Cold Hands, Dead Heart–Flash Fiction Friday

Cold Hands, Dead Heart

AJ Mullican

Tim and Alice walked hand in hand on the snow covered ice, enjoying each other’s warmth. They’d been dating for a few weeks now, so everything seemed fresh and new and beautiful in their eyes.

Hesitant at first, Alice had been afraid to walk on the frozen lake, but Tim assured her that this far into winter it would be perfectly safe. He’d played hockey with his friends on this very lake just before the snowfall. If the lake could take the weight of Tim and his friends, it could surely hold Alice’s weight.

Once they reached the middle of the lake, Tim took Alice’s hands into his and looked deep into her eyes.

“Do you trust me, Alice?” he asked.

She smiled with a flush to her cheeks that had nothing to do with the cold. “Of course, Timmy,” she said.

“Good.” He cupped her rosy cheeks in his hands. “I want you to close your eyes, and don’t open them until I say to. I have a surprise for you.”

Alice laughed and put her hands over her eyes. She tried to stay perfectly still as she heard Tim brushing snow off of the ice. After several minutes, she heard his boots crunching on the snow outside the area he’d cleared. “Okay, you can open them.”

She peeked through her fingers, then took her hands away as she saw what he’d done. Tim had cleared a perfect heart shape in the snow, with her in the center. “Oh, Timmy, it’s beautiful!” she said.

“I wanted to do something special for you,” he said, grinning from ear to ear. The blush spread further, warming Alice’s face. “Look down again.”

She did as she was told, and when she saw what was beneath the ice she screamed.

“I really like you, Alice,” he said as she trembled at the sight, “so I thought it was time you met my mother.”

Floating under the ice, features frozen in a mirror of Alice’s own terror, was a beautiful young woman.

The ice began to crack beneath Alice’s feet. She tried to step out of the heart, but each movement caused the ice to splinter faster. Tim’s smile widened and he held his arms wide open. “Alice, this is my mother, Catherine.

“I think you two are going to get along great.”

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