The whole story with minor changes. Still looking for a title. Give me your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org
The sun was not quite up yet. There were shadows all over from the little bit of moon light left in the sky. Sara, the owl, was flying around for her last sweep of the area for some food before nesting in her tree when she saw it!
Sitting together in awe was Anabella, the fox, Corrina, the tiger, and Lillian, the black bear. What they were all looking at was this flare, like fire, coming right out of a hole in the ground. The flare wavered as fire does and would stretch up high in the air at times.
Everyone was uncomfortable with this flare and yet they did not leave but surrounded it. After all a fox, a tiger, and a bear were rare companions. In fact, they were not companions at all! Each kept its distance from the others, being ready to pounce or run away. The flare mesmerized them in such a way that the power to look into the fire was stronger than the power to depart.
It looked as though an entity was appearing in the flare. To Corrina it looked like a tiger. To Anabella the entity looked like a fox. To Lillian it looked like a vaporous black hole.
No one but Sara, who was now perched in a tree, saw the icy cold water nearby wave up and show a partial head; two ears and two eyes staring at the flare from the water. If you looked closely enough Sara could see a black wet nose, but she could not tell if it belonged to the ears and eyes.
Anabella and Corrina began to get upset with each other. Shoving, pushing, and growling. It was not long before Anabella ended up in the water. When she emerged not only was she shaking wet but she had an addition to her head. Cold and slimy, the creature was hanging on so not to fall. But fall it did, right into the fire. Burned, the creature yelled in anguish. Anabella smelled the burned thick skin and thought it would taste really good, but for some reason she did not act on that. Instead she carried the creature by its neck in her mouth back to the cold water to try to decrease its pain.
The seal said, “I am Dianna. This flare has increased and I am fearful of it. I live in the water with my family of seals, but this flare, even though it stays on out of the water, it has a power.”
Lillian coward over the whole scene. She did not know what to do. Maybe, she thought, she should just run away. The little black bear climbed up a tree to put some distance away from her and the flame.
Sarah screeched “What is that coming this way?” It made Lillian jump and almost fall out of the tree. For the first time the other animals saw that the owl was perch above them.
Bounding out of the snowy tree line came a massive white creature that had the power to swat them and do them harm. But Annie the polar bear did nothing but to stare at that same flare that seemed to call to them all.
After some silence, Lillian called to Annie, from the tree she found a haven in, “Is that flare not too hot for you? You are a creature of this tundra.”
Annie replied, “Yes, it is hot, just like it was to that seal that I would love to eat.”
Dianna squirmed deeper into the water, “What did it say? Does it want to eat me?”
That was when a wolf emerged from the brush that lay around the flare. She announced to the others abruptly, making them all jump, “Why are you all here? This is my territory! Julissa is my name and you are not welcome! Why did you bring this strange spectacle to my home? “
“It has nothing to do with you!” sounded off Lillian from her safe perch in the tree, “Or did you create this flare to scare off travelers? You must be responsible as it is YOUR TERRITORY!”
Julissa responded strongly, “It is not; you are wrong in your accusation Miss ball of black fur.”
Annabella started to bounce around nervously, “Why did you create such a flare? Maybe you wanted to start a fight for your amusement among other animals?”
Annie roared out so loud, everyone else held their ears, “You do not want to start a fight with me. I the biggest and strongest of us here.”
Responding in kind, Julissa said, “You may be the biggest and strongest but wolves are fast and strong in numbers. My pack will be here soon. You had better be careful of what you say in your arrogance!’
It was too late in the day for Sara to get involved in this nonsense. She went to sleep in the tree as she did every day. Lillian stayed hanging on to the tree she had climbed. Dianna stayed alert in the water, keeping an eye on the mysterious flare, and the Polar Bear. Finally, after pacing about around the flare, and each other, Corrina and Anabella settled down far from the others.
Julissa, however, stood listening and watching and waiting. She was deciding what to do. She, as a wolf, could take on the fox, eat the seal, and scare the black bear in the tree. But Annie and Corrina would definitely be a problem. Besides, what was this flare in the middle of nowhere? It puzzled her?
It was many hours later that the flare started to dance in the wind. Getting stronger it roared in it power of heat and gas. Out of this flare now the animals started to see an image of a young man. His hair was made of fire. His hands were made of fire, as well. He began to mourn. Every time this creature’s mouth made a sound the flare would soar up higher into the sky.
All this noise and light woke up Sara from her deep sleep. She turned her face toward the flare and asked, “Who are you?”
The fire man could not answer but continued to moan as if it was in pain. As the man’s wailing became louder and he became more agitated. The flare reached the tree tops and actually started an old dead branch on fire.
This made Lillian jump down from the tree, as she did not feel safe there anymore. But she didn’t feel safe on the ground either as she landed right on top of Corrina. The tiger took a snap at her and actually got a mouth full of black fur.
Sara said, “We can’t keep going on like this. Either we all move on and leave this creature of the earth alone or we try to talk to it.”
At that moment Dianna had something to say. Everyone had forgotten about the seal in the water, as she was mostly submerged, quietly in the dark icy water. “What if this flare means no harm to us at all? None of us get along, we are mostly enemies. There is no trust between us. That does not mean that this is the way of this, this, Fire Prince.”
“Fire Prince? You are taking liberties seal of the water giving it a name. I am a tiger and can overcome all foes,” Corrina retorted.
Firmly Annie stated, “But I am the strongest and biggest here. No one can brag of might more than me.”
Julissa just had to interject, “If this is a contest, I would surely win. My will is not to be denied.”
As they argued amongst themselves the flare became larger as the Fire Prince’s moans and groans vibrated the ground. Annie hid behind Julissa and Anabella started to pace again. In her agitation she miss stepped and come in contact with the flare. Burning her foot, put it in the cool water to nurse it.
Some more dead branches and brush caught on fire. Now there was fire everywhere! Or it surly seemed so. Corrina started to move around like a caged tiger, feeling trapped by the fire surrounding them.
“It is up to me.”, Dianna softly said. No one heard her but Sara.
Sara asked, “What do you think you can do?”
“It is up to me, I am the one. I am the one.”
With that, Dianna pulled herself on to the shore and started to whisper to the Fire Prince in a soothing manner. As she did the flare became smaller. Soon the other animals stopped acting defiantly with each other. It was Dianna they watched.
Being impatient Corrina roared, “What is going on here? I am tired of this!”
In reaction to Corrina the Fire Prince ignited into a hug fire, burning onto it self, and became so large that even the tall trees seemed small. Flames came out of his eyes and the heat of his fire grew so hot it singed everyone’s hair or feathers.
“Be quiet you foolish tiger.” Diana demanded. “The Fire Prince does not want to harm you, but you scare it with your noise and sudden movements! Please be quiet and calm.”
As Diana went closer to the Fire Prince, the fires went out around them. The flare decreased in size. It became so small you could see the crack in the earth that the flame was coming from. Sara flew over it and saw the actual rock under the ground burning so hot it was orange yellow in color.
She quietly said, “The rock is alive, moving as a body of water flowing down a mountain. It is very much alive!”
“The poor thing has not where to go.” Diana said sadly.
“Poor thing, I don’t think this is a poor thing as it is made up of heat and can grow at will.” voiced Julissa.
“I will go.” Diana stated.
“You will go where?” everyone responded in sync.
Diana explained, “He is trapped inside this rock we stand on and cannot move on through the cracks far underneath the ground. I am wet and cold to the touch. I will cool the Fire Prince down so he can travel through the cracks and move on.”
“But you will never come back”, shouted Lillian.
Dianna exclaimed, “I would be a meal to most of you had things been different! What do you care what I do? There is a resolve building in me to do this for him. I cannot explain it, but it is compelling.”
“But it will hurt!” Lillian cried.
“It would seem this is what I am meant to do.” Dianna said as she went into the crack that the Fire Prince came from.
It was all over. The Fire Prince disappeared. Dianna disappeared. The ground slowly filled in with dirt so there was nothing to see. The big and cleaver animals all just stood in awe that a helpless seal could act is such a way. They pondered it. One by one each went their way. First to leave was Julissa. Then Anabella bounced off. Next to go was Annie, as Corrina went in the other direction. All was left was Sara and Lillian. Sara flew down to the ground and said, “It is puzzling why Diana did what she did.”
Lillian replied, “She was happy to give her life. Maybe she did not give her life, but became a part of the hot flowing rock?”
As the owl and black bear moved on, Sara looked down into the cold water that once was Diana’s home. In the water she saw an image of a Prince playing in the water, no longer in trapped, but free to move at will.
The End By D. Scozzari