Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Winter (the season) (08/13/09)
TITLE: Winter's Grip
By Mike Allen
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The figure trudged on, each step plunging through a foot or more of wet snow. A whirlwind of white blinded the lost soul, but the legs marched on. Somewhere in depths unseen, determination remained despite winter’s intense assault. Black night wielded its dominance; even the moon had waned, seemingly never to return. Darkness reigned.
It seemed as if it had been years since any traces of light or life had been evident. There were hardly any memories remaining of flowers blooming or birds singing; growth was a far distant past. Thoughts of even one season ago, autumn, could not infiltrate the mind of the walker.
“What I would do to see a solitary golden leaf fall from a tree. That, at least, would testify that something had at one time been alive.”
A gust of arctic air raced through the range, brutally slamming into everything in its path. Its shout of laughter mocked its captive, “You chose this path.”
Suddenly, for just an instant, all was quiet. Would there be a reprieve? A deep rumbling of the earth responded with a menacing “no.”
Scanning upwards, eyes beheld it—an avalanche of despair. It roared and cascaded down, destined to bury the trespasser. All was lost. There was nothing to do, but fall. Fall to one’s knees. Surrender.
“I am yours,” whispered the small voice.
Winter wailed, refusing to relinquish its prey. Its tumult intensified, preparing to feast on death.
The body crumpled. Its heart wept, “Forgive me.”
A wave of stillness and silence mercifully poured over the huddled mass, followed by a misplaced sound that echoed strangely throughout the valley--an enchanting melody of a lark. The tear-stained face rose up in disbelief yearning to see the source of the relief and welcomed music, but the sun was too bright to see anything at all.
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