The winter set in, as bleak and dark as any other, and like every winter, the village closed its doors at the setting of the winter sun. Fear wrapped itself around every adult as they tucked their children into their beds for the night. Stillness descended.
Natan lay awake, staring into the pitch black. And then he heard it. He strained his ears. The gentle tinkling sound filled the night. It was enchanting and Natan crept out of bed towards the darkened window. Nothing stirred but the tinkling of bells seemed to be right outside. Against all warnings, Natan opened the door. The crunching of the snow magnified in the silent night but still Natan walked, following the bells, not feeling the bitter wind that whipped his skin, not feeling the cold, wet snow on his bare feet that were turning blue. All he felt was his heart beating in tune with the tinkling bells; a winter symphony joining his bitter march.
Soon the village was far behind, his tracks nowhere to be seen with the fresh fall of snow. A tender voice began to serenade through the wind as the bare trees thrashed their branches against Natan’s skin. But all he felt was the warmth of the music.
Finally, Natan found himself standing in a great hall.
“Thank you for joining me. I do get lonely up here.” An icy voice penetrated deep into Natan.
“Where am I?” He shivered, feeling the bitterness of the night.
“Surely your parents told you about me? Warned you not to open the door, not to follow the bells and the singing?”
“I want to go home.”
“My dear child, you are home.” Natan stared and noticed ice statues standing around the room. He felt a coldness pierce his heart as he stiffened and realised too late he was to become another permanent ice fixture of the palace. . .
Thanks to Inky fingers herself, Ruth and Jar of Fireflies for hosting. xxxx