The Palace of Ice

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"All off here! All off here for the Palace of Ice!"

I stood on the steps, watching the station draw nearer as the train slowed to a stop. Further back on the platform, the ice claimed its right to be above the concrete, but heating pipes under the floor provided a somewhat safe area to board and leave the train from.

The engine sighed as it stopped, blowing out a huge cloud of steam which froze in the air to shatter on the carriages. This had scared me the for the first few stops, but I stopped noticing it after a while.

"All off!"

I carefully stepped down onto the damp concrete, looking around. There was a small ticket office, but the window was iced up and it looked fairly deserted.

I pulled the cherry-red sheepskin mitten off my hand and fumbled in my pocket for the small golden disc that was both my return ticket and touring pass. I couldn't afford to lose it – I had barely been able to afford one.

I remembered what I'd seen others do before and quickly took off my necklace put the chain through the little hole in the middle of the pass-coin, and fastened it again. It hung there, next to the various charms I'd picked up from past excursions.

The End

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