Entry for the Night and Day Prose contest. 589 words.
| Silvery bursts of air slip from my mouth as I breathe, arms pulled tightly around myself like a blanket. The cold wind slice past my thin defenses. The night sky is raven-black, stars, cold specks of ice, hanging mournfully upon the canvas of the heavens. The moon is waning, fading; like everything else in my life, it seemed to not want to linger. I move a foot, then another; I do not know where I go. Pulled along like a string, I walk next to the screaming, winter-damning river. I give a bone-deep shiver. Looking up, an owl screeches; ugly, discordant. What is the beauty in it? Where is the sweet hooting so oft told in fairy tales and fantasies?
Nothing is beautiful anymore.
The sickly, cloying scent of frangipani and heavy, dark smell of narcissus lay heavily as I sink to the ground. Where once I played with dogs and friends, a heavy, aching contrast stands above me then. I am alone, with only the sounds of the night and the river to keep company.
The itching, coarse snow-covered grass pricks through my thin dress as I stare ahead, dark umber arms still blanketing my body. The fabric of my dress begins to soak. My hands hurts, tingling as the cold bites. Chills speed up and down my body and yet I don't move. There is no reason to. I have no one to go home to. It was over. I had failed. Shadows shift around me as the night creatures scurry about.
People always say that the light always will win; evil will always be defeated. That is a lie. I had believed that, should we lose, I would go down with everyone else. Instead I find myself drifting, a prisoner in my home, in my mind. What mercy it would have been to perish and join my fellow in eternity. Instead I suffer, rightly so. But I am cowardly and wish to go home. Home is where the heart is, after all.
Vines of loroco flowers twine among the pathway of the river walk. Where I hungry, I might pick some, but nightmares and memories are too near tonight.
Vibrant, laughing blue eyes rise up like wraiths in my mind and I let it consume me. Tears stream down my face, salty and tasting of bitterness. Parades of the dead surround me and for once I don't fight it. I give up.
The freezing chill of a early December night seep through my body as I am lost in the failures of my life. The calls of the cacomistles intertwine with the screams and blasts of my past. The shivers wracking my body fade away; I feel warm. Pools of shadows embrace me and for a second, I can see my mother. Is she there?
But suddenly, I am on the ground. White prickles at my nose and I giggle lightly. I hear voices in the distance. Then I am burning, searing; I am being boiled in the depths of hell, I am sure. I claw at my clothes, panic suddenly swelling through me. I don't wanna die. I don't wanna die.
I am naked. I am in the snow. Clarity strikes; I grasp at slivers of thought, slivers of misunderstanding. I can do nothing. I am nothing.
I feel the shadows nearing and I sink into the wet, frozen earth. Lightly, little droplets land like loons on a lake, sliding onto my face. The wind howled distantly and I drifted off.
Then there was nothing.