Cruel, biting cold was my entire world. It felt like there had never been anything else. The chill burrowed so deep inside me that I was sure I had never known warmth. The landscape around me was so white, so pure, everything so completely covered with snow and ice, I was certain my eyes had never seen color. A life before this felt impossible. Like a preposterous dream.
When had I last tasted food? Or enjoyed the flow of water that wasn’t in a frozen form? Surely the ice and snow I’d put in my mouth had helped my insides become frosted.
Not wanting to live this any further, convinced I would never live any other life, and never had, and knowing no other way of escape, I looked to the lighter in my hand. It had failed in lighting the wood I’d laid out in the perfect configuration to support a fire. Failed to light the tent, failed to light the sleeping bag, both of them being rated to withstand such things for safety. I hoped it would not repeat failure now.
Flame held to worthless jacket, I delighted to see it catch. The world was pleasant for a brief while…