“Would you like to know the secret?”
Little Thing nodded.
“If you can survive submerging yourself in this spring I will tell you and then I will make love to you.”
The human slipped off her dress and waded into the frigid water. She was careful to show Ice nothing on her face, not her pain or her victory. Little Thing looked in her pale silver eyes as though they were equals, as though she could not end her with one wave of her cold hand. Ice laughed and it sounded like frigid wind howling. She wrapped her crystalline arms around Little Thing and drew her close, throughly freezing whatever was left of her. She brushed the straight black hair from her ear. Her whisper smelled of pine needles and left a touch of frost bite on Little Things’s ear.
“One coveted thing given willingly.” Ice kissed her neck.
Little Thing willed her body not to shake, to feel nothing but pleasure and power. And how closely the two were becoming intertwined.
“One secret never before told.”
Ice slowly achingly explored Little Thing’s flesh, her hands somehow colder than the water.
“One’s blood on one’s hands.”
When Little Thing first came to the forest she was repulsed by how human she still felt. She had died. Wasn’t she supposed to ascend to something greater? Of course she didn’t believe in angels. That was simply human weakness masquerading as faith. But she did believe in demons and as the immortal viciously kissed her, she felt her cumbersome humanity draining away at last.
“One’s name forever forgotten.” Ice whispered the last piece of the secret and they made love in the water.
Little Thing let Ice ruin her insides with cold. It felt like dying all over again, but still Little Thing smiled. Still, she came, as she had always planned to, silently and lethally.
Ice laughed and sent her on her way when it was over, unknowing that Little Thing had already put the sequence into motion. The human had just given to the immortal, if only for a moment, what she coveted most in her life and in her death: control.
The next step would be more involved. Extinction. Little thing laid awake at night tasting the word in her mouth. The complete irradiation of a living species. When the immortals slept lazily over each other after too much wine, Little Thing took to the forest with murder in her eyes. After careful scrutiny she chose a small creature that looked like the product of a chipmunk and some sort of reptile and she hunted them. She strangled the breath from each tiny thing and it became easier and easier to find them. They liked to scurry back to their dens when there was trouble and inevitably led Little Thing to slews of them.
As Little Thing killed and killed, she became more convinced that it was right. She would show the immortals she was just as formidable as they were, that she was more clever and resourceful. They would have no choice but to accept her, to bring her with them at the end of their sentence and make her one of them.
She knew when she had found the last of the tiny creatures for it did not run and hide. It did not fight. It sat and resigned itself to death because it was utterly alone, the last of its kind. When lying in the same position during her life (that felt so very far away now,) Little Thing Had done the opposite. When she was the last of her kind, she picked herself up and fought ferociously to survive.
The second step was complete.
The immortals went on as usual, without stopping to check the little human. As far as they knew, blindly following was what human’s did best. As old as they were they did not understand their capacity to learn, adapt, to outwit. Little Thing stayed in their shadow for the length of their banishment. One thousand years was plenty of time for her to construct her plan, to grow dependent on their wondrous magic, to become lost in her lust for their power. She mastered the art of patience and waited for the moon that would realize her plan at last.
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