Minä stared out over the permafrost as flashes of days passed through her mind.
The sudden short bursts of bright lights overhead. Intermittent like the broken lines that split highways.
The tooth they brought her, heartlessly asking if she’d like a memento.
The whites of nurses’ eyes as they looked away with fear.
Bedsheets soaked so red they were beyond bleaching.
Doctors in lab coats with iPads checking up on her progress.
Her bandages covered most of the damage but not where it hurt most.
Pain she was used to. The sterile fabrics of hospital gowns, beds and curtains, too. And the ever-present noise of lifeblood machinery.
But in this moment — as her gaze sent waves of memories across the mountains and time — something held her heart. The past kept her present.
She missed the feel of her father’s full snowy beard, pale in comparison to his cheeks as rosy as Santa’s in winter.
Pappa Hemligåberg was never a warm man, but his love was steadfast. He stayed by Minä’s mother’s side until the sight of her last breath filled the crisp January air.
Minä never found for herself the loving looks her father gave her mamma. This crosses her thoughts now. She feels tears escape her eyes and stream slowly down her face, down her neck and around to the nape.
There is no one to wipe it away. Pappa now with mamma. Family far removed. All loves bygone. She lies like a snowflake in a vast tundra. Cold. Static. Remote. Still.
Read more from this series of short stories: