Blistering snow whips at your face. Your skin slowly cracks and numbs by the moment. And with every step, your body begs you to slow down and rest for just a moment…
But if you stop, you die.
Your tribe was just exterminated in a raid and you’re the only one who escaped. All that remains is you and your will.
No one is here to save you.
You are all alone.
Recognizing your desolation and loneliness, water pours from your eyes, granting everything in your sight a glow that you hadn’t noticed before this moment.
Intrigued by the perspective, you stop, disregarding your impending death, and observe your surroundings.
Despite the truth that your life has been stripped to pieces and everything is rapidly killing you, you drink in the world with no prejudice.
Curious, you stick out your tongue and taste the tears and the snow. Just the same. Just water.
You notice that, while the cold hurts, it’s just a feeling. Yes, slightly less satisfying than the warmth of your campfire and the embrace of your former lover, but, nonetheless, still just a feeling.
The fear slowly fades – you recognize that the “world” is just a lot of individual elements reacting on their own to the rest of the elements, no different from you.
A smile creeps upon your lips.
The rest of existence is just as lonely as you are.
Purpose fills you, and you resolve to continue walking.
The cold air still stings, and the tears continue to roll down your cheeks, but your sly grin propels you to a nearby grove of trees where, for one more night, you choose to persist in this life.