Air, Water, Sister, Brother
at the Dawn of Time
with Jodi Milner
Author, Jodi Milner, really rocked it for me. I mean, it’s brave of another writer to let me interview a character, but Jodi made a leap of faith, and let some of my characters talk to hers.
As it happens, Ms. Milner’s story, “Breath,” graces The Toll of Another Bell, right along with my story, Jilted River. It didn’t take me long to notice that her story had a set of twins, a brother and a sister, just like my story. So as you might guess, my twins, Trystan and Wagner, were eager to interview the elemental twins, Aquata and Ventus.
Aquata and Ventus play pivotal roles in the story that gave them birth. Beloved siblings of the guardian of animal life, Fauna, they are the first to notice that something tortures her. The elements are not without heart in this story, either: Ventus and Aquata are troubled by the pain of their sister. Out of concern, they bring her secret to their eldest sibling, Terran. A private conversation becomes a meeting of sibling gods, all of them determined to give peace to their beloved Fauna. Their love for each other inspires them to give a gift to their dear sister. It is what she needs, and she can have it; but only if she will sacrifice herself.
It is a happy accident that Air and Water walk through the same pages as my Trystan and Wagner. As I see Aquata flowing down the mountain streams, I think of Trystan’s eyes on the northern waterfall of the Hollows. As I see Ventus pushing the breezes ahead of his sister, I think of Wagner’s lovely singing voice, for which even the cerulean warblers fall silent to listen.
Trystan and Wagner had a wonderful time interviewing the twins. Below is a transcript from their walk together.
Trystan: We don’t remember the day we were born, but I remember growing up with my brother.
Wagner: (smiles) Yeah, I remember, that. Were you ever children, like us?
Aquata: Once we accidentally washed away one of the mountains he had been building. He still brings it up when he is cross.
Wagner (to Ventus): My sister really bosses me around sometimes (Trystan gives him the elbow). What does your sister do that annoys you most?
Trystan (to Aquata): Fair’s fair. If the boys get to talk about us, we get to talk about them. What does your brother do that annoys you most?
Wagner: All right, enough bickering. I can’t imagine life without my sister. What would the world be like if the two of you had to separate?
Ventus: No, really. That’s a truly terrible thought.
Aquata: There would be no more summer storms or rainbows if we couldn’t be together.
Wagner: We don’t have any other siblings.
Trystan: No, it’s only us. How do you get along with your brothers and sisters?
Ventus: We get along fairly well. We kind of have to in order to work together to maintain the balance in the world.
Aquata: It was hard when Fauna left us, we miss her dearly, but it was for the best. We still visit her even though she can no longer see or hear us.
Trystan (to Aquata): My brother has a beautiful singing voice. Does your brother sing at all?
Wagner (to Ventus): My sister tells some great stories. Your sister has traveled a lot. What kinds of stories does she tell you?
Trystan (to Ventus): What’s the best thing about your sister?
Wagner (to Aquata): What’s the best thing about your brother?
Trystan: If you could each be one of the animals that your sister, Fauna, created . . . (looks at Wagner, wryly)
Wagner: Okay, what animal would you be, and why?
Jodi L. Milner
Jodi Milner lives among the most epic vistas of the Rocky Mountains in Utah and uses them for inspiration when writing fantasy. When not shepherding her children, she dreams of magic and getting a good night’s sleep. She’s published fiction and poetry in the online literary magazine Soft Whispers.