Henry's in the hospital. They said that they might have to amputate his arm. When they brought him into surgery, he begged me not to leave him alone, but I couldn't stay. I couldn't.
I don't understand. I don't understand what happened at all.
She told me everything she knew about it. About the Cold Boy. She said that we were going to take the fight to it. "How?" I asked.
"It has minions," she said. "They call themselves the Children of the Cold. They can't be hurt by bullets, but I know what probably will hurt them." She brought out bottles, half-filled with alcohol, the tops stuffed with rags. "Molotov cocktails," she said. "It's time to fight ice with fire."
And so we made a plan. And we waited. We waited for the enemy to appear. "I see one," Henry finally said. He had the binoculars, he was our lookout. They were coming for us, but we could see them when they did.
I don't even know his last name. They asked me at the hospital, but I didn't know. His arm looked pale and dead. "Advanced stages of frostbite," they said.
"I see one," Henry said. "It's time," Holly said. We packed our Molotov cocktails and the lighters Holly had handed out (mine was bright green) and stepped outside into the cold. Henry pointed and we saw him: a small child on the edge of the quad, kneeling down, his eyes staring at us. They were black.
"Now what?" I asked.
"We follow him," Holly said. "They'll lead us to more, perhaps a lair of some sort. And then we burn it down. We see how they like fire."
We followed the black-eyed child. I'm sure he knew we were following him. He didn't care. I swear I heard him laughing sometimes, laughing at our naivete. At our stupidity.
He was leading us to a trap. Of course he was. Perhaps Holly and Henry were so consumed with destroying the enemy that they didn't see it. Perhaps they saw it and decided to go anyway. (I don't know why they were so gung-ho about it, but Holly said that it was personal for Henry, that some member of his family had been taken by the Cold Boy. One of the black-eyed children might have been his.)
So we followed the child and he led us to a building on the edge of campus. We followed him like fools. Holly went first and then Henry and I was last, holding my Molotov cocktail out like it would protect me. Inside was a corridor and then a set of double doors. Holly and Henry pushed them open and walked through and I turned around to check behind me. Then I walked through the double doors.
And I found myself someplace cold and white. All around me was a blizzard and snow began to cover my feet and legs. I tried walking forward, but just moving was hard. I finally realized that I still had my Molotov cocktail in my hand, so I lit it and watched it burst into flames, then dropped it on the ground. It created a small fire that warmed me for a moment before the flames completely died. I tried looking around, but all I could see was whiteness. A blank white nothingness.
I closed my eyes and felt my heat seeping away from me. I opened them and found myself back in the corridor. Holly and Henry were gone. I ran forward looking for them.
I found them a few rooms later. Henry said that he had been waiting for them. I didn't have to ask who. The room was covered in a thin layer of frost. Holly was lying face down on the floor. I turned her over to see how she was, then backed away and vomited. Her eyes had been frozen solid, then shattered. Her mouth was frozen in a scream.
I called 911. Henry was crying in pain, his right arm motionless and pale. I couldn't look at Holly's body, so I looked around the room. There was a whiteboard on the wall. Someone had written on it. Someone had written:
JE T'ATTENDS DANS
LE COEUR D'HIVER
LA COUR D'HIVER
LE COEUR D'HIVER
LA COUR D'HIVER
I erased it before the paramedics got there.