Long ago, when man and woman began to walk this earth, two great rivals ruled over the planet. Every day, the two would challenge one another. With every competitive victory, came an equal loss, eternally locking the two in a tie. That was until one-day humankind built a village.
“Forest!” The Volcano thundered. “I challenge you once more!” The ground seemed to tremble.
“Must you be so loud?” The breeze carried the gentle voice. “You will startle the creatures.”
“Ha!” Rocks splintered in the Volcano’s laughter. “That is exactly what our competition will be! I challenge you to see who can get this village to love them more!”
“If we must Volcano, but I have one requirement. To break our never-ending circle, I require that the loser is forced to sleep.” The trees seemed to bend as if breathing.
“That’s ridiculous, every time the sun falls, we sleep.” The Volcano boomed once more.
“You are correct. My requirement is that the loser sleeps until these creatures no longer walk these lands.”
After a long pause, the Volcano rumbled. “Deal!”
The next day began like every other. The villagers awoke to begin their work. The farmers went to their empty fields to try to create life, while the woodsmen trekked into the forest to fell giant trees. As the day grew longer, the sun grew bigger. Soon, it was far too hot to leave their huts to work. The forest saw an opportunity to seize victory.
The Forest realized that man could not work in the unrelenting sun. Channeling its great power, the trees began to grow taller. Leaves began to multiply as they grew thicker and wider. In what seemed like a moment, the village was shrouded in cooling shade. Some of the villagers that braved the heat witnessed this miracle, and began spreading news of the event. Some were in disbelief, while others continued to share the event. In no time, everyone was back to work until days end. The next morning, the Forest awoke to a group of villagers praising the trees. In a victorious gesture, a cool breeze wrapped the thankful creatures.
Smoke billowed from the Volcano, he was deep in thought. Needing to get an upper hand, the Volcano studied the village to see how he could win. Noticing that the villagers had failed every attempt to grow their farm, the Volcano found his victory. As the farmers watered and wondered why their crops wouldn’t grow, the earth began to rumble. Fire blazed from the top of the Volcano, ash began to cloud the sky. In fear, the villagers hid in their huts. In time, the rumblings stopped, and the sky cleared. When the villagers emerged, they saw something wonderous. The farming fields were covered in rich volcanic ash. Not only were the fields covered in ash, live began to sprout from beneath. Dropping to their knees, the farmers began praising the powerful Volcano.
The two great forces were tied once more. As the days went on, their tie only continued to grow. Seeing the woodsmen struggling all day to chop down one tree, the Forest began to help. Every morning the woodsmen would awake to 5 fallen trees just outside their huts. The Forest’s victory did not last long.
The Volcano noticed that the villagers began collecting shells and rocks. Realizing he could bring gorgeous gems and stones to the villagers, the earth trembled. Cracks tore open near the village. From within the cracks glowed a rainbow of colors. Before long, the villagers began wearing different colored rocks and gems on them.
Soon months passed, yet Volcano and Forest were still tied; the village loved both equally. The Forest was content with this and enjoyed helping the villagers, so much so, that it almost forgot about the challenge. That was until the Volcano burst one morning.
“This will not do!” The sky’s shook. “This competition was to break our tie! I will prove once and for all, they love me more!” The earth trembled as it never did before.
“Volcano, this is not so bad, we have helped with life.”
“No! I will show them my glory and they will love me!” The Volcano shouted as smoke flowed from him.
Fear now crept through the village, the villagers had never experienced such tremors. The villagers that loved the Forest sensed a danger and they retreated into the Forest. The worshipers of the Volcano stood unwavering as anger flashed across the sky. They believed this was the Volcano preparing to help. Sadly, they were wrong.
“You will love my mighty power!” The Volcano erupted.
Fire and ash blasted from within it; the skies grew dark. Lava scorched the earth as it rolled down the Volcano. Balls of fire and rock began to rain down upon the village. No villagers awaited this doom, they all ran to the safety of the forest. Erasing everything that had been done in the past months, the lava consumed the village. Melting huts, crops, and memories, the lava hungered for more.
“Enough!” A mighty wind blew through the ash village. “You have lost, they all love me! You have defeated yourself!”
“No Forest! They will love my power!” As the words left the Volcano, the lava slowed and stopped just before the dense Forest. The lava cooled and hardened as wind rolled over top.
“No friend, now you sleep. I will see you when you wake up.” The trees appeared to droop in sadness.
In the years that passed, the Forest helped the villagers rebuild their lives better than had ever been. The Volcano’s final action left behind acres of rich farmland and deep caverns of treasures. The villagers loved the Forest with everything they had. To celebrate its great power, they dedicated a day of celebration to it. To this day, the mighty Volcano still sleeps, yet, sometimes you will feel the earth tremble. Some say it is the Forest reminding everyone of her friend’s great power.
Kristofer Fazekas is a former IT specialist and Marine Corps Veteran. During his free time, he began to explore his writing passion. Once he created and published his first comic book through Sympl Books, he knew that writing was his next journey. Kris now spends his days writing flash fiction, short stories, and novels all while recording his podcast.
Kris’s main goal is to assist amateur and up and coming writers during the tumultuous beginning steps in this creative world. You will find a lot of his tips and help at https://kriswritesworlds.com/. Using this website, Kris shows the inner workings of a writer’s mind.
If you enjoy what you are experiencing, you can find a behind the scenes look in Kris’s Patreon, https://www.patreon.com/SymplBooks. All support is much appreciated as Kris continues to build fascinating worlds for everyone to enjoy.