Well, it’s that time again(: But I just realized that I haven’t told y’all which pieces I picked to submit for my University’s annual student art book! A few weeks ago, I made a post to show you guys which pieces I was considering submitting, and the deadline was the 22nd, so these are the pieces I chose: Feathered Ice, Poison, and Ink.
For this week’s piece of creative writing, then, I’ll show you the prose piece I submitted: Feathered Ice. I posted this short story on the original post that had all the pieces I was considering submitting on it, but since that post included 6 different pieces, it probably didn’t get that much attention. I’m not sure when I’ll know if my three pieces were included in the art book, but when I know, I’ll be sure to write a post about it!
But for now, here’s Feathered Ice. I wrote this after a particularly cold night in November or December of last year. It was the particularly hostile, painful cold that inspired this piece.
Snowflakes begin to fall as I walk, appearing out of the inky sky as if they were summoned for the night’s lack of silent light and feathery fantasy. I look up to watch them float to earth, making myself dizzy trying to find the cloud that gave them life. A smile turns up the corners of my mouth as I imagine their shimmering dances through the night’s breezy winds and frost-covered gusts. I imagine that they are dancing around me, alighting upon me for just a moment before fading to dust as the wind eddies around me. It pulls me into the dance with them, and tosses me from partner to partner as I laugh and revel in the beauty of the winter scene.
But the cold tonight is also biting. The few fingers that still peak out the ends of my coat sleeves feel as if icicles with needled teeth are gnawing on them with a voracious hunger. As I walk through the freezing night, I watch the steam rise and writhe from every exhalation, imagining that, if the temperature dropped, the air would freeze in my lungs and turn me to stone from the inside out. I shiver and hug myself tighter, clenching my muscles in a vain effort to hold in more heat, but I realize that the night is indeed getting colder, even as I hurry my feet along the path before me. The snow abates, ceasing its merry dance, and ice crystals take their place. They sting my cheek, rather than kiss it.
It’s as if I can see a thermometer in my head, watching as the red liquid slowly falls, my skin feeling the cold creeping closer and closer to my stuttering heart. The trees around me glisten with ice, and I can hear it crunching and squeaking beneath my feet. I look down and see that the grass has frozen so hard that it sounds like glass shattering with every step. The sound has a shriek to it, and I imagine I can hear the grass crying out in agony with every tread of my heavy feet.
Now I wish I wore my heavy snow coat, for I feel as though every single molecule of water in the air has frozen solid. Every breath hurts now, as the needles of ice stab at my lungs with their ever-present hunger. I can feel them inside me, jabbing with such force that I stumble, gasping for oxygen, yet I cannot breathe normally for the pain that every wheeze causes. My feet drag now, still slowly carrying me towards my goal, but their shuffling steps crunch through even more ice grass than before, and the sound begins to deafen me with its intensity. The shrieks pierce my skull with shards of sound, and I shriek my own scream of agony.
I can no longer feel my legs, and the world spins in whirls of blue and black as the cold takes me captive. I can’t feel it when the blades of grass stab me—my entire body is numb. I can’t feel the hot blood flowing from my wounds—I can’t feel my life draining away.
But it’s ok. I realize that I am no longer cold. My core is warm… my heart is so warm. No more does it stutter and stumble and stammer. Now it waltzes with the warmth, happy to be free of its restrictive beat. My fingers give a last tingle before they too succumb to the comforting heat. It’s making me sleepy, the warmth… It’s so comforting, so gentle, so beautiful. It calls to me in a voice as soothing as a mother’s coo.
The smile that glows on my blued lips and shines in my darkened eyes is but a shadow of the joy that fills my heart at the approach of warm death. Did you know? He wears shining white… not tattered ink. He carries a staff, not a sickle. When He calls your name, He does so with a smile on his lips. And His touch is a kiss, not a blow to those who answer his call with obedience. So what wrong is there in following a being such as He? Death… what a cruel name to bestow on one so beautiful. Light fills me as I feel the weight of my body being lifted, and suddenly
I am free.