*I’m normally a non-fiction person. I’m always saying I’ve got too much real stuff that needs to get out before I can have much room for fiction. The other day seemed to be an exception to my rule though and this is one of the stories I wrote…
The snow continued to fall steadily. It had been falling for hours. It was a storm, unlike any seen in rural North Carolina for years. Living on a secondary road, she knew it would be a while before the snow plows cleared the road and more traffic made the way through, though there was never much traffic on the road anyway. Sarah knew no one would be coming to visit, even if the roads were clear. One of the downsides to being a bit anti-social and family living far away.
“Oh well”, she thought as she sipped her tea and looked out the kitchen window at the big fluffy flakes falling. No time for one of her pity parties. Soup was simmering in the crock pot for supper, her little dog was curled up on the couch napping, and she was going to tackle writing another chapter of her book. The book she might never publish, but that beckoned her to write. There were some secrets, which should never have to be kept.
Her words quickly spilled across the page and before long she realized it was afternoon. She headed to the kitchen to stir the soup and get something else to drink. She heard the dog start to bark ferociously from the other room. As she turned around to go check, she saw him. The face she would never forget. The man who had left her for dead once, but was never found. She had moved in hopes she’d never see him again.
“Sarah, I told you you’d never belong to anyone else”, said the man. Before he had the chance to say anything else, she threw the crock pot at him. He cursed as it shattered on the ground and he was splattered with hot soup. She took off running through the back door. He ran out after her, fired the gun, and kept calling her name as he ran towards her.
She ran and kept running, not daring to look behind her. She had never been this far in the woods behind her house. Suddenly she ran out of woods and was in a snowy field. She kept running. She thought she smelled wood smoke, but couldn’t tell where it was coming from. There was just bright white snow all around. She fell and tried to get up, but couldn’t. She moved her hand where the pain was coming from and felt something warm and wet. Looking down, she saw the blood pouring from her side.
The bright red blood, her blood, falling on the snow, somehow reminded her of Snow White’s lips and the bright red apple the witch gave her, putting Snow White in a deep slumber. Of all times to think of fairy tales. Her eyes felt heavy. Sleepiness getting harder to resist. Fading away in the snow, embracing the cold. She was no one’s princess and now she never would be.
Her eyes lightly opened one last time and she saw birds nearby on the ground. Her brain thought of birds…singing…and then somehow, whistling came to mind. With all the strength she could muster, she pursed her lips to give one strong whistle before everything faded black.
Her eyelids began to lightly flutter, and between partially open lids, everything looked bright and white. She thought it must be heaven. She heard a man’s voice say, “Sarah?”. Briefly opening her eyes a little wider, she barely made out the blurred image of a man’s face with the deepest blue eyes she’d ever seen. She said, “My prince” and then gave in to sleep.
A few days later, as Sarah was sitting up in her hospital bed, a man wearing a blue plaid flannel jacket and jeans, looking as if they’d been made for him, came knocking on her door. He wore a friendly smile on his face and sat a vase of tulips down on her bedside tray. She looked up at him and before she could ask who he was, she peered into his eyes. She remembered those eyes. She knew she’d looked into them once before, but didn’t know who he was.
He told her his name was Tim, then explained what had happened. He lived in the clearing beyond her woods. He heard barking that terrible day and looked out his window. He saw the small dog first, then Sarah lying on the snow. Further back, he could make out the shape of a man. Taking his gun outside to find out what was going on, he saw the man raise up his gun to fire, but Tim had fired first.
She remembered nothing other than the man, the pain, birds and running. She didn’t need to know anything more than Tim told her. She knew she had found her prince and now she knew the man who had told her she’d never belong to another, would never bother her again.