Icebound

A young boy, living with his father and stepmother, is being bullied by older students. He meets an enigmatic lady, who becomes his only friend. Everything is not what it seems though.

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7. Revelations

I panicked a little when we passed the school, which was shut due to the crime scene which was still being investigated. But we walked beyond that and I began to recognise as she carried me over a fence.

 Slowly I looked at Anna, who walked onto the ice with ease and without hesitation.  “Don’t worry,” she said warmly, “The bullies aren’t here anymore. They can’t hurt you.” Slowly I followed, walking on to the ice, trying to mimic her confident stride. We stopped.

 “You also once asked me if I was a ghost… well, this is my home.”

 “I don’t understand.”

 “The first winter when the lake fully froze over, it was dark with no moonlight and I was taken here. He was afraid of me and didn’t want me anymore, so he took me here and drowned me.”

 It took a while to absorb this but as soon as it did sink in I began asking more questions. “I’m still confused, who killed you? How did you come out the ice? I thought ghosts can’t touch or kill anyone…”

 “Yes, but I’m icebound. I can do a lot of things. Do you believe in reincarnation? I believe your father killed me. And I believe there is as way to be redeemed....” We walked further until we reached the area where the ice had now melted and was unstable from when I fell in. Bending over to see, she began to explain. “Maybe if you can see deep enough, you could remember the time I helped you out and saved you.”

 I did as she said and looked in. The water was dark and looked unwelcoming but I tried to look deeper like I always did whenever I was with Anna. Then her eyes glinted and I focused on her reflection as she picked something long and heavy.  I swung round and ducked, just as she swiped its edge above my head. I screamed, stumbling over to the other side before she could reach me! But something pulled her back, and losing her footing on the slippery ice, she fell over.

 “You witch!” my father screamed. He smacked her head hard, blood splashing over the ice.

 I heard her scream and before my eye she fell in. I could see her blurry figure thrashing madly beneath the ice under my feet, struggling to find her way.

 I stared at my father, frozen and stunned. It then burst out. I threw myself at him, kicking, screaming and pushing as hard as I could, releasing all my anger, screaming over and over, “Why!?”

 “Get off!” he yelled back, throwing me back. My tears had frozen on my cheeks.

 “She was my friend; my only friend! Why, why!?”

 “You’re pathetic!” he growled, “She tried murdering you and she killed your stepmother, my friend! She deserves to die after haunting me all my life!”

 “She didn’t kill her… I did!” I revealed, glad that I did so.

 His eyes were wide with disbelieve and his jaw hung open. “I’ll kill you… I’ll kill you instead!”   He caught me by my coat and I struggled to get out of his grip, thrashing and wriggling as aggressively as possible, until my tired arms and legs were useless. Dragging me across the ice, I begged for Anna to come back.

 “You’re a bully!” I cried.

“So was Anna! She only used you to get to me! And you foolishly accepted that because you’re weak-”

 There was a loud thud!

 He let go of me and I edged away quickly before his limp body got eaten by the dark and unfriendly water. I froze dead in my tracks. I was afraid and weak but as I looked up, she dropped the icicle in the water where it splashed and sank deep underneath with them both.

 No, it was not Anna. It was the person I had been waiting for too long: My real mother.

 Sobbing, I ran up to embrace her and quietly and warmly, she whispered in my ear, “You’re safe now.”

 We stepped over the fence and began to walk away. When I looked back I realised. I had no footprints.

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