Have you ever wished and wished for a snow day off from school? Normally your wish just drifts off into the wind and is forgotten quickly. Sometimes though, it reaches the man who brings ice and snow into the sky. It reaches an ancient power, strong and cold, so very, very cold. So very cold and alone. He is strong beyond imagining, and yet is held prisoner. No chains bind him for he is held prisoner with fire and blood, blood of ice.
The icy man shuddered and howled as the white-hot iron rod bit into his icy flesh. He lay on a cold stone slab that pressed against his frosty cheek. The steaming rod carved, “Frost. Snow, please, Frost.” Icicles surged into his wounds to seal the rift as a cloud, heavy with snow, seeped out from his fingers and drifted out of the dim stone chamber. He longed to shed his snowflake tears but he had stopped crying from the pain many years ago. He fought against the searing metal as it again dug into his glacial back. He pushed icicles out from his cuts and froze the stone slab, but the heat kept coming, kept battling his cold.
Anastasia trudged through several inches of snow covering the forest path, her dog lunging at his leash. Her warm, soft mittens strained to pull her dog along the path and away from a tree he wanted to sniff. The January wind blew along the drifts of snow and whipped it into her face. She had woken up that morning to her brother’s sleepy announcement that school had been canceled due to a snowstorm. She had promptly turned over and was soon fast asleep. However, though school was off, her normal duties were on and she had to walk her dog. She glanced up from the frosty ground to see where she should turn next and suddenly her hood was thrown off her head by a strong gust of wind. It whipped her long dark hair into her face and sprayed it with snowflakes. Her dog yipped and pranced momentarily, thrown off balance by the gale.
Deep inside a stone prison, miles beneath the earth’s surface, an ancient power stirred. An icy man began to gain power, began to wake. Tortured and held, the pain and hidden fury grew and grew, compressed and put to sleep, waiting for the day it could be free. One day, the stone began to crumble, the fires began to burn low, the battling powers of fire and ice slipped for a moment and the ice gained a few precious inches of freedom. It sacrificed this freedom to send a message into the upper world, to find the one that may free it.
Anastasia lifted her hands to flip her hood back up but paused, frowning slightly, as the wind seemed to mutter something in her ear. Again, a word appeared to be coming from the winter gales themselves. Her dog pulled along the trail but she held firm, shut her eyes, and tried to block all other noise. “Help.” She jumped in shock because this time she had definitely heard a voice upon the icy wind. She steadied her breath and screwed her eyes shut again, hardly daring to breath. “I… am… Frost… burning… free… me... “ A small surge of burning agony flew swiftly through her body as if to sign the message. She opened her eyes, a glint of icy blue flashing across her warm brown eyes. Almost against her will, she began to whisper into the snow. “Frost. You are free now, Frost. Rise from your prison, Frost. I hear your voice calling on the wind and I answer, Frost. Be free.” She breathed out softly, bringing warmth into her eyes, shook her head slightly, and began to head home, absentmindedly tugging her dog’s leash.
Jack Frost whispered, sending a small, cold breeze into the sky, the only message he had ever sent of his own free will. He waited, feeling hope again for the first time in centuries, but felt it drift away as the metal rod was dragged through his back to spell out another message. A reluctant snowstorm blew out of his fingers and icicles came slowly to his wounds this time. He then felt pure joy and overwhelming cold flood his body. The burning torture device came again to his back but simply froze upon contact. His tormentors took no notice and the iron simply slid across his icy body. He slowly muttered the spell he knew could free him and felt it written along his shoulders.Tiny ice crystals began to slide from his frosted eyes as he wept as he had never wept before, not centuries ago, not ever. Not even in his first days of creating winter storms. The snowflakes drifted out across the room. The fires cooled, the iron froze, his torturers turned to ice. The time had come to leave his stony prison. For good.
Anastasia settled down into her favorite armchair and pulled out her severely dog- eared novel, “The Silent Storm” and flipped to her current page. Her head then jerked up from the words as she heard a quiet, almost snowlike whispering outside her window. An unbelievable sight awaited her eyes. A blanket of snow and ice was creeping through her yard, up the fence, over the wilted flowers, and up the side of her house. The amazing view was quickly obscured when the window was glazed over by a cold coating. The old chair rocked and spun as she leapt from it and rocketed to the coatrack to get her coat. She charged out the door and stumbled to a halt in the deep snow. Parading elegantly up the street was a magical procession of ice and snow. Dragonlike creatures morphed and spun, their wings huge one moment and fading into their scales the next. Animals, real and unreal, of all shapes and sized walked, hopped, flew, slid, and melted along the slushy asphalt. A hidden, very recent memory leaked back into her brain and she realized this was her doing, that she had released these creatures onto the world, and she was glad of it. So very glad she had freed winter.
Jack Frost rose for the first time in centuries from the stone slab he had been tortured on. He felt icicle-covered wings begin to grow from his frozen shoulders. Flexing his wings, he caused them to spread far out and even grow larger than before and carved deep groove in the stone walls. He melted and refroze, walking slowly out of his cell, testing his strong and icy legs. His wings began to grow and grow, larger than him, larger than the room. They began to flap, slowly at first, then beat quickly, smashing the furnaces and the walls and the frozen shadows of his tormentors. As he finally rose from his prison, frosty creatures sprouted from his fingers and began to morph and shift themselves. He burst up into the upper world, the winter sun blinding him momentarily for he had not seen sun in years and years. He then blinked away the distraction and set off to find the one who had, voluntarily or not, helped free him.
Anastasia stood ready at the end of her driveway. Her eyes had returned to cold blue and her skin had paled noticeable. She knew what she must do and as the frozen parade crept closer, she felt the cold creep ever closer to her heart, threatening to freeze her entirely. Finally, a visibly larger, colder, and more important figure burst from the crowd. He was a man, yet not a man. His eyes were hard, cold spheres of winter clouds. His back held a magnificent pair of icicle covered wings. He was shrouded in a cape of snowflakes. He strode gently up to her, his footsteps placing a thin layer of frost where he walked. “Frost…Jack… Frost...” She muttered. Suddenly, as if the strike her, he brought his arm far into the biting air. She shrank back and began to creep back towards the house but the relaxed as another came up. It was time. She stepped up to him and hugged him fiercely, gasping as a palpable wall of cold slid across her bundled-up figure. The ice man’s arms dropped around her. The ice from his body began to swallow her body whole, and she slowly became part of Jack Frost, her very soul dissolving into him.
Jack blinked slowly. Something was different now. He was more powerful, far colder, more… human? He and the girl were now one. Carefully, he tested his powers and what would previously have created a single icicle sent a snowstorm whizzing off into the distance. Flapping his wings slowly, he rose into the sky. He tilted his head towards the sun, feeling the warmth wash over him and knowing it could never harm him again. Raising his arms, he sent a sudden flash of ice towards the sky, snow showering down over his fantastic escort. Another gesture sent a blizzard, crackling with cold energy. Yes. This is what he was meant to do. Bring ice and snow to the world without spilling his own blood, without torture and pain and blazing heat. He had found his calling in the winter breeze, in the first thaw of spring, in freedom from pain. And he was so much stronger than before, so much stronger because the one who freed him embraced his power, enlightened him to his destiny, brought him to his life. He was free.