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Wow, the next episode! At last! Sorry about the wait. I've hacked the complete Vampire tales up and sent it all off to different anthologies. Fingers crossed!!! Enjoy!
Ice on a lake. So thick that you couldn’t even imagine what it had looked like during summer.
A young woman slid out uneasily on her skates. One hand was removed from her muff, ready to break her fall if she stumbled. She didn’t. It had been a long time since she had last done this, but it all came back to her quickly. Five minutes of nervous scuttling and finding her balance, the she moved like a creature of frost. Like a winter nymph, who had slept through spring, summer, autumn.
Her breath came in smoking puffs of cloud; shooting out as she giggled, while her skates hissed over the ice. The air was so cold that it seemed to press down on her skin, like a thousand hungry pairs of lips. Her white coat was buttoned up to her chin and a furry hat covered every strand of blonde hair on her head.
Skates scratched and cut into the thick ice. A thin layer of snow and ice shavings swept up and around her. It left damp traces on her woollen tights. She had missed this.
At the lake’s edge, bare feet crunched through a heavy layer of snow. The white skin did not seem to be phased by the extreme cold and continues, one small foot before the other, until they stepped onto the ice and stopped.
The porcelain feet were attached to thin legs, which emerged from under a ripped and worn black dress. The wearer of the dress was a frail girl, who looked barely seventeen. Skin clung to her skull and her eyes were wide and wild. Mouth hung open as she watched the skater from under a mass of dark hair.
A few steps more.
The skater brought her spin to an abrupt stop. She hadn’t noticed the spectator until now. The state of the girl startled her. It made her hesitate.
Fear and concern danced around her brain. The girl shuffled forward again. Finally the skater roused herself enough to go to the girl’s aid.
She asked the girl if she was alright. No answer. Then asked for her name. No answer. Either she was too weak to speak or didn’t understand Russian, the skater didn’t know. Removing her hands from her muff, she touched the girl’s skin. It was deathly cold.
The girl fell forward and the skater caught her, cradling the poor thing against her chest. Words of comfort were carried from the skater’s lips with wisps of smoke-like breath. Wild eyes stared.
Fingers twitched and the top three buttons of the skater’s coat came, loose, skittering across the ice. She gasped and her eyes widened.
Blood on an icy lake.
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