Blood Red Snow

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
A young girl finds herself in the woods all alone at night, there's snow on the ground and it's freezing out. Unsure of how she got there she is at a loss as to what to do when she suddenly sees a cabin in the distance. Is this the salvation she was hoping for? Or is something more sinister going on under the surface?

Submitted: October 21, 2016

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Submitted: October 21, 2016

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Snow. Perfect crystalline structures made entirely of frozen astral water. The epitome of purity, the ultimate idea of perfection, and it lay in smooth blankets along the forest floor. The full moon shone in scintillating silver off the glistening trees laden with the snow. The cool, crisp air hung suspended amongst the forest as if holding its breath, while not a sound could be heard as if it was a cold tomb. Like soft rose petals, drops of crimson blood stood out in stark contrast to the pure white crystalline snow.

I awoke with a start feeling as if my body was waited down with a metric ton of rock. I couldn’t feel my fingers or toes; glancing down at my hands I could tell immediately that they were turning blue. Forcing myself to sit up I started to feel lighter, the heaviness that sat on my chest melting away. I noticed that I had been lying in a depression of snow and near where my head had been was a pool of dried frozen blood.

Where am I? I turned my head back and forth to get a better look at my surroundings. But all I could see was dark trees and a dark sky, with miles of freshly laden snow all around.

I managed to get my feet underneath me and push myself into a standing position. Glancing around I noticed in the far distance, barely visible, there was a small golden yellow light. I put a cold hand up to my head and felt dry blood matted against my hair. I need to get to a hospital. Making up my mind I stumbled in the direction of the light hoping it would be someone who could help me.

The closer I got to the light the more I could tell where it was coming from. A small wood cottage sat in the middle of the dark forest, windows lit up with soft warm light and grey smoke puffing from the chimney.

I stood for a moment outside the cottage, Whoever did this to me could be inside. If I’m wrong, I could be walking right into a trap, and most likely my death. But I can’t stand out here in the cold either. Finally coming to a decision, I stumbled up to the door and banged loudly and as hard as I could on its wooden surface.

The door soon opened to reveal a young woman around my age with dark blonde hair and light blue eyes. “Oh my gosh! Are you okay?” she asked a worried frown on her face.

Too tired to say anything I gave a soft moan and shook my head almost collapsing in her doorway. The young woman managed to catch me before I fell too far. She pulled me inside and over to a chair with flower decals printed all over it. I leaned back into the chair and finally succumbed to exhaustion.

When I awoke some time later, my head felt a little disorientated. Shaking my head to clear it, the memory of waking up in the snow coated with blood suddenly came back to me. I looked down at my hands and noticed that for the most part the blue color had disappeared but I was still quite pale. A shiver went through my body, a chill settling deep inside my core. I wrapped my arms around myself in an attempt to warm myself up as I looked around the room. It looked like I had been placed in the living room, which made up most of the space in the cottage. There was a small couch up against the wall to my right the same side as the door, and underneath one of the windows. It was also made of the same flowery fabric as the chair I was sitting in which was facing the couch at an angle and nearest the fireplace. There was a small table in front of the couch that contained several outdoor magazines, as well as a table stand on the side of the couch closest to me that had a small green vase of wax flowers sitting on it.

On the walls were several pictures of Monet caliber that were tasteful arranged around the room. As I was contemplating one such picture, the young woman came into view from a back room of the house, “Oh good, you’re awake. I didn’t know how bad your head wound was, and was afraid that you might have a concussion.” She walked further into the room, sitting on the edge of the table she continued, “The nearest hospital around here is fifteen miles away, and with the amount of snow we have it would have been impossible to get my truck out.”

“Where am I?” I managed to croak out.

“Well, you’re about fifteen miles outside of Anchorhead, Virginia.” She leaned forward and tried to wipe the blood off of my forehead with a moist cloth. “My name is Emmy, by the way.”

“My name is…Keres.” It took me a moment to remember my own name, but it eventually came to me, though not much else. I still couldn’t remember what I had been doing out in the dark, in the middle of nowhere, and how I had ended up with blood on my head.

“Well, it’s nice to meet you Keres.” Emmy said as she cleaned the rest of the blood off my head. “Until you can remember what happened to you out there, you are more then welcome to stay with me. I have a back bedroom you can use.”

“Thank you.” I said appreciatively.

She got up off the table and took my hand to lead me to the room she had talked about, supporting me as we went. Emmy pushed open the door to reveal a small musty room that only held a bed and nightstand. There was a window placed over the bed that had a back view of the forest surrounding the cottage. “Sorry it’s so sparse, I hardly get visitors out here.”

“No, that’s okay. Thank you so much for all you’re doing.” I sat on the bed a shiver shaking my body slightly.

“No problem, besides, I like the company. Let me know if you need anything, I’d be glad to help.” Emmy said before she politely shut the door after she left.

Left to myself in the room I lay back on the bed tying to piece my memories together again, but try as I might I just could not figure out why I had been lying in the snow bleeding. Eventually I closed my eyes and was suddenly confronted by distorted images of flashing silver, puffs of breath, and an intense pain in my temple. Suddenly a pair of ice-cold eyes loomed in front of me, filling my entire body with dread.

For the second time that night I awoke with a start, my body shivering uncontrollably. Sitting up I rubbed my hands on my arms in an attempt to warm myself up, but try as I might I just could not feel warm. As ice conformed to my bones, I leaned up against the window so I could see out of it. As I scanned the ridgeline of trees, my eyes suddenly detected the form of a person. It was definitely a man, wearing dark clothing with something shielding his face. He stood just inside the line of trees, barely even visible, and he was staring at the cottage.

Shocked I pulled away from the window, hopping he hadn’t seen me. Opening the door I crept out and found Emmy lying on the couch having fallen asleep reading. I gently shook her till she woke up, “What’s wrong?” she asked in a sleepy voice.

“There’s a man standing outside in the forest, staring at the cottage.” I informed her trying not to sound scared in case she knew who it was. That hope bubble burst a moment later with her next words.

“Nobody lives around here but me.” She rubbed the sleep out of her eyes and was suddenly alert.

“He must have something to do with what happened to me.” I said leaning back on my heels, and then an even more terrible thought entered my mind. “What if he’s the person who tried to kill me, and he’s here to finish the job?”

Emmy reached out and took my hand giving it a slight squeeze, “Don’t worry, I won’t let anything happen to you.”

I gave her a determined nod and we both walked silently back to my room. But when we looked out the window, the man was nowhere to be seen. “Where did he go?” I asked now frightened to my core.

“I’m not sure, but lets make sure the doors are locked and the windows have been secured just in case.” Emmy said, no hint of a tremor in her voice.

We checked all the doors and windows, looking out to see if we saw anybody, and made sure everything was secure. There was no evidence that anybody had been around the cottage recently, the snow lay as undisturbed as it had before. We finally settled in the living room, each too on edge to go to bed.

The night was deathly silent, not even the ageing creak of the trees could be heard. It had been several hours since I had first seen the suspicious man outside, and I was finally ready to calm down and return to sleep when it happened. The lights began to flicker, slowly at first, then franticly casting strange shadows about the room before shutting off like a candle being blown out.

Against my better judgment I shrieked into the darkness surrounding me, then getting a handle on my panic I reached out for Emmy only to find she wasn’t sitting next to me anymore. “Emmy! Where are you?” I called out panic starting to rise in my throat again.

“It’s okay, I’m over here.” She called out from the back of the cottage. “When the lights began to flicker I thought I should get this.” She came into the room holding a long object that shone silver in the darkness.

Instantly I realized what it was she was holding, a long barreled shotgun. “Never live out in the country without some form of protection, right.” She said as she hefted the shotgun onto her shoulder and looked out the front window.

Speechless, I merely sat on the couch unsure of what to do. That was when I saw the shadow go by the back window that stood above the sink in the kitchen. Instantly I grabbed Emmy’s arm, “I saw him! He’s out back, he just went by the window!” My voice threatened to crack.

Emmy went over to the window and looked out, but turned back around shortly. “I don’t see him. Maybe he went to the front.”

We returned to the living room and each of us peeked out of a window. I couldn’t see anyone from my vantage point and turning to Emmy I could tell she didn’t see anyone either. Suddenly we heard a creak come from the back of the cottage. He was inside!

“He must have gotten in by the back door.” Emmy whispered.

“But I checked it, it was locked!” I said in a barely contained whisper.

No movement could be heard in the cottage, but I could sense someone was inside waiting for the opportune moment to jump out like the pause before a giant storm. I cowered by the door not knowing what to do; Emmy crouched beside me, leaning in close to my ear she softly whispered, “I won’t let anything happen to you.”

I was reaching out to squeeze her hand when I saw a shadow flit by the opening to the kitchen. Emmy raised her shotgun to fire, but no one was standing there to fire at. Unable to stand the tension, I reached up and felt for the handle of the door. Seeing what I was thinking of doing, Emmy shook her head slightly telling me to stay put. She stood up slowly and made her way silently to the doorway to the kitchen.

I could stand it no longer, and standing up quickly I grabbed the handle of the door and yanked it open. Before I knew it I was outside in the freezing temperatures running in no particular direction. Behind me I could hear Emmy yelling after me screaming at me not to leave. But my veins ran ice cold and my legs ran even faster.

I ran and I ran, I’m not sure how far I went, I felt bad for leaving Emmy behind, but I felt sure she could handle herself. Suddenly a hole in the snow appeared in front of me and I went flying into it. I landed on top of something, and getting my bearings I pushed myself up to get a better look at what it was. And found myself staring into my own face. Startled I fell back onto my rear letting out another shriek. I breathed heavily and noticed that no condensation formed in the air when I breathed out. Leaning forward I slowly crawled closer and saw that sure enough, it was I lying in the snow, a puddle of blood formed around my head.

There was a bullet hole in my doppelgänger’s forehead just above the left eye, reaching up to my own forehead I felt my finger go in slightly where the hole would have been. I’m dead. The sudden realization came to me, and suddenly it all made sense, the pain in my head, why I could never get warm, and the fact that I was so pale all of a sudden. But who had killed me? The strange man hiding in the forest?

Suddenly I heard a crunching sound to my right and looked up to see Emmy standing there, her shotgun pointed down at her side. “If I’m dead, then how can you see me and talk to me?”

“Well duh, I see dead people.” Emmy stated matter-of-factly.

“You don’t seem surprised at all, at any of this.” I said slowly, my eyes came to a rest on the shotgun in her hands, realization dawning on me and I looked up quickly into the ice-cold blue eyes of my killer.

“You just had to ruin everything, didn’t you.” Her tone as frosty as the night air. “If you had just stayed where I told you to, none of this would have happened and we could have gotten to be really good friends.”

I stood up in my shallow grave and slowly backed away from her, “Why?” I asked her imploringly.

“I just wanted a friend!” she shouted, her tone irate and her eyes flaring wide. “Do you know how hard it is to be the freak kid growing up? The kid who can supposedly see dead people? No one wanted to be around me! They were scared of me!” she inched closer her tone growing louder as she went on. “So my parents banished me out here, to live in seclusion. They wanted to forget I even existed!” she practically screamed at me.

“I’m sorry, your parents abandoned you.” I said breathlessly trying to sooth her.

She clutched at the shotgun in her hands, her expression now fully given away to the madness consuming her from the inside. “Then suddenly I realized: if friends won’t come to me, then I’ll just create friends, ones that will never leave me.” Her tone was starting to sound maniacal, it was as if whatever screws were holding her together suddenly popped out and she was starting to come apart from the inside. “And it was working perfectly until Grimmy showed up.” She was practically panting with insanity by this point. “All I had to do was wait for the perfect person to show up, kill them, and then wait for their spirits to show up at my cottage.”

I stared into her face and suddenly my memories came back to me. My car had broken down and I went looking for help and happened to see a cottage in the distance, but before I could make it there I heard a snapping sound behind me and turning I saw ice blue eyes looking at me, then there was a flash of silver and pain blossomed in my forehead. “You killed me, just so you could have a friend?” I said incredulously. “You’re a monster.”

I started to back away from her and suddenly her whole expression and demeanor changed, “Where are you going? Why don’t we go back to the cottage and talk about this?” her voice became pleading and had a calm tone to it. But I could still hear the madness that lurked beneath the calm. For every step back I took, she took a step toward me.

“I’m not going to do this with you, you need psychiatric help.” I turned around and picking a direction I started to leave, just to go anywhere.

“You’re not leaving me!” Emmy screeched running after me and reaching out she grabbed my arm.

“Let go of me!” I demanded twisting my arm to dislodge her. The snow around us was fresh and she lost her footing easily, going down on one knee she gave a small grunt and let go of my arm.

Seizing my chance I turned around and started running into the forest. I could hear her behind me, her feet crunching through the snow. I ran hard in no particular direction, just as long as it was away from Emmy. I heard her breathing heavily behind me, her breath coming in short gasps and crystalizing in the air.

“Where are you going to go Keres!” Emmy called from behind her voice echoing throughout the forest so I couldn’t tell how far away she was. “You’ve nowhere to go! You’re dead remember, only I can see you!” she continued to yell.

I stopped and looked around me at the forest, I had no idea where I was or what I could do, as she said, I was dead after all. As I was frantically contemplating what to do, I saw a shadow move out the corner of my eye. Thinking it was Emmy finally catching up to me, I crouched down and slide-stepped over behind a strand of trees. But there was no one there. Breathing a sigh of relief, I felt that I had finally lost her. I turned around and came face to face with the man in the dark clothing. I opened my mouth to shout in surprise, but before I could get any sound out, a dark flashed moved in front of my face and his hand clamped soundless over my mouth.

“If you scream she’ll hear you.” He said quietly, his eyes were hidden by the hood that was pulled up over his head.

His hand still covering my mouth, I gave a little nod showing that I understood what he was saying. A second later he removed his hand and took a shy step back, ducking his head slightly as he did so.

“You’re the Grim Reaper, aren’t you?” I whispered after a moment trying to peer up under his hood and make eye contact.

He gave a silent nod at my question and then turned away from me looking back into the forest. So I really am dead, then… I gave a quick search of the surrounding area myself and then returned my attention back to the Grim Reaper standing quietly in front of me. He stared silently back at me, his eyes I could now see where swirling black irises on a dark gray background, they were strangely mesmerizing.

“You were not the first, you know.” He surprised me by saying in a soft voice.

Shaking my head to stop myself from staring, I asked, “What?”

“You were not Emmy’s first ‘friend’, there were others before.” He said sadly turning his head away again.

“She killed others before just so she could have company?” It was too crazy to believe, but I had to, I was, in a way, living proof after all. “If there were others, then how come they aren’t with her now?” I suddenly thought to ask.

Ducking his head shyly, he said, “I was always able to come in and retrieve them, before she made them eternally earthbound. Hence why she hates me so much.”

“Wait, what do you mean ‘eternally earthbound’?” I asked confused and a little scared.

“If a spirit lingers too long after death without passing over, they become doomed to wander the earth for eternity, never to rest.” He said ominously

I stood there for a moment, not knowing what to say. Grim shifted around on his feet obviously uncomfortable with the awkward silence. Finally speaking up he said, “I’m telling you all this, because you need to pass over now, before you become tied to this earth.” He reached his hand out waiting for me to take it.

I stood there for a moment and then shook my head. “No. Emmy needs to be stopped, or else she’ll do this again, she’ll hurt more people.” No sooner had I said so then I heard her shouting.

“Keres!” she screamed. “Keres!”

She ran out into the area I had just been in and stopped, panting for air she screamed again, “Keres! Where are you? You can’t get away from me!”

I hesitantly stepped out into the opening and confronted her, “I won’t let you hurt anyone anymore Emmy.”

She turned to look at me, “Oh? And what are you going to do about it?” she was still clinging to her shotgun and had it raised halfway up.

“You can’t shot me. I’m already dead, remember.” I chuckled slightly.

Angrily she threw the gun to the ground where it disappeared partly under the snow. “You won’t abandon me like the others.” She said darkly.

She suddenly charged me wrapping her arms around my torso and knocking me to the ground. We rolled over and over neither one getting the upper hand. After a couple minutes of rolling around, I was finally able to get my feet up under her and with as much strength as I could I kicked out and knocked her away from me. She stumbled back and slipped on some ice that had been made invisible by the fresh snow. Her leg went out from underneath her and she slipped tumbling over the side of the hill that had been hidden by large drifts of snow.

It was so unexpected that I lay there startled for a moment, expecting her to come right back up after me. But when she did not I made my way over to the side and looked down. I realized that the hill was much steeper then I had thought it was, and there lay Emmy’s body lying in such an extreme position I knew immediately what her outcome was.

I stood up still gazing at Emmy’s prone form when I felt a presence behind me, turning around I saw Grim standing there also looking down at Emmy. “She can no longer harm anyone else.” I was a bit startled when he spoke so suddenly.

“So what now?” I asked him quietly.

Without answering he silently reached his hand back out to me, the dawn light had begun to show over the horizon and I realized with a start that in all the running and confusion we had ended back up where my lifeless body lay.

I looked over at where my body lay incased in frozen perfection, the first rays of a new day starting to appear over the tree tops. The light reflected off of the dark red blood that had dried into a small crimson ocean around my head, and my sightless eyes stared at the blossoming colors that indicated that it was going to be a beautiful sunrise.

Looking at it one last time, I turned and took the Grim Reaper’s outstretched hand and walked into the warm light greeted by familiar faces.


© Copyright 2017 Bluë Jaeger. All rights reserved.

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