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The Last Snow
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TITLE (EDIT)
The Last Snow
DESCRIPTION
A War is coming, and Hannah is my only friend as the darkness gathers.
[1,159 words]
TITLE KEYWORD
Relationships
AUTHOR
Ithilruin
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I am 14 years old and live in Australia. I love the english language and I love writing, although I don't finish many of my stories.
[June 2006]
The Last Snow
Ithilruin

There was always a girl. In my case the girl’s name was Hannah. She had an open, intelligent face, and a tiny flick of amusement in the corner of her mouth I could never catch. Her eyes were large, dark and mysterious, and her straight black hair was like a reel of silken threads unravelled and clumsily draped around her shoulders.
Of course, these were not the only things about her, but they were certainly the most important. They were the things I noticed when I first lay eyes on her, on a snowy winter evening many years ago.
I was sitting on a park bench, and watching the flimsy white wafers spiralling through the air, so insubstantial on their own, but making up a soft glowing carpet on the earth around me. One of these flakes, lazily dropping through the grey branches of an oak, had the misfortune to land on that very same silky hair, and not join its sisters on the ground. It turned into a crystalline dew-drop, and she brushed it off, and sat next to me.
“Hello” she said.
“Hi. Enjoying the snow?”
“Yes, it’s beautiful!”
“It is. I wonder why it suddenly snowed this winter? Why not last winter, when I would still enjoy the snowball fights?” She contemplated this, and gathered a handful of the crisp downy substance in her mitten. It melted in her palm, and she brushed the water off.
“I don’t know. I… hmmm…”
And so began our friendship.

A few years passed. I’m not sure how many, maybe two, or three. All I know is that the War started in ’92, and we friends for some time before that. It was a violent war, a war full of bloodshed, and hate, and suffering. Sometimes we talked about it, and sometimes we argued, and sometimes we shook our heads wearily, for the powers that be were blinded by vengeance. But usually we just let it pass us by, and watched the huge grey ships ferry out of the harbour more victims of the slaughter, more needless deaths of a needless conflict. One night the drone of planes woke the city from its restless half-sleep, and its citizens watched as dozens of black shapes, like darts carrying deadly venom, streaked through the sky.
The next day, and I remember this day vividly - it was the 6th of July - it snowed again. Hannah and I wandered through the silent city as the little flakes, still white in the presence of such evil and despair, tumbled down onto the streets and pavements, rooves and balconies, trees and cars. We found our way to the park, and again sat on the bench, quietly, and thought after thought scurried through our heads, and none found peace or sustenance, and all floated away to join the snowflakes. It got dark early, and we went slowly back home, guided by the light of the stars on the snow. They were so blue and brilliant, the stars that night. I have never seen such beautiful stars again. Maybe the universe has changed, or maybe I am going blind in my old age. That night the news was cancelled, and my family waited still and silent while static whispered on-screen, until the Prime Minister came on, and said “The War has reached our shores”.

The next day was long, much too long. The hours dragged on for much longer than they should have. Not being able to bear the thought of staying locked up in the flat while my family watched the TV for news of the battles raging all around us, I went outside into the snow. The sky was clear and blue, and the snow was fresh – it had snowed all night and through the morning. There was no-one else in the streets, and although it was quiet it was an expectant sort of quiet, a restless uncomfortable worrying quiet.
The next day was much the same, but columns of smoke were drifting slowly across the sky, like ragged strips of gauze or silk caught in a high wind. I spent it with Hannah, as I couldn’t bear the thought of being alone. We climbed to the very top of the tower, and saw the darkness approaching from the west and the south, a foreboding shadow of tanks, and bullets, and barbed wire. Tendrils of smoke spilled from the shadow like fire from the mouth of a dragon, and this mouth was filled with steel teeth and its breath was laced with poison and malice. Hannah turned to me and asked “Why do they have to do this?” and I looked at her and saw her eyes and couldn’t find an answer, for there was none.
On the third day a snowstorm appeared out of nowhere, a lashing freezing howling blast that ripped through the narrow streets, snapped angrily at closed windows and rushed its heavy cargo into doors and cars, whipping the snow into a wild torrent of whiteness. It was as if nature, knowing that we were doomed to be destroyed by the approaching black flood of evil and hate, was trying to say “You people are such fickle things! You bicker and snap at each other like pups, and then shake hands and let differences be forgotten. While I! I can show you what it truly is about! See my majesty! See what you can only dream of creating!”
That night, surrounded on all sides by the howl of the wind and the cold bite of the snow, we made our escape like ants trapped before a flood. We fled with our tails between our legs, beaten and disillusioned. Hannah and I joined a group of faceless nameless people, people dressed in shabby grey, who might have had a past but did not dare to face the future. We were loaded onto a truck and squeezed together as more people came in, and were dropped off at the train station, with a bleak grey carriage on one side and a spinning wall of snow on the other. I looked around, and Hannah was gone. I shouted her name over the wind, and only the wind howled back. Without her, I felt, I was lost. I was doomed to despair. She was not just a friend. She was a wisdom, a soul, a guiding light. I stumbled clumsily towards the carriage door, ignoring the press of people around me. Faces like grey ghosts shoved past me as I stood near the door, and a young man in a tatty army uniform dragged me into the carriage.
“Hannah!” I shouted desperately, not thinking of any possibility but that she was gone for ever. Suddenly, she was back, for a second. Her silky black hair was streaming in the wind, her eyes were rimmed with tiny frost crystals, she was running towards the closing door…
It shut. The train sped into the darkness. Her face flickered for a moment in the snowflakes, her lips parted in an anguished whisper…
“Hannah!!!”

 

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2006 Ithilruin
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
June 2006
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
897
 

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