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The Walk Back

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Snowy Road

The woman of weathered looks slowly trudged to the side of the road. Her skin was muted and ragged, her hair was silver and illuminated from the moon, and she had nothing. She had not a family or a sense of wealth. When she walked she often thought about the things she lacked and her family that had been tossed aside. The only thing that mattered to her was existing, even if her existence was senseless and painful.

She would mutter things to herself with an aged Eastern European accent. It was soft and muffled by the harsh wind. The frozen gales knew nothing of her as they pirouetted about the winter sky. Her coat made of moose fur, which she bought at the local lodge many years ago. She didn’t mind the cold, she was already numbed to the condemning climate. She always felt something was observing her when she wandered right of the road. The same feeling was felt, when she walked left of the usual route.

It was there; she was not looking at an illusion. It watched with eagerness, it watched with curiosity, it watched with hunger. It circled and circumnavigated this woman. It has been waiting a very long time. The woman often spun around to confront this dark gaze. It never answered. Every day the long voyage from her small cabin to the village was not a lonesome journey. She always had it there with her walking closely.

The essence of it was sinister yet playful. Her family was also there when her skin was less furrowed and gentle youth was still flourishing in her eyes. It has faded now, her perception grayed and her soul is fleeting. She is the glimmer of light in the ever darkening abyss. Her family was an assortment of kind souls; loving and warm, this was opposing to its presence.

Only after she departed the wide, snow-covered pathway to gather some food for supper is when it came to study them. It saw her little sister, her mother, and her father. It looked at them with intrigue, while they gathered around the flames of the dwindling fire. One day she made her way back, only to find it staring at the warmth of the subdued fire in their small cabin. In less than a second it died out with the wind. It was gone and all that remained was the wailing of the storm. The howling that sounded like the shrieks of her family. The memory left her paralyzed as she stands there in the cold road.

“Why?” she mutters as she drops lifelessly on the bleached earth.

She thought she was dead, for everything was dark and she couldn’t feel her body. There was an ambiance that was pulling her closer to something radiating with heat. All of a sudden she saw white and everything was silent, and she heard a faint whisper in the stillness.

It said with a childish giggle, “It’s… ok... they… are... safe”

The logic was gone; there was no sound except that voice. The trees started to weep and snicker. The white of the snow turned into a crimson. Everything distorted and appalling was swirling around in her humanity. She then heard a noise like an inhuman growl intensifying, getting louder and louder. Until all she could hear was the scream of something monstrous.


“Raina, what’s wrong?” said Yuli.

Her mellow tone shattered the sound as she broke out of her unconsciousness.

“Come in from the cold.” The only thing she saw in her blurred vision was her little sister's gray eyes.

She found herself lying in a bed next to a fire. She stripped the heavy blanketing off of her and walks towards the light-filled doorway. Everything was crystal clear, but her eyes were still heavy as if she just woke up from a long slumber. She stepped through the doorway and was hit with wave incandescence.

Her skin was unwrinkled; her hair washed with color, her bones didn’t ache. She started to slowly grasp her consciousness. The commotion of her mother making supper embraced her with realism.

“Raina, you’re awake!” Yuli exclaimed with excitement.

Raina quickly ran outside to see if this was true, if it wasn’t just another reverie. The snowflakes were falling, just like always. She sat down on the field trying to comprehend what was happening.

“You have been asleep a long time, big sister.”

“Did you dream?”

“Yes,” she said with distress in her voice.

“I never remember my dreams,” the little girl said, giggling. “I pray… you never do….”

Credited to Le Fin 

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