The power has been out and the house has been cold. All I can really say is just how much I hate snow. Words don’t express the level of loathing that I have for winter in an accurate way. This is not my time of year. I would much rather deal with heat.

In the meantime I think you should buy something to read, curl up in front of a fire and do your best to keep warm. Might I recommend the Cthulhu Haiku collection from Popcorn Press or Under The Bed Magazine. If you would rather have a book, try Sirens Call Publishing for “Slaughter House The Serial Killer Edition Vol. 3

L. E. White

Burn Out or Fade Away

Each step crunched, the snow compacting under her weight as she moved. Each tiny edge of icy pricked at her bare feet. The girl wrapped her arms tight around her chest, clutching at whatever heat she could hold in.

It wasn’t enough.

Her mind wandered as the wind ripped lines of pain along her back. She remembered the fire, sitting beside the crackling red and orange light that warmed her skin and heated her food. She remembered her father coming for her, hand outstretched to accept the bowl of soup she filled for him.

Tonight, he had cast her out.

They weren’t short of food or wood. Her mother had not cried when father had torn her clothes off and shoved her out the door. She had smiled and nodded as the big man stood in front of the door, between the girl and the fire.

“It is time for you to walk the winds,” he said. “It is time for you to find the truth of life and death.”

She was sure she was dying, everything hurt as the wind sliced through her body and cut away the strings that bound her soul to this flesh. She loved her family, and being cast out forced salty tears out of her eyes.

She stumbled and the ground sloped down. The drift hid the truth of the forest and the girl crashed down. Arms and legs spread out as she tried to find purchase, leaving her lying in the snow, turning blue and dying.

She stood again, forced herself to stand and trudge along, looking to the world around her like a living snow man. She moved, like a walking corpse.

A new pain flared through her leg as the jaws of the trap snapped shut on her ankle. She stopped, standing still and staring down at her leg for a full minute before crumpling to the ground. She tilted her head up and let out a long, wailing howl of pain.

Her body trembled as cold and shock fought to see who would kill her. She sobbed and moaned, breaking fingernails and tearing skin as she tried to pull the trap apart.

She wasn’t strong enough.

The girl threw her head back and let out another howl of pain and suffering. She screamed at the world until her throat was raw. Then, she dropped her chin to her chest and gave herself permission to leave this world.

A flash of heat erupted from her chest. She felt her skin ripple and pull as her muscles shifted of their own accord. Her heart pulsed, sending waves of blistering heat out. The girl opened her eyes and watched her skin split like an over cooked sausage, releasing sparks and embers to sizzle on the snow.

She arched her back and cried out again, falling back into the snow.  The girl could hear the cracking of her flesh and the sizzling of the snow as it turned to steam and rose in great clouds above her.

The jaws of the trap around her foot began to glow, then to droop. They changed from one bright color to another until falling away in globs to hiss in the snow.

She continued to scream until she ran out of air. The heat of the fire inside her burned away the air so that she could not take another breath.  The girl twisted and withered on the bare ground, blackening the soil as the trees around her began to burn.

A man and woman stood inside their cabin. They held each other and watched the glowing sky until a ball of flame shoot out of the forest, soaring up into the darkness.

They smiled at each other, proud as peacocks, as their fledgling learned to fly.

Categories: Fantasy, Flash Fiction, Writing
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