Frost Wraith

Annabelle sat at the family piano in the great hall. The candles lit; the chandelier, glistening, spreading the light, revealing the room to any onlooker. There were none, however, though even if there were, their presence would be lost in the music. Annabelle’s nimble fingers gently rapt the keys melodiously, her prodigious skill echoing in the manner, a symphony of her own design grasping her consciousness leaving little to distract her.

Even her long golden hair, which tempted her fingers to set it in place could not attain her attention. Her keen focus lay on the keys as she spread the width of the instrument, delicately tapping from one key to the next.

It seemed like she would never stop, but silence abruptly overtook the great hall and all that was left was a remnant reverberation of the final key struck. Her head hung low. She stared at the keys, searching for the next one. Her meditation lifted and her mind raced to figure out what was next until she heard something peculiar.

It startled her right out of thought. She looked up to see a gentleman standing there, his white gloved hands clapping. He was handsome, and Annabelle blushed as she was in her nightgown; this was highly unusual for a gentleman caller to be here at such an odd hour, without even an announcement. Her servants must be asleep by now.

Her face reddened and her lips tightened. How rude of him! She stood up, forgetting her present garments.

“Excuse me! Who the hell are you? It is 30 past midnight, and I am without a chaperone. If you wish to see me, you need to talk to my father at a decent hour.”

“You play beautifully,” he said. He had a handsome face, his smile beguiling. Though a gentleman, he had not shaved, a pleasant stubble grew on his chin, his jaw line pronounced, leading to a set of emerald green eyes that Annabelle couldn’t help but linger on. Bewitching, with a beckoning call that almost made her forget her anger. Almost.

Her eyes ignited again and she raise her hand to strike him across the face… There should have been a cracking sound, of five digits colliding with a bristly cheek, but there was none.

Had she missed? Her eyes had blinked for a second, but as she saw, he stood there, unshaken, practically laughing at her.

“That was very unsavory,” he said. “Treating a guest so enraptured with your… fingering…”

His eyes trailed down her body, they were cold, icily prickling every skin through her thin dressings. Her whole body tightened. She brought her arms inside her body instinctively, trying to stay warm, trying to stay safe.

Backing away, she said, “I’m warning you, my father has taught me boxing. I will fight.”

“I like a fighter,” he said, instantly closing the distance between them.

She gasped. It was as if she blinked and he was upon her. His hand caressed her cheek. “I find a dose of adrenaline,” he continued, “really makes it extra juicy.”

She pushed against him, but her hands went right through. It was so cold.

He smiled.  “Tsk tsk.” He body changed. He became like vapor. A cold, icy fog that gripped her. His fingertips, piercing like talons, clutched her inner being, brought her closer. His face, skeletal now, opened its mouth, a stench of decay, breathed as it enveloped her mouth in a soul crushing embrace.

The servants found her the next morning. Her lips torn off, eyes rolled to the back of her head. Her nightgown stripped, her back sliced with ten claw like marks…

This was the first encounter with the frost wraith.

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