This is a flash-fiction piece I wrote a few weeks ago. Please do not copy.
Death of a Dream
by Cynthia Kimball
She struggled through the storm, the snowflakes striking her like tiny shards, each one leaving a sting behind as though they pierced her skin.
It wasn’t always like that.
There was a time she did not have to walk to and from. There was a time when she wore clothing that actually protected her from the elements. There was a time when she had a future.
Not since… Him.
He was so exciting at first with his devil-may-care attitude and his wild and crazy ideas. She jumped on board, thrilled to do something different, something scary. Her family begged her not to do something so reckless, but she did it anyway.
She turned her back on everyone she knew, burned every bridge, spent every penny to be with him.
And he proved to be everything her parents warned her about. He used her until there was nothing left he needed and then he dumped her off in a city she didn’t know and left, never to be seen again.
That was three years ago.
At first she got odd jobs to make enough money to survive, but then the pain came.
And the illness.
And then state aid.
They took her baby at birth; her one and only gift he couldn’t take, someone else did. They told her it was a boy. She never thought about him or who had him. It was too painful.
And now she had received her final pink slip.
It was over. There was no use trying to pretend otherwise. There was no chance of a job. No chance of friendships as she did not trust enough to accept any if offered.
It just wasn’t worth pretending any more. Dreams were for others.
She pushed open the wooden door, slamming it against the storm. Not that it mattered.
The shack she lived in had no insulation, no protection from the elements. When she found it last summer, it felt like a godsend. A place nobody cared about that she could live and not have to worry about paying rent.
Now she knew it was her tomb. Wrapping her ratty sweater around her, she huddled in the only corner where there weren’t holes in the wood and listened to the wind whistle around her.
Her stomach gurgled, but she ignored it. Since him, she had learned what going hungry was truly about.
Shaking against the cold, she stared into nothing. No thoughts entered her head, for dreams were for other people.
She would never dream again. Some might call her stupid to lie out and freeze to death, but for her, it seemed the most likely solution to her problem.
No more pain.
Warmth began to enter her and she sighed as the sting of the cold receded.
No more injections.
She curled up and laid her head against the wall.
No more dreams.
She closed her eyes for the last time.