At age sixteen, Mink Jollè still hasn’t discovered his Elemental affinity, which is an identity crisis unheard of on the planet Georra. He has endured constant bullying while being held back in school, and his parents have come to employ drastic measures to help him mature. Their current ruse is a camping trip on Rift Ridge, where they test Mink to the breaking point, to no avail.
Meanwhile, Mink and his parents run across a Machinist scout searching out a mother lode of ore, who finds more than he bargains for. An immense geode buried deep in the ground is fabled to be the Tear of God, and the first nation to claim it will hold power and protection unrivaled on Georra.
The race is on as Mink’s parents stand guard at the Tear of God, sending Mink back to his homeland for help. Defying the odds and surprising himself, Mink succeeds in delivering the news to his people, and is chosen to assist a Team in returning to the site to relieve his parents and acquire the Tear of God for Octernal. Along the way, Mink is forced to rely on his strengths without an Element in order to win respect and ultimately discover his true identity.
Raymond has enjoyed writing from an early age. He lives in Coastal North Carolina with his wife and two daughters. His character driven stories reflect the diversity of the places he has lived and the jobs he has had, focusing on animals and film.
At last (coincidentally in Chapter 8), the Tear of God is witnessed in all of its glory. I'd say words could not describe its immensity, but... they kinda did. Quite well, I might add.
As a writer, I found it difficult to work the characters into a natural-feeling pickle that would make their situation unwinnable. The size and location of the Tear of God was an important fly in the ointment. I always found it interesting to ask characters to do something, and then make it absolutely impossible to do it. It's more fun that way.
Tear of God – Elements
The geode sat partially buried in the chamber floor and still almost reached the top. It’s massive curved surface bore a stark contrast to the dull craggy rock of the cavernous chamber that housed it. If this wasn’t a Tear of God, it would still be the most miraculous natural object in all of Georra.
Mink snapped out of his stupor. “It’s too high!” he screamed, without so much as a sound escaping his throat. “We have to climb down! Dad said!”
Nyam looked back at Mink with an ear-to-ear grin and wild eyes. In the light of the glow crystal, she looked on the verge of a psychotic break. Whether she could hear Mink or not, it didn’t matter. She wasn’t going to listen to any advice.
Before Mink could unfasten the buckles to his harness, Nyam thrust herself into the room with him in tow. Mink couldn’t tell if the faint sound of a sustained scream was his mother’s shout of joy, his own official protest, or a mixture of both. All he knew was that the fall would kill him. Then he passed out.
The sudden stop shook Mink back to his senses. He should have been able to hear the floor of the cavern crack and crumble under his mom’s feet, or her invigorated laugh, or even some kind of buzzing, if that’s what it was. But, Mink heard nothing. The energy pressed against him with a constant push, unlike any sensation he had experienced before.
Nyam looked back at him and mouthed the words, “Can you feel that?”
Mink nodded for lack of any effective way to communicate verbally. Nyam approached the crystal with level, measured steps. It occurred to Mink that either she might not be able to run against this pressure, or that she wanted to take her time out of some sense of respect or savoring of the moment. Despite her steady approach, the crystal didn’t seem any closer. That gave Mink a clearer sense of just how large it really was.