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Reach (standard:horror, 1592 words)
Author: Chris R.Added: Jan 19 2001Views/Reads: 2195/1166Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
dark story about loss and the holidays


The snow was falling harder now, harder than it had since, since,
since... She shook her head quickly back and forth and pulled her coat 
tighter about her throat and moved slowly forward, the sidewalk slick 
with snow and forming ice. The world a confusion of lights, faces, and 
snow, and she lost within it. She was shaking more with every step, the 
chill biting deep into her uncovered head, her bare legs, and her 
slippered feet. The sidewalks were busier than usual tonight, each face 
wearing the same icy, far away look. Several faces bumped into her as 
she made her way through them along the sidewalk, through the snow, but 
she didnít hear any words as she bounced off them, their still faces 
becoming briefly illuminated with hate, jealousy. But as the snow fell 
harder and harder still her eyes lost their focus and her mind slipped 
away and the faces blurred and were finally lost in the falling 
serenity of whiteness. She felt like she was in a snow globe, that god 
had shaken the earth and now there was this volcanic snowstorm she must 
wade through so she could get...where? Where was she going? And at this 
she paused, confused and scared. What was she doing? 

Something bumped into her spinning her completely around so that she was
facing the way she had come from and her strongest urge was to go back 
home. Go back to her apartment where there was no heat, where there was 
no food, where there was nothing save a bed a chair and a television. 
Go back to her home. But something, something tugged at her Keri used 
to tug at her dress when she wanted to be picked up. Keri... Her mind 
twisted in on itself and suddenly memories came flooding in, she shook 
her head sharply and turned back to where she had been headed and made 
her way forward again, forcing the memories back into their cave, the 
tears freezing on her cheeks as she went. Her body shook fiercely as 
she trudged through the crashing waves of people, her hands rubbing 
together to fight the stinging sensation that was creeping into them. 
She felt that same stinging in her feet and ears but tried not to focus 
on that and instead on keeping to her course. God how she ached, deep, 
deep inside, beneath her bone, and within her marrow, to the place 
memories grew like wildflowers. Ached with the faint ghost feeling of 
Keriís hand in her own, of her soft breath on her as she slept beside 
her, could still hear her as she had said her prayers every night. 
God... Her shaking intensified and she stumbled and fell to her knees, 
wracked with sobs. She put her numb hands to her face and let go, let 
all the anguish run from her in a steady, frozen stream, icing her 
hands as it came. Keriís last day, last hours Ė getting up early, 
excited because it was Halloween day and she was wearing her new 
costume. And then waving from the bus, number 44, as it moved off down 
the road and into forever. And the knock at the door, a policeman 
saying he was sorry. Sorry? For what? And she was gone. Gone. Gone. 
Gone where she asked? Where did she go? And he stood in her doorway, 
his hat in his hands, stepping from one foot to the other, not sure 
what to do or say. And then she knew, felt in her heart what gone truly 
meant. Felt it in her heart. Her womb. And she shrieked aloud and had 
collapsed there in the open door. And the rest, the next two years had 
been a blur. As if she had been in an unending snowstorm. Waking up 
each day seemed to drain her and getting out of bed seemed to be too 
much. Too much... She felt as if she was living in a graveyard. Her own 
mother had looked after her while she could but had a husband and life 
of her own and had to get back to them. And then, and then she was 
alone. When the money was gone she moved into the apartment in the city 
where she know was and each day was spent in a prescription pill haze. 
Her doctor never asked how she was anymore, just re-filled the script 
and let her go. So she sat in her apartment alone, the past pulled 
tightly around her throat, waiting for something she could not affix a 
name to. Something... Keri... 

And from the center of her numbness there came warmth. A touch, light
upon her face, its warmth filling her to her core. She looked up and 
saw nothing but could still feel the warmth. Her body was so numb 
though, so, so cold. Yet, yet the pain was not as strong, the warmth 
had filled that void and left her...glowing. She rose slowly, her feet 
completely numb and her hand and face devoid of feeling as well. But 
she rose and moved slowly forward again, vaguely aware now of the 
hovering faces that she passed, each wearing a look of sorrow, their 
faces blurry and gray, as if someone had died. The warmth was beginning 
to fade under the heat of the cold evening when she saw a faint glow 
not far ahead, a warm orange light just ahead, but she was so cold and 
so tired. Simply trudging like this was like walking through oatmeal 

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