As I added the final touches to my painting, I stepped back and grinned. This was probably one of my best. The trees were positioned nicely, and the way the sunlight in my painting caught off of them…awesome. I pack all of my stuff up quickly (but neatly), put a cover over my painting, tucked it under my arm, and started home. I wanted to show this to my mom and dad before they left for work. I managed to get out of the woods without wrecking my painting, and I breathed a sigh of relief. I don't know what I would have done if this painting had been wrecked… I did truly think it was a good one. I wonder if I could even open a gallery… I mean, my paintings were pretty good, and I could use the money (even though we had enough,) to buy some nice presents for Mom and Dad and Willow. I wonder what they would-

I broke off mid thought. Call it other worldly or whatever, but it seemed like something was wrong. I was right next to the lake I used to skate on… the one that Willow never could skate on. I looked it over. I considered coming back with my skating gear, like old times, but everyone knew that the lake wasn't frozen over enough yet.

Then I saw the crack. And the hole. And Willow's body floating under the ice.

I screamed.

"Willow! Willow!" I screamed again and again, and soon I moved off into a single-note scream. I ran around the lake and inched out to where she was, still screaming. Then I started crying.

"Willow, Willow- please…" I broke the ice over her pale body, her hair was floating out around her head like a mermaid's, her lips were dark blue, and her eyes… oh my God, her eyes were open, staring at nothing.

"Willow!" I pulled her out and dragged her over to the bank. My heart was hurting, hurting like someone had stuck in a knife and twisted.

I put my fingers on the side of her neck, like they did in movies. I didn't feel anything.

"HELP! HELP!" I screamed. "MOM! DAD! IT'S WILLOW!" I didn't wait for them to come. I closed her nose off and put my mouth against hers. I needed to resuscitate her. That's all. Then the ambulance would be here, and they would get her back. She couldn't die, not now…

Then I heard her nose bone snap.

"Oh, Willow, I'm sorry… I'm sorry-" I put my hands on her chest and started to press down, hearing more bones snap with each press.

"Amelia? Was that you?" I heard my mom call.

"YES!" I screamed, hysterically. "CALL AN AMBULENCE! BRING DAD!" I went back to CPR.

"I'm sorry… I'm sorry!" I sobbed, her bones breaking, but I kept going. Broken bones heal. I flipped her over-her arm broke- and pounded on her back. I heard a snap. Oh, God, please don't let me cripple her. I flipped her over again, remembering all the useless facts she had told me.

If a black cat and a white cat fight over a newly deceased person's grave, some think it's a demon and an angel, fighting for their soul.

I pressed harder. Another bone snapped. Please, please don't let her die.

Henry Heinz started out selling vegetables from his mother's vegetable garden.

Not now, not now.

For a while, people though a munchkin committed suicide on the set of the Wizard of Oz.


Public speaking is one of the biggest fears among people.

That's when I noticed her fingers. They were all broken. Oh, please, please God, had she been hitting the ice to get out? How long had she been underwater?

"NO!" I screamed.

Mom came out.

"Amelia, I called an ambulance. Dad's already left for work, but he'll meet us at the hospital. Stop panicking. We've been through this before. What bone has Willow broken this time?" I didn't answer. She topped the slope, and saw Willow. She uttered one word, but that word had pain in it. So much shock, and it showed that she knew. Deep down, she knew.


Willow was dead.

"Willow?" she said again.

Willow would never respond.

She repeated exactly what I had done. More of Willow's bones broke. We took turns giving Willow CPR.

Please, Willow, sit up and spit out water, and then one of your useless facts.

The ambulance finally arrived and took her away, covering her with a sheet. Dad was called; told to come to the house immediately. When he got arrived, he ran to us.

"What's wrong? Honey," his arms circled Mom. "What happened?" She didn't speak. I told him.

"Willow's dead." I said it in a monotone, disbelieving. Dad shook his head. He looked around at all the flashing lights, the police officer who was taping off the lake.

"What?" He took a step back. "Don't lie to me, Amelia. That's not funny." He took a deep, shuddering breath. Tears formed in his eyes. He knew. He just didn't want to believe. He ran. He ran up to a police officer who was taping off the lake. He talked to him. The police officer talked back. Dad collapsed to his knees and yelled. He yelled the one question everyone wanted to know.


Mom and I just stood there, silent tears rolling down our cheeks, falling to the ground, freezing over, becoming like the ice that had trapped and killed Willow.

On the other side of the lake lay my painting; forgotten, stepped on, and soaking wet with winter's snow.