Cheers arose from the maidens again, but without the jubilance of moments before. I saw the shadows of their personal nightmares cross their eyes. There was rage in their voices. These women would protect anyone who needed protection. They would destroy what could not be reasoned with.
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.
In answer, their screens light up, even as Eggplant’s phone pings out of control with offers. I hear Andre and Delia murmur with delight and my eyes go fiery gold, my wings unfurling once more as I feel the chaos in the room rise.
“Well.” I sigh happily. “How do you like them apples?”