The voice of winter came creeping over the landscape. Howling with its icy wind, snow covered ground and slippery roads. A mad teen was walking outside in the dreadful winter weather; her vulnerable neck wrapped in a woolly scarfs. Matching gloves. A hood covered her head; long locks of dark brown hair were exposed to the cold who tried to take her down. It was only October. The winter had arrived early this year.
He looked out of the window and spotted her falling to her knees out on the bare field, covered in deep snow. She didn’t get up; he watched, waiting for her to rise from the icy cold snow. She didn’t. Why didn’t she get up? She would freeze to death!
He leaped from his chair and flung the door open. Ran out in the dreadful weather with clothing unsuited for this kind of weather, with the snow melting under his bare feet as he cleared his way through the deep, icy snow. It felt cold.
The girl lay in the snow. Shivering, embracing herself to keep the warmth inside her, while the voice of winter howled around them. He shook her, but she didn’t react. Lifted her and carried her towards his little cabin. She felt light in his arms, like she was floating on air.
He laid her on the sofa in front of the fireplace, took one of the woollen blankets and wrapped her in it. She was barely breathing; her chest rising and sinking slowly, nearly invisible. He watched her; sat down on a stool beside her, and wrapped himself in a blanket too. His feet were incredibly cold from running bare feet in the icy snow.
His eyes scanned her body; her hands were pale blue, her eyes shut, long locks of shiny dark brown hair. She wore a woollen floor-length gown in a moss green colour, and a dark cloak with a hood that covered her head. A purse hang from her shoulder. He grabbed it; thought about looking what was inside it. Maybe he would get any information about who she was? He hesitated, and let it slip down on the floor with a small bang. Closed his eyes; hoping that whatever was inside wasn’t damaged. It sounded heavy.
He picked the leather bag up and opened it with fingers as gently as if he was pulling the hook out of the mouth of a fish he just got. Looked in it, and found only a book. Pulled it out and let the empty bag fall to the ground. It didn’t make any sound. The words on the black cover burned its way into his soul.
“Hey!” He heard a voice right beside him; a girl’s voice. He looked in the teen’s big, blue eyes. “What do you think you are doing? Put it down!”
He did as he was bid; watching the girl as he sat up in the sofa, while she watched him closely with her big eyes.
“Who are you?”
“I’m John. The guy picking you up from the storm howling outside. You collapsed right outside my cabin.”
“Did I? I can’t remember.”
“Why are you here?” She frowned. “I mean; why were you out here in the blizzard?!”
“I don’t think that’s none of your business.”
“I believe it is, I saved you from the blizzard. I saved your life. I think I have the right to know what made you come out here alone. There are no other houses for several miles; only me.”
“It wasn’t you that I searched, nor any other human.”
“Then what do you search?”
“Nothing. I’m searching nothingness.”
I’m running. The ground beneath me is cold. The book lies in the leather bag strapped over my shoulder. I’m beginning to tire, but I can’t stop; I know I can’t. The forest around me is thick; thick around me with branches which points at me while I run; laugh at me like everyone else, before they try to strangle me. The trees are the same. I have to get out of the forest, and onto the open grounds.
I can see the open, while a voice calls me back. Another drags me forward as fast as I can, as if it drags me to a nothing. That’s what I know will meet me once I get to the open fields. Nothing. Not a sound, not a light, only darkness where I will thrive.
I reach the darkness, and it surrounds me; swallows me whole. It’s hard to breath, and I feel heavier and heavier as I fall to the ground covered in snow. A wind howls around me; icy, cold, and I can’t hear anything else than the voice of the same force that dragged me here. The voice of winter, of darkness and death.
He looked at her, as she picked up the book, and handed it over to him. He only nodded, as she looked out of the window where the sky had fallen silent. The voice did no longer cry, as she got to her feet and grabbed the empty bag.
“May I?” She picked up the blanket. He nodded. “Thank you.”
He headed for the door. He rose to his feet and followed her. He held the book tight to his chest. She opened the door, and walked out into the starry night, where thin silver threads were painting the sky as she disappeared into the darkness.
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