MidReal Story

Frost and Fire: Faerie Queens' Destiny

May 18
Scenario: There are two girls who enter the books: Aislinn Frost (daughter of Jack Frost, yes that one, both cursed and drawn to summer) and Leslie Marrwood (ghostly beautiful and deeply haunted in her own ways, though still drawn to the dark of the world even as she struggles with a family curse on her own, she only has her dad and that's it). The best of friends since childhood, they soon find themselves destined for so much more. Aislinn, destined to become Summer Queen, and Leslie set to become the Dark Queen of the Summer and Dark Courts of Faerie Realm. But this does not pull them apart, but draw them together in ways they can't explain... (this is a dark fantasy story with a heavy focus on the friendship between Aislinn and Leslie over the years, and eventually more later down the line. These two are different as night and day, where Leslie's the moon, Aislinn's the sun. Aislinn's a dreamer, an idealist, a romantic  and Leslie's similarly inclined, even if in a darker way. Both are very lonely girls, though Aislinn's cheerful and warm demeanor might trick you otherwise...)
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There are two girls who enter the books: Aislinn Frost (daughter of Jack Frost, yes that one, both cursed and drawn to summer) and Leslie Marrwood (ghostly beautiful and deeply haunted in her own ways, though still drawn to the dark of the world even as she struggles with a family curse on her own, she only has her dad and that's it). The best of friends since childhood, they soon find themselves destined for so much more. Aislinn, destined to become Summer Queen, and Leslie set to become the Dark Queen of the Summer and Dark Courts of Faerie Realm. But this does not pull them apart, but draw them together in ways they can't explain... (this is a dark fantasy story with a heavy focus on the friendship between Aislinn and Leslie over the years, and eventually more later down the line. These two are different as night and day, where Leslie's the moon, Aislinn's the sun. Aislinn's a dreamer, an idealist, a romantic  and Leslie's similarly inclined, even if in a darker way. Both are very lonely girls, though Aislinn's cheerful and warm demeanor might trick you otherwise...)
Aislinn Frost was cursed to love summer.
She was born in the dead of winter, when the world was frozen and the snow fell in thick, heavy flakes, but she loved summer best of all.
She loved the way the sun felt on her skin, the way it made her feel alive and free and full of endless possibilities.
She loved the way the flowers bloomed and the birds sang and everything seemed so bright and beautiful and full of life.
Most of all, she loved the way summer made her feel like she was home.
But Aislinn wasn’t supposed to love summer.
She was Jack Frost’s daughter, destined to be the Winter Queen, ruler of the Winter Court of Faerie Realm.
Summer was supposed to be her enemy, not her friend.
And yet she couldn’t help herself.
She was drawn to summer like a moth to a flame, unable to resist its siren call no matter how hard she tried.
It was as if she were cursed to love it, even though it went against everything she was supposed to be.
I stood before him, the Winter King, my father, and I could feel the bitter chill that seemed to radiate from him like a palpable force.
It wasn’t my own; I was warm and toasty in the bright sunshine of a glorious summer’s day.
But it was there all the same, a part of him that I could not escape.
He was the Winter King, after all, and he was everything cold and distant.
Everything I was not.
Everything I was not supposed to be.
I bit my lip and shifted nervously from one foot to the other, feeling a strange mix of emotions that I didn’t quite understand.
For as long as I could remember I’d been told that he was my father, and in everything but blood he was.
But he wasn’t really, I realized now.
Not in the way that mattered most.
Not in the way that counted.
A burst of grief welled up within me, a deep sense of loss so profound it felt like a physical blow to the gut.
I shoved it away before it could consume me, before it could overtake me.
Before it could make me lose my nerve.
It wasn’t the time for this, I told myself firmly.
I could grieve later, after everything was over and done with.
After Leslie and I had been through our ceremony and everything had changed forever.
“Are you sure about this?”
The Winter King’s voice was soft, gentle, but there was an undercurrent of something else there as well, something harder and colder, something that made me shiver despite the summer heat.
I nodded, swallowing the lump in my throat.
“I’m sure, Father,” I said quietly.
It wasn’t hard for me to call him that; he’d been the only father I’d ever known, after all.
Even now I loved him more than anything else in the world—even though he wasn’t really my father at all.
I had to keep reminding myself of that fact, over and over again, lest I forget it for even a moment and make some sort of irreversible mistake.
The Winter King studied me for a long moment and then sighed prettily.
“Very well,” he said at last.
“Let us proceed.”
I let out a breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding and nodded again, though my heart was still pounding like mad in my chest.
It was time.
Time to go through with it.
Time to change the course of both Leslie’s life and my own forever.
Time to face our destinies head on.
Leslie Marrwood was my best friend in the whole world—or at least she had been until she’d found out the truth about who she really was.
Now she was more than that; she was my sister by choice if not by blood, bound to me and me to her in ways that we didn’t even fully understand yet.
Leslie’s hair was dark, as were her eyes, and where I was fair she was not.
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She was all the things I was not.
We were two sides of the same coin, she and I.
A perfect match in every way.
A dark mirror image.
As I looked at her now I could see the pain in those green eyes of hers—pain mixed with uncertainty and fear.
She was scared, I realized.
I was scared too.
Scared out of my wits.
But I would never let her know that.
I would never let her see.
I was the one who was supposed to be strong, after all.
I was the Winter Queen—or would be soon—and as such I had a certain reputation to maintain.
I held out my hand and Leslie took it without hesitation.
We stood together for a moment neither saying a word as we prepared ourselves for what was to come.
I thought back to the day we’d first met—the day my life had changed forever.
I still remembered how lost and alone I’d felt then.
How helpless I had been.
How desperate I had been not to be alone.
And then there she was, standing before me as if she’d stepped right out of my dreams.
She was an angel come to save me from myself.
As it turned out she needed saving too, more than either of us knew at the time.
We’d spent hours talking about our pasts and our families, our hopes and dreams and fears.
We’d discovered that we were more alike than either of us had ever dreamed possible.
It was as if we’d been born for each other—meant for each other.
Two halves of a whole coming together as one.
And when we had discovered the truth together—when I had told her who she really was—I hadn’t been alone anymore.
I hadn’t been the only one who understood what it felt like not to belong in your own family in your own court in your own life.
I hadn’t been the only one who understood what it felt like not to have any choice in the matter whatsoever.
It was the two of us against the world—or it would be soon when everything changed forever.
And it was Leslie who would be standing beside me when it did—not my father or any other winter fae as tradition dictated; not even the Winter King himself.
Leslie was my sister now—that was all that mattered anymore—and she was the one who would be with me when everything changed forever in ways we couldn’t even begin to imagine yet.
For a long moment we were silent, simply staring into each other’s eyes as we prepared ourselves for what was to come.
Time seemed to stand still as we stood there together at the precipice—two girls on the brink of womanhood about to step into a new world neither of us was ready for or wanted any part of—and then I saw it there in her eyes: determination; resolve; strength beyond anything I’d ever seen before in anyone else let alone a girl as little as she was.
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Then she smiled up at me, her cheeks flushed with happiness—the weight of our conversation lifted—and it warmed me to my very soul: “Thank you,” she said brightly then paused as she searched for words she couldn’t find as if she were about to say something important but wasn’t quite sure how to phrase it yet or maybe she was trying not to cry or both; “Thank you for being my friend.” Her smile widened as she spoke with a gentleness I’d never heard from her before: “You’re better than I ever dreamed.” She laughed then quietly—like wind chimes in a gentle winter breeze—with a beauty as old as time itself: “Or imagined,” she said then added more softly still: “Do you want me to help you with your hair?”
I nodded dumbly—incapable of saying anything—as she took the brush from me then began working on my hair with long fluid strokes like she’d been brushing hair forever—or maybe just mine—for only a few seconds later it was smooth and shiny as if she’d been doing it every day since we were little girls instead of just this once: “There,” she said brightly then added with a hint of sadness in her voice: “You look beautiful.”
“And you look amazing,” I said with more than a hint of envy as I looked into her eyes: “You really do.”
Her cheeks flushed pink again—a dark shade like roses in summer sun—and she laughed again: “Thank you,” she said then paused as she searched for words once more: “You do too,” she said then added more brightly: “You always do.”
Even when I wasn’t me.
We fell into a comfortable silence afterwards, simply standing there together in the quiet as I struggled to hold back the tears once more: “I can’t do this,” I whispered, my voice so quiet she probably hadn’t even heard me—it didn’t matter anyway since I’d only been talking to myself—then added more firmly: “I can’t do this anymore.”
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