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Fire and Ice
I glide across the smooth surface on one foot. The cold air feels good on my hot face. I push my body forward and collect enough momentum to twirl in the air. I am spinning. My short bedazzled dress twirls with me. My legs dangle and I feel the sensation of flying. I close my eyes and experience dizziness in my head. I feel as if I had been in the air for a long time but it has only been a brief second. I land gracefully.
I slide and streak some more. Almost running. Taking in every moment of pure joy. I keep my eyes closed so I can truly take it all in. The peacefulness and beauty of being out here alone. The feeling of my razor sharp blades against the cold hard ice. The feeling that I can be whatever I want out here. The possibilities are endless. I twirl again and leap. I open my eyes to see that I am not alone.
A shortish pale man is standing in the middle of the rink with no ice skates on. He is wearing a black scarf and boots. I stop skating. He smiles. A few of his teeth are missing. Something about his face and sudden appearances gives me the creeps. It is just me and him and no one else. I want to run home as fast I can, but the thought of clumsy me running up a concrete stair case in thin ice skate blades prevents me from doing so. Suddenly he walks closer to me, with the same smile that ran shivers down my spine. I close my eyes and hold my breath. Panic is running inside my body. I try to skate away but he just walks faster. What does he want?
I don't know what to do. My hands are at my sides, shaking. I stop skating and stand there confused and scared. Is he going to kill me? I wonder. He walks over to me close enough to touch me, I let out a shriek. He puts a hand in his pocket getting ready to pull something out. This is is, I think. He is grabbing his gun, he is going to kill me. I back up slowly until I am off the ice. I fall onto my butt in a pile of snow. I am stuck. The slushy icy powder goes up my tights and dress. He walks over close enough for me to kick him. I but I stop in fear of missing and just causing him to want to kill me more. I suddenly wish I hadn't won the argument with my mom about letting me come out here alone. I wish I was at home drinking hot cocoa and making s'mores with my sister and brother in the fireplace in the living room.
He stops smiling and scrunches his face into a deep glare. I scream again but louder this time, scaring a couple birds away from the pine tree behind me. Finally I shout something "What do you want from me?" My voice is strong yet shaky.
"What do you think?" is his only reply. His voice is deep and has a thick New York accent. He has an outline of a beard and a black wool cap on his head. Side burns spill out the sides. He is on his knees now staring at me as I struggle out of the pile of snow.I kick and wiggle trying, but only falling deeper. My lower body is completely numb now.
"Do you need some help?" Not from you, I try to say but my voice is failing me. He has scars on both sides of his face. I want to add one to his forehead, but I am afraid to kick. I just sit, helplessly squirming.
He stands up letting his long grey coat touch the ground at the bottom, cover his whole body. He bends over and grabs my hands firmly. They are warm. The same rage of panic runs through my body. He lifts me up from the pile and lets go of my hands. He turns around and walks away. That's it? I wonder. He isn't going to kill me? He just came to stare at me and help me out of a pile of snow? What did he mean by "what do you think"? My head spins and I have a headache. I'm just glad it's all over.
I am confused but relieved. I sit on the ice to remove my skates. I replace them with warm Ugg boots and I grab my thick winter coat which was waiting for me on a log. I wrap myself up in it feeling suddenly warmer. I flip open my cell phone to call my mom for a ride. I see a black pick-up truck drive right in front of me and stop.The tinted window opens, revealing the face of the same man with the black wool cap and scars. Its not over, I think. He grins again
"you want a ride?" His voice is even more grungy than I thought. He resembles a guy on Megan's law and i suddenly have a stomach ache. I do the thing that most children are scared to do in this situation but have been taught to do so their whole life. When asked to go in a stranger's car, adults always say to scream and run. Kids always forgot in the moment or just are too afraid to actually do it. I never thought those lessons from my parents when I was younger would actually pay off. I was wrong. I notice a gun on his lap. I let out the loudest scream possible and I start to run the opposite direction of where his truck is facing.
I scream loud enough to cause snow to fall of trees, loud enough to make snowmen fall down. Loud enough to startle birds and squirrels. I run, letting no one stop me. My legs moving faster than I thought they could go. My whole body pumping with adrenaline and suddenly I am not so cold. I run without looking back. I feel a smile form on my numb face. I think I lost him. I think did it. When I finally reach my house, I run inside proudly but out of breath. As I sit on the couch panting and sipping hot cocoa, I think to myself. I really did it.