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Angel of Ice
Sometimes, I wonder why I'm doing what I'm doing now.
To all intents and purposes, I was a normal child. I was born, a normal girl, to a normal couple overjoyed at the arrival of their first child. I grew up, a normal child, in a neighbourhood so average they're probably a rin a dozen in the country. A normal schoolchild, I went to a normal elementary school, a normal secondary school, and received a perfectly normal education that was supposed to last me the rest of my normal life.
So why, then, am I so far removed from that most average of ideals, normality? Looking back on it, it doesn't seem that long ago that I was a determinedly average teenage girl who fretted over her looks, who regularly got into trouble for poaching her brother's PB&J sandwiches from the pantry, who often hung out with her girlfriends in cramped corner cafes. A girl who cared more about the latest fashion trends than her exams, an innocent child who laughed with pure joy as she skipped stones across a lake with her parents.
I ask myself - where is that girl now? Is she still living on, laughing at a silly romcom on television, fighting with her parents over the most stupid things, somewhere on this planet? If so, is she aware that there's a live doppelganger of her walking the same earth as she does, so stunningly alike that they could be twins from the same womb, and yet somehow lifeless, emotionless ... an empty, hollow cast, nothing more than a mere mannequin?
Is there even a point to the doppelganger? Why does it continue to exist? Is there a reason for its presence here, what purpose does it serve? I'm not sure I know. And yet, it continues to just ... be. Things exist because they have a reason to exist. But the doppelganger is just ... here. It has no reason to be here. By all rights it should no longer be here. And yet it is here. It is nothing more than a stunning likeness of a person who once lived. But it's here, for some reason I cannot understand, it's still here, still dragging its feet, still waiting for its life sentence of an existence to be brought to a merciful end.
I once heard an urban legend. It says that there's someone who has a pendant, a crystal pendant which grants its bearer the ability to see into other people's souls. It says that good people's souls will be a swirl of bright colours, and bad people's souls will be varying shades of black, all morphing together into a whirlpool of malice. But what about people who are neither good or bad? a friend asked. What does the bearer of the pendant see as he gazes into their souls? A confusing mixture of colours, fizzing and clashing as they cancel each other out?
I have no idea. Perhaps you're right. Perhaps that is indeed what he sees. But now I cast my mind back towards that little snippet of conversation, and it makes me think. What about those people ... who don't have a soul at all?
It doesn't seem that long ago, but at the same time, it feels like ages.
How old was I then, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen? I can't remember. I've long since stopped caring enough to remember. To be honest, I don't even remember what happened. The doctors keep telling me that I'm fine, I'm perfectly normal, that I'm just forgetting things because of shock. Transient global amnesia is what they call it. They say my brain is suppressing those memories to help me cope with emotional trauma. But I know better. It's been five, six years, and I still don't remember a thing. Maybe it's for the best that I've forgotten. Maybe it's for the best that I forgot in the first place. Let what's in the past sleep in the past.
I don't want to remember, nor do I care enough to remember.
What I do remember, though, is feeling cold. This wasn't the sort of cold that you get from getting soaked to the bone in winter, nor was it the feverish cold that comes with illness. This was a more visceral, primordial cold, a penetrating chill that froze one from the inside out. Where there once was a living, breathing human being, now there was a mesmerisingly beautiful figurine, an angel carved out of ice, in its place. It is lonely, lonely; so lonely that it wants someone, anyone, to reach out to it, to tell it it's not alone, to tell it that there's always someone there for it.
But it can't. Why?
Because it's made out of ice. She's made out of ice. She can't move. Spikes of ice run through her body. And if someone touches her, she will melt from the warmth. She will shatter from the force of her emotions.
That's why she endures the cold on her own. She knows that the cold is a sensation that will never go away. She'll get used to it.
She endures, despite knowing that her life has been irrevocably changed. She endures in the knowledge that she has lost everything that she loves. She endures, despite the fact that there is nothing for her in this world, nothing worth living for, nothing worth existing for.
And so, she continues to exist. She is an abomination of an existence because she no longer has any reason for living. She is a stunningly beautiful angel of ice, splendid in her isolation, inside a world full of snow and ice. And she continues to do what she's doing, because there's nothing left for her in this desolate world.
Author's note - This is a really, really short one-shot that I wrote some months ago on a roleplaying forum. It was originally intended to be the prologue to a longer series; unfortunately I never got around to writing the next installments. I hope it's an enjoyable read ^~^