Author's Note:

First, the main character for the first six chapters is an OC named Tabitha, but after that, the story shifts to focus on Tooth.

Second, I've used the name "Pippa" for Jack's chapter because when I started writing it, there was still a lot of debate about her name and by the time I figured out that her name really isn't Pippa, I'd already written the first six chapters and I couldn't just change it in the middle of the story.


It was the winter of 1709 in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and it was bitter cold. We lived in a small settlement a few days away from Quincy. Life in our town wasn't easy but there were moments that made it worth it. For me, those moments consisted of spending time with my friends, playing in the snow. Running around, playing tricks on each other and the adults made us forget how cold we were.

I was 16 that year, so I spent most of my time inside with my mother teaching me what she could about cooking and housework while my father took up the task of raising my younger brothers, Isaac and James, to take care of their family. They would go out hunting though there wasn't much to catch that winter. The animals that didn't sleep all season long had long since left, seeking warmer weather elsewhere, but the hope of finding it was doubtful. Father was also teaching them to chop firewood, which, even in this cold time, there was plenty of. During our midday meal, our family would sit around our small hearth and try to keep warm, and after, if I was lucky, mother would let me out to play in the snow with the other kids. Our town was small, so we were all friends and spent most of our free time together.

"Tabitha!" a small voice called that day as I stepped out of my family's house and into a particularly cold afternoon. A tiny girl with brown hair and smile from ear to ear ran toward me and I scooped her up happily.

"Why, hello, Pippa," I said, smiling back at her as she clung to my cloak and my white-blond hair. "Look what I've got for you," I continued, a bit quieter. I pulled a small pastry out of my pocket and handed it to her. Even though times were particularly hard right now, my mother still wanted us to have something to look forward to, so she and I would make pastries together. It was supposed to be a special treat for our family, but Pippa was just so darned cute that I couldn't help but share with her. I knew her family was struggling just as hard as ours was. "It's our little secret," I whispered, handing it to her. She squealed happily and gobbled it down, thanking me between bites. I asked a bit louder, "Has the snowball fight already begun?" Just then, I saw a perfectly round snowball shooting toward us and turned my back so it wouldn't hit Pippa and instead hit right between my shoulders.

"Yes, it has," came another voice and I saw Jackson Overland, Pippa's big brother, walking toward us. I couldn't help but smile as he approached. He was a couple years older than me but somewhere between our early childhood and the beginning of our growing-up years, I had developed a special fondness for him that I didn't quite understand. All I knew was that out of the boys in the town, Jack was my favorite and I felt a little warmer in the cold winter whenever I saw him.

Pippa let out an excited giggle that shook me from my thoughts and scrambled out of my arms, scooping up an armful of snow and doing her best to throw it at Jack. He dodged it and scooped up a snowball himself, a smaller and less packed one that he'd thrown at me, and tossed it at his little sister. She squealed when it hit her in the chest and ran toward jack, catching him around his stomach in a tackle. "Oh, no!" cried Jack convincingly as he let himself topple backwards, Pippa on top of him. "You got me, Pip! What am I going to do?" With her endless energy she climbed off of him and dumped another handful of snow in his face. "Ahhh!" said Jack as he wiped it away and scrambled up. "Look out, I'm going to get you!" He stomped through the snow like a very clumsy bear toward her as she joyfully ran to escape. He quickly overtook her and playfully grabbed her up, spinning around and then falling back again, rolling gently on top of her in the snow and laughing. "I got you, Pippa, I got you!"

She giggled and shouted, "Help me, Tabitha!" Until then I'd just been watching them, enjoying the show, but now I grabbed a handful of snow, shaped it, and threw it at Jack, hitting him in the side.

"Oh, now you want to play," he said mischievously, crawling back to his feet and making another snowball, preparing to throw it at me. I laughed and we all started throwing snowballs at each other. The other kids in the settlement, including my little brothers, started running out of their own houses to join us, and it became an all-out battle as we formed and broke alliances, established forts behind trees and planned to sabotage our enemies.

We played until it the sky began to darken and we all heard our parents calling us in for the night. We were all soaked to the bone with snow, most of us shivering, but the younger kids continued to play as they ran back to their houses, staying warm by their energy alone while the older of us began to shiver. We all headed toward the town square and went our separate ways from there. Isaac and James turned and started running toward our house, still laughing and scooping up snow to throw at each other, while Pippa headed in the opposite direction to the Overland house. I smiled at Jack, trying not to shiver too hard, and then turned to follow the boys but then Jack called out, "Tabitha!" I turned and saw him standing there with that crooked smile that I had come to love seeing on his face. "Want to go ice skating tomorrow?"

"That sounds like fun," I said, through chattering teeth. smiling back when his smiled widened.

Pippa called out, "Jack, hurry up, we'll be late for dinner!"

Jack nodded toward me, saying, "Go get warmed up," and then turned and jogged after his sister.

I watched him for a minute as he caught his sister up playfully and began carrying her back to their house. "Bye, Tabitha!" she called over his shoulder. I gave her a wave and turned to follow my brothers.