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.
Having Mink's parents test him to try to finally determine his Elemental affinity granted me a lot of room to explore the Spirit and Body Elements. In this excerpt alone I am able to demonstrate multiple Body uses. Nyam is able to determine how much damage Mink has taken and heal the damage. What she is doing is very destructive, so she also put an effect on Mink that made it so the damage wouldn't hurt and would be contained. At the end of it all, dispelling her effects returns Mink to his normal state of being. There are many other effects Body users can do, but these definitely show a practical side to the Element.
Additionally, the scene has a sort of dark comedy to it. There are some amusing situations involved, and neither character seem disturbed by what is going on. That, in and of itself, is disturbing. What Nyam is doing to her son crosses way over the line of abuse. Even if it's meant to be for Mink's own good, there is a comfort in harming her son that no mother should have. Nyam is more upset by her failure, than blasting craters in and with her son.
Tear of God – Elements
Setting the case down, she eased out the first tube. Aiming at her son’s chest, she gave it a squeeze and released weaponized dust Imbued with a Lightning effect. Mink couldn’t believe it. He thought his mother must have lost her mind as the dust blasted a melon-sized hole into him.
“I know how much Body I see.
Quantified so upon my touch.”
Nyam implemented the Quantification effect for Body users, Constitution, by touching the hole in Mink’s chest with a finger. She took out a pad of paper and made some notes, nodding studiously.
“A pure Body holds no illness.
Its natural state upholding.
No injury remains to harm.
Make Body pure upon my touch.”
She placed her hand into Mink’s gaping wound. By the time she removed it, his Body was restored. She made her way through the rest of the tubes. Each one used a different Element to put a crater in Mink, which Nyam would scrutinize before healing with Recovery, the Body users’ Purification effect. For a taxi puller, she was quite the capable healer.
By the fourth tube, Nyam had become grim. Then, having run the whole gamut, she gave in to her emotions. She never took failure very well. Grabbing palm-sized rocks in each hand, she stormed away, punching her stone-packed fists into the ground until the rocks turned to dust. Since the Body Element augmented the Soil Element, Mink mused that trees might actually be able to grow up here now. How nice that would be for the area, he thought, momentarily forgetting that he was still stuck in a statue form while his Spirit lay in a shallow grave and his mother was raging.
Wiping angry tears from her face, Nyam walked back to the campsite. Mink watched her sit and stare at the Fire. One of the nice things about being a Body user was that it took a lot to make the user tired, and the slightest bit of Fire sped recovery. After her shadow had grown noticeably longer, she started picking up and extinguishing embers in her hands, rubbing them into the back of her neck. Her mood improved greatly after this and she rose quickly, dusting herself off.
“Now you,” she said to his Body before toppling it over in the Mink-shaped impression still carved into the ground. She stood over the Body and chanted Unfeel to Dispel the effect in a deep, strong voice,
“May Curpo undo the effect.
Take back the power which you gave.”
With that, she pressed her finger to Mink’s forehead.
He sat up from his personal crater, rubbing his chest and belly. “Whoa, Mom. It doesn’t hurt at all.”
She extended a hand to help him up. “See? Told you so.”
After Mink got back to his feet, he hugged his mom. “Sorry it didn’t work.”
“Me, too. I’m very sorry I couldn’t find your Element, Mink.” Nyam’s mood soured again. “I could have sworn I was on to something.”
“It was totally crazy. I mean, when you shot me with that dust, I thought I wasn’t going to have a Body left.”
“Well, it did more damage than I thought it would, but I had strengthened your Body several times over. I wonder now if I strengthened it too much…” Nyam lost herself in thought for a moment. “No. That’s not it. They all did damage. One of them shouldn’t have. And one of them should have strengthened you.”