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"Snowy Walk," by Sarah Ferland

Gary Miller

Boots crunched against the newly fallen snow.   

Lungs huffed.

In…

Out…

    Cold air cut cut through her chest like a steel knife.

    She carried on, fingers numb, lips cracked, eyelids freezing together with every blink.

    She kept her sight down, looking where to plant her feet. All she could see was white blankets of snow. By her guess, she must have lost the path long ago.

    Stupid, stupid, stupid! Why did I decide to make the journey after a winter storm?

    She looked up, trying to find anything that resembled the path that would lead her into town. All she was met with was endless trees covered in white fluff. She continued to walk.

    Quickly, her muscles grew stiff from the cold, but she carried on.

    After an eternity of walking by what seemed like going in circles, she came to what looked like a path in the forest. Snow lay in a flat plane, rather than in the tiny hills and valleys of the forest floor.

    Hope swelled in her heart and she ran to the path, muscles screaming all the way. The path was wider than she remembered, but she shrugged it off; at least she knew where to go now.

    She got to the middle of the path when she heard it, a sharp, piercing CRACK! She didn’t have anytime to register what it meant before she was plunging into frigid water.

    Her lungs constricted, cold stabbed through her clothes into her skin, and she let out a silent scream. She kicked and flailed her arms, but to no avail, she was trapped, submerged in an icy river.