If you shake this snow globe, the world will shatter.
|“If you shake this snow globe, the world will shatter,” they said.
She tried to grab it.
“No!” they pulled it back, “Will you scale the glacier? There’s nothing that way.”
Her cruel smirk flattened; her eyes were empty, “There is nothing anywhere.”
“Take it then, but save it till the end.”
She had traded half her wood for it. But that was before the endless white horizon before the wind that flayed the skin before the cold that seeped beneath the layers of her clothes. She stumbled and fell; she mustn’t fall asleep. The air burned in her throat and tore into her lungs like knives.
She must start a fire—or die. Barely any wood was left—she should have let them die. She searched her bag until her hand found the globe, and she lifted it up and peered into it, but the glass was opaque. She put it aside before she found the matchbook. Sheltering the wood with her body, she lit each match and put it beneath the kindling until it sputtered out, and there was only one match left, and the kindling started burning. And then it went out. She screamed beating the wood into the snow.
She looked over and saw the globe shinning; the universe was revealed within it as if the night sky, with stars replaced by galaxies, was shrunk down into it. She lifted it above her head to shake it. Why should they live? And the globe was suspended in the air, for an eternity, as if her hands were frozen in place. Then she lowered it.
She sat down as each breath was more difficult than the last. Looking into the globe, she saw a small, blue planet, third from its star, where towering clouds looked like mushrooms.