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"As Cold as Ice" by Colin Mackey

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2012 High School Honorable Mention


"As Cold as Ice"

by Colin Mackey, St. Joseph High School, South Bend


            The wind howled as it flew past the holes in the wooden door. I could hear it whistling past, like a small current in the vast and endless ocean. Some parts of the snowy wind flew into the small cabin through the holes in the thin roof and walls. The icy and skeletal grip of the wind tore at my thin blanket and crept over my body. The wind reminds me of myself, a small being almost nonexistent in an atmosphere filled with a multitude of others. It reminds me that I am basically nothing, hiding in my bed. I start to cry. The wind whips at my face, taking each tear away before it even gets an inch from my eye. I try to forget. I picture myself sitting in my bed, cowering on my bed. She wouldn’t be proud of me. I let the thought slip into my head and bloom like a blade in fertile soil; it doesn’t take much, but just one little thought and I break down. I am filled with memories of her. I cry even harder. I notice how cold the wind is, almost beckoning me away from the warmth of my bed and cabin. More thoughts of her, my mother, flood my thoughts. I cry harder still.

            The wind takes my blanket off my bed as the door is flung open from a gust of wind. She always told me to be strong, to keep my father safe. She would be disappointed if she saw me curled up on my bed. I made it a year without thinking of her, but sill, without forgetting her. I try to forget, to stay strong. I cannot, I cry harder. I cannot fight the wind, the body freezing cold. I cannot live without her any longer. I think of my father. I can’t stop crying. The icy wind in unbearable. I get up from my bed and walk over to my door. Snow flows on the wind like currents in an ocean. I take my first step out the door. My tears falling to the snowy ground where the freeze in an instant. The first step was the hardest.

More thoughts of her come to me. I cry. I miss her. I want her. I need her. I take my second step. More thoughts of her come to me, but this time, from my childhood. I can picture her laughing as we walk through the woods by my cabin. I can see her kneeling by her bedside, praying. My heart is racing. The icy wind is taking me from my life. It cascades over me, filling my entire body with death bringing cold. I stop trying to move and I stand there, in the snow, three feet from my cabin door. I stop crying and I think to myself. Is this what she would want? No, she would stop me. But I think the deed is done; I continue moving, but this time in a run. I think if I run fast enough and far enough, she would not catch me. I stop again, and think. I left my father all alone. He needs me, more than I need her.

            I turn around and slowly walk back, following my footsteps in the snow. I recognize how truly cold it is; yet I am filled with warmth. I picture my mother, instead of the stern, sad face I saw before; I see her smiling and laughing. Why did I leave? I was so strong; I made it a whole year without thinking about her. But what if I was being weak by ignoring her? What if I now need to be strong and think about her? I feel warmer with each step, like my mother is calling me back. I can almost hear her voice calling me. I can see my cabin in the distance. With each step the snow blows harder, but I get warmer. I reach the door and grab it, but it is not the door I touch, it is a hand. I fall over and lose consciousness.

            I wake up. I see my mother, she is standing with God.


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