Academic journal article Hecate

The Snow Queen Game

Academic journal article Hecate

The Snow Queen Game

Article excerpt

The Snow Queen Game

Lilith did not find the Snow Queen game straight away. She began by playing another computer game called `Sleds'. In this game she slid across the frozen ice, through a hibernal maze of blue green glass. She raced against young boys on other sleds; boys whose faces loomed close as their sleds spun by. Lilith thought their raw and bitter faces looked blank, lost, their eyes as frozen as the verdant winter walls. She enjoyed the muffled, death-like world of this game as she skimmed effortlessly across its sleek icy surface. Her skill in gliding her tiny sled increased, soon she always beat the strange marble children with their frost-bound eyes. She felt a satisfaction as they melted away into the glacial ground at the end of the game. Sometimes, one of the boy's sleds would slide out of control. They would veer into the walls and shatter into tiny snowflake pieces. Lilith noted that these children did not appear again in the game.

She purchased the computer and her home from the money left to her. at her mother's death; Lilith was an only child. She chose the house because of its stark splendour. Everything was white; from the floor tiles to the snowiness of the walls and their high ceilings. Flowing opaque curtains billowed into the rooms. It seemed an endless expanse, a series of empty white rectangles waiting to be filled. In this languid world the only colour emanated from the screen of Lilith's personal computer. It was little wonder that she was unable to resist the game.

Soon, she reached level forty, after continually beating the boys and watching as they melted away. On the next level, Lilith set off on her sled. The children were their usual eerie, silent selves. She sped ahead of them easily, making use of her acquired skill, swiftly cutting corners and gaining extra speed from ricocheting off the smooth polished walls. But this time, Lilith noticed something different. A new sled that she had never seen before. At first it appeared only fleetingly through the chunks of ice that formed the maze. Although she could not see it clearly, it was larger, whiter than the sleds of the children. It seemed to be drawn by a pair of large beasts that Lilith did not recognize.

She abandoned her race against the children and began to follow this new feature of the game. Finally, after twisting her tiny sled through the pockets of ice, she found herself behind a sleigh, more beautiful than anything she had ever seen. It appeared to have been hewed from a block of ice itself, a sleek marble canoe decorated with intricate carvings that glittered diamond-like in the hard winter light. The massive beasts that pulled the sleigh so swiftly were also white, fur-covered, something akin to mammoths, Lilith thought. Although, they possessed an agility that created vast speed. She could not see the driver of the sleigh.

Lilith manipulated the buttons feverishly. She wanted to see who would be in control of this fairytale device that glided so smoothly, gleamed so bewitchingly. There was no chance of passing it, but perhaps she could at least catch up. She pressed the commands as hard as she could and managed to maneuver her sled so that it spun from the glassy sheen of a passing wall, just clipping the back of the shiny white hull.

The two vessels met and Lilith's sled became attached to the strange craft. She felt a moment of exhilaration, of victory. But just as suddenly both crafts slid away without her, leaving her behind, although there was still a figure in her place in her tiny sled. They swept away so rapidly they quickly disappeared into the glacierial distance. Lilith's disappointment was immense -- she was annoyed to have escaped capture. `What sort of game is this anyway?' she wondered aloud, and jumped with surprise as the computer game began to speak, as if in answer to her question.

`Welcome to the Snow Queen game,' said a female voice. Lilith laughed as she realized that once again she had allowed this juggernaut device to fool her senses. …

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