You follow the screaming to a clearing deep in the trees. The scene before you is chaotic. Christmas lights are wrapped around tree branches, forming a sort of ring around the clearing. Even though there’s no visible power source, they’re glowing strongly. Ishmael is up to his neck in a pile of snow and a top hat rests crookedly on his head. He sees you approach and his eyes light up. “I would wave enthusiastically if I could. My gang came back from ugly sweater shopping and brought a friend who thought it was funny to make me a snowman.”
Ishmeal appears from the forest, carrying trays with... is that hammock flavored hot chocolate? Sure enough, he’s wearing a sweater with Santa and a reindeer dabbing on it. The book demon rushes over to Ishmael and starts pouring the hot chocolate on the snow, apparently trying to thaw it. He doesn’t want to touch it for some reason.
Ishmael nods exaggeratedly in your direction. Ishmeal looks over to you and carries a full tray in your direction. He gives you a mug of hat chocolate and then disappears into the forest again, apparently going to get more. How he finds enough hammocks for this, you’ll never know.
You almost drop the mug as the screaming starts up again. It seems to be coming from above you. Looking up, you see Ishamel up in a tree, cowering behind a branch. His ugly sweater is literally just a mirror taped to a green sweater. He’s staring at something on the other side of the clearing. It’s a boy with shockingly pale skin and ice blue hair. He looks extremely comfortable in his red hoodie and jeans despite floating thirty feet off the ground. The boy rears back and throws a snowball at Ishamel. He misses and the snowball splatters against the a branch. Instantly, the branch is turned to ice and snaps off the tree where it shatters in the ground. The boy sees you and promptly drops to the ground. The grass is covered in frost where his feet touch the earth. He sticks out his hand to you; you can feel the cold radiating off it. It’s a really bad idea to shake it.
“The name’s Ishmale.” he says brightly. A wry grin spreads across his face. “Do you wanna build a snowman?”
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August 2017 — March 2019
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When it’s time for you to venture out, don’t let fear have you looking back at what you’re leaving behind.