I don't own Frozen.
December 31, 1999 (Y2K)
The train was moving too fast and there was nothing she could do.
The heat from the engine burned her eyes, tears slipping out as she coughed up clear mucus. It was too cold near the tracks, the winter wind blowing off the river. She'd never much minded the cold before, but there was something ominous about the night that had her fingertips flexing to ease the bite.
Of course, much of this sensory perception was unnoticed by little Elsa. She was only six, after all.
She heard her sister cry and she pumped her arms faster, running alongside the tracks. Air puffed from her lungs and into the frigid night like dragon's steam from her storybook back at the orphanage.
She'd managed to get the toddler onto the floor of the empty boxcar, but she was caught off-guard as the train whistle shrieked and the wheels began to rotate. Elsa had already flung herself at the base of the boxcar once, little limbs dangling dangerously close to the unforgiving tracks. Metal sliced on metal and cared little for the flesh that might stand in its way.
They were going to escape, to find their parents. Elsa had been so careful, so precise even at her tender age. The bold, intimidating letters in the file did little to deter her sneaking form a week ago at the orphanage. She had told Anna to cry, and cry she did, the little diva, giving Elsa enough time to slide into the front office unnoticed. She knew how to spell her own name, and, after many misread words and one precarious adventure atop an overturned stool, she had found her family file.
Elsa Arrendale, aged 6.
Anna Arrendale, aged 3.
Parental status: deceased.
Contact: Gerda LaRue, New Orleans, LA.
Elsa did not recognize many of the words on the page. She screwed up her tiny little features and ripped it from its binding, putting everything back as neatly as she could. When she snuck out of the office, she saw a beet-red Anna flailing about on the floor, eyes flooding and hiccupping spasmodically.
The performance of a lifetime.
And in a dusty corner of a sad orphanage tucked away on the Memphis riverside, Elsa and Anna made their infantile escape plan. Fueled by nothing more than the desire to be reunited with their family, the plan was doomed from the start.
As Elsa was rapidly realizing, nearly slipping beneath the rolling car after hitting a slick patch of ice.
Anna's three-year-old mind couldn't grasp the concept of Elsa's physical inability to get on the moving train. Her sister had put her in the boxcar. She should very well be able to get herself into the car with Anna.
Elsa saw her sister leaning out of the partially opened car door to reach for her.
"No! Stay in, Anna."
Elsa was terrified, staggering through a puddle as she ran. Train whistles screeched and echoed through the chain link fence, bouncing off the immense sheet of water that was the thunderous Mississippi. Lights and numbers were blinking from digitized clocks, wires running every which way from lit posts to track crossing rails to transformers. Elsa's bare hand brushed against exposed wire in her pursuit, and her body suddenly went rigid. She catapulted forward, frail body seizing with aftershocks of the electric jolt that coursed through her bones as the clock struck the new millennium. Sparks flew and singed soft blonde hair.
"Elsaaaaa!" Anna screamed, watching as her older sister, the only constant she had ever known, grow smaller in the retreating distance.
"An—" Elsa tried.
The blonde child lifted her hand, and, with a last fleeting thought of her sister, magically slid the electronic train compartment door shut to keep her safe during her journey. She heaved herself up from the snow, her left leg twitching uncomfortably, the smell of burnt rubber and oil clogging her nose. She would look on the schedule, and sneak aboard the next empty boxcar to New Orleans.
Because, at six years old, life was that simple.
Anna was waiting for her.
Mamma and Papa were waiting for her, for them.
Stumbling forward, Elsa wretched, and her eyes rolled back in her skull. On her descent, her head made contact with discarded cement blocks, and all was cold.
"… BPs dropping, need to get her into an operating—"
"—lost a lot of blood, there's no background medical file—"
"—Caucasian child, female, five to eight—"
"—superficial lacerations, head trauma, potential subdural hematoma—"
"Why won't the damn monitors work?"
"Can't be the electronic roll over with the new year, Doctor?"
"Of all nights for this to happen…"
"—could've caught hypothermia—"
"Get those monitors online! I need an EKG!"
"None of it's working!"
"—freezing, practically blue—"
"The defibrillator's malfunctioning..."
"Then do it manually!"
"It's not happening to any of the other patients."
"Then it's just her."
"What's just her?"
"The monitors, Doctor. None of the electronic leads can register a pulse, brain activity, heart BPM, anything. The nurse can't even take her temperature! Her vitals are present, but they won't register! The electronics won't work on her, they jam, they're just—"
A/N: Okay, just go with me here...