The Snow Maiden

I was always a straight B student. Because a C made me look dumb and an A wasn't worth the effort. Scoring an A is for suckers. This pissed off the wrong people (my parents), so I was punished by being sent out here: a village in the snow country. But instead of building character, I met this village's darkest secret: the girl in the snow. She was dead and she changed my life. - UPDATES EVERY MONDAY, WEDNESDAY AND FRIDAY!

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Author's note

My latest story! I think it's the best yet :)
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2. Chapter 2


It was cold. I put my hands in pockets where there were two cans of hot milk tea waiting for me. 150 yen each, 300 yen in total, it was all the money I had. I didn't get paid for the work I did back in the skiing village. My dad explicitly told my aunt to be tough on me, to pay me nothing and to teach me the glory of hard work. But why work hard when there is no point to it, when you can never win the rat race, when whatever illusionary success is...well, illusionary. 


I found the 300 yen on the floor in the lobby. Three 100 yen coins. I waited for a day for anyone to report the lost money, but no such report came in. Which didn't surprise me. It was only 300 yen. 


After lunch I was left alone but told that I couldn't leave the premises. So I decided to go for a walk outside the premises. And then spent the 300 yen on two glorious hot cans. I think someone wrote once, 'cents make dollars and dollars make a fortune'. By that logic, I should've saved the 300 yen for long term investment rather than the short term pleasure of milk tea. But that only makes sense if I could invest with just 300 yen. Otherwise the money is just sitting there, doing nothing. I'll take my Suntory milk tea, thank you very much. 


With my hands grabbing the two cans in my pockets, I followed the trail of footsteps deeper into the forest. Usually forest paths like these were connected to a skiing slope, so that the skiers had an easier time going back to their accommodation. But I didn't see any signs of skiers. Other than my footsteps and the angel steps, the snow was undisturbed. 


How did those footsteps get there? It had snowed last night and the prints were fresh. It wasn't possible that it had snowed and covered up all the prints save for one. The snow surrounding it was too perfect. No, I couldn't think of any plausible way. The footprint was too fresh. I looked at the trail of prints. Judging by the size of the foot, it was probably a girl. 


Mountain air filled my lungs. It was different from the air in Tokyo. It tasted pure, laced with profound quiet, kind of like sugar in the way that it woke you up. 


Snow under my feet: it crunched and groaned. Each of my footsteps making its mark next to the trail that (presumably) a girl left behind. Walls of pine trees to my left and right. I peered into the woods, expecting a ghost, a murderer, a sign of something, anything. 


I began to sweat under the my winter coat. For how long have I been trekking through the woods? I don't know. The cans turned from hot to warm. Just a little further and I'll drink one of them. Then the second can for the way back. 


Maybe I should've bought energy drinks rather than milk tea. But only the milk tea was 150 yen and –


I stopped. Because the footsteps stopped. 

 

Up head was a sharp turn to the left and on the outer side of the turn was a pile of snow. And on that pile of snow was a girl.

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