Aphelion Issue 275, Volume 26
August 2022
Long Fiction and Serials
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by Richard Tornello

Her cold fingers tingled my dragon-spine.
I quivered.
She was exploring, seeking and I held back. It was pitch black, no moon, and her features are invisible to me.
Still, she probed the deepest. I waited. She would be like all the others. She would be gone not able to gain entrance. In the cold, dark, hiding, I could wait. I wasn’t going anywhere.
I stood against her,
sentry to the gate.
They would not have to ever worry as long as I was here.
Yet, an eternity, she wouldn’t leave, surrounding me with darkness, from the top down slowly enveloping me and looking for that entrance, she touched and probed.
And enveloped
Cold fingers, colder than I have ever experienced, I shivered. Me, the cold guardian, I shivered. She felt it!
My skin matches the temperature of the surrounding plain. It is done in order to maintain existence. Ice crystals form on my body, but are of no concern. They are shaken off, they slide off,
part of my protective sheath.
Her touch is colder yet. This is new, the desire, the unflagging effort, where does it come from?
I have never met one such as this.
The sun arises and she is gone. I know when the planet revolves to dark and the other suns shine their feeble brightness she will be back.
What do I anticipate? What am I looking forward to? Do I want her to be successful, to make, Love?
in her own universal manner?
Can I resist the constant probing night after night, time after time?
This will not be her world.
And she comes again,
not a sound just a touch here…. and there and then, that enveloping again so slowly and carefully. I do not give in. No entrée for you,
My dragon- spine tingles with anticipation.
Maybe she’s the one I’ve been waiting for? Be ready to greet her properly!
All these years my job a sentry has been
a bore.
They all give up and leave, probe and leave, probe and leave. It is too easy. I have nothing to do but stand guard. They cannot go through me. I am the gate keeper, the sentry, protector of the world
I come
And again
she is back only, something is different. The temperature is warmer. Her touch is warmer. I have never felt this warmth. It is melting the resistance and I can not hold back. She is the one I have been sent to protect against. Her warm evil is compounded by her wisdom, skill and … a new trick, she surrounds me with that warmth, the heat.
The explosion could have been heard throughout the ice kingdom.
“We have been breached. To the next dimension, escape now.” That message is relayed to a dead frozen world, but it is too late.
The smoldering sentry, feet planted firmly on the slowly melting, snow encrusted planet are the only thing that remains of this sentient, guardian and created being.
She looks for the next set of resistance. Life is what she brings to the cold hearted ones. She always wins in the end.

© 2010 Richard Tornello

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