|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Stories From the Old Attic by Robert Harris:
"You, my loose and easy friend," said the wall, "indeed let the
distressed pass, but you also let the criminals pass. I, on the
other hand, provide the needed security to keep the land behind me
safe from harm. I am a protector, and I defend this pass and the
This dialogue continued for many years until one morning when
suddenly the earth shook with great violence. So strong was the
tremor that both the wall and the bridge were reduced to rubble at
the bottom of the chasm. Not many months later men came to repair
the damage. In the process of reconstruction, however, the stones
that were once part of the bridge were used to rebuild the wall
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad:
had been a mere sham sentiment, a sort of cowardice.
"It can't be done now till next night," I breathed out.
"The ship is on the off-shore tack and the wind may fail us."
"As long as I know that you understand," he whispered.
"But of course you do. It's a great satisfaction to have got
somebody to understand. You seem to have been there on purpose."
And in the same whisper, as if we two whenever we talked had to say
things to each other which were not fit for the world to hear,
he added, "It's very wonderful."
We remained side by side talking in our secret way--
but sometimes silent or just exchanging a whispered word or two
The Secret Sharer