The Stone King by Carrie Zylka | Fantasy | Copyright 2016 | Can the girl bring him back to life?
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“The Stone King”
by Carrie Zylka
She stood in the cold, damp cavern.
The Stone King sat upon his thrown, guards to either side of him. Monstrous statues, they soared sixty feet tall.
Pigeons cooed in the rafters and windows cut high in the room shed gloomy light.
Miranda pulled her cloak closer. The stone floor was icy cold, and the air was stale.
She looked at the effigies before her. The Stone King sat with one hand on his sword, and another hand on his shield. He looked as though he would spring to life and battle the forces of evil at any moment.
Which is exactly what she was banking on.
Miranda closed her eyes and concentrated, gathering her magic around her.
A dim buzzing began in her ears as she worked the wordless spell. She caressed the small magic inside her, shaping it into the burst of energy she needed.
Minimal as it was, it was unused and strong, and she fought to control it.
She felt it gathering inside her, whispering to her, promising delights and power untold. She fought against it, knowing if she gave in, the magic would consume her, transform her into something non-human.
She mentally clamped down and focused. Weaving the tapestry of magic, she raised her arm, her fist clenched tight.
Her body reverberated with the unleashed power.
She silently mouthed the words and opened her hand. She felt the unheard thump as the power left her body and sped forward towards the Stone King.
Eerie blue light seemed to swirl around the statue and she waited patiently as the magic wormed it’s way into the porous structure.
She took a step back at the first shiver. It was subtle, just a shaking of dust off the Stone King’s shoulders.
Then a stronger tremor.
Then a surge as the rock began falling away from the King. She watched in fascination, as the statue became flesh and bone. A new layer of stone cracked and fell away with each tremor.
The head moved slightly and shifted its focus on her.
“……who?” The powerful voice echoed in the chamber.
Miranda’s heart was in her throat as she took a step forward. “My Lord.” She fell to one knee and bowed her head.
“…where am I?” The Stone King brought to life stood, towering over her diminutive form.
“You’re in the Ira Chamber my King, sealed away these past thirty one years.”
“Sealed away?” His voice was raspy with disuse, but it was laced with power.
“Your brother my Lord, he is the one that sealed you away. Do you not remember the great battle between you two?”
The King leaned back still on his stone throne. “I do not. The years have made my memory dim.”
Miranda looked up at him. “Your half-brother, Mica. He always coveted the throne. He lured you to this chamber, here you battled. Here he tricked you and encased you and your two most faithful guards in stone. He took the throne for himself and has ruled ever since.” She raised her hands plaintively. “But he is a cruel King. He has driven your once prosperous kingdom to the brink of poverty and dissent. The peasants rise up and are beaten down. The noblemen plot his downfall and wind up dead. He takes whatever…and whomever he wants. He takes great delight in cruelty and in destroying our beautiful kingdom.”
After a moment of silence: “And why have I lain here in this dark chamber? Why has no one freed me from this prison so I may take back my throne?” His anger snuck through and Miranda shivered.
“No one knows you are here my Lord. Only the royal family knows of the secret. It has taken me several years to find the spell to revive you. Your wife and two sons are long gone. Mica has taken a fifth wife now and the other wives have been killed. His three sons and four daughters roam the castle and squabble over who will get what and which son will take the throne.”
He leaned forward to better peer at her. “I ask again who are you?”
Miranda got to her feet and stood tall. “I my Lord? I am your first-born daughter. And I am the only one who could release you from this prison. Mica took great pleasure in keeping me.” Her voice trembled. “He took me as a prize, raised me to be his courtesan and I have been his property these last thirty two years. It has not been a pleasant life.” She raised her head higher, chin quivering. “I bore him a son two years ago. He was barely an hour old when Mica killed him. He didn’t have to; he took great pleasure in killing your grandson in front of me. He said he didn’t want my attention diverted from his pleasure.” Tears flowed down her face. “That was the final straw. I swore I would release you from your prison. If nothing but to avenge your grandson, your heir and return you to your rightful place.”
The Stone King listened to his daughter’s tale. Anger and wrath converging inside him. This petty half-brother would think to take his place? Defile his daughter??
“This shall not stand. But my daughter, why are you not in your true form? Why have you not wrought destruction on them yourself?”
“True form? I do not understand.”
The Stone King’s eyes blazed like emeralds. “Dear child do you not know who we are? We are Titans. Born of the Gods. Taller than any tree, more powerful than any magician. You…daughter of mine, you are a Titan. And you shall know your true form soon enough!!” His voice shook the stone walls and sent the doves flying desperately for blue skies. He reached forth his massive hand and gently touched her forehead.
Miranda felt her body explode as the spell fell away. Like a dam thrown wide, her body filled with the rush of power, her bones cried out in agony as they shifted. She fell to her knees and screamed in pain.
“Control it child. Do not let the transformation control you.”
She thought back on her years of practice, of carefully controlling her expressions and her emotions. She used that experience to clamp down of the transformation happening inside her body.
Eventually the bones stopped shifting and her skin stopped boiling. Through sweat stained hair she peered up at her father. She could feel the raw power flowing through her body. It was like nothing she had ever felt and it was intoxicating.
“What is this??” She whispered.
“The power he locked away daughter. You’ve done very well controlling it. I am impressed. Now allow it to take its course and show you your true form…”
Miranda quaked at the thought, fear filled her, and she angrily shoved it aside. She closed her eyes and relaxed her hold on the power. Immediately her body began transforming once more.
Through clenched teeth she screamed as her bones elongated, as her skin stretched.
Within a matter of moments Miranda stood eye to eye with her father. She breathed deeply and threw back her head, shouting in triumph.
The Stone King whirled and reached forth each of his hands to the two guards. The stone statues responded as the magic brought them back to life.
“Come my trusted ones. Come my daughter. There is blood to be shed and Titan vengeance to be had…”