i. lesson in ice

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She never took the gloves off - even when it was the peak of summer. She always wore them. Whether it be with a sundress or a cotton coat, she was always found with her gloves. The only time she didn't have them on was when she was changing them.

She had made the mistake of taking them off once. When she was younger. And from them she had it engraved into her brain that her without gloves was a bad and dangerous thing.

Everyone figured it was a gimmick, something to keep her ladylike. But in all honesty she was just petrified of her own hands.

The only person to see her with the gloves off was Vernon. And that in itself had been an accident when she eleven. She had gotten them wet and they had clung to her fingers and all she wanted to do was to get them off. So she pulled them off, finger by finger until they were loose and she could slide them off her petite palms.

Vernon had knocked on her bedroom door but she hadn't answered. And, assuming she was asleep, he pushed the door open slightly. She wasn't asleep, in fact, if her heart was beating she would've been having a heart attack.

Nothing was the same from that day forward.

Vernon had tried to teach her that what happened when she went without her gloves was a gift. A gift she could learn to control.

And then she turned fourteen and the 'gift' grew and grew until Vernon had no choice but to try and train her himself.

A young Sabrina sat with her legs crossed on the lounge, the leather sticking to the fabric of her summer dress. She could visibly see her uncle sweating in the seat across from her but she remained unfazed by the hot weather.

"C'mon, 'brina," the older man ushered, leaning forward in his seat and clasping his hands together, "we both know you can do it," he encouraged, focusing his attention on the table in front of them before reaching for the match and relighting the candle.

"I don't think it's humanly possible to do...that to a candle," she answered in an annoyed voice. She had already failed too many times to be positive about it.

"It's not," he responded, "not if you don't take the gloves off," he tried to coax. He knew how this ended; with her storming away, gloves still fit tightly to the expanse of her hands.

"Uncle V," She protested, shaking her head adamantly, "I don't know how many times I have to tell you this; the gloves stay on. They'll always stay on! This isn't a gift like you say, it's a burden. You don't understand what happens when the gloves come off!" She raised her voice, hiding her hands behind her back quickly although she knew that he wouldn't forcefully pull them off.

"It'll be a gift when you can control it," he tried again, pulling his thickly framed glasses off his face and rubbing the bridge of his nose in frustration, "you've just got to trust me, Sabrina," he flickered his blue eyes up to meet her wide ones.

"It's not you I don't trust," she answered, voice wavering slightly as she brushed her hair out of her face, "I'm sorry," she whispered, not daring to meet his eyes before she leaned down and became eye level with the white candle. She gave a little blow of air that was intended to blow out the candle but immediate shock ran across her face as the air turned blue.

Vernon widened his eyes, taking in the candle that was once melting. It's white had been encased in a layer of frost that looked more like crystal as it reflected the light and the flame itself was completely encased and crystallised, "well that's new," he muttered, rubbing his chin in wonder.

"Great," Sabrina huffed, "this is exactly what I needed."


She was older now, her hair was longer, her lips were plumper but the gloves on her hands remained the same. They have become a security blanket at this point; most people were insecure about their laugh or the wrinkles around their eyes, but at the tender age of seventeen - she was most insecure about her hands.

So much so that she couldn't even bare to look at them when she switched gloves.

She had gotten the crystal breath under control.

For the most part at least; when she got really upset and started yelling spouted out of her like hateful words. The first time that happened she had crystallised her uncle's bird. The second? We don't talk about that time. But the third time it happened?

Well, she learnt to walk away from arguments instead of engaging from then on.

Unfortunately, a young girl who would walk away when you tried to talk to her in a tone of voice other than calm was misconstrued. She came off as a bitch. A cold bitch, but a bitch nonetheless. It was fitting really, people thinking she was cold without actually knowing how cold she could really be.

No one knew what Sabrina could do besides Vernon.

And even then, he didn't know what it was like when her gloves came off.

She would get stares at school for always wearing the gloves; but she didn't give a shit about any of those people. She knew she was on the level above them; not because she could do...things. But because she didn't judge people for what they wore.

Sabrina Fischer didn't have friends. Not by a personal choice, she had tried to make them but ultimately - they found her secrecy too unnerving and eventually always dumped her. She spent her afternoons with her uncle, watching tv, playing scrabble or suffering through lessons in order to finally take her gloves off.

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