Cold Fire is a tale about an unlikely romance between a queen and an alleged demon.
This will be a small story called "Cold Fire". I had to write a story for my English class, but I couldn't shorten it, otherwise I felt it would be left unfinished. So, in order to allow me to sleep at night, I've decided to share the story with all of you. This story will be released in chapters, and for each chapter, I will take suggestions and comments from all my readers. There will be an FAQ section before each story chapter, where I will answer some questions and comments that I found most compelling. I now give you, Chapter 1. Let the story begin.
The Calm Before the Storm
On the 30th Parallel, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, there was a fairly small country, about 500 square miles, named Atlantia. At first, it looks like a peaceful country, the ideal place to live. But don’t be fooled, for every moon has its dark side.
The ruler of the this land, Queen Crystal (like her namesake, she has skin near as white and eyes as clear as the material she was named after), walks through the square of the capital of Atlantia, returning from another day helping out at the local hospital. The townspeople drop whatever they are doing and bow, for they are very respectful of their queen. Rounding the corner, the palace in which she resides comes into view. Her second-in-command, General Edward, greets her at her return.
“Greetings, Your Highness,” the general said, bowing. “And how are things down at the hospital.”
“Better than the were last month,” the queen replied. “They’ve really improved the cleanliness in that place.”
“Well, that’s good,” The general says. “Also, you’ve received another marriage proposal.”
“The Prince of France. Again.”
“Ugh. Why is he so persistent?”
“Well, I guess I’d better go in and see what he is trying to give me in exchange for my ‘hand in marriage’.”
“You have a good rest of your day. See you at dinner.” said the general.
“Yes, you too.”
After making her way up to her study, she sighed at the three-page letter on her desk. Picking it up, she saw it was basically the same thing the prince wrote every time, just slightly more extravagant bribes than the last. Even though those things sounded nice, Queen Crystal new that it was better to marry someone who genuinely loved her, not some overly wealthy snob who just happened to have one of the largest fortunes on the planet.
After writing a carefully thought-out return letter to “Prince Cheapskate”, Queen Crystal went downstairs to help out her cooks with the preparation of dinner. Now, some people questioned her for helping out her servant and cooks, but she shrugged them off, as she viewed herself as one who feels the need to help, and do some things for herself, so that she is valued for her skills and expertise in some fields, rather than her social position, i.e. her being royalty.
“So, chef, what are we preparing for dinner tonight?” inquired the queen.
“Oh, Your Majesty!” the head chef says, bowing quickly at her sudden appearance. “We are making a stew consisting of ham, potatoes, and carrots. For the dessert, a platter of chocolate and peanut butter fudge.”
“Sounds delicious,” Crystal commented.
Setting to work, the pair worked with the rest of the cooks to prepare the food. After an hour or so, the stew was ready, although the fudge needed to cook some more.
In the dining room, the Queen had the entire castle personnel attend dinner with her, as she believed that they all deserved to eat at the same time together. The dinner was full of laughter and merriment, the ham stew was excellent, and the fudge was unbelievably soft, yet it still held its shape on the tray.
Later that night, Crystal went up to her room, where there was always a lit candle welcoming her. Changing into her nightgown, she placed her crown on the nightstand next to her bed. After saying a quick prayer to whatever gods may be listening, she crawled into bed and quickly fell asleep.
She barely heard the soft flapping of leathery wings outside her window.
I will update this story on a weekly basis. This is basically a "Starter Chapter", to set up the story. Hope you all will like this tale!
I now give you Chapter 2.
Bang! Crystal was woken up by a huge explosion, as if a keg of gunpowder had ignited near her head. Only one thought went into her head at that moment.
“We’re under attack.”
Disoriented, she looked around dizzily for her closet doors. Hurrying up to them, she threw the doors open, and pulled out an outfit that had short sleeves, metal studs on the bodice for protection, and a skirt with small spikes on it (She had this specially made, as this sort of thing has been happened a few times before). Grabbing her crown, she ran out her room door, down the hallway, down the stairs, and out the gates.
What she saw was utter chaos. There were people running all around, calling for loved ones. Some people had burns, and others had major bruises and cuts on their bodies. Nobody was attacking anybody. There were just flashes of fire, lightning, or lava that came from the sky every so often.
Spying a young boy, about five or six years old, alone, and crying, Crystal ran up to him.
“Where are your parents, my child?” Crystal asked.
The boy shrugged, shuddering from fear. Crystal pulled him to her, hugging him, trying to calm him down. Right at that moment, a blueish-purple bullet of what could be described as a mixture of fire and lightning flew down from the sky, and struck a nearby support post of a market stand. Queen Crystal pulled the boy as close as she could to her, trying to protect him from the fire and falling debris.
When the debris had ceased falling, Crystal and the boy looked around. The entire merchant stand had completely collapsed, with some beams and timbers burning. At that moment, the boy’s parents, along with some palace guards came running around the corner, and bowed at the sight of the queen.
“Oh my god, what happened here?” asked General Edward worriedly.
“I found this boy over here crying. As I was comforting him, the bloody demon, if that is what it is, decided to blow the place to bits.” replied Queen Crystal.
The boy ran up to his mother, and hugged her upon contact.
“Thank you so much, Your Highness,” the boy’s mother said, “We are eternally in your dept.”
“Oh, it was nothing,” replied the queen sheepishly.
“It most certainly was something,” replied the father.
“Again, thank you.” said the mother.
“You all are very much welcome,” replied Crystal.
At that moment, something caught the queen’s eye. General Edward noticed her gaze, and looked in the direction the queen was. Soon, everyone was silently scanning the night sky, searching for anything that stood out.
“What are we looking for?” asked a soldier.
“Shhh.” the general shushed him.
Then, faintly, ever so faintly, a very quiet sound came from the sky. It sounded something like a large blanket of leather being rhythmically shaken.
The queen noticed something. One could barely see it if they didn’t know what they were looking for.
“I think I see it,” the queen whispered, “Look for a gap in the stars, with a smaller space extending down from the middle of the main gap.”
“I see it, too,” whispered the general.
“What do we do?” asked a soldier.
“Take it down. Better safe than sorry. Don’t kill it, just down it,” instructed General Edward.
The general and his soldiers slowly took out their bolas (three or four five-pound lead weights, each attached to a length of rope and the ropes are joined together at a central point), and waited until their target go within range. Suddenly, the object produced a shriek, which turned into a fierce roar, causing the family to turn and run, but the guards stood firm. The soldiers released their bolas, trying to entangle the object, which is easier said than done.
The object dodged and batted away the bolas, trying to keep in the air. General Edward squinted his eyes, trying to line up his shot, as he was still holding onto his bola. After three minutes of attempted capture, one soldier threw his bola, but it didn’t fall down, nor did the object. then, as fast as it was thrown, the bola came flying back at its owner, wrapping around him.
Then, the object started to fly away, and that was the move General Edward was waiting for. He launched his bola at the object and scored a direct hit. The object went down, producing a screeching distress call, as its momentum carried it to the forest about a mile-and-a-half away.
“My queen, I recommend that we have a meeting to discuss how to track the beast down,” suggested General Edward.
“I suppose that is the best course of action.” agreed Crystal.