A Winter Excursion (Short Story)

Emelina Brown

A Winter Excursion


White wraiths of snow danced a waltz with the wind, whispering secrets of winter. Each stolen breath from the freezing, unforgiving atmosphere felt sharp and bitter. The frothy, soaking layer of endless crystals glimmered under the night sky, laughing in remembrance of its victims. The speckling stars of the deep blue above seemed to smile in reply, remembering the frigid fatalities as well.

Every inch of my body felt numb as my veins contracted further, desperate to keep every ounce of warmth in. I forced myself to focus on obliterating every taunting flake of frost with each impossible trudge as the dark gray cavity in the massive mountain slowly neared. Short inhalations of oxygen attacked my raw nostrils and pierced my aching lungs. The visible, cloudy exhalations that followed were whisked away by the whipping gale before I could admire them. Straining my burning eyes, I could see the glinting, sparkling icicles—the lethal daggers of winter—that hung over the beckoning darkness of the cave mouth like translucent teeth.

As I prepared to conquer the final steps to my lifeline, my traitorous legs gave out, and I fell to my knees, slowly sinking into the chilling, expecting arms of death. I frantically clawed for salvation, but my blue, paralyzed fingertips were useless. Gazing up at the amused orbs of brightness, I stilled, and darkness ensued.