Annabel wasn't crazy. She was completely sane, thank you very much. She was a college graduate, had a well-paying job, and a family that loved her. Yes, her life was as close to perfection as it could possibly be; only there was one small problem. . .
She was a cannibalistic serial killer.
She, of course, wasn't always this way; the urge – the hunger – came upon her slowly, and it was only until after college that she could no longer leave her desires to fantasy. Her first victim was an old drunk that had made the horrible mistake of making lewd comments about her dress while her hunger was at its peak, and she snapped. She bludgeoned the man to death with her heavy Coach bag; hitting him so viciously and forcefully that she splattered his brains on the concrete in the cold winter night. How she managed to get the man's body back to her house, she could not say; she had simply blinked, and she was home, with slabs of his cooked flesh on her plate and a glass of chilled champagne in her hand. She had feasted that night, and found human flesh to taste very sweet indeed.
People disappeared, their bodies never found, and Annabel continued to feast and feast for years, through the humid summers and frigid winters. She even took a few culinary classes, and her banquets of human flesh became even more decadent. With the exception of her first victim, she did not kill her prey in overly-brutal ways, for hunting was only a means to an end – her true satisfaction came when her teeth sank into flesh, and when her tongue tasted the sweet blood of rare meat. She found that the feasts were even more delicious in the icy winter, when the blood and flesh that touched her mouth felt hot and living.
Tonight was to be such a night.
Annabel had killed again, and who it was is not important; suffice it to say, no one would be missing them. The only thing that mattered was that the meat was fresh, and that the blood and flesh would warm her to her core in the frigidness of her northern home. After she was done preparing her succulent dinner (sawing, slicing, cooking and saving some meat and fat for later), she found herself suddenly gripped with terrible fear when a fierce, arctic-like wind tore through her kitchen. Her heart pounded wildly in her chest, and her fingers turned frigid and numb. The fluorescent lights of her home flickered once, twice and then died, leaving her trembling in total darkness. It's here, she thought, her rapid breathing coming out in white puffs, it's come for me. She gripped her cleaver – still dripping wet with blood from her meal preparation – and did her best to calm her breathing. It's going to kill me, she thought, and for some reason, she felt a jolt of excitement run through her spine. It's going to eat me. She smiled at the thought, but only briefly, because then . . . then came the sound: the piercing, awful sound, and in her mind she saw glaciers, grating against each other. The cleaver fell from her hand with a loud clatter, and she covered her ears, but no relief would come. Soon, she felt a hot liquid – searing – dripping onto the palms of her hands, and she knew her ears were bleeding. She shut her eyes and screamed; screamed until her breath ran out and her throat became sore, and still screamed more. And then, as quickly as it came, the sound stopped, and instantly she knew that it was there with her. She took a shuddering breath and opened her eyes.
What she saw made her jaw drop.
It was huge – beast-like in its size, and its body was corded with powerful muscles that she was sure could rend flesh from bone. She felt her heart flutter at the sight. Its eyes were the coolest blue, shining like winter snow, and where she could see skin, it was translucent. Its body, she saw, was mostly covered in white, sharp hair that formed into spikes shaped like shards of ice. She trailed her eyes lower, seeing that its legs were shaped like an animal's, bending backwards at the knee, and that its long feet were tipped with black, sharp claws. When she looked back up to its face, its mouth was pulled into a terrible parody of a smile, and its pointed, needle-like teeth glistened in the moonlight that shone through her window. He – for now she was certain that it was a he – was . . . beautiful.
And she was completely, hopelessly in love with him.
"Wendigo," she breathed, not daring to take a step further. She was afraid he might disappear.
When he spoke, his voice sounded like the flurry of a freezing winter wind. "I've been watching you, Annabel," he said, his frosty eyes bright and shining, "you have the hunger."
In that moment, she understood. This creature would not eat her; this creature wanted her. And she would give herself to him. She stepped forward, and he made a strange noise. "You are not afraid of me?" he asked, and she felt her body enveloped in freezing ice and wind.
She shook her head. "I am in love."
The wendigo laughed, and the sound was harsh and cold, just like the rest of him. "You are only hungry."
He stared at her for the longest time, and she felt her body start to freeze; turn to ice. Finally, he spoke again. "You love a monster."
How sad, she thought. He thinks he is a monster. He could tear sinews from bone; he was a creature of darkness and ice, a creature that feasted on human meat, she knew. She knew that those sharp teeth of his sank into living tissue, night after winter night; knew that he tasted the hot, sweet blood that pulsed in the veins of living humans instead of neatly cut slabs of their meat. She wanted that.
And she wanted him.
She stepped closer, and with each step she grew colder. She was walking towards Winter, for she knew that was his name; he was the season of darkness incarnate. She stopped when she was close enough to put a hand on his chest, which she did, and the contact of her warm hand on his ice-body made a loud hissing sound. Her hand burned when she touched him, but she did not pull away. Instead, she looked up into his eyes, smiled. "We are both monsters." And she kissed him then, standing up on her tip-toes. His cold arms wrapped around her, and she smiled; smiled even as she felt his sharp teeth tear into her mouth; smiled as he began to devour her, and her body lost any sense of warmth she had ever known; smiled when her human body was totally and completely consumed by ice and cold and tooth and claw, and replaced by the skin of those who eat in winter.
After an age in his cold embrace he released her, and when she looked down at herself, she saw that she was of the same cold blood as him; her body carved from ice and covered in spikes of sharp fur. She took his clawed hand in hers, and smiled (she could feel her sharp teeth pinch at the insides of her cheeks when she smiled at him – her wendigo; her beautiful Winter).
"Let us feast, my love," she said, "I am hungry."
And then, Winter smiled at her, truly and genuinely; flashing his gorgeous, flesh-rending teeth. "Let us."
And, in the cold, frigid north, she and Winter feasted as they had never feasted before.