The small body inside the coffin was pale, limbs arranged so that he appeared to be only asleep. He was wearing his favorite pair of pajamas, with a small white stuffed rabbit clutched in his dead arms. Jamie looked so peaceful, so serene, his mouth tugged up in a small hint of that mischievous grin that Jack Frost loved so much. He looked like he would wake up any second, ready to enjoy the snow day Jack had prepared for the two of them on Christmas morning. Yet his skin was cold to the touch, cold as the winter snow that Jack ruled over, lifeless, and pale. And as the church bells rung in Christmas day, the spirit known as Jack Frost had lost the only person he considered family in over three hundred years of loneliness.
For hours, the winter spirit kneeled by the open coffin in the town’s church, tears freezing on his cheeks as he gently stroked the boy’s soft hair, his staff laying in one of the pews where it had been tossed aside in grief. Jamie’s family was there, along with most of the town, quietly talking and grieving amongst themselves, but Jack hardly cared. None of them could see him, save the boy in the coffin whose bright eyes would never see again. The procession had already happened, the speeches already given, and soon the coffin lid would close and his surrogate brother would be buried under six feet of dirt and mud and rock. Outside, a blizzard was raging, but he could hardly care less. Not since being trapped under the icy pond had Jack Frost ever felt so scared.
“Why would you leave me Jamie,” he whispered, still stroking the boy’s hair, “Why would you leave me alone here? You were the only one who could see me, my only family, who believed in me, and now you’re gone forever. What am I going to do without you?” Jack couldn’t help it; he was sobbing now, tears trickling down his face in full force. The ferocity of the storm outside increased, and many of the funeral attendees looked worriedly outside, but Jack Frost didn’t care. The whole world could freeze over and he wouldn’t care. The stained glass windows were beginning to crack and shatter under the relentless force of wind and snow, and now the attendees were screaming as razor-sharp shards of colored glass rained down on them along with snow and ice. The wind howled inside of the church, but the coffin remained untouched. But people surged forward, braced against the wind and snow, slowly making their way to the coffin. Jack knew what they were going to do. They were going to shut the coffin lid. They were going to take away the only person he had loved.
“No, don’t touch him!” Jack hissed, standing up, spreading his arms wide in order to stop the two men making their way forward. The wind picked up, and those inside the church were pelted with hailstones the size of pebbles, but ultimately he could do nothing. They passed through him, sending a shiver up his spine as it always did, and they started to close the coffin lid.
“No, don’t do this! Don’t take him from me! I need him!” he sobbed, his arms uselessly passing through their forms as he tried to pull their arms away from the coffin. But it was all in vain. With an echoing finality, the lid was closed, and Jamie was gone from him forever, in a place Jack would never reach.
The coffin was lifted from its resting place, and the two men and a few of the audience proceeded outside, fighting relentlessly against the howling wind and the thick snow piled outside. Jack did not follow them. He couldn’t bear to see the coffin buried and the gravestone placed, because he knew that with Jamie’s death, a vital part of him had been buried along with the boy’s body, and the last echoes of a cheery laugh, twinkling eyes, and the mischievous smile that were all just sorrowful memories now.
He was alone again. Jack let the wind bear him as he called his staff to hand, automatically pulling the hood of his jacket over his face. He did not care where he went, as long as it was far away so that he didn’t have to see the morbid black coffin being smothered with dirty snow and mud.
Jack Frost didn’t realize where he was headed until he was already floating through the still open window of Jamie’s bedroom. Fresh snow had piled on the floor, and there was a spreading puddle of water where it had melted too. Jamie’s bed was neatly made, devoid of the decorated covers and extra stuffed animals. Absentmindedly, the winter spirit sat down on the bed, staring at the floor. Something caught his eye.
There was something that was just sticking out from under the bed, something silver and white. Pulling it out, Jack turned over the stuffed rabbit in his fingers. He had given it Jamie a long time ago, as a present. Before he knew it, Jack was clutching the stuffed rabbit and lying on the boy’s bed, cold with the absence of a body to warm it. The photos and decorations had been taken off the walls, the shelves and surfaces stripped bare. A thin layer of dust was already covering most of the furniture. The whole place reeked of sadness and sorrow without Jamie to brighten up the space. Oh, how much fun they had had in here, Jamie gasping in awe as Jack made designs upon the window with frost. How they had planned each day when Jack would make the next a snow day, so that he could play with the only human in this town who could see him. Unaware that he had frozen the stuffed rabbit with his powers, Jack Frost squeezed the toy hard.
The rabbit shattered, frozen completely through, and the pieces slipped through his fingers onto the floor. For a moment, Jack stared at the mess on the floor, at his chilly, pale hands, and then he just curled up on the bed and wept. He left the town an hour later, watching as all the landmarks Jamie loved to play at were buried under seven feet of snow. He didn’t care about this town anymore; it hurt too much to remember all the fun times celebrated here. Jack Frost turned, his staff dragging behind him, his bare feet only lightly touching the surface of the snow.
He wouldn’t fly, no; North might be still making his rounds, as it was only about one in the morning. He had no desire to speak to one of the big Four, especially not the one who was primarily concerned with the joys of children. Jamie will never celebrate another Christmas, never enjoy another snow day, never unwrap another gift or draw on frost-covered windows. He’ll never ride another sled, never skate across another pond, never have a snowball fight or build a snowman. And I will never be able to do those things with him ever again.
The howling blizzard raged around him, covering its master like a cloak and shielding Jack from the outside world. He started to walk, his staff dragging along behind him, leaving a trail of ice that looked like a river of frozen tears.