December

Cold wracks his body, making each step harder than the last. Each one could be the last, and he can feel his strength being pulled away by the gentle but cold breeze/

Come on, you, he thinks, just keep going. The clouds above him let their burden of snow loose and the wind picks up. Innocent flakes of snow are now evil little needles. Face and hands grow numb. The only sign that his feet are still attached is the pressure made when they push against the ground.

December must know my name. She'll be looking for me. He shivers not from the cold, but the thought. That is the only reason why I am out here, he lies. In truth, he feels his life is nothing. No one in the city below him gives him a second glance. No one has spoken to him in the years he's lived there. And since December came, it has been worse. Most forgot their names and everyone forgot their past. But he, and only he, can't remember how to speak. They avoid him like the plague. That's the real reason why he is on the mountain: a nice, easy death.

Winds fling the snow at him even harder and he stumbles. At the next step, the snow rises to his waist. He lies down and prays as his heart slows that She will not find him. Closing his eyes is the hardest and he gives in to death.

Warm water falls onto his frozen mouth and he gasps at its heat. It fills his throat and lungs with a burning feeling. Eyes wide open, he stares in unbelief at his "savior." Above him a woman stares at him blankly. Glacier-blue eyes drill into his plain brown ones. Her face is covered with delicate patterns of frost and her lips are dark blue. Short silver hair frames Her face with longer strands falling over her eyes. An exhale of cold breath makes him wonder if he will ever be warm again.

"Now, now, dearest, don't shiver," she coes, her voice like icicles in a breeze. He can almost hear the evil in it. Holding her cupped hands over his face, more water falls into his mouth.

She is poisonous! his body warns. Raising his hand takes to much effort and it only twitches at his side.

"Why are you drinking the water from my hands? Even when you seem to think I am contagious," she laughs. The water in his lungs and his shivers turn to spasms of fear. His mind is over run with panic and Terror takes hold.

"Go away!" His scream echoes of somewhere in the distance. Starting at it, he wonders what curse She has put on him. Picking a direction at random, he runs for his life.

The feeling of snow stinging his face makes him smile. He got away… the evil woman wouldn't get him. Something moves towards his left. Turning his head, December lounges against a snow-laden spruce. She is laughing at him, he knows, even though no emotion crosses Her face. Anger joins Terror and he sprints in another direction. Everywhere he looks December fills his sight. Hope freezes in him. She is everywhere.

"Trying to get away. How positively adorable! Yet, I swear you are lost. The direction you are heading is one where you do not want to go." Her words are blown at him with more strength. He braces and takes a step back.

"Why follow me then? Lost as you swear I am, you should leave me be. Let me suffer from my own demise," he says, ending in a croak. His voice is already sore from talking. One step forward. Preparing for another, She stands in the way.

"Dearest, I give you my promise. Turn back now and be safe." Barely veiled threats fill his ears. That and the whistle of the growing wind.

Tears of frustration freeze in his eyes. He glares up at her saying, "December promises whisper of treachery."

"Treachery," she says slowly, pausing on each syllable before sliding to the next. "I tell the truth, half-wit. Back is the way to safety, forward the way to death. You need me, we both know it. I can make you speak, mute. Why would you want to go anywhere else when I can do such a thing?" Her words shake his resolve a little but the lie in her promise is too strong. Beyond a doubt he can tell She will do nothing unless it is for her gain. Pushing December back, he takes another step.

She smiles as warmly as the forgotten sun and glides closer. An inch form his face she looks up at him. "Shh, baby. Don't think aloud. Don't think about anything but how I can make you happy." She winds Her arm around his neck. Feet and arms frozen to the ground, he can't move. "You don't need to speak or even worry about your awful past." She traces small patterns across his cheek. December clouds, thick and dark, roll in to cover them and spirit them of to wherever She dwells.

He screams.

"Hush!" In anger she grabs his throat, making him choke.

"December," he gasps, "songs are… ones I will… not… not sing." Black dots swirl with the snow in his vision.

"You think your happy now?" She cackles. "Ha! You won't be for much longer. I tried to give you the easy way out." More snow swirls around them and his world becomes forever white.