The lights of my cabin far behind me, I search in conditions that favor no one and no thing, on a night that holds nothing but a wall of cold shifting amid howling winds.
As I plod ahead, all is disjointed, whiteouts removing any context from my surroundings. The bitterness of cold stings my face and wraps my body in a blanket that saps, rather than strengthening me. The dull ache that grips my fingers and toes means something. Something.
Direction no longer has any meaning. Left could be right, and forward seems irrelevant. My venture now seems pointless, any reason for following this course now lost to me.
Wondering if I’ll ever know again the warmth of a flaming hearth, I wade through the knee-deep snow, suddenly stepping into nothing as the snow closes around me. A cow is screaming across the arroyo.
This bit of flash fiction is my response to Prosery #7: Jim Harrison, presented by Linda at dVerse ~ Poets Pub. With Prosery, the challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction with a 144-word limit. Included in the bit of prose is to be a complete line from a poem. For this prompt, the line to be included is “A cow is screaming across the arroyo.” from Jim Harrison’s “Cow.” My flash fiction also meets the additional challenge of hitting the 144-word mark, exactly.