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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hot and Cold (04/09/09)

TITLE: Out of the Cold
By Yvonne Blake


I slam the door behind me. Perhaps it is the blast of wind that makes it bang so hard, but I don't care. I don't care that the winter storm howls and clouds darkens the night, billowing and tumbling overhead. I walk—nowhere in particular—just walk.

Out--I have to get out—anywhere, just out! I just need to get away—away from the baby's crying, away from the bills, away from the weight of being the one who must fix everything. I cannot do it. I must get away.

Pulling my hood closer around my face, I stumble through the deepening snowdrifts. The spitting drops sting my cheeks. I turn around backwards for a second to get relief from the piercing wind. There is just no relief.

No--no relief from the constant complaining and whining. The faucet leaks; the step is broken; the window is cracked. Maybe if I just turn my back on it all...

My feet are moving, but I can't feel them. My hands are numb, even with gloves. My eyes peer into the darkness—so dark. I feel lost and alone. I'm cold—so cold. I can't feel anything.

Even my heart is numb. I can't feel anything anymore—nothing.

I know I must go back. I cannot survive out here. It is not good for me to be alone. I must go back. I pick up one foot—step--then the other foot—step. I'm almost there, I think. It's hard to see the way home. There's a light in the window.

I know I should say something to her. I know that's the right thing to do. It's just so hard to see the right way sometimes. I need her. I love her.

Tripping on the front step, I fall on my face in the snow. Even the icy slap on my cheek doesn't wake my senses. I just want to drift away, where nothing can hurt anymore—but I have to get up—I have to move. I have to go home. I want to get warm.

I want to feel the warmth of love again. I have to go to her. I have to tell her.

Crawling, climbing, I reach the door and stumble into the kitchen. The heat from the wood stove swirls around me like a southerly wind. Slowly, I let it thaw my limbs and strengthen my feet. I stomp and shake away the powdery snow and leave it at the door.

Her face is so beautiful, like a tropical flower. How could I ever turn away? Her eyes glow like the evening star. Her smile bathes me with sunshine.

She leads me to the table and sets a cup of steaming coffee in my hands. Her soft hands caress my neck and rub my shoulders. Her lips touch my head while she whispers in my ear. The heat tingles my skin. I feel like I'm melting. My cheeks are damp.

My heart is warm again. I am home.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 04/16/09
I like this POV. I can't even imagine the weight of responsibility on our men.
Shirley McClay 04/16/09
I agree with Laury. Its a great reminder of the trials they struggle through. I was right there with the MC and didn't realize until the end that it was the husband. Excellent writing.
Debbie Roome 04/18/09
Lovely contrast between hot and cold near the end.
Jan Ackerson 04/19/09
Beautifully written slice of life--very touching.
Sharlyn Guthrie04/19/09
I like the pace of this entry. You kept me moving right along with the MC as you revealed his inner dialogue.
Verna Cole Mitchell 04/20/09
I loved your beautiful contrasting pictures of cold and hot. You did a great job of characterization through your mc's thoughts.
Beckie Stewart04/22/09
This was so neat. Made me want to know more about this man and woman. Well-written.
Sharon Kane04/22/09
Excellent portrayal of the bitter cold and the despair within the man's heart.
For me the weakness was that the turn-around seemed to come too quickly and suddenly. There wasn't much indication of how long he'd been walking away before he turned around, but it didn't feel very long. Maybe putting in a scene about him sitting on a wall watching the moon set? Or he meets a crisis in his walk that brings him to his senses?
The loveliness of his wife contrasted beautifully with the harshness that went before. The tropical flower was the perfect image.
Sonya Leigh04/23/09
Yvonne, I hadn't had a chance to read this before, but I want to tell you that I think this is a beautiful piece of writing. It is very descriptive and invokes deep emotion. Well done.