It’s Creative Writing Wednesday! Enjoy an original short story!
The ice. I’m done with it. No more. I can’t stand the feel, the look, the smell of it. Others say that they can’t even smell it, but I sure as hell can, and it’s disgusting. It’s everywhere and it’s a blight upon the land. It’s been this way for what feels like eternity, and I’m determined to put a stop to it.
Everyone else has just accepted the situation, complacent in their existence. “It’s just the way things are now,” they tell me. “We should just try to live with it as best we can,” they say, forcing half-hearted smiles. They hate it as much as I do, but none of them have the gumption to act on it.
That’s a lie, actually. I met one man, once, who was working on a solution. A very intelligent scientist who was working diligently on reversing the “unfortunate state our world finds itself in,” as he would politely say. He was a good man, doing good works, but he was too kind, too soft on the problem. He didn’t see that drastic measures would need to be taken.
“There’s no need to be dramatic,” he would chuckle as he shuffled his papers around. “With your help, I’m sure I’ll be able to figure out a solution that doesn’t involve all that.”
I abandoned him and his weak attitude months ago. Since then, I’ve been in my shop, working on the solution I’ve been dreaming of. The answer to this ice age that we’ve been plunged into. After all, what’s the enemy of ice? Fire. Lots and lots of fire. And Now I have the perfect delivery system for that fire, and it’s finally finished.
The exoskeletal suit stands as tall as I am, with rockets on the feet that will spew flame fifty feet below me, flamethrowers on each arm that will launch fire a hundred feet in a direction of my choosing, protective body armor that will keep me from being burned, and another flamethrower on my back, for good measure. It is the Immolator, and it shall renew the world in cleansing fire.
The good doctor didn’t see the beauty in my designs. “The snow and ice will turn to water and simply re-freeze,” he would say, dismissing my plans. But he didn’t understand that I would never stop. The ice is the enemy and I will never stop, never give up the cleansing flame, not while the enemy remains. If it refreezes, I will simply return and melt it again, a boogeyman for ice. And it is time, there is no need to wait any longer. My suit is ready, silver and beautiful in front of my eyes, and the ice awaits its demise.
I walk up and begin strapping myself in. I pull the protective armor over myself, thin and shimmering, then the helmet which fits snugly over my face. I lock my legs into the suit, then clamp the gauntlets around my wrists. It feels so right, inside the Immolator, and I know immediately that I am home in here.
I press several buttons on the arms and the machine powers up. It hums and I feel the fuel, my own perfect formula, surging through the pipes. I stride towards the massive doors to my shop, feeling the power in each step, and fling the doors open. The blinding white of the snow and ice is diminished by my helmet and I smile at my first small victory over the frozen world.
I look around at the iced-over buildings, many of them long-abandoned, either because of people seeking warmer climates or by the death of the occupants, and their silence informs me that I am doing the right thing today. I stride away from my shop into the center of the street, taking a few deep breaths. I can feel the cold, even through my protective wear, and my resolve deepens once again.
I squeeze the throttle and my rockets fire to life. They rumble beneath my feet, the fire escaping from the sides of my soles, and I grin, squeezing the throttle even more. I feel myself start to rise and a laugh escapes my lips. I look down and see water and steam where once was ice beneath my feet, and I laugh again. I get high enough above the ground and I activate the flamethrowers. I pull the triggers and fire explodes from my forearms. I adjust my body forward and begin flying down the street, my fire melting everything around me.
I’m now laughing almost giddily as I blaze down the road, the heat from the Immolator thawing the world around me. I see several people gawking at me as I go by, and I enjoy the attention. I didn’t do this for that attention, but it is a rush all the same. They will be thanking me later, even if they don’t understand now.
I go around the city, up and down roads, flames bursting from every end of me, heating and melting the ice and snow. I can see the steam rising into the air as I go about my work, the Immolator functioning perfectly. First, this city, then the rest of the country, and eventually, the world. The Immolator will be known the world over as the savior, the one who ended the modern ice age. I continue, covering every area that I can find, dousing them in flame and heat to disperse the ice.
It is then that I notice the lights. There are flashing lights that are coming towards me. I stop and watch them approach, hovering in the air. It is so odd, flashing lights only happen on rare occasions these days, when something is truly terribly wrong. Yet here they are, headed towards me, and I can hear the sirens blaring.
They get close and I see that they are police cars, and they pull around me, men getting out on either side. They are wearing heavy coats with the word “POLICE” stamped across them. The official police force disbanded years ago, which is confusing, because here they are, appearing to be in front of me right now. They draw guns, which is even more perplexing, and one starts shouting at me.
“Deactivate your device and come down right now!” he barks at me. I am confused. Who does he think he is, to try and stop me? I’m trying to save the world here, and he wants me to come down? Well, that’s clearly not happening.
“I have work to do!” I shout back, over the sound of my engines.
“You are destroying the city!” he shouts back. “Come down right now!”
I look around and see what he is referring to. There are several large fires burning in areas I have been, the flames burning high above the buildings. It doesn’t matter, though. As long as the ice and snow is melted, I don’t even care about buildings, nor the lives that might be lost as a result. Many more lives will be saved when the ice is gone and the world is returned to normal. They want to stop me, they want the world to remain frozen, but I can’t let that happen. I can’t let them selfishly keep the world an icy wasteland! Why do they want this to remain? They cannot stop me, I must not let them stop me.
I pull the triggers and spout fire at them. They scream as some are engulfed and others dive into their cars. I hear several shots fire, but they miss and I turn to continue my work. I burn down the road, launching fire in every direction, at the pavement, at the buildings, even into the open sky! It doesn’t matter if it hits directly on ice, I will heat the entire world!
I hear the sirens chasing me as I tear down the road. I turn to face them, continuing to fly backwards, and aim more flame at the cars. One catches fire and careens off the road, but two more continue after me. One man leans out of the window and fires his gun, missing me. I shoot hot death back at him. The fire misses him, but the car loses control and spins out. Now there is only one left trying to stop me.
They are keeping their distance a little more as a man shoots at me. A bullet pings off of my arm, and I fire flaming rage back at him. The fools! I am the only hope of restoring the world, and they’re trying to kill me! I continue to burn at them, screaming at their idiocy, their lack of foresight!
And it’s then that I crash into a building. In my determination to defeat the unintelligent thugs trying to stop me, I lost my focus, not watching where I was going, and the road turned abruptly. They saw it, but I did not, and a building ended my journey. They are upon me in moments, removing me from the Immolator and throwing me into handcuffs. I shout at them how they are dooming the world, how the Immolator must continue, but their simple minds are not interested. They talk of bringing me in for justice, of all the wrong that I’ve done, but they don’t see that everything I’ve done is for the good of the world.
It matters very little, however. A righteous man must never stop his work. I will get away from these simple-minded fools, I will rebuild.
The Immolator will burn again.