“Ghost of the Snow” by Joshua Paquin – Flash Fiction Ghost Story

by E.V. Jacob on December 24, 2012

Written by Joshua Paquin.  Check out his website and follow him on Twitter!

We were lost in the woods after a snowstorm. “We’re going to be okay” I remember saying. My face was pressed up against Maggie’s. My lips might have touched her ear as I said it, and if it did, I couldn’t feel it. She didn’t move, only shivered. I hugged her tight and knew that if we didn’t keep moving, if we didn’t keep warm, we were both going to die. “Come on” I said, my lips quivering, body shaking, I was barely able to speak. The voices of our friends already began to move away. I picked her up. If she was still consciously there, she was somewhere else in her mind. I might have cried but the ice from the wet of my eye dammed my tear ducts. As resigned to slowly freeze as she was, she moved as I guided her. Max and Tyler were ahead, pushing through white branches that had been bent by the weight of snow. I didn’t know where Jenn and Phil were; they might have huddled together for warmth and were buried by the snowstorm. I called out to them but didn’t hear any answer. When we came through a curtain of snow that fell from the tops of the trees as we past them, I couldn’t see anyone anymore. I looked over at Maggie, who was bluer then than pale white.

“We’re going to be okay” I said again and hugged her tight. I could feel my embrace grow weak and wished my fear would dull, like did every sensation in my body.

“It’s ssssssso c-cold” I thought I heard her say.

“I know. Hang in there” I answered and searched to look into her eyes. When I found them, she was starring at the ground, cold and despondent.

“It’s ssssssso c-cold” came the voice, weak and through blue colored lips no doubt, but not from hers. I looked and found no one else around.

“It’s ssssssso c-cold” came the voice again.

“Jenn?” I called out, and started to search through the trees. When we pulled through tangles of small leafless plants I saw a woman, naked and grey, sitting bunched up in a ball. Blue veins looked like a spider web cape pulled over a pointed back with pronounced spine under thin, taught skin.

“Oh my god” I think I said and for a second dropped Maggie. I lifted her back up without losing sight of the lady in the snow.

“Are you alright?” I asked the woman

“It’s ssssssso c-cold”

“It’s okay. My friends and I. We’re trying to find help, we need to keep moving.”

“It’s ssssssso c-cold”

“We’re all scared. Come with us” I said

She stood up and faced me. Her eyes looked sunken and black if not dug out and missing. Something had dripped from them and fell down the side of her cheeks where it froze in chunky globs. She stepped forward, I stepped back. She continued towards me, her movement was slow and stiff. I didn’t think she was human. At least not anymore.

“It’s ssssssso c-cold,” she said, locking on to me. By the time I had retreated through the tangle with Maggie close by, Max had doubled back and found us. He followed my look of terror and recoil to find the naked woman ahead.

“HELP HER” he shouted and ran over to her side.

“Max” I warned. He shot me a look of disgust and wrapped one arm around her.

“It’s ssssssso c-cold” she said and faced him.

“Lady, listen to me, you’re confused”

“It’s ssssssso c-cold” she repeated and put her arm around him. Max winced. The woman gripped his shoulder hard. She wrapped her other arm around his chest.

He yelled, “Get off me”. Next came a leg, which swooped around his trunk. Then the other.

“It’s ssssssso c-cold”

“Help. Get her off, get her off” he screamed frantically, in between distressed grunts. They fell over. I was torn; I wanted to help, but Maggie… She was heavy and would crumple into the snow if I left her. I needed to act.

“Help” I yelled and started in their direction. Max’s mouth opened wide as he gasped for air. His face turned different hues of blue as his eyes rolled back into his head.

“It’s ssssssso c-cold,” she said. By the time I was half way there, he was dead and she was getting back up onto her feet. I pulled Maggie close and withdrew as fast as I could, but she was so heavy. It was a slow escape. Somehow I managed to carry her through. Maybe it was the adrenaline that breathed new life to the fire inside me. We made distance between us and the woman, who trudged slowly behind, but I needed to catch my breath and try and warm Maggie. I stopped and did this when I could while grey skies darkened and cleared overhead. Moonlight gave the snow an eerie blue glow.

Huddled under a tree to break and try and warm her, I could hear the woman’s voice in the distance.

“It’s ssssssso c-cold”

I could hear the arresting irregularity of her footsteps in snow. I couldn’t tell where she was.

We kept moving. She followed. We found a small cabin, hours later. Someone’s summer home, with access to a phone. I broke in and called for help; worried she’d find us.

She didn’t.

Maggie survived though lost a lot to frostbite. Our four friends, as the paper put it, were “lost to the snow”. Maggie said she couldn’t remember much, only how white everything was. Now, when she sees a forest, all she can think about is that all-consuming color and begins to panic. I’ll forever recall the ghost of the woods. Her search for warmth, the look of her face, the sound of her feet, and her haunting words, “It’s ssssssso c-cold”

  • Kevin B.

    Great! Loved it!

    • http://www.ravenhartpress.com/ Elena Jacob

      Thanks for reading! :D

  • Chris Shawbell

    Nice piece, Joshua. “It’s sssssso c-cold.” – chilling.

    • The Dark Opera

      Thanks Chris. I love imagining how the delivery of that line by the ghost in that dark snowy forest is interpreted by others. I’m happy to hear that the product was chilling! Thanks for the read.

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