Frostburn

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
In the year 2026 two scientists embark on a dangerous journey to the center of a volcano in search of ancient stones that hold the key to clean and seemingly limitless energy. But their hazard suits can only hold out for so long and when one scientist's suit malfunctions he makes a blind and dangerous decision to spare him a couple more minutes of life. One that will change his life, as well as others' lives, forever.

Submitted: May 22, 2015

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Submitted: May 22, 2015

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Frostburn
By Frank Johnson


“Nelson!” Aiden yelled out in despair as my suit malfunctioned and began to burn right before his eyes. Right while we’re in the core of a volcano it shorts out. “I’m taking it off,” I said. Nelson stared at me, his eyes getting wider and wider every second. But he knew I would cook faster in the suit if I didn’t take it off. His eyes stray from my now burning body for a moment and he rushes past me into a crack in the wall. “I found it,” he exclaimed with joy. I followed him in not wanting to stay in one place for too long for my feet were searing on the heated stone floor. He held several onyx stones with an eerie glowing core in each of them. The glow seemed to change color whenever the stones were moved around in Aiden’s hands. “Let’s go. We have what we came for. We need to get you out of here.” Aiden put the stones away in storage compartments attached to his suit and started to rush towards me to help me out of the volcano. But I was no longer listening to him for my eyes had gotten glued to large reflection on the floor. The reflection was rippling. It was water. I limped towards the small pool that had no steam or bubbles emanating from its surface. Aiden noticed what I was doing and grabbed my arm only for me to yell in agony from him doing so. He quickly released his grip. “Nelson what the fuck! We don’t have time for this!” He sounded desperate. “My suit has seven minutes left and you have less before you fry. We need to leave now,” he pleaded as I stumbled closer to the pool. “There shouldn’t be water in a volcano especially this deep,” I whispered as I could barely get the words out since the pain of moving was almost unbearable. “Nelson stop!” I saw Aiden running towards me out of the corner of my eye only a second before my vision was obscured by the water. I heard him shouting my name. But I wasn’t responding. Not because I couldn’t but because I didn’t want to. The water felt so good. Nice and cool and at the same time warm. The type of warm people feel when they’re kids and their mother gives them a big hug whenever they’re scared. I felt something yank me upwards and realized the water wasn’t covering my face anymore. I was also involuntarily gasping for air as I was so mesmerized by the feeling of the water that I surprisingly forgot I wasn’t breathing. “We’re leaving”, Aiden firmly stated. “I’m gonna have to haul both our asses out of here in less than five minutes.” I suddenly realized that Aiden touching my skin no longer hurt. Nothing hurt. In fact, I felt oddly cold. We finally got out of the water but not before I started shivering violently while Aiden carried me on his back. He was shouting my name again, wondering what was happening. But I also wasn’t listening again. Because just before I slipped into unconsciousness my eyes were fixated on the now empty, steaming pool of water behind us.

...

 As I watched Nelson’s steaming and shivering body on the floor of the helicopter I answered the medic’s questions while she took his pulse and temperature. “Why does his temperature read 110.7 degrees but he’s shivering?” she asked with a confused tone. “He went in a pool of water that was in the volcano because he was burning up,” I replied with a stupid look on my face for I knew that the medic would think I’m insane. But she just hit me with another question. And this question was something me and Nelson wanted to know as well. “Why was there cold water at the core of a volcano? And what did it do to him?” The medic stared at me, expecting an answer I clearly didn’t have. And I kept staring at Nelson’s shivering body wondering what would come next.

 I slowly walked towards the man who called himself Scorch, who was kneeling in pain before me after the wounds I had inflicted on his body, trying to intimidate him and instill fear. It wasn’t working. He just looked at me with a smirk on his face, solemnly believing that he had been through worse. But that’s fine. In the last moments of life I would allow to him he would understand that things can get infinitely worse no matter what situation you’re in. “You let your flames of emotion run wild and act on impulse like a wild animal,” I explained to him trying to teach him a lesson. “And you don’t feel anything at all,” he retorted. I grabbed him by the neck and quickly lifted him up so his eyes would be level with mine. “What can you do to hurt me,” Scorch sneered. “I’ve already burned thousands of times and experienced pain you couldn’t even dream of.” I smiled and pulled his face closer to mine. “Fire isn’t the only thing that burns,” I warned him just before I started freezing his body from his neck. Scorch began to slowly scream louder and louder. Blood suddenly started leaking out of his mouth. “Careful,” I warned again. “If you keep trying to scream you’ll shatter your freezing vocal chords and they’ll decapitate you from the inside out. That’s not how I want you to die.” He suddenly got real quiet. I doubt it was from my warning. I think it was more likely due to the fact that his body temperature was now falling below zero degrees Celsius and every organ, muscle, and tissue cell in his body was crystalizing, causing him to shut down. After the long minute of freezing/burning I crushed Scorch’s frozen neck. His body fell on the floor and shattered but I caught his head before it hit the ground. I examined the head admiring my own work. Then I gently placed it on the floor along with remains of his body and threw my ID on the ground next to the shattered, frozen corpse. Nelson died along with Scorch today. From now on I would show people why they shouldn’t fuck with me. Starting with the traitor Aiden.

 


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