RotG - A Bitter Frost - 1It 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.RotG - A Bitter Frost - 13 years ago in Romance More Like This
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
RotG - A Bitter Frost - 7The only thing I could see was the Moon, and it was as though I was coming out of a very deep sleep. I could hear words though I could tell they weren't being said out loud, and I didn't really understand what I was hearing. You are chosen, Tabitha. My body felt a little warmer and I knew that was strange but I didn't remember why. You know the pain of tragedy in childhood, when childhood should be full of hope and wonder and good dreams. I was still not fully awake it seemed. Tragedy in childhood? There was something I wasn't remembering. There are those who have been chosen to guard Hope, Wonder, and Dreams but there must someone to guard Memories. This is your task, Tabitha. You will be the keeper of memories, so that when people need to remember the feelings of joy that come in childhood, you will be there to help them. You are a Guardian. Your name will be Toothiana, the Tooth Fairy. Tooth fairy? What on earth could that mean? But suddenly I knew, I knew whatRotG - A Bitter Frost - 73 years ago in Romance More Like This
RotG - A Bitter Frost - 6The day after, there was a memorial gathering in the town square. My mother told me that the weather had gotten even colder, so I'd need to dress extra warm. I rose from bed and dressed mechanically, wondering how I would be able to handle being outside, being around so many people. As we walked out the door, I saw that she'd made another plate of pastries. I took two and wrapped them, tucking them into my pocket.RotG - A Bitter Frost - 63 years ago in Romance More Like This
Most people were already there, wearing black under their winter cloaks. The weather had remained frigid and I could only think bitterly that if it had been like this before, the ice wouldn't have been so thin. The town gathered close around the fire while people said nice words, but they didn't get it. Jack wouldn't have wanted this. He wouldn't have wanted all this sorrow and these solemn faces. He would've wanted us to smile and try to find happiness anyway. "I'm sorry, Jack," I whispered, my eyes fixed on the fire, "I can't smile, not now." No one heard me over the fire a
RotG - A Bitter Frost - 9I followed the lights north for a very long time. The fairies who were following me seemed to know what was going on but I was still in the dark. I passed over oceans, mountains, forests, farther and farther north until The entire landscape was just white. It snowed in some areas and I found it easier to fly up above the cloud cover, keeping my wings dry more easily and staying warmer. It was very cold - even more so above the clouds than under them - but the energy of flying, the rapid movement of my wings kept me fairly warm.RotG - A Bitter Frost - 93 years ago in Romance More Like This
Suddenly, looming out of the white landscape was a huge building, tucked into a mountain side. It was bigger than any of the workhouses we had near our town in the Massachusetts Colony and there was smoke rising from various chimneys. The lights seemed to be coming from this building, from a point right over a large curved section of roof, so that's where I flew to. There was an opening in the roof, looking down into a large room. It seemed like the room went do
RotG - A Bitter Frost - 2The next day, I finished all of my housework as quickly as I could and ran out of the house toward the town square with my ice skates. "Be careful on the ice!" my mother had called after me. I sat down by the fire that was already burning in the square, there to keep people warm as they traveled between houses and merchants. It wasn't long before I saw Jack heading toward me from the opposite direction, giving me that same crooked smile. "Ready to go?" he asked.RotG - A Bitter Frost - 23 years ago in Romance More Like This
"Definitely," I said, picking up my skates. We headed out of the town and toward the lake in the woods. I looked sideways at him as we walked and his eyes flickered over to mine. I looked away quickly but felt the warmth of a blush on my cheeks. He chuckled a little, making me blush more. My mother had told me that when I started looking at boys as more than friends, I had to be careful and shouldn't spend too much time with them, but I loved spending time with Jack. This was the first time we'd ever done anything just the two
RotG - A Bitter Frost - 4The next few days remained warm which kept both Jack and I busy, him with hunting and me inside, helping my mother prepare our house for spring. We really did intend to keep our promise to Pippa, even if it was next winter, but as luck would have it, after a few more days of warm weather, another bitter freeze fell over our town. The next morning, there was frost on the grass. I stayed inside for most of the day again, this time playing with my brothers as my father was letting them take a day off. They didn't much like being cooped up inside, but my mother was worried that the changes in the weather would make them both sick so we came up with ways to keep them entertained indoors. It mostly involved me crawling around on the floor with them, playing "horse" or whatever role they wanted me to fill. The way that Jack felt about Pippa, I felt about my brothers. I'd do anything for them, even if it meant letting them ride on my back all day.RotG - A Bitter Frost - 43 years ago in Romance More Like This
When Jack stopped by that evening, I looked a
RotG - A Bitter Frost - 10It only felt like a couple of weeks, but a few years passed. I occasionally thought back to what Bunny had said about us being immortal. The Moon had never said anything about it but I figured that Bunny and North and Sandman would know what they were talking about. The fact that time seemed to be passing more quickly would make a lot of sense if I really was immortal. I never got ill, and I rarely needed rest, which also supported the idea of immortality, but I didn't give it too much thought. I just kept doing my job.RotG - A Bitter Frost - 103 years ago in Romance More Like This
There were always children losing teeth. The job became second-nature to me and I no longer felt awkward about going into people's houses while they were asleep. As far as I could tell, children kept believing in me - my powers never weakened. I was quite careful about not being seen, which was more out of instinct than anything. It was something else the Moon hadn't said anything about but it seemed to be how North and Bunny operated. Beside that, I couldn't get the me
RotG - A Bitter Frost - 8I didn't know where I was going but it felt like my body did so I just let the feeling inside me guide me. I flew very high, through a layer of clouds that left moisture on my feathers but it quickly flitted away as I flew higher. Suddenly I found myself surrounded by intricate towers, somewhat like bird cages - though I'd never seen one for myself, I'd heard about them in story books and had been told that the wealthier people across the sea had them. The whole place glowed with the soft light of the sun and when I looked down, I gasped.RotG - A Bitter Frost - 83 years ago in Romance More Like This
I should have only seen a layer of clouds but it seemed like I had stepped into another world. There were grassy hills and a pond leading up to a wall, with a big space on it. It looked like a painter had started working on it with splashes of color here and there but no definite shapes. I didn't know how I'd gotten to this place or how it could exist up here in the sky. I fly straight toward my left until I seemed to pass the last of the towers, and
RotG - A Bitter Frost - 3For the next week we saw each other almost every day, though we didn't go ice skating again. We were waiting to keep our promise to Pippa. She was getting better, Jack told me, and I went over to visit her a few times, sneaking her a few more pastries. Her mother probably wouldn't approve of the sweets I was giving her because it probably wouldn't help her health, but she got over her cold with no dangerous complications arising. Still, her mother wanted to keep her inside for a few days.RotG - A Bitter Frost - 33 years ago in Romance More Like This
A week and a half passed and suddenly the weather began to warm up. A lot of the snow metled and our outside antics turned from snowball fights to playing ball and hopscotch. However, with the warmer weather and the end of winter drawing near, both I and Jack had more chores to do. Some of the animals were coming out of their long winter sleep so there was more meat to cook. It still wasn't warm enough to grow anything because the ground was still frozen, but my mother began to prepare slightly bigger
RotG - A Bitter Frost - 5 I heard her screaming before I saw her. "Help! Someone, help! Jack, he's-" Pippa stumbled into the square, losing her breath. She was still wearing her skates and I ran to catch her as she pitched forward, unable to keep her balance. People gasped and started to gather closer.RotG - A Bitter Frost - 53 years ago in Romance More Like This
"Pippa, what is it, what's wrong?" I asked fearfully. She was out of breath from running and she had tears streaming down her face. "Pippa... where's Jack?"
"Jack," she gasped in between sobs, "We were, we were skating and..." she sobbed harder "and the ice cracked and-" People were suddenly in a frenzy, voices were raising. Isaac and James stood at my shoulder, looking scared.
"James, stay with Pippa," I commanded. "Isaac, go get mother and father, run!" They both looked to be in shock but James took Pippa's hand and sat next to her, and Isaac took off running toward our house while other people ran to the Overland house.
I leapt to my feet, dropping my skates, and ran faster than I ev
RotG - A Bitter Frost - 11My breath caught in my chest. There was no mistaking him at all. He wore the same Winter cloak he always had, the same breeches. He was barefoot, which might've seemed strange but for the fact that it was something Jackson Overland would've done. He had been such a trickster, doing anything to get a laugh out of people, so walking around in snow with no shoes on wasn't entirely unlike him. And in his hand, he carried... the images flashed back into my head, the lake the night that Jack drowned, the strangely-shaped branch by the hole in the ice and then a couple days later, the hole was still there but the branch had been gone. He carried it like he was used to it, sort of the way one would carry a staff, almost like it was just an extension of who he was rather than a branch he had picked up at random.RotG - A Bitter Frost - 113 years ago in Romance More Like This
As quietly as I could, I darted to another closer rooftop, hiding myself behind a chimney. I wasn't sure at this point why I was hiding - maybe I'd just gotten so used to it. But part o
RotG - A Bitter Frost - 17Pitch had disappeared without a trace and left us standing on the grassy hills by the pond over which hung the mural of me and the children of the world. Without a present enemy to fuel my anger, sorrow came over me again and I sunk to my knees on the grass. "Okay, alright, I admit it. You were right about Pitch," Bunny was saying to North, and as North replied, Jack squatted down next to me.RotG - A Bitter Frost - 172 years ago in Romance More Like This
"I'm sorry about the fairies," he said quietly. Even all of the confused feelings I had about Jack couldn't break through how lost I felt, even though this was probably the most sincere I'd ever heard him - Jack Frost - sound.
"You should've seen them," I said, trying to smile as Baby Tooth hovered in front of me, trying to cheer me up. "They put up such a fight."
Baby Tooth then darted over to Jack, hovering near his face and chirping. "Why would Pitch take the teeth?" Jack asked.
"It's not the Teeth he wanted," I said, looking up at him, "it's the memories inside them." It wasn't enough for Pitc
RotG - A Bitter Frost - 12Weeks became months, months became years, and soon decades began to pass without me even noticing. I had become my job, and there was nothing bad about that. I loved it. Sure, I would occasionally pause and laugh at myself for becoming so excited about well-kept molars and sparkling white incisors, but in the end, it wasn't silly. It might've been silly for a little human girl, but I was the Tooth Fairy. This was what I lived for.RotG - A Bitter Frost - 122 years ago in Romance More Like This
I still stayed away from my hometown. I didn't want to become distracted again, and there was no emotional disappointment in collecting teeth, besides the occasional pang when a child lost his last tooth, but it was all for a good cause so it was never hard to find happiness again. I still saw the other Guardians from time to time. There was rarely a year when I didn't run into North on December 25th, and I even saw Bunny a few times though our work schedules were fairly different. I saw Sandy more often than any of them and I would sometimes get to catch gli
RotG - A Bitter Frost - 14Flying from the Tooth Palace down to Earth to collect teeth took a very short time because whenever I flew out of the Palace, I seemed to be right above the places I needed to go to collect teeth. In the same way, when I flew back, I never had to look for the Palace. If I flew straight upward for long enough, I would eventually be there, surrounded by the towers and my fairies. Of course, I spent the vast majority of my time in the Palace itself nowadays. As more and more children were born, it was easier for us to keep up if I stayed there and fed my fairies information. But either way, flying to various cities was very different than flying to the Pole. I was definitely a faster flyer than most other winged creatures but it did take a fair amount of time to reach North's workshop.RotG - A Bitter Frost - 142 years ago in Romance More Like This
As I flew down through the skylight that I'd come through almost three hundred years ago, I saw that I wasn't late. Bunny was standing awkwardly by the fire, warming his feet and griping about the cold, and
RotG - A Bitter Frost - 16In all my years as the Tooth Fairy, I never had anything else strike terror into my heart the way that the sight before me did. Black horses. Everywhere.RotG - A Bitter Frost - 162 years ago in Romance More Like This
They flew around my towers, chasing after my fairies who were in a panic. Somewhere in the back of my mind I wondered how they'd found the Palace at all, and somewhere else I registered that these creatures could only be of Pitch Black's creation, but the rest of me was filled with both rage and panic. As the horses swept past me, I could hear tiny shrieks and caught glimpses of the fairies trapped within the bellies of the beasts. Others were flying away from the horses as fast as they could while still more of them were flying in formation, attacking the horses as best they could. I flew straight into the fray, diving at one of the horses, and found that it was less dense than I thought and seemed to be made of sand. My collision with it disturbed its shape and some of the fairies trapped in its belly were able to escape, but the da
RotG - A Bitter Frost - 15I couldn't stop staring at Jack. The emotions welling up inside me again caused me to flit back and forth and side to side in the air erratically without even noticing, because all I could see was the boy with the white hair, the boy I used to know. I barely registered the conversation going on as North made introductions. "... and the Tooth Fairy," he was saying, and it pulled me out of my thoughts. I'm not sure if it was because North had introduced me as the Tooth Fairy rather than just Toothiana, but the deluge of emotions was immediately cut off as the tooth-obsessed side of me kicked in instead.RotG - A Bitter Frost - 152 years ago in Romance More Like This
"Hello, Jack," I said, zipping over to him. In that moment, he was no longer Jack-Jackson-Overland-Frost to me anymore - just a boy with purportedly dazzling teeth. I beamed. "I've heard a lot about you, and your teeth!" I flitted around him in excitement, as did my fairies. Because I didn't have a whole lot of interaction with other people, I didn't realize that I could sometimes be a li
RotG - A Bitter Frost - 13How many times had I promised myself that I wouldn't return to the town I grew up in? I couldn't even remember, but after seeing Pippa and Isaac, I was compelled to check in on them every few weeks. It was never for very long that I visited, just a quick fly through town to peer in the windows. If I had stayed any longer, I would've gotten caught up in my emotions again. I told myself that I couldn't afford to lose time like that, but my fairies picked up the slack easily as long as I kept giving them directions. The real reason I avoided letting myself get too attached was that some part of me believed avoiding the feeling now would make things easier when I had to face the reality of the two of them dying, too. When the Man in the Moon had chosen me for this, he must've known that the first few decades wouldn't exactly be easy for me. Losing a person that was so dear to me in childhood had been tragically difficult, but knowing that I would outlive everyone I cared for and that mostRotG - A Bitter Frost - 132 years ago in Romance More Like This
RotG - A Bitter Frost - 18"Tooth," I heard someone say and I slowly opened my eyes. I was still groggy but as I looked up at Bunny standing over me, I could tell he was too. North was just climbing to his feet and Bunny helped me up. It seemed like Sandy's dreamsand worked on us immortal creatures differently than it did on humans. We should've been asleep for several hours but judging by the time on the clock it had been under an hour.RotG - A Bitter Frost - 182 years ago in Romance More Like This
I shook my head, trying to get rid of the drowsiness but it persisted. I could feel the urge to sleep taking hold of my mind again but we couldn't afford that right now. I looked around the room, my vision still a bit blurry. The boy was asleep on his bed, and so was the grayhound, but Bunny's eyes still shifted back to the dog every few seconds. Then he perked up, his eyes widening a little bit. "Where's Sandy?" he asked, a hint of urgency in his voice.
"Sandy?" North said sleepily.
"And where's Jack?" I said, immediately alert and a bit panicky. "You don't think Pitch--?"
RotG - A Bitter Frost - 19I'm not sure how long we all sat there. There was an empty ache in my heart. I hadn't dealt with this kind of loss in decades, centuries even. After all those years I'd managed to push the grieving to the back of my mind where it wouldn't hurt me constantly, but losing people you loved, that wasn't something that anyone could easily forget. And now it was happening again.RotG - A Bitter Frost - 192 years ago in Drama More Like This
Through the emotions pushed thoughts about the fight against Pitch. We couldn't just stop because we'd lost one of the Guardians. Jack's blue ice-firecracker attack had been powerful but not enough to stop Pitch from continuing his onslaught of fear. We would have to get up. We had to keep fighting - and we had to fight all the stronger now since we'd lost one of the Guardians. I told myself to get to my feet, I willed my wings to start beating and lift me off the ground, but it was like Sandy's death was a weight on my shoulders, pulling me down, keeping me from moving.
After sometime, North rose to his feet. "We mus
To See Him One Last Time - A Jack Frost one shotNote: This is not part of the series, "A Bitter Frost"To See Him One Last Time - A Jack Frost one shot2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
"Mother, listen to my heart..." Jack sang softly as he walked along the rooftops of Burgess, Massachusetts on a cold and quiet winter night. "Mother, listen to my heart - just as one beat ends, another starts..." He couldn't remember where he'd heard the song but it seemed to float through his head whenever he let his mind wander. Seeing the town from above, Jack imagined how it used to be, 300 years ago: fewer and smaller houses, a fire burning in the square, children running around before their parents called them in for the night... His memory of it was still fuzzy but bits and pieces would randomly come back to him.
Where ever he stepped, frost bloomed around his feet. Anyone else would've slipped and taken a nasty fall down to the ground below, but of course this was nothing new for Jack and his footing was as sure as ever. He glanced up at the Moon, but the Moon hadn't said anything to him in a long while
If The Roughness of My Skin Offends YouWhen people asked if she was ok, she only ever told them, "Yes, I'm fine," or some equivalent empty phrase. The words were enough to sate their pretend curiosity and they never asked any further questions because that was how it was supposed to be. "I'm fine," was her anthem and everyone believed it because it was too inconvenient to look for the truth.If The Roughness of My Skin Offends You3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
For them, to believe the lie was easier because if something was wrong and they were to know about it, then they would feel obligated to ask more questions, and pretend to care for longer, and no one wanted to go to the hassle and she didn't want to be a burden anyway. That wasn't how it was supposed to work. "How are you?" and "Are you ok?" were commonly known to be filler questions - tools for small talk and the cleansing of the conscience, not expressions of general interest. To answer anything but "Good," or "I'm fine," was to be seeking attention and no one wanted to deal with that. No one really cared that much.
But her cas