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A pine cone; on a pine tree

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Frost

     Jackin waited anxiously by the old pine tree in the wooded glen. The bows hung heavy with snow and the cold was creeping into to his worn shoes. Earlier that day he had arranged to meet Virginia at at their secret spot to exchange Christmas gifts. In his shaking hand he held a small box full of forty colorful ribbons. He’d saved up every cent he could to by her this gift and he knew she’d be the belle of the town every time she wore them.

     The boy scanned the white landscape. Nothing stirred. An owl hooted off in the distance. Why isn’t she here yet? The lantern flickered. He leaned up against the tree and warmed his fingers next to the small light. As the minutes passed a strange warmth came over him. His body, which had moments before been chilled, now felt a glorious heat. It was almost as if summer had set in.

     Jackin sat down in the snow and rested his back against the pine tree. He thought of all the things he loved about his beloved. The way she smiled, the way her hair bounced, the way her eyes sparkled just for him and the way her warm lips felt against his. His stomach flipped in anticipation. Soon he would have another chance to kiss her and hold her tight. There’d be no eyes to watch, just the stars in the sky. He closed his eyes and dreamed of their reunion.

~

     Virginia trampled through the snow. Her long dress caught on the drifts and tugged at her. She was late and prayed that Jackin was still waiting for her. If it hadn’t been for her younger sister Dora, she would have been at their secret spot hours ago. She pulled her scarf around her head and tucked the ends into her jacket. Everything about this night was cold, but the fire she had in her heart for Jackin kept her moving.

     The young girl came to the edge of the glen and saw a flickering orange-yellow flame near their tree. Next to it was a shape that could only be her love.

     “Jackin!” Silence. “Jackin, it’s me!”

     Virginia raced over to her amore. The top half of his body was slightly slumped forward; his head faced downward. Is he sleeping?

     “My love, I’m here.” She crouched down next to him and pressed onto his shoulder. “Wake up.”

     The motion caused him to fall backward. His head leaned to one side. Jackin’s skin was coated with a thin layer of white ice, his eyelashes were dotted with crusted snow and his lips were a deep blue. In horrified shock Virginia looked upon the face of her one true love. She brought her lips to his willing the nightmare away, but he remained as cold and still as the frost.

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