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Flash Fiction – Fire and Ice February 12, 2010

Posted by techtigger in flash fiction.
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This story is part of a weekly series, updated every friday. Click Here to read from the beginning.  

This wasn’t the first evening Loki had spent with a woman in one of the ‘lovers’ grottos in the city park.  Normally, it had a gorgeous view of the river, and the small stone bench at the back provided a convenient place to sit and whisper sweet nothings into a lady’s ear.  Tonight, however, he paced back and forth like a caged tiger while Nox studied the pile of rock that sealed the entrance.  She was using her aura as a light to search by, but Roald had done a thorough job of closing them in.  If they didn’t find a way out soon, the grotto would become their tomb.

“How can you be so bloody calm about this?” Loki asked.

Nox raised an eyebrow, a faint smile on her face. “I’m thinking.”

“Any word from Grimm?”

 “No, but I didn’t expect to hear anything from him.  Earth and stone muffle telepathy. I’m sure he knows we’re in here though.” She got up onto the bench to give the roof a close inspection.

He turned and took three paces in one direction, then back again. “How much air do you think we have?”

 “I don’t know. But it’ll last longer if you quit pacing.”

That stopped him in his tracks. “You can be a very frustrating woman, you know that?”

 “I thought that’s why you liked me.”  She patted him on the cheek.   “If you’re that desperate for something to do, you can boost me up so I can reach the roof. There’s enough moisture in the masonry that I can probably freeze it and open a few cracks. That might get us some more air.” she said. “Hold me steady, I don’t want to drop the roof on us.”

He picked her up easily. “My mother was a Titan from the volcanic islands in the South Seas.  I can hold you for as long as you want me to.”

Nox smiled at that, but decided not to reply.  She reached up to place both palms flat on the ceiling, and frost patterns spread outwards from her hands.  It was quiet for a long while, only their breathing and the occasional groan of shifting masonry broke the silence.   Finally Nox felt a few puffs of air on her face.  “Okay, let me down.”

Loki set her down, but kept his arm around her waist.  “Well, since we have air and nowhere to go until Grimm brings help…” his voice trailed off hopefully.

Nox laughed.  “You’re a funny man. You can let me go now”

“You never take me seriously.”

“I refuse to be flirted with out of habit.”

“Ah, so you’re the fussy type. I’ll have to remember that.”

“That’s me, high maintenance.” She tried hard to keep the color from her cheeks.  Standing this close, she couldn’t help but notice the warm scent of his leather jacket, mixed with the expensive cologne he always wore.  She liked it just a little too much, and it was making her nervous. The look in his eyes wasn’t helping. 

“What would you do if I were serious?” Loki said. She caught her breath, and he leaned in towards her.  “Nox, I…”

They both looked up as the ceiling let out an ominous groan.  “…should probably not distract you while you are working.” he finished, with a chagrined look.

“That wasn’t me!” she said.  A small copper coin fell through a crack in the ceiling, and bounced off the floor once before disappearing into the portal hole that opened up.  “Not again!” Nox said, as they jumped onto the bench to avoid falling in. 

Loki reached back to send a blast of flame down into the opening, and Nox followed it with sleet.  Screams came out of the hole, along with a hail of bullets that ricocheted off of Nox’s aura shield.  The noise was deafening in the small room.

Nox yelled in Loki’s ear. “Slag the rocks blocking the entrance!”

He sent another sheet of flame roaring at the stone pile, causing it to slump into the hole. Nox cooled the molten rock so they could run out over it.  As they bolted out of the grotto, they could hear Grimm’s howls echoing through the trees.  Nox sent up a flare of electric blue energy from her aura to signal the hound.

They had just turned to head towards Grimm when they heard Roald’s voice.  “Do I have to do everything myself?”  The earth elemental was standing on the hillside above the grotto. A troop of heavily armed men wearing the Sun-in-Glory tabards of the Morning Lord’s personal guard were standing around him.  They had high-powered rifles trained on the pair below, powerful enough to punch through Nox’s shield.  “Take the filthy half-breed alive.  The other you can kill.” Roald said.

Loki skidded to a halt, causing Nox to bump into him.  He steadied her, then handed her his coat.  “Call off Grimm.  Let me handle this.”

“What? Wait Loki, no!”  Nox tried to grab him, but the heavy coat got in her way. 

Loki strode forward, a fiery sword in one hand, the other held up in the air.  As soon as he got beyond her aura shield he burst into brilliant flames, lighting up the whole hillside.

Nox’s jaw dropped.  Loki looked like a figure made out of molten glass, with living fire burning inside.  Only the most powerful elementals could manage a true manifestation like that. Her father looked like he was sculpted from ice when he did it.  But as far as she knew, no fire elements had managed it since Lord Kyrios of the House of Fire had died. 

The men on the hill shifted uneasily and traded looks behind Roalds’ back. Roald snarled. “What are you waiting for, kill him!”

 Loki continued to walk towards them, and in a voice that sounded like a blast furnace, he called out, “Roald!  You have assaulted my lady’s honor, and her person.  I challenge you to a duel!”

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1. Deanna Schrayer - February 12, 2010

This is so exciting, full of brilliant detail! You have a great way with dialogue too – I felt like I was in that grotto with them. Fantastic work!

techtigger - February 12, 2010

Thank you! I’m always so relieved when someone says they like the dialogue – I’m usually revising it right up to the minute before I post it 😉

2. G.P. Ching - February 12, 2010

Oooh, I like this world. I will have to go back and read the prequels. Very well paced!

techtigger - February 12, 2010

Thank you, and welcome to my crazy little world! *grinz*

3. Laura Eno - February 12, 2010

Another exciting chapter! You give so much personality to this world!

techtigger - February 12, 2010

thanks! I couldn’t resist putting a little romance into it, what with valentines just around the corner 😉

4. Maria Kelly - February 12, 2010

Oh, what a great story! My favorite so far. Now I need to go back and read the others. The characters are engaging and the world creation so vibrant. Great stuff! A fantasy lover’s dream.

5. Anne Tyler Lord - February 14, 2010

I love to follow this series and see what these great characters are up to! You never disappoint with action and suspense!

I agree, their dialogue is always good, it is one of the compelling features of this series – their interaction.

6. Mariana N. Blaser - February 16, 2010

Ohh, yet another cliff hanger! I loved the interaction between Loki and Nox, and the duel… So romantic! 😀

7. ganymeder - February 16, 2010

Another exciting installment! Oh, I want her to wake up already, and save Grim, and…and… You need to keep writing; okay? 🙂

8. Walt - August 20, 2010

Can’t wait to get to the fight scene!

9. Xanto - September 3, 2010

Oh how I love a duel!

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