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Winter. For some, it is a fantasy come alive, delicate white snow drifts down slowly to the ground transforming a barren soil into an icy wonderland. Though for some, it is a matter of life or death. Frostbitten hands tremble near a pitiful fire composed of meager twigs, while clustering with nameless strangers. Some die, some live. Though this calamity/ heaven on earth does not last forever, because everything must come to an end for rebirth to take place.
To an untrained eye, the ground will seem to be covered in a green fizz, but in reality it is the Melana. The Melana are green willowy figures and are the exact picture of perfection. With their harmonious voice, they charm unborn flora to burst out of the ground like fireworks on the Fourth of July. Though there was solitary figure named Shinta, who did not take place in this jubilation, for she was tainted blue.
The other Melana were uneasy around Shinta for she did not possess the power of earth and rebirth as they did, but of the chill of ice and death. No matter where she went, the ground would draw away from her as if she were a plague. As a result, Shinta was horribly lonesome and always dreamed of the day, where she would belong.
One day, she decided to sulk about her wretched life near a steam, where she knew she would be free from the intrusion of the older Melana for they avoided the stream and the younger ones were too busy worrying about who was more beautiful. The stream was a short way from the woodlands, which was her home. She stared into the flawless stream, almost to flawless for there was no ripples, no fish, no flawed area that was perceived by her alert eyes. She decided to draw nearer to the stream to get a better view, but she only saw her scornful face. As she looked closer, she saw her replica was wavering in the water. Suddenly, a ghost-like face emerged out the water.
Shinta pulled back in fear, her vocal chords frozen from fear, as the dripping wet phantom crawled out of the water towards her. As scared as the young Melana was about her current situation, she was not simpleminded. She noticed that the slow figure was a girl of about 17 and had the face of someone who has been painfully stabbed in the heart by a trusted person. When the phantom was within two feet of her, it locked it’s gaze with Shinta’s and uttered in a voice so faint, it resembled the sound of a fly scratching a window pane, and said,” What are you doing my lake, little Melana?”
Shinta squeaked out, “ Oh! I am sorry if I disturbed you, but I didn’t know you were here, and I wanted to be alone from my family, and um well I am really sorry! Please don’t be mad!”
The chilling girl paused, “ Why does someone as beautiful as you want to hide from the world?”
This reply startled the young Malana for a moment, but a flicker of regret showed in her eyes as she said, “ No, I am not beautiful, I am a stupid beast that can’t even summon a simple weed to grow. All I can do is cause the night to become chilly, which kill the plants that the others have so diligently grown. Sometimes, I wish I wasn’t born at all”
The girl considered every word Shinta had said. Then she crawled back towards the water. The young Malana was watched the girl momentarily submerge into the water for a few minutes and emerge almost instantly. Though this time, the girl was holding a yellow vial. When the girl returned to her regular position in front of the Melana, holding out the yellow vial.
Melana took the small yellow vial, startled by the immense weight of it. As she looked into the fluid, she could see a future where she was a true Melana and the plain ground around her blossomed with roses, sweet pea, lavender and dandelions. “ That is a one of a kind vial I got from a wizard who lost his staff in the water and I helped him get it back. It is said to grant any magical wish. I will let you keep it, if you do successfully do one task. You must bring me a black lotus, but let me warn you the thorns that protect the flower are carnivorous and can digest almost anything. It is located on a great mountain that shakes and spits fire. So I suggest approach it at night when it sleeps and will less likely take notice of you.”
The gloomy girl reclaimed the vial, and slunk back into the crystal clear water, but just as she was about to disappear she whispered, “ Oh and my name is Angelica. When you have hold of the vial, come back here and say my name three times. I will be expecting you.”
Shinta knew that she had to get that vial, but she was terrified of the idea of a plant that can and will eat you. She pondered on whether or not she should risk her life for a better one, but she also remembered the image of ecstasy on her face as she danced in the field full of flowers. She knew without a doubt that she made the right decision as she walked for days past calming plains that seemed to roam forever into existence. She came to a stop in front of a mountain with an opening at the top that glowed red and spit out occasional red liquid streaks. This mountain wasn’t like any mountain Shinta had seen before, instead of green plants from top to bottom, there was this dust and the ground seem to shake ever so slightly. The young Melana was convinced that this was were she would find the black lotus.
It was in the middle of the afternoon, when Shinta started to climb up the rocky terrain. For every meter she climbed, she would slip on a loose rock and slide down a couple feet. As the sun was slid into the horizon like a cookie in melted ice cream, the worn-out Melana pulled herself the mouth of the fire spitting mountain. She flipped over onto her back and rested for a few minutes on the slope of the hill. When she caught her breath, she rolled over onto her stomach and peered into the mouth of the mountain.
A enormous heat waver hit her face as she stared into the boiling pool of red-orange liquid that burned like the flames of hell. Shinta thought to herself, how could anything live down here. Then she spotted a plant as black as night with a vibrant green stem, she would have considered this plant the most beautiful thing she had ever seen, if not for the fearsome black roots covered with spikes that were tipped with red and seemed to ooze out a red liquid that resembled that of the pool. Shinta knew that she would be burned to a crisp if she cam in contact with the liquid and was about to give up, when she saw her hands. They were glowing bluer that usual, and when she picked up a small pebble next to her, the pebble froze over with ice. Confidence sparked up within her as she tried to find a safe way to get down to the plant. She found a landing where she could stand without being burned by the random sparks of fire. She concentrated on making her surrounding area into ice. At first only thin layer of ice covered the hot liquid, but only lasted intill it melted, but as she concentrated more and more, the icey layer became thicker and thicker. Soon the surrounding area resembled a frozen lake, glowing red very faintly.
Shinta knew she had to get the plant quickly before the ice melted, since she didn’t believe that she could create another frozen lake. She walked swiftly and silently, until she reached the roots