Resting in the middle of a large, dimly-lit room and imprisoned within four walls of glass, a woman who had not seen light for hundreds of years woke. Head raised, suspended in frozen, almost-petrified animation, the world began to reveal itself slowly. First came light that hovered far in the distance, then the white of the glass reflecting said light back at her. Followed by that, the woman realized that she sat on a fabric—fur, possibly, from the horned creatures that once walked her lands, imperious of both the snow and the spears thrown at them. And finally, after sensation, sight and smell began to overtake her senses, the woman slowly began to feel her dry tendons stirring within her hands.
Slowly, as though startled by her new, bizarre world, the husk of a once-beautiful human reached out to touch the glass that surrounded her fragile being.
How had she come to be here?
Where was she?
Why, of all things, was there no snow?
With nothing other than primal instinct to guide her, Angelita—as written on the display plaque before her exhibit—pushed both of her hands forward and guided herself to her feet, trembling like a child taking her first steps.
At first, she did nothing but stand there, unsure of what to do.
Then, slowly, she opened her mouth and moaned.
Because Angelita’s vocal cords had first frozen, then cracked and dried with age, nothing more than a thin, wheezy gasp came out. Like wind on a hot summer day blowing through the cracks of dirt on an old, wooden barn, the sound echoed inside the glass, amplifying over and over again until it died out.
Somehow, the woman knew that she herself made this noise. She also knew that without any fellow humans around, no one else could have made the sound but her.
Trembling, pressing her hands to the glass in a sign of both anger and oppression, Angelita’s eyes watered for the first time in seven-hundred years.
Those tears did not freeze.
Those tears ran red.