Richard A. Wentworth
On a night of bitter cold, you know the ones, where your bones feel like they are going to shatter?
Our watchman makes his rounds. Step by step, the cold seeps closer; he tries to walk faster but the cold strengthens its grip. He stops to rest—eyes searching for that point of light, that he knows he can find relief from the cold.
One foot starts to twitch, the muscles seizing up. He stretches that foot, but to no use, ‘move man or you will freeze…’
His will is strong, however, when he stretches that foot to take a step, it buckles and he is on one knee. The ground is frozen and irregular; tiny needles probe and penetrate past the jeans and inject the cold into his leg.
A feeling or relaxation—not giving up—an acceptance of what… And that feeling lifts his spirit, a slow tingle that spreads from his knee in all directions. His breathing is shallow—accepting the change.
No light appears nor any flash of his life but a new beginning. He laughs as the cold spreads, consuming the warmth from his body, but he feels no pain. Yes, new warmth spreads into every pore of his body, until the change is complete.
He rises to his feet, and it feels good to stand. A few stretches, moving his body in a regular manner and he feels like a new man. The coldness fades and warmth spreads. He spots the saving lights and starts out, ‘hum, about half a mile and I’m safe.’
Each step carries him closer to salvation, his mind thinks, as he draws near the shack. He can smell the warmth; inner alarms sound in his head and he stops. He cocks his head and surveys the shed. His eyes search until he stops.
With a gentle wave of his hand, the shed, in a shriek, the wood freezes instantly, and a new glow of ice encases the shed. He glares at the shiny shed and a smile radiates.
‘Shrink to pebble size,’ he whispers and before his bewildered eyes, the shed reduces to the size of a small pebble.
He walks slowly to the pebble, nudges it and kicks it away.
His clothing starts to chafe, rubbing in an irritating manor and he starts to remove them. As the skin is exposed to the elements, a surge of power floods through him and he realizes that he…YES… him! Is a new force from nature.