This is a story written by a cold finger in the damask of a frosted window…
Listen, my darlings.
It began when the Lost Girl let the first snowflakes settle on her eyelashes. She only blinked when the kiss of them tickled. Then she found she could not help staring into the grainy sky. She could not help watching all their sisters tumble down.
The cold now longer bothered her. Indeed, she grew to love it: how it spread into her eyes, how patterns tingled across her gaze, spiky and iridescent.
After the next blink, she saw what other could not – small creatures with warted faces and wispy beards, rolling snowfelt along the branches. She heard them snigger, plan ambushes. Set the snow just so on that twig and . . .
The Lost Girl shook her head at them, yet the snow stayed. It wrapped around to each tress and clung in white curling papers. It was smiling so wide that let Winter in.
With a whoop, it swirled down her throat. The chill in her lungs spread like ice pleating the skin of a pond. It ached – and it made her strong.
The Lost Girl held out her palms. Snow birds landed. At first on her fingers, balancing delicately, the flocked across her shoulders.
‘Shall we fly?’ a voice whispered.
One nod and the murmuration rose. Her laughter disappeared amongst soft flappings. Over our village, the Lost Girl flew. A little pointing of her toes in whitened boots steered her over the topmost weathervane.
To the witches’ camp, the snowbirds brought her. And so it was another witchling came to be.
Be careful little ones, if you let the snow kiss your face in the forest.
The love of it may bring death or magic.