Mistica Chronicles

Welcome to Issue 34

puredream Winning Entry

They say Volcan’s mountain is a source of death and a source of life-with it comes the destruction to create anew. Me, personally? Well I think there is nothing good in that wasteland. I have never seen something grow there. None of us have–even the elders.

My name is Iggy and, up until a few months ago, I was a baby Zokuleon. Now, like the rest of the Zokus of Darkwood Forest, I was given an Overgrowth box by Pandoria herself and have transformed into adulthood. My mom, my dad, my grand-Zokuleons, everyone is Overgrown. I suppose you can say it is like a tradition. You see we have been tasked with guarding the Pomme Tree and its fruits. It has been expected of all of us.

My sister, Ziggy, however, well she doesn’t want to guard some old, stupid tree (Her words). She wants to be an Inferno Zoku. Only problem is Inferno Terrain is inhospitable to us in general. No Zokuleon goes there. At least, we didn’t.

One day, I caught Ziggy trying to sneak off. It was early in the morning as the first honeyed drops of the sun touched the brilliant emerald leaves of the tree. I was soaking it all in feeling my heart bubble over with the sensation of satisfaction at my job. Ziggy was bored.

“Where do you think you are going?” I felt my body move off my perch unwillingly. Since the transformation the forest had become as much a part of me as my orb–forever holding me grounded and giving me an identity. Ziggy had none of that luxury. She was as free to move as the wind.

“Off to Inferno Terrain,” She was bouncing in place so much so I thought her orb would crack under the thralls of joy. “Some Inferno pets invited me to go.”

“Don’t you think there is dangerous?” I asked my eyes narrowing. “What about your skin?” Zokus needed moisture to keep from becoming brittle and overheated. Woods, fine. Rivers and seas, fine. Storms, fine. Snow, fine. Deserts and volcanoes? Deadly

“I won’t go,” I continued on, “It is not worth the risk. Besides who will watch the tree? It's our turn.” There, that would make her to stay. Duty and honor would wash over her. And she would contemplate how wrong she was.

“Fine then. Stay here and guard the tree. No one asked you to come.” Her eyes rolled as her tail disappeared into the underbrush.

“Bu-but! Ziggy!”

In each crack of my limps, I could see how poor of an idea this was. My orb stirred ominously as if predicting my very demise, but a big brother has a duty to protect his baby sister- the same duty, she had just spurned. However, I followed to the edge of the forest and passed it. I traveled all the way to fringes of that deadly place.

Ziggy was there with an Inferno Ahbruis, but soon a Jumboyo and Obsideon of the same nasty color arrived. These were species of tricksters! If my sister had only known, she might have been able to save herself.

“Come on Ziggy. You can do it.” The Siddy snapped her teeth in a softly sinister way. She and the Jumboyo were already several licks into the hot terrain – too far for her to go comfortably. “Come to me. I promise I’ll make you Inferno. There is nothing to be afraid of.”

“Yeah, don’t be a baby.” The Jumboyo howled in laughter, causing Ziggy to flinch miserably. The Ahbruis was the only one who showed any regret, nervously turning his head to and fro as if searching for help. Or maybe the monster was worried someone would be watching and foil their plan.

“I’m not scared!” Ziggy protested, taking a step forward. Her skin seemed to whether right there at the heat and her little orb glowed in protest, but she took another. “See?”

The Siddy and Jumboyo exchanged glances. Their reactions, I could not see, but they must not have looked convinced, because she defiantly took another step towards her doom.

“WAIT!” I bounded forward, exerting my body more then I had in several months. I was forced to levitate as I grew closer, my leaves shaking with fatigue. I was not ten licks away when the waves of heat began to overpower me. The branches on my arms began to wilt and I decided to go no farther.

“Igggggy! Stay out of this!” Ziggy’s face turned a lime green in embarrassment.

“Yeah, no one wants big brother pooping the party.” The Jumboyo began to cackle, much to the Siddy’s annoyance. “Oof! What was that for?”

“You were getting on my nerves.” She growled. She was crouching down as if she intended to leap at me and rip my leaves from me. I dared not think she couldn’t. “As for you, we are only trying to help her. SHE wants to be like us.”

“Iggy! I do!” Ziggy’s eyes shown hopeful, but I also noticed signs of dehydration.

“Zokus can’t live in Inferno Terrain.” I snapped in explanation.

“But we can learn!”

“No we can’t!”

“But Iggy!”

Our banter must have grown dry to the on-lookers, because they soon grew listless and began to plot amongst themselves. At last, the Siddy broke us up with an innocent look and a soft expression of words. She suggested she would go get the box that had been promised and we would remain on the safe side of the boarder. Figuring all that would be wasted would be time if we were betrayed, I agreed.

Hours passed and they did not reappear. Even Ziggy began to look defeated and agreed to going home as the sun began to set. We were just about to turn back when suddenly, a fiery body jumped me. Before, I knew it I was tangled up with the Jumboyo as he hoisted me towards the boarder. The others appeared out of the smoke with an Inferno box.

“We promised the box. Never said who we were going to use it on.” The Siddy purred, kicking the latch to seal my fate.

“Oh, Iggy!” Ziggy cried.

My skin no longer burned, but sunk readily with the ash, matching it in tone and texture. My leaves were gone, scorched away by my heat. My orb, itself, was like a small ember glowing brighter as it grew accustomed to its new state. I was hideous.

They say Volcan’s mountain is a source of death and a source of life. I see it now.