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Radioactive Isotope

Shards of Ice

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Radioactive Isotope

this is a portfolio piece for school, so any comments you guys have would be greatly appreciated. ignore the crappy spacing and whatnot. st00pid Word....

Adylen. Over the centuries, the world had forgotten her name. Maybe it wanted to forget the ruler of ice and cold who fed on the souls of men, but she had not forgotten the world. In this day and age, most of the planet was now a thriving metropolis except the one remaining forest she called home: Ainen. Of course there had been those who wanted to develop her forest and exchange evergreens for smokestacks. And when local legend hadn't warned the most ambitious ones away, the disappearing men did. No one dared enter her winter wonderland for hundreds of years. And she preferred it that way.

Inaki put down the book he was reading and stretched out on the bed. He loved the old legend of Adylen, even though he was a man. Ever since he was a child he had longed to meet Adylen and ask her why she hated men so. Well into his adult life, he still believed in the legend notwithstanding everyone chiding him for still believing in fairy tales.

?You?ve got that look again,? his roommate Gaizka joked. ?Did you melt Adylen?s heart again??

?Ha ha. Very funny,? Inaki growled. ?Don?t you think it?s odd, though, how no one has been able to touch that forest by now??

Gaizka held up his hands as if to ward off blows. ?Hey, I?ll admit there is something weird about that place, but it?s not because of some ice girl from a story.?

?At least I don?t still believe in the tooth fairy,? Inaki muttered.

?What?s that??

?Nothing. I?m going to see Ager. He said he wanted to talk to me about another building project.?

"You?d better hope he doesn?t send you through Lothan, or you may meet your lady love!? Gaizka shouted after him.

?Ah, Inaki. Good to see you. Please, have a seat,? Ager said indicating the seat on the other side of his desk.

?You said something about a project?? Inaki asked.

?Yes.? Ager pulled out a map. ?Now, there?s a lot just opened up in Cardew and I want you to go check it out. Take the company car.?

Inaki studied the map for a moment. ?That?s about a twelve hour drive from here in optimal conditions. But I can cut that in half if I cut through Lothan.?

Ager shot him a withering stare. ?And risk traveling the Ainen forest?? He shook his head. ?I don?t think so. No man ever gets through Ainen alive, and you?re too good an asset to lose. Besides, that road is blocked off. Just take the twelve hours and get there in one piece.?

Inaki sighed. ?Alright.?

Not all of the world had been corrupted by civilization. Once Inaki passed the city limits he faced a gently sloping grassland that stretched as far as he could see. About mid afternoon the car engine suddenly sputtered and died. That?s odd, he thought. It?s never done that before. He climbed out and popped the hood open. Smoke and steam pored from the engine, and Inaki knew it was fried, but absolutely nothing about fixing cars, or mechanics for that matter.

With a disheartened sigh, he walked a little way up the road and came to a fork. To the right was the way to Cardew and the rest of the human world. The left led to Ainen and was blocked by barricades and caution tape. He hesitated and a chill wind swirled around his ankles drawing him towards Ainen. Adylen?s forest. He glanced around and saw he was alone. What harm could it do? he wondered. Maybe he could get to the bottom of the mysterious disappearances that kept happening here. And if not, no one would ever know he?d gone to Ainen. With his car broken down he needed every second he could save if he was to get to Cardew anytime soon. And besides, wasn?t everyone always telling him Adylen didn?t exist anyway? He should have nothing to worry about. Summoning his courage, Inaki slipped through the barrier and started toward the foreboding forest ahead.

With each footstep it got darker and the air grew colder. Inaki chided himself for not wearing warmer clothes. He glanced up at the looming evergreen sentinels at the edge of the forest and almost turned back. He half realized why no one ever came here: this place was downright creepy, particularly in the dark. As the last rays of sunlight disappeared, so did any comfort, confidence, and security.

This was stupid. I could freeze to death in here. Best to get out before I?m too far in to go back. He turned, but the forest seemed to have closed behind him and he saw he was trapped.

?This has to be it,? he murmured nervously. ?People?s minds play tricks on them and they just get lost.? He let out an uneasy chuckle. ?Yes, it?s just a trick of the mind. Nothing supernatural about it.? The more he reassured himself, the better he felt. He turned to walk back the way he came and made it as far as the tall evergreen guards when he walked into a force field that threw him to the ground.

?What the--?? There was a high, chilling laugh on the wind just before his world went dark.

Adylen watched the young man she had just caught in her forest as he came to in his prison of ice. She had been watching him since he set foot in Ainen and the barrier had sealed itself as soon as he got past the evergreen border. Normally, she killed the men relatively quickly, but no one had been here in so long and she was looking for a little fun. It amused her when they tried to beg for their lives. They always offered such promises while she smiled coldly and watched them freeze to death. Such a fitting fate for the miserable, sniveling creatures. Because of this, her collection of human souls was unrivaled in the world of magic and quite unique since it was comprised entirely of men?s souls. The cold kept them preserved better, and many other soul-collectors were far too merciful.

The man finally pulled himself to his feet. ?Wh-where am I?? he asked through chattering teeth.

?I should think that much was obvious,? Adylen answered icily.

He squinted through the ice to study her. Suddenly, his eyes went wide in astonishment and awe. ?Adylen,? he breathed.

She tilted her head ever so slightly, surprised at his reaction. He obviously knew the legend well since he had recognized her so quickly. That would also mean he should have already guessed his fate, but she detected little fear from him.

?You?re either quite perceptive or well read.? She shrugged. ?It doesn?t matter anyway. You know you?ll be dead before I care to find out which.?

He swallowed. ?Yes, I know the legend very well. I?ve believed in it ever since I was little.? His voice took on a sad quality. ?So, yes, I know what?s in store for me.?

There was something intriguing about this man. He didn?t beg despite knowing he wouldn?t be leaving there alive. But it was his eyes that really caught her attention: deep, brown, and endless. They reminded her of something she thought she had forgotten long ago. She covered her lapse quickly with a smirk.

?Hmm?you?re cute and charming. I don?t get those very often, so I won?t kill you just yet.? She laid a hand on the wall of ice enclosing the man and it parted at her touch. A mug with a steaming hot liquid materialized in her hand which she handed to him as he tentatively stepped out. ?Drink this. No mortal can survive the extreme cold here. This will help you withstand it. You?ll still feel a chill, but it won?t kill you.?

He took the mug from her and gave it a hesitant sip. ?Why are you doing this?? he asked.

Adylen smiled seductively. ?No one?s come to visit me in so long, and I?m looking for a little fun.? Her smile faded. ?I?ll probably get bored with you in a couple years.?

He nearly choked on his drink. ?Years?!?

?Yes, years. You?re in a different realm now. Time passes differently here. Besides, it will take the rest of the world at least that long to realize you?re missing.? She turned to leave and then turned back as a thought struck her. ?By the way, what is your name??


?Inaki?? she murmured. ?You are free to go anywhere you like except the north tower. And you are to come when I call. Don?t worry; you?ll hear it.?

This time when she turned, she did depart, leaving Inaki alone with his thoughts. As she walked away, she scolded herself. What are you doing? What makes this one so special that he gets to live for now while the others died? You?re going soft. But it takes more than a pair of pretty eyes to melt a heart of ice.

She soon found herself atop the north tower and swept her icy gaze over her world. It was far too calm for her present mood. Great wings made from shards of ice extended from her back as she spread her arms wide, calling forth a mighty blizzard. The snow swirled, blinding her and blanketing everything in white. A magical kingdom trapped in an eternal winter. Just as it should be.

Two years had passed since Inaki had become Adylen?s prisoner. After the first few weeks, he had decided it wasn?t so bad. She was a tough task master, but the work wasn?t overly difficult, and after awhile, he really started to like her. To be honest, he didn?t think she was as cruel as the legends had made her out to be, but he would never tell her that. He had a feeling she would be highly insulted and fear she was losing her touch.

It was difficult not to be captivated by her beauty: pastel skin that glittered like the sun on fresh fallen snow; regal eyes the color of ice crystals; her great wings, intricate networks of frozen diamonds. He doubted those wings were any use for flying, but they certainly added to her presence as the undisputed queen of this land. And he couldn?t help but think she was growing fond of him. He had noticed a gradual softening in her manner when he was around. Whether or not she realized how much she was defrosting he wasn?t sure, but he definitely wasn?t about to push his luck by asking. He was also still insanely curious about what she was hiding in the north tower. It really wasn?t his place to know all of Adylen?s secrets, but his inquiring mind wanted desperately to know.

Now that I think about it, she did say she would be out today?A little look wouldn?t hurt. Inaki doubted Adylen would ever know he peeked. Squaring his shoulders, he strode resolutely, yet cautiously, in the direction of the north tower. As he neared the spiraling staircase that led to the top of the spire, the air grew colder and the wind picked up in a vain attempt to warn him away. Inaki ignored it and kept climbing.

There was only one room at the top of the stairs and the door was shut. He pushed it open and gasped at what he saw inside. Now he understood why she never wanted him to see this place, why she had forbidden it. His mind screamed at him to turn and run, but his legs refused to move. He could only stare, awestruck.

Adylen was on her way back to the castle from a meeting with a group of her snowy owl look-outs. Civilization was encroaching on her turf again. Although they would never get through her shielding, she didn?t want their loud, smelly technology so close to her forest. She would have to remind them that this area was hers and hers alone. It seemed she may have the chance to add to her collection of souls very soon.

Her thoughts turned to the boy, Inaki. He was starting to grow on her, and she hated to admit how fond of him she was becoming. At first she had found many excuses to kill him. It wouldn?t have taken much effort; the spell that prevented him from succumbing to the cold could easily have been lifted at any time. Yet whenever she had tried to slay him, something stayed her hand. And the more time went on, the harder it became to even find something worth killing him for.

She sensed something was amiss the instant she set foot in her castle. This puzzled her as nothing in Ainen happened without her knowledge. A feeling of great dread settled in her stomach as she discerned the problem was coming from the north tower. I may have to kill Inaki after all, she thought sadly.

With snow still swirling around her ankles, she rushed through the castle and took the stairs to the tower two or more at a time. Her heart sank when she saw Inaki standing transfixed at the entrance.

I need to go. Now. Come on. You can do it. Inaki tried once again to turn away from what lay inside the north tower and leave, but he still couldn?t get his body to obey.

?What are you doing here?? an arctic voice from behind him asked.

?A-Adylen!? He was finally able to move and whirled around to face her. ?I?I?m sorry. I?? He could see the cold fury building in her eyes and backed away into the room.

?This is the one place I told you to never come.? She followed him slowly, purposefully.

?I know?I?m sorry.?

?Silence!? she roared. ?I do not tolerate excuses. So, you have found where I keep my collection of souls. Each of these tiny golden lights was a man like you at one time. Now they are nothing but decorations. And since you have disobeyed my orders, your soul will be joining them soon.?

Her face was barely a breath from his, and Inaki could feel the cold creeping across his skin. She really meant business this time. ?Before you kill me, could I tell you something??

?If you must,? she huffed.

?These past few years, I have really come to love you, Adylen. I?ve done everything you?ve ever asked me to. At first it was mostly to save my own skin, but then it was because I wanted to make you happy. I know it doesn?t make up for what I?ve done, but I wanted you to know before?before it was too late.?

Her crystal eyes widened fractionally and he saw the surprise there. He figured if he wanted to do this, he should press his advantage now while she was off guard. And if she had a problem with it?well, he was dead anyway. He took her chin gently between his fingers and kissed her.

Adylen stiffened?probably from astonishment?but she didn?t fight it. After a moment, she gasped and crumpled to her knees with her face buried in the crook of one arm.

?Adylen? Oh no! What have I done?? An icy gust of wind knocked Inaki to the other side of the room and formed a cyclone around Adylen. Ice shards went flying, flung like frozen daggers everywhere. Inaki shielded his face with his arms, feeling them slicing his skin. Her wings?

As suddenly as the tempest has started it ended, leaving Adylen in a distorted, trembling heap where she had collapsed. Inaki crawled over and laid a hand on her arm. Her skin was warm to his touch. ?Adylen?? She turned her face to him and he saw something he wasn?t expecting. Liquid tears. She was crying. ?What happened??

She buried her face into his shoulder, sobbing. ?You broke the curse.?

?What curse??

?Ever since I was betrayed by my husband, I swore revenge on all men. The sorceress who cursed me told me someday there would be a man who would love me despite my attitude towards him. I never thought it would happen, never thought I wanted it to happen, but?? She dropped her head to her hands. ?I?ve done such terrible things, and yet you still love me.?

?How can you be sure? Why should you believe me after all this time of distrusting men??

?The declaration of love sealed with a kiss has to be genuine. Otherwise it wouldn?t have worked.?Clich?, I know, but this happened back in the days of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. What do you expect?? A shy smile started at the corners of her mouth.

Inaki helped her to her feet and together they walked to the castle gates. ?It?s my very own fairy tale,? he said.

?And how does it end?? Adylen asked.

?Happily ever after,? he answered. ?See?? he pointed to a tiny green sprout.

For the first time in aeons, spring was coming to Ainen.

Edited by Phantom Thief Dark

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Radioactive Isotope

*dusts off thread*

k, i'm working on a part two for this one. hopefully i'll have it done soonish.

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Don't have time to read it now, but I will soon.

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That was awesome. :D

You better write a second one! ;)

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Radioactive Isotope

thanks. :)

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