The violence of vermillion in the snow



The scene outside my window as depicted through a prism.

It came just before the impenetrable snow, right at that time when the land becomes coated in a thin sheet of opaque, sepia-toned ice. However, in her mind’s eye, everything was scarlet. 

Scarlet like the color of her button-up Tommy Bahama shirt and the neon lights at the bottom of Punisher. Ruby rich like the flowers on her bedspread, the cap on her pomegranate chapstick, and the color of her best friend’s hair. Crimson like blood in a blizzard, like the blood that she had seen dripping from the picket fencing that lined the winding road.

Just like every opportunity to leave comfort, she had taken it up reluctantly. The outdoors were becoming a challenge—a place where “home” was seldom spoken, and the trees exacted an avalanche over her head. She liked the way the world seemed when it was observed from her window, and she was content staying in the dark. Even if the luster came from light bouncing off the snow and not from actual sunshine, the darkness was actually quite bright. 

Still, disappointing her family was almost worse than leaving her bed, so she had gone forth in unwillingness. 

Crimson like blood in a blizzard, like the blood that she had seen dripping from the picket fencing that lined the winding road.”

They had bumbled down the street that passed her sister’s university, the black fencing that engulfed the campus blooming with rich evergreen and pearly white. It was the sort of fence that could not contain the trees that encircled it, the trunks swelling through the holes and extending their roots out towards the walking path. The sprouts of what were once tulips lay dilapidated under the beige and bister sleet, no color coating the Earth besides fallen pine nettles. 

Then there came the muddled redness she could not place, the kind that isn’t rosy but instead violent and indistinguishable; the type that throws her perspective and creates considerable commodities out of those that are seemingly small. 

She heard the disconcerted words her father suddenly spewed and felt the abscess tears she could not stop or push back inside. It was like seeing her brother cry, her mother yell, her sister speechless, or her kindred spirit despondent. 

It was a new sensation of pain, unparalleled to anything she had ever experienced, and most of all, it was unexpected. 

Then—almost as quickly as the vermillion carnage had wrecked her sheltered mind—the road stretched broadly out in front of her, leaving the dead deer to dangle from the black picket fence.