Twilight has descended upon the city. Where the light of a shop switches off, the warm one of a home switches on, altogether becoming beacons to the weary workers, ushering them home to a warm supper, good company, and shelter from the increasingly chilly air. Slowly but surely, with the last lights of day, the night owls begin to emerge, seeking out the bright neon signs of clubs. Seeking to have a marvelous time, filled to the brim with friends and fun.
And then, laughter. But not a collective laughter. Not a laughter belonging to any earth-bound human, for that matter.
It echoes throughout the wintery air, bouncing off of the oriental buildings with the wind at its back, filling all corners of the young night with mischievous mirth.
It brings with it thick, fluffy clouds that quickly blot out the stars and rising moon, anxious to unload their burdens upon the unsuspecting cityfolk.
Then, as people are just a few paces from their homes and the lines at club entrances begin to form, the snow starts to fall.
The flakes descend gently at first, accompanied by the soft chuckles that has replaced the heartwarming laughter. They take their own sweet time, wanting to show off their unparalleled beauty. The laughter’s source watches after them fondly, secretly wondering somewhere in the back of his mind if anyone will stop to admire the unique creations.
But no one does. They don’t even notice that it has begun to snow.
Right on cue, more snowflakes join their brothers and sisters to get people to take notice, descending far more thickly onto hair. Shoulders. Noses.
Another chuckle resonates amongst the clouds where its source is perched. It’s time to bring on the real stuff of Winter.
His playful smirk widens.
It’s time to have a little fun.
And so, with a flurry of wind, he tumbles from the sky, the entire city as his target. He flies by the unwary people, snickering all the while, the wind he uses for flight creating gusts as he zips past, ruffling up clothes and ruining carefully-done hair, drawing people closer together in their search for warmth. Some silently brave the biting nip of air, but others yelp in surprise, ducking their chins into their coat collars and scarves. He ricochets off of walls and windows, leaving behind swirling leaves of frost in his wake. He stops to peer inside at a window or two, curious as to what the inhabitants are up to. Most of them are huddled around a fire, trying to escape the wintry weather. He doesn’t stay long though—he quickly speeds off once more, the only evidence of his presence known in the frost sprawling across the glass. New bouts of laughter find their way out of him as he freezes over water pipes, the shocked cries of those unfortunate enough to be taking a once-hot shower music to his ears.
After some time, he reaches the edge of the city, skidding to a stop onto one of the many telephone lines that border its outskirts. Frost springs forth from where his feet come into contact with the wires, making them glint and glisten with the artificial metropolitan lights.
He lowers himself down into a crouch, sitting on nothing but the balls of his feet, his toes slightly curled around the telephone line as he faces the city so he can look out upon his work. He holds his wooden, hooked staff in the both of his hands, his elbows resting on his knees so his arms are practically out straight.
His smile hasn’t faded in the least, his bright blue eyes positively beaming and teeming with life.
He has a wonderful view of the skyline from his spot, just able to see the people start to recover from the seemingly-out-of-nowhere wind and weather, covering themselves up more as the snow continues to fall.
But that’s just the thing.
They go on with their lives. Nothing changed. Things will get warmer, it will pass. It’s just wind. Just snow. Just Winter. Fleeting weather phenomena. Nothing too special. Quite irksome, in fact. Nothing worth a second thought.
Nothing worth really, truly seeing.
He sighs as the loneliness creeps in once again.
Spring is just around the corner, too.
Soon, he’ll have very few places to go. And even fewer where he can really unleash a good, legitimate Winter.
The seasons between Winter are always the worst. Bring on the worst thoughts. There will be no need for him almost anywhere. He’ll be out of place. The doubt, the contemplations, the loneliness will all come back in amounts two, three times as bad as they do already. The silence only magnified.
But perhaps the worst part? No one will miss Winter. Will miss him.
No one will miss Jack Frost.
Because no one can. The ability to isn’t even there for anyone. The capacity is nonexistent.
Because no one even knows he exists. Can hear him. Appreciate him.
He sighs a second time. The clouds start to break apart, letting a few stars and even the Moon shine through the canopy. The snow gradually stops falling.
Crestfallen, he starts out at but not truly sees the city before him, lost in his own thoughts. He pulls the hood of his hoodie up.
But he doesn’t let go of it.
Instead, his hand lingers. He becomes engulfed in thoughts on the texture of the frost border found all around its rim. The soft cotton fabric. He soon finds that he’s holding himself, as if holding the hoodie closer to him.
What’s wrong with me? he thinks. But he doesn’t unfurl himself. It’s like his body is acting on its own. Being like this is so comforting. Like being held in a warm, loving embrace. One that says not only that someone cares, but that everything is going to be all right. And that they’ll always be there for you.
His heart skips a beat. And then a deep, painful loss pierces through it. It leaves his entire body feeling empty.
Heartbreak? Is this what it feels like? But…why? Why do I feel like I’ve lost something when I’ve never had anything—anyONE—to lose??
He holds himself tighter, shutting his eyes as a lump forms in his throat and tears threaten to fall.
What’s going on?!?
He slowly opens his eyes as a new idea dawns upon him. He loosens his hold on himself, his entire body growing limp.
Maybe because…Yeah. That makes sense. I’m heartbroken that nobody can see me. That’s gotta be it. But…
He finds that he’s holding the cuff of the hoodie between his fingers. Much as he did when he woke up a day or so ago by the lake that he calls home.
His heart lurches once again.
What’s with this hoodie? It seems connected to it…I…I don’t remember ever getting it… He furrows his eyebrows, racking every part of his memory. Unsuccessful, he shakes his head, staring angrily down at the blue fabric held tightly in his hand.
He’s holding it so tightly that the fabric is getting it to be stretched. Surprised at himself and suddenly panicking about possibly ruining the hoodie—although unsure why—he suddenly lets go, the fabric taking back its form.
Something dear. Don’t ruin. Someone dear, an instinct seems to tell him from a deep, dark, tucked-away corner of his soul.
But his mind does not agree. And so the message is quickly erased.
He is completely and utterly confused, staring down at the hoodie searchingly with wide eyes, his lips slightly parted.
Why can’t I remember where I got this thing from?!?
He looks up at the Moon. So full and bright. A light, a source of comfort for all during the night.
Except for him.
Always questions. Never an answer.
Even though he has more than learned to accept that he will never get a reply, it never ceases to leave his heart stinging each time he goes unanswered. Because he never loses—cannot lose—the little, tiny hope that maybe, just maybe, the Moon will speak to him again, to tell him more than just his name.
So, he stares up searchingly at it, listening intently for something. Anything.
Once again, silence follows.
Quiet as ever, aren’t you, old man? Jack thinks up at it. Fine. I’ll figure it out on my own. Just like everything else.
He stands back up, stretching as he does. The hood falls from his head. He takes in a long, deep breath of air, the confusion and questions leaving his mind with his exhale. He switches his staff from one hand to the other. Spring is just around the corner, and he’s not about to go without a bang.
It’s time to give Winter’s last Hurrah!
The wind begins to pick up around him, making his spiky, snowy white hair dance. A new mischievous grin spreads across his face.
“Next stop: Russia!”