My hands sank into the soft, rich soil. I looked for any trace of minerals in the dirt. Let's see... feldspar, magnetite, and what was that- citrine? Yes, citrine. But only a hint of it. The rest was just- soil. Dead leaves, animal matter- but barely and rocks. Mother would love that. She's a planter, as I like to call them. So are my sisters, Iva and Floriel. My father's a growler though, an animan, a- yeah. You know what I mean.
I stand up, stretch my legs,and leave the garden, carefully stepping over my mothers precious plants. I guess I like the garden. I mean, Mother's put so much effort into growing them to perfection, to the point that I have yet to find a single ( )own spot on any of the leaves, or a wilted petal on any of the pastel blossoms.
If only the soil had more minerals...
Still. The garden is a nice place. I will admit that the flowers are beautiful, but I can't help feel that they're more for show than anything else. I mean, they just don't DO anything. Minerals, stones, gems, however, I am infatuated with.
I just wish my mother would accept that.
Anyways, I turn and head towards my house. It's a little cabin-ish thing, made of red clay with ivy and wisteria covering most of the walls. Bushes, flowers, and even a couple of young trees grow from the roof, and the roots kind of hang a couple of inches down from the ceiling inside. The floors are covered with soft, spongy grass, and the windows aren't glassed or anything, just square holes in the walls. This allows any wildlife to enter with ease, which pleases my father.
My older twin sisters, Iva and Floriel, are sitting on the couch in the loungeroom. Iva and Floriel are what you'd call a 'perfect duo.' They're obviously my mother's favorites, which makes sense considering Mother's a planter, they're both planters- yeah. Well, anyways, Iva and Floriel are like a perfect balance. Iva is more leaves and stuff, and Floriels all about the flowers.
For twins, though, they don't really look alike. I mean, they both have this light green skin, which is pretty common in the Earth clan, but other than that, the resemblance kind of stops.
Iva has a really inquisitive- looking face with sharp features and dark green eyes. Her hair is a dark, glossy red that falls down her back in ( )aids, at least seven of them. She dresses like the princess of the plants, with these fancy schmancy vine necklaces and dresses and long skirts that always fall somewhere between her knees and ankles, and more plant jewelry around her feet. I mean, come on.
Floriel, on the other hand, is a bit- I don't know- softer. She has pretty features- not saying Iva isn't pretty, (she'd kill me if I thought that)- with striking magenta eyes and somehow always manages to keep a serene expression on her face. She has waist-length hair that's dark green at the top but curls and turns pink at the bottom, which gives a perfect image of long leaves that are topped with pink blossoms, their petals gracefully curling back. She usually doesn't dress as extravagantly as Iva- which seems backwards to me- but still better than I do, what with her flower petal shirts and skirts and whatnot.
"Jade," Iva calls. "Yeah?" I look at her questioningly. "I need you to get Mom. She has my ivy neckace, and I need it for the party tonight."
Party. I had completely forgotten. See, every year we have a cele( )ation of the Clans, which is the only time we can interact. The rest of the time we are secluded, completely cut off from the other three Clans. The cele( )ation's on the first day of Autumn, don't ask me why, but it's really huge and important. Now, the cele( )ations not tonight, or believe me there's no way I'd forget, but in the Earth Clan, we have weeks of parties leading up to the big thing. And tonight is what I call the "Kickoff Party," the first of the parties leading up to the big thing. It's sort of like a Masquerade ball, where everyone wears something that covers their faces and dresses all fancy and dances with strangers- yeah. Even those my age do it.
I snap out of my trance and face Iva. "Why can't you get Mother?" I say. Iva looks at me in that dangerously calm way that says clearly, "You just contradicted me. Run for your life." I nicknamed her Poison Ivy from that look. "Fine," I say, and I see her suppressing a smirk. I don't really like Iva. Floriel is nicer to me.
I turn and leave.
My feet are aching by the time I get to the top of Lookout Mountain. It isn't the highest mountain in the Earth Clan, but it has by far the best view. From here I can see the entire Earth Clan, rows on rows of red clay buildings embedded with gems or covered in vines. I can see the Train Station off to my left, and behind that and a little to the right is the Hall of Terra, where the cele( )ations take place-
A pang hits my gut. The cele( )ations. I had completely forgotten about them, and the first was tonight. I needed to get prepared, have my costume laid out-
I jump when I hear a rustling behind me. I turn, and a red fox- a very familiar red fox- trots out from the foliage and nuzzles my leg. "Hey Adris," I say, scratching it's ears. I found Adris about a year ago, when he was digging in the garden for food. Mother flipped out and demanded to kill it, but she knows I can't. Instead, I took him in and we've been friends ever since.
He looks at me. Is the other one here? He says. Oh yeah, I can speak to animals. It's just my specialty. Wisty and Lylac- my sisters- call me a "growler," which is just a nickname for the animal people, but I hate it.
Anyways, I smile and shake my head at Adris. Wisty hates animals, Adris especially. I guess Lylac's okay with them, she doesn't really care about them much. But Wisty- I swear, she'd kill Adris if she could.
You know the first Party is tonight, Iris, right? Adris says. I nod. "Yeah. I suppose I should go down and get ready." Why'd you come up here? I mean, you always do, I know that, but why? "I dunno. I guess..." I sigh. "To be alone." Alone? Adris asks, a quizzical look on his face.
"Well, back in the village, back at home, I'm surrounded by plants and flowers and whatnot. Mother and Wisty, they care more for the plants than anything else, and LyLy, she just doesn't really care for anything. I've got to get away from that sometimes, Adris." I say. Ironic that I can talk to a fox better than I can to my own mother. So... you came here because you needed an escape? "Yeah. And I'm usually social. You know that. But sometimes I need some 'me' time. Me and my animals. And look around Adris. It's just me and you."
Just me and you, Adris echoes, and we begin the hike down the mountain.
When we get back to the house, Adris scampers into the ( )ush. I can't blame him. I see Wisty off in the distance, tending her garden. Mother is beside her, as always. Wisty is Mother's favorite. Then it's Lylac, then me. So, pretty much eldest to youngest, now that I think about it.
"Iris!" Wisty calls when she see's me. "Where have you been?" I choose not too answer. Wisty is not exactly aware of the fact that I go to Lookout Mountain, and I'm not sure she'd approve.
The rest of the day passes by in a blur. Mother, Lylac and Wisty rush around, trying to get ready for the party tonight. I sit around and watch them. Before I know it, I myself am getting on my ballgown. Mother picked it out for me, its light green dress that's too tight around my waist and has sleeves that cover my hands and go down about five inches. The entire thing is made of little leaves that tickle like crazy, and it covers just about everything except my head and neck, as it goes down to the floor. I really hate it.
Getting to the party, however, was much easier. It was being held in the Hall of Terra, a vast ballroom in the middle of town. The Bloomers (the REAL term for plant and flower people) tend to live in the middle of town, where Animarus like me and all of my friends live on the outskirts, where the wildlife dwells. I dont, of course. I have to live with the Bloomers.
But that does mean that it only takes about ten minutes to walk to the Hall of Terra.