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Whispers of the Past
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Anything But Ordinary





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I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly

I'll do what it takes 'til I touch the sky

And I'll make a wish, take a chance, make a change

And breakaway

I swear I'm going to kill that alarm clock, is usually the first thing that I think every morning. Well, every other week that is. I keep my eyes closed, Jacey, my step-sister, stops the beeping.

"Taylor... wake up," she says tiredly, as if I wasn't already up.

I climb down from the top bunk, the metal frame creaks and squeaks. I stumble around in the dark for my clothes I had laid out the previous night. I grab them and stub my toes on the way to the bathroom, so I can get dressed in peace.

Every other week I come here to live with my dad for a week before returning to my mom's for a week. My dad lives forty-five minutes away from my school so every morning here I have to wake up at 6:30 to we can get in the car to get to school late.

I run down stairs to look at my options for breakfast. Let's eggs, no bacon, no white bread, just cereal and soy milk. I mentally sigh. My dad's wife is a vegan, so its plain tasteless cereal every morning for breakfast.

I don't mind that she eats vegetarian, its when she forces the rest of us to do the same that really gets me.

I grab some granola and some "Silk", and pour both into a small bowl. I shove the food into my mouth and crunch rapidly, trying not to think about the flavor. I rinse my bowl, and lounge on the couch, watching my brother and sister, Marcus and Kaitlyn, wander sleepily downstairs.

I watch as Marcus's face scrunches up at the sight of breakfast. It reminds me of a line from Ratatouille, You know, if you muscle your way past the gag reflex, all kinds of food possibilities open up.

I smile touches my lips.

I'm big on remembering lines from movies, call it a curse or freaky, but the lines come back to me in certain situations, kinda like Deja vu.

The time passes slowly... very, slowly. Another movie line. I constantly check the time on my phone. Finally, at 7:21 my dad walks down to the kitchen. "You ready?" he asks as if he had been ready ages ago.

"Yeah, dad," Marcus confirms, "guess what? I found this AirSoft gun that it totally awesome!"

"Marcus!" My father says sternly, "I don't want to hear about it."

Marcus's face falls, I feel my heart crack. Marcus is a 12-year-old, with an obsession with AirSoft guns. If there is one thing that he can talk about is guns. At times I don't think he even knows which guns are which.

His endless rambling does get rather annoying, but I usually much gentler and creative about getting him to shut-up. My Father is a completely different story, he knows that Marcus will still love him, no matter what he does to crush his dreams.

"Hey Dad! Can I go and start the car?" I ask suddenly, but casually.

"Sure," he replies absent-minded.

I snicker; if there is something I am good at it is mind games with my dad. For eight years now I have mastered in the subtle art of making my life here a better place. Don't argue, behave, act sincere, think before you speak, are the main points of my success.

By not arguing and behaving, I gain trust and responsibility. By thinking before speaking and acting sincere, I phrase my wants as reasonable propositions and don't act snotty.

I have accomplished many feats with my games, I have even tried to pass my games to Marcus and Kaitlyn, but they don't understand most of the tactics yet.

Now don't go thinking I am a horrible wench. You have no idea what my dad is.

I am jarred from my thoughts by a gust of cold morning air. A shiver heads up my spine, I rush to the car.

I start the engine and get the heater blasting; I can't wait until after school! If there is one thing I love its basketball. Every Tuesday and Thursday I get to go to a gym and play basketball. It is the joy of my entire existence! I love dribbling the ball, stealing it from unprepared opponents, and feeling the wind in my face!

The Wind.

I hear the door creak as it opens, despite the blasting air, one by one Marcus, Kaitlyn, and my father walk toward the car. A few muscles in my back tense, could they walk any slower, I think in anger.

We were late, I walked into class and tried to ignore all of my classmates curious stares. Anger burned in my chest.

But that's not important now. Now it is Gym, one of my favorite classes. The weather is wonderful so we are outside, and our teacher is feeling nice so she asks what we want to play.

"FOOTBALL!!" The boys shout almost in unison.

Most of girls groan knowing that the boys outnumber the girls.

"Football it is," our teacher says with a malicious smile.

Several of the more outspoken girls protest and after a short negotiation the choice was given if you wanted to play.

It made no difference to the boys they didn't like playing with the girls anyway...well, all the girls but me.

I love playing with the boys, they are everything I love, energetic, straightforward, not to mention they challenged my athletic ability without parallel.

Two captains pick teams, I am picked in the second or third round. My team roars with enthusiasm as I am picked, they know victory is eminent.

We take our spots on the field. Adrenaline rushes through my body, I feel the earth under my feet and a slight wind rushes through my pulled back hair.

The Earth. The Wind.

The ball is kicked, my team rushes into action.

I walk into the locker room, all the other girls are already dressed and on their way to lunch. Its not hard to imagine all of the Jr. High girls anxiously waiting for the signal to go and change. I quickly switch clothes and leave. I stop for a drink at the water fountain, I drink greedily at the small arch of liquid.

Out of the corner of my eye I see Zac and Leo, as they pass me Zac pats my back.

"Leave some for the fishes," he says laughing. I take one more gulp and turn and sarcastically glare at Zac for interrupting my drink.

Leo playfully hits Zac on the arm, "leave her alone, Zac! She was on fire today! She has to cool down some how!"

Zac looks downcast, "Okay, I guess since you made two touchdowns and caught three interceptions you can kill the fishes." He looks up and smiles, "But just this once!"

I let my jaw drop, "like you could've done better!"

Zac folds his arms smugly, "I didn't want to blow you away with my mad skills."

"Like throwing interceptions?"

"Exactly!... wait."

He looked at us realizing his error. Leo and I exchanged knowing looks; Zac shoved Leo into me. We rough housed all the way to lunch hour.

The Fire. The Water.

I step into the blinding sunshine; I look around the parking lot through squinted eyes, no Dad. I send a quick text, "I'm gonna start walking."

I see my fellow basketball players, they mingle in groups or stride to their own parent's cars.

I resettle my duffel bag on my shoulder and start walking.

As I walk I reflect on how well I played. I am short very short, on my bad days I am 5'2", on my good days I'm 4'14". Being short makes it hard to shoot against tall people, not to mention I hate getting stuffed. I did okay today I should have used more ball fakes, but overall I think I gave short people a good name.

I am so involved in my thoughts that I almost didn't hear my name.


I look up from the sidewalk and scan around me. An elderly lady is looking expectantly at me from her yard.

"Yes?" I call back unsure.

She waves her hands beckoning me to her yard. I don't know what else to do, so I walk over to her. The yard's grass is lush and a beautiful green, what's more, the flowers that dot her landscape is breathtaking.

"Your yard is exquisite," I comment.

She looks around and smiles, "Why thank you. Would you mind if helping with some weeding?"

I am taken aback is she serious? The expectant look on her face suggests as much. "Umm...sure?" I say still unsure of the situation.

"Great! Let's get started! My name is Virginia, by the way." She replies enthusiastically.

A perfect grandma name.

"Nice to meet you," I mumbled as I set down my duffel and pull off my socks and shoes.

Virginia looks at me questioningly, "what are you doing?"

I glance at my bare feet, "Oh, I umm.... like to weed barefoot?" I answer self-consciously. It is true; I love to feel the dirt between my toes.

Virginia's face warms, "Oh perfectly normal for a girl like you, Taylor."

My brows crumple in confusion, "How do you know my name?"

"Lucky guess," she says remotely, clearly more interested in the weeds.

I dismiss the issue and resume picking, the soil is a dark color and moist to the touch, the yard has be well fertilized for at least the past decade.

Virginia starts humming an intriguing tune. I soon find my body pulsing with the beat. The song seems to consist of four melodies; One melody reminds me of the rain changing from a quiet drizzle to a raging storm and back again.

Another hints of camping and roasting/burning a marshmallow. The fire welcomes the roasting object dancing around it and warming it, but unexpectedly it dances to close and catches it on fire, consuming it in black flame.

The third rumbles; it pounds at the soul demanding that it loses itself in the beat. It gives a steady vibration to the song.

The last insinuates springtime; with a gentle breeze that compliments the blooming tulips and whispers grow to the budding leaves.

"I see you like my song," I flash out of the trance that Virginia's humming put me in. I turn to see her smiling at me seemingly amused.

"Aaaa, yes, I like all the different melodies. It makes me wonder where the creator thought of such distinctly different parts. Yet, he blended them perfectly to make them seem like one," I agree sort of losing myself in the explanation.

Virginia chuckles softly, "I like you, Taylor. There is a story that goes with the song, would you like to hear it?"

"Sure," I reply quickly eager to hear the mastermind behind this wonderful song.

"Get comfortable," Virginia suggests, looking at my crouched position.

I fall back onto the grass, pulling my dirt crusted feet cross-legged underneath me.

Virginia began, "Ask the trees and they'll tell you that they remember a time, long ago, when mankind possessed a gift. A gift that made the world a brighter place. A gift that lightened the loads of other. A gift, that when used right, helped things grow.

"The spirits, Tui and La knew that change was vital to the world. They gave man the gift to bend the Water, the element of Change. It could be used for both small and great deeds in the world. They knew the task was grand, but they became the Spirits of Water.

"The Dragons knew that change could take a very long time. They knew that man also needed to be decisive. They needed to be brave against powerful destruction. So the Dragons gave man the gift to bend Fire, the element of Power.

"Deep in the mountains of the Earth, Badgermoles were given the gift of the Earth itself. They learned how to bend the very ground beneath them. The Badgermoles knew man needed a base, a solid foundation that could help them persevere through the evils of the world. The Badgermoles gave the gift of Earth, the element of Substance.

"The Sky Bison looked down on mankind, they pitied the humans. Man did not know was it was like to soar through the clouds. The Sky Bison gave mankind the gift of the Air, the element of Freedom. They taught man to let their imagination fly beyond anything on the earth.

"And so that day, man was Changed forever. They were given Power. They learned Freedom. They were given Substance."

The story stirs something within me. It makes me want to jump up and down. It makes me want to do something.

Virginia looks at the flower bed we were weeding, "I think you helped quite enough, Taylor. You can head home if you want."

"Okay," I answer numbly, "Can I see you again on Thursday?"

Virginia smiled and nodded, "I would love to see you again."

I wave good-bye and head to my dad's for a second time today.

I pulled my phone out of my pocket 5:45. Dialed Misty telling her that I think I would rather just walk home today. She replied that it was fine by her because she had forgotten about me and hadn't even left the house yet.

I fly home; I fall on my bed out of breath. After a few minutes my body relaxes. I listen carefully, no one was near enough. I lift up my arm and twirl my index finger, almost immediately a miniature tornado appears above my hand.

I happened upon this little trick a few weeks ago. I was watching Zoom and was trying to see how he got his finger moving so fast and before I knew it baby tornado.

The story! It must be true! Obviously it is because I'm sitting here bending the Air. Does that mean that I can bend the other elements too? I can't wait to ask Virginia more questions!! In the meantime I will try to bend the other elements.

"Taylor!" I hear someone yell my name.

"Great," I mutter, "just when I find something to do."

Author's Note

I think it would be awesome if my readers commented and told me if they recognize any of the movie quotes/song lyrics. Just a Thought!

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