I've always loved the snow, always thought of it as a friend. My best friend, with its beauty and its calmness and the way it covered the world and made everything quiet and the way it hid the ugliness. But tonight, it has turned against me.
I stop, I have to stop, just for a second, just to catch my breath.
And that's when I see that my best friend has betrayed me. The snow will lead him to me. The footprints, they would be enough, but the blood, red black against the night white, it's impossible to miss.
I hear his steps crunching towards me, slow and relentless. My running did nothing except hurt my throat and wind me and make the blood leak from my arm a little faster. Perhaps anger him. I can't imagine him angry. If this is what he did when he was happy, with his handfuls of money and sharp things. I should have know better, the years should have taught me.
I want to move, I want to run, but I can't move. Fear or cold or hopelessness, I don't know what keeps me still. A snowflake, alone and perfect, falls onto my face, melts on my tear, becomes a part of me. I stifle a sob and make my foot move, make myself take a step. Just one, that's the only one that should concern me, I can worry about the rest after that.
But he is here now, all dark shadows and shiny steel, and too-bright teeth gleaming in the winter night.
He moves fast, almost an embrace, and I feel the winter enter me, as if the snow has found a way inside. Again. Again. I fall, and the snow catches me, ready to be friends once more.
He is on me, his breath hot against my cold ears, whispering insults, whispering promises, whispering future horrors. He tells me we have all the time in the world, and his teeth scrape against my cheek.
But the snow has come for me, the winter is waiting to take me away.
I realize that it never betrayed me, it was only tired of waiting. I smile against his clenched teeth, against his hurting everything, and float from the pain, from the anger. From the world.