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“Who’s that?”

“Who’s who?”

“That girl over there. She’s sitting all by herself. She looks very lost. Maybe she needs help?”

“Oh, her. Listen here, boy, you don’t want nothing to do with her. You hear me?”

“What do you mean? She’s just a harmless girl. I’m going to go ask if she needs help.”

“Don’t! I mean it, boy! It’ll mean your life if you talk to that girl!”

“You can’t be serious…”

“Serious as cancer, kid.”

“But…but she’s just a girl. A lost-looking, lonely girl. How’s she going to kill me?”

“Not two months ago this kid came along, a newbie like yourself. Too smart for the likes of us, you see. I told him, same as I told you, to leave that girl alone. Well, Mr Know-it-all didn’t think much of my advice. Thought so little of it, in fact, that he went right on over to that girl and tried to talk to her. Didn’t get very far.”

“Why? What happened?”

“The same thing that happens every time, kid. She killed him. Killed him dead as dead can be.”

“But how? Quit talking in circles, old man, and get to the point! How does this harmless little girl kill a full-grown man? In broad daylight no less.”

“Alright, alright! I’ll tell you. No need to get all worked up… See, it starts out all innocent. Some guy will walk over to her, usually some Good Samaritan type like yourself, looking to see if she’s alright. He’ll say the usual line, “Sorry Ma’am, do you need some help?”. But before he gets more than two words out his mouth she’ll look up and he’ll be caught —“

“Caught? What do you mean ‘caught’?”

“I’ll tell you if you’ll stop interrupting my story!”

“Sorry…”

“As I was saying, he’ll be caught. Caught in her eyes.”

“Her eyes?”

“That’s what I said, ain’t it? You going deaf, boy?”

“But how’s that even possible? I mean, eyes?”

You ain’t never seen eyes like these before, kid, I can tell you that much. They’re something else. It’s like she’s got ice instead of eyes. Sharp, glittering ice that’s been split into tiny splinters that you can feel all the way to your bones. To your soul. And once she’s got those splinters in you, there ain’t no escape…”

“Escape from what?”

“Her fingers.”

“What’s wrong with her fingers?”

“That girl, that harmless little girl you wanted to talk to. She carries Death in her fingertips.”

“I don’t understand…”

“Once you’re caught in her eyes, she’ll get up real slow. And even more slow she’ll put those fingers on your skin, on your face. The moment she touches you, it feels like the ice from her eyes is pouring into your mouth and forcing its way down your throat. Down, down it goes till it’s got your heart in a death grip. And then it’s like…it’s like…”

“What? What happens then?”

“Well, it’s like you can hear your heart break. With one great snap the whole icy lump cracks and crumbles into nothing. Then your eyes film over like you’ve been dead for days. And you let out one last gasp, a puff of smoke in the air. Then you’re dead. Deader than dead. Just an icy corpse.”

“But…how? How does she do that?”

“No one really knows, kid. Some say she done something real awful and this is her punishment. Others say she got cursed by some evil demon and she can’t never get rid of it. Me, I got a theory of my own.”

“What’s your theory, then?”

“It’s her loneliness. Her loneliness kills the people around her.”

“Her loneliness? What makes you think that?”

“I been watching her for quite some time, boy. I’ve seen a few of her kills. At first I only saw the victims, the stubborn do-gooders that thought they would help out some helpless girl. But later on I started seeing her too. And do you know what I saw every single time that girl killed?”

“What?”

“Sadness. Heart-wrenching sadness all across her face like a neon sign. And tears streaming down her cheeks like little rivers. It hurts her just as much every time she kills, but for some reason she can’t stop. And I say that reason is loneliness.”

“Yeah, I see it now. She’s so desperately alone that she can’t help reaching out for human contact, even if it ends up killing the other person. That’s terrible… But doesn’t that little bit of contact take away some of her loneliness? Even just a little?”

“Nah, it just makes it worse. I seen that too. Every time after a kill, she looks colder, more icy. And her fingertips are so full of Death, it’s like you can see him dancing there. Waiting for the next victim.”

“Wow that’s — Wait, how do you know all of this? About her eyes and the ice?”

“’Cos I’m the only one that’s ever survived her.”

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