Tag Archive | short story

Catching snowflakes

It was a cold December night, and snow was slowly falling down on earth. Under a dimly shining streetlight a little girl stood, with her arms stretched out before her, trying to catch snowflakes in her palms.

Holly was a beloved, but poor child. Her parents had slowly started the journey to heaven, and Holly did nothing but wander around the streets at night. She had always been a dreamer, seeing the invisible and dreaming about the impossible. Reality, on the other hand, was a place she never belonged in. She looked in fact like a little angel, with her curly blond hair and her bright smile. Every time when Holly returned home at night, finding her parents sick in their beds, she sneaked into their room and crawled under their cover, snuggling in the cozy warmth. Then, every morning she would wake up early and leave the house to sell cookies on the market. Her parents had been sick for a long time, and with no other relatives and no money to take care of them, Holly managed on her own, baking cookies and selling them. Image the burden she had to bear – only 8 years old and struggling with independence.

That evening when I saw her catching snowflakes on the streets, was special. It was Christmas Eve, and Holly was eager for her parents to open their presents and see the Christmas tree she had brought from the forest nearby. She had decorated the tree with things she had found on the street or bought at the market. The star she had put on top of the tree shined as brightly as her smile when she thought about Christmas Eve in anticipation.

Holly started to walk home, greeting every person she met, and sometimes she stayed for a little chat. the old lady next door, Ariana Williams, asked her what she did alone out on the streets on Christmas Eve.
“I was catching snowflakes,” Holly answered and smiled. Ariana smiled and secretly wished she could live as easily as this magical child did.
“I see,” she replied and smiled, “have a wonderful Christmas now, and say hi to your parents from me.” Holly nodded and walked away.

Her house was tiny and old, but Holly loved it. As soon as she opened the wooden door the familiar scent of home welcomed her and she smiled happily. She took her wet shoes off and tip-toed into the living room, where everything was prepared.
The Christmas tree was standing in the corner, right next to the bookshelf and the window. Their cat, Gina, was quietly sleeping under the Christmas tree, amongst the four presents she had been able to purchase. Despite the gloriously looking Christmas tree, the living room looked shabby with its stained, grey walls and only the wooden table with no chairs in it. There was also a sofa in the corner, but it had, just like the walls, started to get mouldy due to the leaking water pipes on the ceiling. Holly took a quick look on the cat’s food in the kitchen, and then sneaked into her parents’ bedroom.

“Wake up, mommy, it’s Christmas Eve,” she whispered and climbed up the bed.
“Daddy, you too, wake up,” she said. A weak groan came from her father, but then both he and her mother sat upright and smiled at her. They looked both very pale, but as soon as they saw her daughter smiling happily at them, their faces regained some colour.
“It’s Christmas Eve, Holly. The time of the year when you can hear the angels sing at night,” her mother said and gave her daughter a hug.
“You need to come and see the living room!” Holly beamed and released herself form her mother’s hug. Her parents smiled and followed her slowly into the living room. As soon as they saw the Christmas tree and the presents, their faces lit up.
“Oh Holly!” her father said and smiled.
“This is beautiful,” her mother agreed. Holly blushed in modesty. What a wonderful child she was, taking care of her family and making everyone she met lucky to be there.

When the presents where unwrapped and Holly and her parents had eaten some of the cookies she had left from the last sale, they all sat on the floor, wrapped in a blanket and looking out of the window. Holly enjoyed being so close to her parents, but she didn’t understand how hard it was for them to be out of bed.

“I need to do something,” Holly suddenly said and left the living room. She didn’t see the exhausted looks on her parents’ faces, and neither did she hear the whispered response of her mother. Quickly, she took on her boots and her jacket and left the house.
Holly ran down the street with a bag full of her last cookies, slipping and falling more than a couple of times. The streets were empty, and the snow was still falling. You could see through the windows into the light up houses, where happy children unwrapped their presents and hugged their parents. You heard the choir singing Christmas carols through the church’s door, and dogs barking in the distance. There were no sounds of cars, and Holly enjoyed the silence. When she turned around the corner, she could see the group of people she had been looking for.

Two women and three men, dressed in dirty, old clothes were warming their hands by a fireplace. When they spotted Holly, one of the women waved.
“Holly! Merry Christmas!” she yelled and welcomed Holly with a hug when she arrived.
“Merry Christmas!” Holly said and took a couple of smaller bags out of her bags. Each of the homeless received a package and thanked her honestly. They were overwhelmed with joy – they had not received anything for Christmas for a long time, and who would not be happy if a cute little girl showed up with cookies for the poor, when she herself wasn’t in a good situation?
“Thank you for the cookies, Holly!” one of the men said when Holly went back home. She had done what she did every year at Christmas time – thought about someone else and made someone happy. That was what Christmas was about for her, to make life better for someone else. But when Holly entered her house again and walked into the living room, she found her parents laying on the floor, dead. Dead was such a strong word for her then, and she did not understand its true meaning, but she did know that she would never hear her parents speak again. She fell down on her knees, tears silently flowing down her cheeks and falling to the floor. Her life was like catching snowflakes – as she reached out her hands to someone, he or she was already gone. Holly covered their bodies with the blanket, and cried herself to sleep that night.

It was a cold December night, and snow was slowly falling down on earth. Under a dimly shining streetlight a little girl stood, with her arms stretched out before her, trying to catch snowflakes in her palms.
“Mommy, I heard you and daddy sing last night.” she whispered and glanced at the drop of water in her hand, that once had been a snowflake.

Photograph & Short story by Lisa Marina.

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The dawn thief

Warning for long piece of writing: This is a short story.

My husband – lost in an eternal war.

My three years old daughter – beaten, raped and ripped apart from life by soldiers.

My heart – I have no heart. But there place where it should be is frozen and isolated.

My soul… Do I even have a soul anymore?

The last part of my soul died with my daughter.

My race is worth nothing in this world. Has humanity forgotten who created them? Why can’t they leave the fairies alone? Respecting us would be too much of a wish. But no, they can’t. Without regret, they rip off our wings, to cure their well-deserved sickness – death. They cut off our hair, to protect them from the cold.

Are we damned to be this weak?

I still have my wings, and I have managed to keep my hair. But at this time I wish they would come and rip that off as well. Complete my suffering, emotionless steal all what is left of my immortal body. Does it really matter? Does anything matter?

Yes.

Yes it does.

They would learn a new word soon. And the belonging feeling that comes with the word. I will teach them, and not in a nice way.

The word is regret.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I am finally moving on. Three years have I sat in that dark room. With nothing but grief. Slowly I stand up, and walk towards the door. With an angry punch I tear the door into pieces and step outside. The rising sun is blinding me. After three years after nothing but darkness I see the beauty of life. With a snap with my fingers I suck it all into me. The red light, the warmth… It fills me like the last missing piece of a puzzle. The dawn gives me new strength. I feel better, and I am ready for a strong word.

Revenge.

Revenge for all the suffering of my race that has been going on for over two-hundred years. But mostly, revenge for my husband Enye, and my baby girl Esthiá. I hold my hands cupped in front of the spot where my heart should have been. But we are heartless, our soul is all we need. Slowly raising my left hand, I give the sun its light back. But I keep a part of it for me. What else would keep me going than a good piece of stolen dawn?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As I ride through our village, many people salute me. But I am not there to talk, I am there to leave. My gaze is far in the distance, where the weak sun slowly rises. I pass the gates to the outside world, ignoring the questions of my former friends. Friends? Who needs friends. They are cowards – they don’t dare to change anything about the cruelty of the human mortals. Our race can die, too. But we won’t die by age. We are still vulnerable, and that thought is no thought I like.

Forests pass by, mountains grow higher as I ride towards them. I lose every feeling of time. The dim light reaches through the dark clouds, and I take it all. The warmth and the hope embrace me and I shudder. This is truly a dark world. I hear a wolf howling in the distance, then painful moans. Happy screams of humans, so joyful about killing. My chest tightens and I gasp for air. Justice. I crave justice, and the humans were about to meet it. Justice… My chest tightens even more and I gasp for air again. I steer my beautiful white horse into the forest, and I get closer and closer to my first act of justice. I see the humans sitting by a fire, the brutally slaughtered wolf beside them. I descend from my horse and step closer. There are three of them, all dressed in cloaks of fairy hair. The white color tells me. I recognize it – the same color as mine. Pain fills me. I suddenly feel how they suffered. Their hair cut off brutally, it feels like it was mine. I feel the sad connection to my dead companions. I snap my fingers and suck the fire into me. The small trail of light makes them look my way. Grins on their faces, hunger and lust in their cold and blue eyes. I snap my fingers again and suck out their filthy souls. I am disgusted by the darkness of their souls, so I throw them out right at their dead bodies. With a shrieking sound that can only be described as the despair of souls, their bodies light on fire and the evidence of their existence burns.

I lower my hand and keep riding, to the heart of all evil. I pass three small villages, one is burning after my visit, two are left to suffer from a sickness they won’t be able to cure. Justice feels good. They are finally getting what they deserve. It doesn’t take long before I see the proud of humanity before me. The palace. Surrounded by golden walls, protected by several towers for archers. Nothing that will stop me. A balcony so big, my whole village could fit on it. The guards are no enemies for me, With two snaps they are sucked out, their bodies buried in the lake inside of the palace grounds. Disgusted I throw out their filthy souls and let them burn for eternity, somewhere next to their bodies.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My magic is not endless, but with the dim sunlight I recover quickly. I enter the castle, and ride through the endless seeming hallways. Several guards try to stop me, but as they fall lifelessly to the ground, no words remain on their frozen lips. I capture their dirty souls inside ice blocks, and burn it down yet again. After many more or less tragic deaths, I reach the throne hall. I descend my horse and walk. No guards are near him, I am sure there are no guards left in the entire palace. And I feel the power of death in my hands, oh yes. Like black balls of pure energy it rests in my hand, growing with every life I suck out. The king salutes me politely, but when I don’t bow, he rises from his golden throne and speaks to me with the coldest voice on earth. “Fairy lady, you shall bow in respect before your king Thurgann.”

My voice is warm, but it is filled with so much hate, so much pain, I can barely stand the strength of my own words. “You are not my king. If you were, you would not let my race fight alone without human warriors against the forces of the Underworld. Neither would you slaughter my race to survive.” His pale face turns red in anger. “Your race cannot die!”, he shouts. “We may be heartless, but we die. We just don’t die when we get older. Your race is filthy, weak and damned! Why do you reign over us? Because we are to good-hearted to harm you. But I am not, I don’t fear to stand straight.” He smiled. “So be it, Fairy lady. I am sorry to say that you will today join your race in death.” With these words he raises his sword. “Where is your weapon?”, he asks. And I could taste the fear in his voice. And it felt good.

I smile. The smile hurts, but still I raise my fingers and snap. I do not suck his life, but the lights in the hall. It turns pitch black, and my eyes shine dangerously red in the dark. But the darkness can’t bother me. I raise my fingers again, but it is too late. I feel the blade cutting through my flesh and the blood pouring out of my body. But I don’t fear death. My head hits the ground and I moan in pain. I hear laughter. “Enye… Esthiá… I’m coming to you…”, I whisper and close my eyes, never meant to open them again.

Photography (21st January 2011) & Writing (ca. July 2011) by Lisa Marina.