Dead and Gone: Under Ice

Jeremy grabbed at the smooth ice, desperately trying to find purchase in the unbroken surface with his remaining hand. He jammed the exposed bones of his ruined hand into the ice which brought fresh waves of dizzying pain. He was too panicked to scream.

His feet entered the dark maw first. As his calves reached the water, the cold touched his brain. Time slowed, prolonging his torture. He lost what little control he had of his breathing. Charlie stood on the bank, his arms outstretched, his sparkling eyes belying the regretful look on his face.

Jeremy slid into the hole. He spluttered and thrashed in the frigid water. His good hand found the edge of the ice and he locked onto it the best he could. The ice block descended as though it had been dropped, slicing through his fingers as it closed the hole. Jeremy involuntarily exhaled for the last time.

In the green murk of the pond, the brief pain in Jeremy’s lungs subsided. The last view of his brother’s eyes gave way to a calm whiteness, devoid of pain.

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