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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5. The Secret

 Unfortunately, the next day all pupils were forced to stay indoors as a snow storm began abruptly. Although I strained my eyes to try and see as far as I could through the storm of white, I could not see Anna anywhere. I sighed and returned to my seat when the seniors drew near, circling me. I backed to the wall a little more and swallowed at the sight of them.

  “What are you doing?” one of them laughed. I couldn’t think of what to say, but however I looked or whatever expression I gave, it made him roll his eyes. “Children from the junior classes are so weak.”

  Suddenly, like a ball of energy arising inside of me, I lashed out my arm in rage and hit him where he stumbled back. I knew it wasn’t what Anna told me to do but it felt good nonetheless.

  He fell back into the tables, knocking his arm. He cursed under his breath. Quickly, he grabbed my jumper, bringing my face to his and threatened, “Don’t forget about the police… looks like they’re going to be searching for you now.”

  Where were the teachers when I needed them? Where was anyone when I needed them? Inside that building I loathed so much it was like a ghost town. All the students were there but they were like empty shells.

  I sat myself on the ground with my back to the fence a few days afterwards. The snow became black ice and the whole village had become an ice hazard. Mostly, I was staring at the long icicles from the school roof that dropped like tears that had frozen. Anna finally came and sat by me on the other side of the fence. I sighed.

 “Why?” I asked clenching my fists as my temper rose. “Why can’t I stand up for myself? Why weren’t you there?”

  “I was elsewhere at the time… please understand…” And after a long moment of silence she continued, “I think I need to settle this for you. Don’t worry, there is always a simple way to settle things with people.”

  Hastily, she approached the seniors and being the coward I was I followed behind, holding onto her cold arm and hiding myself underneath her long thick hair. Just then I stopped, stopping her as well. Afraid of what they might do, I told her I would observe from that spot where I couldn’t be noticed. I ducked down behind a bush. It was silent.

  Only one of them, the senior who threw my puzzle box over the fence was there. His friends had just left and he went to sit on the park wall, preoccupied by something. I lowered more, sinking into my coat.

  Anna sat on the wall beside him. His usual fearless eyes widened, shocked and confused by her sight. Not being able to hear what they said, I could still gage vaguely from his expression and slowly, just as I did, he became intrigued by her haunting figure. However, I was wondering what her exact words were… maybe telling him to stay away from me, or telling him he was weak.

  I squinted as they both walked off towards one of the frozen play equipment in the isolated park. This time my eyes widened. Why was she so friendly with him? I thought she was my friend. But then I noticed she snapped off a long icicle, struggling to keep herself up from the weight, she was showing it to him until ….

 I gasped. Drawn to her mirror eyes, he lost guard as though in a trance. Anna lifted up the heavy icicle and swung it hard across his head, without losing the smile on her face. I shook uneasily as though I had been electrocuted for a few seconds. It played though my mind as I saw him falling to the ground. It was all silent; too silent.

Lifting up the icicle again, Anna felt its point and callously stabbed him repeatedly until it shattered over him. Like glass, it cut onto his lifeless body, blood slowly seeping onto the black ice.

  Carefully stepping over him and roughly obscuring her footprints, she quickly came over to me.  “I stood up for myself and settled things simply.”  My breathing was uneven and she tried to pull me to my feet but I was stiff, frozen from what I had seen: more afraid than before.  “Come, we don’t want to raise suspicion… and don’t worry. The ice will melt and the police will not find us anymore.”   Somehow after tugging a little, she forced me up and we left. We left a crime scene.

  I had never had a secret before and as word of the murder spread through the village I continued going to school as though nothing had ever happened. Anna continued to come to dinner, and they had an even more discomfiting atmosphere as those eyes of my friend never left my father. I began to wonder if maybe she was plotting to kill him.

 

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