“Coral?” Arianna asked between licks, “I been tinkin’. Maybe I sould join Isabella. Then I could get you out of here,” she continued, still licking.
“No!” Coral protested, “Dat’s stupid! It’s yer worst idea yet! Go back to cleaning the thloor!”
They heard a cold laugh from behind them, and looked up to see Queen Isabella herself. Arianna and Coral stood and glared at their former friend.
“Hello,” Coral said curtly.
Isabella smiled. “I didn’t know if you still remembered me,” she said, “Maybe I should add more ice to my daily outfit. What do you think, Arianna?”
“I think you’re cold-hearted enough already,” she spat.
“Fine. I’ll talk to Coral. What do you think?”
“You can add ice until you’re as fat as an ice cube for all I care,” she half-snarled.
“Hmm,” Isabella mused, “I see I’ve deprived you of your good fashion sense. I apologize. I didn’t mean to go that far.”
Coral laughed without humour.
“Oh, when are you going to learn that joining me is the best thing that could ever happen to you? You saw David when he first came here, and look at him now. Can’t you see the difference?”
“Yeah, he’s even more annoying now,” Arianna grumbled.
The queen sighed. “I suppose there’s no chance of you joining then, Coral?”
“Get the thought out of your brain right now, or I’ll have to remore it myself,” Coral answered, which Isabella took as a “no”.
The younger Tellam hesitated, and Coral began to worry if her sister was thinking of actually carrying out her rediculous plan. “Say no,” she whispered.
Arianna paused for a few more moments, then announced, “Actually, I think you’re right.”
Isabella smiled almost warmly and called for David to unlock the cube, while Arianna assured her sister that she would free her as soon as she could. “Call me Issy!” the queen said, smiling, as she touched Arianna’s back with one hand, “Come, let’s find you some suitable clothes of a princess of ice.”
David sighed. “You’re a fool, Coral. Go lick your ice cube.” He exited with Isabella and Arianna who glanced back at Coral apologetically.
Coral glared at the floor of her prison, and began licking the remaining scraps of food from it in angry silence.
Coral awoke with a start.
“Psst! Psst! Coral! Wake up! It’s me!”
She sat up and faced the voice coming from the other side of the ice wall. “Arianna?” she gasped in surprise, staring at her new sister, “What on Earth have they done to you?”
Arianna now wore a tight silver dress that shimmered in the moonlight and pooled at her feet. On her hands she wore silver glittering gloves and a diamond ring on her middle finger. Her hair was pulled up in a bun with curly tendrils framing her face. Her face! The skin between her eyelashes and her eyebrows had been filled with sparkles, and around her neck hung a diamond necklace, that looked as fagile as an icicle.
Arianna looked down at herself. “This is who Isabella wants me to be. I can’t argue with her now,” she said, then, seeing her sister’s expression, added, “not that I like the outfit myself.”
Coral sighed, and said, “Look, are you gonna rescue me or not?”
A look of confusion passed over Arianna’s face, before she understood and corrected, “Oh, no, no, no, no, no. I can’t right now.”
“Unlikely. I have to earn her trust, so she doesn’t get suspicious. Once that happens, I can get you out, no problem. But I promise you this: You won’t stay here more than a week.”
“But why can’t you just sneak here like this tomorrow and steal the keys from David?” Coral asked.
“It’s complicated,” Arianna said, dodging the question. She paused, as if she’d heard something, then continued, “I need to go. But don’t worry. We’ll be free of this place soon.” She stood to go, and Coral slumped down on the icy floor.
“Not soon enough.”
The Tellams – Part 3 coming soon.