"The Source of Each Other"
Geordie learns that he's flickering,
and even though the reader says
it's too soon to tell what his powers
will settle into, it seems to be
something attuned to Earth.
Well, at least he's not crazy
or sick like the doctors said.
He's just ... different. Other.
So Geordie tunes out
the well-meaning advice
of the adults that isn't
actually all that helpful.
Instead he listens to the Earth.
It doesn't say anything, but
Geordie keeps listening.
Maybe it's just shy, like him.
He picks up rocks from the yard
piles them along the driveway,
and plants native flowers in
the cracks between them.
There are daisies and dudleya,
mock heather, sulfur buckwheat,
and some purple penstemon.
The stones say nothing,
but they are still beautiful.
He sits by the stone fireplace
that they only light up on
cool foggy evenings,
tracing the big rocks
with his fingertips.
Geordie reads, too, and
that helps him make sense
of what's happening to him.
"The body repeats the landscape,"
he recites to his bemused parents.
"They are the source of each other
and they create each other."
They don't understand him,
but at least they don't make fun.
Geordie learns the names of
the different superpowers that
relate to the element of Earth.
He is delighted when pebbles begin
to bounce just beyond his fingertips and
the crystals call him into themselves.
But it's the metal that speaks to him first.
The moment he sets foot on the new bridge
over the pond in the park, he can feel
how flimsy it is, too flat for its span.
He's still kicking it unhappily,
trying to put words to its flaws, when
a park warden comes over and says,
"Quit vandalizing park property, freak."
Geordie lifts his chin. "No, I'm not a freak,
I'm a geokinetic, and an Earth elemental!"
he says. "And I have enough sense of
crystalline structures to know that this bridge
is just about to crack in three places. You
should get someone to fix it before it falls apart."
"Of course, now that you've been warned
about the problem, the park is liable if
you don't correct it and someone gets
hurt," Geordie's father points out.
The park warden grumbles,
but goes to find someone
to examine the faulty bridge.
Geordie's parents may not
understand him, but at least
they've always got his back.
* * *
Geordie Beckham -- He has fair skin with freckles, brown eyes, and short wavy brown hair. He lives with his parents in Westbord, but the whole family customarily travels together for his father's business conventions. An enthusiastic athlete, Geordie excels at learning with his body. He does less well in academic classes, but not enough to flounder. Geordie has always had a variety of mental and physical quirks which have led to many different diagnoses, none of which seem to fit perfectly. Among those are autistic spectrum disorder and sensory processing disorder.
Origin: Geordie has recently begun flickering in puberty.
Uniform: Casual clothes typical of teenage boys. He often wears blue, his favorite color.
Qualities: Good (+2) Kinesthetic Intelligence, Good (+2) Sensitive, Good (+2) Spelunking, Good (+2) Team Sports
Poor (-2) Self-Doubt
Powers: Earth Powers (flickering)
Geordie has always been sensitive, with a lot of quirks, but now he really can't tolerate being off the ground. Airplane rides in particular have become prohibitively miserable. The flickering makes it difficult to determine what is going on or how to help. He may be developing Earth Powers, Direction Sense, Energy Manipulation, and/or Teleportation, all of which can be disoriented by travel or loss of ground contact.
Motivation: Figure out what's happening to him.
* * *
"The body repeats the landscape. They are the source of each other and create each other."
-- Meridel Le Sueur
A reader is a person who can identify other people's superpowers. Many soups have an affinity for each other, so they may suspect or know that someone else is one. Being able to identify the broad class of powers is less common, identifying specific powers is rarer, and some can even spot latent potential. This also depends on the level of maturity -- readers can often detect powers before they have settled into a final form, so they can tell whether a child is flickering or an adult is starting to manifest something. A SPOON base customarily has one or more readers for this purpose, and some of them go around to schools or other organizations offering their services.
People may feel different because of neurovariance, sex/gender dynamics, spiritual awakening, or many other reasons. In Terramagne, superpowers top that list. This affects people through school and into the workplace. People who look or feel different often suffer from bullying. They often find it helpful to learn more about their condition and practice confidence skills. Everyone can benefit from appreciating differences.
Earth is a classical element still used in modern magic. Earth Powers comprise a broad subfield of superpowers within the larger field of Elemental Powers, a fairly common manifestation. There are magical and scientific exercises to learn more about Earth, and for maximum effect, you should explore both. (Ignore the part where mystics and scientists tend to diss each other. More tools in your box is a good thing.) Meditation can also help you connect with your element.
A rock garden incorporates stone into its structure. Due to the dry, rocky soil throughout much of the state, many plants native to California are ideal for rock gardens. Making a good rock garden relies a lot on making it look natural. Geordie has simply capitalized on local resources by moving the biggest, prettiest stones from his rocky yard to create a feature alongside the driveway. Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can!
Geordie's rock garden features local stone and native plants including Penstemon heterophyllus, Dudleya cymosa, Ericameria ericoides, Erigonum umbrellatum polyanthum, and Erigeron philadelphicus.
See Geordie's stone fireplace. Although people think of California as a warm place, large parts of it are prone to cold fog which makes a warm fire very welcome.
Bridges come in many types, including garden bridges. Among the most popular is the arch bridge, which uses curvature to disperse force. If the bridge is too flat in comparison to its length, then it will not be stable -- especially a metal bridge with welded parts, where improper distribution of stress can tear apart the welds. The metal bridge that Geordie finds is nearly flat and thus weaker in the middle.