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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Winter (11/14/05)

TITLE: Blood, Lies, and the Altar of Ice
By J. C. Lamont


The ice castle shimmered in the distance. Jared never expected it to look so beautiful. Ice crystals sparkled in the sunlight, sending an array of colors dancing across the snow. He had trudged through miles of snow and ice on this endless journey, carrying the vial of blood given to him by a talking polar bear, who, according to some elves, was deluded into believing that not only was he not a bear, but the rightful king of SnowGlobe - this warped world in which Jared found himself trapped in, when a near fatal accident, in which the snow globe his late father had given him, had smashed.

But the bear had saved his life and told him it was no mere accident that he was here. Claiming to have summoned him, the bear told Jared that he alone could break the curse of incessant winter placed on the land by its evil ruler Frost, by entering Frost’s ice castle, and pouring the blood on the cornerstone in the center of the courtyard.

A soft melody floated up from the castle, beckoning him closer. As though in a trance, Jared reached the gate and crossed the courtyard, gazing at the exquisite ice sculptures of elves and woodland creatures.

“Welcome,” a voice said.

Startled, Jared looked up and saw Frost standing on the balcony above. His hand clamped down on the vial of blood in his pocket.

“Don’t be frightened,” Frost said. “I will not hurt you. I have waited a long time for an heir to come that I could leave my kingdom too. That is why I summoned you here.”

Jared shook his head. “You summoned me?”

Fingering the vial, he wondered who to believe. Why serve when he could rule instead? As an uncontrollable urge to give Frost the vile swept over him, he pulled it from his pocket and tried desperately to remember why he had brought it all this way.

It was then that Jared noticed the cornerstone, shaped like an altar, in the center of the courtyard. Carved in ice, it bore the inscription: The blood of the innocent shall set them free. With a jolt, he remembered why he was there.

Frost swooped down from the balcony. “Give me the vial!”

Torn between the two, Jared didn’t see Frost lunge until it was too late. Ripping the vial from his hands, Frost smashed it against a far wall. Steam rose from the blood and the ice beneath it began to melt. Frost blew and his frigid breath immediately crystallized the blood in ice.

Turning on Jared, Frost pulled an ice spike from thin air. “Fool!”

As Jared dashed from sculpture to sculpture, dodging the hurled spikes, he realized these were no mere ice sculptures, but frozen captives of Frost.

“Did you really think you could defeat me?” Frost laughed.

Jared’s mind raced. He should have believed the bear. And now he was going to die.

Leaping from behind a sculpture, Jared dove for the cornerstone. Frost’s dagger hit him in the chest just as he slammed on top of it. He felt the blood ooze and watched it trickle onto the ice as the cornerstone erupted into flames.

He could hear Frost’s shrieks of horror as the castle began melting and crashing down around them. For a moment, he thought he saw his father smile at him through the flames, but then the courtyard faded into darkness.

Jared opened his eyes. He was lying in bed back in his own world. A man stood over him, wearing the same robe and crown as the bear.

“I am the true King of SnowGlobe,” the man said. “When Frost first came, he convinced everyone that he could rule better than I. Since that is what my people wanted, I stepped down. At first, the winters simply became longer, but over time, there was only winter. The change was so gradual at first, no one noticed, and even then, many didn’t care. But alas, there were a few who saw Frost for who he was, and returned to me. But even they could not break the spell. Someone else had to come.”

Jared shook his head. Though he still didn’t completely understand, with the death of his father and no real home, there was only one thing he wanted. “Please, let me go back with you?”

“You belong here,” the King said, handing Jared his unbroken snow globe. “But, I will always be with you in Spirit.”

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This article has been read 851 times
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Pat Guy 11/21/05
I don't know why I enjoyed this so much! But I did! This hooked me and kept me going! :)
Shannon Redmon11/23/05
Very creative-a good edit to help with some grammer issues and I think you have yourself a great children's story book.
B Brenton11/24/05
What a lovely story - and may you be blessed in turning this into a popular childrens book!
Jesus Puppy 11/24/05
I liked the longer version better... :)
Julianne Jones11/25/05
There's a longer version? Perhaps that explains why I felt as if I was reading the Narnia Chronicles condensed into 750 words! The idea is great but it does appear that the word count has worked against you. I encourage you to explore the concept further (and in more words - LOL). God Bless.
Nina Phillips11/25/05
I was getting a little confused in the first paragraph. It may have been the word limitation. Afterwards I caught the drift, and moved on much easier. I could see this adaptation to a childrens story. God bless ya, littlelight
Garnet Miller 11/25/05
I like this story. It has a Narnian feel to me and that is a good thing. Jared, like so many people in our world, let Satan rob them of the inheritance that is their right as brothers and sisters in Christ. He does it so subtlely that a person doesn't realize they are trading their crown for temporary gain!
Sandra Petersen 11/26/05
I, too, sensed the similarity to Narnia. In the broken snow globe, I momentarily thought of the movie 'Citizen Kane' (no rosebuds in this story, however). My daughter says that there is a children's book that has a child riding on the back of a polar bear king. Nevertheless, and regardless of the inspiration, this was nicely written. Your depiction of Frost was so good that I sensed the evil.
Shari Armstrong 11/26/05
A touch of C.S. Lewis inspiration :)
Jan Ackerson 11/26/05
I felt lost--and there were some spelling errors that threw me off--but you obviously are a talented writer. I think this one was just too heavily edited. The action was very well-portrayed; I could see it as if on a movie screen.
Debbie Sickler11/28/05
J.C. I really loved this, but can't wait for you to post the full version. The word limit did make it a little choppy, but considering what you started with, I think you did an excellent job getting under the word count. I'm sure many people, kids and adults alike, will love reading this too. Keep it up! Great imagination.
B Brenton11/28/05
Post the full version... or send it to me...
Grrr... that's an order... coming from the Polar Bear of your own story...