Prisoner -- FWG Flash Fiction for 12/4/2020
I was so busy editing my next novel "MacKey House" that I missed last week, but then again, I'm not exactly a Christmas Gnome kind of writer anyway.
This prompt, though, intrigued me from the start. Here is my offering called "Prisoner" for the prompt:
The iceberg crashed into the shore after circumnavigating the globe the short way ‘round uncounted times. Locked in pack ice during the winters, the warmer summers freed it to roam the North. As the summers became increasingly tepid, and the pack ice retreated further, the iceberg’s journey stretched longer and farther. Driven by the relentless polar vortex, it crossed one imaginary longitude line after another in a widening spiral.
Greatly diminished by sun and wind, the last remnants of the Great Northern Ice Sheet nevertheless held its captive locked in his frozen prison. That prison once topped the globe like a white skullcap, and periodically expanded far to the south when the weight of sin caused the Earth to wobble in its orbit. Then, bloated like a rotting corpse, it sent its tendrils to grind down river valleys and purge the world. Always, though, the remote center of the white dungeon kept a tight hold on its reviled, and yet sometimes celebrated, prisoner. Many songs and stories were written about him, but none greater than a massive tome describing his realm and captivity written by a love-sick poet.
Dante was only half-right, though. One does not descend through the circles of Hell. Rather, the innermost circle, where The Adversary, Shaitan, Satan, the Devil himself is locked in a lake of ice, is instead reached by ascending the circles of latitude to that place which, until the interventions of Man, lay in perpetual icy slumber.
But now, the Prince of Darkness calls the Sun his friend, as its rays reduce his once world-spanning prison to a single shrinking cell. He who vies for the souls of the living has now made landfall, and his patience diminishes as his outstretched arms warm and his strength grows.