Paper Birds This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

All that my mind wants me to remember is the desolation that was the winter. I remember the clouds intervening the loneliest trees and the sound of drums in the back of my head.  Once the beat stopped it would pick back up again. In effect leaving this dismay loose in my concentration. In spite of the anxiety sometimes, when I saw the same tree and felt the same sudden burst of electric up my spine, I would scream. I would scream until I felt the vomit crawl up my throat and back into my body. Almost as though I was attempting to be persistent in calling for help…even though subconsciously I perceived nothing was there.
My body had traces of protein deficiency, dehydration, and infections of all kinds. I was weak, and did not have the capability to fight. Nevertheless, the intensity that was my survival dragged my legs once more around the merry-go-round. After my last outburst, my ears became keen and silenced out every melody of the forest except one—the wolves. It was faint alas there—howling at the atmosphere in search of a meal.
The fear that came from my stomach blocked the oxygen coming into my lungs. Maybe, I thought, if I just didn’t lead them in my direction they wouldn’t see me. Thus, I never again peered over my shoulder. Constantly, ghastly images of death haunted my mind like they had before. In an instant, without my permission, my legs gave out and fell deeper underneath the snow. Columns of depression and confusion broke through the icy wasteland around me.  Anything that I would attempt to confess would freeze on my cheek. I felt nothing. I was nothing. At that moment, I was completely numb to everything around me—all I wanted was an escape. Desperately, my hand reached for the tree bark beside me; fingers spread out wide.  As I ran my fingers down the jagged bark I could feel someone inside, screaming to let them out. I felt them dying within those trees—their bodies colorless and beaten. However, their eyes were alive and looked to the paper birds that fell out of the sky.
I lay there and my other hand, almost completely frostbitten, would pick some of the birds that were stained by the rust and blood I carried with me. Melting within my grasp, they convinced me I would join them. My ears could sense my breath shake with the avalanches in the distance and my heart sinking into the obsolete birds beneath me. None of them ever returned to the drums that would carry them away from this place. None of them survived. None of them would ever survive. With them, I wished to stay; unfortunately, I could taste the heaving drums making their way down my throat. Inclined to survive the war I had started, the last sigh and last life I had tore apart the forest. Until I reached my end, a gateway of trees touching the threshold of urbanization. I could see nothing, fore the sun was burning underneath the grey clouds that hampered the birds. And with them I did stay.
I had finally come out into the open road, where someone would find my carcass laying in the same position it had been before. They would find the only birds I had taken with me. They would find the ones the wolves had taken with them. They would find that I was the only one free…out of all that fell first to the ground.






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