Tainted Snow

A horrifying tale

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1. Tainted Snow

            She ran into the winter air speckled white with snowflakes ,and a tired relief washed over her face. She stood and smiled into the crisp wind, the lingering adrenaline melting from her blood.

            A voice in the back of her mind yelled “Run! Get out of there! Go while you can!” But she didn’t listen, her newfound freedom deafened her to the insistent warning.

            A twig snapped behind her and she froze. The sound echoed like a gun shot, it’s crack as sickley as a breaking bone. Terror screamed from her white-rimmed-eyes but she was as quiet as the dead. She waited but saw nothing, and right as the lung-burning need for oxygen came for her, she took a breath. The silence around her was shattered by that one, fast, ragged breath. Then she saw him.

            She ran for the protection of the foret near the frozen lake, thinking only “Get away, run away, survive!”  Behind her, just out of the wind, the figure of a man began to slowly follow her. She opened her mouth to scream, but dread caught it in her throat.

            The figure walked toward her slowly, stalking, a lion and his prey, he inched closer. He knew what he was doing, when he came for her he dragged it out, he let her terror build, he broke her without touching her. With every step closer she seemed to loose some sanity. She tried to get through a thorned bush, ignoring the fiery pain from her multiple scratches and the older wounds on her legs and back that were reopening, but the ice brought her to the ground. She tried to get up as he advanced, but her attempts were lost to her horror driven insanity. The snow seemed six feet deeper to her, and he was still walking closer. He enjoyed her flailing struggles, relished her panic. Loved her fear of him, of what he could do, what he had already done.

            He came to a slow stop in front of her and watched as she went from a terrorized, thrashing animal to simpy paralized, alarm ebbing in her eyes.

            She staredinto his green eyes, as cold as the ice in her hair and the snow on her bare feet; she saw his lips, pulled into a smirk, tight, like an elastic band about to snap. But she also saw anger, saw it in his locked jaw and crossed arms, in how his eyebrows pilled together and down. She saw opportunity, she saw survival.

            “I got away,” She said, clenching her fist in the snow. “I got out and you said I would never see the sun again.” She laughed maniacly, but the sound was lost in the dense trees.

            “You got outside,” he stareted, his voice broken with anger, all control he had gone. “but you will never be free, you will always be mine.”

            Her eyes narrowed, her legs tensed and she jumped at him. The stick she held hit his head, the thorns digging through his skin. She hit him again and again as his blood stained the clean snow.

            I wake up and sit up quickly. I don’t turn on the light so as not to wake my husband. I feel the cold sweat running down my neck and back as the nighmare’s images rush through my mind. I think about it, and two things come to mind. The same as every other night. An unanswerable question, an an unchangable statement.

            “How did I kill a man?”

            He had said that I would never be free, that I would always be his. He was both right and wrong. I was no longer his, I never had been his; I would never be free of him. He would haunt my nightmares for the rest of my living days in the form of the devil, and even worse, himself.  I could try and change myself, but it wouldn’t work. So I lie down and sleep instead. 

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