a chill

Frozen puddles on the walk home, slippery sloped paving slabs. Frost glitters
with the falling lamp-light. Worn rubber soles slip, toes curl inside. The figure walking a dozen paces ahead seems to grow and shrink, as streetlights cast moving shadows.

The first time she saw frost, she was frightened. It wasn't her white breath hanging in the air. It wasn't the sting on her cheeks, but the ice. She stood perfectly still, observing, digesting. All the time ready to leap back through the door, stung. The world looked alien, almost as if it were coated in icing sugar. But there was a harshness that scared her. Unforgiving, and worse, uncaring.