I met Vivi Anna a year or so ago online, and we clicked. She writes for the Nocturne line, as I do, and has a fun, exciting voice that makes her reads so awesome. It’s weird how you can know someone online without ever having met them in person. I’m glad for it. I wanted to work with Vivi on something—anything—and when she said ‘yes’ I was thrilled!
One lucky commenter will win a copy of WINTER KISSED, which features “Ice Bound” by Vivi and “A Kiss Of Frost” by moi. 🙂
So now here’s Vivi…
I love mythology—any type from any culture. It fascinates me how people use stories to make sense of what is happening around them.
When Michele asked me if I wanted to do this duet with her about winter inspired stories, I was immediately excited. I knew I could incorporate some interesting mythology into it. I searched different texts for winter based deities or myths and I found one from Japan. The story about Yuki-Onna, the snow woman.
I was intrigued by the story and knew immediately it would work for the story I had in mind. I changed a few details and added my own background for her, but in the end it is still about a ghostly woman in a kimono that comes to those stranded in the snow. And in my instance, about the man that thaws her heart.
ICE BOUND – copyright Vivi Anna October 2008
Darien is stuck in a snow bank on an icy road in Hokkaido, Japan…
After fifteen minutes of digging, Darien climbed back into the SUV and tried to back out. Still the tires spun in place. He got out again and continued to dig, chipping at the ice underneath the heavy blanket of white.
Once more he tried to move the vehicle. But it was to no avail. He was good and stuck. He wasn’t going anywhere any time soon, not until the blizzard stopped and he could either flag someone down, or find something to jam under the tires to supply him with some traction.
Luckily he was well equipped with thermal blankets, a hot plate, bottled water, dried food, and the gas tank was full. He could wait it out for at least twelve hours if he had to. He just hoped it didn’t come to that.
Darien jumped out into the snow again to go around the back to the hatch. He’d grab some supplies to hunker down for a few hours. As he opened the back, a sound whispered to him on the wind. Shivers, not just from the cold, raced down his spine.
He turned to survey the area. Was there someone there calling to him? Maybe the driver of the other vehicle.
“Darien.” The haunting voice echoed all around him. He stared into the blustering snow desperate to see something, anything concrete.
Something caught his eye, and he turned toward it. A shape materialized in the blinding white.
“Darien, I’ve been waiting for you.”
Darien wiped at his eyes with the back of his gloved hand. Surely he was seeing things. The combination of the blinding snowscape, the fact that his eyes were watering, and the Sapporo beer he had downed had to be playing tricks on his vision. Because there couldn’t possibly a woman dressed in a blue kimono floating to him on a wisp of cold air.
The old man’s warning sounded in his head. It will be the death of you.
“Darien,” she whispered on a breeze. Her voice was seductive. A sudden urge to go to her rushed over him. He clamped his eyes shut and fought against the ridiculous notion.
When he opened his eyes again, she was still there, floating above the snow. He noticed she was bare foot, her toenails painted a sensual crimson. With a demure smile she beckoned him to her.
Oh, Darien wanted to go to her, to lose himself in the exquisite beauty of her. But he fought against the urge, knowing full well it was an illusion, a hallucination, brought on by the stories he’d been filled with combined with his dire situation. It was just that she seemed so real and not a figment of his over active imagination.
“It’s just an illusion,” he chanted to himself, then shook his head trying to dislodge the haunting image of her that refused to be exorcised.
“I am no illusion, Darien. I am your destiny.”