On the Mountaintop: Elsa's Encounters | Teen Ink

On the Mountaintop: Elsa's Encounters

August 2, 2014
By Cat-Girl PLATINUM, Nyania, Planet Nyan, Oklahoma
Cat-Girl PLATINUM, Nyania, Planet Nyan, Oklahoma
20 articles 7 photos 56 comments

Favorite Quote:
"That's what's wrong with the people in this world; they believe they can do well by just getting by when they need to aim for the highest."
-Keith Anderson
"You can never hope to build a better world without improving the individuals."
-Marie Curie

“What did I ever do to you?” Anna cried, her heart breaking.

“Enough, Anna.” Elsa folded her arms around her, struggling to stop up her chaotic emotions.

“No. Why? Why do you shut me out? Why do you shut the world out? What you so AFRAID of?!” her sister demanded, a fierce expression spreading across her face.

“I said, enough!” Elsa whirled around, her powers letting loose as she felt control slip from her grasp.

Cries rang throughout the ballroom as guests backed away, shock upon all of their faces. As Elsa watched, though, she noticed Anna’s expression melt from disbelief to concern. A tiny noise escaped her lips of fear. What will happen to me now? What are they thinking? Elsa wondered.

“Sorcery…I knew there was something dubious going on here!” the Duke of Weselton hissed.

“Elsa…” Anna stammered, still unsure what to think.

An eternity passed before Elsa’s hand clasped the round doorknob and felt it click open. She dashed down the hall, throwing fleeting glances over her shoulder. Soon pounding footsteps could be heard as people rushed after the frightened queen. The duke slipped on a patch of ice left in her wake, barely being caught by his bodyguards. A blast of icy air hit him as doors were thrown open nearby, and he narrowed his eyes.

“That way! She must be outside in the crowds,” he shouted in his gnarly voice.

As they burst down the hall to the door, a splintering sound pierced the air as water from the fountains transformed into ice. Elsa felt anxiety well up in her stomach as masses of people backed away, terrified of what she had done. Then a faint, familiar voice echoed into the courtyard. It was the Duke of Weselton.

“Please, just stay away from me! Stay away-” Elsa gasped in fear as suddenly a bolt of ice shot out of her hand and hit the steps where the duke and his men stood.

“Monster…monster!” he shrieked.

Unsure where to go, the queen turned to see people huddle together even farther away from her. Rashly, she began to sprint forward. Her citizens hastily parted in order for a path to be made, more out of fear than respect. Suddenly Anna’s voice could be heard above the murmuring of the crowd, calling her name. Elsa proceeded swifter through the courtyard out of the castle. The shoreline of the ocean snapped into ice beneath her foot’s touch, and she tested the strength. Her weight held, and Anna wouldn’t follow her across the gap to the mountains.

“Elsa, stop!” her sister yelped, her voice growing nearer.

Knowing her sister would only cause things to become worse, Elsa broke into a full out dash across the water. And icy path formed the way with a blue snowflake glowing at her every step. Soon, the ground grew rocky and wet with snow as she neared the mountains.
The sound of the castle and its inhabitants was so distant she could barely hear it, but the wind was much more inviting to listen to. Elsa scurried through the slopes, dodging trees and slipping on loose pebbles at times till thin layers of snow appeared. She had no idea how long she journeyed through the hills, but her only though was, Up, up, and away.
Finally, out of breath, the queen slackened her run to a traipse up the mountain slopes. The sky eased into dusk as snowflakes tumbled through the air. Calmed by the solitude and quiet, Elsa began murmuring her thoughts aloud.

“The snow glows white on the mountain tonight, not a footprint to be seen. A kingdom of isolation, and it looks like I’m the queen.” She began plodding forward, struggling through the deep layers of snow on the ground. “The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside…couldn’t keep it in, heaven knows I tried…”

Tightening with sudden anger, Elsa jabbed her finger at the air. “Don’t let them in, don’t let them see! Be the good girl you always have to be. Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know…well now they know!”

Twirling in a circle, the queen tossed her glove into a gust of wind. “Let it go, let it go! Can’t hold it back anymore…” Feeling a burst of power, she raised her hand and watched as snow eddied out into a tiny snowman that looked exactly like one she and Anna had created so long ago…but that time was gone. “Let it go, let it go! Turn away and slam the door. I don’t care what they’re going to say! Let the storm rage on…the cold never bothered me anyway.”

Reveling in freedom, Elsa smiled as her singing echoed around the rocks. She undid a clasp that held the her royal cape to her shoulders and smiled as it flew away in the wind. Bursting with joy, Elsa allowed words to flow from her mind into song. No one was there to judge her, no one was there to see! She was finally free. Free from the past, free from her concealment, and free from hiding.

As the edge of a cliff jutted out before her, Elsa waved her hands without a second thought and began running to the other side. A staircase of ice began spreading out before her that was decorated with a gorgeous railing of swirling designs. Approaching the top of the mountain, she thumped down her foot onto the rocky ground and lifted her arms. Floors and walls of blue, shining ice arose around the enchantress as snowflake designs glimmered into existence.

“My power flurries from the air into the ground!” Pivoting upon her heel, Elsa swung her arms and glacial detonations around. “My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around, and one thought crystalizes an icy blast…” Something shifted in her hair during her movement, and she snatched out the crown that rest atop her head and tossed it away. “I’m never going back; the past is in the past!”

What if…I just change completely? I never needed these clothes anyway! Elsa smiled as an idea formulated in her mind, singing, “Let it go, let it go, and I’ll rise like the break of dawn!” She felt the heavy, restraining fabrics of her coronation dress fading into soft, cool material.

“Let it go, let it go! That perfect girl is gone…” Memories of shut windows echoed into her mind, and she threw open the door to her palace.

“Here I stand, in the light of day! Let the storm rage on…the cold never bothered me anyway!”

Swiveling around, finished and satisfied with her work, Elsa entered the interior upstairs section of her castle. Okay, now I’m done…this is wonderful! I can’t believe I did it…what was that? A tiny burst of frost appeared near her foot, but she shook her head. Maybe her powers weren’t entirely under control as she had thought. No one was around, though, to care! Freedom at last, but Elsa still felt loneliness seep into her emotion. The high of emotion that had come with her burst of powers earlier was rapidly fading into weariness. It was still barely dawn, and darkness overshadowed the tiny dim light of the sun over the mountains’ peaks.

“What can I do? I have nowhere to sleep…but that doesn’t matter. I can finally feel!” Elsa attempted to cheer herself up, speaking aloud, but it was no use. The isolation that had dominated the majority of her life would never end. “Finally…feel…even lonelier than before. If only Anna could understand; we could live just me and her. Just…just me right now, though…”

Tears formed in her eyes, but Queen Elsa was far too experienced in this field to let them go. Blinking swiftly, she coerced them away and stalked to her staircase. Thoughts of her mother drifted into her mind; how she had never touched her even for a hug, always sat at the foot of her bed, never too close, and reluctantly would read her a story or sing, hushing conversations whenever Elsa appeared, and that gaze full of pity. At least she read her some stories. The songs never helped; her voice was too strained with tension and fear of sparking emotions in Elsa’s cold veins.

“One more story, please? Please Mother?” Elsa pleaded, not wanting to travel into another fitful sleep.

“All right,” her mother sighed, and flipped through the pages of a storybook. “Which one would you like to hear?”

Elsa crawled up nearby, wanting to see the pictures. Her mother cringed a bit, but did not changed her position on the mattress. Her fingers began to speed up when a depiction of a boy with white hair came into view, and Elsa couldn’t help but hold the page to look.

“This one, Mama? I don’t remember hearing it before.” The words were unfamiliar, and she had memorized almost all the other tales. Her mother frowned, uttering another sigh. “Please?”

“Oh, fine. Why not?” The queen flashed a tiny smile, and began to read. “Once upon a time, there was a boy named Jack Frost, who was a spirit of winter…”

Elsa shook her head, not wanting to savor the memory any longer. The pain that traveled with it tore down her defenses easily; she had always been intrigued by Jack Frost’s story. Despite her longing to know him, she knew he wasn’t real…that was ridiculous. Maybe someone similar to him had existed to write a story like this, but by now that person was ancient or dead.

“Oh, Jack, what you do to me…” the forlorn woman whispered. She shivered, not from cold, but from the weight of sorrow that was drowning and weighing her down. What use was freedom, when there was no one to share it with? Just this once. Elsa closed her eyes, leaning against the wall, but shied away when frost coated the ice.

Standing in the center of the enormous room, she allowed her imagination to go wild. Jack Frost was a real person, her best friend. He understood her entirely and visited her window each night so they could sneak out on adventures. Snowball fights, freezing waves as in the tales of old, building ice forts as they conquered kingdoms of evil, simply sitting and laughing together…comforting one another in their woe…

“I need you, I need someone…please…” Elsa crumpled to the floor, engulfed in sheer grief, when suddenly a glimmer of pale, pale blue appeared before her.

So submerged in her sadness was Elsa that she didn’t notice when a gust of wind whooshed around her with snow. She snapped her head up, startled, when it brushed her eyelids. Faint laughter seemed to hum nearby…

Laughter? Have I gone mad? the queen wondered. She noticed a pale blue silhouette floating across the walls like a shadow, and thought, Could that be him…Jack? Jack Frost…he’s real-no. You’re imagining things.

“Who’s there?” Elsa inquired in a regal tone. “Show yourself to me.”

The swish of snow that had been looping around the room relaxed and gently blew her way, through the queen’s fingertips. I’m not doing this. Who is? It surely couldn’t be… She raised her hand and created her own puff of snow, merging it with the alien one. Waving her hand to the side, Elsa caused her snow to sharply turn. The first billow of snow, though, didn’t move. Elsa began to rush forward, her shoes clicking clamorously on the ice, when suddenly a flurry began to drop dozens of snowflakes right upon her head.

“Jack Frost, is it you?” she whispered, hope escalating in her voice. The laughter that had previously been faint swelled into volume.

“Finally caught on,” a voice murmured. Elsa whipped around to see a boy who looked to be eighteen or nineteen sitting casually in midair, his elbow down as if propped against something while the other hand was draped around a staff. “I knew you would be able to.” He smiled crookedly, showing a row of gleaming white teeth.

“How-how do you know who I am?” the queen stammered.

She couldn’t help but stare at the boy, who looked rather odd in appearance. Unkempt, silvery white hair, piercing steel blue eyes, and an elongated stick with a crook on top. A thin layer of frost spiraled through the ecru staff. His clothes appeared to be worn, and somewhat strange. A cobalt blue…well, it wasn’t a cloak, or a shirt either. A sheath perhaps? His brown pants were frayed with flaccid threads at the ends, which only reached above his shins. This is Jack Frost?

“I’ve been watching you,” he replied, floating down so that his feet touched the ice floor. “You were running up the mountain without a horse or coat; no one ever does that, especially at night. Whatever became of your crown?”

“N-nothing. I mean,” Elsa cleared her throat, “It means nothing to me. I ridded myself of it.”

“So you’re not royalty?” Jack Frost casually raised his rod and blew a visible breath on it. An eddy of snow rained down upon the floor.

“Yes.” Elsa straightened her shoulders and gave him a regal look. “I am Queen Elsa, ruler of Arendelle.”

“Well, Elsa, you sure are a long way from home,” the winter spirit commented, a small grin crossing his face. “What happened to your kingdom?”

“I-it…it’s…complicated,” she replied. “I made a huge mistake, and now I don’t know what to do.”

“What was your mistake? If you’re the queen, it couldn’t be that bad.”’

For a long moment, Elsa was silent. Then she murmured, “I let them know. They found out that I have powers. Over the ice.”

She squeezed her eyes shut, placing her palm upon her forehead. No crying. You will not cry. Jack Frost, unsure what to do, hesitantly stepped forward. She needs some fun. Pointing his staff at the queen, he channeled snow and wind to swirl around her. Rising from the ground, Elsa gasped and looked at the winter spirit’s playful smirk. Frowning, she thrust a blast of snow at him, knocking Jack Frost onto his back. Laughing, he flew rapidly out the door into the balcony.

Well, he is certainly ‘spirited’…, Elsa thought. She dashed after him, using her powers to toss a dozen miniscule snowballs at him. Laughing, he dodged her blow, and created a miniature snowstorm around himself and hovered over the edge of the balcony railing.
The queen leapt after him, attempting to discharge a pile of snow at him, but tumbled over the balustrade. For a moment, Elsa felt weightless and terrified, before a hand grabbed hers. Jack Frost placed his free hand over her back and moved the other beneath the bend in her knees. He drifted back over the balcony, setting her down gently.

“Sorry about-”

“Thank you, so much!” Elsa gave him a brilliant smile, teeth showing and cerulean eyes shining.

“No problem,” he chuckled, and gradually turned before flinging a magical burst of snow that covered Elsa’s entire front side.

“Hey!” she cried, and raced after the playful spirit as he flew back inside.

Hours later, Elsa was exhausted from her snow mêlée with Jack Frost. This was a new kind of exhausted, though; it used to be drained of emotion and energy from her constant secrecy. After today, exhausted was physically tired after spending time with a friend and her lips aching from smiling so much. Jack Frost looked as though he had just been on a stroll and was still full of energy.

“Why are you so tired?” he snickered. “It hasn’t been that long!”

“I haven’t had this much fun in years,” Elsa responded, smiling as she leaned against the wall. “It’s been so long since I’ve even spoken to someone freely like this.”

The winter spirit gazed at her with narrowed eyes, and floated down beside the queen. “What happened to you? When you were coming up the mountain earlier, you looked as if someone were chasing you with fire. And then when you sang, it sounded like you haven’t been yourself in a long time.”

Elsa stared at Jack Frost, startled by the fact that he had been nearby the whole time she’d been in the mountains. Why had she not noticed him before? He had been right there to have seen and heard all of this.

“How do you know all this is I haven’t seen you at all, this entire time?” Elsa asked, creasing her eyebrows.

Sighing, the winter spirit glanced down. “I can only be seen by those who believe in me. No one has in almost a century…I’m surprised you did.”

Oh, yes! How could I have forgotten? I’ve read and reread that story a thousand times. “Oh Jack…I’m so sorry.” The queen sucked in a small breath. “I…I’ve been alone for a long time too, you know?”

He lifted his head sharply. “You? You’re a queen, or at least you’ve been a princess your whole life. Surely-”

“My parents,” Elsa interrupted coolly, “had me stay in my room all day, every day, for years. I only left it for lessons and sometimes not even then. They reduced the staff and shut me out from the world. My father was terrified of anyone finding out about my parents, including my sister. Mother always went with whatever he said. They thought I would hurt people if I had a…a ‘normal’ life.”

Speechless, Jack stared at the woman intently. With her eyes raised at him, he saw a ghost of a girl who never really was allowed to be a girl. The person before him was a woman who had masked herself her entire life, all because of a special gift and misunderstanding parents that scared her into hiding. She would never be able to live a truly happy life or have memoirs of a carefree childhood because of what had been done to her. Most astonishing of all was that Elsa managed to keep it all in and still function. Clearly, if she was queen, then she hadn’t lost control…until now, it seemed. After all, she had mentioned making a mistake earlier.

“How are you still alive?” he wondered aloud. “How could you live like that your whole life?”

“How can you handle being alone for decades upon decades?” Elsa answered.

“But I’m not alone. You see,” Jack explained, “I’m a Guardian. And there are other Guardians, too. We can all see each other. Just not people from the human world.” The queen looked lost, so he continued. “We each guard a special part of what brings joy into the world. There’s Sandman, he guards dreams; Toothiana, who protects memories, Nicholas Saint North, who watches over wonder, Bunnymund takes care of hope, and there’s me.” He grinned. “I guard fun.”

“You’re a Guardian…of fun?” Elsa giggled softly. “What do you do that’s so fun?”

“I make sure people are having fun, especially during the winter. I bring snow and watch over children who play. Just simple stuff like that,” he replied, his grin growing wider. “And rescue falling ice enchantresses.”

Elsa nudged her friend with her shoulder. “I could’ve created an ice pillar. I was fine.”

“Of course you were. Next time I’ll watch if you’re about to die or break your skull,” Jack said sarcastically. “Now, come on! Let me show you some real fun!”

“Okay,” Elsa breathed, scurrying to her feet as Jack coasted through the room.

Rising to the ceiling, beside an ice chandelier Elsa had created, he held out his hand. A spurt of light glowed, then calmed down to a dimmer luminosity. Jack had created a glowing ice ball. He allowed it to float around the ceiling. As it drifted along, more followed in its path till an enormous circle of them enclosed smaller circles of the shimmering blue ice lights. They continued to rotate, filling the shadowy room with circles of moving light.

The winter spirit descended down to the ground, landing behind Elsa. He bowed as she gasped, startled by his appearance, and extended an open hand.

“My lady, would you have this dance with me?” he asked in fake sincerity.

“Oh, Jack this is beautiful, but I don’t dance,” Elsa replied with an apologetic expression.

“Come on, Elsa, it’s fun! You don’t need to be good at it,” Jack coaxed, but she looked uncomfortably away.

Sighing, he paced directly in front of the queen and grasped her hand. “Jack-” Elsa was cut short as he began to twirl her around, smiling. Gradually she began to follow his footsteps, dancing with him even though she knew not how. They simply danced as they did, not to any certain music or guidelines, but let their emotions go with their feet. Elsa wasn’t smiling, but she seemed more at peace as they glided across the blue-lit floor.

“What are you doing?” she breathed when suddenly her feet rose off the ground. “Jack!”

“Do you trust me?” he murmured, and she nodded.

Soaring up, Jack placed his hands beneath Elsa’s shoulders and she wrapped her arms around his neck as they soared across the space of the colossal palace. She will have fun for today, and for time ahead, Jack thought determinedly. He landed with the queen upon the outcropping of the top of a pillar.

Suddenly, a knock pierced the quiet of the room and the doors to the front of the castle split open. Elsa exhaled an alarmed breath as footsteps echoed through the chamber. Wonderingly, she peered over the edge to see her sister, Anna.

“Jack, you have to put me down where she can’t see!” Elsa susurrated in a frantic tone of voice.

“What? Why?” the winter spirit questioned.

“She won’t take well to seeing me fly down with an invisible person holding me…you have to. She doesn’t know you’re real,” she pleaded, turning her electric blue eyes into his.

“Alright,” he consented.

As Anna slowly entered the front room of the palace, glancing about, Jack carried Elsa along the side of the ceiling. They flew through the pillars rapidly, as not to be noticed, and he set her down carefully on the back staircase where Anna would not see. Elsa quickly uttered, “Thank you” before rushing down a few steps to a balcony overlooking the room her sister was in.

“Elsa…it’s me, Anna!” she called as her sister appeared.

“Anna,” Elsa breathed, realizing how much she had missed her.

“Elsa…you look different. It’s a good different!” Anna added hastily. “And this place is amazing!”

What…what should I say? she thought, unnerved by her sister’s presence. Then Elsa felt a hand on her shoulder, and knew Jack was behind her. “Thank you, I never knew what I was capable of,” she replied, spreading her hands in emphasis.

Anna began to climb the stairs, saying, “I’m so sorry about what happened, if I had known-”

“No, it’s okay,” her sister said, taking a pace back, “You don’t have to apologize…but you should probably go.”

The princess stopped, smiling a little. “But I just got here!”

“You belong in Arendelle.”

“So do you.”

Anna ascended a few more steps, causing her sister to back up even further.

“No, I belong here. Where I can be who I am,” she explained, “without hurting anyone.”

“Actually, about that-”

“Sixty!” a boisterous voice cried.

“Wait, what is that?” Elsa asked, when suddenly a diminutive white creature bounced inside the castle.

“Hi, I’m Olaf, and I like warm hugs!” the creature-a snowman-greeted animatedly.

“Olaf?” Elsa murmured.

“You built me,” he said, looking down shyly as he approached. “Remember that?”

“And you’re alive?” The queen’s faced was awestricken.

“Um, I think so?” Olaf responded with a “duh” expression.

“He’s just like the one we built as kids,” Anna put in. “We were so close…we can be like that again.”

Elsa glanced down at her sister, thinking to when they had constructed Olaf.

Anna leapt from the pillar of snow. Giggling, Elsa created another one, and another as her little sister continued to jump. “Catch me!” she ordered gleefully, hopping off to yet another snow pillar. “Slow down!” Elsa cried, and then looked on in horror as her sister whooped and hurdled forward. “Anna!” She took a step, slipped on ice, and felt her hand wave up and a bolt of magic flash. Looking up, Elsa could only watched as Anna was struck by a blue streak of her magic and plummet to the ground.

“No, we can’t,” Elsa clarified. “Good bye, Anna.” She turned and started heading up the back staircase’s steps.

“Elsa, wait,” her sister begged.

“I’m just trying to protect you!”

The snow queen scurried up the stairs as her sister followed, attempting to convince her that they could be together as a family again. As they approached the second story, where the blue ice lights had mysteriously vanished, Elsa looked at her precious sister.

“Anna, please go back home. Your life awaits. Enjoy the sun and open up the gates!” she encouraged her.

“Yeah, but-”

“I know you mean well, but leave me be…I’m alone, but I’m alone and free!”

Elsa crossed the room and headed to the outdoor balcony where she and Jack had saved her from falling. She saw him with an extremely intense gaze on his face, but couldn’t discern what emotions. If only Anna would go; there was no way the three of them could spend time together. Even so, her sister would likely be physically injured in their presence.

“Just stay away, and you’ll be safe from me.”

“Actually we’re not,” Anna contradicted.

Elsa whirled around. “What do you mean you’re not?” I haven’t touched her…

“I get the feeling you don’t know?”

“What do I not know?” she pressed.

“Arendelle’s in deep, deep, deep, deep snow,” her sister replied in a tiny voice.


“You kind of set off an eternal winter…everywhere.”


“Oh, it’s okay, you can just unfreeze it!” Anna gave her a bright smile.

“No I can’t! I don’t know how,” Elsa responded, a sinking feeling giving way in her stomach.

“Sure you can; I know you can!”

Even as snow started to churn around the room, Anna was still smiling as though nothing was wrong. Panic seized Elsa as she realized that she wasn’t free, that she never would be, that her life would be spent in fear…

As Anna kept attempting to convince her otherwise of her powers, pressure continued to build and build upon Elsa. Distress gripped her heart, and even Jack couldn’t see her through the thickening blizzard.

“We can change this winter weather; everything will be-”

Anna was cut off as Elsa cried, “I can’t!”

Fear grew so much in that moment that the queen felt pain come over her. Forgetting of everyone in the room, she let go of what little control there had been. Pale spikes of power shot out through the room. Elsa whipped around and gasped at the sound of Anna plunging to her knees. Her hands were clasped to her chest, where some of the ice must’ve hit…

What have I done? she thought in horror.

“Elsa…” Jack whispered in her ear, suddenly right beside her.

“Anna, are you okay?!” someone called. A tall, sturdy man with floppy blonde hair rushed into the room with Olaf close behind.

“I’m okay…I’m fine,” the princess answered, struggling to her feet.

“Who’s this?” Elsa blurted, fear still dense in her voice. “Wait, it doesn’t matter…you have to go!”

“No, I know we can figure this out together-” Anna protested, but was cut off again.

“How? What power do you have to stop this winter? To stop me?” Her voice was filled with desperation.

“Anna, I think we should go,” the man said, obviously her companion to know her name.

“No, I’m not leaving without you Elsa!” A tiny tear worked its way to Anna’s nose.

“Yes, you are.” Hardening inside, Elsa drew herself up to full height and thought of what to do. If I created Olaf, then why not…

A massive snow creature burst from her hands, rising nearly to the ceiling. He grabbed Anna, Olaf, and their companion and plodded away. His footsteps shook the ice palace, but faded as he exited to the mountain.

“Oh!” Elsa collapsed as fatigue gripped her limbs, and fear seemed to engulf her senses.

“Elsa! Elsa what’s wro…”

Jack’s voice faded into slurred syllables in her ears as the world grew dark; the queen was in oblivion.

“Elsa, wait! Please!”

“Your majesty, come back!”

“Stop her!”

The cries of dozens of people echoed through the throne room, but then Anna stepped forward and the masses grew still. Her fiancée, Prince Hans, appeared beside her. Elsa attempted to back away, but she was unable to move. Hans was holding her in place with a sinister smirk plastered across his face.

“You already hurt Anna once.” His breath blew warm on her neck. “Let’s do it again, shall we?”

Everyone was gone from the room at once except Anna, who stood before Elsa and Hans. Her teeth gleamed from her cheerful smile.

“Anna, jump!” Hans commanded.

“No!” Elsa attempted to shout, but it came out as a whisper.

Then her hand was in the air, held by her captor’s own. Helpless, she watched as Prince Hans waved it at Anna and a shot of icy energy pierced her. He forced her to cast another, and another, until her poor sister lay on the ground, unmoving. The prince let go of her, and Elsa dashed forward to her sister’s side. She was as pale as snow, and breathless.

“NOOOOO!” Elsa screamed, her eyes flying open.


Jack drifted to the queen, extremely concerned. Her breaths came out short and quick; a look of terror was embedded into her face. He place his arms around her shoulders, and held her for how long neither of them knew. Finally, Elsa allowed calm to seep inside her.

“Oh Jack,” she whispered, her eyes wide.

“It was only a dream,” he soothed, pressing her closer to him.

“But it was so real,” she sobbed, but coerced her tears back. “It-it was Anna…she, she…” Unable to utter what had happened, Elsa simply savored the closeness of Jack’s embrace. She had not been touched or held by anyone since she was a child.

“It won’t happen,” the Guardian assured her. “Dreams don’t always come true.”

“Okay,” she murmured.

Elsa glanced up, into Jack’s face. We’re so close. He gazed just as intently into hers, searching the queen’s eyes. She was so fragile behind her show of strength, but still strong at the same time. This enchantress confused him; Jack had never come across anyone so different from other people before.

She doesn’t need to be alone anymore.

Jack kissed her. A quick one, barely connecting the lips before they rapidly separated. Elsa stared at him in shock, unsure what to do. She had no time to say or do anything, though, as he pressed his lips back upon hers. This time, she let herself go limp in his arms and kissed back. There seemed to be too much space between them no matter how close they pressed against each other; their kisses grew from hesitant to hungry. Elsa knew for certain now that she loved him, Jack was much more than a good friend. But she was also a queen.

“Jack,” she gasped, breaking away.

He placed his hand against the back of her head, and brought it into his shoulders. Elsa tightened her hands around him, powerless to resist. Then Jack placed both hands on her hips, and they floated up from the floor. A light, powdery snow began to tumble through the castle as the snow queen’s emotions ran away with her. She had not felt this much in her entire life.

It’s for a reason, a tiny voice reminded her.

“Wait,” Elsa said, inhaling deep breaths of cool air. “Wait.”

Jack flew them over to the top of a pillar, landing in the outcropping. His white hair was more untidy than ever, but a glow rose against his natural pallor. Elsa, though, was visibly losing the color that had flooded her cheeks a moment ago.

“Elsa,” he mumbled, “what’s wrong?” No answer came from the still figure beside him. “Let’s go.” She glanced up at him, hope blooming in her azure eyes. “Together. I can convince the Man in the Moon to turn you into a Guardian; we can be together, never have to come back here-”

“Jack,” Elsa said in a dangerously soft voice, “I can’t.”

“Why?” Hurt was thick in his voice.

“Because I-I…I’m a queen. I-”

“Your kingdom is all the way down the mountain! Why go back? Let your sister rule them; she would do it well. You could visit her, once you’ve been turned-”

Faint voices echoed from outside, and Jack hurried to look. A group of men, some armed with crossbows, approached slowly towards the palace. They had come for Elsa.

“We have to leave! Now,” he admonished, but the queen shook her head. Snorting, Jack picked her effortlessly and began to glide towards the back balcony.

“Jack! Jack! Set me down, now.” Elsa pushed at his grasp, but was unable to break free.

He halted in midair, looking her in the eye. “There are men out there, coming for you. You have to leave with me.”

“I must confront them,” she contradicted fiercely. “This is my fight.”

For a long moment, he said and did nothing. Then Jack descended to the front room of the palace, and allowed Elsa to gain her own footing. She would not go with him, no matter what he said or did. That kingdom meant more to her than he had realized.

“Good bye, Elsa.” The winter spirit floated away, unable to watch as the queen hastened to the doors. She didn’t even notice him leaving. Or doesn’t think you are leaving. Jack tossed the thought away. With this winter enchantress, he couldn’t stay.

Elsa stole a peek outside the crack of her castle’s front doors. A troop of armed men were being impeded by her giant snow guard, but two of them noticed her. As they pointed at the her, she closed the doors and urgently speeded up to the stairs. Almost as soon as the queen had reached the balcony, the doors burst open as two thugs armed with crossbows plowed inside.

“Jack!” Elsa cried, puffing breathlessly. “Jack!”

No answer came to her as she darted up the stairs, and the men had almost caught up to Elsa. Finally darting into the top floor, she realized that the winter spirit had completely vanished and this was her fight. The two pursuers entered the chamber, their eyes fixed upon the queen with bows aimed at her.

“No. Please,” Elsa pleaded, feeling helpless.

A snap cracked the quiet and an arrow barreled into the air. Instinctively, Elsa flung her hands in front of herself protectively. At the last moment, an icy wall sprang up before her and blocked the deadly arrow. The duo of brutes relocate themselves, directing their weapons at the queen. Ruptures of icy barbs pierced the ground where they stood, barely dodging them.

“Stay away!” Elsa caveated, but they did not relent their attack.

In a game of cat and mouse, they scooted about the room. The snow queen defended herself with spikes of ice, and the pair of men continued to shirk from them and attempt to fire at her. Soon, the rest of the group of people who had arrived earlier swarmed the room. You will die at their hands. Elsa shoved the thought away, and blasted more ice at one of the two thugs. Spikes of ice pinned him against the wall, and she tossed an icy wall at the other man.

“Queen Elsa!” a familiar voice rang around the room.

Hans, why are you here?

“Don’t be the monster they fear you to be,” the prince implored desperately.

Then realization dawned up Elsa. The two brutes were near death by her hand, and the multitude of others all contained looks of fear except Prince Hans. What am I doing? Suddenly, he dashed to the man trapped in the icy spikes. Wha- A clinking noise sounded above her, and Elsa saw the chandelier she had created bearing down onto her. She sprinted forward, hearing a crash behind her. Pain exploded into her head, and the world fell to darkness as a ringing pierced her ears.

Elsa awoke to a dank, musty scent. A threadbare coverlet had been laid over her, and she herself lay upon a stone wedge. Panic flared inside her. Where am I?! Leaping to her feet, Elsa darted to the floor but a sharp pain in her wrists and arms prevented her from moving forward. Chains rattled, and she stared at iron shackles that enveloped her hands. Tiny lights crossed the floor, which was dimly lit.

Blue lights multiplied till a multitude rotated around the ceiling, illuminating Jack’s pale but handsome face…

No. Snap out of it. The queen turned her gaze to a window holding a view of Arendelle. Snowflakes cascaded through the air; the sky was thick with grey snow clouds. Snow coated the ground, windowsills, and roofs like a wintry white blanket. Icicles swayed in the chilly draughts.

“No…” Elsa breathed, “…what have I done?”

A door grinded open, groaning as Prince Hans stepped inside the prison cell. A lit up torch illumed his long face.

“Why did you bring me here?”

“I couldn’t just let them kill you,” the prince responded, his tone emphatic.

“But I’m a danger to Arendelle! Get Anna,” the queen ordered.

“Anna has not returned,” he countered, watching Elsa’s eyes widen with angst, “…if you would just stop this winter; bring back summer, please.”

“Don’t you see?” Elsa whispered, her voice catching at the last syllable. “I can’t!” Nothing can make this stop, not even me. “You have to tell them to let me go.”

“I will do what I can,” Prince Hans promised, heading to the door.

After grabbing the torch he had brought and locking the door, the prince disappeared. The queen felt anxiety well up inside her; frost glazed over her steel fetters. Ice spread across the room as she waited, emotion eating her up. Finally, after several lengthy minutes, Elsa gave up waiting on Prince Hans to return. She heaved at the chains that connected her to the wall, using her powers to create more ice.

“She’s dangerous!”

“Move quickly.”

Voices in the hallway sounded nearby, but Elsa refused to give up. With all her strength, she yanked at the chains once more and stumbled backwards. The shackles had turned so brittle with frost and ice that they had broken into pieces.

Not two moments after the snow queen had evaded the place did guards surge into the destroyed cell. The walls had collapsed, heavy with ice and snow. Her powers seemed to be able to tear down anything; she was unstoppable.

The storm had picked up since Elsa had fled the dungeons. Wind gusted violently; even she could barely withstand its force. Snow blew along with it, probably stinging anyone else who might have been out in it. Who would be though? she thought sarcastically, but then remembered what Prince Hans had said. Anna! I have to find her. Elsa drove herself deeper into the blizzard, ignoring the weariness that would not give up its grip on her. What if she’s dead? She could have already froze to death…no. I have to keep looking. With renewed might, the queen sprinted through the whipping flurries.

“Elsa, you can’t run from this!” a sudden voice called. Elsa spun around to see Hans leaning forward in the snowstorm.

“Just take care of my sister,” she begged, hoping Anna had made her way home.

“Your sister? She returned from the mountain weak and cold,” he informed her. “She said you froze her heart!”

“What? No.”

“I tried to save her, but it was too late. Her skin was ice, her hair turned white…” Hans threw Elsa a severe look. “Your sister is dead…because of you.”

No. Elsa crumpled to her knees, feeling so undone that her legs could not support her. The storm inside her came to a standstill; snow became suspended in midair, and the winds vanished. She heard a scrape of steel behind her, but could’ve cared less. Maybe he’s going to kill me…that would be nice. I have lost everyone in my family, and even killed my own sweet Anna…oh, Anna forgive me… Footstepds vibrated the ice beneath her, but she did not bother to see what Hans was doing. If he killed her, so be it.

“No!” someone shrieked, and Elsa turned to see Anna stand before her just as Prince Hans’s sword smashed down upon her sister. But it didn’t kill her; no, Anna crackled into a statue of ice and the sword fragmented into iron shards.

“Anna!” Elsa yelped, scrambling to her feet. “Oh Anna…no, please no.” He lied to me…she was alive…and I lost her again…how?

Anna’s skin was freezing beneath her sister’s touch, but the chill had no effect on her. Elsa felt tears break out of the shell she had confined them in for so long and dribble down her cheeks. She’s gone, again… The queen embraced her sister in a hug that she was too late to give, crying tears that were even later to be shed.

Suddenly, a warm sensation penetrated the rawness Elsa felt. It began to spread, but not all through herself. What’s happening? Then her sister softened, and fabric was beneath the queen’s hands. Anna had broken free of her iced heart.

“Anna?” she murmured, still thinking it too good to be true.

“Oh, Elsa.” Anna enfolded her in a tight hug.

“You sacrificed yourself-for me?”

“I love you.” The princess smiled one of her joyous, precious smiles that Elsa would cherish for as long as she lived.

“An act of true love will thaw a frozen heart!” Olaf, previously unnoticed, bounced in excitement and ecstasy.

“Love will thaw…love…of course.” Elsa glanced at the landscape of winter.

“Elsa?” her sister said, unsure what she was saying.

“Love!” she proclaimed, and raised her hands.

Elsa summoned feelings of all the love she had ever felt in her life, reveling in the moments of her time with Anna, and the love behind the fear in her parents’ gazes, the life she had created in Olaf…As she opened her eyes, Elsa saw snow and ice rising into the sky, leaving the ground perfect as though summer had never been paused. She inhaled, clustering all of the frozen water into a single snowflake, and let it fly into rapidly fading mist.

“I knew you could do it,” Anna congratulated her, stepping across the deck of a ship they appeared to be on.

“Hands down, this is the best day of my life,” Olaf declared, “…and quite possibly the last.” His snowy self was disintegrating into water.

“Olaf! Hang on little guy.” With a wave of her hand, she caused him to rematerialize back into snow. With a poof!, a cloud showering snow appeared over his head.

“My own personal flurry!” the snowman yelled gleefully, bobbling excitedly on his feet.

Elsa, Anna, and the blonde man (Elsa still has not met him) turned at the sound of a groan. Prince Hans lurched as he regained footing, and the man began to approach him with a cross expression on his face.

“Uh, uh, uh!” Anna elevated her hand, and proceeded over him.

“Anna?! But she froze your heart,” the trickster exclaimed wondrously.

“The only frozen heart here is yours,” she corrected him coolly, and turned around. At the last second, she spun and punched him directly in the face. Hans stumbled back off the ship’s ledge into the fjord below.

Suppressing amused giggles, Elsa wrapped her arms around her sister and allowed a smile to creep across her face. It was one of the first genuine smiles she’d had in years.

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