Darkness. That's the first thing I remember. It was dark, and it was cold, and I was scared.
Without opening my eyes, I knew I was in a lake.
The blistering frozen water swirled around me, pricking into my skin and draining me of the remaining warmth I had left.
Soon I was completely numb to everything other than the fear consuming me. The fear was even worse than the cold. The fear fed off of everything else left in me: all my hopes...dreams...everything.
I tried to recall why exactly I was in this lake, but nothing came to mind.
So I tried to remember my family, if I even had one. That drew a blank too. Starting to panic, I tried to remember my name, my age, anything.
Nothing at all.
Was this some sort of frozen hell? I wondered. Did I do something awful in my lifetime and now I was being punished?
I couldn't remember.
The only light shining through the water was from the Moon...the Moon!
I looked up at it and pleaded to it, Help me!
Slowly, I began to rise up towards the surface, towards the Moon. The ice covering the lake broke away, creating enough space for the Moon to float me out of it and gently place me back on the ground.
The ache in my lungs subsided as I gasped for breath. I must've been down there for an eternity.
I could see my breath, and I smiled. It made me feel like a dragon, blowing out smoke after I had scorched a few sheep for dinner.
This wasn't a punishment, it was just an accident. I just had to go find a village and then my family will be there to remind me who I am and everything will be fine!
I felt oddly optimistic at this thought.
Now to just find a village...
As I started to walk into the woods, I stumbled.
Looking down, I saw a Shepard's crook as long as me. I hadn't noticed it lying there before.
Cautiously, I touched it with my toe.
From the spot I touched, deep grooves in the wood glowed a cool blue for an instant, then faded away when I moved my toe.
I lifted it into my hands and watched as it began to glow again. The glowing designs reminded me of frost.
Using one hand to hold the staff, I examined my free hand. It was pale, with a gold ring on my third finger. It didn't look special, so why was the staff glowing from my touch?
When I looked down, I became mesmerized. Frozen swirls of sparkling frost were slowly covering the ice from the spot the staff had made contact.
I lifted the staff to tap the ice in a few more places. More frost appeared.
When I went to the side of the lake and tested it in trees? They were soon covered in the ice crystals as well.
Laughing, I began to skate around, waving the staff through the air until the entire lake and surrounding forest sparkled in the moonlit frost.
"What else does this do?" I wondered aloud.
As if to answer my question, an icy breeze lifted me into the air.
I laughed, "I'm flying!"
The Moon seemed to be laughing at my childishness, but I didn't care.
But I didn't have perfect balance and toppled over, crashing into branches until I finally caught myself on a branch.
Resting in the tree before I hurt myself, I scanned the woods for any lights that might indicate a village.
I finally spotted one, not too far away.
As I watched, golden lights floated from the village and up into the sky, one by one. They were lanterns.
I felt like I had seen this before, which I figured was promising. Someone there probably knew me!
Using my newfound flying powers, I made my way to the village. In fact, I only crashed into four trees. (Okay seven but who's counting?)
Naturally, I landed in a big pile of snow.
I didn't mind though, compared to the frozen lake, this chill was nothing.
The first thing I saw were the somber expressions of the villagers as they let of the remaining lanterns float off.
I didn't understand, the decorations were so lively...why did everyone look so sad?
Two girls sat in a haystack. The younger one had her face buried in the older's shoulder. The older girl stroked the younger's auburn hair and murmured words of comfort. Her own dark chocolatey hair covered most of her face.
Right as I was about to walk up to them, I saw something in the older girl's posture change.
She sat up straight, and then stood quickly to go inside.
When she returned, the little girl was gone and she had her hands pressed against her face. Presumably to hide her tears as she ran off into the woods.
"Poor dear," someone tutted.
"They were just engaged," someone sighed.
"I heard they had a secret wedding," one of the gossipy old ladies said in an ooh-isn't-that-scandalous voice.
I walked past them, "Hello?"
They didn't acknowledge me, but I thought they were just being rude.
I called out a few more greetings, but no one responded.
Except one man stood and walked towards me.
"Sir? Can you tell me where I-"
Instead of bumping into me...he walked right through me.
A few more people stood, and they passed right through me too, like I was a ghost.
I pressed my hand to my chest, I was solid! Why did they pass through my like I was nothing?
Running to a building, I punched it.
A wave of pain shocked my arm, which proved that I WAS solid. To everything except humans.
What was I?!
I looked at my reflection in the window, but the boy with the wild blue eyes and the messy white hair that stared back was a complete stranger.
All the people carried on, as if I wasn't here. As if there wasn't a boy who's world was beginning to crumble right before them.
My world did begin to crumble that day. It's still crumbling now, three hundred years later.
Three hundred years ago, when I ran back into the forest on the first day of my memory, I can recall branches scraping at my face and sharp stones digging themselves into the soles of my feet. I recall throwing myself to the ground and screaming as loud and long as I could.
That day marked the beginning of a long thirty years full of deathly blizzards weighing down roofs and harsh winds howling a warning to people to stay indoors.
It was known as "The Curse of Jackson Overland."
The Moon told me that my name was Jack Frost, so I decided my full name was Jackson Overland Frost.
That's all the Moon ever told me.
Never how to get people to see you, or believe in you...
I'm starting to give up hope that I'll ever have a real family, or ever be accepted, as all of the people who might've known me are all long gone.
And now, I'm completely alone in this world.
The first thing I remember was the warmth, and the light. A golden glow surrounding me. I remember wondering if I had died and now I was in Heaven.
But Heaven doesn't have this pain.
I felt like I had been frozen and smashed into pieces and then sewn back together before being burned.
Slowly, I opened my eyes and looked around.
A woman kneeled beside me, eyebrows furrowed in concern.
"Where am I?" I asked, my voice raspy and dry.
The woman handed me a bucket full of clear water with a ladle before answering, "You're back in your room. In the tower."
I looked around at the blank walls and simple bed. It didn't look like a place I'd enjoy living in for long.
"Who are you?"
The woman brushed a few strands of curly black hair out of her face before replying, "I'm your Mother."
Tucking my hair behind my ear, I registered this. You'd think her telling me this would bring back at least a few memories, but no. I had nothing.
"We've lived her nearly all your life. The last time you were outside was when you were three."
"Why haven't I ever left since?"
She hesitated, "You have a...gift."
"That's specific," I muttered.
"Don't mumble," she snapped.
That was harsh.
"I'll show you," she sighed. Carefully, she untucked my hair so the blonde strands fell partially into my face.
Before I could ask, she began to sing.
"Flower gleam and glow, let your powers shine. Make the clock reverse, bring back what once was mine. What once was mine."
As she sang, the blonde strands slowly began to shine with a golden glow. I gasped and grabbed at the rest of my hair, staring at it.
"It has the power to heal the sick and injured," she said. "It also has the power to keep someone alive forever."
"My hair was just glowing..."
"I know it's a lot to take in but-"
"My HAIR was just GLOWING!" I cried. Did she not understand how crazy this was for me? "Is that NORMAL?"
Mother shook her head, "It's not. That's why you're up here, to keep you safe."
"Anyone who would want to use your powers for selfish reasons. I don't want you to be used by people."
My thoughts were racing all over so much I couldn't even respond.
"I'll leave you alone to think things through. I'll be in the kitchen," Mother said, standing and exiting.
Forcing myself to my feet, I then stumbled my way over to the small window and looked out at the bare trees.
The sun was setting, the last light of day slowly fading away.
Something felt off about all of this.
If I could recall a few memories, maybe I wouldn't be as suspicious. But I hardly recognized anything about this tower.
In fact, when I looked at myself in the mirror I hardly recognized myself! The waist length blonde hair just threw me off.
When I reached up to brush the hair away from my face, I noticed the ring. A silver band around my ring finger. It was simple, but it felt...special.
My name is Rapunzel. And that's all I know.
I suppose my last name is Gothel, but it doesn't roll off my tongue easily so I just say my name's Rapunzel. Not that I have anyone to introduce myself to.
The reason my hair glows, is because of a flower. A magical flower that grew from a single drop of sunlight and had the same powers as my hair. When I was young, I found that flower in some bushes. I took the flower and started to eat the berries growing in the bushes.
The berries were poisonous and I died, but somehow the flower brought me back.
Mother thanks the stars it did.
But what's the point of being alive if you stay in a tower for three hundred years?
What's the point if you're alone?