Beams glinting off cruelly-sharp crystals; she couldn’t see the particles, only white globular outline, archetypally familiar, but she knew what it was made of. Dagger crystals, broken snowflakes, crushed and reformed like her arthritic knuckles. Daggers that caused invisible punctures of cold stabbing straight to the swollen bones. Beauty and cruelty in coldness.
Once she, too, had those properties. The world was different then, better, even with the suffering. She was loved, adored, maybe worshipped; it was too easy to think it would last forever. So arrogant.
The snow-woman stood alone. The white was desert around it, barren. The sun moved higher and it began to melt.