Chapter 1 Face to Face

Mara is a bitter 22 year old who has just lost what she values most, and starts blaming God for her troubles. He whisks Mara away, condemning her to fulfill some of his roles until she understands her hubris, accepts mercy, and finds the end of eternity. Mara gains eternal youth, becomes the season of winter itself - the Snow Queen - and must experience and keep every memory of every sentient creature, including herself. Yet she loses her family, friends, world, and bit by bit, Mara loses hersel

Winter never left the town except for a brief moment in the middle of summer when the Sun overpowered the snow. The pedestrians walking on this subdued spring day were being pushed about by a fierce wind and being stained by the murky brown slush being splashed up from the streets. Little sunlight filtered in through the gray blanket that was the sky, and overall the day gave the impression of a lasting, chilly, twilight.

A young woman was fighting the winds attempts to tangle her legs in her coat as she strode down the sidewalk. A scowl crossed her face as she disentangled her hair from her scarf. Just as she freed it, the wind picked up and blew an old flyer into the woman's face. A muttered curse could be heard as she quickly grabbed the offending paper and flung it behind her. The woman picked up her pace, pushing herself against the wind and towards an old dilapidated church. Reaching the doors, she struggled to open it against the wind, and slowly succeeded in creating a space to slip into. With a loud wham the wind slammed the door shut behind her. Breathing heavily, the woman leaned against the door with her head bowed. Her fists clenched and unclenched reflexively.

Boom! Her stinging fist twitched back to her side as she pushed herself away from the door she just hit and went down the aisle. The echos of the punch resounded in the old sanctuary as the woman walked past piles of Easter decorations. Reaching the altar, she quickly grabbed a candle, jabbed the wick into the lit candle in the center of the tabletop, and slammed the newly burning wax down. The small flame spluttered and began to smoke, then stabilized and flickered normally.

"What do you think you are doing?!"

The loud words resounded in the sanctuary, and the woman released the candle and looked up. With a jerk she began walking back and forth in front of the altar and continued her tirade, yelling into the empty air.

"Have you forgotten? Did you think it was okay to just abandon our agreement? How dare you do this to me."

The woman turned suddenly and slammed both hands on top of the altar, causing the flames of the candles to jump. A white piece of paper silently slipped from her pocket and leaned against the candle. Her voice became quiet, lower in pitch and yet full of rage.

"I have spent the last six years doing exactly as I was supposed to do. I finished high school, got a job, got a home, went to college. I did everything I had to do to take care of him.

The End

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