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In the Snow

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Blood looks significantly brighter on snow. It must be the contrast between two very distinct shades. A drop of blood could not possibly be missed when it soaks into a snowy field. Now, how powerful would the entirety of a person’s blood contents appear when slowly seeping into a frozen plain. Or, rather than a plain, just a square, in the center of a city, blanketed with snow.

She was the type of soul that would fight for an unknown cause, just to have one. She was loyal to her family and friends, even if they betrayed her. She didn’t believe in love, or just did not value it. If she was going to change the world, how could she find time for boys? When she was finally given the opportunity to join a cause she believed in, she ignored all the objections and warnings from her parents. She was ready. She was overwhelmed with joy, prepared to fight for the defense of her city.

Now she was only pleased she was dying in the snow. The freeze numbed the pain she was sure she should be feeling. The snow was nice. The fluffy, powdery, type. The kind excellent for snowmen, and snowball fights. Unfortunately, snowballs can’t protect from foreign invaders with guns.

As she looked up at her environment, she became conscious of two things. First, she noticed the spectators from the surrounding apartment buildings staring down at her. Watching her die but unable to come to her aid. Then she noticed her vision beginning to blur.

She should have been shot. Then she would have died quicker. She would have died gracefully, instead of sobbing, and screaming desperation, then choking on her sobs again. She was fighting in an unfair fight. She was the one with a long knife taped to a small handgun. They had armor, assault rifles. Why was she stabbed in the end? Now she had to slowly bleed into the snow, propped up against the only tree in the center of the square, instead of lying dead, with all her fellow insurgents.

It was such a fitting place to die. Violet Square, surrounded by her rose petals of blood. This square was where she would spend her days in the summer. She would listen to music in the delicately trimmed grass, caressed by the sun, surrounded by butterflies, and watched over by the blue jays nested in the tree. Unfortunately, this poetic deathbed was outweighed by such an unfitting way to die. At night, in the snow, nearly alone, but for the whispered coughs of a man dying nearby.

It was now that her final thoughts began to flow. When she felt the pain, and still possessed the necessary amount of blood to scream and cry, she couldn’t think, she was too panicked. Now that she was silent, and probably seemingly dead to everyone around her, she could think peacefully.

She was such a young girl with such meaningful ideals. But her death will be meaningless. She has made no difference in the world. No one will know her name. What was she thinking? She was seventeen. She won’t make her eighteenth birthday. She will never be an adult, never make a change. She was convinced fighting was the only option. Her parents had fled. They told her to come with them, actually, they gave her the ultimatum. Stay here and die or come with us. They didn’t force her though, they were truly good parents for that. They gave her free will, her greatest belief.

F*** free will.

She tried to lift her hand. She managed to, and, with all the effort she had, she took that cigarette she had out of the front pocket of her leather jacket. A nineteen year old, clean cut boy had given it to her, after lighting his own. He told her to save it for the right time. What better time was there than now. Holding the cigarette between her lips, she fired her gun away from her. The noise was supposed to be loud, but, frighteningly, she couldn’t hear it.

She raised the hot muzzle of the pistol to her face and lit the tip of the cigarette with it. When she unwillingly dropped her hand holding the heavy metal object, she concluded that she would never raise that hand again. She used up the last of her energy lighting a cigarette.

It was the first time she had ever smoked, and when she took her first deep inhale, she was glad of that. The feeling was so nice; she knew she would have been a smoker after this if she had survived. The hot smoke flooded her lungs, filling them with sweet, warm honey. She held it in until she unwillingly coughed and let it escape through her mouth and nostrils. She inhaled again, closing her eyes as she did so. The smoke was warm and comforting. When she inhaled and the tiny tip illuminated red, it was the only light in the moonless night, apart from the flash of her gun a minute earlier. She breathed the smoke out her nose, inhaled again, and began to think once more.

She was about to die. She wasn’t ready to die. She was ready to finally begin her life; all the years she had actually lived through were the preliminaries. They were the preparations for real life. But she was stupid, and eager, and impatient.

When she realized this, she decided not to die. She could do it. The enemy came, killed all insurgency and moved out. All she had to do was continue breathing until morning. Then people would come and claim bodies, they would discover she was still alive, and she would be taken to be cared for. She just had to stay awake.

She inhaled the smoke again, her deepest breath yet. When she exhaled and the smoke slowly fell over her bottom lip, her cigarette fell from her lips as well. She never inhaled again.




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wskksw This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 9, 2012 at 7:34 pm:
This is a very mysterious, thought-provoking story.  Your imagery is amazing and you definitely have great writing skills.  For a few minutes, I was there with her, holding her hand on the square.  Amazing story, hope to read more in the future :)
 
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