.
“I know, Mum,” I said. I had seen the light in their eyes every time when the other just walked into the room. “Work know yet?”
She nodded as she rested against Jenny. “They are aware of what happened, and I've told them that I needed some time,” Mum said. “If it means my job, so be it.”
“You sure? You love that job?” Jenny asked. I nodded along with her, knowing that the job had been her goal for so long. She’d wanted it so badly, and worked so hard to get it. When she finally did, I don't think my parents left the bedroom for that entire day. (You think that I don't know my parents are sexually active? Honestly ... !)
“There are more important things.” Mum took my hand in hers, holding it gently. It still shocks me a little to see her smaller hand in mine.
We sat in silence for several minutes, relaxing in the company of others. Well, almost silence. My mother sniffled her tears every now and then. Jenny was there to help though. I never knew what to do when my mother cried. My father always took care of her then. Jenny did when dad wasn't around, but that wasn't too often. Now it seems that Jenny will be working hard to keep my mother happy.
“Enough of this,” Mum said. She waved her hands to get Jenny to release her as she sat up. “You think you can show us a thing or two, Mr. Water Elemental?”
“Jenny's made me practice in the loo, so excuse me if I make a mess,” I said. I went to the kitchen and got a glass of water. When I returned, Mum and Jenny were busy chatting about something, I think the vacation, but I heard the words water, so I'm not too sure if they were talking about me or a place with water. Or both. It really doesn't matter, and to be honest, we could afford just about anything that we needed.
Our home is modest, despite the income my parents were able to generate. We lived on the income from Mum's job, relying on that mainly and letting the money from Dad's books collect, and they were still selling well after going over to the States. Our apartment met our needs. It was not as large as it could be, but I thought it was more than enough.
When I walked back into the room, Jenny and Mum stopped talking and looked at me expectantly, and I got a feeling of dread. I hate to be in front of a bunch of people, to be the center of attention. Even if it was just them, I still didn't like it.
“What are you going to do?” Mum asked, on the edge of her seat. She hadn't seen any of this yet, but it was an old hat to Jenny and I.
Placing the water on the coffee table, I took a step back. I stood in front of them and the water, thinking for a moment about what I wanted to do.
“Remember that old movie we watched, about Merlin?” Mum nodded. Dad loved the older movies, especially if it had something about magic or fairy tales. Jenny looked at us oddly. “Well, the point is that magic comes in three classes. Three stages of progression. The first is incantation.” I looked at the water. “Up.” With only the force of my voice, the water rose into the air. It floated there for several moments before falling back into the glass. “The second stage is that of hand movements.” I looked at the water for a moment before grasping at the water. With a smirk I felt the water flowing through my hand, meters away no less. Lifting my hand, the water followed out of the glass. “Now, the trick is to keep the mind in place.” Letting my fist relax, the water stayed in the air, floating there. Using both hands I spread the water out, without even touching it.
The water spread out, like it was being dropping against a piece of glass. My mother reached out and touched it, sending a ripple through the thin water.
“Is this what you've been doing?” Mum asked. I just smiled as I grabbed my sheet of water before folding it.
I don't know how to explain it, but to me, water is a median that I just move my mind through. I can hold water just as I could hold clay. The water responded like nothing else that I've ever seen. The water felt harder than steel in my hands as I held it, though with a single thought, it could fall limp and the density of it would drop.
By now, the water was nothing more than a piece of watery string, wrapped around my hand. “I can do a couple of tricks,” I said. The string melted into a ball. Smiling, I dropped the ball, causing my mother to let out a shriek.
With a flick of my wrist up, a string of water shot up from the ball. The string wrapped around my ring finger before I flicked my wrist up again. My water yo-yo stalled before coming back up to my hand. I flicked it up and down several times before I began to feel tired. Normally I only practiced a couple minutes at a time, transitioning between forms slowly. I had made these changes so fast, that I was beginning to feel tired. But it was a good tired, like stretching a muscle after a long work out.
“I can't do much more,” I said, shooting the moon with the yo-yo. I let the string go, causing the ball to float in mid-air again. My mother and Jenny began to clap as the ball dropped into the glass, splashing up a little. Jenny wiped it up with the towel as I dropped to the floor with a thud.
“Guess it took more out of me than I thought,” I said with a laugh. My mother gave me a smile as she handed the glass to me. I drank it slowly, feeling better already.
“We're thinking of maybe going to Egypt, but we really don't know what you'd think,” Mum said. I nodded, before sitting up. I moved to a loveseat, a little bit of a tight fit, but I managed.
“No flying,” I said.
“What? What do you mean?” Jenny asked.
“I'll go anywhere you ask, but by no means am I flying.” I closed my eyes, still feeling the plane shake. I gripped the seat I was in, feeling the my fingers press into the wood. “No flying.” I saw us falling again. All those people ...I just couldn't.. ....
“We're not going to fly there,” my mother said. I opened my eyes, and relaxed my grip. I didn't know that it had been so strong. “We're taking the train to Italy, a ship to Cairo. I would like to spend some time there before taking a cruise around the Mediterranean. I hope that is okay with you?”
I nodded, relaxing just a bit more. “If its all the same, I may never get onto a plane again,” I said. I shivered, not from the cold but just from the thought.
“You don't have to.” She drew me into a hug, and I felt myself break down. I could not get those eyes that stared at me as we fell. Those scared eyes. The horror. Even in my mother's arms I could not escape those eyes. Why? O, Lord, why? I cried into my mother's arms for God only knows how long.
Going out in public like this the first time wasn't as bad as I thought. People took one look at me then moved out of the way. Which was awkward the first few times, but after a while, and depending on the part of the city, or where I was, people really didn't notice.
About a month after the funeral, we took the Chunnel before catching another train out of France . We had to finish some paper work, and make the plans, which was why it took us so long to get out of there. I know I should remember were we went, but to be honest, I just enjoyed the rest and reading some of the older novels my parents had. Certainly not classics by any means, but really what was?
Jenny took several naps along the way as well, resting either against the wall or my mother. They were close, but still I didn't know how close.
I knew my mother wasn't ready for any other attention, especially since she had nearly shoved a man to the ground, when he tried to comfort her at the funeral. It would have caused a spectacle, had I not stepped in, speaking very loudly about how someone would come to a funeral to get a date, with the widow no less. That caused a furor with the press, but then again, stopped any rumors about my mother.
Jenny was about the only person my mother let close. The two of them were able to relax a bit in the others company, with Jenny offering my mother the comfort she probably needed. I, on the other hand, remained calm, calmer than even before the transition, when I didn't have all of this weighing down on me. I think it has something to do with my water elemental abilities, but to me it doesn't matter.
I really couldn't practice my talents in the cabin, but Mum and Jenny let me work a little on fine control. The trick with the water yo-yo worked so well now I could walk the dog, (as, Jenny said, it was taking a leak), rock the cradle, and attempting a half dozen other tricks. Attempting being the key word. The only other trick I learned was how to draw the water out of carpet and cloth. I kept trying to draw the water out of the air, but I felt exhausted after a couple times, to get less than a glass of water was easier. Still, it was something to work on.
“How you doing mum?” She looked over at me, Jenny's head still resting on her shoulder.
“I'm getting there, but being out of England is helping.” She looked out the window for a moment before looking back at me. “I think the real question is how are you doing? The only time you've shown emotion was when you said you didn't want to go on the plane. Tell me.” I shook my head, not wanting to think about it. She reached across and touched my hand, holding it lightly. “Please, Donovan, I can't help if you don't talk.”
I don't remember how long I sat there, but it had to be an hour or so. The sun was setting by the time I spoke, and I couldn't tell you what happened between my mother asked me that question and I answered.
“You know that feeling when you can't stop something from happening, only to find out afterwards that you could?” Mum didn't say anything, but then again I don't think I gave her the chance to say something. “Well that's how it is for me right now. I mean I can move water. A week earlier, a day earlier and I could have saved him. I could have saved him.” I felt the cries in my chest, rolling like waves.
My mother's arms found themselves around me, as best as they could. “Why couldn't I save him, Mum? Why?”
“Some things are meant to happen, we can never change them, no matter how hard we try to.” My cries began to echo around the room. I felt another set of arms around. Jenny no doubt. Their warmth and comfort lulled me out of my cries. Not much, but enough for me to calm down.
The conductor stopped by, giving us a strange look. “He's fine sir, leave us be, please.” Jenny said. I caught her wiping away tears as she stood up.
I sat back, letting my mother release me slowly. “Think it’s going to get better?”
“It'll take some time,” my mother said. “but I know you're strong. You get that from your father I think.”
“How?” My father was always quiet. He never yelled at me, though I'd seen the disappointment in his eyes from time to time. I think yelling at me would have hurt less than that. He didn't talk much about things. I regret not talking to him now.
“It’s in your eyes,” she said. “You've got this strength that says you can stand up to the storm, and stare it down.” I shook my head, not believing her. I'm not a confrontational type of guy, I guess. I had never gotten into a fight on purpose, and tried to steer myself away from them.
I got into a single fight at school, and got the crap kicked out of me. As I sat there, I could not even remember why I got into that fight, but I remembered the look on my father's face when I had to explain to him what happened. I remembered how he shook his head, didn't say a word to me, just shook his head.
“I don't want to fight, mum,” I said.
“I never said you're a fighter, because of him.” There was this quirky little smile on her face, that said she knew something that I didn't. “I said you had this strength. I can't explain it, but whenever I looked into your father's eyes, I saw it there. Looking into yours, I can see the same thing, if not a little unrefined.” She patted my arm before sitting back. Jenny had left, maybe to get us some food, or to give us privacy. Maybe both. I really didn't know. “Give it time, you'll become a strong man.”
I shrugged my shoulders, not caring what I became. All I care was that my mother survived this. I had the power to keep her alive, now I just had to learn how to use it.
I didn't talk the rest of the ride, choosing to stare out the window, thinking about my mother's words. There was more to my father than I ever knew, and I was becoming downhearted to learn that Mum would not tell me more.
Jenny and Mum carried on a conversation about work, well about other avenues of work for her. My mother seemed to be fine, but there were times that she would break down. I did the best I could, holding onto her or letting her hold onto me. But to be honest, I couldn't help her the way Jenny seemed to. Mum's statement about me looking like my father or at least looking like him didn't help her. She still loved me, I could see that in her eyes, but the pain was still there for her. Jenny soothed it, leading my to believe that there really was more to the relationship she had with both of my parents.
I let the world happen. There was no reason for me to dive right out into the sunlight. Especially now that I was on a boat.
It felt different to be floating upon the ocean with the new gifts a part of me. I didn't think about what happened to us, what happened to me, but really, I didn't think of anything. I felt good to have my ideas spread out, like water when poured upon a table. That's kinda how I felt, not that the weight of the world pushing down on me, or that I was spread too thin, but that my thoughts could wander, and it'd be alright.
Once on the boat and out of that damn train, I didn't spend too much time inside or even in our cabin. For the most part, I spent it on the deck, staring out at the landmasses before and around us in the distance. The sea could swallow me up, and I would not have noticed. It was a beautiful sight, to be honest.
One evening, the sun was setting and I watched it sink low over the water as the colorful waves rippled past us. The peace gave me the nerve to work a little harder on my watery skills. It took some work on my part, but I managed to make the waves go in the direction that I wanted to. There was a scare when I pull too much water out from underneath us, but I seemed to instinctively know how to release it slowly now. The water filled up underneath us again, letting us ride smoothly. My mother wasn't too happy about that, but she didn't seem to surprised or angry. She knew that I had to learn how to use my gifts. Or it could have been the dolphin I had manage to make out of water and leap over the boat. One of the two though definitely helped my case.
“How you doing?” Jenny took a seat on a lounge chair next to me. I shrugged my shoulders as I waved my hands out at the sea. The water rose up before falling back down. “better?'
“Depends, I really can't help my mother, and it hurts to know that I can't,” I said with a shrug. “There isn't much that I can do about that though. It's hard.” I shrugged again, knowing that there was still more to it than that, but she really didn't need to know that.
“You're jealous that I can help your mother, but you can't,” Jenny said. Okay, guess she figured it out. Well part of it at least.
“You could say that,” I said. “For the most part, I know it’s not because how I look, but part of me still is feeling like it is, because of how I look now.”
“It isn't like that at all, and you know it,” Jenny said.
“It's because I remind her of my father,” I said. I kept my tongue on the other statement. I didn't want to offend one of them or both, but really, I'm not an idiot. I waved my hand again, letting water rise up and over us. We had less than a hour left of travel before we arrived. The boat was going slow at my mother's request, paying extra to enjoy this leisurely pass.
“Yes, and more,” Jenny said. I looked at her, raising one of my dark eyebrows. She looked away, staring out into the ocean. I decided that maybe water could react first, filling in the holes. Such as I could control the water, I could become it. In mind at least, not in body.
We sat there for some time, looking out at the sea. I was torn between not wanting to pry and letting her know what I thought. In the end, I let my heart speak for me.
“I never pried, you know,” I said. “What you did for Mum and my father, with them as well, was your and their business. That doesn't mean I wasn't unaware of something below the surface going on between you three.” Jenny had that fish out of water look to her as I spoke. “One day, I'd like to hear the whole story of what went on before my father disappeared, but for now, I really can't say much beyond this.” I turned at looked at her, gauging her eyes. The eyes tell a lot about a person. I could tell that Jenny was worried, scared, and there was a little relief in her eyes as well. “I'm trusting my mother with you. I'm trusting you not to hurt her.” I held up my hand, making her stop before she spoke. “I know you've never done so in the past. But it's different now. She's not the same person.”
“She's working hard to get back to that point,” Jenny said.
“But she still won't be the same,” I countered. “You're going to have to be there to help her through it.”
“Me? What about you?” Jenny looked shocked, but she wasn't getting my point.
“If you feel for her like I think you do, you can help her in ways that I cannot.” I stood up from my seat, moving to the edge. “But you have to be honest with me, I don't like lies, Jenny. You know that. So, tell me the truth. Did this start before my father died?”
She nodded, not looking me in the eye. “Did you care for my father in the same way?” There was a pause. I could see that she was trying to make up her mind on what she was going to say. She had probably never even asked herself that question before. “The only reason I'm asking, is because if you were involved with my father, just for my mother, then it will take me longer to deal with than if you loved them both.”
I sat next to her on the seat, feeling it sink under my weight. “And if you did love my father, then I don't understand how you're so calm right now.” Her shoulders dropped a little as her hair covered her face.
She had put up a good face if she did love my father. “Your mother needed me to be strong,” she hitched through tears, as if that would answer my question. In a way, it did. I wrapped my arm around her, letting her lean against me. She broke down then, though I wasn't surprised. I've been finding that nothing surprised me any more. Kind of depressing when you think about it. That'd change soon enough though.
“Well, let us be strong for you now,” I said. She nodded against me as the tears began to fall against my shirt. I looked up to see my mother, giving me a cautious smile. “I know.” My mother stopped short, staring at me before taking the final steps sit on the other side of Jenny, wrapping her arms around her. Jenny switched off of me and onto my mother.
“We wanted to tell you, but ...” my mother's voice trailed off, looking down at Jenny.
“Would you have told me that if Dad was still alive?” Jenny looked up out of my mother's shoulder, both of them looking at each other before me.
“We were planning on doing it when you were older,” Mum said. I shook my head, not liking the answer.
“How old? I'm not an idiot, it would have caused less problems if you had told me earlier, you know that right?” I stood from the seat again, feeling anger building in my slightly. I calmed myself before the waves around us became too turbulent for the boat. “I need some time to myself. Look, we can talk when we get to the mainland, but to be honest, just give me my space.”
“Donny?” Mum's voice reached my ears as I walked toward the port bow.
“I still love you, Mum, you too Jenny, but please, let me be,” I looked back once at them, feeling a loneliness within me. While it had hurt for this to come out in the open, it hurt more to be alone. I was not normal, at least they could pass as normal.
Taking a deep breath, I gathered what calm I could. Focusing the anger that I had, I waved my hand, willing the water to move. Moonlight Sonata began to echo through my head as I waved my hands, the water moving with me.
Little by little, droplets of water rose into the air, moving about as the music echoed through my mind. With each crescendo, the droplets grew, a decrescendo, they shrunk. The piece was simple, moving, inspiring, and at the same time, haunting. The song was one of the few that stuck to my soul, I never could explain why it did, but it stayed with me.
The droplets joined into streams, weaving together as song played in my mind. I let my loneliness melt out of my, joining the song instead of resting as a part of me. In fact, a lot of my worries melted away, joining in on the song. My father's influence on me stayed as the pain of his death disappeared. I guess it took seeing my mother moving on, despite it being really only a few months , to get past my own denial. I skipped the other three steps and went straight to acceptance. It happens.
As the song ended, I vaguely heard clapping. I turned my head, letting the song die off as the water graceful dropped back into the sea.
“Wonderfully done, young sir.” It was the Captain. I smiled, waving my hand once more at the water, as if to smooth it out.
“Nothing really, simple tricks of the mind,” I said.
“Most people can't do third of what you just did, let alone half,” the Captain said. “You still troubled?”
“No,” I said, looking back out upon the water. I leaned on the railing, the captain joining me. “No reason to be.”
“Even not after the conversation you just had?”
“The walls have ears, huh?” I kept my gaze onto the sea. “But then again, I think everything does nowadays. Things happen, if they were meant to be; things will stay, otherwise they will change.” I shrugged my shoulders.
“Strong words for a young man.” The Captain was smoking a pipe, and took the moment to refill it. “You've grown up much in the past few days.”
“Its funny how often people presume that I've grown up, when really, I could have been like this my entire life,” I couldn't help but saying.
The captain laughed at this, something that people didn't usually respond with. “You're alright kid,” Capt said. “Much better than some of the folks I've lugged around before."
I didn't know how to respond, so I just shut up.
"You know, the sea is a cruel mistress, but she is loving as well. She'll welcome you into her arms harshly, but she'll take care of you if you know how to take care of her."
"Yeah well, just because she'll take care of you, doesn't mean she'll take care of me," I waved my hand, lifting the water into a ring before letting it drop. "I know how to command her, to bend her, to make her follow my whim."
"That you may," the Capt said, "but you feel her fighting back, don't you?" I couldn't help but nod. The water was fighting me, resisting my movements and pushes, pulling. It was something that had begun to happen when I first started messing around with my new skills, making me think I wasn't as skilled as I thought I was. "The sea will teach you in time what you need to know."
"And what is that?" I couldn't stop myself, I had to ask it. The Captain just smiled at me though, before turning and walking away. Why is that older people seem to think that keeping things secret is a good idea?
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