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Whiteout This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I can remember only two things in the time I have spent here: the cold fire eating away at my frail, tormented body and the blinding whiteness that screams silently at me wherever I turn. I have been wandering, blindly - how long has it been? I cannot be sure in this Siberian wasteland. I think there are trees. There is certainly something surrounding me at all times. I reason that they may be trees and I am in a forest but, in the blinding whiteness, I cannot be sure. My sense of touch is nearly gone, numbed from the elements which delight in my torment. I plod on, with no goal in mind, hoping only for some kind of refuge from my pain. I can only march on, as I have for as far back as I can remember. I have no way to perceive time; all that exists for me is the present.

Then my foot hits something and my reality changes. There is something else in this world, something other than myself and I crouch to inspect it. Through the white, I can see the blurry, grey outline of something flat and wide. I fumble with my numb fingers, moving them along the flat surface, before I stumble upon a handle. I grasp and pull and the thing comes up, slowly, from the ground. I lack the strength to carry it for very long. I set it aside, carefully. Now there is a hole in the white - a hole which is also white, but a hole that I know is there nonetheless. I pray that hole will lead out of this white hell.

I reach into the hole, and make contact with rungs. A ladder? I grasp tightly and slide, slowly and cautiously, into the hole. As my feet touch lower rungs, I realize that I am, indeed, on a ladder that leads downward. I descend. The place where I arrive is white, but now I perceive new things: corners, shadows - I can make distinctions between parts of the white. It is not as cold down here. The numbness leaves me. Crossing the room, I find a door. I open it, somewhat fearful of what I might find. I look in, and am relieved to see darkness - a comforting sight to my weary eyes. As my eyes adjust, I begin to make out the interior of the room: bones. Human skeletons litter the room - the ancient bones of long-forgotten exiles. They are posed as if they were doing something when they died, but I cannot tell what. I feel, though, that it was something of grave importance, something wonderful, something horrible, something earth-shattering. The smell of death, age and something intangible pervades the place - a horrid stench that chokes me and pushes me away. It overcomes my senses and I withdraw.

I close the door and make my way along the wall. Another door. Do I dare open this one? I open it, slowly and cautiously. Beyond the door, I can see only white. I am not surprised - by now I know no other color - but I begin to fear the white I see before me. I wonder if I dare explore the mysteries beyond.

The decision is made for me. A fierce wind rips violently into the chamber, tearing at me, jostling me. The wind pulls me toward the door and the whiteness beyond. I submit and am wrenched through. All I see is white, again, but I feel nothing. It is not numbness. There simply is nothing to feel here.

Then, something opens to me, something which had been locked away. I understand it all. I understand everything. Horror, infinite horror, comes with my realization. Now that the secret of who I am, what I am, has been revealed to me, I fear madness. I fear myself. Then the wind returns - a different wind, though. This wind pulls at my thoughts, my memories ... and I feel that everything I have learned is escaping. I let it go. The whiteness surrounds me, pushes in on me. Have I been here before? Everything goes white ... I can remember only two things in the time I have spent here: the cold fire eating away at my frail, tormented body and the blinding whiteness that screams silently at me wherever I turn. I have been wandering, blindly - how long has it been? I cannot be sure in this Siberian wasteland ... 1


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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elwriter said...
Apr. 11, 2010 at 1:38 am
Cool. This sounds good. I like it.
 
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