The prompt:Someone has stolen something from you (or your character). Something of tremendous value. What will you do to get it back? Or will you give up?
This is about Beth/Lyabet. First introduced here.
Beth rounded the last corner before home and was confronted by half a dozen squad cars. Squad cars parked in front of her house.
An officer stopped her as she leapt from her car, asking who she was, did she belong here. She replied to the questions, panic rising in her with each answer
"What's going on? What's wrong? Are my kids OK? Where's my husband? What is happening?" her voice became louder, shriller as images flashed through her mind, each more frightening than the one before.
Finally a detective walked her to the door. Chuck was waiting inside, the panic in his eyes, mirroring her own. "Barry is missing," was all he could get out.
She felt like she was choking. "Barry? My baby?" she thought, "he's only two. Where could he go? Where is Darren?"
The detective began to explain. "Your sons were in your backyard. The older boy," he flipped through a notebook, "Darren, he's five, right?"
Beth nodded automatically.
"Yes, Darren said a woman came into the yard and talked to them. Then she took Barry's hand and walked by the tree out there. And were gone."
She felt, what? Faint? A strange feeling, something she'd never experienced. The droning of the police. Question after question. The same ones, over and over and over.
"Catch her! She's passing out."
"Give her time. We can get more info later. Not much to do now but put out an alert."
"We'll be in touch. Call if you think of anything"
"Beth? Honey, are you OK?"
"What? OK? No, no, I am not OK. Where is my baby?" she looked at her husband. Saw the fear, for Barry. For her. "Please, Chuck, please. What happened to Barry? Where is he? Where is Darren?"
Chuck took a breath, let it out slowly. " The boys were playing out back. Darren came in crying, because the pretty lady took Barry, but wouldn't take him"
"What? Darren wanted to go?"
"Talk to him, Beth, the cops didn't think he knew what was going on. Maybe you can get more from him."
Beth climbed the stairs and found Darren in his room. She wrapped her arms around him, afraid to let go. Afraid he'd disappear too.
"Mommy? Are you mad at me? 'Cause I let Barry go by himself" his brown eyes, so like his father's, were filled with guilt. "I wanted to go, but the lady said I couldn't. It was a special place. Only Barry could go into the tree."
Tears filled his eyes, "I'm not as special as Barry. I can't hear you like he does,"
Beth's heart broke for him. She wanted to reassure him, let him know how special he was. But, one word stuck in her head.
Into. Into the tree. Not by the tree. Into the tree.
"Darren. What did this pretty lady look like? It's important. Tell me what she looked like." As Darren described the mystery woman, Beth's anguish turned to anger.
Beth went downstairs where she found Chuck was slumped on the sofa. He looked beaten.
"Chuck, I know where he is. I'm going to go get him."
He looked at her blankly for a moment, then understanding replaced the confusion. "You know where he is. Are you saying he was taken by your...people, other elementals?"
"Yes." The look in her eyes alarmed him. As well as the way her hair had begun to writhe and float of it's own accord. He was no longer looking at Beth, his wife. He was looking at Lyabet, an element of the air. A force of nature.
"I'm going to go get him."
"Beth," he wasn't sure she would hear him right now, but he spoke anyway, "just come back. Come back with our son."
Lyabet was of air and wind. The old oak in the backyard was of the earth. She had travelled that way before. But it had been a long time. Letting go of her human flesh, she passed through the outer shell of the old tree, reaching its heart, becoming one. She followed the trunk down. Into the roots, into the earth.
It was slower going than she liked. But as she travelled she began to recognize traces of her son. From root to taproot to rock she followed the spark of his passage. Finally to another trunk, in a farther place, she returned to the air.
In front her was a familiar circle of seven ancient trees. As she approached them, a woman stepped from between two huge trunks.
"'Bet you came to see me! It's been so long! I've missed you." The woman threw her arms out in welcome. Lyabet sidestepped the proffered embrace.
She gave one simple command.
"Give him back, Mother."