The Snow Swan
As I tramped over the moss- strewn rocks of the forest, my legs started to seize up even worse. I could smell the fresh pine in the air, but it did not cover the shudders of pain that attacked my side. It was bleeding worse than ever, the place where I had cut myself . I had slipped while climbing some rocks and their jagged surfaces had cut into my waist. Blood blossomed into my shirt, staining it with a deep scarlet. I felt faint, but I knew I had to keep going. I had heard some funny rumors about this forest when I last visited a village. Like how there were things, spirits and ethereal beasts that roamed this place. I had to find my way out of here before nightfall.
The sky darkened its hues and the clouds continued to float peacefully across the sky. I, on the other hand, was feeling the opposite. My mind was beginning to trail into the murky darknesses of oblivion, and my thoughts filled my head like fog. First I thought that it was just the rustling of the tree leaves, but as I listened more closely, I could discern words, and it sounded so familiar. Wait... mother? How are you here?
“Elodie... Elodie... Come to me now...”
Mother? Where are you? I’m coming! Can you hear me?
“Elodie... Elodie... Can you see me now?”
I turned around and began searching through the trees frantically. The needles poked at me but I didn’t stop. Then, I saw them. They were not solid, they were shadows. Shadows, in the shape of humans. My mother’s shadow. Slowly, they started to creep towards me, and I knew something was terribly wrong. They reached out towards me with clawed little shadow hands, and grasped my ankle. I was too scared to move. The world as I knew it started blacking out...
Even though I had closed my eyes, I still sensed that there was this dazzling light all around me. I got up with my eyes still closed. Slowly, I chanced a glance in front of me and I saw the most beautiful thing in the world. It was a swan, beating its strong majestic wings in the air and crying out loudly. It seemed to be glowing, and its feathers were a ghostly pure white, like untainted snow. Shrieking loudly, the shadows scattered and melted into the trees. Slowly, the swan raised its gaze towards me and blinked its long eyelashes. Then it flew away, disappearing into the sky until all I could see of it was a white pinprick in the air. It was too much. My body could not take it any more. I collapsed, again.
When I came to my senses, I was lying on something soft, and the smell of the pines was gone. I looked at my alarm clock. Wait! My alarm clock? With a shock, I discovered that I was back in my room, lying on my bed. Then all of last night’s events came back to me. The swan. The shadows. The trees. Was it all a dream?