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Fantasy

Ten.

Six.

Five.

Two.

These numbers have no pattern. Only an individual meaning.

In the middle of February, I was skiing across the mountainside when I fell into a ten foot pile of snow from a cliff of height only god-knows.

My body sank six feet into its fluff. My five-foot figure was practically buried. It took forever to climb my way out. My fingers had turned a dangerous shade of blue by the time I was free. I gazed at the sky overhead. It was a fiery shade of red. Dusk was settling in soon, ready to cover the skies with its blanket of darkness.

I did not want to be caught out here during the night. Groaning, I kept moving as the cold nipped my exposed skin.

Past the pines, I went. Past the graceful deer. The hidden bunnies. The tired snowbanks. The rushing rivers. But the more I went past, the more I began to realize. I was not leaving any footprints.

Impossible, I thought. I was walking in several inches of fresh snow. The kind of snow that molds like a soft clay under my boots.

As I walked past more and more, I realized the truth.

Those six feet of snow I fell into had turned out to be a six-foot deep grave. Ironic. That number had two meanings.

The blue of my fingers was not due to the cold, rather my new ghostly reflection.

“Fun,” I sarcastically muttered to myself.

I kept walking.

However, at this point, my destination had become useless. A cabin. My family winter cabin. Mum, Dad, and my baby sister, Jordan, were still there. Dad’s still recovering from knee surgery, so he didn’t go out skiing with me. Mum stuck by his side. Jordan just hates skiing.

Or maybe she hates me.

I shrugged. She spent all that time at boarding school so I never really got to talk to her about anything really. Yeah, she probably hates me.


Dusk surrounded me in its smothering hug. I sighed and kept walking.

Honestly, what could I do if not walk? Stop and listen to the birds? What birds? They had all fled south in tight v-formations with their families flanking them. Sticking together.

I sighed. Dying is depressing. Who knew, right?


Without warning, I stopped. The wind continued to blow right through me. It waited for no one. In front of me, there was a deer. A deer carcass that is. Its neck had deep, bleeding tooth marks embedded in it. Its eyes were open, still wide with shock. Its irises were chocolate brown.

My irises were chocolate brown. Dad always said I was ‘the sweetest part of his life’. I scoffed at remembering his lame jokes.

I crouched down beside it. A pool of its blood still leaked from its body, steeping and staining the pure white snow. I raised my hand, hovering my palm just over its chilled body. Its fur was stiff, partly frozen. There was no more body heat to thaw it.

The deer’s limbs were flailed at all sorts of angles. One of its knees was bent the wrong way. It had struggled to the very end, fighting against whatever creature killed it, then left it here.

When did it die?

Was it when the creature first sank its jaws into it?

Was it when the deer admitted defeat?

Was it when the deer’s heart stopped breathing?

When its body went cold?

Or will it be when its last drop of blood leaves its mangled body?


I stepped away from the deer, and kept walking.

I went past more and more. But this time, my mind was clogged. I couldn’t realize any truths in this frozen world.


Hours later, I reached the cabin. But why wasn’t I happy about it? Maybe because I was still on the outside of its thick, lumber walls. Looking in from a frosted window. I took a deep breath and walked through.

Gathered by a burning fireplace, my family talked gingerly amongst themselves. Jordan remained quiet. She was roasting some marshmallows. I don’t think she really cared. Mum and Dad exchanged hushed whispers with each other.

“It’s gotta so late… I’m really worried, Jack,” Mum said.

A thin line of sweat beads circulated on my Dad’s forehead. “She’s been out there for too long. She might have hypothermia by now.” He stood up and plucked a scarf from the hook by the door. Twisting around his neck, he said. “I’m going to look for her.”

Mum grabbed his arm. “Wait! Your knee! The doctor told you to take it easy for at least another week!”

“I can’t just let my daughter freeze to death out there!” He snapped.

What about fall to death?

Back at the fireplace, Jordan’s two marshmallows had turned a golden brown. Concentrating on the dessert, she ignored Dad and Mum’s quiet fight and obvious worry. She made two s’mores, each on separate plates and headed back to our shared room.

Dad opened the door. Mum tried to force it closed. “I’m coming with you!” She urged.

Snatching a wool hat from the rack, she bundled up as well. A semi-serious snow storm began to brew outside. Snowflakes stuck to their eyelashes as they stepped out. “Jack! Be careful where you step!” Mum ordered.

“Which way do you think she sent?”

“I think her trail was somewhere near the mountain’s top.”

“We should split up. We can cover more ground that way.”

“Be careful.”

“I love you.”


I stood still inside the cabin, staring as my parents descended into the darkness. Knowing that all they would find was my corpse, buried six feet below. They walked past pines. Past deer. Past bunnies. When would the winter help them realize. I was already dead.


When did I die?

Was it when I fell?

When my fingers went blue?

When my feet stopped making footprints?


No. It will be when my family has forgotten me.

Jordan put the second plate of s’mores on my empty top bunk. She sat quietly on the bottom bunk, waiting. “Come back soon,” she muttered.

I have not died yet.

January 04, 2020 22:49

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4 comments

Agathe Burrier
00:19 Jan 08, 2020

The end is so sad and yet somehow it feels hopeful. Beautiful story.

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Rane Albretsen
23:00 Oct 29, 2020

agreed

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Rane Albretsen
23:00 Oct 29, 2020

I'm following you...The story was that good!!! You have A LOT of unfound potential. I hope you keep writing! :)

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Cherry Allen
22:04 Oct 20, 2020

I absolutely LOVE this story. It's short, but definitely keeps you guessing, and it's so horrifying but so lovely at the same time. Definitely going to follow you.

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