JUST ANOTHER ALASKAN DAYQuickly she vanished, reappearing moments later on the other side of the room.“I cannot be defeated, least of all by the likes of you,” she said, confidence pouring from her mouth at a more rapid rate than her words. She drew the sword hanging from her back, and pointed it at the two young men in front of her.“Come now, Heralania, do not fight us. We have no intention of harming you,” said the bigger of the two men. His golden lochs and patented smile boldly illustrated his popularity with the ladies. He swished his hair from side to side in an attempt to gain the affection of the evil shrew before him.“That may work with the local girls in this pathetic little village, but I am a queen. It takes quite a bit more to peak my interest,” said Heralania. She closely examined her opponents, attempting to find a weakness in their defense, but seemed unable to do so.“We swear, we wish you no harm. But the things you have done tonight…they cannot go unpunished.”“You would punish me, Queen of Melanna, for killing a few humans?! What are you in my presence, but insignificant mortals who know little about the universe surrounding them.” The handsome young man smiled, his pearly whites glistening with the reflection of the moonlight.“You will find that we in this village place a great value on each and every life, be it human or otherwise. You must atone for what you have done,” he said calmly, once again trying to convince the woman before him of his charm. Heralania tossed these efforts aside with as much care as a sanitation worker with his refuse. Cackling, she looked the two young men directly in their eyes, sending chills down both of their spines.“Silly little boys; atonement can only be achieved by someone who is remorseful. I feel neither shame nor regret for my actions, nor do I feel pity for the worthless creatures I dispatched. I not only would do it again, I assure you, I will do it again.”“Not if we can help it,” said the less handsome of the two men.“You cannot help it. In fact, I do believe you will be my next victims,” she cackled this rather than said it, once again causing emotional shivers to ripple through the young men’s bodies. Raising her sword, she charged at the men, who quickly rolled onto the floor in opposite directions, parting as the Red Sea had once done for Moses himself. They quickly got to their feet as the queen turned to face them once again.“Your evasive actions will only save you for so long; eventually, my trusted sword shall taste the sweet nectar that is your blood.” She laughed her horrible laugh, a guffaw more wretched than a red sox homerun. Her smile faded quickly though, as the attractive young man pulled a strange object from his pocket. It was made of the purest silver, with multi-colored gems encrusted up and down its shaft. It was no longer than seven inches in length, and its width was thinner than that of a kindergartener’s wrist. As the handsome young man held it up closer to Heralania, it began to glow a soft shade of blue. The color in the evil queen’s face, however, had been drained as quickly as the mysterious blue light had appeared. In horror, she spoke to the two men facing her, no longer wielding the same confidence she had had mere moments previously.“Where did you get that?” she asked as she moved steadily and deliberately backward.“It came along with you, as the snow fell,” the young man replied, building his own confidence on the queen’s lack there of.“You cannot even use that, you do not know how,” she replied, but it was clear from her tone that she was not entirely sure of this fact.“You will find, Heralania, that I am a surprisingly quick study.” Without another word, he held the object high above his head, and its bluish hue began to form into a rich, oceanic color. Heralania’s image began to fade, and she screamed as if in terrible agony.“You may have won this time, but I will be back! I will kill every male descendant in your line; I will…” before she could finish this last attempt at a threat, she disappeared. For a moment, the strange object in the young man’s hand burned blindingly blue, but the colorful display soon subsided, leaving the two young men alone and baffled.“Well Tom, that was pretty strange, was it not?” The handsome young man named Tom laughed.“Yes Peter, I believe it was. Come, let us regale our tale to the villagers hiding in fear.” The two men walked from the room, the miniscule prison held tightly in Tom’s muscular hand.Thomas Theodore Tomlinson sat up in what had formerly been his place of slumber. He rubbed his eyes and looked about his room as if trying to discern whether or not he was dreaming. Peering out the window, he saw snow falling once again. As he lived in Alaska, this did not surprise him at all.“More snow, how freaking awesome,” he muttered to himself in a sleep deprived state. He had had the strangest dream, the same nightly vision he often had right before a massive snowstorm. Before he could begin to think in a clear state of mind, the door to his bedroom swung open, and a boy of no more than seven sprinted into the room with purpose in his step.“Tommy, Tommy, wake up! It’s snowing outside!”“As opposed to snowing inside?”“Shut up, you know what I mean.”“Come on Peter, this is Alaska. When are you gonna get it through your head that is snows here every damn day!”“Ooh, when mom comes home I’m gonna tell her you cursed,” said the little boy called Peter.“Damn isn’t a curse you little freak,”“Can we go outside and play in the snow?” asked Peter, apparently no longer concerned with his older brother’s foul language.“Yeah, but you think I can maybe get dressed first?” Tom asked sarcastically. Peter sighed.“Fine, but hurry up!” He shouted, before bouncing out of the room in much the same way he had entered. Tom turned to the sweatshirt on his chair, threw it on, and then attacked a pair of sweatpants he found laying on his floor. Now fully dressed, he made his way out of the room. As he exited, a small, silver object lying on the floor in the room’s corner began to glow an eerie shade of blue. If one were to press their ear to its hilt, they would have heard a soft cackling that could have made even a black cat believe his luck had suddenly turned sour. It appeared that Heralania, Queen of the dreaded Melanna, wanted to play in the snow as well…One snowman and three angels later, Tom was ready to go back inside. His brother never seemed to tire of the snow, which served to only irritate him. Tom hated the snow, not just because it meant that he could not do many of his favorite activities, but also because of the strange occurrences that seemed to accompany this loathsome frozen precipitation. Bad things happened to the men in Tom’s family when it snowed, everything from missing car keys to mysterious deaths. His father had died during a particularly heavy storm, the cause still unknown. Strange puncture wounds were found all over his body, but from a weapon that no one could discern. What was even more puzzling was the fact that all of the doors and windows in the house had been locked from the inside. Remembering the day he had found his mortally wounded father served only to bring back painful memories of his death, along with the strangely cryptic advice he had left with his eldest son.“Guard this with your life,” he had said as he handed a strange silver object to Tom. To this day, the young man had never been able to figure out exactly what it was, and he had lost interest in its mystery years ago.“Come on Peter, let’s go inside. I’ll make us some cocoa,” he said, hoping that the promise of sweets would entice his little brother to breakaway from his freezing, powdery playmate. With a huge smile, little Peter nearly knocked Tom on his back as he dashed toward the front door. Chuckling a bit to himself, the older of the two strode towards the entrance to his house.After only a few sips of the hot, chocolate liquid, both boys felt safe and warm. Their mother would not be home for another few hours, and if the snow persisted, perhaps even longer. The entire house was their playpen, and both entertained various notions of how to use it for their enjoyment. Looking out of the nearest window, it was clear that the snow had no intention of halting its rapid descent towards the earth.“Looks like we’re gonna be inside for awhile, Petey. Whatcha wanna do?”“Can we watch TV?” he asked hopefully. Tom smiled; it seemed his brother had read his mind.“Sure we can, let’s go pick a movie from my room.” The two brothers stood from their seats and began the ascent up the stairs in the direction of Tom’s bedroom.“Do you wanna watch the Terminator?”“No, too scary,” said Peter.“Okay, how bout…Gone in 60 Seconds?”“No, that movie is stupid,”“Fine, we can watch a Bug’s Life,” said Tom unenthusiastically. Peter began jumping up and down in excitement.“Thanks Tom!” As he ran to grab the movie, he kicked something in the corner of the room. It had been covered by one of the various articles of clothing littering Tom’s floor, but as it was jarred from its original position, the boys noticed it for the first time.“What’s that blue light?” asked Peter. Tom did not respond at first, as he was mesmerized by the strange luminescence just as his brother had been. Bending over, he picked the glowing object up and turned it over in his hands. It was the very same item that his father had given him as he died. Though Tom had poured over what he had perceived to be every possible function this entity could possess, glowing blue was not one of the theories on his list.“What is it Tom? Make it stop, it’s scaring me!”“I don’t know what it is and I can’t make it stop. Just shut up for a second and lemme try to figure it out.” Tom did not need to gaze upon this strange object for very long, for no sooner had he turned it over than a peculiar mist began to emanate from its shaft.“Holy poop in a bowl,” said a terrified Petey. Tom, too distracted by the mist, immediately forgave his brother’s makeshift colloquialism. The mist grew larger in surface area, and began to take the shape of a person. As quickly as it had appeared, the foggy substance became solid matter and a woman stood before them. She was dirty and old, and had a long sword slung across her back. The remnants of once intense beauty lay in ruins across her face, and before the boys could drink in her entire being, she began to cackle. This served only to make her increasingly vile, and though Tom and Peter were quite confused, their bewilderment was overpowered by an unexplained feeling of loathing towards this ugly, ancient woman.“Hello, darling children,” she said in a pseudo-sweet voice.“Hello,” said Peter in a youthfully innocent voice.“Are you the descendants of Thomas Tomlinson?” she asked, her tone turning a bit sourer.“What’s a descendant Tom?” asked Peter as he turned to his brother.“Never mind that, Pete.”“Peter and Tom, just like the first time. I wondered when those names would cycle through again,” she said, her eyes looking hungrily at the two boys.“What do you mean the first time? Who the hell are you?”“I am Heralania, Queen of the Melanna.”“Right, okay, but why are you here?” asked Tom with a little less patience.“Oh, I am here to have fun, nothing more and nothing less,” she explained matter-of-factly.“Do you wanna watch a movie with us?” asked Peter.“Oh no, I do not wish to watch anything. I enjoy other activities so much more.”“Like what?”“Peter, shut up!” screamed Tom. It appeared that his brother’s innocence had impaired what would be solid judgment. After all, when a child meets someone new his first instinct is to trust that person.“No, the boy asked a valid question. My idea of fun…hmm, I do not believe anyone has ever asked me that. I enjoy torture, that is always amusing, and murder, oh yes, I do so love murder. But my favorite pastime is seeking revenge! Which unfortunately for you two includes the two aforementioned activities…”“You’re gonna kill us?”“Oh no, little one. I would never kill a child. I am going to eat you whole instead; after all, children taste so much sweeter than anything else in this foul little world…”“Wait a second, are you some sort of magical being?” asked Tom bluntly. The evil queen laughed.“Welcome to the conversation. Yes, I am a magical being. Have I answered all of your questions sufficiently? Because I would really rather be killing you,” as she said this, she drew the sword hanging on her back. Tom looked at its shape for a moment, and suddenly realized that it was a carbon copy of the mysterious puncture wounds found all over the corpse of his father.“Did you kill our father?”“Why yes, I believe I did, just a few years back. Was that him?” Tom did not answer, but rather charged at the decrepit woman. Before he reached his destination, she vanished into thin air. Seconds later, she reappeared on the other side of the room.“Are you challenging me? Because that would make the process all the more enjoyable.”“Hey Petey…”“I’m scared,”“I know you are buddy. Just one thing…”“Yeah,”“Run!” Even before the words had departed from his mouth, the two had begun to flee. They quickly exited the room, and Heralania cackled wickedly.“Oh, you have made it a treasure hunt, what a delight. I think I will start with the smaller one…it has been so long since I last had a delicious meal.”Tom and Peter crouched quietly in the cupboard next to the kitchen. This had always been Tom’s favorite place to stow away as a child, and he felt it served their purpose well in what was clearly a life or death game of hide and seek.“Are we gonna die Tom?” asked Peter, a chill in his voice indicative of someone far older.“I won’t let her hurt you buddy, I swear it,” he replied, attempting in the process to convince himself of this statement as well.“I can’t see anything,” said Peter.“We can’t turn any lights on or it’ll be easier for her to find us.”“I’m scared Tommy.”“I know you are Petey boy, but we have to be quiet. Just gimme a minute to think.” Loud footsteps suddenly became very audible from directly outside the cupboard. It was clear that the evil queen was standing directly in front of the door.“I can smell you boys, why don’t you just come out and die with a little dignity?” Peter began to sniffle, and Tom hugged him close to his body. Not knowing what to do next, he was reminded of some of his favorite stories of heroism. Many of these men and women had faced great adversity as well, albeit nothing of the same supernatural caliber, and yet they had decided to face this strife head on. Deciding that this was the best course of action, Tom turned to the small boy crouching next to him.“Follow my lead, Petey boy,” he whispered. Peter nodded his head, apparently trusting his brother completely. Before he had the time to ponder his decision, Tom quickly stood up and kicked the door open. It was a good move, as Heralania had been standing directly outside of the cupboard. The door slammed into the queen with a loud thud, knocking her onto the floor.“Run!” screamed Tom, and his brother obeyed. Before the evil entity had the chance to regain her footing, the two boys had already run away. She stood up, brushing herself off, and put her hand to her face. Removing her hand from her vile visage, she watched in horror as blood dripped onto the floor.“I am going to kill you both!” she exclaimed furiously as she began to run in the direction of the boys.Tom and Peter were now hiding in the small attic above their mother’s bedroom. As it could only be accessed by pulling a string, Tom felt confident that they would not be found, at least not for a while. He had even ripped the string out of the door, to make their hiding place a bit more inconspicuous. The queen searched in vain for almost a half hour, looking in each room over and over again. She detected the boys’ scent in their mother’s room, but could not place where it was coming from.“I know you are close little ones. Just come out; I won’t kill you, we’ll just play a game.” Peter moved suddenly in the attic, and made just enough noise to catch the evil queen’s attention. Looking up, she finally realized where the two brothers were hiding. Closing her eyes, she smiled, undoubtedly planning something sinister for her two latest victims.The silence in the attic hung like a heavy fog, and seemed to envelope Tom and Peter. Each time his little brother had attempted to speak, Tom had covered his mouth and stopped him. He hoped above hope that she would not detect their presence, but somehow knew that she would find them eventually. He would never disclose this information to his innocent little brother, but he had the strange feeling that he was a man about to die. Before he had the chance to hypothesize about his imminently fatal future, a small light appeared in the corner of their hiding place. The light grew, until it was the size of a large flat-screen television. Without any prior notice, the boys’ father appeared within this makeshift screen.“That’s daddy!” Peter whispered excitedly.“I know, but shut up,” replied Tom. He was just as curious as his brother, but did not want them to be heard. They watched the image of their father as he walked around the house during a heavy snowstorm. They looked on in horror as the same strange silver object began to glow its eerie shade of blue, and became even more frightened as the queen appeared. Though their father fought valiantly, the queen proved to be too much for him, and she repeatedly drove her sword into the past patriarch. As he lay on the ground, dying, his wounds bled profusely. Heralania cackled as she returned to her prison, looking out of the screen at the two boys. With an evil smile, she vanished, leaving the boys’ mortally wounded father lying on the ground. The vision did not stop here, unfortunately, but rather continued on until a much younger Tom walked in to find his nearly deceased father. The older Tom watched in horror as he was forced to relive his most horrible moment, and tears began to stream down his face. Peter watched as his brother started to breakdown, his heart filling with sadness.“It’ll be okay Tommy,” he said in a comforting whisper.“No, it won’t Peter. I didn’t wanna scare you, but I don’t want the last thing I say to you to be a lie.” Tom put his face in his hands attempting to force the tears away. Looking up, he reacted as if suddenly remembering that they were in the attic.“Look at this place. Mom’s been yelling at me for years to clean this room up, but I never listened. I can’t believe how much crap is lying around here…”“I don’t know, maybe we can play one last game,” said Petey, acting much more mature than most at his age.“You know what Petey, I agree. Let’s have fun, one last time. Go pick anything in the room and we’ll make a game out of it.” Smiling, the little boy began rummaging through the various objects strewn about the room. It did not seem that anything in this particular attic would lend itself to any form of entertainment, but suddenly Peter gasped.“What’s wrong?” whispered Tom dramatically in a tone that would make even Jack Bauer proud.“I just found a box of salt,” said Peter.“So? What game can we make with that?”“No, I mean, we can use it against the queen lady.”“What?” said Tom skeptically.“Well, she said she comes when it snows, so maybe she’s made of snow too.” Tom thought about this for a moment. His brother’s logic, while clearly at the maturity level of someone in his younger years certainly seemed to contain a great deal of validity. Besides, they did not have any other plan of attack, and it would undoubtedly be much more dignified to leave this earth in a blaze of glory.“Do you really think it’ll work?” asked Tom.“Does it matter? She’s gonna kill us anyway.” Apparently Peter had aged a great deal in the queen’s short time in their house. Tom nodded, and the two dragged the heavy box together toward the attic door.“I can hear you moving up there little boys,” cackled Heralania from bellow them. Ignoring her taunting, the boys continued with the task at hand, and succeeded in pushing the box directly next to the door.“Okay, I’m gonna open the hatch, and as the door swings down, we dump the box over the edge. Are you ready?” Peter nodded, clearly too nervous to speak. The confidence he had had previously, that of a person facing his own death, was leaking out of him like a runny faucet. After all, once hope has been instilled in a person, their life begins to matter once again. The older brother raised his hand, and began his silent countdown. One…two…three! Tom opened the latch and the two brothers quickly emptied the box of salt onto the floor bellow. The evil queen, who had been standing directly underneath their door, was caught by surprise and became covered in the powdery, white substance. At first, nothing happened, but after only a few moments, steam began to rise from her flesh.“Agh! It burns, it burns!” she screamed in agony. The boys jumped down as their nemesis continued to writhe in pain. She was on the floor now, squirming and squealing, and though she had wanted to kill them, neither brother felt a sense of joy. Bending down, Tom picked up Heralania’s fallen sword. He looked down at his nemesis, and though he was not elated to see this woman in excruciating pain, he was certainly not very upset. He looked over to his brother, who had clearly been traumatized enough already.“Walk out of the room Petey boy, you don’t wanna see what happens next.”“No Tom, I do. For papa.” Tom smiled at his brother, realizing just how much he had grown since the beginning of the day. He looked back down at Heralania, and raising the sword above his head, spoke to the room.“For papa.” Quickly and efficiently he brought the sword down hard, sinking it into the evil queen’s heart. He raised it up, and stabbed her again, and again, his actions fueled by his rage. Finally, Peter walked over to his brother and put his hand on Tom’s back. The older of the two did not inflict any more damage, and they watched as the queen turned into mist. Moments later, she vanished completely.“Well, that was interesting,” said Tom in a half joking tone.“I think I would’ve rather watched the movie.” The two boys laughed. Tom pulled out the strange object that had once been Heralania’s prison from his pocket.“So, what do we do with this thing now?”“I dunno, it still looks pretty cool,” said Peter.“Yeah, I guess you’re right.” He placed the object back in his pocket as the two boys walked out from the room.“What’re we gonna do now?”“Let’s watch the movie. And I’ll make us some hot chocolate,” suggested Tom. Peter smiled with excitement.“That sounds awesome!”“What a day. Just one disappointment.”“What’s that?” asked Peter. Tom smiled sarcastically.“I just think it would’ve been a lot more fun if she had melted while screaming, ‘I’m melting, I’m melting’.” The two brothers laughed.“Yeah, well, I know one thing for sure,” began Peter.“Oh yeah? Do tell me.”“I’m never gonna play in the snow again.” Tom and Peter both laughed, and the older brother put his arm around the younger as the two forged their way toward the promise of sweet, chocolaty bliss.
Take a look at my award winning story (writing.com for excellence)
It is a story in which magical evil is wrought upon two boys as a heavy snowstorm persists…will they live to tell the tale?