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The City of Frihet

The City of Frihet

Published Aug 8, 2022 Updated Aug 8, 2022
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The City of Frihet

I wake up with a spider on my pillow. I get up as fast as I can. I shake my big brother awake, carefully not to wake up my parents and the other siblings. In our shack, a needle falling on the floor wakes the entire house, and once everyone is up, the beatings start…

My brother wakes up and looks at me with his sympathetic, calm blue eyes that soothe me. I gesture about the spider, and he immediately looks at it. He squishes it with his hand, lifting a pile of dust out of the burlap pillows made of grain bags. 

My eldest sister and my father awake to the almost inaudible noise. My father looks at me, and I can’t go back down to pretend to sleep in time. I feel his rough hand holding mine, and a belt aches on my back.

I’m mute. I can’t speak, scream, talk or make any noise. So I can’t complain. My brother Brann speaks for me, waking the entire house, rending a beating for himself. 

I see the circles in the dust that hangs in the air, illuminated by early morning light. My father is angry and shouting as my other siblings coward away in the corner of the shack. He beats me harder than usual. The circles show me the end of me. 

I’m scared.

My brother pulls me away, throws me over his shoulder, and starts running. And he runs, and runs, and runs, through the field of crops across the fence, the river, to the forest, where our father finally gives up on the chase. 

It’s winter. It’s cold. But the cold never bothered me. My name is Fryse, which means blizzard. My brother puts me down, shakes my poor ragged dress, and kneels to look at me.

“Are you okay?” – He asks. I nod. 

“It’s over.” – He says. – “No one will ever hurt you again. From now on, it’s you and me. Like we always talked about.” – He says with determined eyes.

Indeed. Living in the perpetual ice of the forbidden forest amongst the unknown creatures is better than starvation with daily beatings. Like this… It’s just starvation. 

I skip as I walk by his side. How comfortable he makes me feel. He’s the only person that speaks my language.

We walk through the snowy forest as the magic vibrates and shines with each footstep of ours. We can hear the giggles of the fairies, the roar of the trolls, and the screams of the…

I see circles. I stop walking as I cannot see. I see the circles. I read them as I rapidly look around, looking disoriented from the outside. A fairy. A fairy is coming our way. She’s not to be trusted.

She shows up while I’m still finishing reading our future. I hear my brother ask questions to the fairy, and I see in the circles the true intentions of this fairy. She wants to kidnap me as I’m a rare Child Of The Forest.

I wake up to the reality, and, instinctively and surprisingly, I shoot ice at the fairy, even though I never knew I could do such a thing. 

My brother freezes, looking at me, surprised, and I grab his arm and pull him to run while the fairy is still recovering from my blow. 

He runs, and we escape the fairy by hiding behind a rock covered with ice from my newly awakened magic.

I signal my brother my vision.

In my vision, I saw the truth. The forest showed me that my brother and I aren’t humans, we were switched for changelings at birth, but we are far more powerful. Like I have the power of ice, my brother has the capability of fire. 

He doesn’t speak much… Our understanding doesn’t need words, but this made him speak.

“Are you sure you read that in the circles?” – I nod. 

I try to show him how to use the magic, and he makes a spark. I look around at the circular patterns in the ice I made, and I can see that it’s okay to leave now.

As we return to our walk through the forest to reach the city of Frihet, a pattern of circles shows up, and I convince my brother to follow the path of circles that illuminate briefly with each step we take. 

I start hearing sounds. The sounds bring more circles and a voice… A mute voice, like the one in my head.

I follow it. I can see the magic fireflies and the floating sparkles illuminating the bioluminescent forest tonight. 

We reach an opening amongst the trees. The noise stops, the lights disappear, and it looks like a regular forest at night for a few moments. It’s dark, and there’s no one around. 

My brother is as confused as I am. We’re about to sit down for the night, and he collects wood, but I see a faint sparkle coming from inside a hole in a tree’s trunk. The light shines in the circles that I read. They demand that we state who we are. I grab my brother’s hand, and with surprise, he releases a newly discovered spark of fire that burns me a little, causing me to make ice.

At that instant, the forest lights up again in bright colors, the music restarts, and all around us, many different creatures dance as they glow in the dark, with each step matching the musical floor that lights up with them. 

My brother and I become bioluminescent, and as we feel the magic within and around us grow, our bodies heal from the bruises of our earlier beatings, and our clothes become light. A lovely, green woman made of light approaches us. She has white hair and purple eyes like me. She signals me in the language I thought only my brother could understand.

“Fryse, Brann, you’re finally back! Welcome home, my children. Welcome to the magical city of Frihet!”

The circles around me show me memories of how my brother and I were lost long before we were born into these human bodies.

I feel my body tingling, and when I realize I now have wings, so does my brother. 

We join the party with food and music and celebrate our journey and our return to the beautiful city of light, the city of Frihet.

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