There Was Blood in the Snow

There+Was+Blood+in+the+Snow

Lisa Fotios

There was blood in the snow. 

 

The first snow of the season, 

crystalline grains like crushed up minerals,

coalescing into soft hills of white.

 

Enough to blanket the ground,

enough to provide a pristine background 

for the garnet stain 

framed by matching droplets. 

 

The first snow usually carried a hint of

Christmas

with it,

a smattering of

wonder and 

joy. 

 

Sadie always loved the first snow,

the unmarred perfection before

her boot print

left its furrowed mark,

the drifting snowflakes that

caught in her hair and

melted on her jacket. 

 

But this didn’t feel the same,

and there was

blood 

in the snow. 

 

She tried to move 

past it,

side-step it,

continue on her trajectory,

but it occurred to her,

she didn’t quite remember

where she was going 

or why she was here.

 

She stopped, 

closed her eyes,

tried to center her thoughts. 

 

It had happened often enough,

this sudden realization of 

complete and total

unawareness.

Almost as if she had just

woken up, but she’d been

sleepwalking. 

 

She tried to recall her 

last clear memory,

and she remembered the car

and the final stretch to the city

and pulling over because the tire went flat.

 

She inhaled so deeply

that she felt a pain in her abdomen,

as she tried to piece together the rest, 

but the air almost couldn’t reach her lungs. 

 

A bit more floated to the surface of her mind,

getting out of the car

to check the tire,

crouching down beside it. 

Then Alex, 

who thought he saw something. 

 

A flurry of images,

like shadowy dancers running on stage,

filtered into her mind, 

and piercing fear that floated in with it.

 

She felt a tug in between her ribs,

eliciting a gasp at the 

sheer weight of the return of her memories. 

 

And then the pain in her gut,

as the realization settled

and her fingers brushed over the hilt. 

 

There was blood in the snow.

Her blood in the snow.