Rating: K+ (For references to violence and war)
Character/s: Jack Frost
Summary: For five months, a week, and three days, Stalingrad refused to yield to the Nazi German forces. The Russian winter bit and destroyed German militia as an alley joined the Soviet Union that was never expected; Jack Frost.
Did you Know?
The German offensive to capture Stalingrad started in late summer 1942, and was supported by intensive Luftwaffe bombing that reduced much of the city to rubble. The German offensive eventually was forced into building-to-building fighting; and despite controlling nearly all of the city at times, the Wehrmacht was unable to dislodge the last Soviet defenders clinging tenaciously to the west bank of the Volga River.
He had seen the horror and atrocities in Poland.
He had seen the enslavement and murders of men and women and children just because of a colored marking on their sleeve.
Jack Frost had retreated down to the south for the winter; long pillars towering above him, penguins diving, and orcas singing in the glacial waters. In the middle of ice and snow… he was alone.
Perhaps… alone was not what he meant because he had always been alone, but Jack had no desire to see any sort of human being. The cracking of ice made him wince, spinning around on his toes, staff lifted while it crackled and fell, slamming into the ground. Shadows with guns made him flee, hiding across a barren, flat landscape while a blizzard covered his huddling form and ghosts of the north haunted him.
The day was mostly night, stars and great, colorful lights creating entertainment until that, too, was growing old. Soon, the sun was rising earlier and earlier, the snow melting around his feet.
Jack Frost left Antarctica for the north, then, the southern blizzard following him over the pacific and into Asia where men spoke in harsh tongues and wore fur caps and coats. They sounded like North when they spoke English (which was rare)—and the bulkier of the men looked like him, too.
Snow had already fallen, lights and perfect without his guidance but he dared not to look down in case he saw… more of the camps with their towering columns of smoke and their skeletal workers in striped pajamas working barefoot in the freezing weather.
After miles and miles of ivory (and a few muddy roads with trucks moving slowly in case they got stuck) Jack calmed, enjoying the wind and his flight, bringing a gentle snowfall to farms and children who giggled and jumped up as he passed, trying to catch his masterpieces in their hands until they were shooed inside by their parents as the sun was vanishing—
Then, he came across a different sort of camp—fires outside of a city, men huddled to keep warm, metal beasts surrounding them. Jack hit the ground, falling from the sky in his anger and fear.
"Go away!" He screamed at the soldiers as they walked through him, his tears flying to the ground each time he turned his head to crystallize on the surface of his skin while he recognized the red, white, and black band as the same one that rounded up the people before. "Leave them alone!" But his voice was just a harsh, biting wind that made them shiver and huddle tighter around their diminutive flames.
And Jack fled into the city, tripping over the rubble of scorched buildings, sobbing at the sight of bodies in the street until he lifted off again, his tears creating precious flakes that fluttered down… and then he stopped, staring at the man with a gun, standing at the door of a home.
This man was prepared; he dared not to shiver in the wake of the wind but seemed to revel in it instead, shoulder back and head high.
Jack dropped back down, looking over his proud, tall figure, and he saw them; men in corners and hidden in windows, lying out behind rubble with their weapons never moving even as they rested. Women flittered among them, handing out bread and warm drinks. They did not shy away from the winter like the soldiers on their doorstep did. There was no need for fires or wood except for in homes with the children.
Winter. They did not see it as an enemy, they embraced it.
It took Jack a second… and then he got an idea.
"Let it snow!" He cackled and was pulled up by the wind again, into the clouds as the world around him became a casket of white. The snow fell down, blocking out sight and noise. Orders were lost, as well as fingers and toes. His staff froze the metal beasts to the ground, ice forming around them and bursting their insides, guns stuck to the earth, chilly air bit at unprepared cheeks and noses.
Blood turned to ice.
Bone crackled and shattered.
Skin became black and blue and purple.
For the first time in his life, Jack was vindictive. He sent down snow and blizzards, he frosted over not only tents but people. And when the soldiers were retreating, he followed them; freezing winds biting at their heels, taking their food, blowing out their fires even as he laid a blanket over those that had died, their bodies lost until the spring where his work would melt.
The men in the city followed him, joined by more and more, pushing them back. And when Jack had to leave them because it was getting warmer, he saw cities and villages freed, children celebrating out in the snow and he cried in happiness because he didn't care, at that moment, if they could see him or not.
All that mattered was liberation.
And a city called Stalingrad.
Has anyone else noticed that there isn't an 'historical' genre on this website?
What a shame…
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