“Elemental Deities” by Annelise Bond

Everything was black, the darkness engulfing her, she couldn’t see, she couldn’t breathe. She wondered why she had agreed to this mission in the first place. It felt as though everything was being stripped from her. She clutched tightly onto her shirt, in case somehow the whirlpool managed to suck it up as well. She wasn’t going to fail. She was brave, she was strong. The human race depended on her. She attempted to take a deep breath, but was choked by the whirlpool. Suddenly, the pressure suddenly decreased, and she felt like a 5-foot long torpedo being flung out of a rocket at hyper speed. She landed sideways on the ground, kicking up a cloud of dirt as she did so. Coughing, she looked up at her surroundings. Very barren, dry. Most likely some sort of desert. Quickly, she whipped out her knife and scanned the horizon for some sort of campsite. Nothing to the North, West, South, or…. Suddenly she was picked up, feeling the rough and calloused hand of some sort of giant.

“I see, another one,” said the Deity. Its breath was cold but still filled her with disgust. “Why do y’all just keep busting in here?” She tried her best not to look in its eyes. Its gray skin, raspy voice and cold breath were an indication that it was the deity of blindness. One look in its eyes, although not fatal, could eliminate your eyesight for the rest of your life. Not something she wanted to deal with as of now. “Famine! Take this one to the dungeon, I want them all in one place.”

“Yes, of course, sir,” came a squeaky voice. She turned to see a strikingly skinny Deity with hollowed out eye sockets. “Now, would you like me to….”

“Silence! I know what I want,” replied the larger Deity. Every time it spoke she felt a blast of cold air. She shivered. “Take her to the dungeon,” it repeated. “I don’t want to see her until the rest of them are captured. Do not harm her in any way, shape, or form. I do not want to give any of them the relief of death. What humans hate most is to live in blindness. Believe me, I would know.” The other Deity gulped, its throat protruding strangely from his bony neck.

“Yes, sir,” it mumbled sheepishly. The Deity handed her off. This Deity had smoother skin, although wrinkled from years of starvation. She clung tightly to its fingers as it started leading her eastward. She reached for her knife, just to find an empty sheath where it would have been.

“Darn it,” she whispered to herself. She noticed a city appearing in the distance. This must have been the ‘hub’ for the Deities. A cold chill went up her spine. If she wanted to figure out a plan, she had a limited amount of time to do so. She quickly opened up her backpack. Okay, loose string, canned food, water, a flashlight, a length of Iron piping, a volleyball, and a sharp stick. Good, the stick might be useful. She stabbed the Deity multiple times in the hand, hoping it would drop her from shock. It didn’t so much as grunt. Alright, time for plan B. She took out the iron piping, holding it in one hand and tied the string around the other end. With the string attached to the piping, she swung the string as a lasso. The piping flew a couple meters until it slammed into the eye socket of the Deity. It snorted and turned around, but maintained its hold on her. Suddenly, it squeezed her tighter, and she struggled to breathe.

“Careful,” it spat in its raspy voice, its hot breath roasting the side of her face. “You might want to think before you act.” She tried her best to turn her face away. “Look at me!” screamed the Deity, thrusting her toward its face. Its eyes were a pure, milky white. A sign of blindness, probably. “Ahh, you stupid thing,” it gargled. “You can still see.” She rubbed her eyes just in case, and looked back up. Yes, she could definitely still see.

“How do you know?” she spat bitterly as she packed up her backpack hurriedly. She was not a fan of random Deities who enjoyed kidnapping her.

“I can sense it. Your eyes store much energy.” It gulped, and she could see the saliva leaking from its mouth. She shuddered. Gross. She averted her eyes and noticed that the light was dimming. They seemed to be descending. She could barely make out that they were traveling down some sort of staircase.

“Is this the…dungeon?” she asked.

“Hmph,” replied the Deity. It seemed uneager to talk to her after the last incident. By now she had to squint her eyes to see. The blackness seemed to be engulfing them. She felt her backpack. The flashlight was still in there, thank God. A few more layers of steps, and then they came to a halt. She jolted upright as the Deity stopped suddenly, grasping onto one of its fingers for balance. “Get down,” it commanded. She heard the lock open and felt the cold air as a door was pushed in her direction. She clung on tighter to the Deity’s fingers, feeling its cold but leathery skin against her hand. The Deity shook its hand wildly, flinging her into the depths of…wherever. She hit the ground with a thunk, her mouth colliding with the hard cold flooring. It tasted like dirt, or salt? She attempted to feel around for some sort of posthold, but felt nothing but empty space. She heard a door shut behind her, and the familiar click of a lock. “Cha-clunk!” There was silence after that.