I'm back on FPCOM! but not for long : ) just when I have time. So it would be heaps appreciated if you guys dropped a review down in the comment box!

Thanks, Green Teaa.

I step onto the cold white surface, enjoying the customary greeting of the ice park- a blast of cool air hitting my face. Pulling my speakers up onto the ledge of the rink, I immediately start my warm-up laps, gliding around and around the elliptical glacier like a swan in water. In the early hours of the morning, the soft sound of my blades skimming the surface of the ice reverberates slightly through the empty stadium. I take a moment to glance down at my long fingers, slender and shaped so perfectly they look sculpted, remembering a terrifying accident that happened during my childhood days. The sun peeks through the glass windows from behind the hills, brushing faded pinks and oranges into the sky. Sunrise is the most beautiful time to skate, and this moment is mine alone. Something about today seems almost familiar, and then I remember: it's been ten years.

I held tight onto my older brother's hand, wobbling as I tottered on the edge of my skates. This was my first time at the ice rink, and I was positively frightened. He tugged on my gloved hand, grinning reassuringly down at me, as if to say, 'lighten up! It's your fifth birthday, silly!' I moved my other hand to cling on to his as well, and hesitantly pulled my lips into a watery smile as I took my first step onto the ice.

To describe this experience would be like a child describing his first time walking- almost impossible to remember how it happened, but as natural and instinctive as if I'd been doing it my whole life. It took me a while to adjust to this new surface and to the way I could travel without even moving my feet, but I did it, and eventually, I even let go of my brother's hand and skated around myself. I was exhilarated; the feeling of having the world whizzing around me as I sped up was thrilling, and as clich├ęd as this sounds, I realised at that very moment that I had fallen in love with ice skating.

Soon after my fifth birthday, I had persuaded my parents to enrol me for a private skating course. My passion combined with long practice sessions and natural skill propelled me to great heights. I joined competitions for skaters my age, even for those targeted at youths older than me. By the time I was ten, I knew I was one of the best in the city- and the many trophies and awards decorating my bedroom shelf like a collection of precious gems confirmed this for me.

You know how the saying goes: pride comes before a fall. I had watched the World Championships on television and I had seen a set of high level moves - a triple axel followed immediately by a triple toe loop and ended with an arabesque spin- displayed by the winner. Adrenaline pulsed through my veins as I stared, stunned to silence, at the screen. This was the first time I had seen a technique of this calibre, and I was desperate to try it, simply for the sake of proving that I could. Although I knew that such techniques were unattainable for someone at my age, my arrogance persuaded me to attempt the sequence. I can't even say I wasn't warned. My brother shook his head disapprovingly, cautioning me against my rash decision.

I rolled my eyes and laughed as I- or rather, my ego- disregarded his suggestion.

How hard could it have been? To execute a move, no matter how complicated, honestly couldn't have been that difficult. If I could do it on land, I could do it on ice- that was the principle that had been drilled into me since my days as a novice. Time seemed to stop as I skated out into the centre of the almost empty rink- few skaters visited so early in the morning- and felt the cool air brushing past my face like a paintbrush dipped in cold water. Beginning the setup for the triple axel, I suddenly panicked and spiralled out of control; I felt my hands attempting to break my fall, and before I knew it, a pair of skates belonging to a screaming skater flashed and stumbled past my now blood-splattered face.

I didn't even feel the pain before I passed out.

The moment I awoke, I was stunned by the brightness of my surroundings. The blinding intensity of the daylight was only amplified by the white walls enclosed around me. An anxious girl that I vaguely recognised as being from the rink stood over my bed looking petrified. Feeling a heavy sensation coming from my left arm as though someone had hung lead weights from the tips of my fingers, I glanced down. The bitter taste of irony hung in my mouth like the aftertaste of alcohol, and I remembered.

The top half of my index, middle and ring fingers on my left hand had been sliced off, by the blade of an ice skate.

The rehabilitation period was the worst. Prosthetic fingers had been built onto the stumps left on my hand; the nerves hadn't fully connected yet and the only sensation I could feel in them was a numbing ache. The pain down my left hand throbbed with every beat of my heart.

"Practise picking different objects up to train your new fingers", the doctor had instructed me slowly, as though I was still the six year old who had sprained her ankle from tripping down a staircase. Sighing, I reached over to the nearest object (a bottle of green liquid commonly found in most hospitals) and curled my fingers around the cold glass.

They say that no matter how hard you try to forget a catastrophe, your body still remembers and reacts. The attempt to lift the green vial above the surface of the table took great psychological effort. I felt the pain searing through my fingers - only mentally, I now realise - and faltered, the muscles in my fingers suddenly slacking in response. It seemed almost as if the insensitive sensation of the anaesthetics had come back to haunt me. The shriek of a nurse brought me back to reality in a second; her eyes were wide in shock as she registered the fragments of glass in a heap on the floor. Staring at the mess in dismay while my fingers trembled, I noticed the effects of the anaesthesia had disappeared all of a sudden, like a teasing child who ran away in a flash.

'It's funny how I thought it was the end of the world', I muse, flexing my fingers thoughtfully. The pale sunlight streaming in through the glass walls still reminds me of the whiteness of the hospital, and the morning dew glimmering off fresh green leaves still makes me reminisce about accidentally shattered glass in a pool of chemicals stained green.

But the almost ethereal glow of the ice beneath me reminds me of how lucky I was to recover so well. And so I stretch my fingers, artificial or not, and fly, fly on that white plateau that holds my life's memories.

uploaded [091106] oh six november two oh oh nine.