A Icy Blade
By Anne Leskey
I woke up, feeling good, forgetting for a moment why. Then I remembered that today was Thursday, and as that was the only day that I was allowed to do what I wanted instead of watching my two younger cousins, I was happy, or as happy as I could be, considering that I was living with my Aunt Theodora and Uncle Richard, whilst my parents searched for a inexpensive, nice, home.
I got out of bed, and dressed, then slipped quietly out the door, relieved to find that my aunt and uncle were both loudly snoring. I headed in the direction of a large building shape that I had made out several days before. Now I came to it. It was large, very much so, and seemed to be made of ice, or crystal; I couldn’t quite tell. I opened the large door, which was the only part that seemed to be not of ice or crystal, or a mix thereof. It was large and made out of diamond, or so it seemed. I walked in, hoping that the house would hold my eighty-five pounds.
I entered the house, and was greeted by a single room, which in size, though large, was much smaller than the exterior. The room was bare, save for two things. I glanced at the first, then walked forward. It was fire, yet no ordinary blaze, for instead of producing heat, it produced cold. It also was blue in color, with flickers of white. I gazed at this for what seemed a long time, but in actuality couldn’t have been more than five minutes. Then out the corner of my eye, I seemed to see something, so I looked in that direction. The second thing. Upon a white stone, three feet in height I guessed, was a sword. It was massively beautiful. White, and icy. It seemed to project a sort of light, and I walked, drawn irresistibly towards the stone and sword. I touched it, hesitantly, and my hand instantly grew cold, but when I drew it away it was no colder than the rest of me. The place seemed empty, and I picked up the sword, wrapping it in my cloak.
“I wonder,” I said, to myself, “if any one owns this?”
My voice echoed off the walls. In a few minutes I had decided that no, nobody owned it, which was really stupid of me, as of course someone would own this fine blade. I went to the open door, and raced back to Uncle Richard’s house.
“Cass?” said Aunt Theodora. “Where have you been?”
“Not that it is any of your business, but outside,” I snapped, hoping she wouldn’t question me about the cloak that I was holding, instead of wearing.
I bounded up the stairs, and hid it in piles of underwear, where my aunt, or uncle, never looked. Carefully locking the door to my ‘room,’ more of a large closet, I walked downstairs again.
“Can you help me with lunch, Cass?” questioned Aunt Dora.
“Perhaps, what are you making?”
“Eggs and muffins,” replied Aunt Dora, with an ‘of course’ look.
I grinned, and started mixing muffins. If there was one thing I could do, and do right, it was making muffins. In half an hour we were seated around the table. Nancy and Frances, the twin sisters, were pushing at each other, and throwing their muffin wrappers. Uncle Richard frowned at them, but didn’t tell them to stop. I hated this about him and Aunt Dora, who never thought twice about reprimanding me. After lunch I walked outside, taking the sword. I wished to go back to the house, for I suddenly remembered the ‘Icy Fire’. So I walked quickly in that way. I frowned, when I arrived at the place, for there was no door.
“Whaaa--?” I said, confused. “It was too heavy to disappear!”
However, I determined that if it was of ice that I could break through. I took out the sword, and began hacking at it. It fell away at once. I felt a cold gust of snow flying at me. I wouldn’t have been surprised if it had blown at my back, for it was snowing, being winter, but from the house was weird. I walked inside, and saw a sight that I never forgot. A woman, about eight feet tall, with pure white hair, dressed in white, and her face as pale as a book page.
“Who art thou who presumes to enter into my abode and steal the icy blade?” she questioned.
“Ah…my name is Cass. I thought…it was empty!” I shrieked.
“I very much doubt it. And today, you will DIE!” she shrilly told me.
“I see…” I said. “Could you just….”
“Alas, that it must be so,” sighed the lady. “However, before you die, I will tell you a tale of mine, and then we shall see, then we’ll see.”
“Great,” I said. “Could you begin, please?”
“Once upon a time, a long time ago, probably at least a millennium, there came into existence four beings. Four, I say, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Spring was the prettiest, Summer the friendliest, Fall friendly, pretty, and introverted. And Winter, alas, the cruelest, but not without emotion, for I say cruelest, yet more like it would be coldest, and I do not make a pun, for there are such sayings as ‘She said coldly’ and in that way do I mean it. They tried mingling among humans for a time, going by human names. The one representing Summer called herself Somer, a name meaning ‘Summer.’ Spring, Chun, a name, I believe, from old English, meaning Springtime. Fall called herself Jora, meaning Fall. And winter, beautiful cold winter, called herself Winnterr. I, as you may have guessed, am Winter. But, eventually, we could no longer live with each other, as we looked nothing alike, so then, I went to the mountains, here. Somer went to a warm state in the U.S. I believe ‘tis Florida.”
Here Winnterr paused, as if expecting me to say something.
“I…yes…that state is quite warm…” I stammered. “Could you please continue?”
“Would you please continue, dear,” said Winnterr, softly.
“Would you please continue?” asked I, repeating her.
“Of course,” she said.
She swallowed and began again. “Chun went to Scotland, and Jora to Ireland. I lost contact with my fellow weathers. So I began making a life for myself in the mountains. By and by, I began forging a blade; over a cold fire I turned it and pounded it. I worked in Celtic and Nordic knots, and words: ‘Icy Blade.’ ‘Twas not a very good name, yet I could think of naught else to call it, despite being well read, and worded.”
“Is this that sword, then?” I asked, though knowing it was.
She sighed, and nodded. I felt like I should give it back, yet I didn’t want to. “I will not take the sword from you, I shall cast myself into the fire, instead of killing you. I can’t live without the sword, but I do not wish to kill.”
“But it’s cold, it won’t affect you, surely,” I protested.
The fire turned red and Winnterr looked ready to jump in.
“No!” I screeched, “You can’t burn yourself alive!”
“Nothing but the sword can stop me,” she hissed, walking towards it.
I threw the sword into the fire. It grew cold, finally shattering into millions of pieces. Winnterr began melting, literally. Her pale face melted into a peach one. And finally she turned into a cute old lady.
“You gave up the sword? To save a fool?” she said. “I did not think it possible that after you took the sword you would give it up. I had meant for someone to find it and become so attached to it…it was foolish. I knew it would lead them to their death, and yet I made it…but instead of dying because of it, you saved someone.”
I drew a deep breath. “Winnterr, why don’t you come home with me, okay?” I said.
She said, “Introduce me as Alice Old.”
I took her to my home, where Mother and Father waited.
“Dad, Mom,” I screamed.
Soon, Mother, Father, Alice Old, and I were on our way to a small home. I also got to see my three-year-old sister, Ellen, who had gone to live with another aunt, and she, after hearing my story, said, “Cass, it was a fairytale!” her eyes wide.
“Just think, if I never found the Icy Blade none of this would have happened,” I marveled.
One morning, I opened the door, and found a white package; inside was an exact replica of the sword. So, the “Fairytale” had a “Happily Ever After” fairytale ending.