Marie barely shuffled down the side of the deserted road. A knapsack filled with a few of her most treasured belongings sagged heavy on her small shoulders. Time and distance were dropping off like the streetlights were becoming fewer and fewer. Houses had stopped long ago. Fields had been put to sleep under thick blankets of snow.
Life below the heavens was growing dimmer as her body temperature plummeted. For no reason she was in touch with, she made feeble efforts to keep her thoughts active, alive. She tried to remember what had happened to her family. She thought they were dead, the immediate ones. The others were distant, indifferent.
She felt the muscles along her neck and shoulders tighten under the knapsack straps and soon she began to tremble violently, involuntarily. Pieces of a memory seemed to shake loose. One piece, of coming out here for an internship at The Daily News, fit with Michael. He helped her with her writing, helped her get hired as a reporter, like him. There was love. A house. Together.
The pain of the cold pierced her ears. In their ringing she heard a man’s voice, could see his handsome face. She lifted a frostbitten hand toward him, barely formed a whisper of the word, “Michael…” She shuffled forward, almost fell. No one was there. Tears froze to her bloodless cheeks.
The last streetlight faded away with the feeling in her legs. She stumbled, dropped to her knees, and crumpled in pain. The remaining heat and strength within her began to drain fast away after her last coherent thought: she would never have accepted the promotion over Michael if she had known he would throw her out in the cold in a jealous rage, at the expense of her love for him.
Dark, snowy road from http://lh4.ggpht.com/_xcfjtMYWJZE/R2HWT-eLc5I/AAAAAAAAA1I/wIvM_f-WDxM/IMG_0722.JPG
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