This made me think of a Doctor Who story and the Tardis. Of course I wanted to say, "And what planet was this on??"
|She felt confused, lost.
In this world, snowflakes were falling. As they drifted, they altered the landscape so that nothing looked the same. The playground, once a scene of innocence and renewal, was now altered, and all was confused. None of the landmarks were the same anymore.
Nothing was the same anymore, not even her.
She felt disordered and chaotic, benumbed by the shifting images wreaking havoc on her senses. She hugged herself tightly, trying to give herself a little of what had been wrenched away: security, love, peace, understanding.
She started walking, just for something to do, because it was in her nature. To stay still was to die. She had to keep moving.
As she crested a small hill (only discernable by the ache in her calves) she noticed something: the world paused.
Startled, she paused too.
Everything was somehow arrested in mid-motion: the snowflakes were frozen, their faces – who knew snowflakes had faces? –¬ twisted in grimaces of rage. Their world had been interrupted, their triumph delayed, and they knew it.
With the snowflakes on pause, she found she could see a pattern, a way to move through them without being touched. And for the first time, she felt a little hope stirring within, like a comatose child returning to the world of the living.
All was still, with an eerie sort of silence: not the kind that usually accompanies snowfall, but a frozen and somehow stiff kind. The usual melodies accompanying life – light, sound – had been stopped in their tracks. Only she moved, only she breathed, only she walked.
But as she passed by and around the evil snowflakes, they took note. Though they could not move their eyes, they could see her when she passed into their view. They saw a nimbus around her, enveloping her as she walked, growing stronger with every step: the aura of wholesomeness that clothes every soul. And their hatred for her was sealed at that moment.
She would never be free, they vowed (silently, their mouths still stuck). She would never know a moment’s peace, they snarled (inaudibly). They would hound and harry her, and would always remember her for this – the power in her which was beyond their understanding or ability to prevail against, as constant and irrevocable as life itself.
They knew and hated this power, though she remained unaware.
Hate knows neither reason nor logic: all it knows is rage.
(One should always be careful not to attract the notice
of the snowflakes.
They never tire, and have flawless memories:
they keep the feel of every surface they touch,
and thus have mapped out the land to the smallest detail.
They do not perish, but are renewed every year,
and thus there is no escaping them.)
Poor Arianna. She had no idea what she was pitted against. All she felt then (through the haze of her dream-like state) was relief that she could see again. She began to recognize her surroundings, and suddenly spied what she was looking for, though she had not known she was looking until then: a plain wooden door up ahead. As she approached, it swung open and a radiant golden light lit her up. Without hesitation, she picked up her skirts and ran towards it.
Behind her, suddenly, the world resumed.
It was now an angry world, cheated of its prey and robbed of the opportunity to feast on her sufferings. She heard an angry roar from behind as a gusty wind shoved her – splat! – face-first into the ground.
She would not be denied, though. That door was for her, and it was waiting. What’s more, it would not – could not – wait much longer. She didn’t know how she knew this, but there was no time, she had to get there.
Yet she was dazed, weary, and stuck. If she got up, the winds would have at her again. Clearly, they meant to keep her down, for they did not touch her as she lay. If only there were a way to get to the door without standing up…
But of course!
Slowly, cautiously, Arianna began crawling forward on her stomach. Just as she got to the door, the winds realized they had been tricked and reached down, furious, to stop her. Too late! She grabbed the brass handle with both hands and swiftly lifted herself, up and out, into the golden light.
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