She belonged to the Earth, that much was obvious. She stood in the frigid surf without stirring, painted into the harshness of the area- and even though she should have looked out of place in the chaos, she completed the picture. As each wave crashed it seemed not to pull on her form like the tides should, instead they pulled themselves towards her with salt-soaked fingers. At her back the towering glaciers leaned over her not in threat, but in protection. The air was icy, and the water was freezing, but the woman did not recoil.
Age had taken away her beauty and had nurtured her wisdom. Lines marked her face like ridges marked the black rock behind her. They told of the power of the life she had once lived, deepening in the dropping temperature. Long, gray hair framed a pale heart-shaped face, and though the wind blew hard they barely stirred.
As old as she was, as frail as she looked, the storm in her silver eyes would have warned away any younger person who feared for her safety and her sanity. In the frozen Arctic tundra, however, there was no chance that another beating heart would stumble upon her presence.
But solitude was not the reason that she stood in the ocean.
Expectancy clouded her emotion-filled eyes as they watched the swell of an oncoming storm brewing on the horizon. It was not the storm she awaited, but the song it would bring. The thunder would be the beating drum, the lightening the bold brass, and the rain would sing the words, which she could already hear being whispered roughly in her ear.
At her feet a cloud of red began to form. The combination of freezing waters and sharp stone were gashing her feet with cuts and blisters. Still, she did not move, only let her eyes slide downward for a second in mild annoyance.
Only the movement of her eyes and the gentle movement of her black ski-coat showed any signs that she was more then a hallucination or a trick of the light.
Of course, there remained no one to spy on the hallucination, or be blinded by the light. At least, there was no one who was not familiar with her yearly tradition of awaiting the storm.
"You await something that will never come," muttered a voice.
The old woman did not turn around to glare at the insolent young man behind her, preferring to narrow her eyes slightly in annoyance instead. She did not even bother rising against him, knowing full well the insolence of the young.
As if walking straight from the ice, the young man simply appeared at the base of one of the towering translucent cliffs. He was of obvious relation to the old woman with the same sharp face, though his was twisted into a look of rage. Such a look blinded the world to his beauty. He looked harsh, cold, and unforgiving- like the winter season, and he dressed in a way that was not of the twenty-first century.
A loose navy shirt covered his pale torso, billowing around a form that was built in a way that could almost be seen as canine-like. Loose black pants covered his lower half, hardly valid protection from the icy winds of the Arctic. Black boots balanced easily on the dark rock that was still filled with summer freedom from the ice. His feet moved forward in anger when the woman refused to meet his challenge.
"You wait in pointlessness lady," he said, forcing the words through gritted teeth. "She will never come, never awaken."
The old woman smiled slightly, still calm even though the young man's anger stabbed desperately at her back.
"It is my duty to wait," she said simply, closing her silver eyes for a brief moment in order to call up patience. When she opened them again they glowed with regained strength. The whispers were becoming stronger.
A low growl echoed from the young man's throat, and he walked closer to the water, but did not enter the water. His own silver eyes were glowing as well, but with pent up rage and sadness at the inevitable hopelessness he believed he was feeling.
"There is no one to hold you to your duty," he said, softer this time, but still with anger.
The old woman let her smile become wider.
"You have become so hopeless my lord, it saddens me to think that you have such little faith in me."
In the blink of an eye the rage disappeared from the man's face, and puzzlement filled his wolf-like features. He no longer looked like a young man; he was a lost child, unsure of his position, and of his point.
"I did not mean-" he stumbled on his words, and was interrupted by a careless wave of the woman's hand.
"Of course you didn't mean it- you never do," she paused, and turned her head slightly so that one steely silver eye was fixed on the still shocked boy. "I know that you have little control over your emotions, even though as a king- you should be able to keep at least a little tension on your childish tantrums."
The man regained his composure on the word 'king', and mounted upon himself a regality that most believe can only be carried in bloodlines.
"I am not a child," he muttered bitterly.
The old woman turned back to the storm on the horizon with a shrug.
"Of course you aren't. You were simply acting like one."
There was nothing that he could say to that so he simply bowed his head in acknowledgement prompting sadness in the smile of the woman as she felt the hopelessness in his heart that had prompted his loss of temper.
"Have you really given up then my son?" she asked, closing her eyes in an effort to keep her mind in both the conversation with the young man behind her and the storm before her. "Have you really lost all hope?"
He scoffed then shrugged to cover his blatant fear.
"What hope can be forged in broken ties? I can no longer care for the world. I can not fight the millions who seek to destroy her with their pollution, war, and statue-like loss of emotion," he whispered, half to himself as if he were attempting to assure himself that giving up was the right thing to do.
"Then the Kingdom will fall, and after it so too will this world," replied the wise woman.
"Perhaps that is the way that the fates intended it to be."
The old woman again opened her eyes, and this time anger was flowing like the waves around her feet. With a soft, but angry growl, she turned to give the young man a scathing look, and even dared to take a step towards him with a passion that caused him to flinch.
"Fate? Fate! Corr- you are a king of the Good People, not a mortal to be turned by fate. We are the creators of fate, the dreamers of choice, and the reason that the mortals have knowledge of free will. "
"Yet you stand here, mother, awaiting something that has, for centuries, never come- when you could have been acting. You are being turned more by fate then I am," he replied with a deepening scowl, the change in tempers and ode to the blood that ran through his veins.
Taken back, his mother lost her passion. The fight went from her shoulders and she looked to the ground as a peasant looks to the feet of a monarch.
"It's all I have left," she whispered, prompting a look from pity from her son.
Lo, how easily the moods of the fey people fled from passion to pity, fear to regality. It was a curse that came with immortality, and a curse that was even greater among the monarchs of the fey.
"You still have me," said Corr, in an attempt to stop the tension between them, but at his suggestion his mother shook her head.
"I lost you the day you were crowned, just as I lost your father when he became King. We faerie's are a terrible folk, are we not? We cast aside love for power- and in that way we are no different then those humans which we look down on."
Silence stretched between them. Corr was too well aware that his mother was right, and his mother was too lost in the memories of a past that was supposed to stretch into the present. Then the first peal of thunder rang, causing both Corr and his mother to look towards to horizon.
In that peal they heard a beat, an undeniable call to arms. Below them, the Earth rumbled in reply. The old woman turned around, her hungry eyes caught on the storm. Lightening shot down to blast the water with a destructive effect that was viewable even upon the shore.
"Do you hear that?" asked the old woman of her son.
Corr could only nod in reply, his black hair blasted back by the sudden power of the winds preceding the storm.
What they heard was something beyond the senses of a mortal, however, and even one of their own would have to have exceptional power to understand what was riding the crest of the storm- the first winter storm.
Jumping to his mother's side with little regard to the rising water, he grasped her shoulder in an attempt to stay upright in the sudden current of the ocean.
"She is different?" he asked over the sudden roar of the weather.
His mother laughed, suddenly filled with unexplainable joy as the winter season crashed down on them like angels crashed upon hell. All she could do his nod her head.
"She is stronger?" he again questioned, tightening his grip on the black coat and letting his silver eyes glow bright to disbelief.
His mother suddenly stopped her laughter as she turned her head sideways to listen to the roar of the wind.
"No," she whispered fiercely, a brilliant smile taking the place of her laughter. "She is a believer. She is retribution, as none of the other's were. She is unlike any other. She is a dreamer."