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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 ^~^

Tags: one shot, short

Discussion (8)

  1. alex theriot

    Heya, glad you finally posted something, your analysis has really impressed me so I’d been hoping to see some of your writing!

    Whoo, this was short but it was a ride. You have a fantastic grasp of syntax and english in general. “all morphing together into a whirlpool of malice” – my favorite bit. The piece was introspective, hard-hitting, and laced with bitter melancholy that is impressively directed with how short this is. It has a flawless flow to it, and the length is perfectly scripted to keep the reader on edge with wonder in regards to what exactly happened. But the most brilliant choice in the work is not revealing that, it serves to the poignant reality of the girl, which rounds out the tone and theme really well.

    Good stuff, I also had a feeling this was meant as a prologue so the author’s note was a nice surprise. You have my full support in picking the project back up haha

    Have you by chance read Kamisu Reina, or HakoMari? The tone employed here really reminded me of Kamisu Reina, a series of very dark and psychologically gripping stories.

    Also, Prillya is love!

    1. Kyrin Knightsbridge Post author

      Hai, @alex-theriot, thanks for reading and commenting, I appreciate it ^w^

      I’m glad you found this piece of mine to your liking! As I mentioned in the author’s notes, it was originally meant to serve as the prologue to a larger project whose future prospects are now, for lack of a better word, moribund. While I haven’t been considering restarting work on that particular project, I think this piece could well be reintegrated – and pretty much seamlessly too –
      into one of my other projects that I /am/ actively working on. We’ll see how things go, haha~

      Nope, it’s unfortunate, but I haven’t read either of those series. I don’t usually get a chance to read English language light novels, original or translated from Japanese, mainly because the light novel market in the country in which I’m based tends towards works translated into Mandarin. And even then those light novels aren’t something you’d discover on the shelves of your local bookstore; many stores don’t stock them at all, and you can usually only find them at large scale book fairs or some such. So I’m not really familiar with most light novel series, except a few popular series that have gained widespread popularity outside the Japanese market or those which have gotten anime adaptations (that I end up watching!)

      Fellow Prillya fan! Prillya is love indeed~ ^-^

  2. The A.C.

    I am glad to finally get the chance to read something of yours! I know you mentioned this is a prologue and there are no plans to further the story, but it is written so well in a way I cannot help but to wonder how great the main story would have been like.
    There were a few habits I caught in the writing, though not necessarily bad, which could be adjusted to have an even better flow. One is there are some sentences that seem long winded, but not really grammatically incorrect so it is not too much of a problem. There other thing is the excessive use of the words “I” and “that.” There were a few instances these two words could have been omitted, or restructured so they could be omitted (especially “that”). It has became a common habit for people to use “that” in everyday conversation for no reason, and so now it has started to bleed over into writing. On the other hand, since it has started to become common, people are used to it and sometimes expect it (even though it is somewhat not grammatically correct).
    Anyways, I feel like these are picky comments (and they are), and really look forward to reading more of your work.

    1. Kyrin Knightsbridge Post author

      Thanks for your taking the time to read and comment, @theacstories~

      I’ll be the first to admit that I sometimes slip into the trap of writing overly long-winded sentences! It’s something that happens to me every once in a while, especially when I’m trying to write quickly, and sometimes I miss things like that when I proofread. I’ll take your advice and be careful to check in future!

      Reading this piece of mine again, I agree with you on your second point – there are definitely a few instances where a bit of restructuring could reduce the occurrences of the words ‘I’ and ‘that’. When writing this piece, my own thinking was to alternate between first and third person pronouns to allude to the character’s subconscious attempt to disconnect herself from her traumatic reality; hence the usage of ‘she’ and ‘her’ in certain sentences in an attempt to achieve said effect. I’m thinking this might have prompted me to accidentally overindulge when using ‘I’ in order to make sure that the reader was able to pick up on this subtlety. When it comes to ‘that’, you’re absolutely right – I can see at least a couple of sentences in which the use of the word is superfluous.

      Once again, thank you for the comments! I’ll likely submit some of my more current work to this site in due course (schedule permitting, of course!), and I look forward to reading your thoughts on them ^~^

  3. Ice Fairy

    She will gain freedom, I’m sure. I was absorbed into your thoughts. I’m looking forward to your work. ?? And it wasn’t a short story. Somehow it got its own meaning.

  4. Luis Aleman

    It’s very easy to read and flows nice from each paragraph. I was going to ask if this was a prologue but the author’s note at the end gave me the answer. I could imagine some of the scenes as I read, almost like a montage or slideshow.

Comments are closed.