Thursday, April 2, 2015

Winter Story Contest Second Place Winner

Rise of a Legend

By: Chase Call

  In the bitter chill of the wind, in the desperate hour of the blinding wind. A voice spoke out to one still asleep, calling, crying, whispering in despair for that lonely one. Then a tremble, a tremor, a quake, and a shake. A sound like glass, splintering, and shattering, roared over the snowy mountain side. And then a silence was produced, a calmness, a stillness, and then, with my face planted in the fresh, yet crisp snow, I awoke.

   Returning to consciousness wasn't a joyride, but it definitely made me remember something; however, I couldn't recall what it was. All I know was that I loved the cold, and the thrill, the exhilaration, but most of all, it gave me a purpose.

   A voice then called my name, it was a soft, quiet voice, yet pierced to my mind, whispering in a high, yet feminine voice.
   I whipped around, but there was only silence, hanging in the air. I knew something wanted my attention, but I couldn't see where it was.
   I scanned the area around me looking for clues, yet only found shards of ice, scattered across the hill...wait!
   I looked up the hill, and then saw my mistake, resting on top, was a misshapen lump of ice, imposing high above my head.
   "A glacier," I pondered, "which would mean that..." I scanned the trees surrounding  me in a wide circle, then returned my gaze to the prominent, yet noble, glacier.
   "...I'm in the mountains" I confirmed.
   "...Zero..." It whined once more, ""
   I caught a glint of metal, and whirled around.
   A sword sat in the snow, tip downward, as if someone had stabbed it all the way up to the hilt.
   I approached it without a second thought, kneeled on one knee, and reached for the hilt.
But when I reached to grab it, a second voice entered my mind.
   "...A cautious word to those who come.." this voice said in an older, wiser, and most certainly in a masculine tone.
   I paused with my hand outstretched towards the guard, my mind, full of curiousness, and so the second voice continued speaking.
   "...What you seek, is far more a burden, than a gift..."
   The voice then wheezed.
   "...To those full of pride, these are not the dangers for you..."
   A pause filled the air.
   "...And to those who are bold or daring...these are not the tasks for you..."
   "What do these things mean to me?" I questioned myself.
   "...But before I can leave, forever, I need your trust..."
   "But what do you mean by your parting?" I asked aloud.
   "..You...," then a cough or two, ""
Another cough, this time with a wheeze.
"...promise me...that you' over my...daughter's soul...," it finished.
   "What?" I said.
   Then I heard its breath die out with a sigh.
   I withdrew my hand and stood up.
   "Can I even make that promise?" I asked aloud.
   "...Zero...," the first voice replied, "...Zero..."
   I looked at the hilt, full of blue inlay, carved with master craftsmanship, swirling and whirling like snow, and was a silver. It also looked chilling to the touch.
   I knelt down in front of the hilt, in the white snow, and started making swirls in the snow with my finger.
   "I, Zero."
A light blue color started to float up from the swirls.
   "A man, lost from his past."
   More colors darted out of the lines.
   "Will take upon me..."
   Reds, purples, oranges, and grays now shimmered in the air, swirling, along side the light blue glow.
   "...The promises that you wanted me to make..."
   Black, white, and many other colors erupted from my lines and all the colors flowed together like water, yet never mixed with one another.
   "...And seal myself to protecting your daughter."
   Then, the colors stopped moving.
   Then encircled me and the end of he sword, blurring all sense of reality beyond me, and I grabbed the sword with my left and pulled it upwards.
   The colors then halted and stopped flowing around me.
Suddenly, the colors ran into the blade, and into my left hand, a freezing sensation flowing through my hand and throughout the sword, then it flowed through me and then back into the blade.
   Then I felt vulnerable, and fell, face first into the snow, and I blacked out.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

   My hearing came back first because I remember someone humming and moving about, though her voice sounded oddly familiar.
   "Oh, you're awake, well I hope you're alright, what were you thinking when you climbed all the way to the top of Mount Xerex?"
   The only words I could utter were, "...Ugh.."
   "Oh, sorry. I almost forgot to give you this."
   I felt a bowl touch my lips and I sipped the substance. It was cold, and reminded me of the snow.
   "Thank you," I surprising managed, and I felt a warm sensation flow through my body.
   "You're welcome," she commented, "oh, by the way, my name is Xero."
   "...Xero...that's an interesting name." I replied.
   "Well, of course it's the one you picked."
   "What!? I...picked your name?"
   "Silly friend, how did you think I could help you if you didn't promise to protect me?"
   "What? ...Wait a sec!"
   I peeled my eyes open, and found my face was planted in the snow.
   "See ya next time...," she sounded; her voice vanishing into the distance.
   I sat up, and caught a glimpse at my sword, watching a bluish glow, fade from the blade.
   It was different than any "normal" blade, wherever these thoughts came from, and the actual edge was the color of steel, yet the actual material was different from it. Along the blade, blue lines ran down it in intricate patterns, almost like the swirls I remembered making in the snow.
   Then a thought hit me. The voice was the same as the one that called me when I awoke, but how could a person come from, or even become, a sword?
   "This is creepy," I said aloud. "But what was real, and what was imagined?"
   "You look lost stranger," a deep, male voice came from behind me. "Would you like me to show you off Mt. Xerex?"
   Puzzled, and still confused, I answered, "Yeah, I would appreciate that."
   "What's your name, son?"
   "Would you please tell me yours first?"
The man chuckled.
"Stingy one, eh? Ok then, my name is..."
   A rumble, and a quake interrupted his sentence.
   "A tremor!?!" he exclaimed. "But that could only mean..."
   He never got to finish his sentence.
   The snow behind us climbed, crested at its hight, then crashed down and rushed towards us, almost in an instant.
   I jumped up onto my feet, my black, skinned boots, clinging to my feet.
   "AVALANCHE!!!" the man yelled, then he tried to move, but the fresh fallen snow was gripping his brown leather boots.
   All of this happened while I stood there looking at the snow. Then, when it was a few yards from me, I felt a chilling sensation collect in my body, desperate to escape. And with my right palm facing upward, I exhaled.
   The sea of snow started to slow, and eventually halted right in front of me, as if it would never move again.
   Finally, it froze, as a sheet of ice covered the entire avalanche.
I looked back towards the man, to find that he, in his very fine wool coat, had already fainted.
   I looked down at my right hand, and then back at the frozen snow, only I now found a cavernous entrance looming over me. The snow was only ten feet tall, but the entrance was monstrous compared to the icicles, which were up past torso and tipped to a point.
   And even though it was seemed enormous, for one my size, I looked back first to only see a barrier of colors, quite like the many I saw when I made my promise.
   Then I made my decision, I sheathed my blade over my back, and then realized what I was wearing. I was wearing a white shirt with light blue swirls on the left side, gray pants with a belt full of brown leather pockets. In addition, I wore two colorless sheaves on my back, crossing in an "X".
   I glanced back at the cave, a strange aura, flowed within. It also filled me with energy, and I stepped forward, entering the cavernous room.
   The cavern was full of ice, and icicles, larger than life, hung past the floor, hanging over a large and breathtaking crevice, which ended with another ledge, higher than fifty yards up the wall. With a clear crystalline structure, the entire room was flawless ice.
   "I see you arrived well," an impressive being, thundered from the ledge. Something seemed odd about the air about him, it almost seemed as if it was an illusion.
   He wore a white robe with blue markings, and had long, impressive, black hair that hung to his shoulders.
   "Now that I have you here, will you be so kind as to return to my collection?"
   I felt annoyance, flood through my veins. And my mind began to remember.
   "You! You were the one who caused the avalanche!"
   He shook his head and made some sort of tisking noises, then he replied, tone becoming harsh, "You know, for a small one, you really can get on my nerves. However, you remind me of your kind, distinctly as a thorn in one's palm."
   I didn't like his deepening tone, yet, something seemed out of place. Why did he shake his head? I almost felt...oh wait, felt, not knew, but FELT.
   Almost like a flame, I knew his name.
   "What do you want, Frost?" I pressed him.
   "Hmm...what do I want," Frost said in a taunting tone, "how about you in my collection, back from where you came!" he roared like a dragon. That made me feel very uneasy, and I reached for my sword.
   "But first, I'll take your friend." he continued.
   "Friend? Even if I had one, I wouldn't let you take..." I stopped mid sentence, as my sword was missing from its sheath.
   "Yes, I mean HER!" he finished. Then he grinned.
   "What did you do to Xero?" I yelled, rage building in my body.
   "Oh, nothing special...except for placing her in my collection." he said, laughing his head off, "You are so easy to toy with.
   "You monster!"
   "What are you going to do about it? The same thing you did last time?"
   With my anger about to boil over, I yelled, "Stop speaking in riddles! Its very annoying!"
   Then the room started to shake, and the icicles trembled in fear.
   "Tisk! You angered it again," Frost said in disgust.
   He turned to leave, then called over his shoulder, "If you want to ever see her again, then you are fighting a lost cause." And then, he departed.
   My frustration, my furry, and my pain, over filled me, and I burst in rage and ran towards the edge, when a roar, louder than Frost, and more vicious than a viper. It shook the room, vibrating it worse than ever before, the entire room started to crack and the icicles swung from side to side, crashing into the floor, wreaking the place apart.
   While the room was falling apart, I jumped on and dashed about the crumbling floor, until I finally jumped for a swinging icicle.
   The floor shattered like glass and fell in shards.
   I grasped an icicle just before it groaned and trembled. I glanced up, my heart racing, and saw, to my terror, the icicle break its grasp from the cavern ceiling.
   In desperation I scanned the room for something to hold, something to hold onto, but it was to no avail. And so I plummeted, grasping for security, into that darkened pit, with fear evident in my eyes, then I remembered my promise. And closed my eyes, as a calmness swept over me, and that's when I decided to accept my "fate".

   But "fate" I later learned, is only an excuse to accept your circumstance.

End of part 1

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