Goose Flesh

It happened so quietly and calmly that I could never have noticed. With only my thoughts and frozen emotion, I began to accept that I’m trapped here now.

It’s far too cold to venture outside, the freezing temperature of my house a welcome jump in relative warmth. That first morning when I had lost sight of the stars, I tried moving beyond the icy containment of my house for a brief moment before the chill struck me immediately. Pain shot through my fingertips and I cried out, pulling back inside, clutching my hand within my coat. Slamming the door and withdrawing my hand to examine the damage, I saw the first signs of it, my algid fingers suddenly darkened with the tiny flares of burst blood vessels. Every further attempt I have made to leave, wrapped in the supposed comfort of every piece of expensive cold-resistant clothing I own, the various chemical warming aids I gathered, to absolutely anything I could still hold in my dead, marred hands to set ablaze seemed to do nothing against holding me captive within my own house.

I thought at first it wasn’t something to see or hear at all. I marveled at it, extolling it’s pretense, despite my ignorance and fear. I didn’t understand why it can come upon me, what I can done to deserve its artifice. As I peered out between the cracks of windows black with ice I strained my eyes for movement, praying for a visage on which I could place my fears and apprehension. And as the harsh wisps of the aberrant winds clawed at my eyes, blurring my vision from force of blood, I would have swore to make out a muddy shade set apart from the colors of the wood. I wish to God I could say it looked familiar in anyway, even as dream or from a forgotten story. My inclement imagination desperately pieced it together, giving it scattered human qualities and trying to make peace with what I had seen. It faded, gangly and nebulous, through the long dead trees and blanket of torrential snows. Before recoiling from the cutting cold and wind in that one excruciating moment, rubbing the pain and blurriness from my eyes, I fooled myself into thinking the crisp sound from beyond my house of fragile, frozen skin stretched and snapping was something distant and natural.

I am almost completely blind now, and the coldest rooms in the house are no longer passable. Little by little, the air slowed and chilled in the outermost rooms, trapping me further and further inside. There is no light left, and I have already burned all the furniture in the room, failing to bring air above freezing. The temperature is dropping quicker now, even as I write this I can feel my brain failing to register the state of my gnarled extremities. I feel blessed that I no longer possess the sight to futilely examine my body for new signs of it’s dying tissues. I can hear the strain and snap of the walls around me. I struggle to keep awake, listening in the frozen blackness for that sound of moving shadows.

But I’m fooling myself. I can hear it clearly, the sound of brittle skin cracking, the cold taking my feet and legs, and the endless mass hanging above me feeding on the broken flesh of my face.

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