I'm back! And back on Disney! I saw Frozen and it was only like the best thing since sliced bread! I saw it several more times after my first viewing (I won't specify, so you won't think I'm a freak). But, I just had to write something for it. I had a couple things going through my head, but this is what I actually wrote down, so here we go. I hope you enjoy!
There are few things I really care about in this world. My best friend reindeer, Sven, and ice. And my sled. I love my sled.
Early on, I decided people were not my friends. People were really just there to pay me money and give me supplies. And even then, they would almost always find way to try and cheat you out of what you already had.
My parents both died when I was seven. Frostbite. A horrible way to go. We lived outside of the kingdom, not quite the kind of backwoods mountain people you typically think of, but high up enough that there was always a consistent layer of snow. Anyways, one winter, we had to go out to get supplies. They took me with them down into the kingdom, and on our way back, a blizzard came out of nowhere. As we searched for shelter, my parents unwittingly stumbled over thin ice... There was nothing I could do. They were exposed to the freezing water for too long and even after they did manage to get themselves out, the icy wind from the blizzard only made everything worse. They did not last through the week.
There was no one to look after me after that, we did live in recluse after all, so I just left home. Headed up into the mountains all on my own. Seven years old. That's when I found the ice harvesters. Sawing up ice, loading the blocks onto the biggest sleds I had ever seen in my life, and using some of the strangest looking tools I had ever seen.
They didn't exactly take me in, because why would they do that? But I found a spot in the horse stables to sleep. I spent several days just sleeping and really not doing anything in those stables until one day, a particularly large ice harvester found me.
"Hey, you kid! What are you doing here?" he demanded in a deep voice.
Terrified, I didn't answer.
"Don't you have some place to be? Where are your parents?" the ice harvester asked.
Still terrified, and now hurt because this huge man had brought up my parents, I began to cry. I tried to hold back the tears, determined to be brave, but I couldn't stop them. I huddled up against the stable wall and hid my face from the burly man.
I heard him sigh. "Look, kid," he said, "You can't stay here unless you're working."
I turned one eye up towards him, the tears suddenly halting. Work? With them?
The ice harvester reached behind him and grabbed something, then dropped it in front of me. It was a pick axe. "Welcome aboard, kid," he said, "Just follow what everyone else is doing."
With that, he turned on his heel and exited the stables. Once he was gone I stood and attempted to pick up the pick axe. I could barely lift it. It was nearly as tall as I was! Still, I attempted to drag it out of the stables anyways.
My first day went terribly, as did the second and third. Actually, the entire first week went horribly. I was too small to really do anything. All the ice harvesters were huge! The horses were huge! The sleds were huge! The tools were huge! The blocks of ice they cut and hauled were huge! Everything was huge! And me... I was not. I could not even lift any of the tools, much less cut through any of the ice and haul it to a sled.
Once Sven came along, the job became a bit easier, since he could actually pull the banged up, rinky-dink sled that I had found in a trash barrel, much faster than I could.
I suppose you're wondering how I met Sven in the first place. It's not much of a story, really. He just wandered into the barn one night, after I had been working with the ice harvesters a few months, same as I had, looking for food and a place to sleep. I happened to be munching on a carrot at the time, so I offered it to him. He happily accepted it and then never left my side. He even followed me to work the next day and enthusiastically tried helping me out.
A year after I had joined the ice business was when my opinion of people really began to downgrade.
I had enthusiastically accepted my role as a budding ice harvester and was determined to become the best in the business. Even though I still could barely manage to get one small block of ice onto my tiny sled by the end of the day, I was still happy with my progress. And Sven still stuck around, helping me in any way he could. We would share carrots, harvest ice, and then by the end of the day we would follow after the other ice harvesters on their big sleds to go into town to sell it. It was also around this time that I got adopted by a family of trolls, but we'll get to them later.
I actually did manage to sell my little ice blocks, so I had a little bit of my own money even at eight years old. Although looking back, it was probably just out of sympathy that those people purchased anything from me at that point.
Anyways, there was one particular day that I can pinpoint when I really began to lose faith in humanity.
Sven and I were headed for the usual selling spot when a rather large, mustachioed man approached us. "Hey kid, where are you going with that?" he asked, gesturing to my sled.
I looked at my single block of ice, then back to him. "To the ice stand," I said, "To sell it."
The corners of his mouth turned up. "You're going to sell that?" he asked, starting to laugh, "You'll never get anything for that puny thing."
I frowned at him and puffed out my chest. "I've done it before," I told him as bravely as possible.
The man smirked then looked at my ice again. "Alright kid, I'll make you a deal," he said, "I've been pretty short on ice these past few weeks. Those ice harvesters over there sell it for way too much. But you, I will give you three whole crowns for yours. How does that sound?"
Three? Three? Did he think I was dumb or something? I normally sold mine for at least five if not more. It depended on the season. I crossed my arms and frowned at him. "No," I told him flatly.
The man's grin immediately dropped and he stooped down to my level, shoving his nose in my face. "Look, kid, you should take the deal," he said gruffly, "You won't get a better deal than this, or else you'll be stuck with your itty-bitty little reindeer and no money at all."
I glared back at him. "I can sell it," I said confidently.
The man stood back up to full height. "Alright, kid. You asked for it."
Suddenly, before I could react, he made a grab for my ice block, picked it up, and dashed off at full speed.
"Hey! Stop!" I called after him, but it was too late. He was gone.
I stared in the direction that he had disappeared. I had just been cheated by a complete stranger. I sighed in frustration then sat down on my sled, resting my chin in my hands. Sven came up beside me and nuzzled me in the shoulder.
I sighed. "It's OK, Sven," I said, trying to sound as upbeat as possible, "We'll... we'll get more ice tomorrow."
That was only the first time I had been cheated out of my work or money or something. Over the years, people took advantage of my small size, my naivety, etc. for their own personal gain. Once I got conned into mucking out this man's stables because he said he'd pay me triple for the ice if I would, but then he didn't pay me at all. He didn't even take the ice.
However, I just continued on with my work, day after day for years, gradually earning money for more and more different things. At first, I was only digging through trash barrels for supplies (after all, that was where I found my first sled), and I actually found some pretty quality stuff for trash. It's surprising what people will throw away. When I was about nine, I even found a lute. It had one or two broken strings, but after some mending, I got it in perfect playable shape and began to experiment. I am self-taught. I can't afford lessons.
By the time I was sixteen, I decided I really needed a new sled, because my tiny one was really not cutting it for my... sudden size change. Because at fourteen, I suddenly hit my growth spurt and shot up about two and a half feet taller. With that, I was able to haul at least ten times more ice than I had before, so I also added several pounds of muscle along with my height. Yes, I became rather large and stocky. My childhood dream had come true.
However, when I went looking for a suitable sled to replace my extremely small one that I had been using since I was seven, I could not manage to find a half-decent one within my price range. They were all either nice/decent and expensive, or falling apart/too small and a reasonable price.
After a day or two of searching, I was lucky enough to find a man who had a decent enough sled for sale who let me make small payments every year until I was able to pay it off.
I was cheated considerably less after my size change. I was, after all, significantly taller than the average man now. Even though I was still quite younger than most of the people I dealt with, I had learned over the years how to appear calloused in a business-like way and to not take anyone's nonsense. I had different tactics for selling ice, it just depended on the customer. I would determine what kind of person they were, then choose my tactic. Sympathy, no-nonsense, reverse psychology, and so on.
But, as I said, although some were not so bad, there weren't any people that I truly, deeply cared about.
Alright, so now that you know my story, I'll start with the real story...