Red Writing Hood is a weekly meme hosted at The Red Dress Club. I haven’t done this for a while, because I had been so busy. This week's assignment was to write a short piece, either fiction or non-fiction, about something ugly - and find the beauty in it. I don’t know if I quite nailed the prompt but I found it really inspiring and this came out of it.
The cold was cutting through the bones. The trees were creaking, their black, rotting trunks towering up menacingly. The barren branches offered no shelter from the breathing frost whirling sinister mists above the ground. Under a thin layer of snow twisted roots were crawling as snakes.
Infrequent sunrays which pierced through the mists were now and then reflecting from the icy rubies in the creek. The stream was quiet, the water was frozen together with the spots of blood in crimson gleam. A pair of legs was sticking out of the ice, the water half frozen back above where the rest fell in.
Men and horses were scattered on the bank. During the night mud and blood consolidated into a reddish brown rock. A black horse was lying on it side, eyes wide open, guts gushing from its corpse. Another one not far away had a skull split down the middle, legs coiled in their deadly spasm.
The limbs of men on the ground were all unnaturally bent, some almost severed by the sharp blades of the enemies. Two bodies were hung on a nearby tree, their mouths ajar in the eternal last gasp for air. The stained uniforms were stripped of insignias, the faces covered with wounds and dirt, some unrecognizably crushed with heavy boots.
A lock of wheat-coloured hair glistened golden at the touch of light. A young soldier was lying on his back, his broken right hand strangely curved, his uniform bloody on his chest, a long wide cut on his neck, the ground all rusty red underneath him.
His handsome face seemed untainted. The pale skin was flawless, as smooth as ever. His hair was set aside from his face as if someone had just combed them. His eyes were all but closed, sparkling blue behind the eyelashes, as though he had been only pretending to sleep. Fine wrinkles formed round his lips, curved to smile any minute.
But Christopher was gone. A searing pain surged through her body. She abruptly opened her eyes. It took her a while to realise she was in her bed. It was only a dream. She rubbed the tears from her eyes and tried to calm the thudding of her heart. A terrifying thought sent chills down her spine. What if it wasn’t just a dream?