The First

A tale about someone who didn't make it

© 2000 by Skögul

Thanks to Medusa for her help with the translation!

This page was last modified: 2000/03/07

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I'm scared.

Just some more steps and I've made it. I stumble behind a heap of snow and ice, where I simply fall down, and cuddle up in the snow. I bury my nose in the elbow's fold, and tears make my face wet.

I know he'll find me. I've never managed to hide myself. Nonetheless I always do it again, I run away in search of a way out. But sooner or later he overhangs me, and in his eyes I can see that he knows I'll have to die.

I'm the weakest. Maybe thats the way life goes, the strong ones will survive, the weak ones must die. I must die. And sometimes, in the morning, when I open my eyes and find myself this white hell again which at first is only a foreboding through the window, then I don't know anymore why exactly I want to go on living.

The place where I come from is always warm. I can't remember much, but I can remember the warmth. Not even during night it was particularly cold. I also remember when I once watched stars at night. It was on a wide square in a town. The stone-tiles on the ground were warm. In the middle of the night.

Nothing here is warm but my bed, which is just a heap of furs. But I'm always quickly driven into the cold with the other ones, and then I run after them again, through this endless white. Sometimes I hold a hand before my eyes, just to see colour. My hands are usually red or blue from the cold. Sooner or later the icy air almost tears my lungs apart, and I fall down. Then he comes and grabs me by the light shirt I wear. He puts me on my feet and pushes me forwards, step by step, until I reach the destination as well. The others are already waiting, watching me like wolves, this one will die before us, and then my throat narrows.

But I want to live! Why am I here anyway? I didn't want any of this. Athena, a Goddess from Greece. I'm a Catholic. I don't believe Athena is a Catholic. Then I remember the statue, I frequently do. There's a tall tree (an olive tree, a faint voice says), and under this tree stands a little pillar with a little house on top. In the little house there's a woman wearing a blue veil. The woman is smiling, and I always call her mama. I hope my mother has looked like her.

I watch the other boys. One of them is taller than the most, and his hair is like the sun. His eyes look like someone has carved them out of the ice here. I guess I've stared at him, as he raises his gaze and looks back at me. For the first time I don't look away. Something stops me. His gaze is cold as the hell in which I stand, and I can see that he will live. My stomach turns, as I feel that he will be the one who will win the Cygnus Cloth.

He looks away again, and I'm glad as I am scared by this boy who will leave us all behind. Suddenly I know that his fate won't be happy. He will fight until he'll die. I will die immediately. My heart is very quiet, and it amazes me. I'm crying, I only realize it when the drops fall from my nose onto the snow. We had lost since the moment we were kidnapped from home, all of us. Even Hyoga.

The Sensei chases us down the hill again, to the Ice Sea. I run differently from usual, and I know why. My time has come. As we arrive on the ice, I almost at once break into a cleft. I hear it cracking, and suddenly everything is wet and cold. I sink under water. I can see the hole from underneath, I see the others looking down, and although I'm in the water for only a short time, my arms and legs are already numb, I can't move them, I can't save myself anymore. The cold cloaks me like a mantle, and I get tired.

Suddenly a sunbeam shows before me. I lift my heavy eyelids and see Hyoga. He's swimming at my side and reaches out his arm to grab me. I'm only watching him. He can dive here and doesn't die. Does he know, that he'll be the last? His wide, ice blue eyes know simply that he wants to save me. He grabs my arm, but I don't feel anything anymore. As he embraces my body to drag me upwards, my face comes very close to his. I lean my cheek to his and smile. Then it's like sleeping...

Hyoga pulled the boy's slender body on the ice. His hands roamed over the lifeless limbs, in search of warmth, of a sign of life. But the pale face under the tangle of wet, dark brown hair bore death on its features.

-- End --

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