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Thawing Maria (A YA paranormal) by Marya

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message 1: by Lyd's Archive (7/'15 to 6/'18) (last edited Dec 05, 2015 08:37AM) (new)

Lyd's Archive (7/'15 to 6/'18) (violabelcik) | 7 comments Prologue

The Palace, Early evening
The Snow Queen’s footprints echoed maddeningly throughout the clear halls of ice. Trying to sleep, all Maria Romanova could do was lie awake and play everything back and forth in her head. Regret filled chest like the waves of the Baltic Sea upon St. Petersburg she hadn’t seen in some sixteen years .

Remembering again the fateful July morning, everything seemed clear as glass.

She saw Anastasia, struggling against the guard’s grip.
Anna, the maid, loyal to death to her family, rose from the ground in a half-baked last move of defiance before the fatal shot hits her.

Everything she had known in life was gone, and she could see no other alternative but to sit and lament the unchanging past.

Maria moved even further into her library of memory. Not to see the snowball fights she played with her sisters or even cousin Louis, who might have married her but to her grandmother, the Dowager Empress. She loved her so much, yet no matter what, Maria wasn’t enough for Grandmother. Anastasia took the role of the Dowager’s favorite.

But what she saw most clearly about Grandmother was the time she sat the five royal children down for a bit of her own life story.

It wasn’t see her rags-to-riches poor-little-unimportant-minor-princess early life in Denmark. No one spoke of her dream marriage gone awry with her fiancé’s death. Instead, Maria saw the stories grandmother heard as a little girl, curled up in a cold bedroom of a palace borrowed from her childless uncle, the king of Denmark, who eventually took in her father as his heir.

She saw the famed storyteller, Hans Christian Andersen, sitting by her bed and every other world he spun for the eager young princes and princesses.
The future Queen of England sat at the foot of the bed while the future King of Greece stood by the side of the bed, zoning off.

The future Tsarina of Russia, Maria’s grandmother sat right at Andersen’s side, smiling, though unaware of her destiny, as he created before their very ears the story of Gerda, the humble little girl who journeys to the far north to save her best friend from the Snow Queen’s icy grip. Maybe she thought she could be that girl, or maybe she wants to hear stories of princesses like her and their Handsome Princes and happy endings.

The happiness hurt Maria. She couldn’t be the future Queen of England. She had no happy ending. No matter what she wanted, there would never be a handsome prince.

Even against the ugly truths, what hurt her most was nothing but the very fairy tale. She didn’t listen when Grandmother spun it, just like her young self heard it so many years ago. Instead, she felt impossible dreams of her Russian soldier and twenty children so much more important than a tale that could never be real, even though it was more truer than she’d ever imagine.

She felt she’d become the next ignorant little Kai, who walked out into the snow and was taken prisoner. She didn’t heed her grandmother’s warnings and now she lived forever trapped in a palace of ice, dreading the day that this woman she thought nothing but a tale would freeze her very soul. Worse than that, Maria had no friends still alive. No Gerda. Only some camel slowly freezing to death with a bunch of useless magical abilities. He barfed rainbows, for one.

“Hello Maria Nikolaevna,” he sighed for the hundredth time. “I’m a magic camel who will help you. What wouldst thou have?”

“Nothing, Jerry,” Maria sighed , calling the camel by what he claimed was his “Christian name.” That was, if camels had any sense of a higher presence.

Sitting above Jerry lay an entirely different world of her own imagination made of the carvings on the walls Maria created when she first arrived. She had a girl on skates, a magnificent gallery of snowflakes and Our Lady of The Snows, her masterpiece. She stood in a niche Maria had painstakingly carved out of her upper wall, holding a tiny swaddled ice baby, bringing back memories of home so lost in the wave of history. She’d wanted to bring back happy memories of obednya in Tsarskoe Selo, the imperial village, but she could only see grief, pain, and maybe just the slightest bit of hope in my sculpture’s icy eyes. The idea of something beyond her world. Somewhere maybe she could escape to.

Lyd's Archive (7/'15 to 6/'18) (violabelcik) | 7 comments
Mary Hsu

Andersen, near San Francisco, the present

He had to be there. I saw him in the public library every Thursday. I mean, I didn’t exactly feel in a reading mood, which was odd for me, but faking it couldn’t be too hard if it could get the attentions of a certain somebody. Seeing no one in the thrillers section, I walked down that row of shelves and picked a dusty book called The Tsar’s Secret and sat at a table.

For a moment, I peered over the top of the book, surveying the shelves in the school library room until spotting his friends, which lead my eyes to a particularly stoic Asian boy with gray-rimmed glasses scribbling in his math notebook….

Christian Han, European history tablemate. Definitely not a stereotypical Asian. It wasn’t like he had glasses and a violin and the calculus textbook in his backpack. His friends were not as nerdy-looking, most of them white with 20/20 vision and just about your average Joe, but worked just as hard. After a short discussion, from which I could only catch “Nuclear weapons” and “see you tomorrow,” they headed towards the door. And me.

I almost began celebrating her little victory when the book slipped out of her hands and onto the floor in front of Christian. My pulse raced, nearly leading me to jump. Maybe the ruse would pay off!

Christian picked up the book and stared at the cover.

“This trash?” He asked. “I thought you knew cheap thrillers like these were a disgrace to literature, especially ones with ‘secret’ in the title. They’re just published conspiracy theories. In fact, if this book weren’t from the eighties, I’d guess that all the research came off Wikipedia.”

He proceeded out of the room, perhaps for a snack or to catch a ride.

I felt a sudden rush of heat to my face. What was so bad about The Tsar’s Secret? I took the book from where Christian had left it on top of a shelf and read the back, which I should have done earlier. Stolen Fabergé eggs? Anastasia and a love triangle? Horrible politically inaccurate Soviet villains? It didn’t take a straight-A student and English teacher’s pet for five years and counting to realize how bad the book was.

Once he re-entered the room, Christian quickly found me with “this trash.”

“You’re at my table in Frost’s class. Margy, right?” he asked.

I nodded, inhaling to hold back a nervous smile.

“You’re Christian, right?”

He glanced at her book.

“You’re reading that trash? Why didn’t you take up on my suggestion?”

I risked glancing up.

“Farenheit 451?” I asked. “I’m not a big classic sci-fi person.”

Christian backed away. “I thought everybody was one. Or at least, in my world they are.”

A rush of nervous tingles made its way up my back as the incoming crowd surged through the doors. Spying my best friend and babysitting partner, Adelina Velasquez, I sighed with relief.

Lyd's Archive (7/'15 to 6/'18) (violabelcik) | 7 comments “Hey Mary!” Lina called.
“You’re talking to Christian?” she asked.
An awkward grimace forming on my face, I shrugged. “Sort of.”
Lina smiled and turned to face him.
“She likes you.”
I nearly gasped.
The rest of the room turned around to shush me.
Wow, I thought as Lina and I made our way out of the room. We’re off to a horrible start without even arriving at the Ericksons’ place.

The mere thought or Milly and Molly Erickson, otherwise called the diabolical troll children from Hell, sent a sigh through my body because even cool-tempered Lina made no secret of dreading each visit. As far as we knew, the girls’ main goal in life was to annoy their babysitters with ear-shattering screams of “Let it go, let it go” and throwing dress-up clothes across the room.

Mom’s flip phone buzzed. Speaking of the Ericksons.

“Hey Mary,” Mrs. Erickson called from the other end of the line. “I tried to text you earlier but you weren’t responding.”
“I have a flip phone. It doesn’t really text.”
“Where are you?” Asked Mrs. Erickson.
“Adelina and I are leaving the library.”
“Ah, good. I was just calling to let you know that I’d like you and Lina to take our little Elsas to the evening showing of Frozen at the library this evening at 6.”
I groaned. Sandra Erickson was a nice lady my parents had known for some time, but Little Elsas?
“Sure.” I replied. “Will you have dinner in the corning ware?”
“Of course. And gingerbread for all of you.”

Shutting the phone, I turned to Lina.
“We’d better go.”
After the thirty-minute walk to the Ericksons’ place, we found the twins greeting them by the door.
“Let it go!” screamed Molly, waving her handmade wand. “Let it go!”

She jumped on Lina, always the more amiable one. At least Milly pretended to be tired.
“Are we going to see Frozen?” she asked.
I nodded, not bothering to sound sweet when even the nicer twin justified a venti Frapuccino.

“…How many times have you seen it?” Lina asked Molly, having somehow managed to carry on a decent conversation with the bothersome kindergartener.
“Only twelve,” Molly replied.
“Three’s a lot!” Lina exclaimed with a practiced smile.That line deserved an Oscar. Every time.

I took a few steps back toward the bush on the Ericksons’ porch.
“Are we going?” I half-mouthed.
Lina shrugged. “What time is it?”
“Five thirty.”

We piled into Sandra’s car that she’d been stupid enough to give me permission to drive, planning to spend the next ten minutes distracting the twins from bursting into off-key song.

“I’ll be really slow,” I promised as she stuck the key into the ignition.
“Just get us there before six,” Lina sighed.

message 4: by Lyd's Archive (7/'15 to 6/'18) (last edited Dec 05, 2015 08:47AM) (new)

Lyd's Archive (7/'15 to 6/'18) (violabelcik) | 7 comments Kai Hansen

inside the library
I knew it was her the entire time.

She sat with a book on her lap three chairs down from to me, but I could feel the pulse of magic just by casting a weak locating charm.

It’s not every day a girl’s hair starts lighting up when the charm is performed, especially since magic is so rare outside of us in the Guild of Brothers unless you venture to the Other Realm, where fairy tales are real. There, my great-grandfather was imprisoned by the Snow Queen all those years ago and yet lived to tell the tales to my grandfather, who in turn, told me.

I was somehow attracted and desire grew by the years, leading to some accident of fate by which I met Erik a few days after my sixteenth birthday. He promised me and so many other idealistic young men to join his order with the promise of magic and immortality if they agreed to serve him and his quest to save the Other Realm. On my way, I had heard of a lost Russian Princess trapped in the Snow Queen's palace and agreed to help find her. After all, it could be considered part of the saving-the other-realm thing. If nothing else, it appealed to my altruistic sense. Or perhaps I merely wanted to go there that bad.

After the snowman stopped singing about summer, the girl with the book left for a bathroom break. Come to think of it, I needed one too. Not any random girl would show signs of magic as strong as the red light glowing from her hair. As sure as I knew I was Kai Hansen, eternally sixteen, acne and all, I knew this girl would be the one to solve the quest once and for all.

The women’s restroom lay a few steps down the hall from the men’s room, so the only way to find the girl would be the by the door. Fortunately, I’d had a lot of practice with that kind of stuff.

“You went to Snowfield last year.... Kyle, right?”
“Kai,” I corrected. “Easy mistake.”

She nodded in commiseration. “People call me Maren and Margaux all the time.”

“And you are....”

Her pace quickened as the chase scene intensified.
“How many times have you watched this movie?” I asked.
“None. I’m just worried for my babysitting partner. My charges probably peed in their pants as soon as they saw the wolves.”

She hurried up the remainder of stairs and held the door open for me. It felt really odd, but I may have seen more than just kindness in her eyes. She would freak out once I told her that I’m bound to a quest and all that. However, if everything went as planned, Margaret too will be caught up in the same game. Unlike me, though, she had power bestowed on her by a storyteller with access to the Other Realm that would bring and end to the game if my hunch was correct for once.

Well, I thought, if the signs are the signs, Mary’s one of few who has what I’m looking for.

As I nearly began falling asleep during another cheesy song, I realized that I’d only used a small locating charm that identified everyone with any magic whatsoever with the same pale red glow. If I used a stronger charm, whoever’s magic is stronger will show up a brighter red. Some will even venture that people besides whoever leaves the charm can see the glow.

With a whisper, I set the charm on the theater. It was almost dizzying how much energy came from my hands that no one could see. That was, no one except Mary and me.

The movie credits began rolling a few minutes after I woke up from the brief spell of unconsciousness that accompanies using a strong charm, the charm whose effects I still saw. Margaret and her friend escorted the two squabbling children into the lobby as soon as the credit song was over. I followed them out a few people behind, but close enough to see her glow.

“You’re red,” whispered Mary’s friend, a tan girl a few inches taller than her.
“It’s nothing, Lina,” she replied.
“No,” Lina insisted. “Glowing red.”
Mary furrowed. “But you are too.”
“I’m glowing?” Lina asked with what could hardly be considered a questioning tone.

Mary shrugged. “I think I saw a bit of red around your hair. It could be light but there’s nothing red around here except that thriller movie poster and I think Christian Han said that was…. Never mind.”

She crossed the lobby to the theater’s exit, two squabbling, singing children in tow.

“Is it just me,” Mary asked, “or is Milly singing ‘let it go, let it go, potatoes and borscht?’”
Lina shrugged. “You’ve been reading that Anya Von Bremzen book too much. No sane person our age does that.”
“And no sane person our age takes Steampunk Unicorns seriously….”

With a swing of the theater exit door, the girls vanished from my sight. I sighed, knowing that Snowfield would start up again after winter break in a matter of days.

Lyd's Archive (7/'15 to 6/'18) (violabelcik) | 7 comments I'm going to change the POV for this, still only these two chapters.

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