Ice crept under her skirt, up her legs and inside her as she lay in freezing repose. It was funny, how fate unfurled. Oh, how it did unfurl.
She remembered the kiss of a blade, a cold intrusion into the warmth of her body that no longer was. She had dug her nails into that flesh as it ripped away from her – his – hand. Still, that pull had been stronger. The cooling heat of calloused skin left her fingertips; dead underground breeze choking her nerves. Red spattered the ground, but she saw everything in black and white.
Something, hard and metal was slipped onto her tongue, sandwiching it like a hairclip, just much colder. Little snakes went under her shirt and beyond, embracing her body. She’d ripped them from her breast, but with a laugh they came back. Again, and again. Again. Once more.
They went for her eyes next, those needles of sparking white that pecked her eyelids ‘till they could shut no longer. After that, there was nothing but black void and the endless chill behind bleeding skin and grit.
Sometimes she saw flashes. Flashes of lighting in the darkness, and she reached out each time, and each time one of her fingers came off. They were not cut, not ripped, no – they simply dropped. They dropped, and she stopped feeling the warmth at their tips.
She stopped hearing the sound of Ol’ Bessie’s keys, the coolness of ceramic against her skin. No more. This cold was different. This cold was suffocating. This cold stripped her and left her naked, too frozen to shiver.
She wondered what her hands must have looked like: stumps of cold, bloodless flesh. Like his.
She heard him say, just once more: “You don’t know what it’s like,” with that slow, warm tone and hand against her back and that smile, that smile.
Now she knew.