The city slept, and we huddled together to share our warmth. We didn’t have a choice, really. It was either work together or die during the freezing days and nights of winter. We may call the streets our home, but that doesn’t mean we don’t value our lives.
The city slept, and the cold ate into our bones. We felt as stiff and brittle as the buildings across the river looked. Eventually day would come and those offices would warm with the lights and movement of the movers and shakers of the world. We would stay hidden, out of sight, forgotten, but we would be shaking too. We never stopped shaking from October to May.
The city slept, and the river creaked and moaned. We understood how it felt. We intimately knew its complaints for they were ours as well. All year long it was open to receive the whims of the weather. As the chill wrapped itself around us, it blanketed the surface of the river. That too, could mean our death, because we needed the water to survive. Dehydration was every bit as deadly as hypothermia for us.
The city slept and we crept onto the ice with our borrowed shovels. We needed to break through and pull as much water as we could before the ice weakened under our feet. The longer we took, the more likely the hole would refreeze. The more times we had to reopen the hole, the more likely the ice would crack and send us into a watery grave.
None who had been claimed had ever been rescued in time.
We drew straws each morning to determine who would brave the ice.
They risked death to provide us all with life.
When they fell they were celebrated as heroes as best we could.
A small memorial was built.
Words were spoken in their memory.
A round of cheers sent them on them.
And still the city slept.
This was my response to this week’s Once More With Feeling picture prompt. The first thing I thought of when I saw the picture was a backpacking trip I was on years ago where we had to break through ice at a lake we camped at to pump water for our dinner and to refill our canteens… This story flowed from that.
What do you see when you look at the picture? What do you feel?
Write it, link it, post it!