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I’m walking on the surface of the water, barefooted.
It’s so cold around me, but I don’t feel uncomfortable. My arms don’t have goosebumps and I’m not shivering. I keep walking.
Snow falls around me, swirling in a curtain, spiraling around. Tiny snowflakes that are little stars, spinning on themselves, dancing alone, even though they are so close to the others around them. I keep walking.
I look down at my toes as I walk. They touch the surface, like glass, but don’t fall through. I keep walking. The water ripples as the tips of my toes bob into it.
Around me there are sounds. Voices speaking, but not saying words. Not to each other, but by themselves. I keep walking.
I turn my head and see figures of gray smoke. Bodies of people I know. They are ghosts, trying to catch up with me as I walk quickly. I turn my head and keep walking.
Things begin to speed up suddenly. The snow is falling harder, the voices more fast-paced and racing to get out each garbled word that gets tangled in the wall of snow. The ghosts are running, slowly, elaborately. I keep walking. But I walk faster.
Leave them to run after me and snow harder and talk quicker, they don’t affect me. But they want to catch up. I keep walking, not looking back.
The snow is a blizzard, breaking the cone around me and falling on my arms and bare feet, getting caught in my hair. I begin to run.
The voices are jumbling together, making a storm of angry monologs clashing into each other and becoming just a loud hum. The ghosts are near me, reaching out then pulling back. But then they reach out again.
I open my mouth and words come out, loud yet quiet, hard yet soft. “I don’t need your help!”
Suddenly everything stops.
The snow stops dancing and falls into a white cloud on the water, but it has frozen under my feet.
The voices have stopped talking. Not even a whisper left behind, but silence. Disembodied voices waiting in silence.
The ghosts stop in their tracks, feel them staring at me without any eyes. Just slowly swirling gray smoke in the form of bodies. They stare without seeing. I smell the putrid odor of disappointment.
Now the ghosts are turning around, walking back the way they came, but now they’re coming together, touching each others shoulders. And the voices are back, a conversation between the ghosts.
But wait. They’re not ghosts anymore. Color has returned to their forms and clothing as they walk into the distance. The snow falls again, but not in a cone that separates me from them, but in a soft, spread out snowfall.
I look down at my feet there’s something different. I don’t see the water that I once stood on. There is ice under my now gray, swirling feet. I look at my arms and don’t see the snowflakes sitting on them. There aren’t any arms anymore either. Just two, slender, gray clouds.
I am a ghost and they are people, walking on the water that floats under their feet. And now the snowy surroundings have dissolved into a hallway. And I stand at one end, watching them walk away.
They were my friends, and I pushed them away. Now I am what I thought of them: nothing.
And you know what I do?
I turn around and keep walking.