River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Close to Death

June 2002

That sinking feeling you get after Christmas

January 2nd: The cold frosty weather was not on Sam 's side as she heaved this year's Christmas tree over her right shoulder; her destination the little Christmas tree's once beautiful place of birth.

A great white duvet of soft sugary snow covered the world. There were dazzling blue icicles hanging from every ledge possible and the road was dusted with speckles of ice which made the road slippery beneath Sam's old walking boots. It made her stumble now and again. Her breath was chilling and every time she breathed a mist appeared, the dew on Sam's hair had frozen over and her lips had started turning a light shade of blue.

Sam had finally arrived at the mouth of the evergreen wood, she stood frozen and in deep thought for a while... there wasn't a single person any ware to be seen... she was alone and behind her she could see that she had left hollow foot prints which were quickly filling with the new falling snow. Sam followed by the tree continued onwards through the snowy evergreens. The track was long and hard so Sam decided to take a quick detour off the path in front of her were some dunes Sam decided to attempt to go through them... but what she thought a good idea at the time ended up the worst idea that she had ever made (now those who know Sam know that she is NOT the most stupid person ever). Sam had only walked a little way through these dunes when she realized that she was... SINKING! Before she could do anything she couldn't even see her boots any more!! She had to do something, and quickly! All she new she could possibly do is move swiftly and tries not to panic (if it's actually possible, in her situation it seams pretty hard not to, well come on if you knew that you had an 8% chance of being swallowed up by a clump of deadly DUNES! ... I would be petty panicky if I was her!)

She could do it the easy way and get out while she could and leave the tree to sink but those who know her will know that she is also one stubborn woman! Sam, acting quickly, decided to lie on top of the sinking dunes; spreading her weight evenly thus making herself lighter. Despite the fact that it was the middle of a cold winter she felt a small trickle of sweat run down her forehead. She was too young to die! She felt petrified. If she died here now no one would find her and no one would know how she had died. She would be completely alone and very dead! I must try and think positively (Sam is usually very good at this!) "It drives me mad!" To keep her spirits up she told herself that in time to come she would look back and laugh about it!

Sam swung one arm... heaved along then ...swung her other arm... heaved along.., then she had to grab hold of the little tree and swing it over the marshy dunes. She tried to keep to this routine but her whole body felt sticky with sweat, her emotions racing... Sam had to keep going... she couldn't stop... she felt hot... and sick, the world was spinning but she kept going. All of a sudden, just as she told herself that she was going to give up all hope, her hand touched the Ledge of the end of this torment and pain. Sam had reached the end of the drowning dunes; it was finally all over and she pulled herself and the little evergreen up and out! There she lay, a pile of exhaustion and fright on the cold fluffy snow! She huffed and she puffed, breathing heavily Sam planted the tree! Ready for next year (it will be so lucky!!!)

Briony Boykew

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