waiting until after midnight, waiting for the furnace to kick on so the sound would cover my movements, the muttering mechanicals breathing warmed air throughout the house, everyone deep into their dreams but me.
Thick socks over thin, jeans and sweater pulled on over pajamas, I sat in a chair in the kitchen and pushed my feet into my skates and laced them tight, tight, my high heels, in just enough time to ease the back door open, slip out and close it before the furnace sighed and stilled.
the ground was covered with brittle brown grass, frozen hard and unforgiving of the misstep. I picked my way carefully down across the yard to the edge of the lake where the ice had trapped little pockects of air that you wanted to avoid stepping on and cutting with the sound like ripping silk.
keeping the blades flat and taking the first steps out onto the black ice..right foot left foot ..tock. tock, tock then leaning and letting the glide take me further away from the house into deeper silence and darkness then setting the toeteeth and pushing off. Another long glide before settling into the rhythm and picking up speed, steadying, shifting and lifting the right foot up and back, leaning in and forward, shoulders down, head up..flying into the night on that burning, bad, but anchored, ankle.
Picking up speed in a wide arc I fly off into the darkness for a while but soon catch a careless toe and go sprawling. Heated up and winded, I lie on my back and look into the overcast blackness unable to find any stars, my eyes smarting with the cold. The ice speaks underneath me then, through me, a thrummimg groan, booming low and pinging high at the same time. letting me know it's gathering strength under me as unseen snowflakes land on my burning cheeks and melt instantly the water running into my hair.
originally posted here