Sunday 6 December 2015

Day 6: The Snowman by David Hook

The man sat on the bank and watched the stygian-like river sluggishly flow by, heavy with a mix of snow and grey ash, more viscous paste than water. Every so often a tree or branch would drift past struggling to reach out of the swirling mire, skeletal and beseeching. Above him the oppressive clouds roiled, tormented by the ceaseless gale and heavy with the promise of yet more niveous corruption.
A shiver ran through his hunger ravaged frame and he pulled the tattered tarpaulin tighter about him. He watched as soot-dirtied snow settled on his gnarled and filth encrusted hands; hands too cold to melt even the smallest of flakes.
Somewhere off to his left a splintering crack followed by a dull thud signalled the fall of yet another cadaverous pine. The demise of the tree heralded stronger winds and that meant a blizzard was headed his way. He would have to find shelter. He reattached his snow shoes and rising on trembling legs he gathered his few belongings and began to climb his way back up the river bank, his breath a pluming mist freezing his matted beard. His eyes watered and his cheeks burned as his tears froze.
Reaching the top of the bank he scanned the bleak, lifeless landscape. What was once a mixture of verdant woodland and flourishing farmland was now shrouded in grey frozen slush. Trees, once tall and proud now stood decaying and rotting, stripped of leaves and bark and bleached white by hardened frost. A gust of bitterly cold wind bit into his face as he continued to scan the surrounding area. Another gust momentarily cleared the murky fog and driving snow and, at some distance to his right, he spotted the outline of a building before it was once again enveloped in the miasma.
Drawing on his dwindling energy reserves and fighting against the grime-laden snow which increasingly blew horizontally at the behest of the howling wind he began trudging in the direction of the building. 

About the author

In 2014 David left a stressful job after many years and found that once his mind had decluttered he was able to focus on long forgotten hobbies. Writing has become one of those hobbies. David has had several pieces published on CafeLit and was one of the chosen authors in The Best of CafeLit 3.



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