The morning started off as cool with a light dusting of iced air creeping over the mountain. It was the first day of spring and the day Elsa loved most. Despite the bitter bite on the air, she ran outside wearing only sweatpants and a light t-shirt with Hello Kitty house boots. She slushed through the crunching ice, now thin and moist, sounding like Frosted Flakes cracking under her foot.
It was spring! It was supposed to be a joyous, but lack of her father arriving home after another drawn out saga of arguments between her parents meant he would miss this tradition of watching the first spring sun peek out from behind the peaks atop Bear Mountain. Elsa drowned out the endless cackle of her mother as she shouted her daughter was acting crazy and would catch a cold and die. But Elsa cared less. The misgivings of her parents had long since wore through any teenage patience she had, and missing the rising spring sun was something she was okay to catch cold over.
Still, the eastern sky was barely lit with a spry flare of hazy orange feeling its way into the night’s dusky blue. Elsa stood among the pines, taking in the scent of fresh dew on pine needles and relished in the tantalizing scent that filled her nose. Spring had its own fragrance, and on rare occasion when it arose any other time of the year, she would instantly float back to the first day of spring and standing out on the slurry with her father as they awaited the first warmth on the mountain.
She stood in an opening between two tall pines as the burnt orange ball rose in a slow teasing pace. Eyes closed, she lifted her head to the sky, longing and anticipating the touch of flares upon her frozen face. It was time to wake up from winter’s hibernation and she could hardly wait, now standing on tip toes to stretch up and allow her skin to swallow up the heat.
Then . . .
The first beam of light danced on her fingers and there was an instant sensation of nerves waking into pins and needles poking at her flesh. She was cold and the reviving flesh ached at the new warmth, yet stretched out further to bathe in more. Every inch of her small frame was engulfed in small increments at a time until the light of the world held her. Her head lifted higher and she felt the moment a smile crossed her face.
The pins and needles became like small lighters held at her flesh. This was all wrong! She opened her eyes wide to be instantly met with a burning ball of fire and quickly let out a pained gasp. Every inch of skin crawled beneath the searing sun and she felt as if being burned at the stake. Laden knees gave out and her burned palms were first to lay in the slurry of stinging ice and water. She screamed in deafening agony, knowing the sun had betrayed her, helpless to move from its light of death as she lay cooking under the sun, sprawled against a bed of cold, white powder.
As years went by, the scars, tiny little cropped circle reminders, remained to serve as notes of the day the sun became an enemy. The words she heard whispered around the small town at night were vampire and witch. They couldn’t be more wrong. It was a disease, not a curse. One that changed her life, her mentality and made her hide behind the darkness of the night and curtains . . . alone.
If there was one thing she could she wish for . . . but it wouldn’t be the wish you would think.
*****This has been an introduction into my next book–still untitled. Just a tease, and I hope that it was*****
Tania L Ramos, Still Heeding to the Voices
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