I found myself in the land where it always snows: a thousand snowflakes tumbling down to mingle with the blanket of white.
The trees that surrounded me creaked in the chilled wind. I heard the crack of their twigs as they snapped under pressure. The tree trunks themselves found it difficult to stay rooted down. They had become a dirty silver from the ice that had frosted them over. Their great arms were weighted with the massive pointed icicles. If I listened closely, I would have heard the trees’ pleas for the warmth they would never receive.
My eyes strayed towards the door of which I had come from, situated on top of the white hill. I could return any time I liked, but I could never enter this world again. My first thought was that this would not be so bad. I was cold and every bone in my body had begun to ache. However, the other part of me thought that there must be something in this world worth seeing – whether it be a mountain of gold or exotic food.
At the thought of food, an animal came into sight. If I was not so hungry I probably would not have noticed. It was the same white as the virgin snow that lay was around me. Only its wide amber eyes gave it away.
I laid down flat on the ground, crawling on my stomach towards the animal innocently grazing. As I got closer I realised it looked very much like a pig with the ears of a bunny and the paws of a dog. In some ways it was a beautiful creature, but for me it was dinner. Like a tiger, I pounced.
It squealed and whined as I landed on top of it. Surprisingly, it failed to defend itself. It was dead in minutes, blood pooling on the white ground around us. I stood up and brushed the snow of my coat.
The crimson liquid looked strange when it mixed with the white. Then the smell hit me. It was sweet and alluring. I bent down and licked it. It was the opposite of the metallic taste I expected. The blood had the texture of honey and was saccharine. My eyes filled with animalistic greed and fixed onto the corpse. Without bothering to skin it or remove any of its organs, I began feasting on its flesh.
I noise nearby startled me. My animal instinct kicked in and I hid behind the closest tree. The noise belonged to the same species of the creature I had just eaten. Only this one was much larger. With a stab of guilt I realised the animal I slaughtered was merely a child. The sound of the big animal’s howls echoed my devastation.
All this pain and shame became too much for me. I turned to flee from this isolated beauty, which was impure with the death of nature. I ran straight towards the door held up only by its doorframe. I flung myself towards it and tried desperately to twist the frozen knob.
The last words of the previous door-opener sounded in my head. “But dare ye not destroy the balance of nature in whichever world you visit, because if you do, you may never return. The door will remain locked to you forever.”
I tried with all my might to turn it, but it would not budge. I was stuck here. Forever.