First of all, no one said that this was going to be fair. I never asked for this and neither did he. We never asked to be twins and we never asked for this bloody gift. I want that on record.
My name is Josh and my brother’s name is Zane. We were born to the king and queen of Grayhorn, a small kingdom north of Rome that was sealed away when Rome fell. It has been a secret that we have survived for so long. A secret that was exploited during a World War when a soldier who took refuge also took a secret from our land and handed it over to the most evil general the world has ever seen. We have not set foot in the outside world since then.
I should probably tell you that my parents are good people. My father is tall and strong with short thick curly hair and a boyish appearance. You would never know he was in his forties. Mom on the other hand has managed to stay her twenty something looking self with her long black hair, fair figure, and mocha complexion. Before a fair skinned man marrying a deeper complexioned woman was taboo, they did it.
So naturally my brother and I are somewhere in between, looking boyish and young with curly dark hair, dark eyes and mischief building around every corner. We have a gift you see. The power to make something cold, somewhere cold, or freeze time. Only, there is a catch. There is a curse. If one of us uses this power for more than a day’s worth of freezing then the power transfers to the other twin. Once all power is depleted… we tend to switch bodies.
At ten years old we went wandering into the forest. It was well within our borders and so was the lake we routinely froze to ice skate on. Only, I did not realize how much energy it took to overcome the warmth of that summer day and as I froze the water and my brother ran to slide from one end of the lake to the other I felt the change coming for us.
It feels like a heartbeat that is so strong it almost feels like someone is standing over you with a stick beating you. And as it struck us, I felt the ice beneath me crumble and I fell looking into my brother’s eyes and knowing the horror of what he was seeing.
No one could swim in the lake because of the ancient creature that lurked there. It detested ice and hence our frozen fun. But, as my feet hit the water I could see it’s large yellow eyes looking hungrily at me. I tried to slip into the water gracefully so it would not feel the vibrations of my frantic attempt to get back to the ice.
The creature is an octopus. An enormous octopus spanning over 100 feet long. I was eye to eye with it and could only hope my brother froze the lake entirely and thawed me out later. To my surprise, it wasn’t interested in me at all. In every tentacle a terror stricken soldier wearing a crooked looking plus sign had been crushed to death and the lake bed was littered with the half eaten bodies of what looked like hundreds of soldiers.
An ice ladder extended to my right and as I looked up I saw my brother standing over me on an island of ice with his face in the water reaching his hands towards me. I quickly grabbed on to the ladder and climbed for my life, not sure if the creature was really going to let me escape.
Zane froze random patches of ice around us to confuse the creature and we hopped along frozen chunks of ice until we reached the shore. I know I was in shock. I saw my brother in front of me asking if I was alright but all I could think of were the bodies on the bottom of the river bed.
A tentacle extended up above the lake, shooting through the ice and crept closer to us. Zane grabbed my dripping coat collar and dragged me to the tree line. We were going to run home. But the creature’s tentacles could reach 300 feet into the forest easily.
We ran and ducked and hid in random logs to avoid the tentacle. But, it was no use. The giant head slithered up to the shore so it could watch us. We ran in sheer terror. It crept closer and closer to us and no matter how close home began to feel, chilling death in the air smothered any hope of getting there.
Until I saw him. He stood six foot three blending in with the trees and shot repeatedly at the tentacle. He was a soldier. One with a red band and a crooked plus sign on his arm. He shouted something in another language as we ran past him and seemed to salute the air as the tentacle slithered by him still chasing after us.
How did it miss him? We leapt into the courtyard screaming. The bell sounded, the gate closed and the last thing I remember is being covered in a warm blanket.