Water and Snow

[A chapter of The Holder of Deliverance.]

It's as if an ocean of oil were rushing past--stretching as far as the eye could see, yet only ankle deep. Even the sky seems stained black. She is only a lone white figure standing amongst it, undisturbed by the freezing black water rushing over her bare feet. Her white robe dangles in the waves as well, but remains dry.

It's been many months since a strange man entered her river to ask her why. He asked her why the Pendulum swung, and when she told him the tale, he began to cry and wail heavily. Then, She took pity on him, and decided to go with him. Now, Snow White is all alone.

Suddenly, the sound of nails on brick pierces her ears, and she cringes from the noise. At the same time, a large white tear appears before her in the air. From it, a few white flakes flutter and fall into the dark water to be swallowed up.

The light shining from this tear in space taunts her, and she moves forward through the dark water. Hesitantly, she pokes a finger through, feeling cool and crisp wind on the other side. From this light, something calls to her clearly.

Then, a determined look crosses her face, and she shoves both her hands through the tear and rips it wide open. A burst of snowflakes swamp against her, but she just inhales and leaps forward.

It's snowing in Manhattan.

It falls in large cotton-ball clumps, coating the streets softly. People are bustling to and fro, as usual, but no one is looking at each other, no one is talking. They're too busy with their own lives to keep each other company in this cold city.

What is it about New York that makes it so lonely? Perhaps it's one of the side effects of winter fully setting in, or because--as the business capital of the country--no one here had time to connect. Or maybe it was just because I had moved here from the Midwest, where everyone seemed to know each other. Here, I rarely talk to anyone.

From my fifth-story apartment, you can watch people come and go down the street as you please. It's just like any other street in the city, dull and boring. Today, though, it's notably not that way. The white woman throws it all off.

One might mistake her for a mannequin by how pale she is. Her hair is very long and purest white, and she wears a long white kimono-like robe around herself. The way the cold October snow alights down on her figure makes her look haunting, like a ghost.

I've only just returned from getting groceries when I see her standing in the street before me, clothed so thinly in this freezing weather. She's looking around curiously, as if she's lost her way, but her face is completely blank. Her skin is a soft and radiant white, like snow. The skin around her eyes is much darker, grey or black. It's as if someone had given her two black eyes.

Despite this, she still looks beautiful. Talking to her would usually make me nervous, but... Today is different. It's been a good morning so far; I got a great tip at the cafe, traffic was good for once, and all of my favorite songs were on the radio. Today, I feel a spark of confidence.

"Excuse me," I start, setting down my bags. "Are you cold? I can offer you my scarf."

I hold forth my scarf, smiling like an imbecile. In some manner of acknowledgment, her eyes and face certainly turn to me, but she doesn't answer, and doesn't change her expression. Within those eyes, I see nothing. My smile falls from my face.

She turns her eyes away from me, only shifting slightly in her pose as if to shrug the offer off. I try to say something--an apology perhaps--but find my words sticking in my throat. So, I hunch my shoulders and turn away from her, glancing back over my shoulder at her one last time.

She's gone, as if she had never been. I nearly drop my bags out of shock, and look around wildly. Perhaps she had simply slipped around the corner into an alley. If that hadn't been enough, I see something else out of the ordinary. Right in the spot she had been standing, something had been scratched into the brick wall. It's hard to read, as it's criss-crossed by mortar, but I come closer and trace the lines carefully with my eyes. My heart drops into my stomach.

Last modified on 2010-03-19 13:37:08Viewed 8219 times

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