The Girl and the Bear

The Girl and the Bear

Fourth Part

The night outside of her was very lovely. It was dark like Indian ink, but the sky was not too close to the ground. The air was very still and cold like it was made up of billions of tiny tiny crystals. And the animals were quiet, sleeping perhaps. The mountains were so enormous to the girl. Water came from her eyes as they were shut, and she could feel the burning up her skin again. Like fire paper. Her legs were pricked all over, heat in every pore. And she felt the same trying to break out of her body. She had to free him from beneath the surface. Her eyes opened and she spat into the snow, fearing she might choke if she did not. But her mouth quickly came dry and terrible again. The girl looked around her, at the tree upon which she rested, at the ground and at the forest ahead of her. She was searching with her eyes, quick, quick, looking around for a rock, something. Something sharp for cutting.

She saw nothing suitable. Her eyes were blind and confused with water and the very cold air. It was difficult for her to see, and all she could feel as she reached out around her was snow and tree, wet and permanent and ungraspable. Yet she just had to free the thing. So the girl took a hold of her leg and bit down. To no avail. Her teeth were too cold and not sharp enough, so she tried to scratch with her fingers. Better. She dug into her skin and dragged her nails hard across the skin. Many times, again and once more. Until she saw her hands becoming bloody and wet, her legs were cut too, slippery with blood and yet still burning, trapped, no release at all. She scratched and scored her skin, but all that lay beneath was blood. Well of course, what was she thinking of? The blood dripped down into the snow, corrupting orange upon white like a dirty, awful stain. Bright and ugly red, the snow soaked it up. And it was cool as the girl knelt, so she stayed a while. And her eyes and lips she felt them sting, and she saw blackness and whiteness in the back of her eyes. And then she saw a knife or a rock. No, it was a knife. She saw it so clearly before her, so shiny and tempting in the black and red bloodshot. So she reached and reached, she put out her arm to take a hold of the knife. Good. And she did what she had to do. She cut out her heart and buried it in the snow. Good.

Some hours passed and the night too. The sun rose behind the white sky and gave light to the mountains, cold and white. And the day was here again, the land showed itself, though it was still covered by the white snow, even some newly fallen. The girl was seated, her stomach flopped upon her thighs and face in the dirt and snow, and around her were marks of brown and red dissipating into the surface. Fading and dirtying. Weak and human. They circled her kneeling body like a star, like a halo. And the animals began to awake in the forest.

Final part soon to come!

Brown Bear