The Ice Queen Cometh
“Eye of the Ice Queen,” by stOOpidgIrL.
I can sense her crystalline lips pursed behind me, but her icy whispers barely register. It’s still early yet, and though the hairs on my neck stand like obelisks, I’m unsure if it’s anticipation, dread or simply a reaction to her presence. I hope it’s the former, our previous meetings glorious, though always limited.
Preparations for her arrival began weeks ago, though watching the sunlight playing on frosted blades of grass makes me wonder if the world is still moving in its predictable patterns. Others wonder too, some with dread or anxiety, some with peckish eagerness.
Everything moves in time lapse, my closet quickly shifting to make room for her favorite garments. Even as I wish for her to envelop me, I prepare to gird myself with armor against her frigid caress. Heavy shirts, long pants, gloves and hats all rise from the dark recesses and float to the fore of my consciousness.
From my tiny patio, I watch for her. The mountains loom on the horizon, clouds bubbling and dissipating like and upturned cauldron. My leg twitches, antsy for her arrival. The chill in the air is reminiscent of her, but it’s still lacking the crisp certainty she exudes.
“The ice queen is here!” screams one of my neighbors, breaking my strange trance.
“Michael! What the fuck?” cries his female companion, the oncoming tempest clearly caught in orbit around them. They’re trapped in a bubble of conflict, a snow globe capturing perfectly the scene but lacking the snow. Beers in hand, fighting words dived from their lips, wind whipping them into a fervor and carrying them into nothingness.
The girl storms off, a trail of epithets peppered with apologies marking her wake.
“Fuck you!” he hollers, the echoes bouncing around the courtyard, an eerie silence descending. He stands there, one hand on hip as he down the remainder of his beer. I raise my eyebrows, quietly slinking lower in the wicker chair. His eyes sullenly scan the complex, finally meeting mine. “The fuck you looking at?” he says, cocking the now empty bottle in his hand.
“Wrong ice queen,” I tepidly reply, leaning forward and wagging a thumb toward his friends path of exodus.
The slowly emptying branches of the trees rustle, a few leaves skittering across the ground like winter tumbleweeds. He cocks his head like a dog, a smile slowly brewing on his face. His laughter explodes into the cool evening air, the last quavering echoes of summer innocence lost.
“Isn’t it always,” he says through chuckles. He retreats to the warmth his unit, though I doubt he believes my earnest statement.
I truly do wait for her. For some, her welcome is overstayed before it begins. For me, however, I almost yearn for it.
With her arrival comes speed; the feel of flying. With her arrival comes the change, where the world sleeps while I play. And with her arrival comes the dark, which makes me cherish the sun and crowd toward the light.
All of this and more, the Ice Queen brings.
The Ice Queen cometh, a wardrobe of winter crystallizing before her.