While cleaning your attic you find a box of glass balls with names on them. You accidentally drop one and as soon as it shatters, a person appears.
As I looked over the mess in the attic, I struggled to remember that she was actually gone. I kept thinking she’d walk through that door and ask me what I was up to in here. Her presence lingered heavily in this space. I knew that one day that she would pass, but I was foolish in thinking I’d have more time. As I looked over all the things in the attic, it hit me, the heartbreaking knowledge that she was never coming back. As I fought off the tears, I felt the waves of grief crash down on me. I couldn’t cry right now. This was something I had to do.
I stood there trying to figure out where to start, when I noticed a small vintage chest shoved in the corner. As I drew closer, I noticed the dark wood was hand carved. Never seeing the chest before I wondered what it might hold. I felt drawn to as if it were calling out to me. I got down on my knees and looked for a latch or a release with no luck. I ran my fingers over the elaborate carvings in wonder. I traced the vines and leaves swirling around a beautiful flower. As I moved around the other side of the chest, I noticed the design was a little different with twin boxes holding in the vines and leaves. I ran my fingers down the center of one of the boxes and applied a small amount of pressure. That’s when the door popped open, and I saw the chest had a set of drawers.
The top drawer held bottles and various herbs that were used for casting spells. I moved on to the second drawer and came across a set of shimmering orbs. At first glance, I thought they might be Christmas ornaments. They were in various colors and seemed to have a swirling effect as you looked at them. I was so taken by their ethereal appearance that I almost missed the engravings on each one. I stared into the drawer and studied them. As I looked them over, I noticed there were only four of them and they were a lot bigger than I initially thought. Clearly, they were more important than mere ornaments.
Curious, I lifted the first one up and inspected it. A beautiful blend of blue and turquoise liquid was swirling inside. I held it up to the light, as I wanted to see if it was a trick of the eye. I walked closer to the open window and, as the sun shone through the orb, I could see it was swirling on its own. As I turned the orb around in my hand, I ran my finger over the engraving. W.E. Anahita. What in the world? I had no idea what that even meant. I walked back and carefully returned the first orb to its place. I picked up the next one and realized it was just as beautiful as the first, but was bright orange and yellow. Instead of swirling liquid, it seemed like there was floating smoke inside. F.E. Aidan engraved on the surface. The beauty in these orbs awed me and was compelled to pick up and examine each one. The third one looked white at first glance. As I stared into the orb, I realized it, too, had a swirling cloud with strands of silver threaded through it. The engraving on this one said A.E. Ilma. The last one was by far my favorite. It was my favorite color, after all.
I picked it the orb up and walked over to the window with it. I stared at it in wonder as the lime green and forest green swirled inside. Every few seconds, there would be a hint of brown mixed in with the greens. I turned it over, curious what the engraving would be. E.E. Cypress was what I found. I ran my fingers across the engraving again and again, trying to figure out what this was. I got lost in my mind trying to conjure up possibilities of what they could be when the door slammed open and scared me so badly that I dropped the orb. As the glass shattered, I heard my much younger half brother cackling at my expense. I was about to get up and go after him when I realized there was a man standing before me.
I yelped in surprise as I realized I wasn’t alone. My heart was beating wildly, and my hands were shaking. I looked into those eyes and recognized those same beautiful colors I was just admiring in the orb. Then, realization hit me. The orb had fallen out of my hands and shattered. In its place was a naked, tall and handsome man with dark hair, bronze skin and those hauntingly beautiful eyes. I stared at him with my mouth gaping, looking like a fish out of water. Then I realized I was staring at a naked man and the blush and mortification hit me. I averted my eyes as I frantically looked for something he could put on. I opened a dusty box next to the chest and found a white robe inside. I threw it at him and told him to put it on.
“Are you well?” He asked in a deep timber that unnerved me.
I was unable to respond. My brain and my mouth had not reconnected since his appearance. Now that he had the robe on, I couldn’t look away from him. I shook my head no and continued staring and gaping. I probably should’ve run out of there. I didn’t know this person, and they did just appear out of thin air, but I felt rooted to the spot.
He seemed amused by my reaction and let out a small chuckle as he smiled at me. It was a friendly smile. One that seemed to relax me, and made me realize that yes, I had the ability to speak and probably should do so.
“Sorry, but uh, who are you? Also, why are you here?” My voice was shaky at best. I’d be surprised if he understood me.
“You don’t know who I am?” the beautiful stranger asked incredulously as his eyes flared.
“Sorry, no. Should I?”
“I’ve been waiting years for you and you don’t even know who I am?” he clenched his hands at his sides, and his voice went up in volume. I felt dirt and dust fall from the ceiling and the wood floorboards beneath my feet trembled, as if they were just as agitated as he was.
“Look, I’m sorry if I offended you, but I honestly don’t have any idea what’s going on. I only came up here to clean out my grandmother’s things. She just passed away and there was no one else to do this. My little brother scared the crap outta me and I dropped the orb. The next thing I know you’re standing there. So, excuse me if I don’t have the answers!” I stomped my foot on the floor and crossed my arms over my chest, completely exasperated by this stranger.
“Are you not Evelyn?” His eyebrows drew down and his eyes squinted as he looked me over. “Though you do bear a resemblance to Marilyn.”
I gasped at his words as my mind went into overdrive. Thoughts starting firing through my head at a rapid rate. Evelyn was my mom, who died when I was five years old. Marilyn was my grandmother, that just passed away the week before. How the hell did he know who they were?
“My name is Caitlyn. Evelyn was my mother, and Marilyn was my grandmother. They are both dead.” My lip quivered as I answered his question. I missed my grandmother so much, and her loss was still so fresh. Just speaking her name was difficult.
“I’m sorry.” He blew out a breath in frustration as he ran his fingers through his hair. “I didn’t mean to be so callous. I didn’t know. I was supposed to be awakened by Evelyn when the time was right. I am called Cypress.”
I nodded like I was okay, but what the hell? This was getting weirder by the minute. I started biting my lip, as I often did when I was nervous, trying to figure out what was next. I knew grandma was a witch, but she never let on that she was capable of great magic. It was in my blood as well, but it wasn’t the focal part of my life. It was just something I happened to be good at. Grandma never made it a big deal. She taught me things and explained how magic worked. Showed me how to cast and the rules that came with using magic. She made sure I knew the important things, and we practiced practical magic often but never anything extravagant. She was by no means a showboat, so this was very surprising to me. I mean, I had no idea she could trap a freaking person!
“Ok, Cypress. It’s nice to meet you, but I’m still unsure what you’re doing here. Can you tell me a little more about yourself and perhaps why you were trapped in that glass orb?”
His eyes shot up in surprise as he took me in. “Caitlyn, I am an Earth Elemental bound to you.” Cypress explained, like I was just supposed to know what that meant. I had heard of Elementals. My grandmother told me many stories about them over the years. If my memory served me correctly, there hadn’t been a sighting of one in over 75 years. She failed to mention, however, that she had one upstairs in the attic.
“Uh, what do you mean, you’re bound to me?” I asked as my heart began to race, knowing that whatever he answered was going to rock me to my core.
“It means that I am bound to you, and only you. I have been with your family for generations. We are always bound to the first-born daughter of the witch before her. I am released as destiny demands.”
I fell back onto the window seat as I thought about what he just said. Then I remembered the engravings on the other glass orbs. His was E.E. Cypress. I thought of the others and realized that I had the other three Elementals in that drawer. Holy shit!
“Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God! I didn’t mean to release you. I’m just a clutz that dropped the orb when my brother scared me.” I admitted as I rubbed my face with my hands.
“Accident or not, there are no coincidences as to when I’m released.”
“Ugh!” I gritted in agitation. The word had just left my mouth when a darkness seemed to fill the room. Confused, I looked out the window and noticed the sky had gone completely black. It was only 3:00 in the afternoon! The darkness was unnatural. It wasn’t like the dark skies that came before a big storm. It was much darker, almost as if nightfall had come early.
“Still think it was an accident?” He asked as a smug smile appeared on his face.
“Well, shit. I don’t know anymore. That doesn’t look good.”
“Perhaps we should release my brethren then?”
“Yes, I think we should.”