Whew, I swear school hates me! My teachers have all decided to "just dive into this school year!" so I've gotten enough homework to kill a couple rainforests. It's the freaking first month of school people! Don't you know all we're supposed to do is color in pretty pictures until at least the second month?
Anyhow, so I'm done now!
Spring and Winter
Winter scowled at the ice crystals that glazed over each twig and leaf like silver paint. Snow fluttered down from the dense clouds above, each perfect shape settling down on his dark hair to dust it with white. He snapped his fingers and the winds increased until the light snowfall became a ferocious blizzard, the feathers of ice hardening into needle sharp points as the temperature plummeted. Icicles formed and hung like deadly spears on the branches of the trees. There was a sharp crack as a bough, heavy with the fruit of winter, succumbed to the weight and crashed down into the compact snow below. Nothing else stirred in the white wasteland.
He smiled almost as coldly as the air around him. It pleased him, this place empty of all life. He had worked hard to keep this world of ice like this and he intended to keep it this way for as long as possible.
Something shifted. A faint warmth appeared along the edges of his perfect land, an alien presence. He cast his obsidian eyes toward the edge of the dark forest, his hard features twisting into a frown. The temperature dropped a little more and a great pine tree cracked apart, its heart frozen. A point of brightness materialized, flickering like a star. A girl with short hair the color of rose petals became visible as the light approached. A trail of green followed her, the snow melting and away at her feet. She wore a red quipao and didn't seem affected by the cold in the slightest. Winter scowled.
"This is my domain." he growled, shifting the winds and covering up the color with snow. A ring of emerald remained around her feet, obstinately refusing to disappear. The girl giggled, twisting a strand of her hair around her finger.
"But it will be mine soon. Besides, I was curious to see what Winter looked like." she replied in a childish voice. She drew herself up, barely reaching his waist. "You're just as handsome as the nymphs say. Perhaps more."
"Leave." This only seemed to amuse her more. She twirled around in a circle like a ballerina, flowers of every color sprouting up around her feet.
"And why would I do that? I'm perfectly happy right here, with you."
Winter glared at her, willing this annoying child to leave. She giggled again, gazing up at him with wide jade eyes. "Don't you get lonely sometimes? I'd go mad without company."
"Leave." he repeated. The girl pouted cutely, attempting to suppress her laughter. His glare intensified and the temperature inched downwards a couple more degrees. The winds roared and rattled the frozen treetops, tearing branches off with brutal force. Pellets of ice swirled around her slight figure, smashing into nonexistence on the sides of trees, chipping off pieces of bark in the process. She was unaffected by it all, instead watching the show with wonder on her face.
"You're quite talented." she chirped. "That was very good. But you still haven't answered my question. Do you get lonely sometimes?"
"Never." he snarled, and the wind howled in agreement. The girl looked saddened, shifting her eyes to look at the wildflowers growing around her.
"You're not fooling anybody. Not even yourself." The high-pitched voice she had been using was suddenly smoother and more mature. Her form flickered and the light surrounding her increased. Winter narrowed his eyes against the brightness, waiting.
The light dimmed, revealing a beautiful woman with waist-length pink hair. She wore a red summer dress that settled around her figure, the color contrasting sharply with the cream of her skin. Melancholy green eyes stared back at him from her heart-shaped face.
"You're mistaken, Spring. I am never lonely. Solitude suits me just fine." Winter backed away as she took a step closer. The flowers that had grown blackened and died as the source of heat moved away.
"I've seen you wandering, alone, without a friend in this world. You're the physical embodiment of cold, of bitterness. And you're unhappy." She took another step towards him.
"Are you suicidal?" It was forbidden that anybody touch him. Those who did perished, their heart frozen in their chest. A statue of ice.
"Perhaps a little." A slim hand reached out to touch his arm. He flinched as her warm hand touched the pale whiteness of his cool skin. Spring shivered for the first time since she had come to his land, her breath clouding the air. Her rosy lips became tinged blue and her light dimmed until it was barely there.
"Spring can be cool too. I can endure." she murmured. The warmth left his arm and the glow around her flared up again. Winter touched the spot her hand had been almost wistfully.
"You can't." Spring leaned close to him, close enough that he could smell the scent of cherry blossoms that perfumed her hair. She stood on tiptoe, her head just level with his eyes.
"I know." Her fingertips brushed past his face. An unfamiliar fire burned in his chest at this gesture. He pushed her away, feeling her being to tremble with the cold.
"Of course." A single flower began to grow up between them, pushing through the layers of snow with something close to determination. "We all are. The Seasons are mad with loneliness."
The slender green stem was arching out from the snow like a swan's neck, slowly stretching up towards an absent sun. "You're never alone, Spring. Every living thing waits eagerly for me to leave and for you to take my place." Winter spat.
"You're wrong." The plump bud was beginning to clear the snow and the emerald of leaves poked out of the white. "Maybe your eyes are not as sharp as mine or your hearing not as clear, but I can read the stirrings and whisperings of the world. I know that the plants wait for you to come so they can begin their slumber. I know the water sighs in remembrance of the fantastic crystalline forms it held when you arrived. And I know the fire yearns for the time when it can show the side of it that isn't fierce."
Brilliant petals finally unfurled. The six tiny blossoms danced in the breeze, the only spot of color in the barren landscape. Winter gazed at the royal purple petals that curved so gracefully outwards from their star-shaped centers, rising up above the snow on a single stem. Spring bent down and plucked the flower, known as glory-of-the-snow. It shone, perfect, in the palm of her hand. She offered it to him, closing her eyes as he turned away.
"It's almost time for you to leave. Take it." she urged him.
"For what?" He watched as a single tear drop made its way down her face to drop onto the flower. The tear shone like a pearl on the petals.
"It's a gift."
"I don't need your gifts."
She placed it in his hand anyway. To his surprise, the flower remained fresh and very much alive. He absentmindedly closed his fingers around the gift.
"You're leaving soon. And I can't come with you." The glow around Spring grew, enveloping a larger area. The snow turned to a semi-liquid before melting into the ground. Tiny green shoots appeared, the first hints of the lush carpet of grass that would soon come. Slowly the chilly air became cool, then warm. All the signs of Winter's hard work were disappearing.
"I can't come with you, but I can make a promise to you."
"What?" He couldn't even stand the gentle heat. A bead of sweat ran down his forehead and he backed away from Spring. Her green eyes met his dark ones, sadness mixed with longing mirrored in their depths.
"Remember that wherever you go, however alone you feel…" She pressed a hand to her heart and laid burning finger on the hand that held the flower. "I'm following after you."
The balmy air was almost too much for him now. "Why?"
"Oh, Winter." she sighed, the sound touched with exasperation. "Why do you think?"
A blue butterfly shimmered into existence next to her. The sapphire wings fluttered aimlessly on a breeze and landed on his cheek, as gentle as a lover's kiss. The creature took off after a moment to return to its creator. Spring allowed the butterfly to land on her outstretched finger. Winter felt his cheek burn where it had touched him.
"Go. I'm right behind you."
He turned and left the rosette, following the freezing winds. His frosty companion was uncharacteristically quiet, not screaming with its usual rage.
"You understand, don't you?" a voice inside his mind murmured. Winter nodded, looking down at the glory-of-the-snow. The promise she had given him.
"She loves me, doesn't she."
A puff of warm air ruffled his hair, bringing to him the smell of cherry blossoms. The smell of Spring. He smiled slightly, the first real smile in a long, long time.
"Of course. Why else would Spring follow Winter?"
How's this for a second fanfiction? Good? Bad? Okay? Just press the magic button on the bottom of the screen and you can tell me all about it!