Jack blanked out and he found himself in void like darkness, and across from him was none other than the Nightmare King.
'Pitch… I know you're the one doing this…leave her alone! She's just a kid!'
'Hehehe…I'm not the one doing this. She brought this upon herself. I'm just 'assisting' with her panic.'
'Don't play coy, the ice break when I'm around—!'
'Well then perhaps it is you who caused this.'
'Your powers might be weakening. Or possibly…I might be getting stronger. Think about it, Jack.'
And with that the darkness disappeared along with the Boogeyman, time began to speed up, and Jack found himself in the same situation he was in before. He looked over at a panicked Jamie who was looking back at him with pleading eyes.
"Jack! You gotta help her, or else she's going to fall in!" Jamie yelled, Jack looked up at the sinking girl, and back to Jamie.
What if she doesn't see me…I can't help her if she can't…and I can't freeze over the pond again with her in the middle…
He clenched his staff so tightly that his knuckles became whiter than before.
But it's worth a shot…
"Jamie, stay here and don't step on the ice, whatever you do." Jack commanded as he marched his way to the banks of the pond. "What are going to do…?" "Just stay there." He commanded again.
Jack made it to the edge of the pond and carefully stepped onto the thinning ice, as thick layers of frost followed every cautious step he took. He needed to find a way to safely lead her out, and freeze over the pond when she was out of the way. He could have flown her out of there, but he didn't want to frighten her. So he thought it best to approach her slowly.
Pitch might have rigged the place… he thought.
Jamie saw what he was doing. Then he had an idea; "Skyler!" her head was turned away but she heard, "Y-yeah…?" she said a shaky voice, "You're going to have to trust me here! But I need you to do something!" "W-what is it?" Jamie seemed a little embarrassed but he knew it was the only way. He took a deep breath;
"I-I need you to believe in Jack Frost!" Jack stopped walking and looked back at the 12-year-old at the edge of the pond. "What? How is that going to—?" "Please! He's the only one who can save you!" "But…!" "JUST DO IT OR ELSE YOU'RE GOING TO DIE!" "Okay! Okay! I will! I believe in him! I believe in Jack frost!!" she yelled starting to sob a little, "I…b-believe…in Jack Frost…" she whimpered.
Jack suddenly had a chilling sensation go through his body. But it was a good feeling. He could feel the adrenaline pumping. He started walking towards her again, but faster, and with more determination.
When he was nearly five feet away from the girl he was pursuing, her head was still turned away from him. He inched his way to her cautiously; she might say she believes…but let's see for sure…
"Alright…just a little…" Snap! The ice broke out into a myriad of cracks beneath his bare foot; "Whoa…!" he jumped back.
That's never happened before…!
"Huh…?" Jack froze, surprising himself, "W-what are you doing here…?" she asked in small, shaken voice.
S-she…can see me…? He slowly looked up to have his icy blue eyes meet dark brown ones, which were glazed over with fear and confusion. She seemed to be slowly looking him over. Thoughts and questions raced through the winter spirit's mind.
Can she see me? Is she looking at me? Wait, could she hear me?! She really does believe…
His thoughts were interrupted when the ice beneath them cracked again, and the girl whimpered slightly. Jack collected himself and decided to think about it later; right now he had to get Skyler out of here. Now.
"Hey… Hey can you hear me?" he asked, the girl looked up at him and nodded wordlessly, Jack was internally overjoyed, but he kept a straight face while looking at the girl, "My name's Jack." He said, trying to lighten the mood, "What's yours?" She trembled slightly, and answered, "S-Skyler…" she whimpered. Jack smiled, "That's a pretty name." he said, trying to sound friendly, the ice cracked more, and he crouched down and held his hands out in front of him, keeping his balance, "Skyler, I'm going to get you out of here, so I'm going to need you to trust me, aright?" She nodded, "Okay…" she said in a small whispery voice. Snap! She gave a small whimper.
He forced a smile and held his hands up, "Hey, hey, hey it's okay, it's okay, you're going to be fine, just keep looking at me and don't look down." He said in a soothing voice, "J-Jack… I-I don't want to fall… I-I'm scared…I don't want this to happen again…!" she started to cry a little, "No, no, no trust me, you're not going to fall. You're not going to fall. I promise. I know you're scared. But you just have to believe in me…just like what Jamie told you…" She looked back up into his icy blue eyes which held such seriousness and sincerity, she hesitated, he looked at her almost pleadingly, "…Please, Skyler…believe in me."
She looked into his eyes and seemed to calm down and relax for a moment, and almost forgetting the danger unfolding beneath her. Jack smiled at her reaction. Good, she's calm now…but what does she mean, happen 'again'? Did she fall through thin ice before?
Then suddenly he remembered. He had done this before. He remembered how he saved his sister from the same place, in the same position. This girl reminded him so much of her, but he never had he see his sister as scared as this girl, who was scared to the point of paralysis. And at this point, though he hated to admit it; he was started to get worried. Skyler was at the brink of falling through. But no. He wasn't going to let that happen. Not again.
He looked behind him briefly to see Jamie was watching them anxiously. Jack looked back to the girl and down at the ice path he made while walking to her.
He had an idea. He held out the end of his staff to her, "I need you to take the end of this, and I'm going to pull you out, but don't let go, okay?" she nodded again and grabbed the end of his staff, which glowed ominously as soon as she touched it, then it faded out just as quickly as it came. He blinked a couple of times; he looked at Skyler who didn't seem to notice it.
He shook his head.
It was probably nothing…
Jack looked down at the ice, which was dissipating quickly, "Okay, on the count of three, I'm going to pull you out; One…Two…"
"…Three!" he yanked her off the thin ice, and slid forward into Jack's arms. She gripped his sweatshirt, desperately clinging to him. Jack gave a small laugh, "See, you're fine. You're just fine." She looked up at him, dry tears clung to her face, but she managed a small smile, "Thank you—"
The ice finally started to collapse in itself and the whole pond began to break apart. Jack immediately pulled away grabbing Skyler's wrist, and sprinted across the pond, the ice shattering behind them. Skyler was skating as fast as she could, trying to catch up with the strange boy. As they neared the edge of the pond, one of her skates caught in a deep crevice in the ice, losing her grip on Jack's hand, she fell forward hitting her head, face first.
Jack skidded to a halt, turning back to her. "Skyler!" he yelled, as a myriad of cracks began to materialize under her, she sat up, seemingly dazed from the impact, holding her head, completely unaware of the danger under her. Jack flew towards her, picked her up, and ran as so fast that he tripped and crashed onto the bank of the pond so fast that he landed on his back, skidding into the snow, with the young teen in his arms.
"Jack!" Jamie ran up to the two, helping Jack sit up, clutching the girl in his arm, while the other held his staff, "Jeez, are you okay??" Jack winced a little and rubbed his head, "I'm not flying that fast again…" he groaned, he looked down at the girl in his lap, "Is she okay…?" Jack asked, Jamie turned Skyler over and saw that she was unconscious, with a big purple bruise on the side of her forehead which had a small cut on it. "Oh jeez…!"
Skyler groaned at the noise and opened her eyes half-way and saw two figures looming over her talking frantically. She could barely make-out what they were saying. She was cold and her head was throbbing.
"…hit her head when…ice broke… we need… go Jamie…" her hearing was going in and out of focus, "Jack…take her back…in trouble…needs help…!" she opened her eyes more and the first thing she saw were bright, icy blue, eyes staring back at her.
"You're going to be fine…"
I know…I know I'm fine… she thought.
She slowly slipped into unconsciousness.
It's dark. The snow was thick as it beat against the windshield, the wipers moving rapidly against the sporadic winds. She was sitting in the back seat quietly as her parents were engrossed in a conversation she didn't understand, and her father was turning the steering wheel left and right and her step-mom was talking happily about something. She was staring out the window, watching the snow beat against the windows.
She was always mystified by how white it was, and how quietly it fell when it hit the ground, unlike the heavy rain and hail she had seen before. Of course, what kind of nine-year old wasn't mystified by such a magical wonder such as snow?
Something caught her eye through the dark frost covered trees. She looked up and gave a toothy grin when the beauty of the snow was added by the full moon; which shined ominously down on her, as if it were saying hello.
'Hey sweety, what'chya smiling at?' her father asked, she bit her lip, but continued to smile, 'The moon.' She said simply. He father laughed and turned his head back to the road.
She turned away from the moon and looked through the windshield and her eyes widened.
She saw a dark figure standing in the middle of the road, which she soon made out to be the shape of a person. She gasped.
'Daddy! There's a person in the road! There's a person in the road!' her dad looked in front of him, eyes wide, and he swerved out of the way.
She found herself out of the car and sitting on thin ice. She began to panic as a myriad
of cracks developed under her small form.
Then it finally gave out.
Cold. Wet. Her throat burning from the bone nipping cold. Breaking ice. Splashing.
Choking. Crying. Screaming under the burning cold water.
She knew it was all over…she was going to die…
Then it stopped. It just stopped.
No struggling, no crying.
Just the comforting light of the moon.
'…don't cry…it's going be okay…'
A male voice said.
She opened her eyes and was met with the sight of the full moon; which looked down on her
like an old friend.
'He'll protect you.'
She looked to her right and saw the familiar sight of icy blue eyes staring down at her.
"Who are you…?"
The person in which the eyes belonged to gave a small smile.
"Shh…you're going to be fine…you're safe now…"
He eyes snapped open, heart pounding. She had that dream again. Her head throbbed painfully, and she winced as she moved.
Her memory was foggy for a moment, and then they widened immediately, "Jamie—!"
"Whoa!" her head snapped in the direction of the voice and she saw Jaime, looking rather surprised. She looked around, panicked and confused; she was at back home in her room, with her flannel pajamas on. She looked out the window to see how dark it was. Was it night time already?
"Jamie…what am I doing here…?"
"You had quite a tumble." Skyler looked up and saw her foster mother, Cheryl, leaning against the door. She was an African-American woman wearing a black turtle neck with jeans; and her short black hair was down, just below her shoulders.
"Ma'am…" Skyler said, clearing her throat, nervously. "Jamie," he looked up at her, "You can go home now." Jamie hesitated and looked at his friend lying in the bed, he nodded and got up from the chair he was sitting in. "I'll see you later…" she nodded.
He left the room, and Skyler's foster mother sat in the chair Jaime was just sitting in, "Jaime told me what happened." Skyler bit her lip, "You've got to be more careful when you're skating on a frozen pond. When Jamie came here with you out cold, I feared the worst…" Cheryl enveloped Skyler in her arms, "Promise me you won't go skating on that pond again. Alright?" Skyler nodded, "Yes, Aunt Cheryl." Skyler said.
Cheryl let go, and looked into Skyler dark brown eyes, "Get's some sleep. You got a pretty big bump on your head." She felt her forehead and noticed there was a band-aid over it.
Ow… she thought.
She sighed and nodded, "G'night, sweety." Cheryl said, "Night…" She said back. And with that, she closed the door.
And Skyler was alone in her dark bedroom.
Tap. Tap. Clink. Ka-shink. Wrrrr-sshhink…..!
Skyler woke up again hearing the sounds of the window opening. And the sounds of tip-toe- like foot-steps on the wooden floor.
She didn't move; her face was covered by the blankets, her eyes wide open, listening.
"Are you sure it's her, mate?" a deep male voice with an Australian accent whispered. She tensed a little, her eyes wide and darting around, "Yes, I'm sure! I wouldn't help you break in to someone's house to get her, if I wasn't sure." A young male voice said. "But how can you tell?" "I just know, okay!" "What? I'm just asking!" "Look, Pitch wouldn't destroy the whole pond just to get rid of one girl! Do you find any coincidence in that?" "Well, she could have landed on the ice wrong!" "The ice was too thick for that!" The voices in her room started bickering in loud whispering voices. She heard a jingling noise and the bickering stopped for a brief second.
"Stay out of this Sandy!" the voices said at the same time. Skyler turned on her side as slowly as possible, and reached her hand slowly down to the side of her bed for her flashlight which she always kept there just in case.
They continued to bicker, and she felt her hand wrap around the cold metal flashlight. After a moment, the intruder's whispers turned to quiet yells.
"Y'know what? Sometimes, I regret thinking you could do this on your own! 'Cause you never take anything seriously!" "Well right now I regret I even called you out here in the first place!" "You wouldn't get the job done even if you—!"
"Freeze! I have a metal flashlight and I'm not afraid to use—!"
The light flashed on the three intruders in the room, and they froze, wide-eyed staring at the girl in bed holding the flashlight.
"Oh…Crikey…" they all cringed.
There was a long pause.
"Oh…my…God." Skyler said.
"I think I've gone crazy…"