Recruited to try
Discreetly to spy
On her new lover's classified job
She slipped by the card
With a stolen keycard
And searched for some secrets to rob.

But to her despair
She saw nothing there
Save a sort of steel cage with a door,
One entire wall
Full of circuits and all,
And some grillwork built into the floor.

Once her bearings were found,
She looked all around
For some clue of the thing's operation
But the only control
In the room as a whole
Was in an unnerving location.

For, inside the cage,
Without meter or gauge,
Was a single small unlabelled dial.
Though she knew it unwise,
With her thoughts on her prize,
She entered to give it a trial.

From beneath her began
The loud roar of a fan
The instant the turning dial clicked;
As the cage in a trice
Became coated with ice
It occurred to her she had been tricked.

The temperature fell
In the lab, now a cell;
She summoned her strength to resist.
As the frigid air rose
Through the grillwork, it froze
Into an insidious mist.

As it curled through the vent
And seemed to prevent
Her from making her way to the door
She was dimly aware
Of her clothes and her hair
Lying in shards on the floor.

She felt her pulse sink.
It was so hard to think --
As her body completely went numb.
She had time, at the end,
To wish she could bend
So that she could see what she'd become.

In an adjacent den
Sat two stoic men
Through the one-way glass they could surmise
Once the cold fog had cleared
That the damsel appeared
An immaculate statue of ice.

They watched in disdain
As an overhead crane
Hoisted her to the freezer above;
And one sighed, "I concur.
You were right about her.
I've never been lucky in love."

"Just think for the best.
'Twas an excellent test,"
said the other, "of your new machine."
"Besides, she's okay.
We can thaw her some day.
Perhaps sometime in 2015."

-- Deverre
August 98