The temptation was too real and I couldn’t help myself. The ice cream melted on my tongue, sending me to a frozen heaven and a land of pleasure. One spoonful wasn’t enough, I needed more, more! Half a tub was gone before I realised.
Her bones lay on the beach, rusting under sun and sea. Long had she sailed across the waters until that fateful night had brought her to this grave. Wedged keel in sand, hull full of water, tilting to port side, going nowhere.
She had become scrap and a new home for seagulls. Sinking further into the sand, waves rocked her still and she slept, dreaming of days out in the ocean with a crew scampering upon her decks.
Years later, she awoke to a new job; a sight-seers’ object. To be admired and wondered over. Hands touched what only the sea had done and life came back into the old bones once more.
I couldn’t sleep, my insomnia was paining me again. I took a lantern and went out to the shore of the lake. Despite the lateness of the hour, a freezing fog was hanging in the air. I let the lapping of the water guide me and felt the wooden planks of the jetty under my boots.
The wood creaked and the water splashed against the poles. There should have been the addition of a rocking boat but last month it had been overcome by heavy rain and sank. I could picture the bones of the boat resting on the bottom of the lake.
The moon was full and low in a cloudless sky. I marvelled at her, not being able to recall seeing another moon see big. Something drew my eyes downwards and at the end of the jetty I saw a figure standing out against the fog.
I frowned, there should have been no one out here. The servants had their own house further back and we were miles from the nearest village.
Before I could address the figure, she turned to me and I saw it was a young woman. She was tall with red flaming hair and wearing a sky blue dress that floated around her. She smiled sadly then turned back to the lake.
I rushed forward, the sense that something was wrong vibrating through me. I reached the end of the jetty and held my lantern high.
There was no one there!
I turned and twisted, looking everywhere. The fog couldn’t have been playing with me for I swear the woman was as real as myself and yet, there was only the lapping of the lake breaking through the night.
The blizzard arrived like they said it would. The snow and wind came down blindly fast. Things ground to a stop like the rusted cogs of a clock. People battled against nature, trying to get on. Children free of school were sledging and building snowmen. It seemed right to join them as not much else could be done.
Days, weeks and months past by. At first it had been fun and slightly annoying but now the blizzard was frustrating and angering people. Cars and houses were snowed in. Transport was limited. Buildings were closed due to burst pipes or lack of heating or it being too dangerous to open.
Homeless people were frozen solid in the street, buried under snow moulds that became too much effort to dig them out. Rubbish piled up around them, unable to be removed as the roads were too blocked up. People who dared to go out risked tripping over the hills of such things.
Other people froze or staved in their homes. Their bodies left because even if they could be recovered, how could they be buried?
Those luckily enough to move away did so and soon that was the only answer. The snow kept coming, the city turned to stone, trapping the people that remained.
I was a mild winter and leaves were still clinging to the branches. People had been acting like it was spring but too long I had been sleeping. Now, I reached out frosty fingers and touched the living till they froze and they died until my warmer sister arrived.
They had spent the night telling scary stories and laughing at their fears. Little did they know as the fire died and the forest settled into complete blackness, something was stirring through the undergrowth.
The blade of an axe, a glint of light and spots of blood hit the floor.