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“Be careful,” my mom called.

“Don’t worry,” I joked, “We won’t!” I grabbed Amelia’s hand and dashed out the door towards our hideout.

I’m Luke Peterson. Me and my eight-year old sister, Amelia, built a hideout by the lake four years ago. She was three at the time and I was eight. Every winter, the lake freezes over and we watch the snow over the woods behind the lake. But the year when I was twelve and Amelia was seven… Well, let's just say that was different.

Amelia slid her hat over her practically frozen ears.

“It’s c-c-cold,” she said, teeth chattering.

“If you’re too cold, we can’t watch the snow and play Winter Fairies.” I chimed.

She thought about it. Then she said, “Okay! But, as long as I’m Princess Snowflake,”

“Whatever you say,” I chuckled, “As long as I’m King Frost,”

We had no idea we wouldn’t even get to play Winter Fairies.

Once we were there, we tried to warm up and find a staff for the Princess Snowflake. 

“There’s one!” Amelia shouted. She pointed to a long stick in the middle of the frozen lake. 

“Amelia, don’t get that!” I shouted. But it was too late. 

She sprinted towards the stick.

“Got it,” she exclaimed, holding the stick high enough for me to see. I sighed in relief. She smiled and started to walk back towards me.

Then, there was a deafening crack. Amelia dropped the stick and froze.

“Amelia,” I said as calmly as possible so she wouldn’t freak out, “Whatever you do, don’t move.” Two twin cracks circled around Amelia’s boots.

“Luke...,” she whispered.

“I know. I’m coming.” I slipped off my shoes and crept towards Amelia. The second I set foot on the lake, another deafening crack echoed in my ears. I slid onto my stomach and pushed myself towards Amelia.

Another crack.

“Luke, hurry,” Amelia whispered.

“I’m almost there. Everything is going to be fine,” I whispered mostly to myself.

I was about ten feet away from her. I crept to my feet as slowly as I could.

More cracks. Almost the entire lake was covered with cracks, twisting  around the lake like an endless maze. That made me nervous.

I walked as lightly as I could, getting closer with every step. My feet were freezing. 

I looked up at Amelia. Her icy blue eyes pleaded for help. Her terrified face was almost as pale as her eyes. She tried to take a step, but another crack appeared underneath her snow boot. Her brown hair swooped into her face. She decided not to take another step. 

I took another step. Surprisingly, my foot hit something rough. I looked down and saw the stick Amelia tried to get in the first place. I got an idea.

“Okay,” I announced, “We’re going to play a game.”

“No, no, no, no!” she said, shaking her head.

“We’re just going to play hopscotch. Like we do every day.” I assured her, “Would I trick you?”

“Yes, you do all the time,” she said, her voice trembling.

“This time I won’t,” I promised.

“O-o-okay,” Amelia obliged.

“Just do something like a jump-step towards me,”

I showed her what to do. When we heard the crack, we locked eyes with each other. 

“I-i-it’s okay,” I said. She tried to take a step, but there were too many cracks. I took another step and picked up the stick. 

More and more cracks.

I took a step closer to Amelia. “One…Two.... Three…” I took more steps closer to Amelia, “See? It’s fun!” I guess I was trying to reassure both of us.

Then it happened. 

The ice gave way underneath Amelia’s feet.

I dove towards her. With the stick, I swatted Amelia away. She tumbled to the hard ice. When I landed on the ice though, the ice reminded me of broken glass. I only saw it for a second.

The freezing lake swallowed me whole. I grabbed the rough edge of the ice. Amelia scrambled to the edge of the hole. 

“LUKE!” she screamed.

I stared into her icy blue eyes. They were full of worry. But mostly, I saw fear.

“Ameli-” My hands slipped and I was immediately covered in water. 

I was surrounded in darkness. The only source of light came from the setting sun. A shadow of a girl loomed over the hole that I’d fallen into. I knew it was Amelia. She was shaking her head, not ready to believe what had just happened. 

I tried to say her name, but all that came out was bubbles and gurgling sounds. My limbs were numb and I was cold beyond measures. Then, my eyes closed.

Somehow, I heard a distant shouting. I didn’t hear it for long. I made one last effort to see Amelia again. I kicked as hard as my tired, weak, exhausted, and numb legs could. I don’t even know if it did anything. 

Before I knew it, my eyes were closed again.

* * *

I felt a warm hand holding mine. The hand was smaller than mine, but had a surprisingly good grip. I heard a faint sobbing noise. I assumed it was the person attached to the hand.

“Luke,” It was Amelia. Her voice was shaking, “It’s all my fault.” I tried to squeeze her hand. 

The sobbing stopped. 


“-melia,” I stammered. 

“Luke!” she said happily. She jumped on me in a rib-breaking hug.

I tried to sit up, but a nurse told me, “No, you need to rest.” Her voice was calm and soothing. I decided to stay down.

“Luke,” she said. There were tears in her eyes. Seeing that, made tears form in the corners of my eyes, too. 

“Luke?” my mom and dad came rushing over from a doctor. Amelia got off of me just in time for my mom and dad to hug me. 

“Why would you go out onto the frozen lake?” my dad asked sharply. 

“Daddy, I told you!” Amelia said with an edge to her voice, “It wasn’t his fault. H-he saved me.” My dad covered me in another bear hug. He got off me long enough for Amelia to get on me again.

“After you fell in,” Amelia started, choking back tears, “I got Mommy and Daddy. Daddy got his friends, and they pulled you out. Your fingers and lips were blue. We took you to the hospital.”

“You’ve been out for a week. Amelia hasn’t left since,” my mom chimed in. Amelia blushed. 

“Thank you,” I told Amelia.

Amelia responded with the largest hug you could think of. I hugged her back. It was just us. Brother and sister. Everything couldn't be better.

Once we got home, we weren’t allowed on the lake again (of course). Amelia and I still played Winter Fairies. She was still Princess Snowflake and I was still King Frost. The stick I used to save Amelia, was now King Frost’s scepter. According to Amelia, it was magical. I guess, in some ways, it was.

January 17, 2021 14:50

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1 comment

02:16 Jan 28, 2021

This has been categorized as 'thriller'. It is known that playing hopscotch on a frozen water body is dangerous.A fall into ice and recovery is all the story relates.Doesn't meet the trequirement of the prompt.CRITIQUE CIRCL:E


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