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Fire and Ice

The rain fell like ice in the biting wind, tossing her hair like a pale blonde curtain across her face, temporarily shielding her eyes from view. Eeach minute she was illuminated in a flash of lightning that tore the sky in two, and, although it surrounded her like a cage, did not strike her directly. Her gown was the color of the clouds themselves, like individual wisps of the storm, tumbling in the wind. Her posture was stiff, expression hard, her mind as sharp as a whip laced with morning frost. Although she appeared to be waiting for something, or someone, her murky gray eyes saw all - for she was a Spectra, a master of sight, able to watch the farthest reaches, immortal until she fell in battle, watching the past to act upon the present.

Above her, the silhouette of a bird circled the mountaintop, a shadow seen through the smoky clouds reflecting in the Spectra’s eyes, that seemed to be made of glass, each layer obscuring those above it. And like glass it shattered in one moment: from the the peace like a taut rope, holding the storm together and controlling its force, to the destruction unleashed as its full power mixed with the fire of the Spectra’s long-standing rival.

Now two figures, motionless on the mountaintop, faced each other in a battle of will, each too obstinate to turn away from the other’s gaze. The flaming gold of the queen’s passionate glare was hard and resolute, restrained only by the argent barrier presented by the spectra, memories of a thousand years guarding the very mountain that she stood upon on that fateful night dancing across her piercing silver eyes.

Two snakes, each the same striking shade of ebony as her dress, coiled and spiraled in a knot around the queen’s head and arms, their scales catching the light, forming a labyrinthine pattern that coiled around her body. The bird that traced circles in the sky swooped down and perched on the spectra’s shoulder, just as the queen hissed to her, “It is not you I want. Turn over the source of your power, and your life will be spared.”
The wisdom of the spectra’s expression turned to anger, another streak of lightning leaping to join the storm. “I will do no such thing. I know what you want, Adderine, and I am here to tell you that you cannot get it. You have no choice but to turn over your soul and remain human.”
“And you would know human, wouldn’t you, Myrai?” The queen fiddled with a strand of her deep red hair. “Please, do not bother to tell me that immortality is a burden.” She focused her gaze on the bird. “For it is, though only when temporary.”
The spectra’s face hardened, a visage marked by a thousand years of living, as she spoke. “Then I am afraid that I must protect my land from your ambitions. You will travel no further as of this day.” She lifted her chin, and instead of splitting and branching off as it touched the spectra’s skin, this jagged streak of lightning fell into her hand, and the great bird, the thunderbird, stretched its wings into an arc of power, a sonic boom echoing throughout the mountains as he did so.
The queen drew her sword, as did the spectra, each blade with a wondrous past in legend and lore. The great Serpenfire, the sword of Angora’s first tyrant, fitting into place in the hands of its last, sparked with its old enemy Sorcerslayer, the sword created by the West Archaia range itself, the protector of the mountains and the very image of the storm.
Raindrops sizzled and turned to mist as they touched the steel blades, melding with the clouds that hung low over the peak like a curtain that hid the dueling figures as they fought. The ring of fire drew ever closer, and the queen’s eyes lit with the flames lapping hungrily at thin air. But with a clang and ring that could be heard for miles around, Serpenfire slipped from the hands of its master, and flew over the cliffside, lodging itself in the hard mountain earth many feet below.
The crooked smile the played across the spectra’s lips lasted for no more than a second, for that was when the queen struck her final blow: a blade of pure fire molded from the flames and ashes that engulfed the oxygen at such elevations and left the air thick with smog slashed at the thunderbird, and the blazing sword met its target.
The spectra stilled in a heartbeat; the world seemed to move in slow motion to her, too slow to stop the queen from casting herself into the flames and escaping the wrath of a griever. She opened a silver locket hanging around her neck on chain, capturing the bird’s spirit as it left the body, and the locket morphed and swirled until it was the shape of a great bird with its wings outstretched. “May your spirit live forever, Tempestus,” the spectra murmured, now fallen to her knees over the limp mass of feathers.
She stood to her full height once more and looked over the cliff, where Serpenfire was nowhere to be seen. Her words were rocked with anguish, though wisdom still glimmered in her voice. “Fire and ice may be foes forever, but battle is mortal, and that will never change. We have yet to embed in our final struggle, but until then...” She looked pointedly to the sky, where vanished in a sudden flash of lightning, the final strike of the clouds. All that was left of her on the rocky summit was the likeness of her eyes, implanted for eternity in the memory of old mountain, and in her last statement to the queen, although the queen could not hear it spoken. “That was simply the calm before the storm. The true tempest has yet to come.”



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This article has 34 comments. Post your own!

ShelbyLala said...
Dec. 21, 2012 at 9:00 am:
Wow. Not the fake wow that people use to compliment others. No, I mean the wow where your mind is nothing but blank and fuzzy. The wow where you can't eve blink as you stare gaping at the screen. The wow where you are unashamedly sitting in public with your mouth hanging open and people are strting to stare at you.   That type of wow. Because...wow.
 
AthenaMarisaDeterminedbyFateThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 21, 2012 at 6:02 pm :
Thank you so much!
 
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Non-Sibi-Sed-PatriaeThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Dec. 15, 2012 at 10:05 pm:
I agre with the other, the descriptions are amazing in this peice.  Have you finished the book yet?  Or do you still have writers block?  Anyway, good job, Athena!!
 
AthenaMarisaDeterminedbyFateThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 15, 2012 at 10:08 pm :
The book is going to be REALLY long. I'm currently focusing on a different novel (I have started nineteen stories, sadly for me), but I'm slowly coming back to this.
 
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CammyS said...
Dec. 15, 2012 at 12:39 pm:
Great story! The description was vivid and very real sounding, and the whole story was action packed. I really started feeling for both characters, though I couldn't really tell who was "evil" and who was "good" (both terms used loosely) Fantastic piece, just like your other writing! 
 
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Labtopnerd This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 14, 2012 at 10:15 pm:
I thought that this was a truely amazing work of art. I got sucked into it almost immiediately. I hope that you post the full story on the site, so I can read the backstory, and of course, the ending. Here are the three articles of mine I would like you to read. Night's Terror, Death: A Trifle, and Wonderful Moments (Not online quite yet)
 
AthenaMarisaDeterminedbyFateThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 14, 2012 at 10:35 pm :
Thanks! The full story is under writer's block construction, but it may be up here sooner or later. I could only find Night's Terror, and I'll get to the other two as soon as they come online. 
 
Labtopnerd This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 15, 2012 at 9:47 am :
Oops, I forgot to mention that I wrote Death: A Trifle anonymously.
 
AthenaMarisaDeterminedbyFateThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 15, 2012 at 8:32 pm :
Oh, that would make sense. Thanks.
 
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FauxedTea said...
Dec. 13, 2012 at 9:11 pm:
Wow, this was great! The description in the beginning was just perfect! You started losing me toward the middle, but then I kept reading and very much enjoyed it! Overall, a very well-written piece. If you'd like, you could read and comment/rate on my writings: Bubble, Little Leaf, and Effects of Music. That would be awesome! Thanks!
 
AthenaMarisaDeterminedbyFateThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 14, 2012 at 8:26 am :
Sure! If you checked out my Feedback Deal thread, I offered to comment and rate on up to three of another person's pieces if they did so on Fire and Ice, so no problem :)
 
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24601This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm:
I really like this! I love the descriptions!, the first part is very intriguing.  (and I know your feeling about every short story being part of a full length book, that's exactly the way it is with me) overall this is very well written.  I think it'll make a good "full-length book"
 
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Allicat001 said...
Dec. 8, 2012 at 2:15 pm:
Your description was phenomenal and the whole of the story was very well written, I would agree with Maya about making it more clear to the reader who is doing what when, but otherwise this piece was really good, great job and keep writing!
 
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MayaS. said...
Dec. 8, 2012 at 12:21 pm:
The descriptions of weather were especially eloquant, and my favorite part was "Raindrops sizzled and turned to mist as they touched the steel blades." Sometimes it was a little hard to follow and I couldn't tell which character was doing what. Anyway, I loved it!
 
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WhenItRains21 said...
Dec. 6, 2012 at 7:02 pm:
Wow. That was amazing. I was seriously hooked right from the beginning. The description is pristine and the concept is wonderful. There were one or two grammar/spelling issues that I noticed, but other than that I think this is absolutely perfect.   
 
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