This story is part of The Lineup: 25 Provocative Women Writers, out this October from Black Lawrence Press.
The morning of my sixteenth birthday, I, Mademoiselle Icicle, used one sharp fingernail to etch a cartoon birthday cake in ice that blanketed my boudoir. Ice coated the inside of my bedroom window so completely the window was like TV without reception, opaque as a velvet curtain. I scratched a dash of candles on the cake, phallic and listing, and gave each candle-cock a paisley flame. The flames were a school of sperm. Fuck me, I wrote backwards, a message to anybody out in the snow—like there’d be anyone in the pitch-dark winter fields, where it was all apple trees and pine. I scratched a happy face. A happy face was the same from either side of the glass, speaking the same language from in the house or out.