The surface of the lake was silent. The water, the wind and the trees were still. There was only darkness.
Jamie Bennett sat beside a large hole in the surface of the frozen lake. A mass of shapes were at the far end of the lake, resembling black statues of a large rabbit, a huge man with a beard, a bird with pretty butterfly wings, a short, round man with spiky hair… and a boy under them, dressed in a hoodie. They all looked very different, eternally frozen in their dark forms, with only one thing common. The expressions on their faces. These statues had fear written on their faces, their mouths open, their eyes wide.
They do not move any more.
Jamie stared at the hole in the ice, and seemed to behave like a statue too. He was still. He did not move, and neither did he speak.
"This is a dream, isn't it? No… not a dream…" Jamie whispered, his voice small and weak compared to the size of the lake and the darkness around him. "…a nightmare,"
Then he felt something sour rise upwards in his nose and his brown eyes teared up. It fogged his vision, as if shielding his eyes from reality. Everything in front of him blurred out, and Jamie let out a wail. He was unable to control it, that sadness, that sense of loss…
He would never see Jack again.
Not now, not ever.
And it was all his fault. His wailing got louder, as if Jack would actually come back, as if the Guardians would come flying down from the skies, as if he could hear the jingle of the sleigh, or Jack's laughter, or the flutter of Tooth's wings if he expressed his sorrow in the loudest way possible.
Jamie scrabbled at the snow, his fingers desperately digging as he crawled towards the hole where Jack had fallen through. "Jack…! Jack!"
"Jamie!" A voice called from behind him. It was Mrs Bennett.
There was the sound of police sirens. The flash of blue and red lights. Jamie turned to look at his mother, who was wearing a coat and running across the ice carefully. Behind her, a few paramedics followed her.
Jamie's face was tear-streaked, his eyes red. "Mom…! Please, you have to save Jack – and the Guardians, they're… they're…" Jamie looked behind her at the Guardians encased in darkness, but the paramedics walked right through them… like they did not even exist…
"Mom, I am serious, they're right there! You have to save them! You have to believe in them!" Jamie cried. Mrs Bennett reached her son, and hugged him tightly, pulling him away from the hole in the ice.
"Jamie! That's enough! What are you doing here in the middle of the lake! You almost fell into the ice! It's dangerous here!" Mrs Bennett cried, pulling Jamie back in her embrace. The paramedics grasped onto them, and began pulling them back towards the shore. Jamie struggled in his mother's arms, trying to get out and run towards the hole in the lake. "Jack…!" Jamie cried, reaching out towards the lake, which was getting further and further away from him…
"Jamie! We're getting someone in to… to get Jack out, alright?" Mrs Bennett said, her voice shaking as she pulled Jamie onto the shore. Jamie looked up at her, and breathed hard as more tears fell from his eyes. "It is unsafe out here right now. There… there has been a riot down the street, so once… once we…" Mrs Bennett look towards the lake. The paramedics had gotten their equipment and are surrounding the hole in the lake, reaching down into the depths below with rope and their large, power torchlights.
"Jack… he is… going to be alright…?" Jamie asked. But he and Mrs Bennett already knew the answer. Mrs Bennett hugged her son, tears falling from her eyes as well. "You don't have to think about it Jamie..." She said, her voice shaking as well. Jamie cried again, burying his face into his mother's arm.
This… was reality.
"We got him...!"
One of the paramedics cried out, shining his torch into the dark, freezing water of the lake. The light shone through the rippling waters, and cast a dim glow onto the face of a young boy. Under the water, he looked peaceful, his brown hair flowing in the water, his eyes closed. His face was white, and he seemed to be in an eternal sleep…
"Pull him up… On the count of one, two, three…!"
"One, two… Three," Jack whispered, and smiled at Jamie.
Jamie watched as the paramedics pulled the ropes on all sides of the hole in the ice, and out came a bright, orange flat sheet with a boy rested on top. The water splashed all around the ice, and the paramedics carried the sheet over to the ice and lay it down.
"Don't look, Jamie," Mrs Bennett said, covering Jamie's eyes. But Jamie had already seen it.
On the orange sheet.
Even though it only lasted for a second, that vision was burned in his mind. Jack was lying on the sheet, dripping wet. His skin was deathly white, and his eyes were closed. His brown hair stuck to the sides of his face, and the coldness of the air around them had already frozen the water clinging to his body. It caused icicles to cling to his brown hair, his face and his blue hoodie. It made him look… icy. Just like how Jamie remembered Jack Frost used to look like – as icy as that.
"He's dead. What a young chap," One of the paramedics said. Jack turned his head slightly, peeking under his mother's fingers. The paramedics were looking over his body, and they held up a white sheet to cover Jack's body with.
Jamie could not bear that. He did not care anymore. He did not care if he was scared.
He wanted to see Jack one last time.
Jamie pushed his mother's hand aside, and ran towards Jack across the ice. "Jamie!" Mrs Bennett cried out, alarmed. Jamie slid across the ice, and kneeled down beside Jack's body. He gasped, looking at Jack in front of him. The paramedics watched him, but they were silent and did not protest.
Jamie overcame his shock… and his eyes teared up again. Bending over his favourite Guardian, he looked at every detail on Jack's face. Jamie reached out, and touched Jack's hand.
It was cold. Freezing cold to the touch.
"Jack…" Jamie whispered, tears falling from his brown eyes. It hurt so much. He knew he could say anything in the world, but Jack would not answer him anymore. "…what if… I can't see you anymore? If I can't see you…" Jamie whispered.
"Hey, hey, slow down! Do you stop believing in the moon when the sun comes up? Well, do you stop believing in the sun with the clouds block it out? Then you should know that we will always be there, Jamie…"
Jack Frost's face was bright in the sunlight. Jamie could see the sparkle in his blue eyes, every strand of his white hair, and the frost on his blue hoodie… Then Jack reached out and touched a finger to his chest.
"…and we will always be here. And that kind of… makes you a Guardian too,"
"Jack…" Jamie sobbed, tightening his hold on the cold, wet hand. "I will… protect everyone," Jamie whispered, looking at Jack's sleeping face. It was peaceful to him. "I am a Guardian, like you said," Jamie smiled a little. A tear fell, and landed on Jack's hand.
"Time to go, son… you can see him in the hospital," A paramedic said, placing his hand gently on Jamie's shoulder. Jamie stood up slowly and reluctantly, letting go of Jack's hand. The paramedic placed the white cloth over the body, and stood up, checking the area around them for thin ice.
Jamie turned and walked towards his mother, not looking back.
The clouds parted slightly, and the moonlight shone through the clouds, casting a dim glow on the surface of the lake.
It was the first thing I remembered.
It was dark.
And it was cold.
And I was scared…
And then I saw the moon.
It was so big… and it was so bright!
It seemed to… chase the darkness away.
Jack opened his eyes slightly. It was dark before… Pitch Black. But now… there was a white glow that made him squint. It was the moon…
When it did, I wasn't scared anymore.
He blinked a few times, and then the white cloth covering his face seemed to fall through him, and he was looking up at the moon above. The clouds had parted, and the moon was shining again, albeit weakly.
Jack felt himself rise to the air, and he gasped, drawing in a deep breath. Then he floated down slowly again, landing on the ice beside the sheet slowly. As he did, the hole in the ice froze over, and the lake surface was whole once again.
Jack Frost blinked.
"I'm..." Jack looked down at his hands, turning them around, and down at his clothes. He was wearing… Jamie's blue hoodie? Jack touched his hair and pulled out a strand , bringing it in front of his face. It was a white, silver strand, gleaming in the diminishing moonlight.
Jack smiled, and then his smile widened, and he gave a joyful laugh. "I'm… I'm back! I… I'm back again!" Jack cried, looking around for his staff. Then he realized that there were many people beside him. Jack looked around, and saw Jamie and Mrs Bennett.
"Jamie…" Jack whispered, before seeing the mass of dark figures beside them. "…Bunny! North! Tooth! Sandy!" Jack cried. He suddenly remembered. Pitch had won. The Guardians have fallen. He himself had just died… so why was he here?
Why was he still alive…?
Jack's blue eyes widened, and he looked up at the moon. But it was gone. The dark clouds had overpowered the Man in Moon once more. "Did you… use all your power to help me get back again?" Jack whispered, his blue eyes unfathomable. And there was something he knew. The Man in Moon had spoken to him once more.
Once a Guardian, Always a Guardian
Your center and powers will always find you
Jack smiled. "I… made the same choice I did 300 years ago, didn't I? That's why… That was why I was able to do it again," Jack whispered, looking down at his hands. "Jamie…" Jack looked up at the boy again.
"Where's the guy?!" The paramedics cried as they flipped open the sheet. The boy's body was gone. The orange sheet and white cloth was all that's left.
"What?" Jamie cried, turning around, his eyes widening. Mrs Bennett and all the adults turned as well, muttering in shock and wonder. The body was gone. It disappeared into thin air.
Or not exactly.
Jamie was the only one who saw Jack Frost standing right beside those paramedics, his white hair bright among them.
"Jack Frost!" Jamie yelled, waving at Jack, and laughing. "He's back! Jack, you got your powers back!"
"Jamie! What… what in the world at you waving at?" Mrs Bennett asked, alarmed as she looked towards where Jamie was pointing.
Jack Frost laughed. "So they can't see me… adults usually can't, unless they try hard to believe," Jack muttered before turning around and looking across the lake surface. He saw his staff, frozen in the ice on the surface. "My staff!" Jack cried, running over and tapping his foot on the surface of the ice. "Come out, I need you!" Jack whispered.
The ice cracked, and the staff leapt up from the ice, and Jack grasped it in his hand.
In that instant, a wave of icy cold wind blew across the surface of the lake.
"Whoa!" Everyone cried out as they were buffeted by the wind, and they looked up with a slight smile on their faces.
"Jack Frost! He's real!" Jamie cried excitedly. Breaking away from his mother again, he ran across the ice towards Jack. Jack turned to face him, laughing. "Jamie! I owe you so much!" Jack cried, as Jamie hugged him. Jack hugged the boy back, and sighed.
"I know how to get the Guardians back," Jack told Jamie.
Jamie and Jack broke away from their embrace, looking back.
"Jamie! What in the world are you doing again! You have to stop with all these nonsense!" Mrs Bennett yelled. She looked really angry. Something was spreading across her hands… "Jamie Bennett… I am… going to teach you a lesson for not listening to me," Mrs Bennett said, her eyes wide.
"The anger! It's taking over her!" Jack cried, seeing the darkness creep over Mrs Bennett. "Mrs Bennett….!" Jack wanted to go forwards, but two paramedics crashed down in front of him. Jamie gasped, and Jack pushed Jamie back, alarmed.
"I told you to keep an eye out for the corpse! Now it's gone. It's all your fault!" One man shouted, pushing the other as they both struggled to get up on the slippery ice. "What do you mean, my fault? I saw you the other day. You were stealing equipment! I'm going to kill you if you make me lose my job!"
"Jamie! Get over here right now!"
"Madame! Can you please get out of the way? You're interfering with what I'm trying to do!"
"It was your fault! Return the money you took from my locker!"
"Stop slacking off! I was the one who did all the work. Not you! I'll smash you…"
Jack and Jamie watched as chaos erupted around them, darkness creeping over the hands of all the people around the lake. Paramedics, policemen, Mrs Bennett…
"Jack! Jack, do something!" Jamie cried. Jack raised his staff, and someone grabbed it from behind.
Jack gasped, and he wanted to turn, but he felt a breath near his neck. "Jack… Frost!"
It was Pitch.
Jamie gasped and stumbled back, falling onto the ice. Turning around, he saw Jack facing Pitch, struggling to get his staff back from Pitch's grip. Pitch was standing tall, his one hand grasping onto the staff effortlessly, watching with mild amusement and slightly annoyance at Jack Frost.
"You Guardians just don't know how to quit… especially you, Frost!" Pitch said, his voice exceedingly calm till he said Jack's last name. It was a sharp, seething tone when he said the Guardian's name.
Jack groaned as he tried to pull his staff out of Pitch's grip, but Pitch was too strong. "I will… always be here, Pitch," Jack said, panting. The effort from trying to get back his staff was making him breathless. Jack glared up at Pitch with his intense blue eyes. "You do remember that we said… as long as one child believes, we'll be here to fight you?"
Pitch looked down at Jack narrowing his eyes. "'We'? I don't see a 'we' with you, Jack," Pitch said in a soft tone, his golden grey eyes narrowing in pity. Then his mouth widened into a large, unnervingly evil smile.
Finally I finished this chapter! Looks like Jack is back, but he's alone… And everyone's being taken over by the anger in their hearts – with help from Pitch!
Even if Jack did have a way to drive away anger, would he be able to stand up to Pitch himself…?
Thanks for the reviews and follows! wow! :D Keep reading! It looks like there's still trouble… things aren't solved yet with Jack's return! Sorry for the horrific mistakes you may spot which made reading this a torture… : just ignore them :3