Saturday, August 2, 2014

Water, Fire

One way to participate in Kendra's 5&3 party is to write something based off one of her WIP titles. I chose Water Princess, Fire Prince.

If that were a guy, this picture would be perfect.
Neither girl really fits Marta.
The fire girl fits her better than the water girl,
though not because of her looks.

I slide out of bed, already dressed in the clothes my brother has managed to smuggle to me. Tiaras and ruffles just won't do for this misadventure.

I do my hair in a tight braid at the nape of my neck. I don't wear any shoes. Shoes are a curse of culture, and they'll only hinder my climb.

I cross my room to the ginormous window. I might mention I live in a castle. I'm a princess, my twin brother a prince. We've been kept apart by our parents and the servants for far too long and with no explanation. We only know that there seems to be something wrong with us, judging by all the gossip and teasing we've been subject to.

I tie a rope to the dresser nearby and test it to be sure it'll hold before climbing out the window and beginning my decent. Marcus and I are thirteen, and we want to know why we haven't been allowed to get near each other for these past ten years. We've been allowed to talk or hang out together, but we are never to touch and are under constant supervision to be sure that we don't. Tonight, we're going to learn why.

I jump the last few feet to the ground and look around to see if Marcus has made it down from his own window. He has, and as soon as we see each other, we run as cautiously as we can to the woods surrounding the castle grounds. We don't stop until we're deep enough into the forest we're sure we won't be discovered by the guards.

We both rest for a minute, catching our breath.

"Are you ready?" Marcus asks me.

"As much as I'll ever be," I answer.

We stand in front of each other and bring our hands together. As my hand nears his, I begin to feel a strange sensation, which grows stronger as our hands get closer. It feels like pins and needles, only softer, rounder. Seconds after our hands touch, I jerk mine away with a small scream.

I grab my wrist and look at my hand. And scream again in stark horror. My skin is rolling and bubbling like hot water over a fire. It quickly calms down and my hand returns to almost normal, though it still seems to have a liquid quality to it.

I look at my brother and notice his hand, bright red, like hot coals after their fire has been put out. He looks at me, mouth gaping, shock written across his face. I suppose I look much the same.

"What was that‽" I say, though certain he doesn't know any better than I do.

We're quiet for some time, thinking. After a while, something seems to click in Marcus's eyes. He walks to the nearest tree and lays his hand on the bark. He closes his eyes for a minute, seeming to concentrate on something. Suddenly, the wood beneath his hand bursts into flames, but he doesn't cry out or move his hand.

"What are you doing?" I yell.

"It doesn't hurt."

I stop, realizing what he's said. "What?" I ask, confused.

"The fire, it doesn't burn. My hand feels fine." He pulls his hand away and shows me. "See?"

I walk to him and inspect his hand. He's right, it isn't burnt. I touch my finger to his palm, wondering if his skin feels hot, but I again pull my hand away with a short scream. I realize he's done the same. I glance at my hand and find the same result before looking at his. The spot where I'd touched him is sizzling, much like when you pour water into a burning pot. Strange that fire shouldn't hurt him but a simple touch does.

But not just any touch, my touch. I begin to understand what had clicked in Marcus's mind moments before. I walk to the tree he's lit on fire, hold my hand out, and concentrate on squelching the flames.

I hear a splosh and open my eyes. The bark is smoldering where it had been burning seconds earlier. The tree is wet, as if someone had dowsed the fire with a bucket of water.

"So this is why they've separated us," I mutter, loud enough for Marcus to hear. "But why didn't they tell us?"

We look at each other, thinking it through, trying to make sense of it.

"I wonder how we got this way," Marcus says. "I wish I'd known sooner, this could be fun."

That sparked a thought in my head. "Maybe that's why they didn't want to tell us—"

"So we wouldn't misuse it," we finish.

"Well, now that we know," he begins.

I finish for him, "...what are we going to do about it?"


  1. I like the direction you took it. A bit weird, but then, weird's always good. What are they going to do about it?

    1. Thanks! Yes, it is somewhat strange.

      I'm not really sure any more where the idea started, but at some point it was based off the thought of: what would it be like if my skin was boiling? The idea of trying to imagine what boiling water would feel like if you were the boiling water (which is why it's in Marta's perspective). I didn't end up getting into that much, but it was still fun to write.

      I haven't continued it yet, but I do plan to. Thanks for commenting!

    2. It was certainly fun to read. My own story of Water Princess and Fire Prince began with a wondering of what would happen if I stepped into the shower and was suddenly under a waterfall and people were calling me the Waterfall Princess and I had to save the world. I has changed a LOT since then, but every story needs its spark.

      I'm eager to see where you go with it!


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