Weekly Writing Challenge: Iconic
I am originally from the deep south. I now live in the far north. (No half way for me.)
Snow and ice is an icon of winter. Winter has been something new to experience and enjoy.
I took these pictures of an ice castle, but that’s not the story I’m going to tell.
It was a snow day. School was cancelled, but not work for Mom and Dad.
Since I was 15 and my brother, Tanner, was 13, they said we could stay home alone.
That meant a day of playing in the backyard, building a snowman, snow forts, and having snowball fights.
Even in our snowsuits, by lunch, we were soggy and cold. Hot soup sounded good.
As I was just setting the bowls on the table, Tanner came bouncing into the kitchen.
“You gotta come see this.” He hopped about as if on fire.
“After we eat.” I was hungry and I knew if I didn’t feed him, he turned into grizzly bear. We’d get into a fight.
Sometimes it would become a wrestling match. If we broke anything, or if I broke him, Dad would kill me, and Mom would ground me.
So for my self preservation, I needed to feed him.
“No,” he squealed. “You have to see this. There’s something wrong with the snow.”
“What snow?” I asked suspiciously. He was up to something. One of his usual practical jokes.
“In the front yard.”
“Has the snow plow been through?” I asked.
If it had, we could play in the pile and make tunnels.
He pulled on my arm. “It’s glowing. You have to come and see.”
“Look.” He opened the front door.
The entire front yard was covered with mounds ice as if it had overtaken the whole neighborhood.
How could there be ice in the front yard and snow in the backyard?
The ice glow orange.
“Here.” Tanner handed me my snowsuit.
Forgetting lunch, and any form of punishment for not eating, we hurriedly dressed.
“Look. There’s a path.” Tanner started through.
I eagerly followed.
“I don’t like this,” I said.
We’d traveled farther inside than the boundaries of our yard. Something was wrong.
“Let’s go home,” I said.
Tanner didn’t argue. He made an about face.
The path we’d just walked had disappeared.
“I think we’re in trouble,” he said.
Tanner drew near me. I wrapped an arm around his shoulders and pulled him closer. Normally, he’d not let me do that, but this was not a normal day.
I should have know better. Mom would never have let us out of the house. I should have closed the door and insisted we stayed inside. I should have tied him down if necessary.
Then as if someone was listening to my thoughts, a voice said, “You should continue on.” The voice sounded as delicate as wind chimes.
My brother groaned. I recognized the meaning. Tanner was 13 and was just discovering girls. He made that noise every time he fell in love. But this time, I didn’t roll my eyes in disgust.
She was more beautiful than anything, or any one, either of us had ever seen before.
She was taller than Dad. Thin and graceful. She dressed in many layers of soft, flowing material. Her silver hair fell about her face and down her back like water rolling and curling over rocks. Her eyes were like two almond shaped, violet jewels. They sparkled.
“Who are you,” he asked.
I’d never heard him speak when he was in love. He usually stared, and was either struck dumb or mumbled incoherently.
“You have been chosen,” she said.
“For what?” I asked.
She beckoned us to follow her.
Around the corner we saw something the size of a basketball. It glowed red with a gold center.
“It hums,” Tanner said mystified.
“It calls to you,” the woman said.
Tanner drew closer. He listened. “What is it?” He stretched out his hand to touch it. His fingers caressed it. They lovingly slipped over it until he placed his full palm on it. His finger wrapped around it as if he were claiming it as his.
He would never moan like that again until he was a full grown knight and had met the love of his life. But that’s another story for a different time.
“What is that?” I asked. I placed a hand on his shoulder and tried to pull him away.
He seemed rooted to the ground and would not be moved.
“It has been lost for such a long time, we almost forgot about it,” the woman said. “With his help, we will find the others.”
“We? Others?” I asked. “What is that? Who are you?”
She smiled and place a hand on Tanner’s head. “He is the chosen one.”
She placed a hand on my head. “You are his adviser.”
I tiled my head to look up at her. “Then I advise my brother to move away from that thing.” I pushed her hand away. “We have to go home.” I grabbed Tanner with both of my hands and pulled him to me. “Our parents will come looking for us,” I threatened.”
“It is time they returned.” The beauty of her smile took my breath away.
Tanner shook my hands off and turned to face me. “You don’t understand. I have to stay. She’s about to hatch and I have to care for her.”
“Her? What is it?” My voice rose in fear.
“It’s a dragon egg and I’m it’s rider. Or I will be once I’m trained.”
“And who’s supposed to train you?” I demanded.
“You are you.” He smiled with a twinkle in his eye. “You’re my adviser.”
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