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The Frost

by Jonathan Sreeves, aged 12

The Frost

Read by Chris Pavlo from the BBC Radio Drama Company

He has come in like a wraith, sneaking, creeping, and skulking. He has emerged from the ground, coming out of his hiding. He has stolen, stalked through the night, advancing his territory of glistening white. He has crawled across every window like a spider, leaving a cobweb of icy veins in his wake. Every blade of grass is now a jagged icy spire and the river has grown a skin of ice. The frost has awoken once again and the world is his domain.

I stare out across the land. It is a quilt of pure white thread, hills and valleys creases in the fabric. I shake off my cover of leaves and poke my head out into the morning light. A gust of chilling wind brushes against my face, urging, encouraging me to retreat into my home. But I don’t, for I am watching the coming of the frost. He has awoken angry this dawn I notice; he cares little for animals in his path, charging like an army across the countryside. I can hear his grating whispers and his breath, coming in ragged gusts. Haunting whispers fill the air, waking confused creatures, now forced to get their bearings in this new tundra world. But some traces of the frost’s more gentle reincarnations remain in him - he carves delicate sculptures from ice, weaves intricate white threads across the hills.

I tentatively step out, my talons leaving scratches behind on the wood. I gaze out from my perch, high in the air, my lookout point. Then I lean forwards. I plummet, my surroundings a blur of brown, white and green. The breeze feels like a gale on my face and my feathers flutter behind me. The ground rushes up to me, and then, with a shrill cry emitting from my throat, I spread my wings and fly.

I soar, breaking through the thin, swirling cloud of mist. For the first time, I feel the sun on my back, dispelling all traces of cold. I feel alive. I let out another cry of joy as I wheel up in the heavens. Looking down, I see the frost again, but he is retreating. His domain is reducing, the borders of his realm giving way to the warm touch of the sun. It makes me feel sad, the prospect of his life lasting all but a few hours. But I know he will be reborn tomorrow in all his glory, with a new personality.

I return to my home and gaze at the land once more. His forces have now surrendered. All that remains is a vast plain of dew, glistening in the victor’s light. I withdraw into my home and nestle back into my quilt of leaves. But I feel different from last time. I feel free, feel unrestricted. I feel like the frost.

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