short story

Bodies of Ice

Slowly the sun made its way over the mountains, removing the dark veil that settled over the forest each night. No matter how bright the sun shone, shadows always lingered. Shadows that worked against the warmth, thriving in the coldest places of the forest, the village was the perfect environment for that.

An icy breeze swept through the village, whistling through the trees, causing the branches to crack and creak. It was as if they were trying to escape their cursed lives that was unrightfully bestowed upon them. The small village was surrounded by colossal pine covered mountains, never to be found by a living soul. The whole village was and would forever be empty of life, warmth and noise.  Pine trees surrounding it were unnaturally tall, snow covered ice giants, waiting to be awoken from slumber. Beyond the village, the forest enjoyed the warm weather of spring. Flowers were blooming out in the meadows, hills were green and lush, and the river was clear and smooth. Birds called out to one another, filling the forest with the sound of life. Their melody may have travelled into the village, but would quickly be lost in the howling ice-cold breeze. Animals would tread around it, and birds avoided it completely. It was a whole area of snow that would forever be untouched by all things with a heartbeat.

Not a single voice had echoed through the streets of this ghostly snow covered village for over a century. Everyone had died within seconds of the cold brushing gently over their skin, their blood froze, hearts had stopped beating at that very moment, and their lives ceased to exist. Only powerful magic could create such tragedy. They were all now statues, frozen solid to the bone.

Like photographs, each house contained its own moment in time, captured in solid ice; a woman sat in her rocking chair, face full of joy as she stared at the small ice-blue baby laying in her arms. A family sat at the dinner table, eating their supper, never knowing it would be the last time. A man entering his small cottage as his children greeted him. All of them glistening with icy blue skin and faded eyes, forever with a smile on their faces.

At the edge of the village a small child sat, half of her small body was covered in snow, except for her decayed mangled arm that was reaching out for her doll which was now buried under the forest bed. Her other hand clutched at her mother’s frosted stiff skirts. Their pale eyes stared out into the forest, wide with fear, watching something that was no longer there. All the others in the village seemed to be unaware of what the small girl and her mother had seen. Had they witnessed what had happened to their village, what it was that had caused such horror? That secret of the past froze and died with them long ago, never to be revealed by a single soul.

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