In Black And White

January 20, 2011
By Anonymous

Jeanne's home was only a mile from the spot her feet were plastered to now. What a party it had been! The dancing, the food, the memories to last the rest of her life. The young woman, barely in her teens, was behaving as she should. She hadn't had a single drink, and she was heading home in time to arrive before her 10:00 curfew. The snow and ice was nothing compared to the strength she felt within her. What could bring her down? She was a beautiful, witty youthful girl with countless friends. She felt invincible as she began home. But the ice and sharp wind that had incapacitated the world she knew wasn't at all fond of those that tried to withstand it. The wind beat with unthinkable strength against her uncovered face, but Jeanne wouldn't allow her treasured confidence to slip away from her. She struggled to complete her next step against the snow. Her tread was much slower than she thought it was, and her presence was only known by the wind. Going back was out of the question. No weather could stop her; though it did seem to be slowing her.

She trudged on for hours. And as she did, her mind slowly became still, and it filled with fog that consumed most all thoughts she developed. She continued on, though at times she wasn't aware of doing so.

It was another fifteen frozen minutes before Jeanne realized she wasn't quite sure where she was. Her home was a straight line from the party, all she had to do was walk straight! But had she been traveling in the right direction up to this point? Could it be that she was far from where she thought she was? It was quite possible, everything was white. She could barely make out a tree.

Jeanne lost her thoughts. They were gone into the crystalline flurries that surrounded her. Her mind was as numb as her cheeks, and she fell to the frozen ground.

Her face hit the ice first, but she didn't notice. The wind laughed at her defeat as she lay in the foot-deep snow. Her thoughts drifted and swayed. She felt as if she were asleep. Maybe she was. This felt like her bed, soft and comforting. But something was off. There was a sharp sensation all over her body. It felt very familiar, but she couldn't quite place it.

Moments later Jeanne heard a faint noise. She was extremely reluctant to look up, she was very comfortable. But being the curious girl she is, she willed herself to open her eyes. A mere 3 meters from her face stood a man dressed entirely in black. His presence comforted her.

"Hello. How are you?" She greeted him. It felt as if she was talking, she could feel her vocal chords make the sound. But not a single syllable was created.

Oh, she thought, The words must have frozen in the snowfall before they could reach his ears.

This made perfect sense to her. The man looked at her with a puzzled expression, but there was another emotion hidden within his features. It was something along the lines of self pity and worry. As if he were in search of something that cannot be seen. He stared at her with interrogating eyes. Jeanne had a strong urge to help him, though she couldn't process why or how.

Just as she was putting together her next words, the man looked up and immediately became wide eyed. Jeanne tried to look in the same direction, but the intense cold wouldn't allow her to. The man slowly backed away from her as if he were surrendering her. Jeanne was confused, but the emotion was lost into the fog and slush in her mind.

A cloud of liquid ice overcame the girl on the ground. It evaluated her, then did what it came to do. The small amount of warmth that had remained in the body was now gone, and the fog in her mind faded to black, as did everything else in her. Her frozen breath let out one last time, and her very last muscle released it's tense hold. It was a good thing, what had just happened. After all, if she would have made it home, there would be a man in black waiting for her to do the same thing.

The author's comments:
I've always been inspired by nature; especially snow and ice. It's so unique, because it's beautiful and deadly. I really feel that this piece expresses that.

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