A short story about Aaren’s crystal. All she needs to do is activate it. Easy, right?
“Alright, the crystal is located up there,” Aaren explains, pointing at the tower under construction outside. “We need to get there, melt the barrier, and activate it if we want any chance of getting out of here in one piece.”
“Shouldn’t be a problem,” Jayce responds, shoving his hands in his pockets. His white-blond hair almost glows in the moonlight.
“Aaren has to be the one to go up there,” Rosa states. She looks at Aaren and shrugs. “Melting power, right?”
“Yeah, plus it’s Aaren’s crystal,” Halstein adds, rubbing his green eyes as he thinks. “Jayce you have to go too. You know the activation code.”
“I’m not arguing.” Jayce looks like he’s trying to hide a smile as he turns to Aaren. “Me and you can go. I’ll fly you up there,” he offers to her. She nods in thought.
“That will be the easiest,” she agrees. She points at Rosa and Halstein. “You guys figure out how to get out of here.” She turns back to Jayce. “Let’s go.”
They sneak out of their makeshift bunker and stealthily cross to a scaffolding tower set up. A few swings and jumps gets them to the top of this short tower.
“Okay,” the brunette girl says nervously. “Just like practice.”
“Don’t be scared,” the ice blond boy states, walking near the edge. “I got you.” He opens his arms and Aaren walks up, putting her arms around his neck.
“You better not drop me,” she mumbles. He holds on to her tight with a smile.
“No tricks this time,” he promises, then crouches and leaps into the air with them both. He manages to get them up there, but not without the guards noticing.
“Not bad,” Aaren compliments her friend as he carefully lands with her.
“You’re getting to be a natural yourself,” he responds.
“Let’s hurry,” Aaren urges as she hears shouts from behind. They run up to the hold and analyze the situation. Aaren lays her hand on the clear ice protecting the crystal.
“What is it?” Jayce asks, worried from seeing the look on his friend’s face.
“It’s not ice,” she notices. “There has to be another way.”
“Can’t we just break it?” Jayce asks, hurriedly. He looks back at the guards headed their way.
“No! We can’t risk damaging the crystal.” Aaren looks all over the tall box holding the crystal for clues.
“OH, great. Uh, Aaren? You may want to hurry. Bor just showed up,” Jayce sighs, throwing his hands up as he sees the massive warrior headed their way in front of the guards.
“Bor! What?” Aaren exclaims, glancing up.
“Focus!” Jayce exclaims, motioning for her to pay attention to the box. “Hurry it up!” Hurrying her search, she finally locates a panel revealing three buttons.
“I got it! I got it.” She presses a button and watches the ice-not-ice substance melt away. Grabbing the crystal, she and Jayce hide behind the crystal’s box.
“Quick! Tell me the words,” she urges, sticking close to the back wall of the box because there’s nothing but a two-foot-wide ledge behind it. Jayce holds onto her arm as he glances around at Bor.
“Okay, repeat after me,” Jayce states. Aaren nods and clenches the crystal in her fist. “’With this crystal, I am free.’”
“With this crystal, I am free.”
“’To define the world, that I see.’”
“To define the world, that I see.”
“’And protect the heart, I trust in thee,’” Jayce starts whispering now.
“Where’d those scoundrels go?” Bor yells in front of the box.
“And protect the heart, I trust in thee,” Aaren whispers back, meeting Jayce’s blue eyes with hers.
“’Not this crystal, but love, is the key,’” Jayce hurries to say.
“Not this crystal-” Aaren starts.
“There you are!” Bor exclaims angrily as he looks behind the wall. Aaren sees him reach around to grab her and makes a quick decision. She launches herself off the platform, still clutching the crystal, and ripping herself away from Jayce’s grasp.
“No!” her friend shouts.
“But love, is the key,” Aaren whispers, falling backwards. She closes her eyes as the crystal flashes and vibrates in her hand. Then she gasps as she stops falling.
“I gotcha! I gotcha,” Jayce exclaims as he catches her mid-fall. His face is creased with worry, but he quickly makes it to the ground and carefully sets her on her feet.
“I knew you would,” she smiles at him. “Time to run.” They dash back to Rosa and Halstein as Bor yells at them from above.
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© 2020 Ariel G. Wach