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Grade
10

The ice and fire people have always been at war because of a misunderstanding. The Ice people long ago had their home of ice taken from a fire that erupted suddenly out of nowhere. They blamed the fire people for the accident and the deaths of millions of ice people, including their children. The fire people denied ever being involved in any such thing.

That night while the fire people slept the ice people went into their village and stole their children and destroyed their village.

***

Nothing is more important than family. Bruce would do anything to get his back as they were stolen from him so long ago. At the age of sixteen, Bruce woke to the sound of screaming in his small cottage late in the night.  

Bruce leaped from his bed and ran into the other rooms of the cottage, attempting to track where the commotion was coming from. Soon he found himself in the room of his parents who lay still in their bed. Walking over slowly, he shook them with the intention of waking them up, and yet when he came in contact with the skin of his mother he pulled away in pain. Her skin was a bright blue, His father donning the same deadly color.

Before Bruce could even let out so much as a cry he heard the scream again, recognizing the sound immediately as his ten year old sister. Bruce ran to her room and broke down the door. The scene of that night will be imprinted on his mind forever. The child’s story was becoming true before his very eyes. There stood the Magi Frost who clutched the arm of his poor sister her eyes watered from where he grasped her arm, turning the skin around it a deep shade of blue. The man's features were like nothing he had ever seen before; bright white hair, eyes the shade of light blue, along with the color of his skin. The aspect of him that scared Bruce the most was his smile, as it seemed impossibly wide and sinister like someone stretched it out.

They looked like opposites of each other standing from the opposing ends of the room.

His sister had let out another wail of pain that made Bruce’s insides boil. He could feel the flame in him wake that night; the power that he would soon possess a distant twinkle in the back of his dull orange eyes. When Frost saw this he let out a howl of laughter and sweeped her into his arms, crashing through the open window next to her bed. Bruce sprinted over to the window and watched as both Frost and his sister disappeared into a fine powdery mist and floated away with the wind. Almost immediately he could hear screams coming from the other houses as well, one after the other.

***

His parents had always told him and his sister that if anything were to happen they would walk north of the village until they found a settlement. They said to look for a man named Flare and he would take care of them. When Bruce had asked why anything would happen to them his mother would smile warmly and told him it was just for precaution.

Bruce made his way north with enough supplies to last him two days at most. On the second night he found the village they had mentioned. He was travel worn, but his father had taught him how to survive in the wilderness for prolonged periods of time. Bruce thanked him now for that.

He stumbled through the front gates, half alive and half frozen. Before he passed out he could remember someone walking towards him and embracing him.

***

As He woke he found he was in a small room with a man sitting in a chair next to him. The man had hair the color of orange fire and piercing blue eyes. Bruce had never met anyone besides his family who had the red hair and had considered it a rarity.

“You look…confused,” the man said in a knowing voice, “It’s almost like you do not recognize someone from your own kind.”

Bruce propped himself up on the bed and looked around the room, taking in his surroundings. The room smelled oddly of cinnamon and sugar which added to the overall theme of warmth. There was just enough room for a table to be set in the small corner next to a fireplace with a roaring fire, which casted shadows on the brown wooden walls of the room. His eyes drifted back over to the man who sat on the chair next to the bed, who waited for a response.

“First, tell me who you are,” Bruce said to the man trying to display the confidence.

The man chuckled deep in his throat.

“I cannot tell you my real name. Here in the village we make new names for ourselves picked by the elders. The name given to me long ago was Flare,” he said.

Bruce pondered this thought and tried to dig up any information he could have missed that would help him explain what was going on.

“What did you mean, ‘our kind’?” Bruce asked.

Flare’s eyes flashed with disbelief. “You have never heard of the Fire Magi?”  

Bruce nodded his head. “They were the ones who were at war with the Ice Magi’s which lead to the rise of Frost, but that was only a story that our parents told my sister and I.”

Deep in Flare’s eyes Bruce could see him unearth a memory from the past.

“Your folks were Fire Magi who fought in those wars against them; they retired when they had you and said they wanted their children to stay completely out of the violence,” Flare said, “I know that they told you to come to this place if anything happened to them… are they dead?”

Bruce started to tear up and nodded once. Flare got up and walked to the big wooden doorway to the room. Next to it sat a big pile of dark wood that he proceeded to put into the fire; he kept his back turned from Bruce.

“The elders are having a hell of a time trying to figure out what to do with you,” he continued poking the fire with his bare arm, “You are a bit young to be start training, but from your background and your bloodline you could start now.”

Bruce wiped away the tears from his cheeks and asked, “What kind of training?”

Flare smiled and turned around, his cheeks slightly damp. He held his hand to the flame. The blue in his eyes ignited into an electric blue. The fire leapt from the fireplace and coiled around his arm. Flare looked directly at Bruce, his eyes fixed on his.

“This will get rid of any doubt in your mind,” he said, and cast the flame headlong towards him.

Bruce let out a tiny yelp as the fire engulfed his face. The first sensation he felt was power, and he could feel the energy from the fire as it coursed through his veins. Once the fire faded away it left a warmth inside him that would stick for days afterwards.

Bruce beamed over at Flare and he smiled back.

“Teach me,” Bruce said.

***

The elders of the village met with Bruce on his third day in the village to discuss how they would go about his training. They met in a giant building in the middle of the village called the elders hall. When Bruce entered the first thing that he noticed was the room was engulfed in light from the many hanging lanterns on the ceiling. There were seven masters in all seated behind a big table faced towards the doorway. Seven lanterns hung underneath each elder; there flames all different colors. The colors ranged from blue, yellow, orange, red, purple, green, and the hottest flame of all the white flame which hung underneath the highest ranked elder. They could have all been brothers for they all had the same shade of white hair cut short and a neatly trimmed beard. The only way to tell them apart was they had a robe which color corresponded with the color of their lantern.

They all agreed Flare should teach Bruce since Flare had also taught his parents long ago. Even though Flare appeared young he had many more years than his body let on. Once they agreed on the master they started talking about what his new name in the village would be. They beckoned him up to the top of a pedestal in the middle of the room and formed a circle around him. They began to chant like people would when they recite an old church hymn. Feeling a warm rise inside of him Bruce tensed. He gasped as a flame emerged from the middle of his chest and landed in the hand of the oldest master. The eyes of the man lit up and he said his name.

“Blaze.”

***

After ten long years of training Flare summoned Blaze into his lodging.

“You are ready to face you demon I would not send you if you were not ready,” Flare said showing a bit of sorrow in his now aged eyes, “I know you will make me proud out there, just like you would have made your parents proud.”

Blaze felt tears fighting to be free, but held back because he knew that it was a sign of weakness. Flare could sense it. He always could. He lifted the sword off the wall and held it up for Blaze.

“I want you to have my old sword, her name is Lumon,” Flare said with pride, “When you swing this sword against Frost you carry the strength of the entire village with it. We will always be behind you.”

Blaze took the sword and felt the weight in his hands. It was a perfect fit for him and felt warm to the touch. He went over to his old master and hugged him allowing one tear to escape from his eye.

***

Leaving the dome of warmth felt like cold water running down Blaze’s back. He was able to adapt quick and the warm jacket provided by the village helped a lot as well. He was on his third and final day of the journey and running a bit behind schedule. He could no longer see the stars, which, was his main form of navigation. He hoisted his backpack a little higher on his shoulders and tightened his sword belt before he trudged on.

***

The gates of the ice palace seemed to glow in the light of the moon. The palace was shaped like a dome with intricate shapes sketched along the outside, akin paintings on a cave wall. Getting within a foot of the gate he held up his hand and touched it, summoning the strength needed to get through. His eyes illuminated and his hair started to dance like a flame. He whispered the words to cast the spell and the gate exploded with heat. The water pooled down from top to bottom, cascading onto the ground below Blaze. When the gate completely melted away he entered the palace.

The inside was shaped like a giant rounded hallway leading to the middle where a throne sat. The building was even colder than the outside causing Blaze to tremble a bit.

Upon the throne sat Frost, smiling like he was greeting an old friend. There was a long blue carpet that led up to the throne which Frost sat. The throne itself was entirely made of ice and on the top buried into the ice was a giant sapphire crystal.

Frost looked different than he had all those years ago. His haunting smile and piercing blue eyes still stood out, but now he wore richer clothes that were a deep navy blue. Upon his head sat a crown of pale white with blue sapphire crystals embedded in it, standing out like snowflakes against the dark sky. On his lap was a naked sword the color of blue ice.

“I remember you,” Frost said standing up from his throne. “You were the one who survived.”

Blaze thought about this for a minute not understanding why Frost had left him alive that night.

“Why…” Blaze said fighting the anger rising in his throat, “Why attack my village, and leave me alive?”

Frost grinned at this question.

“I hunted your parents for year… they were the ones who killed my people,” Frost said.

Frost gestured to the rest of the big empty hall, “Where do you think everyone went, they were taken by your people!”

The words were bitter and pierced Blaze.

“It’s only fitting that I return the favor to them.” Frost walked down the carpeted pathway coming closer and closer to Blaze. “I take their children and keep them for myself.”

Frost stood feet away from Blaze meeting his eyes.

“You were different though… I could feel your raw power,” Frost said with a bitter edge to it, “The type of power most people envy.”

Frost snarled at him and showed his pearly white teeth, “You were a natural just like your parents were... when they killed my people.”

Frost lunged at Blaze, sword pointed at his heart.

Blaze slid out of the way of the oncoming blade. He then drew out Lumon, feeling the warmth radiate from it. Frost aimed another swing at him and he blocked this time pushing he pushed back against the cold steel seeing steam start to rise up from the two blade.

Frost pushed forward and knocked Blaze off balance. He stumbled for a few moments and came down to one knee. He saw movement start to approach quickly and he had just enough time to roll out of the way as the steel icy blade came down. Blaze stopped mid-role and raised one hand towards Frost. From the center of his hand a flame erupted and streamed up towards his fingers. He muttered a few words and the flames coiled into a great tube of fire, which spun in the air and engulfed Frost. Once the flame had disappeared Blaze saw Frost wrapped in a blanket of snow which fell away as soon as the fire did. He was completely unharmed.

Doubt crawled into Blaze’s mind. Frost took advantage of this moment.

“You’re weak,” he mocked, and his smile grew wide. From his throat he made a sound that could have been the whistle of the wind outside. “Just like your parents. I should have finished you off that night just like them.”

“What did you do with my sister?” He felt his voice grow stronger with every word; using the anger that him.

“She is of little significance… I took her away just to get back at your parents,” Frost said laughing maniacally, “I made sure to take extra good care of her.”

Blaze ran at him and struck with enough force to knock the sword out of Frost’s hand. Surprise flooded his face as he looked at his sword on the ground, but it was only for a moment. He struck Blaze on the face  and he fell to the ground and swept his feet from underneath him. Once they were both on the ground, Blaze put both his hands on the neck of Frost. They stared into each other's eyes for a tense moment.

“If you kill me people will look down upon you just as they did with me,” Frost whispered out, “You’ll be a monster just like me.”

Blaze eyes ignited into hot flames.

“The difference between you and I is that I have a purpose for doing it,” Blaze hissed and tapped into his magic.

Flames erupted around the neck of Frost, causing him to scream. His eyes started to water like they were melting. His skin started to sweat; making Frost seem smaller and smaller the more he held on. His hair drooped and shortened, changing from white to dull grey.

For family, he thought to himself.

He released a final burst of energy and Frost turned into a giant pool of water around him.

***

At the bottom was a little tiny room of clear blue ice, in the middle of the ice he saw his sister. She was frozen mid scream and tears, yelling for someone to help her. Blaze staggered back a bit and felt his heart start to shatter. He melted the ice fighting back the tears that were welled up inside of him. The ice melt from her body and she fell to the floor lifeless. The ice had made her ageless and perfectly preserved her child body; making her look the same as she had looked from all that long time ago.

Blaze picked her up in his arms and held her close to his body for a long time, tears spilling down his cheeks. He sobbed and told her how sorry he was that he did not protect her like he should have. He spent a long time kneeled before her lifeless body until he managed to pull back some rational thought.

What will I do with the body? He thought to himself.

Deep down inside he knew what he had to do. He ignited the flame on his palm and held it up to her heart. The body did not catch fire, but started to smoke. It became gray and blurred. She then started to rise up towards the way of the staircase.

The cool air stung the back of Blaze’s throat as he followed the grey floating form of his sister out of the palace. She rose up high and met the stars exploding in bright white light.  Peace came to Blaze as he watched his sister go.

“It’s about time you came home.”

State
Connecticut
Zip Code
06066