The winter’s snow arrived in droves, immigrants from the firmament’s coldness that settled in the streets below, clumping and bundling too closely together. The people were beleaguered, unable to occupy what was once so openly theirs, for it had been taken and seized by the indifference of the skies, watching with a stoic gaze that was never wavering or submitting to the despair below. Some weren’t fortunate, the city was littered with a disenfranchised people, watching alone and afraid. They felt no pain, though. Pain was the everyday anesthetic, dulled from their existence and numbing them to plight. Plight harried them not, nor frost, nor heat, nor pestilence, nor the self-interest of those who abandoned them on those streets. As was what happened to their dreams.
Those in the buildings, scurried away around the fires of their hearth, the warmth of civility, were sheltered from the cold. They had their lives. Their dreams were secure within those walls. Their ambitions were feasible still. They weren’t the ones who were being buried by the heavens in the freezing indifference of the world, who had given up begging for salvation, for salvation was nary interested in derelicts. Men, women, and children, victims of grievous circumstance watched the life retreat from their fingers, the torn up mittens hoarding snow in their hands, and they watched as did their warden. They had cried before. They had wept rivers of tears that washed away their vitality and their possessions, watching as others had fished them for their own boasting privilege. They had nothing to their name, for they did not even have their own name. They had been robbed of their tears and hadn’t even their own emotions to waste on something so frivolous as their own misery. What did it matter?
For a moment, they remember, the eldest ones, as they were before the dismay of their existence. The youngest ones did not have that mental iron maiden, that mental torture scalding their minds with the fixation of present awfulness, and for that they were both blessed and damned. The eldest ones, though, thought back to the fancies of a carefree mind they once had, the ambitions of someone who reached out before them to grasp the world in their hand but now couldn’t even move their fingers from frostbite. The dreams played out in brilliant color, the memories with honey-drenched music, and the faces beamed with affection. Now, the saw no colors. They were surrounded by silence and the dead whimper of a fire. Every face they saw was resigned and beaten. Beaten by the world that had cheated them out of their dreams. Whether they were cheated, they cheated themselves, or they simply fell was no longer important. They were dying now. How they had arrived was a memory, as bitter and cold as the snow about them. It was a memory that would be buried with them and one that the world would forget even before then, if not already.
The youngest ones, sadly, had no downfall for there was never a triumph to launch them into civility. What they saw now was the mundane agony that afflicted their whole life. They knew nothing more. They were hardened or they were dying, as was the tragedy in which childhood was shot on impact by the disfavor of the world. If God existed for them, he existed as does a dream does, a hopeful apparition that would carry them into an unknown world where they would cease to suffer, not as the entity that had woefully tied them to death’s savage boar. Those who were fortunate enough to do so latched onto the feigned security of their family. They are all scared. Nevertheless, the parents have to remain strong for their children. It would be selfish to cry. Granted, if they could anymore. Though, those who bothered to check on them, to take a moment to look away from their own vapid problems amidst a beautifully lit room of where shadows dance to Bach and Debussy, would cry for them. It is one thing to watch someone die in chaos, but another thing entirely to watch someone be buried alive so peacefully, accepting of their fate.
Then, as one of the children looked up at that glowing apartment window and met the gaze of the man, he turned away in guilt and so ravaged by it he closed the window to shut him off. It wasn’t too late, but he couldn’t find it in him to do anything. It would be irrational to do so. So he just cried instead.