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

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   Cleona forced her eyes closed so tight that she almost began to cry. She knew the sooner sleep came to her the sooner tomorrow would come and with it her faithfully worshiped birthday. Wrapped in her winter blankets, like a kitten with her mother, Cleona's grasp on her carefully kept and well fed little Winnie the Pooh loosened and it fell to the side of the bed, lamely hanging off, as Cleona drifted of to a gleeful slumber with her lips curved upward in a smile.

Cleona gasped when she felt the frigid air sting her lungs. Her smile was gone - replaced by chattering teeth covered with a frown. Tear-filled eyes blinked frantically with fear and disbelief. This was not her room ... she saw no lavender-painted walls, no books, none of her dolls. Instead of being beneath her blankets, she laid beneath a naked tree on a bed of snow. She sat up and hunched herself into a ball as goosebumps formed on her body, wrapping her nightshirt tightly around her, as she wiped at her eyes with a shaking fist.

The moon's dim light scattered shadows about her through the tree's expanse of branches. Her timorous voice, barely audible, quivered a plea for her father, then for her mother. Answered by only a queer silence, her petite body began to shiver and shake from the gripping cold. Cleona sat huddled, alone, in terror. She frantically reached for Pooh Bear but immediately jerked her arm back to her side when she found snow encircling her hand instead of fur.

Turning from side to side, the snow-covered ground draped on without end. No blemish was present throughout the odd place but the tree Cleona found herself below. Everything became blurry as a wave of tears filled her eyes. Their warmth relieved her ice-cold cheeks. Their salty flavor burned her chapped lips. Licking them away, her lips glistened with the meager light of the night sky. Her voice screeched, again calling out for her mother. The snow-covered branches strained and creaked with the vibrating noise. She didn't have time to cover her head, her body was too cold, too frozen to move. She could feel the sudden pushing of the wind on her head, playing with her hair, as the air fled from between the falling snow and her.

The snow hit her with the delicacy of a feather. Cleona ripped open her eyes, wiped at her water-soaked eyelashes and watched as her mother replaced the fallen blankets to cover her goose-bumped body. Cleona leapt to her mother and buried her face in her mother's chest.

It was through this dream that Cleona realized her parents' ever-present, protective love was worth more than any birthday present. 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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FutureAuthor12 said...
Sept. 22, 2010 at 9:14 pm
You have a great talent for writing! I hope that you write more! I don't have any articles up yet, but when I do, I will look for you and ask you if you could read it and give me feedback! Anybody would love to talk about their work with an amazing author like you! (:
 
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