First a big THANK YOU.
One to you,realistic, for caring, taking the hits, and still caring.
Two, please pass on my thanks to the parents for encouraging creativity. Really. It has taken me a long time to value what my parents did not.
And last thanks to all for giving me a few hours of pleasant day dreams. This might not be what they are looking for. Still, they have given me a chance to let my thoughts go and just follow. Thank them for that.
No matter where, when, or who, humans are made of mostly water. It is contained within a form under skin. Yet, how often have you watched water find its own way, no matter how it was intended. It can be steam that fills the air in gassy fog or solid rock hard ice strong enough to stomp over. Water, steam, ice, the stuff of life. As much as we try to contain and control it finds its own way.
Those who burn under flames with little water to calm the fires or cool the cracked dry lips know this. After years of heat that smoldered their crops and sucked dry their wells they all dreamed of ice and snow. They tried all kinds of methods to call the waters back. The water they shared within their forms, in their minds and in their hearts all dreamed of endless cool streams of clean clear water. The Lord of Fire didn’t care. Burn them all, was his cry.
It was not foolishness that followed the rumors of ice that never melted. No, it was hope. It was a shared dream. It was not the strongest, wisest, biggest boy that stepped forward to find the trickle of hope. It was Stu. Small, unnoticed hero, polite and nondescript Stu.
Stu never thought of himself as a hero. Far from it. He was just so tired, so hot, so dried up, the thought of leaving the scorched ground behind and flying off to who knows where sounded refreshingly cool. Stu stepped forward and offered to go.
“Go?” asked the council elders.
“Yes.” Stu answered weakly from the back of the town hall. “To find the Ice That Never Melts.”
As Stu somehow managed to offer himself his family shocked and surprised could think of nothing to do but follow. After all, they were connected, like shared water and blood, they moved together. So his mother, father, little sister and even their panting mutt of a dog stepped forward to offer as well. The council mumbled they were fools of course as they washed their hand of any responsibility. Heroes sometimes come from the strangest places.
Friends of Stu held a party. Gifts were presented. Imagine what could be given without the knowledge of what it could do or how it could be used. Magic and hope are close partners. (The fun part of writing a story is letting it go and coming back to fill in things that weren’t needed at first. What could they take? You can add items later)
They set out toward the distant mountains because of stories long forgotten. (The story of where the Ice That Never Melts came from could be told at the party. Was it a gift from the Gods? A left behind technology from an alien ship? A crack in the surface of the Evil Fires forces?)
To get to the mountains they had to travel over the desert. Even in the wasteland, even in the dark, plants and creatures can be found to help. The cactus holds water for those who know how to get past the prickles. A lizard can show them where to hide from the burning sun. As the land and its creatures help Stu, Stu and his family get stronger. They make trades and help those who help them. The dry land knows theses strangers hold the promise of cool clear water. Sometimes help comes from the strangest places.
As they move closer to the mountains the Lord of Fire begins to feel it to. He sends his forces to stop the family. Every story of heroes saving the lands needs a few battles. They could fight with the gifts. They could fight with the help of the desert. They could fight and awaken abilities to protect and defend each other. The water that flows unknown between them becomes stronger.
Stu and his family fight off the first defender of the Lord of Heat. Weary and battered from the fight they make it to the foothills. They hide and wonder if they can really complete the task. Every hero has some moments of doubt. But they encourage each other. When the mother is low and sad, Stu holds her. When Stu falters his little sister relights his convection. In the cooler foothills they find the will to go on.
The beasts of the mountains do not welcome these intruders at first. They bring the Lord of Fire to them and they do not wish the attention. How could they prove themselves to the beast of the foothills? Perhaps the Lord comes after Stu and in the process hurts the beasts. Perhaps they have begun to worry about the stretch of the fire that has dried up the low lands? Maybe Stu convinces them. Stu passes with the beast as friends or just the ability to move through them.
The foothills turn to treacherous cliffs. The rise so step ropes are needed. The family climbs. And that is when the fires from the Lord burn the deepest. Stu’s family is like a target. The Lord of Heat takes aim. How would Stu make it past? Would the beasts help? Would his family make it beside him?
Somehow they struggle. At the highest peak a huge block of solid mountain shines. It is ice! The family celebrates. But only until they realize they do not know what to do next. What good does this unmelting ice do here? Could they take a piece? As they stand trying to figure out what to do the family holds hands with each other around the ice. The water inside the big block feels the warmth of the heart water inside the family. It gives. Does it let them take a piece, or does it melt just a bit allowing the springs and rivers of the higher mountains drip, spill, stream down the mountain side into the dry valley below. Maybe inside the ice is the captured Lord of the Water, who was captured by the Lord of Heat until this moment. When the warmth of Stu’s family fills him, he breaks through. Stu and his family watch the battle between the two the Lords of Water and Fire.
They ride the river home, swimming in the cool clear water all the way home to grand celebrations.
Ideas and stories are like water, they flow and find their own direction. The slip away in steam and harden into blocks of ice. But in the end it is the cleanness the flow of water bring that makes it so refreshing.