This is the ‘now’ part of a then and now challenge completed by artist Ian Llanas. The challenge is to take a piece of art done several years ago and “redo” it with your current skill level.
The idea behind the challenge is solid and brings to mind a story I wrote a few years ago about a bound air elemental. That was then. Let’s do a now.
**Okay. So the plan got away from me. Before I could start, I had to understand the elemental’s point of view. After a few hundred words, I discovered its motivation and now I’m off to write the story.
There were centuries of nameless being flowing with Its nameless kin in a realm that held only one element: water. With the air, there was no horizon. With the earth, there was no muck, mud, or grit.
The one that ripped him from that blissful state of being was named Tabbo Treespeaker.
Tabbo Treespeaker was nothing like It had seen before. It could sense the water in Tabbo, but the water was diluted. Mixed. Not pure. Though mostly composed of water, Tabbo’s form never switched. Some kind of casing kept everything and in a fixed form.
Willful with a wild spirit, Tabbo broke both and named It Warden. Told It to form itself like Tabbo; a man. Told It that Its duty was to keep all men who weren’t Tabbo from delving deeper into Tabbo’s swamp. And it had done so faithfully—even using the name Warden—while Tabbo was alive.
It could feel two-leggers, men, wading through wastes high swamp water, and they were coming Its way. It used to keep men out because that was what Tabbo wanted. Now, It killed men because every single one of them looked like Tabbo.
And It could never kill Taboo enough.
© Ezekiel James Boston