“The third day comes a frost, a killing frost.” He smiled, pebble shaped, gray toothed. Thin moustache quivered, pupiless eyes staring blank upon me.
I recognized Shakespeare’s quote, remembered vivid the last time I’d heard it: standing by the root cellar with Rose that November day when The Mother and Rose had first met face to face.
“Let me go” I repeated once more, hoping this time something in his twisted mind would hear me. I should be able to control him. Should be able to wrap the red cord round his wrist with a hand swift as my northern winds; binding and holding his hands tight.
But I couldn’t. The cord lay just behind him; meandering as a snake trail upon the dust and no matter how hard I tried; how easily the strong words whispered into the night air the spell it spread about me held fast.
Much too fast to have been cast by this poor staring fool.
“But the frost” he repeated. “The killin’ frost it comes. And you will be as a fairy princess robed in white crystal, laid upon the earth for the world to see…”
I rolled my eyes at this. Unable to help myself I rolled my eyes and felt a bitter smile touch my lips.
So that’s what he thinks. That is the tale she has spun…
“I’m no fairy princess”. I made my voice harsh, pity catching in my throat as I watched him recoil. “It’s another lie The Mother has told you”. He moved back a full step at that, the heel of his boot catching at the cord, moving it ever so slight awry from its careful pattern.
He shook his head quick; licked his lips, moved back half a step more.
“She lies to you” I hissed, feeling the strength edging its way into my words ever so soft. “She always has. She isn’t what you think she is.”
His eyes narrowed, “No…” And I winced at his confused look; a child mind in a grown man’s, in a monster’s body. “She’s The Mother. Mothers don’t lie.”
“She is no one’s mother” I said, stretching a hand toward him, testing the veil which had separated us till now. “Not yours, not The Sister’s, not anyone’s”.
He took another unsteady step back and the red cord drug full beneath his boot and stuck; smearing the hex pattern, crystallizing the spell. I heard it moan painful and splinter away; white dust at this poor Gollum’s feet.
And despite his stupor, despite his dull wit and half formed mind, the Gollum heard it too. He heard it and spun round, jaw agape. Thin brownish drool hanging from one lip as he stared; covering his ears with broad hands, fingers spread wide.
“No” he gasped, glancing wild toward me and back again to the fine dust; already coalescing of its own accord into a dense oval, shrinking down, burrowing into the hard earth. “She will be so angry..” his voice broke, tears spilling from those eyes, running rivulets down his wide cheeks.
“You mustn’t worry about that” pity overtook my disgust, my rage, and I smiled at him; only just resisting the urge to brush back a lock of his lank hair. “I’ll take care of the Mother”.
“You?” He moved a step nearer, head tilted birdlike to one side. “No…”
“Yes.” Allowing my smile to widen I reached out and actually grasped his sweaty hand in mine. “And now it’s time for you and I to go home. For the third day comes soon, and with it a killing frost.”