Fire and Ice: Part 1

Many villains will do wickedly bad things for a purpose. A tragic backstory, monetary gain, a warped righteous sense of morals, the standard motivations. But I never had any of that, nor have I ever wanted any of that. Villains have no code, no boundaries. They get to do whatever they please and go along their merry way without any hang ups or binding connections. And it’s a damn good time doing it. I could never be a hero. Ever since I gained my powers when I was little I’ve loved running that cold fear down a person’s back. Just the thought of their frozen state as they gazed at me in pure horror sent me all giggly. Cold and frozen things weren’t new to me. I had ice powers. Destructive, deadly, and gorgeous.

I was sending a wide spread panic into my new city, or a more fitting name, my new target practice. I’ve turned four already into giant ice cubes and now I was going to bring it up to number five. To think, twenty years old and already about to break a supervillain record!

I was finishing up the mindless doodles I had blasted with sleet into the front of a bank, ready to ice skate my way downtown, when I heard it.

“I would stop that if I were you…” I rolled my eyes. I should have known. It was my fault for not expecting a “protector of the city” in at least one place I blanketed cold. Almost every town has one of these spandex doofs. Another goody two shoes superhero to try and lock up the insidious bad guy. He even had a cliché phrase to start this whole charade.

“Wow, that certainly changed my ways. I WILL stop because I soooo want to be like…” I turned around to face my competitor and did something I never in a billion eons thought of doing.

I paused, and I ogled. He wasn’t like anything I had seen. He had this mature swagger about him, a stiff and straight stance, the natural aura of power. He was confident, a presence that could send hope into hearts of millions and fear up the spines of any threat or terror. It was every superhero shoved into one poster child for the extraordinary, for the brave, for the protectors of mankind.

And holy shit he was hot! Honey brown eyes that almost melted a heart that was frozen over years ago, framed with shiny dark hair swept back to reveal a soft complexion under a sharp and sculpted jaw. All was set off with red lips that even from this distance I could see were plump and so bitable.

“…you,” I finished, finding my voice again. For a split second he seemed to stumble, confused by my reaction. He gained his bravado again, hands on his hips, chest puffed.

“You are not welcomed in Haven City!” He bellowed at me. I gave him a once over. If it wasn’t for that ridiculous getup he was wearing I would be drooling over that firm and tight body. But seriously, matching red pants and jacket with obnoxious, orange stripes? Why can’t superheroes choose the subtly of villain’s costume? While he was a walking fire hydrant I stuck with something classier. Blue leather trench coat, monochromatic under shirt, hair slicked back with a slight spike. Simple, elegant, but still makes clear my powers.

I regained myself as well, noticing in his fumble he placed his hands a bit too high on his sides, coming closer to the top of his ribs. To mask the livewire that was my nerves I resorted to sarcasm and chuckled darkly.

“No shit, Sherlock. Unless you’re the city of Stockholm Syndromed citizens I doubt a villain who’s freezing their asses would be welcomed. Oh, and uh…nice chicken wings.” I copied his pose mockingly and laughed again when he readjusted himself, obviously embarrassed. He hid the slip up as best he could from the cowering hostages I trapped in ice.

“I do not take kindly to your attitude. I’m giving you a chance to leave, I don’t want to fight.” He stepped closer to me, the face a scolding parent would give a misbehaving child sat on his own.

“Yes, you do,” I smirked stepping closer as well, “Heroes need to fight for the fame poor hapless fans cities like these give you.” I gestured to the scared onlookers. Something in his eyes flickered that I had never seen before on a hero, especially a young one. Shame. Doubt. Fear. Like I had confirmed something that held him awake at night and maybe even believed. I didn’t want to admit myself the mixture of vulnerability and confidence was making him more infuriatingly attractive, however I couldn’t lie to my body the way he was trying to. The hero cleared his throat.

“One more chance. Leave. Now,” He jerked his arms down, sparking two large fireballs into his palms. I looked down at them and snickered, at myself this time. The chance of not only finding but falling for my literal opposite could only happen to me. He, though, took my little jovial moment as another taunt against him. A flash of anger seeped into his eyes, the orbs becoming hotter. I went a few paces back, charging my powers, feeling the stark chill come to my fingertips once more.

“Be gentle, this is my first time,” I said coyly. I watched as red flushed up to his cheeks, briefly stopping. But he gained his composure and the fight began.

He fired one attack after the other. I swung my own right back at him. They collided in the air and diffused themselves as fire met ice. A splash of water followed suit. I sent a wave of icicles sharp to the point at him. He ducked away from them with ease. All shattered into a few disregarded cars.

As he got up I ducked behind an overturned bus. I conjured a large ball of ice in my hands, ready for the right moment. I got up to a crouch when a sphere of what I can only describe as lava rocketed into the bus. I jumped, falling back onto the street, and observing the damage the young super had made. All that was left was a burnt side of a building and a singed gaping hole right through the center of the vehicle.

I was stunned for a moment, quickly realize the intensity of his powers. This wasn’t just fire he had control of. This was every force of nature that could destroy miles of land, all in his fingertips. I knew I couldn’t defeat him one on one.

So, I had to play dirty. I emerged from behind the bus. My ice ball careened towards him. He countered with ease behind a small circle of fire. While he was distracted I created more icicles, hovering in the air. They were not over him, though. The super watched in horror as I let them fall over one of the citizens I had trapped. She screamed, trying to pull her frozen legs free. The hero being the hero, never one to let a bystander die, reacted quickly.

When he rushed to her, I made my move. Pounding attack after attack against his back, I sent waves of icy metric tons where he couldn’t fight back. He stumbled and grunted at each impact. The icicles continued to fall. Her screams becoming louder and louder. The hero seemed about to crash to his knees. I smirked, ready to land my finally blow. I let an enormous ball of sleet form above him, ready to send my distraction away. But before I could even make a move to drop it, he slammed his fists into the asphalt with a loud roar.

I didn’t know what happened at first. All I saw was a flash of orange. Then I was sent hurtling and onto my back several feet away from him. All the frosty damage I had done to the area was now melted. The icicles were gone. The sleet was gone. Every bit of ice I had created was gone. In the entire city. The. Entire. Fucking. City.

The hostages and other citizens were all unharmed. Wet and covered in ash, but in one piece. The only sounds were soft footsteps and the drips of water into puddles.

I groaned and sat up as much as could with being thrown to the street like ragdoll. While everything inside me ached, I watched as the hero stood, gazing at his hands. He panted heavily and walked over to me tall and in a quick pace. My attacks left no damage. I looked up at him, his warm eyes piercing into my cold stare. There was something behind them. Something…darker. A sense of uncontrolled and unbridled fury he could almost bury with the fear that flickered inside him too. Almost.

I had underestimated him. He was stronger than me, more powerful than me, protected this whole city because he could, and he did it every day. He wasn’t invincible, but that didn’t make him weak. It just proved that he could do the implausible, because, for him, nothing was impossible.

I raised my arms without hesitation. I had lost fair and square. I’ll let him haul me off to jail where I would escape. My original plan was to get out and head to the next town without looking back. Now, I was going to stick around. He wasn’t a common pretty boy superhero. He was a threat, a rival, an equal. I knew this wasn’t some school yard crush anymore.

I was going to make him mine, himself and that darkness. And if that meant committing a thousand crimes for him to notice me than so be it.

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E.G. Baum

E.G. Baum currently lives in Omaha Nebraska, obtaining her degree in education library sciences at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. Her goal is for one day to be published.

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