I am super thrilled to have my story “Earth Queen” published by Short Story Avenue. Thank you, editor Susan Eisner, and founder Joseph Reilly!
One day the Four Elements were lounging around restless and bored. After discussing the matter at great length, they decided it would be fun to create a world all their own. They were tired of existing in the nothingness of the vast and lifeless skies. There were a multitude of barren planets and blazing stars, but no lifeforms to worship and obey them.
The Elements searched the array of spinning orbs in the universe to find just the right one to be their new project. After many weeks of fruitless exploring, they finally happened upon a medium sized rocky planet. It was in a solar system about halfway from the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. It appeared to have everything they needed to begin their work. The four played with all sorts of ideas about how to form this world into their ideal habitat. They considered numerous ideas before setting their plans in motion.
First Wind filled the atmosphere around the planet with oxygen, nitrogen, and other trace gases to produce breathable air to support life. She was quite pleased with herself feeling that she was the most important Element. If there was to be life, it would need air to exist.
When Wind had finished, Water opened up valleys and canyons in the globe’s crust. She filled them with oceans, seas, lakes and rivers composed of a combination of hydrogen and oxygen in a liquid form so that it would flow and nourish all lifeforms. Having been so clever, she knew that she was the supreme Element. Water decided that evaporation of the water into clouds that would rain down on all the surfaces would be her finishing touch.
Then Fire decided to breath deep into the center of the globe melting stone and rock, creating molten lava that would flow to the surface. The lava produced volcanoes, and mountains, and tectonic plates resulted from all the upheaval. This would warm the earth so that vegetation could grow and flourish. Fire was quite proud of herself and so she decided to add electrical disturbances in the atmosphere in the form of lightning that would complement Water’s rain.
When the other three had finished, Earth stepped forward and waved her hand over the surface of their new planet. All manners of green plants appeared. There were trees of many varieties, bushes, grasses, and most importantly, to sustain life, she included eatable vegetables and grains. All living creatures would need to have food sources to exist.
Looking down on their beautiful creation, all Four were delighted with themselves. They had fabricated the perfect world. But then the sibling rivalry started to kick in. They all wanted to be in charge. Each wanted to be the queen who ruled over the new world.
Wind said “I should be mistress since my breath carries life everywhere so that it can be seeded and grow.” Water declared “No, I should be mistress since without me the seeds cannot grow and no life could exist.” “But I am the most powerful and can consume all that is in my path” said Fire. “I am the strongest so I should be mistress.” Then Earth steeped forward and calmly stated “Where would all of you be without me? I am the structure on which all of you subside. None of this could exist without me” So, after much deliberation, Earth won the debate, and reigned as mistress over all.