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The Freeze

by Ryan and Leann 5 months ago in Fantasy

Finding strength in fear

Bleak midwinter. A dreary and dreadful time full of seemingly endless gray days blending into nights. A time that lacks any vibrant personality or color. Truly it can be difficult to find happiness during these few months from January through March. Ricky never liked this time of year but couldn't help but feel that he was at one with it at the same time. At different points in his life he felt like he was connected with nature and almost always it would seem to have something to do with water. He couldn't really control or grasp it fully, but he had felt something happen to him a few times under strange circumstances. Once when he was younger, he had been running away from some school bullies and suddenly a dense cloud of snow and ice had intervened, allowing his escape. He couldn't explain how, but he felt as though he had willed it to happen and it did. He had been afraid then, just like the other times. He was out walking around the edge of a large pond that had frozen over in the park. On the other side of the pond was a waterfall that would normally cascade off of the rock face which now was frozen as well, save for a few drips off the end here or there. Ricky had swam here a few times in the summer and had always thought he saw an opening in the rock face but could never get to it for lack of solid ground to stand on. Curiosity got the better of him as he reached the side of the pond at the rocks edge. The pond appeared to be frozen solid nevertheless he cautiously placed his boot down on the ice and gradually applied more weight until both feet were firmly planted on the frozen surface. He inched forward step by step, cautiously making his way across the pond. He was just about halfway there when he heard a crack and the ice began to give way beneath him. It was more of a reaction than anything else. Ricky's hands felt cold as intense fear coursed through him. He had braced for the cold embrace of the water beneath but it never came. to his amazement the spot had frozen over once more and his feet were safely planted on the ice. He was shaking with exhilaration as the reality of what happened set in. He had an idea. He thought of the scariest moments of his life and let his fear build up but kept it under control as best he could. He began to feel cold inside and followed that feeling, channeling it into his arms and down to his fingertips. Suddenly a jet of ice burst forth from the pond beside him. The icy jet was jagged and climbable, leading up to the opening in the rock face. He ascended the ice spike and entered to find a spacious cavern leading to an elaborate system of tunnels likely carved by ancient man. He delved deeper and deeper into the cavern system, which was dimly lit and damp. In the deeper reaches, there were cave paintings seemingly depicting early humans manipulating elements and depictions of different emotions. Ricky was beginning to put the pieces of the puzzle together. His family had lived in this region for generations and he now had no doubt his ancestors had something to do with these tunnels. He checked his watch and noticed that it was getting late but he couldn't control his curiosity and simply had to know what lay at the end of this tunnel maze. At last he entered a large room with five doors and each of them had a symbol on it. It seemed that each door was meant for a certain elemental ability. This was strengthened by the presence of all the elements in this place. Ricky strode up to the door with the water markings and tried to focus. He thought again on all the fears in his life and focused it at the door. The water obeyed, spraying and freezing on the door which then opened, the stone slab sliding away into the wall. Inside the small room was a chest. Inside was a jacket and sword, both of them possessing the water markings from the door. The sword was freezing to the touch and seemed to be made from an extremely hard ice that wouldn't melt. Ricky took them and started heading back towards home. What was the purpose of these items? Were there others with elemental abilities? Most importantly, what did all of this mean for Ricky and his future? These were the questions on Ricky's mind as he arrived at home, greeted his family, and ascended the stairs to his room. He lay on the bed exhausted but exhilarated, and as he closed his eyes to go to sleep he knew only one thing for sure. To find the answers he would have to go back.

The next day Ricky returned to the park wearing his new jacket and making his way toward the pond. Surprisingly there was no sign that he or anyone else had been there yesterday. Ricky crossed the pond casually and once across, glanced around to assure himself nobody was around, then made himself a staircase of ice. As he entered the caves he was sure he heard something. To him it sounded like the pitter-patter of footsteps echoing from further down the caverns. The footsteps stopped and turned into muffled voices. He followed the sounds, which led him down a completely different path than he had taken yesterday. At times it was hard to hear it but it seemed that the voices were becoming clearer. There were different cave paintings in these tunnels as well that seemed to depict a group of uniformed people taking on a monster of some kind. Ricky continued on, pondering over the paintings and what they could mean. The voices were becoming much clearer now and he knew he must be getting close. Who were these people? Did they have anything to do with the cave paintings? What were their intentions in this place? As Ricky rounded a corner he knew he was about to find out.

Ricky had entered a different large room than the first one. He was spotted right away by the room's occupants. There were four people in the room, each wearing a jacket nearly identical to the one that Ricky had found in the cave. Ricky was nervous and prepared to go on the offensive but eased up some when he noticed that they were all looking at him as though they had been expecting him.

"Who are you? What is this place? Why are you here?" Ricky asked them cautiously.

"We are the Elementals, and you are one as well. We have been blessed with special gifts across generations of time. Each of us has a connection to a specific element and we are to unite to take down the monster of evil in the world. We represent all that is and how it ties together. Billy over there represents fire and lightning. Emma wields winds and storms. Tristan can produce earthquakes and volcanic activity. And I am Lelee, I represent soul with the power to alter time and death. That is who we are and what we stand for. Can we know a little about you? We know your power is ice and water but who are you?"

"My name is Ricky and I've lived in this town my entire life. I always found an attraction to this cave but never got the chance to explore it until yesterday, when I stumbled across the other room down here which I see you already found. In there I found this jacket and a sword made of some ice that never seems to melt. Did any of you find weapons in your respective rooms?"

"We did." said Billy from the corner of the room."I found a bow that shoots lightning bolt arrows that never run out." He brandished a bow made of old fine wood with glowing blue lines encircling it. "Everyone found something different and all of them have something to do with our elements. Our time will soon come to prove our worthiness of these abilities. We have a great and difficult purpose that will test all of our resolve. Are you ready for such a task? The quest will be long and arduous and it is likely one of us may be killed. Together we may be the only hope for humanity to survive. Are you ready for this?

Ricky, who had never been so excited and curious in his life, barely hesitated before uttering his response.

"Of course I am."

Fantasy

Ryan and Leann

Engaged 6/11/2021

We are on a mission to pursue our passions and make the most out of life. Increasing creativity and imagination while improving our skills. Reading and writing has been an outlet and inspiration throughout our lives.

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