by Beth Harar
Leigh pressed her hands to the wall of ice, watching the inky silhouettes of the barren trees above. Their branches intersected like a puzzle.
Her body was no longer cold. A calm numbness had enveloped Leigh’s skin and she tried, once more, to bang her fists against the ice. The blue water hindered her movement, and though she pushed her arms forward, her fists only made a soft thud when they hit the frozen sheet overhead.
Small bubbles slid from her mouth and popped on the ice. There were few sounds underwater. Leigh had expected to hear the roar of rushing water. Maybe even frantic voices. But there was only muted quiet.
She kicked her legs to stay near the ice and pressed her face against the wall. A strand of hair floated in front of her eyes and, for the first time, she realized her vision was narrowing. Leigh shook her head, the motion sluggish underwater. Screaming, she pushed her palms against the ice.
Not even a fish to watch her die.
Lungs burning, Leigh looked at the sky and tried to remember. Marrying Jack. The smell of Emmy’s hair after a bath. Her mother. Leigh hoped her mother might come to carry her away, into the gray sky, before she sucked the water into her lungs. But those memories grew dim. And her last thought was how she longed to be like the hawk, whose black silhouette circled above.