On the inside of my forearm, there was a pink mark where my arm had thawed. My eyes widened with shock. There, perfectly formed in my reddened skin, was a child-size handprint. I glanced around, doing a full sweep, listening for what I then knew was a giggle. I wondered if I could follow the breeze, and set off in the direction she took.
I wrenched open the door and stepped outside. The cold air was a mild relief against the fire burning in my face. I tried to control the bound fury, but it fought back. My feverish blood coursed through me, making everything feel searing hot and excruciatingly painful.
I am strong! The words sang inside me as I struggled to contain my growing rage, the iciness at war with the red I saw. I can control this. This will not affect me. I took a deep breath as I finished reading, letting the words sink into my cold bones and quell my boiling anger. I ran my hand through my hair to ground myself, then rolled the letter up and sighed loudly.
“The snow does what I tell it to do. If I wanted to bury you in snow, I would have. If I wanted to grow a wall of ice and trap you in it for 100 years, I would have. I let you find me. Now take me to him before I change my mind and keep this staff,” I said, my tone icy and filled with warning.
While I bristled at his words, he had hit the nail on the head. This little secluded memorial was a far distance from anyone or anything. It allowed me to cry and grieve and lose control without fear of endangering mortals. The ice statue inside was in his image. The mortal man I had loved. Love. Still love. I stood my ground and looked back at my childhood friend, one who had grown so callous, so cunning, so sly.