She started as snowflakes whipped from the top of the year’s deepest snow, an effervescent twinkling of purest white. I knew her a child of the North wind, for her slow materialisation from a loose collection of white dustings to an image of porcelain perfection that nipped at my cheeks and numbed my fingers, confirmed it. If she knew I watched that nymph of the season, I couldn’t have said, but I did. In frozen fascination, I observed her coalescence in the stark breeze from vague to almost to queen. She spun like a figurine released from a winter musical box, her seasonal tinkling emitting a cool radiance that chilled my spine with sheer joy. I shivered under her spell disrupting the first flutterings of a new snowfall; she saw me.
Her ice-blue eyes fixed upon my green in a moment of recollection, as if knowing me there but unaware of my status, whether man or beast, or broken mirror? She slid to a standstill, her cape of snowflakes spiralling to gradual non-motion, and then bowed in my direction. So startled was I that I looked around like a nervous child until sure it was me she appraised. In an iced panic, I bowed deep in return as if standing before a winter goddess; her blizzard breath upon my nape suggested she’d approached. I trembled. I shook.
When I dared to raise my eyes, she’d gone, although I thought I spied a twin flash of distant blue; it could have been arctic lakes capturing sunbursts. North Wind, as I came to call her, had breezed away to other climes of equal sub-zero degrees, gone to sample snowflakes and lick ice crystals from the air. I was left alone colder than ever.
I felt no warmth on my return home. In fact, I stamped out the fire in frigid dismay and dabbed snow to my forehead as succour. Nothing helped. Not until I staggered into my garden and glanced in the frozen stream that constituted its perimeter did I realise my skin to be blue and my eyes bluer. I was hers. I was lost. Good.