A J Thompson | Andrew Thompson, Rockhampton Australia

Krustallos, a short story by Andrew Thompson

Krustallos is an excerpt from my novel, "Prophets".

©2006 Andrew Thompson

Legend says that long before the arrival of man, the planet's face was stone. Yet far beneath the surface, a giant crystalline cavern teemed with life. Mighty forests filled every corner, with no way of penetrating the crust above.

Then one day, an ancient cedar, the father of all of trees, found a crack. It forged upwards, sending its branches out to meet the sunlight. The forests followed, erupting at such speed that the planet's surface was soon alive with vibrant colour.

The crystal cavern was now empty, alone, deserted by those she had protected for countless eons. She felt such betrayal that she wept, and torrents of tears filled her to overflowing. The waters rose, finding fissures and splits in the planet's crust and sending out tremendous plumes of spray.

Upon seeing the cavern's sorrow, the forests became overwhelmed with remorse. They gathered near the largest spring and sent their roots downward, giving their forgotten friend something to hold onto. The cavern clung to the roots and pulled herself upwards, but she could not forgive the trees for their betrayal.

Her giant shafts of crystal shot out through the fissure, and daylight filled her once-dark chambers. She continued to climb towards the heavens, determined never to be trapped again, a single brilliant tower high above the forest landscape.

Finally, her summit touched the very limits of the sky and she looked down at those who had abandoned her. Her rage was absolute, and she summoned the darkest forces to follow her up from the planet's core, volcanos, molten streams of lava that destroyed her foes and blanketed the landscape with ash.

Eventually, the lava too subsided, but the smoke-filled skies remained, blocking out the sun's warm light, and the world became an endless sheet of ice. Krustallos was alone again – she had murdered the world.

Alone, with nothing but regret for company, she let her tears flow. For nigh on a billion lifetimes, they poured across the barren lands, swelling the creeks and oceans. Seeds of long dead forests began to find new life, emerging cautiously from the stony ground, and soon, forests once again covered the planet's face.
Everywhere but here. No tree or blade of grass dared approach the crystal mountain, for fear of arousing her fury again.

Then one day, the race of man arrived, and listened to her mournful tale. They were Seers, servants of the Faith, protectors of all living things, and as they travelled to each corner of the world, so too did the legend of Krustallos.

She felt loved, and in return, she shared with them the mysteries of the world that she had seen throughout her long immortal life. The Seers declared her sacred, and to this very day, no-one may approach her without the Faith's consent.

And so Krustallos remains, alone on a snowy lifeless plateau, deathly still and untouchable.

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