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7

Fire and Ice

 

 

Before the elements, there was chaos. The world was engulfed by shadow and darkness, lost without balance. Then, by some miracle, the elements rose from the ashes where peace had been lost. Earth, Fire, Water, Air, and Ice. As soon as they appeared, they made it their sole mission to protect the world from the darkness, and to maintain balance throughout the world. They decided, for the sake of keeping each other safe, to only meet every 500 years, to discuss how to make the world a better place for the life living on it.

 

Of course, 500 years is a very long time.

 

Fire knew its job well. After all, it had been doing this for nearly 2,000 years. For a long time, it enjoyed hopping from tree to tree, and watching with pride as the trees that Earth made burn.

“So it must be”, so had said the light that sent them.

But now, it grew lonely, and seeing the flames it worked so hard on, only to be put out by Water in its majestic rain clouds.

“So it must be” spoke the peace they had promised to keep.

“So it must be”, said the world that counted upon them.

“So it must be”.

Fire wished that somebody could see it. Or talk to it. But that wasn’t allowed either.

“So it must be”, it whispered to itself.

 

CRACK! Went a branch. Fire turned its head around. No being ever made such a loud noise other than the elements. Who was that? Surely no element would ever break the sacred code. Whoever it was, they surely weren’t supposed to be there. Fire ran across the trees towards the mysterious noise. When it arrived, it jumped down fiercely from the trees, ready to defend its territory.

“Who are you?” it hissed. “What are you doing here?”

“I-I’m sorry”, came a quiet voice. “I didn’t mean to cause any trouble…”

A snow white figure appeared from the behind the trees.

“Hi…”

Fire lowered it’s threatening stance.

“I apologize… I thought that it was a-” Fire racked its brain to think of an excuse.“...a  monster of some sort…”

“That’s alright…”

Fire stared at the being. It was definitely an element. It was snow white, and everywhere it walked ice trailed behind it. Ice?

“You’re an element aren’t you?”

“Yes..”

“Are you Ice?”

Ice stared at Fire in shock, then looked at its feet.

“Oh, I guess the path of ice and snow kind of gives it away.”

Fire laughed.

“And I’m guessing you’re Fire”, Ice continued.

“Correct”, said Fire. Fire couldn’t help but be drawn to Ice. It was as if it couldn’t look away. It quickly stopped itself and turned to the more serious matter.

“What are you doing here?”

Ice was only supposed to come in winter, when frost covered the trees and blankets of snow covered the ground.

“Oh.” Ice’s smile disappeared. “Well, I just wanted to come visit this place again,” it said awkwardly.  “I love it here… and I miss it sometimes…”

“Oh.. I see…”

“Promise you won’t say anything?” Ice said suddenly.

“Uh-”

“I just wanted to explore again!” Ice defended.

Fire hesitated. “Ok…” it finally said.

“Thank you!” Ice ran towards Fire and reached out to grab its hand. Fire turned away before Ice reached it. Fire shivered. Ice had forgotten a crucial rule, that might have destroyed them both if it were to be broken. Fire and Ice could never touch. For if they did, Ice would melt into a puddle of water and slush, and Fire’s flame would die out.

“I’m sorry…” whispered Ice. “I forgot…”

Fire didn’t respond. It didn’t know what to say to Ice.

“Will I see you again?” Ice suddenly asked.

“You mean at the Meeting of the Elements?”

“Of course not!” laughed Ice. “I mean here.”

“You’re planning to sneak out again?” Fire exclaimed.

“Yeah.. it’s not a big deal though. I get all of my jobs done.”

Fire felt dizzy. This wasn’t allowed at all! The consequences if Ice kept sneaking out would be disastrous!

“So?”

Fire snapped back to the present. “Um.. sure. Where would you like to meet?”

“How about here? At the river”, Ice asked.

“Sure, that works”.

“Ok, well I’d better be off”, said Ice. “See you soon”! Ice spread its snowy wings and took off. Fire watched until it could see Ice no more.

Why did I say that? Fire thought angrily. Now Ice will come back. If this continues, who knows what could happen?

Fire felt as if it had the Devil and the Angel on its shoulders. One part was telling it to follow its duties, and do its job. Then everything would maintain balance, as it should. But at the same time… Fire couldn’t get its mind off of Ice. Ice was beautiful. With its snow-white wings, and bright blue eyes. Fire shook its head. What was it thinking? It could not see Ice again.

But I already told Ice I’d meet it at the river tomorrow... Fire thought. Then came the angel on its shoulder.

I will meet Ice tomorrow, but only to tell it that this cannot continue, and we must not meet again.

 

*************

Ice flew through the sky. It smiled at the thought of meeting Fire again. Fire was beautiful, as well as its burning flames, which glowed like embers. Ice knew that it was not supposed to go to the forest, unless it was the time of winter, and it took the reins of Water’s clouds. But oh, how lonely it was! Day after day crafting snowflake after snowflake. And even Ice grew tired of the bitter cold.

But I do not have to feel that way anymore, it thought. Ice could now see Fire, and not have to face the darkness of loneliness any longer.  For the longest time, Ice had longed for someone to talk to. Ice believed with all its heart that Fire was that person. It remembered reaching out for Fire’s hand. How fast its heart was beating then. Then it remembered that it could never touch Fire.

“So it must be.”

Ice hated it. Why shouldn’t the elements be allowed to interact with each other? 500 years was far too long. But it didn’t matter now. Ice was still able to get all of its regular duties done, and if it timed its visits right, it could visit the forest as much as it liked. Ice landed on the mountain. It looked at the sun to see what the time of day was.

Oh, how much time has gone by! I’d better get working.

Ice walked up the mountain, to where its clouds lay. It grabbed hold of one, and gently guided it up into the sky. Then it began to craft its snowflakes. It took droplets that fell from each cloud, and shaped them into beautiful stars and flowers. Then it let them go,each falling slowly to the ground. After hours of this, Ice knew it had finished its job for the day. A thick blanket of snow covered the mountain.

And now I can sleep.

Ice took the clouds back down to the top of the mountain. Then, it left them to find a place to sleep. Ice wandered around for a while, before deciding to sleep on the cliff side of the mountain, where it had a perfect view of the moon. Ice pulled the snow and ice over it, creating a blanket to keep itself safe and covered. As Ice thought of Fire one last time, its eyes closed, knowing it was safe with the stars above it.

 

****************

Once Ice had frosted the bushes, and crafted the icicles, it took off into the sky, eager to see Fire. It flew through the sky across the vast land to the forest. It landed on the grass, the bright green blades now turning to white with frost. Ice looked around. Fire was nowhere to be seen.

That’s fine. I will wait.

Ice sat on the grass, and waited patiently for Fire.

 

Not too far from Ice, Fire was preparing to meet Ice at the river. Fire knew all to well of Ice’s power, and what it could do to Fire. Of the elements, Ice was by far the strongest. Who else could engulf the world in a hurricane of ice and snow? If Ice used any of its powers to attack Fire, Fire’s flames would surely be extinguished. Fire liked to have all the elements believe that it was the strongest and boldest of all of them, but in reality, Fire might as well have been the most vulnerable. Both Water and Ice could put out Fire’s flames. Whatever happened, Fire needed to be sure that Ice would not attack it.

If Ice were to get angry and attack me…

Fire pushed that thought out of its mind. It jumped down from the trees, and headed towards the river.

 

Ice’s eyes lit up when it saw Fire walk out from the trees.

“You’re here!” it exclaimed.

Fire shuffled its feet awkwardly.

“Is something wrong?” asked Ice.

“Um.. well..” Fire searched for the right words.

“Yes?” Ice persuaded.

Fire sighed.

“We shouldn’t meet anymore…. It’s not safe..” said Fire softly.

Ice felt as if something inside of it had suddenly broke.

“Why not?” Ice exclaimed.

“There’s a reason we have rules to only meet every 500 years.” said Fire.

“Why? What’s so wrong about this?!” Ice didn’t want to stop seeing Fire.

“If I used my powers on you, you could die. If you used yours on me, I could die. If we even touched, we would both perish.”

No!

“But I wouldn’t! You wouldn’t! We would both be careful…”

Fire stepped back. Ice thought it saw something in Fire’s eyes. Was Fire afraid?

“Are you afraid of me?!” cried Ice.

Fire couldn’t respond. Already it could see Ice’s frost swirling around it. Oh no.. was it possible Ice could get so upset that its powers would activate?

I don’t want to die…

Fire stepped back farther.

Why is Fire so afraid of me? Why do I want to see it so badly?

Ice’s heart almost stopped completely.

I love Fire.

Suddenly the swirling ice storm stopped, and Ice fell to the ground. Fire ran as close as it could to Ice.

“Ice?! Ice, are you alright?!” Fire felt foolish worrying about itself this entire time. “Ice?!”

Ice’s eyes fluttered open.

“...Fire?”

“Ice! Are you ok?”

“Yes.. I think so… listen, Fire. I need to tell you something.”

“What is it?”

“I had been wondering why I felt I wanted to see you so badly.. And I think I finally know why…”

Ice looked up at Fire.
“I-I love you.”

Fire’s flames suddenly grew brighter. Fire finally knew why it couldn’t stop thinking about Ice. Why it thought Ice was so beautiful, and why Fire wanted to see Ice, even though it knew it was wrong.

“I think...I think I love you too…”

Ice smiled. It reached out for Fire’s hand, and Fire reached out to grab it.

 

Then they touched.

 

Fire felt as if everything in its body was dying… it couldn’t breathe… Fire reached for Ice… and then, everything went black.

 

***************

Fire awoke to Air and Earth standing over it. Fire attempted to move. Pain shot through its body.

“You’re in pretty bad shape”, said Earth.

“No wonder”, added Air. “What were you thinking?!”

Fire’s memories slowly came flooding back to it.

“Ice! Is it ok?!”

Fire sat up.

“Argh!”

“Easy there! You nearly got yourself killed!” exclaimed Earth.

Fire didn’t care anymore. It needed to see Ice.

“Where is Ice?!”

Earth and Air grabbed hold of Fire.

“Calm down!”

Fire sat down again.

“Where is it? Is it ok?” Fire exclaimed.

Earth and Air looked at each other.

“Well… Ice was already pretty weak when you two touched…”

Fire was frantic.

“Will Ice be alright?”

“It has to be”, said Air. “For all the world’s sake.”

 

Hours later, Water arrived from the lake.

“Well?” asked Earth.

“Ice is still pretty weak. It will need some time to recover, but it will survive.”

Fire sighed with relief.

“When can I see Ice?”

Earth, Air and Water all looked at Fire.

“You two must never meet again.”

 

***************

Fire walked to the river. There, it found Ice.

“Hi…” said Fire.

“Hi..”

“Listen, I’m sorry about what happened.”

“It’s alright…”

Fire stared at Ice. It really was beautiful. Fire felt as if it could get lost in Ice’s deep blue eyes forever.

“I love you..” said Fire.

“I love you too”, whispered Ice.

“I wish we could be together, but… it is not possible….we would end up killing each other.”

“I know..” said Ice. “You are beautiful, do not forget that.”

“And you as well. You are very strong.”

There was silence.

“Ice, I love you so much. You mean everything to me. But we cannot see each other again.”

“I...know..” Tears streamed down Ice’s face.

“I will never forget you.”

“Nor I...”

Ice looked up at Fire.

“Goodbye…”

Ice turned around and flew off into the distance. Fire watched it, until it could not see Ice anymore. Only then, did Fire ever experience what tears felt like. Tears of loss and sorrow, where there once had been love.

 

For the first time in its life, Ice felt warmth. Ice pressed itself against Fire, feeling safe. It wrapped its arms tighter around Fire.

 

Ice woke in the night to seeing the moon. Feeling cold. It was just a dream. Ice would never see Fire again. Tears fell in the white snow.  Their love could never be…

 

“...thus with a kiss, I die.”

-William Shakespeare.  Romeo and Juliet.

 

State
MI
Zip Code
48105