Glacier's Story | Snowdrift


Glacier's Story

I had to leave my home when I was only three. Most Articuno stay home until they're at least six, sometimes longer, but I had no choice. My parents didn't abandon me, far from it, they loved me. They taught me every attack I know today, including what many in the mountains say is he best ice beam ever performed. Even Dad said it was better than his is, and that's really saying something. Yes, my parents loved me, they would never dream of abandoning me.

So when my parents went fishing, naturally I went with them. We caught many more fish that way. We were placed as always, me on a rock, right below the cavern, Mum twenty meters to my left in the tree and Dad twenty meters to my right on the river bank.

I had just beamed another Seaking when I heard Dad screech out. I whisked my head around, ignoring the frozen Seaking and saw Dad flop to the ground unconscious, then turn to red light and disappear.

"Dad!" I screeched, flapping frantically over to him, or at least, where he had been. Mum glided up beside me and squawked, and I felt a gust of wind as she flapped backwards in shock. I looked up and saw what she had seen.

At least ten humans were standing there, three of them were pointing strange metal sticks at Mum. One of them let out an amazing cracking noise that sounded like a boulder crashing down from the mountains. A tiny red feathered thing flew towards Mum, making her collapse and splash into the icy river behind her.

I took the hint and flapped my wings, hoping to leave the humans behind. I saw out of the corner of my eye another flash of red light, and knew that my Mum too had disappeared. Whether or not they were still alive was a mystery to me, but I wasn't hanging around to find out.

But just when I thought I was out of reach of the humans, I felt a stinging pain in my side, then the world went fuzzy and eventually black. I didn't feel myself hit the snow, but I know I must have. What was going to happen to me?

Actually awoke again almost exactly where I had been fishing, but it was dawn now. I was feeling very groggy after my forced sleep. I could feel various aches in my joints and head, and I wasn't thinking properly. There was a strange pink metal ring around my left leg, but at the time, I was so groggy and thought nothing of it. I might have been asleep for weeks, I had no idea, but at least I was back home again.

Mum and Dad weren't though. I searched the mountain all day, hoping to see just a glimmer of blue, a dash of sapphire, but there was nothing. I strained my ears for any signs of any bird, but still there was nothing. I even asked a few fish if they had seen them, but I was still no closer to them. My parents were gone.

Well into the evening, I glided back up to my cavern and glanced out at the setting sun, no emotion showing on my face. I watched it dip slowly towards the mountains, turning all the snow to orange fire. As the last lick of fire dripped behind the bumpy horizon, I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and screeched as loudly as I could with frustration. There was nothing I could do, nothing at all. My parents were gone and I hadn't done anything to stop it from happening. I had no idea where they had gone, or even if they were still alive.

I turned and walked slowly back into the cave, not shedding a tear, then nestled down to sleep.

He next morning, just as the sun rose again, I stretched my wings and dove off he ledge, catching the chilling wind under them and wheeling around in the watery morning sky. I flapped high above the mountains, seeing nothing but snow, rock, river and endless sky. There was no way I'd be able to find them again, never. Already I was lonely. They were the ones who brought me up, who fed me since I was a chick, who taught me how to defend myself. Who loved me. And now they were gone.

For days I just moped around, feeling sorry for myself, wondering why I had been a coward and flown away when my parents were taken. I still had a faint glimmer of hope that, like me, my parents may have been let free, and they'd be home soon.

After about five or six days, (I didn't know how long exactly; when your parents have gone, time seems irrelevant), a huge storm blew up. I sat at the back of my cave, my tail wrapped around my body, watching the amazingly bright flashes reaching like long, craggy fingers across the near-black sky, illuminating the mountains and the inside of my cave. The flashes of light that took my mother and father.

I listened to the huge bangs and cracks as the fingers tore their way across the sky, splitting the world in two. The cracks from the metal sticks that rendered my whole family unconscious. I closed my eyes and turned my face away from the scene. Everything was reminding me of the incident.

Then one enormous bang made the mountain itself vibrate, and I could see the flash of light that came with it through my eyelids. I felt a shard of rock hit me painfully in the side. I whipped my head fearfully at the entrance of my cave. There were rocks lying all over the ground and dust blocking my view outside. I flapped my wings, blowing the dust from the entrance so I could see what damage had been done.

The hole was at least twice as big as it had been to start with. It just dawned on me that my cave had been struck by lightning. I gulped and started shaking with fear. I saw the silhouette of another bird at the entrance to my cavern very faintly against the almost black sky, showing more clearly with another flash of light. I jerked with every clap of thunder, every strike of lightning, but the one that showed the bird more clearly stunned me even more. For a split second, I thought it was mum, but the bird was too spiky to be an Articuno. After that split second of hope, my feelings reverted to terror. The bird shook itself dry, then stepped into the cave.

"You right?" he asked me, "I mean, you look a little shaken up there, wazzup?"

I couldn't answer, I was too scared even to move. I just sat there and shivered.

"'lo? You there?" the bird asked me, peering into my face with concern. I was only able to nod, but I wasn't sure if he thought it was a nod or just shivering. What did this bird want from me?

"K, um, you wouldn't mind if I stayed the night here, would ya mate?" I nodded again, not really registering anything. The bird came over to me and rested a wing around my shoulders. I jerked again.

"What's wrong? You look like you've, I don't know what you look like. Snap out of it man!" he said, shaking me vigorously.

I turned my head to him, my eyes wide as the moon. "Lightning," I managed to whisper.

"Yeah, mate, this is a storm, you generally get lightning with-"

"No, there," I interrupted, pointing to the cave entrance. I was still unable to form real sentences. He still didn't get me.

"Mmm, I know, comes from the sky. Well done. Ain't you never seen a storm before?"

"No, I mean, yes. Lightning struck here, right here." I think he understood me that time.

"Oh, now I get ya, you're saying lightning struck your cave." I nodded. "Nothing to worry about," he said, patting my back with a wing. I don't think he fully understood the concept of being almost struck by lightning, but I couldn't be bothered explaining it to him. I lay down, my back to the storm, and attempted at sleep.

When I awoke, I could still hear the rain bouncing off the rock and dripping down the mountain face. By that time, I had pulled myself together and pretty much recovered from the shock, but I wasn't willing to go through it again. I stood up and was about to dive out to the river to go fishing when I noticed the bird from the night before leaning against the edge of the now widened cave entrance. With the increased light, I could tell he was a Zapdos. No wonder he didn't think much of the lightning bolt.

"Hey," I said.

He turned and smiled at me. "Feeling better now?"

"Much," I answered. "Thanks, for last night."

"Eh, dun worry 'bout it. Guess being struck by lightning would be frightening for a non-electroid. Name's Thunder, by the way."

"Glacier," I said, holding my foot out to him. He took it in his own. "Good to meet you, Glace. Hey, what's that ring on your foot?"

I shrugged. "Wouldn't have the faintest. Humans got me then put that on there. I haven't got a clue why though, but it has gotten a bit annoying. You wouldn't know how to get it off, would you?"

"No prob. Close your eyes and hold your leg out," he said.

"Why? What are you going to do?" I queried, turning my head away.

"Oh, nothing much." I felt a sharp jolt on my ankle that ran all through my body, standing my feathers on end.

"What was that?" I yelled, jumping back.

"Like I said, nothing much. Didn't work though. I just shocked your foot, that's all, don't freak out on me again, k?"

I just nodded and started preening my feathers back to pristine condition.

Over the next few weeks, Thunder managed to somehow console me over the loss of my parents and we became good friends. He also convinced me that I needed a mate.

"You see, girls are, like, I dunno, well, they make fishing much easier, and they're great mates 'n' stuff. Glace, just get a girl."

I laughed at his less than perfect description of what it was like to have a mate. "Whatever you say Thunder. Not like I've seen another Articuno though, that might help."

"Yeah, well, I'll help you look for one. You can't be that rare that there aren't any other Cunos on the planet. We'll scale the globe if we have to, we'll find you a mate, promise."

"What about you?" I asked after a bit of thinking.

"Nah, girls ain't my type, gunna wait a while, me thinks." I laughed. "Come on, Glace, you need a mate to, uh, get you over your loss, and to, to, to have, you know, a chick."

Eventually I gave in and we left my cavern where I had grown up in, where I had first learnt to fly, to ice beam, to have my first taste of fish. I'd miss that cave, but I guessed Thunder was right.

Searching for another Articuno was hard, there weren't any, anywhere. For the next few years, I didn't have a home, I just flew around, keeping on the lookout for any movement that might suggest an Articuno. I saw twinkles of light reflecting off the snow and rivers that looked a lot like it could have been a shimmering tail feather. I almost felt like giving up, but Thunder was always there to support me.

We were fishing by a huge river, snaking its way through the mountains, joining up with more rivers to eventually become a raging torrent. We were skimming the water, hoping to see a flash of orange or a splash of water that meant a fish was in the depths. Thunder had always been a better fisher than me, all he needed was a tiny jolt of electricity and the fish would fall to his feet, twitching every now and then. I had to actually grip the thing, and they were usually very slippery and could slide away.

Underneath me, beneath the rippling surface, I could see a flash of red and two white streamers flowing through the water, followed by a massive blue body. I knew instantly what it was and wheeled around, flapping for all I was worth, trying with everything I had to escape the monster. But I heard a rush of water behind me and then, a roar that shook the mountains rang through my ears.

I powered forward, hoping against hope that I could at least get to the shoreline before it got me, but I was knocked from the sky with a blast of water, cannoning from the Gyarados' great gaping mouth. Who would have thought that the pathetic Magikarp had the potential to turn into that?

The water wrapped itself around me like the night, inevitable and unavoidable. I flapped hard, trying to shake the water from my wings, but I felt the creature's jaws clamp around me. I felt a snap in my right wing, it had been pierced by the pointed teeth of my captor. Then the pain struck me. Sharper than the teeth that held me. I screeched out at the sheer agony of it. I had never experienced such pain, but I supposed that it wouldn't matter, since I was going to be eaten anyway.

The Gyarados tossed its head back and threw me into the air. I could see a gaping red cavern below me, rimmed with pointed icicles. I spread my wings, despite the torture it did to me, and tried unsuccessfully to escape my doom. Just as the cavern closed around me, I felt a jolt of electricity that felt even more powerful than the lightning bolt that destroyed my home a few years ago. It was so great that I fainted because of it.

"Glacier! Wake up! Glace, come on, don't die on me, wake up!"

I slowly blinked my eyes open, seeing a blur of yellow intertwined with a blur of blue. I blinked again, trying to put the world in focus, but it became no clearer. I cried in anguish when the pain of my broken wing hit again.

"You're alive! Glace! You're alive!" I could hardly hear him for the throbbing in my wing. It was ebbing through my whole body. The pain was overwhelming and I fell back into unconsciousness.

When I awoke again, my wing wasn't hurting as much. It was still throbbing, but not as much as before. I could also see. I turned my head to my wing and saw Thunder piling snow onto it, numbing it to stop the pain.

I smiled over to him. "Thank you, Thunder. I don't know what you did, but thank you."

"'Sokay, mate, just rest now." He resumed piling up snow on my wing and I dozed off, more sleep this time than unconsciousness.

Over the next few weeks, Thunder did everything for me. He went fishing and did all he could to help heal my wing, and he did it all without complaining. I would be dead without him. I couldn't fly with my wing the way it was. When I could move it again without it hurting too much, I began exercising it, flexing it back and forwards, trying to eliminate all the stiffness in it. In time, I was able to fly again, only very short distances. I was fairly wobbly and I had no hope of being able to manoeuvre over the water to catch fish, but I could fly.

"You're doing well, Glace," Thunder told me.

"Thunder, I can't thank you enough. I wish there was something I could do for you."

He just shrugged. "Don't worry about it, just having you alive is good enough for me."

Once I could fly properly again, I would work at my blizzard again, but I'd just work on the basics for the moment.

Old Fiction