Snow Lake - Within Cold Waters

Scene.

Saturday night, 8:00pm. Two correspondents throw texts to and fro like a hot potato dipped in the fryer.

Advertisement

Subject? Tomorrow’s hike.

Nagging detail? Start time.

Pertinent fact? Daylight savings.

The young man’s natural inclination was to allow his battered, sleep-deprived body the extra hour of respite. The months had been cruel, piling injury upon injury with little chance for rest. A chronic fatigue had begun to burrow down, a weighted blanket through which life’s touch was dampened. It started with numbness. Solidified into a deep freeze. Then came stone. Pitted. Crumbling. Forgotten. Shackles held the mind captive.

Yet, there existed a key.

Small stature containing boundless positivity, the woman was pure energy. Almost cosmic in nature, to the young man she was an enigma, unwittingly pulling in all around her.

Advertisement

The moth—drawn to the flame—is burnt alive.

With but a raw heart for his troubles, fighting against it had availed him nothing. Unsaid words burnt into his mind, running had torn him apart.

Advertisement

This time, he did not fight.

Enveloped in sudden warmth—afraid—yet aware that a path had opened. One last chance to take a step. Outstretched hands held a key.

Advertisement

Scene.

Saturday night, 8:00pm.

Subject? Tomorrow’s hike.

Nagging detail? Start time.

Pertinent fact? Daylight savings.

The young man was ecstatic, aware of the extra hour outdoors bestowed upon him as if by providence. Mind clear. Thoughts focused. Of past demons only the lightest touch—but a memory of a whisper—remained.

Advertisement

6:30am, together they hiked.

Advertisement

Sky tinged grey, held up on the backs of proud evergreens. Cocooned within a carapace of their own making, the ponds slept deeply.

A stillness, interrupted only by jagged breaths escaping chapped lips. Those breaths did little to hold back the biting air, as the warmth diluted infinitesimally. To expect more would be to heat the oceans with a match.

Advertisement

Together they hiked.

Advertisement

Held captive by a power greater than their own, waterfalls stopped but halfway to the ground. Fully revealed was a beauty in fragility.

Laughter, echoing like thunder. Spirits high, they continued.

Advertisement

 

The man sat at home. Again unlit, he walked through his mind by touch alone, blind eyes tracing the steps of what could have been.

Advertisement

Yet, something was different. Where once the heavy numbness had spread in a twisted mockery of human emotion, it now recoiled. Each testing pass of it’s multifarious mass met with blinding light, anathema to such a force.

A seed had been planted.

Weak, unstable, in need of protection.

A seed had been planted.

Form as yet undetermined, even in infancy it was enough to stem the tide. Enough to hold onto the cosmic flame that resided in memory. Enough.

Advertisement

The man was sitting no longer. No more. Chores beckoned. Hobbies—voices long since grown silent—began to speak. Color returned to the world. Swords oiled, armor repaired, and purpose restored, the forces mobilized once more to fight off the darkness, weeping tears of joy. It was not the end.

Yet victory is never assured.

The nature of the beast is that it never truly goes away. Influence waxes and wanes, but the beast itself is always waiting. Waiting for weakness. Waiting for a chance. An opportunity to dig it’s claws in, grabbing hold and taking over. For a day, a week, a month. Longer. Until one day the line is blurred. What beast? Am I.. the only one here..?

Advertisement

Ebb and flow. Caged behind two eyes, a struggle unknown.

Nothing is ever easy. Maybe… It shouldn’t be.

Balance, of a sort.

Sunday night, 8:00pm. As pleasant memories wove a tapestry with potential futures to come, the young man closed his eyes and drifted off.

Advertisement

Share This Story