Cold

The snow had settled soft on the ground, but by noon it’d frozen over so that it crunched with every step I took. Clouds blocked out the sun while they blew around at the mercy of the wind, like glitter in one of those little plastic globes. I swear if I’d have cried my eyes would have sealed shut forever.

I’d been walking for almost two hours; straight through the woods to nowhere in what the clouds had made a perpetual darkness. I was well-covered, with at least two layers of clothing on each inch of body, save for my reddening face. Eventually, I gave into the weight of it all, plopped over under a mighty pine and hunched my arms and legs together to keep warm.

White flakes fell from above and blew into my face. I guarded my eyes and aimed them at the branch they came from, where a squirrel had just slipped out and half-thudded on the hard snow. He shivered as he ran, panicked and freezing, scurrying away to be swallowed by fog. His brown body was speckled with white, just like everything else in view, and it would’ve looked beautiful if he didn’t seem so cold and hungry. Only the trees seemed comfortable, green and tall as they’d always been, proudly giving shelter to all the out of place summer creatures that walked among them. I admired the evergreens, they looked immortal.

A lone bird stood squawking atop a magnificent pine, bobbing his head back and forth across the wood. He let out a succession of “twah’s!”, like he was calling out “over here!” to some bird friend of his. I chuckled at his desperation. He had wings and feet and two good eyes, but all he did was sit there and call out to some hoppy brown companion of his that’d probably drowned in the white by now. Dumb little thing. Regardless of his ability to fly, his high-pitched whine continued on and on until I scared him with a well-placed rock at the heart of the tree. Fluttering away, he mocked me with one last “twah!” and glided reluctantly through the forest.

The clouds shone a darker gray than before. I thought of how long I’d been here, wandering aimlessly through the forest, spread upon the cold snow and staring up at little animals. Lifting myself up, I couldn’t remember why I’d even come in the first place. All I knew was that I had to return, quickly, and face all the obligations that awaited me at home, whatever they may be. That dumb bird, the nervous squirrel, both so weak and frail, and yet I thought of them so jealously. While I returned home to work, to clean and chore and be nice and safe, they were off living, with no thoughts of time to keep them from doing so. The only ones freer were the trees.

Cold

Breathe

Joined January 2008

  • Artist
    Notes
  • Artwork Comments 6

Artist's Description

Reflection of the freedom in nature.

Tags

short story

Artwork Comments

  • Arnold Isbister
  • Breathe
  • Dave Legere
  • Sandor
  • loramae
  • Breathe
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