Thursday, September 16, 2010

Lesser of Two Evils

Posted this on ficly, but submitted it to Fractured West in their 'horror and snow' category. Horror is NOT my forte. If it doesn't get in the publication, at least it was a good exercise.

I shivered and held my children closer. I could feel their involuntary shivering and hear their bellies rumble. Wrapped in every stitch of clothing we owned, huddled in the middle of a pile of threadbare blankets as thick snow flakes quickly erased the world outside into a blinding blank canvas, we waited.

“Where’s daddy?” one of the tiny, blue-lipped faces asked.
“Shh, hush now. I’m sure he’ll be back before the Grim return.”
“What if they got him?!”

I wove my body even closer to theirs. I listened to the wind howl around the eaves. This had been someone’s home before the Grim had ripped it apart, opening it like a clam to get the shivering, screaming meat inside. It sheltered us from the wind, but not the cold.

I heard one set of snores, at least the oldest could sleep. I moved my ear to the little one’s chest. I listened for a long time. Nothing. Tears froze on my cheeks. My baby.

If we didn’t freeze to death tonight, we’d starve to death tomorrow, or be found by the Grim. Bravely, I built a fire.

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