The surface was like glass above my face—unbroken and serene as I sunk slowly into the depths. A moment before it was riotous with ripples, my hands breaking the surface as my lungs fought the ice forming within. I know it was water, but the glacial chill of it heightened my nerves like fire only in the exact opposite way.
Once my mind was consumed with that singular thought—what does one call an icy coldness that burns with the ferocity of fire—it was over. My limbs cramped, crystals forming along the strands of my muscles. My lungs stopped taking in the bitterly frozen liquid; the lack of precious air stiffening my body further.
But my brain still worked on, its last puzzle the only thing keeping the exploratory fingers of frigidity from taking me completely. Through my eyes I could see the hoarfrost forming on my lashes, the ends of my long hair swirling about me, each strand struggling to maintain fluidity in the sub-zero depths.
In a moment, I stopped moving completely, both in space and time. My brain ceased to think of my question in an instant, the answer coming to me quickly and assuredly, as certainly as my body lay suspended in the freezing combination of liquid and ice. My body so cold, it was on fire…
© 2017 Julianne Snow