Meet the Cast of The Lightning Conjurer Series!
NAME: Aspen / Rowan Elizabeth Fulman
Elemental Class: Pentamancer
The lightning bolt charged through the air, illuminating the entire Electromantic quadrant in brilliant white light, then clambered up the metal pole hungrily. But I could sense the electricity’s potential, knowing it had so much more it yearned to release. It charged through and around me, electrifying the air with ionized particles. The arena smelled like a thunderstorm.
I am the thunderstorm.
The thought came wildly, and I must have looked wild; my hair floating in all directions and Lightning pouring from my fingers. I nearly laughed. The torrent of Lightning between my fingertips and the rod surged then, sending the bolt hurtling past the top of the metal pole. Before Ori could even realize what was happening, the bolt tore upwards toward the ceiling, leaving a searing trail of plasma in its wake. Hot, white sparks showered down on the rubber ground as the halide lights in the ceiling glowed to life, bathing the arena in vividly-bright light. I glanced at the observation window, which housed two dozen wide-eyed faces, several of them slack-jawed.
With one final push, I released my grip on the lightning and it jumped, flaring wildly, enjoying a moment of unbridled freedom. The halide lights grew so wildly intense, I had to shield my eyes from their blinding white light. After being subjected to the extraordinary voltage, the strained tubes of the half-dozen halide lamps above the lightning rod exploded in a dazzling cascade, as blazing shards of molten glass erupted from the fixtures. The remaining lights dimmed to black suddenly, and the room was dark again, save for the horrified, flashlight-illuminated expressions of the crowd of evaluators.
I felt exuberant.
Knowing full-well that they couldn’t see me in the dark, I nevertheless attempted to arrange my face in an apologetic fashion as I turned towards the observation window.
“Sorry!” I called out loudly. “My bad!”
NAME: Aiden Lawson
Elemental Class: Pyromancer – III
His eyebrows narrowed, his glare replaced by a perplexed look. I kept going, praying that the truth would be placating enough.
“Anyway, I-I can’t afford to go to school, and I already had the required textbook from the library – that’s the only reason I chose Professor Borstein’s class from the list. I just wanted to learn something new. I meant no harm at all, I swear.” I quickly added, “And I’ll never come to your class again, I-I promise.”
Aiden’s entire body seemed to slump slightly. He ran a hand through his wet hair, starting to turn away from me as if to go, then circled back. In the dim light, I could see his dark eyes taking me in, searching for something. They stopped at the frying pan I was gripping in my hand. Suddenly, he laughed. Loudly. That startled me more than his previous outburst. I stared at him, positively flummoxed.
He pursed his mouth together, perhaps in a moment of self-awareness, then shook his head slightly. I waited expectantly, still clutching the cast iron pan.
“Why would an Electromancer use a frying pan for self-defense?” he asked, almost as if to himself.
“What did you call me?” I asked, confused by the abrupt change in his demeanor. But he wasn’t listening to me anymore.
He spun on his heel and walked away, retreating back into the evening and the rain storm. From just past the front porch, he turned around and called back to me, his voice barely audible over the sound of the rain, “Please forgive me, I thought you were someone else.” As he turned away, he threw up his hands and added, “By all means, attend my class. Just don’t blow any more fuses.”
With that, he walked back to his Jeep and sped away without another look back.
Elemental Class: Terramancer – II
Eileen’s anxious face popped up on the screen. She was sitting on a wooden chair inside of a tiny, dimly-lit kitchen; the bright green streak of hair framing the right side of her face harshly contrasted against the rest of her platinum-blonde hair and pale, screen-illuminated skin.
“Aspen! Oh my god, it’s good to see you! Are – Are you naked?” Her eyebrows raised as she surveyed my bare shoulders. My own eyes dropped to my very low-draped towel.
“No! I’m not naked!” I stammered, blood rising to my face. “I’m in a towel – I didn’t know this was going to be a video kind of call!”
“I never thought I’d say this to a gorgeous, half-naked woman, but would you please put a shirt on? If my girlfriend were to come home right now, I’d have a lot of questions to answer.”
NAME: Ori Levitan
Elemental Class: Electromancer – II
“Anyway, no time for details, we’ll learn as we go,” Ori said, ushering me into the center of the clearing. “Just put on the ring, wait for the next bolt, and then grab it, just like you did last week. Only this time, hold onto it!”
I warily slipped on Sophia’s silver ring, feeling the need to ask about twenty follow-up questions; but before I could, the hair on the back of my neck stood on end.
“Get ready!” Ori yelled excitedly.
Above us, a huge branch of white lightning split the sky in half. Without thinking, my hand shot into the air. The lightning flew into my palm with such force that I staggered back and nearly fell. Behind me, I vaguely registered the others’ cries of alarm.
“Aiden, get back!” Ori shouted from beside me. I didn’t dare turn around to look. “Aspen, whatever you do, don’t let go!”
I gritted my teeth, which were tingling, and forced the electricity into a blinding, writhing ball of Lightning between my palms. As the basketball-sized orb crackled with intensity, the acrid smell of something burning filled my nose. But, gasping with effort, I somehow managed to hold onto it – though I could feel it protesting from between the cage of my fingers.
It’s too much, I thought, momentarily flooded with panic.
“Don’t be afraid of it!” Ori shouted, stepping behind me and placing his hands over mine. The current settled down slightly, though the lightning’s jagged, dancing edges grew brighter as streaks of Electricity poured back and forth between the sizzling orb and my fingertips.
“This is Lightning, not Fire!” he added, his rough voice coming from mere centimeters behind me. “It’s not a battle of wills; don’t try to trap it – Feel it! Lightning can be shaped, coerced, enticed!”
Water poured down from the sky above. I squinted against the rain and the blinding light emanating from my hands, forcing myself to take gulps of ionized air to counteract the shadow blurring the edges of my vision. I’d nearly forgotten to breathe.
“You see that tree over there?” Ori asked. “The one on the other side of the clearing?”
I nodded with effort, feeling raw, manic energy ricocheting through my veins.
“On the count of three, I want you to throw the lightning at that tree as hard as you can!”
Elemental Class: Auro-Hydromancer – III
“It’s hard to say why – perhaps it’s because we humans are already seventy percent water ourselves – but it’s the most amiable and accommodating of all the Elements; even Level-One Hydromancers can usually affect it with relative significance. Because of that, Hydromancers have gotten a bit of a reputation for being ‘jocks’, as Eileen likes to say, because of all the Elementalists, they seem to have the most natural ability, and also appear to be the least interested in the ‘why’ or the ‘how’ of their Element,” Sophia smiled, gazing up at the floating lake above our heads. “As for me, being both a Hydromancer and an Auromancer allows me to appreciate the science behind my own Elements, as well as their unique pleasures.” She flashed me an uncharacteristically wicked smile then.
“Take control of it,” she directed. Her voice was soft once more, now that the rain wasn’t falling in buckets from the sky. Instead, it was steadily collecting in the growing reservoir that hovered only a few feet above our heads.
I hesitated, awed by the sheer volume of Water that had accumulated.
“Go on,” she pressed gently. “I know you can do it.”
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