Prompt Day #212: Describe, in a carefully paced scene, the final moments of a person who is literally freezing to death.
Death is Cold
She’d been cold before. Of course she had. The teeth chattering, the shivering, the icy pinpricks on your hands and feet. She knew those sensations well but she’d now been trapped in this snow bank for at least a day, possibly two without signs of rescue. She’d always imagined that freezing to death would be somehow less painful than this. She’d imagined once your body reached its threshold, numbness would settle over you and death would come in the form of sleep. Oh how she’d love to be able to fall asleep and just give in. Death is cold, yes, but it had to be warmer than this.
She wanted to cry but her lungs ached already. The chill hacked away at the little sacs of air until each breath was an explosion of razor blades in her chest. Crying would lead to hyperventilation and deep hitched breaths. She needed to stay calm; slow deep breaths instead; Sword swallowing not a ribcage full of emotional shrapnel.
Her skin hurt. The cold sliced her up with billions of tiny daggers, each working to dissect her body cell by cell until she felt spread open. The wind blew through her open spaces and down to her bones. She felt icy larvae wriggling into the pores of her bones. Tiny bites; sharp and burning into her very core.
It was dark in her snow coffin but she felt as if her brain was slowing, shutting down unnecessary power. Her peripheral vision faded to black, tunneling her vision down to pinpoints of hazy color. She tried to remember her full name and how to spell it but that was going too. After all, why did she need a name in the lonely death queue of one. She hoped the next thing the brain deemed useless was her pain sensors. She tried to move her fingers and toes but the motor nerves had obviously been blocked. Is this what hibernation feels like? She wondered and laughed because it seemed so funny. Hi-Brr-nation. That’s where she was. In a Brr Nation. She was losing it. She knew and that wasn’t funny, except what else could she do but laugh?
She brought her fingers up to her face. Close so she could see them. They were very dark, black even. She couldn’t tell if it was her eyes playing tricks or if they really had changed color in the cold. She couldn’t feel them or move them anymore. She took inventory of her body. She couldn’t feel much of anything in her arms, legs or head. She stuck her tongue out on her lips. They were rough and dry but her lips did not feel her tongue. Her tongue could be touching anything as far as her lips were concerned.
She was sleepy now. Finally. And the cold wasn’t so bad. Maybe it was warming up. Maybe the ice would melt and release her. Maybe…maybe…maybe just a little nap and….then….