*This story is from a dream that I had in high school
Each step seemed to be minutes long, yet the legs seemed to not give a damn anyway. Not even to the bone chilling cold and nearly 1 meter high snow was given me any sensation.
The slight crackle of the snow underneath my feet was the only sound that my ears registered through the howling 20 mph wing. Despite this, my black cloak was blocking out the wind and snow.
But that didn’t numb the coldness that was inside me.
The pit at the bottom of whatever it is call, the navel? Yeah, what little warmth was there had surrendered to the cold – not the one on the outside, but to the inner lack of warmth.
The furnace had been dead for some time. Before this, before the defeat, before the fleet had retreated, before all the death and destruction that had come down on my country.
Even before the knighthood.
The crackle of the snow echoed through my head like it was a mile away, but it was only a few inches at my feet.
My castle came into view, the ghostly outline drifted through the falling snow that was steadying growing worse, like some angry god whose temper was rising.
Eternity it seemed was having fun at my expense as it took forever until my body finally reached the stairway up to the door. The crackle of the snow was replaced by the soft touch of steps up the stone stairs.
Eternity – that’s what it all felted like. My mind had numbed out the world. It’s as if your conscience had left your body, but somehow your mind was still in your head, screaming through the bars that was your body.
Your walking, breathing, screaming, non-feeling, flesh prison.
The soft touch was replaced by the scraps of the shoes against the stone circular stairs. The castle walls, like the flesh prison that I had within me, were grey like the fog that had settled in my mind.
How symbolic I thought; the castle which was built to protect those within was just like the foggy prison within my own head. Meant to protect, yet was a prison.
I passed by my butler who was waiting by the door.
“Good evening sir, anything for you?”
I took a quick glance at him and noticed that he was wearing a coat over his usual uniform. But it was his gentle smile that lit up the room. For a moment there, it seemed that it was the only candle in plain view. I can feel it penetrate the icy fog in my heart.
“Just some hot water, thank you.”
I watched him as he moved down the stairs, fading into the confines of the castle.
I turned and opened my door, and walked in with what was left of warm of my soul.