Written by Jonathan Hastings

23rd November 2015

I can’t help but watch the last frozen petal curl backwards. It tapers a little, before falling loose and drifting slowly to the floor. Resting on the soft white surface of the forest floor. I keep my eyes focused on the glistening orange leaf; I focus on the slight curves that cradle the edges: they pull away from me, revealing the darkened shade beneath: the same shade the trees make as the settling sun luminesces on the horizon.

I’m alone in the wood, with nothing but the sound of the winds and the gentle trickle the river makes as is slips in front of me. It’s only made more beautiful by the settling notes of snow that drift towards the ground at such an elated state. a gentle warm settles on my chest as the crystal rain from the sky like stars pictured on the night sky. The world is white and untouched, stilling my frame on this wooden bench.

I want to move, but despite the cold temperature it’s somehow warm here, wrapped in my jumper that’s two sizes too big, and filled on the surface with multi-coloured patterns that almost look too lurid in this space. I look down at my body, filled up with odd bits of cloth, and down at my feet. The sound my feet make in the freshly pressed snow crackles like the warm notes of a fire.

My hand raises a little as the sun finally picks at the corner of my vision, it leaves trails of solid starlight bursting through the cracks in the trees. They split at odd patterns leaving the remnants to trace the floor in odd shapes: They pick at my body, enlighten my redding mittens and my harsh green overcoat. They fill me with a solemn sense of security as I focus on the stream and how the surfacing white, laps at the side, melting a few of the flakes that try to escape its grasp.

I am alone in the woods and it’s filling me with a odd beauty, like I am the last person in the world. I am the sole survivor of a nuclear holocaust, and this is the last thing I can see. It becomes all-consuming. Trapped in this circle of trees, watching the light prism and the wispy clouds settle overhead. And I can almost smell it. That harsh smell of a fire burning in the distance, the sound of the world recognising my existence. The branches as they grasp for each other.

Somehow I can’t fathom a world without this perfect harmony. I am trapped in this resonating image. Only able to wrap my numbing fingers into the folds of my jacket. I look back over at the wooden bench, the snow has already covered the soft patch that I left on its surface. Erased like the footsteps that I’ll leave behind when I vacate this place.

But for now I’ll admire the shimmering surface of the water; I’ll compliment this shade of white; I’ll watch as the sun turns the sky a wonderful mix of purple.

For now, I am alone in the woods.

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