September 1, 2007
By samantha culp, Spring Grove, PA

The steam rolled from my mouth as I slowly breathed in the frozen air, stale with the stench of fear. White puffs bleed out of my nose. I wished that that one breathe would remain sealed in my lungs, pocketed in the warmth of my insides. With every exhale and inhale my body worked to heat the air seeping into my throat. Every inch of my body was swallowed in the cold, so intense that I could slowly feel it strangle me pulling the life straight through my face, swooping under my eyelids, and through my mouth, while sliding down my nose. I tried to keep them covered for fear that it would do just that. The wind whipped against the ridges of my face, I felt nothing on the outside except ice forming across my legs, neck and shoulders. Hours past, I didn't try to move, I just sat there helpless, lifeless, thinking of all that could happen, all the possible outcomes. I saw only snow, ice, and sky. The colors of the heavens changed, but then became black. I could feel the temperature drop. The thoughts raced, darting across my mind. I soon felt numb, not just on the outside by it creep into my stomach, muscles, and bones. The freezing temperature developed into a disease, taking complete control of my body. I than truly feared it would sink into my lungs, which held my only warmth. I could hear it, the tiny crystals, they formed slowly and gracefully. I felt it paint my veins with ice, with cold, with fear. I heard the crackling and then felt a sudden breathless sensation that filled my body, with an almost warm feeling.

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