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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 3rd day of Running, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 125 > Short Stories > Frostburn

Frostburn

by c0v2jn

Light wisps of air encircled his head, picking up snowflakes that danced aimlessly into oblivion. Frostburn the Chia draped his hand across his face, causing his marred fur coat to drag heavily after it. He squeezed his eyes shut and hugged his face tightly trying to block out his surroundings in vain. With each breath he denied he was there. He refused to believe it, but when his eyes reopened he was as alone as before. The dark, cobalt landscape was as silent as always with the occasional gust whistling past his ears. Snowflakes twirled to the ground in a mute symphony as the high humming of the winds past swept towards the horizon. He gritted his teeth as the searing cold pierced his tender skin. It wasn't always like this, he thought. His mind traveled back to a better time -- a happier time. The snowflakes continued to twirl around him as his mind entered a trance. The chills seemed to fade into his memories, long past and forgotten.


The swipes of his blade managed to get rid of most leafy obstacles but not all. With every step the jungle became thicker and the trees became darker. The sun was setting and he wanted to set up camp on solid, dry land. His boots trudged through the muddy soil and he swung his blade from side to side like a clock's pendulum, counting the time he had left. The ground suddenly became smooth and slippery as he struggled for balance. Something caught hold of his foot, and he fell.

     He fell, and he fell. He could not understand it until he landed heavily on a pile of brown, crispy leaves. He was walking on a group of large, fallen trees all the time and had fallen into the hollow center. Yes, he thought, I can set up camp here. He untied his brown knapsack but the threads, so interwoven, ripped in two. Two sheets of thick burlap fell to the ground accompanied by the thuds of his tools and food. He wrapped the burlap and placed it into his left pocket, opening the canned prunes with his blade. He decided to leave the unneeded tools here, as he could not carry the weight without a bag. He patted the leaves to rest his head as they rustled dryly. The wind blew over the tree trunk's gaps making beautiful sounds as if from a fine, handmade instrument. The sounds faded, and he was asleep.

     The next morning, as if an alarm clock went off, he awoke with shock and sat up quickly, banging his head into the trunk. He massaged his head and looked around. A piece of paper that he forgot to keep lay rumpled on the ground. It was his Explorer's License. Working for the Tyrannian council was a tough job when they wanted you to find new things for reasons unknown. He picked it up and pocketed it. He walked out of the huge trunk and staggered into the bright sunlight. He heard a noise. It wasn't an ordinary noise -- it seemed it was from a living creature but was not sure what. The noise was coming from the direction of the towering mountains ahead. Filled with curiosity, Frostburn looked in its direction, leaning on his freshly-built spear for rest.

     The journey to the foot of the mountains was restless. The terrain was far from flat and easy. Huge barriers had to be climbed and deep drops had to be avoided. It was in the afternoon when he noticed something reflective. It's deflections of the sun blinded him momentarily. He inched towards it -- it was a lake. Frostburn jumped in with a joyous splash as he scooped up the water and flung it into the air. But after a few minutes he noticed something. He stood very still, his eyes darting around. He glanced at the water. Small ripples began to form every other second. Vibrations sent sensations up his feet. Maybe it's an earthquake, he thought, no, it… it can't be. The vibrations got stronger and stronger until suddenly the hard earth under the water felt like it ripped apart in one cataclysmic blow. The trees shook, the water was like the opening of a shaken can of Neocola. The sky became pitch black. It's not an earthquake, he thought, it's a volcano.

     He sprinted towards the shaking trees, tripping in the process. His body followed his feet into a small cave-like hole. In the confusion he grabbed hold of something and began to climb upwards as the vibrations became stronger and stronger. His hands and feet clambered onto a surface just when his ears were deaf with the explosions. He gripped the vines he climbed on tightly as he realized he had climbed to the top of a small cliff-like structure. In the distance he could clearly see bright red lava pouring and erupting from the volcano. Then he realized, that was where the sound of the living creature came from his morning.

     Lava enveloped the landscape and many trees collapsed to its scorching heat. The shaking pulsed through the land and he made sure his feet were planted firmly onto the sunbaked rock. The ghostly lava circled his short cliff, rising as it did. His heart pounded as the lava bubbled and burst. The volcano was clearly not done and the sky was darker than a starless night. Frostburn squeezed his eyes shut and gripped the vine tighter than ever. He was scared -- very scared.

     When he awoke he couldn't see anything. He extended his hand and felt something… rough. He extended his other hand and felt around his head, looking for an obstacle - he felt nothing, so he stood up. His hands traveled along the rough surface and he kept walking aimlessly in the dark until he touched something different; he felt a thin piece of wood. He quickly realized it was his handmade spear so he grabbed it sharply with a jerk. A deafening roar echoed through the cave and a monstrous jet-black beast at least a building or several buildings tall stood up before him causing the ground to shake. In its movement it exposed the opening to the cave and bright beams of sunlight began to flood it. He knew what happened, he knew exactly what happened, but he didn't know what to do next.

     Frostburn had heard tales of the legendary Monoceraptor before. It lived in a fiery volcano and had obviously taken him into a cave as breakfast. As the rest of the cave was blinded with searing light he had no choice but to look into the Monoceraptor's eyes, high above him. It grunted. He was petrified and dared not move. The beast's eyes were narrow, red and were so glazed that he could see the reflection of the rock within them. It blinked and stared at him while opening its jaws revealing its huge, sharp teeth and oozing saliva. A sticky drop fell before him as it glared menacingly like if it was deducing the perfect recipe. Then suddenly, it roared and its jaws lunged at Frostburn. It happened so quickly that in a split second he was drenched and soaking with its saliva. He could imagine its powerful teeth hovering above him -- ready to crunch. But he wanted to have one last look at the glowing sunrise so he opened his eyes. His vision was blurred as the beast's saliva oozed from his hair and onto the rock with a splutter. The Monoceraptor was probably going to get more food, he thought, and then it'll eat me. The beast was still in front of him -- staring. A thought hit him - Did it just lick me? Like Puppyblews? He looked up at the beast through his saliva-stained hair. It seemed like it was smiling at him, almost inviting. Then it dropped a piece of meat and vegetables from its mouth at Frostburn's feet. It grunted and pushed it towards him. Frostburn was petrified… with shock.

     He spent a week in that cave and kept the Monoceraptor company. It hunted for him. He played with it. But it was time for him to return to Tyrannia. Being the caring beast that he truly was, he let Frostburn go without question. He could not wait to report it to the council. They would love the new discovery!

     When he reached the council their faces were grave. Grarrg, the battlemaster, said, "The war has started. We're losing against their lowest ranks! Neopia Central has decided to help so we're waiting for the supposed reinforcements." Frostburn then told his tale and explained that the beast could help defeat the enemy and was sure of it. The council listened with interest as they discussed the situation through the night. A glistening of hope was in the air.

     Dawn broke. Neopia's reinforcements had arrived and were defeating the enemy's ranks one by one. They were given word to watch out for surprise attacks but Neopia's numbers were sure to annihilate any opposition. They had defeated their last enemy -- or so they thought. The earth started to shake like a continuous drumbeat. Each Neopet was ready for whatever it was. All were watching. Then suddenly through the trees the Monoceraptor appeared and lunged at the Neopians and Tyrannian warriors. It blatantly stepped over his friend, Frostburn, to hurt more Neopets behind him. He was speechless as the council stared at him and backed away. He cried out to the beast, he shouted, it roared. He was like a pebble in an avalanche. The beast almost seemed mechanical. It crushed, it stomped, it destroyed. Frostburn sped off in confusion towards a crevice at a rock. What had happened to his friend? What was he doing? Why? Questions bombarded him at every step, the screams behind him echoing. He reached into the crevice -- and fell.

     He clambered out and noticed it was freezing even with his Tyrannian fur coat. He looked back at the crevice -- it was gone. The ice had sealed it over. He recognized the place as the only snow-capped height in Neopia, Terror Mountain. It was a vast place with many hidden passages and caves along its sheer sides. He was stuck in one of them. He started panicking and ran in every direction, hoping to find help. He ran and ran. This mind also raced with his body. What happened to the gentle beast? Why didn't it recognize me? Why's it part of the war at all? What will I do? Can I get back? He ran and ran, like the snowflakes, and twirled into oblivion.


 

Frostburn unwrapped his hand from his head as the memory of his only true friend turned evil faded back into the cold. He is only known to Neopia as card #187, the explorer who thought the Ice Caves was too cold. He was much more than that and still is spotted by daring mountain climbers. Frostburn still ponders about the events after he left the Monoceraptor and how it became so fierce. No one knows how it entered the gallery of evil, but Frostburn's legacy lives on.

The End

Week 125 Related Links

One Instance
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by c0v2jn



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