From The Cold

Entry by: fhaedra

26th December 2014
North Country

Etches in frost is the art form of a temporary thinker. She claims the window seat, a hard varnished wooden chair next to the basement. The door to there is safety latched, the hook and hasp the only obstacle between her and the basement creature, Schnagalda. Ha! Not that the artist believes in her anymore. Still, the memory of her----the fear of her remains. Logic is not an eraser.

She sits sideways, leaning her head against the clear surface in the centre of the glass as she scratches at the the frost, the thin layer of ice that's formed along the sides and bottom of the window. The stars, clear tonight against the black, unknowable sky, have instructed her to carve an ice rink. A lone skater will occupy it. She will appear pushing into a moment of grace, one leg raised high behind her, the blade thrust toward something or someone only imaginable beyond the edges of the window where the ice is thickest. Her arms propel her forward, their power evidenced by the fine definition of form. No fingers emerge from her hands. There are no facial features.

Even as the artist works swiftly to bring forth the skater's shape, movement, temporary grace, the warmth from her working fingers mixed with her soft breath urge the skater's metamorphosis and she is becoming something else. Fine lines etched into the ice begin to blur and the graceful shape gliding on one leg with arms upstretched like a grateful sun worshiper slips the length of the window glass, a thin river of water droplets drawn to join the meltwater already gathered along the ledge.

Only she has seen the creation. She and the constellations of stars who inform her on such dark, still winter nights. Outside, the light from the shed casts its weak yellow illumination upon the snow, piled high now after so many weeks. The trees whose leaves in summer dance and wave to her playfully with the rhythm of early evening breezes stand erect now in their naked slumber hushed by the cold, cloaked in protective hoar frost.

In the background, from her room down the hall, she hears Dylan. Like the basement creature, Schnagalda, she understands more clearly now that the song wasn't written for her after all. How could it have been? She is but one, not as once her naïveté believed, THE one.

In the darkness, there with the comfort of the cool against her forehead, while the stars stare their omniscient stares of a million miles away, the smile emerges anyway. With her tongue, she licks away the last of the the skater's shape. With her hand, she traces her own face with condensation from her forehead. She paints her features, anointing them in frost water.

She looks up toward the stars once more, then turns to go. Her fingers break off a thin sliver of ice from the thickest accumulation near the bottom of the window. She passes the ice into her mouth, breaking it down into a thousand tiny icicles. She will swallow every one of them before they turn again to water.