(Snowy Woods pt. 2)
Logic, my best friend for so many years, seemed to have deserted me. I hadn’t seen it since October, but now reason seemed to be missing as well. I found the small path that led to the edge of the woods and began to run along it. My boots left soft marks in the snow, nearly invisible in the dark woods. I knew the way and how to run through snow without falling. Living in the snowy, mountainous region taught me how. It taught me how to sled down a tree-crowded hill, how to test ice to see if it was safe to skate, and it taught me to recognize the signs of an avalanche. It had taught the whole town, and now none of it mattered. I found that I was standing still at the edge of the forest. A dark lake lay before me, nearly silent under its layer of thick ice.
I scuttled down the icy path to the lakeside. Frozen waves rushed up to meet the snowy beach. The beach was covered in criss-crossing skate marks and a thin layer of snow covered it all. I crouched down and took off my gloves, laying my hands on the ice. It was cold and I jerked my hand back quickly. The pain was evidence. I was still here.
“Kelly. What are you doing out here?” I knew that voice. I turned around. My sister, Emma, stood on the bank above me. She had on a coat, mittens, boots, and a hat. Her pale face and hair were illuminated in the darkness. The moon shone on her, making her look a little transparent.
“I’m… taking a walk. What are you doing?” I stared at her for a second trying to remember something that seemed faint and faraway, but her smile cleared the remembering away.
“I’m following you, of course,” She said, “What are you really doing out here?”
“Yes, and how it was before the… disaster,” I said, falling over my words.
“Why does everyone call it that?” Emma asked.
“They don’t know what else to call it,” I answered, walking over to her and taking her arm in mine. We started off down the beach. The sky grew ever lighter. The stars began to fade. Another day was beginning. The last day I would ever see my home.
“Let’s enjoy this for as long as we can,” Emma said.
“This… this town. This beach. This time we get to spend together, just us, thinking about it all. Kelly, if we don’t talk about it now you know we won’t talk about it for a long time,” Emma said.
“I don’t want to talk about the… dis… avalanche. It’s too soon. I don’t even want to think about it,” I said.
Emma stopped walking and turned to me, grasping both of my hands, “It will always be too soon.”
I nodded, letting my first tears fall since that terrible day. Emma cried too. Her tears shining in the moonlight. “Mom and Dad… they’re gone forever. We’re all alone.” I stammered.
“Kelly…” Emma wiped away her own tears and looked into my face. Sadness gushed from her eyes though the tears were gone, but she said cheerily, “Let’s go then. We haven’t walked through town in a long time.”