Soft the Snow Comes
by Rana Eros
Oh, look, another double drabble inspired by an Andersen fairy tale from yours truly. Try to hide your surprise. Another written for the fuda_100 challenge of "fairy tales." Betaed by Eliza. Summary from "The Snow Queen."
The oni built a mirror once, made it of spite to reflect all the things they hated in the world, which was everything. Then they squabbled over what to do with it and it slipped from their fingers and broke, shards scattering on the wind.
Those shards struck any number of people, working their way under skin, into eyes and hearts. They magnified the flaws of whatever they reflected. When pointed outward, that meant family and friends, and those people grew cruel and hateful, withdrawing from their loved ones. When pointed inward, that meant people were forced to see their own evil. Most died of what they saw.
Not all the ghosts were left to rest, however, and one man, good and kind, was made to reap the dead until his tears flushed out the splinter obscuring his vision. He was too kind, however, and the splinter was lodged deep, and while he prayed for forgiveness, he thought himself unworthy. Nor could he let the love of his friends console him, when he saw only his flaws.
When he could bear no more, he began to pray instead for numbness. Winter heard him. He didn't resist when its ambassador came.