The other teenagers wandered over, staring at the place where their friend had disappeared. Their parents came up behind them. Putting their hands on the shoulders of their children, the parents moved into a ring around the churned up, muddy ground. Seeing what they were doing, Jackie and Heath joined them. Miles and Maribelle were too horrified to participate. Jordan sat beside them, clutching Maribelle’s hand as she wept.
A multitude of voices rose in chorus, chanting loudly. Jordan didn’t understand the words, but she knew the intent. They were calling to the elements to find Brian and bring him safely back. She looked around the circle for the first time, examining all the unfamiliar faces. Because of their positions in the group, she could make assumptions as to who they were.
The blond giant and his pretty wife were Marissa’s parents. The Finleys were there with Chase. A couple who looked like they’d just stepped in off the beach, clung to Sweet. A beautiful Latina and an olive skinned man stood with Louisa. She recognized Andre’s father from the film. He had his arm around a pretty woman with caramel colored eyes and a café au lait complexion.
They continued to chant. Nothing happened. The earth stayed closed. Brian did not reappear. Neither did Deidrich.
Maribelle screamed. Struggling free of her husband’s grasp, she flung herself on the ground beside Jordan. She dug wildly at the earth, her sobbing voice joining the chanting. Miles took her by the shoulders, pulling her into his arms. He spoke quietly, calmly and she turned her face to his chest, sobs wracking her body.
“No,” she whispered. “No!”
Jordan burst into angry tears. Standing, she kicked at the ground.
“You betrayed me,” she screeched. “I asked for your help. Instead, you took him from me! I hate you! I hate you!”
She took up Brian’s bo staff that lay where he’d dropped it. With both hands, she drove it into the hole she and Maribelle had dug. Words tumbled from her mouth in the lyrical language they used. Energy coursed through her, driving deeper into the ground. Her grief and anger fueled her as she searched for a flicker that would tell her if Brian was alive.
“You took him from me. Bring him back! Earth, Wind, Fire and Water, I command you to find Brian and return him to us—alive and whole! I demand with the voice of the trees and sun, bring him back alive. I speak with the authority of my kind—return him to me. Now!” She drove the staff deeper into the earth so hard it cracked. Holding the other half toward the sky, she chanted.
The others took up her chant, their voices weaving through and blending with hers as they summoned the elements. The earth shook, slightly at first, then harder. Water gurgled nearby, flowing nearer. The air whipped into a small dirt devil directly over the hole where Brian had fallen. A ring of multicolored flames burned around the depression, fueled by the water that trickled in and around it.
Gradually, a hole appeared. The earth contracted like a woman in labor. An outstretched arm appeared through the dirt, pale and still. The top of his head came next, followed by his shoulders, his other arm, tight to his side.
The men reached for him, grabbing him beneath the arms as the earth birthed him. They pulled him free. The hole closed, the fire went out, the wind died down and the water seeped into the ground.
Andre came back with blankets from his truck. Louisa got lanterns and Ginnifer brought a camp stove. Sweet summoned water and fire, lighting the stove and boiling water. Others came forward with herbs to add, each working eagerly to help the fallen.
While Heath and Dr. Beauchamps concentrated on Brian, the others checked one another for wounds, washing and binding them with clean cloth steeped in herbal mixtures.
Brian lay completely still, his face pale, eyes closed. Heath checked his airway and Dr. Beauchamps tried to get a pulse. His tight lipped face told them he hadn’t found one.
“Did you call 9-1-1?” he asked his son.
“Already done. It may take some time to get here. There was a lot of trouble in town.”
“I’ll do what I can, Maribelle—Miles.”
“We know, Claude,” Maribelle said quietly, gulping back her tears.
Between the two of them, Heath and Claude Beauchamps did CPR on Brian. Heath drew on the power of the elements to heal him, but saw little change. Others who had healing powers, joined him a Claude massaged his chest and Heath breathed for him.
© 2016 Dellani Oakes