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Presented by State Library Victoria

Goodbye Ice Queen, From Natalie

Goodbye Ice Queen, From Natalie

My dog, Clementine was drawn to the house like it was a bone or a chunk of meat for her to tear apart. The first thing I noticed about it, was the deep blue awning that lined the roof. The rest of the house was a shocking white. It looked as if it had been abandoned years ago, strong, green vines running up its rough, weatherboard exterior.

Clementine raced up the concrete path that led to the rusted screen door. She was desperate to get in. I checked for a doorbell and as I had predicted there wasn’t one. So I knocked hard on the screen door.

A girl with hair that looked like the summer sun setting after a long hot day stood on the doorstep. The scent of vanilla washed over her like warm waves. Her fiery eyes staring into my soul. Seeing Clementine, she bent down rubbing her ears. “Who’s this cutie?” Her voice was warm and made my heart race inside my chest. I blushed. I did my best to hide it. Thankfully she was still obsessing over Clementine.

I bent down next to her. “This is my dog Clementine. She was pulling me all the way here. My name is Natalie…” Her fiery eyes held my heart captive, “I- you are?”

The girl replied looking at me and my mental messiness, “I’m Summer.” I never thought I’d hear such a fitting name. I shook the thought out of my head and scolded myself internally. I must not fall in love with a girl.

Summer petted Clementine between her ears and she barked in joy. Summer giggled, “She likes that.”

I nodded, clenching my jaw.

Summer stood back up again and asked, “You wanna come in?”

I stood up too and shook my head. “I must get going,” I told her abruptly, feeling the flush of red revealing my inner thoughts.

Summer nodded dropping her gaze to her toes hiding her own secrets.

I pulled Clementine away from the house. She fought against me, just as desperate to return to Summer as I was. I tugged harder again on her leash. The leash gave out and Clementine sprinted into Summer’s house. “Clementine!” I yelled at the top of my lungs. Summer shook her head,” Come on in.” I hesitantly slipped into the house.

The walls were deteriorating. They looked like an old newspaper. Summer led me deeper into the house, through the maze of rooms. Each room had a different purpose but I didn’t have time to look around and learn my way. Clementine wasn’t anywhere. That’s when Summer turned around and laughed. I spun on the heels of my feet. There she was. “Clementine! You were following us the whole time!” I laughed.

Summer smirked, “Well you’re in here now… why don’t you stay for a drink?”

I shook my head and cradled Clementine. “I have to go,” was all I muttered before I turned and left.

I knew immediately what my parents wanted when they sat me down. They’d found out. They knew who I was. I’d done my best to hide it, to bury it down inside myself and deny it.

Bile rose up my throat. I swallowed hard, Mum glaring at me, dad cracking his knuckles. My eyes widened as I could see their true intentions -violence. I jumped out of my chair but dad pinned me down. His dark brown eyes stared into my light blue ones. “You disgust me!” He spat at my face, the warm saliva running down my cheek. The taste of bile grew stronger in my mouth.

He breathed in my face, the stale cigarette smoke burning my nostrils. His teeth were yellow from the years he had spent smoking. I winced; I never thought my parents would be calling me disgusting. Actually… I knew someone would call me that, if they were to find out.

That’s when he balled his hand into a tight fist, I saw the whites of his knuckles as he raised his hand in the air. I felt the rush of air first, and then it landed on my lip, ripping open my soft pink lip. I screamed. His leg raised, he landed hard on my stomach knocking all the air out of my lungs. I gasped for air unable to speak.

Then he picked me up roughly. I was tempted to kick and scream, I knew he wouldn’t take that well so I kept my mouth closed and legs still. My mum threw the door open for him. My heart sank.

Next thing I remember was running, so much running. I’d found my way to Summer’s house. I was panting on the doorstep when she opened the door for the second time.

Summer knew something was wrong but she didn’t ask. She gathered up pillows, sheets and a mattress. She put them on the floor of the one bedroom in the house.

I didn’t ask why there was just one bedroom, at least I don’t remember asking, she just told me. “I live alone. That’s why there’s only one bedroom… in case you were wondering,” Summer stated. I nodded slightly, crawling into bed, grateful for safety.

Summer looked down at me and asked, “Can I sleep next to you? It gets lonely up here…” I nodded as a reply. I blushed furiously as she put down her pillow and lied next to me. She was right next to me and I was right next to her. I fell asleep then. Summer fell asleep next to me.

I woke up to a foot with a heavy soled boot, kicking me hard. “Lesbians!” The word was spat at us. The shape his face made, you’d think he’d forgotten to take out his mouldy, tuna sandwich from its container after two weeks. I will remember it forever.

I didn’t know who it was but Summer did. She groaned; her dark eyes flashed with fear. Summer pleaded, “Don’t turn us in! It isn’t what it looks like!”

The boy just snarled, “Too late.” The house was suddenly filled with men armed with guns. We had just fallen asleep next to each other. Our only crime: Sharing a bed.

“Death sentence, stone the lesbians,” The judge announced.

Summer cried. My stomach fell to the floor. A death sentence after one infringement; and for something so innocent too.

Summer whispered, “Natalie I’m so sorry, I should’ve told you I’m a lesbian… this isn’t my first time getting caught but I just thought they’d have some common sense.” I looked at her. I hadn’t known her for long but I wanted to. I had to. I would escape for Summer. I would get Summer out of here. She wouldn’t die here. She couldn’t die here.

I pulled Summer into my arms. She looked up at me. I never noticed how beautiful her eyes were until I had her in my arms. I tried to find a word to match how I was feeling. Happy didn’t seem enough.

Her head in my lap. Her blue eyes with flecks of green and brown fluttering shut as she muttered, “Ice Queen.” A drop of water ran down her face. I realised the water was coming from my own eyes.

I finished her quote for her, “We are all Ice Queens. Our hearts frozen cages. We shall never let them love if we wish to survive, just survive, not live. For we cannot live if we do not love.” Summer looked surprised that I knew the lines that were said by the people who once fought for our rights.

I kissed her gently. My heart melted, for that cage I kept myself locked in, was gone.

2 comments

bookwithbane

Nice! The only criticisms that I have are that she sounds a little too quick/creepy/obsessive when she goes "I must not fall in love with this girl", as it appears that they are strangers. It also progresses a little too fast for my liking. You need to focus more on the parents' reaction, the MCs escape and the capture. Also a new character is introduced - the boy- which we don't really learn much about. The relationship feels a bit forced and rushed and overall creepy and not very realistic as she rushes to Summer and lets her sleep next to her without much of a relationship. This was my thought process throughout the story "cool, shipped, woAH, yIkes, creepy, NO!". I'm assuming this is a dystopian world where LGBQTIA+ people are hunted down? You have a good story that you can work on. Now to mention the good stuff. I love your descriptions and the framework you've laid down! Work on it!

1st Jun, 19
dolphinkick

Thank you, I’m going to use it as a plan/draft and work on it. I will get rid of all the creepiness as well as slow it down.

2nd Jun, 19