I couldn’t feel the frigid, bitter wind that shrieked and howled as it flew by; the ice that cemented my body in place; the sun that reflected harshly off the pure, white snow and blinded me. Or my hands. These useless, incompetent hands numbed to the point where I wondered if they were even attached. Or rather if any part of me was.
A faint cry sounded in the distance, a huddled, shivering bundle accompanying it. I was shocked, then exuberant. I hadn’t heard a human voice in… I didn’t even know how long. Coming up the mountain was a small figure, a boy of maybe five or six-years-old. My stomach dropped. This child couldn’t do anything for me, let alone himself. Yet the thought of not being alone anymore... was it sick that a sense of relief washed over me?
He started to wail. I watched the tears roll down his cheeks, which were red and splotchy from the harsh wind. He seemed genuinely confused as to why his mother wasn’t comforting him and cuddled up to me in hopes of regaining affections. I could only stare down at him, my useless hands unable to bring him closer or push him away. It was silent again, save for the occasional sniffles from the boy.
She bemoaned on and on, relapsing into another one of her pity rants. I looked out the frost-bitten window and saw the familiar, lurking shadow of Father at the steps of the house. He opened the door and a frigid gust of winter air grappled its way into the room before the door shut, effectively blocking its screeching protest and pummels to be let in. I reached towards him to take the wet, snow-embellished coat from him.
A slap echoed across the room. I could already feel the vibrant, red handprint that marked my cheek, an angry, pulsing creature under my skin desperately wanting to escape. The metallic taste of blood blossomed across my tongue from where I had bit it; I straightened myself and looked up to see the murderous glint in his eyes.
The boy’s chatter had long faded from my focus. Was that… me? The boy’s story seemed to bring back past memories that I wasn’t quite sure I wanted to remember. I couldn’t tell if I should be enthused or morose. My life sounded so miserable. Terribly miserable. Yet I couldn’t help but continue listening.
I stared back evenly at them. Despite all of the angelic features they were blessed with, each and every one of their personalities resonated pure blackness. It was sad, really, that no one else could see the evil hiding behind those hatred-filled blue orbs, but understandable since they were all like that. Always acting high and mighty when they were all just power-hungry thieves. I turned to walk away only to be shoved back into place.
A hungry beast devouring the castle walls that imprisoned me every day. A sense of liberation filled me; I didn’t even care that I had nowhere else to go. Orange and red hands licked the frost-bitten night, rising higher and higher, reaching for the moon and the stars that watched down in silent horror at the scene laid out before them.
It was so vibrant and beautiful, casting a bright, yellow glow on my face; billowing black smoke hung heavy in the air, concealing the dozens of burnt-out, lifeless matches haphazardly scattered at the site.
I was burning.
I didn’t want to remember. I knew why I was here. I should’ve died here. Starving and delirious, I had stumbled higher and higher up the mountains, trudging up the perilous slopes until I couldn’t anymore. Maybe, I had thought, if the cold embraced me in the remainder of my life, I would forget that warmth, the scorching thrill that encased my body in malignant giddiness.
And it had.
With each passing year, all I came to know was the cold. The bitter, biting cold became a soothing constant in my life, the one never-changing variable that rooted me in place from the insanity I would have otherwise fallen into.
But now I was melting. Were those tears that fell from my eyes? Or were they just the empty droplets of the meaningless suffering I had endured?
I wanted to scream.
"Leave," I shouted at the poor boy, but the words never left my lips. "I don’t want to remember. I hate this, I hate you, I hate-"