This book really confused me, but at the same time intrigued me and stuck with me in ways other books had not. I decided to contribute to it's tiny collection.
Disclaimer: I could never write some thing as confusing but beautiful like Frozen Fire. All credit goes to Bowler.
It happened slowly. So slowly, in fact, that she barely noticed it. It was unlike those wild days when she spun out of control. No, it was a soft fire glowing brighter at her core every day. It crept upon her and wrapped it's long tendrils around her in a fiery haze.
Dusty swung out of bed and peered at the mirror. A ritual she did every morning. Then she opened her drawer and stared at the three things in it: a picture of Josh, the snow-pipe, and the blank piece of paper which previously, in another life, had held a glowing face.
She closed the drawer.
"Dusty, come down. Dad's made some great stuff this morning."
"I told you, it's called food. Not 'stuff'," her father's voice protested. Her parents continued to gently banter downstairs. Except that she could hear every word, every whisper, and even snippets of their thoughts too.
She lifted her hands to her slightly darker complexion. It grew darker every day, creeping up like the dusk. And when you blinked, it was fully covering everything.
She grew closer to the snow-boy every moment.
She trampled downstairs, her stomach growling angrily. "Hey dad, hey mum."
"Hi sweetie," he dad called and placed a kiss on her head. Her mother mused her hair slightly and the set food in front of her.
"You think I can eat all this?" she asked incredulously at the giant pile of food.
Her mother laughed gently and took some of the food for herself, and then for her dad. "It's for all of us, hon."
She stared hungrily at the food, but something told her not to eat it. It was a confusing pull between danger and irresistibility. She shook her head and touched her fork to the eggs. She chewed them slowly, the taste bland and raw in her mouth.
"What's wrong? Eggs not done well?" Her dad laughed at his own joke.
Dusty stared down. "I don't think so," she replied slowly. He stared at her in surprise. "I think I'll walk to school early." She walked out without looking back.
The setting was different than when she first met the boy. She still didn't know his name. It was spring. Nearing summer, school was alive with the buzz of being set free just two weeks from now.
She shifted her backpack, and suddenly, randomly, it lost all weight. The backpack felt like it had melted off leaving her airy and weightless. Her back straightened automatically, shifting for the lost weight. She quickly looked back checking that it was still was there. You just never knew these days.
Just like Josh.
She was used to these developments. It was her hearing that improved first. Then her sight. She could hear bits and pieces of peoples' thoughts, but it was random and unusual. They'd usually go away after some time, and then return. It was discerning.
She met Angelica at the gates and they walked in to the school together.
Dust had told Angelica. It hadn't changed a thing. Well… maybe at that moment, but it turned out to be just another mountain they had to climb.
"Your skin's darker again today. It's like a super tan or something."
Dusty laughed, but touched her face unconsciously.
"So is your hair. It's got like, black streaks." Angelica touched it then pulled away. Dusty pulled up her hood self-consciously. "It looks cool," she reassured.
Dusty just shrugged. "Whatever."
Mr. Finch looked at Dusty kindly as she walked in. They had taken to a liking to each other. And some misunderstanding had been smoothed over just recently.
Dusty dropped her books with a loud thwack.
Kamalika twisted in her seat to say something to Dust, but she turned away. They still weren't speaking. Dusty was still news at the school. But she promised herself and Mrs. Wilkes that she would do her best to ignore it.
"I'd like everyone to take out their copies of The Kite Runner."
Dusty pulled out her torn copy. "This book sucked," she whispered to Angelica. She nodded, but Dust got the feeling that she disagreed. Hmm… oh well.
The class was quiet as everyone had their own separate work to do. She took that chance to stare out the window. Where had the snow-boy gone?
She stared at her palms. They were nearing black. She stuffed them in her pockets quickly again.
Freak. Weird. Stay away. Rape. Aggressive. Torment. Kite Runner.
Pieces of thoughts flitted through her mind. The town was small, so big news took a long time to fade. And it never ever would be forgotten.
"Having a problem, Dusty?" Mr. Finch asked towering over her desk.
"OK." He looked at her uncertainly, though not unkindly. He was just trying to be helpful, so she wasn't bothered. She really did like him.
She leaned back and cracked her neck. She could feel it creeping in onto her bones. The time was near for her to disappear.
The slow, warm burning fire had turned into raging strikes of lighting. She twisted and turned in her sheets, gritting her teeth to fight the noise from slipping past her lips.
"I'm losing it." Indeed Dusty was. All her memories, all her knowledge was leaking out bit by bit.
"I'll be dead by tomorrow," she whispered to the dark and to no one in particular.
A number flashed through her head. The snow-boy. What was his number? Did he even have a phone? Once again, the number flashed and she compulsively grabbed her mobile.
She remembered nothing but this number.
Josh was gone. Her parents were gone. School was gone and so was it's drama. All that was left was the number. And her instincts.
Blinding lights… snow softly falling… summer escape… funny tasting eggs, and floating backpacks.
Without even really knowing she dialed the number. The screen was oddly bright, searing at her eyes. She squeezed them shut.
She felt her body shift. She watched the oddly disgusting, but fascinating transformation. Her body bubbled and shifted, and she became neither man nor woman.
She was totally black. She was the complete opposite from the snow-boy. Her hair was raven black and her skin was an unnatural shade of charcoal. Almost like someone had colored her in. The skin had no real texture, and she radiated the same feral energy as the boy had.
Her shoulders broadened, and her hair shrunk shorter. Her legs strengthened and her jaw bone angled. She was masculine and feminine. She was not anything. She was everything.
"I'm dying," she hoarsely whispered into the phone. She clutched it tightly, so tightly that she heard the screen crack.
I am alive. You are ready. "Apart but together," the boy whispered. He had no memory of her, but every part of him yearned to see her face.
"Just instincts right."
"Who are you?"
It was as if their roles had shifted. He was left in the dark, and she read his mind and replied in cryptic ways.
"Like the color of your eyes."
"No. My eyes are like pieces of sky."
"Then why Dusty?"
"I don't know."
"I don't know either," the boy said uncertainly. He wasn't even sure whose phone he was holding.
The confused and helpless cannot save someone, and these two were newborns in this cruel world. But they could reach out of the dark and meet in the middle.
They didn't even know how to do that.
So they just listened to each other breath.
Summery: Dusty turns into whatever the snow-boy is, but pure black, not white.