In which me and Theodore re-enact the final scene from "Ice Castles"

by Mary Hamilton

(The full title of this story is In which me and Theodore re-enact the final scene from "Ice Castles," the 1978 motion picture co-starring Robby Benson and Lynn-Holly Johnson)

We forgot about the flowers and so we fell, face first, onto the ice. And the fall cut our foreheads. And the cut made blood spill out. And the blood made the ice red, it made the ice very, very red. And the blood spread across the ice and made the flowers red too. Flowers that used to be yellow and pink and a really lovely shade of peachy orange were now red. And when we stopped the bleeding, with carefully placed pressure and bandages made of torn sleeves, we mashed up the red ice and made sno-cones to give to our vampire friends. We made centerpieces out of all the stained flowers and brought them to a wedding reception for our friends. They were flattered at the gesture of kindness and love. How thoughtful of us to consider their hunger!

"It was no bother," we told them, "we had to do something to make up for our tardiness." We were late to the reception because we had passed out on the ice for a long time and let the night get big and fat around us. The night froze our clothes to the lake. Our skates froze in the bloody red blood that covered the frozen lake. We tore our pants and pulled ourselves up. We tore away from the ice and carried the sno-cones and bouquets across the forest to get to that reception hall and the whole way there, we were barefoot and half torn away from being dressed appropriately for such an occasion. When we arrived at the party, our feet were swollen, frozen blocks of ice. Our feet were blue and so big and hurtful. The flesh where we used to have toenails had turned black and the black spread in a devil's peak of dead skin around our toes, making our feet like wing-tipped blocks of ice.

We danced anyway. The wedding band played our favorite songs and we danced the cha-cha, the boog-a-loo, the chicken dance, and the rhumba. Our feet, so heavy and still frozen all the way through, made clanking noises on the wooden dance floor. To our vampire friends, it sounded like tap shoes. They cheered and formed a circle around us, stomping their feet and clapping their hands and spitting salt onto the floor where we danced. To us, the sound was like a radiator rattling to get heat and steam into a low-rent apartment.

The party went all night. The bride and groom went home. The caterers went home. Even the band went home. Before we knew what was what, it was just us and some ushers and a drunk and horny bridesmaid or two until the dawn started to break and they all rushed away in a haze of kisses and hugs before the sun could burn their adorable rosy red cheeks and pretty cupid's bow lips.

And so we made our way back through the woods to the bloody red bloody lake and waited until the sun was as far as it could possibly get from either horizon and we lay on our backs and stuck our feet in the air to make them thaw and then he said to me, "I think we've been tricked." He said, "I'm looking at the sun and I think it is not the sun, I think it is the moon because it is blue and not quite round and I can look right at it now and I am still not blind."

I look at the moon too and I agree with him. I think we must have passed out again. But this time, when we try to get up and go, our skin is stuck to the ice. Our whole bodies are frozen to the top of the lake and I say to him, "I guess we'll just have to wait for morning."

So I start to sing and he asks me to stop. So I make up riddles to pass the time and he asks me to stop. So I close my eyes and hold my breath and pull at my arms until they pull away from skin and ice and I pull my legs until they too let go of flesh and lake and I make my way to the place where we first fell and I stand over the last of the flowers, which used to be yellow and pink and a lovely shade of peachy orange, and I make them red with the blood that spills from my arms and legs and neck, and I gather them together and bind them with a tendon that I pulled from my torn and exposed left forearm and I bring him a bouquet of red and he thanks me for my kindness. For my thoughtful consideration of his hunger.