Disclaimer: This is a story written by Elena Larsen, the owner of Bless the Outdoors. Do not copy or use it without permission!
Ten minutes… He thought as his eyes lazily glanced up at the professor who was now discussing digital natives. It was a topic Eric knew all about, since he had written about it for his last exam. Digital natives were people who have been brought up with an iphone as their pacifier and ipad as their crib. It was kids who were completely integrated in the digital culture and who were a symbol of how the society was today. An interesting topic nonetheless, but what bored Eric right now, was the theoreticians the professor quoted on his projector and the head points, which the boy already was familiar with.
So the last hour he had been surfing on the internet, looking at 9gag posts, checking his facebook, twitter, blog and e-mail before returning to 9gag and spent the last ten minutes of the course there. With a yawn he ruffled up in his dark blond hair as he finally reached a post he had read before, but luckily the professor ended his long speech right that second and closed his Mac computer.
“That was it for today!” He said and looked at the class through his large glasses. Their professor was not your typical professor. He was young, dressed quite nicely and was nowhere near the common image one had of a person with a PhD. He looked more like a businessman. But his thick glasses and his intelligent eyes and his love for computer games (which he had written his PhD about) revealed his true identity.
Eric put his ipad in the schoolbag that was hanging on his chair and stood up from his seat. Some of his classmates were already out of the door when the professor opened the mouth again and called out for everyone’s attention.
“Remember to hand in a draft synopsis about the topic for your oral exam next Monday!”
The young boy sighed deeply and felt a large burden falling right on his shoulders and stressed him even more. December was a typical exam month. Most students had red eyes from hard reading, all of them barely spoke at the end of a semester and most of them stopped showing up in class because they had already figured out what their topic was going to be for the exam.
Eric was about to put his headphones on when one of his good friends patted him on the shoulder. His name was Jim. Jim was a large boy, both in height and weight. He had long beard, dirty looking oiled hair and his face looked rather unhealthy. He was always wearing a t-shirt with some funny logo or script, and he was always gaming or coding. Whenever Eric called him he was doing one of those things. It was actually him who had convinced Eric to join his own World of Warcraft open server. Not that Eric liked that game much anymore – he felt too old for it – he still joined because he did not have to pay any fee to play.
“Gaming tonight?” Jim asked with his usual lisping voice. “I bring my stuff to your place!”
“I don’t know…” Eric replied, “I really have to figure out what topic I want to talk about for my oral exam…”
Jim grinned at his friend as he followed him to the door. The front door of their faculty was always locked because of the expensive computers they were having inside. “You have a whole week to do that!” The large boy said and unlocked the door with his student card.
The cold that hit him sent chills down Eric’s spine as they stepped outside. He breathed out white clouds of air and tugged his coat closer to his body.
“Well… Alright.” Eric finally agreed with a sigh. He could always study later. He told himself as he said goodbye to Jim who was heading towards the dorms of their university.
Eric lived outside of town. He had a small student apartment in the suburbs, and he hated travelling 20 minutes by bus or train every day. But the good thing about the apartment was that it was his own – he did not share it with anyone. And he could afford having it.
Eric dropped by Seven Eleven on his way to the train station and ate three baby bites with ketchup before carelessly throwing the bag on the ground. He wiped his mouth with his tissue and let it afterwards follow the paper bag. He put his headphones back on and listened to some good old fashioned Rock ‘n’ Roll while waiting for the train to arrive. His eyes caught a beautiful girl passing him by on the platform, and for a second their eyes met in an awkward glance. She had beautiful blue ones that were surrounded by dark eyelashes. Her cheeks were rose and her lips sparkled and shined from a pink lipgloss she was wearing.
The girl gave him a smile which he responded to with a small grimace. He had never been good with girls. Eric had always been the nerd in his class and the only woman in his life was his computer. He has had a girlfriend before, but back then both of them had been gamers. When they both grew up and stopped gaming, they fell apart and now rarely talked with each other.
Finally the train arrived and he stepped in, really looking forward to come back home. The weather had suddenly become extremely cold and he could feel the chilly wind hit his body through his rather thick jacket.
On his way home, he walked as fast as possible. His slender body was shivering every time the wind hit him and his nose felt like it was going to fall off. He even cursed when the wind ruffled up in some leaves in front of him and kicked off the hat from his head, which forced him to turn around and run after it before it fell into the creek he was crossing.
Right as he caught his hat, a snowflake landed on his hand and melted immediately. Without even bothering to look up at the grey sky above him, the boy ran home.
Once he entered his small apartment, he quickly closed the door after himself and turned up for all the heat. The familiar smell of food reached his nostrils. It always smelled of food at his place, mostly because of the dirty dishes he rarely took time to do. One could say that Eric was a quite messy head. He had piles of clothes, books, games, glasses, bottles, old boxes, papers and what not floating around everywhere, and when he stepped inside, he just carelessly threw his jacket on top of one of those piles.
It was darkening outside when he took a seat in front of his computer and turned it on. It was early in the evening, and he knew that it probably wouldn’t be long before Jim arrived, so while waiting for him he did some coding.
Jim had hurried home right after the class. He could feel how the winter was coming and the cold hit his face with a surprise. He did not remember reading in the internet news about snow, but once it started falling from the sky, he completely forgot about the wrong assumptions the forecast had made. He stopped and looked up at the sky – amazed by the sight. Big white flakes fell down from it and got caught in his hair and eyelashes.
Jim loved snow. He considered it being quite magical. Perhaps it was why he had never stopped playing adventurous games or getting together with his Warhammer group. Magic and mystery fascinated him. As he stood there he did not care about how cold he got, he was simply enjoying the snow as it gently fell all around him.
It was first when a big truck passed him by, he awoke from his trance and glared angrily after it as if it had disturbed him in something important. He had no idea how long he had been standing there, but he could not feel his toes anymore. He was sure that they had turned into ten pieces of ice. He should really hurry back to his dorm before heading to Eric’s house.
Jim was not a quick walker. Since he was overweight he often had to stop and catch his breath, but today he actually managed to almost run all the way back home. He passed by his two good friends, Maja and Sandra who were just on their way out shopping. They held the door for him while giving him a big smile.
“Thank you girls.” He said friendly as he gasped for air and did not look forward to the many stairs he had to take up to his room on fifth floor. “Have a nice day.”
“You too, Jimmy.” Maja said and wrapped her arm around Sandra before waving goodbye to him and heading down town.
Eric stretched his tired arms as his eyes glanced out of the window. The snow was covering the grounds, there was frost on the window and the lake was melting into the white landscape that unfolded outside. It seemed like everything had fallen asleep under a thick white blanket. No sound was to be heard and the boy stood up and walked to the glass door.
He felt deaf, since nothing was to be heard besides the silent buzz from his computer. He placed a hand against the glass and stared outside, suddenly realising that the streetlights were out. It was weird though, the light in his apartment was still on, so it could not be the power that had gone.
Being so focused on the lack of light he barely noticed the white frost that appeared around his fingers. It was first when he felt the cold from the window streaming in through the glass, he realised that a hand-formed frost has formed around his handprint. Shocked by the phenomenon, he quickly removed his hand and stepped backwards.
The handprint was still there, but instead of just being a print of his hand, it suddenly got an arm and out from snowflakes a figure formed. The figure was a slender one and seemed to be transparent. Long silver hair was falling down to her waist and cold grey eyes were shining back at him.
Just like he had done, the strange girl that had appeared from nowhere withdrew her hand and stepped lightly backwards. Her steps were gentle and barely touched the ground. Her dress that covered her fell like water over her naked body and moved in the wind as she twirled around in the snowflakes that were still falling down from the sky.
Mesmerized by the beauty of this strange woman, Eric turned off the light and walked back to the glass door, now seeing her dancing towards the lake. Her bare feet did not seem to care for the snow underneath them, and she did not fall through. It was as if she was made out of snow as well.
A snow angel…
Eric opened the door and gasped as she stepped onto the lake. He watched as the water froze by her every step. Surprised by his own actions and focused on her glanced back at him, he felt himself lured towards her beauty and mystique. He stepped outside, not feeling how his socks got wet from the snow. Slowly Eric walked towards the dancing beauty until he was just one step away from the lake.
The woman flew towards the young boy, smiling calmly, extending her hand for him to take and then pulling the young boy into an embrace. The minute Eric touched her, he felt like thousands needles piercing through his body and he lost his breath. His heart skipped a beat and his eyes closed.
It was later that evening Jim arrived to Eric’s small place just to find his friend not being there. The door to the terrace was open, but there were no footsteps in the snow, since the falling flakes had covered them many hours ago. There was no lady in white to be seen and no handprint on the glass. All there was was an open door and a left computer.
Jim had never figured out what had happened to his friend. Eric’s parents believed that he had ran away, some thought that he had been kidnapped, while a few considered him committing suicide and even wondered if his body was to be found in the lake. But none of them took action and said their thoughts.
Jim however had another idea of what had happened to Eric.
He was a boy with big imagination and he too had once seen the lady in white…
He knew that Eric had been taken by the frost.