Once upon a frigid night,
Amongst the darkness and jovial cheers,
There lay a young girl.
Her small hands numb with cold;
Her bare feet unfeeling.
A white cloud of frost exhaled with each painful breath.
Within her tiny fists
She clutched a handful of matches
In her meager grip;
Holding onto them quite fearfully.
A grasp slowly weakening with every passing moment…
What she holds is life.
Don’t drop them… Don’t let go;
There’s nothing left. Not anymore.
I am alone…
Another puff of white escapes into the bitter night.
Nobody to help me,
More laughter can be heard from the windows.
The snow lightly falling,
A smile; an idea.
Scratch! A small glow bursts to life in the darkness.
A bit of warmth on this icy night…
Looking to her side, a table emerges.
Laden with roast chicken and pastries galore,
Bachelor Buttons sprouting from the floral tablecloth.
Sulfurous scent permeating the air.
Sizzle… Darkness returns; the festive dinner consumed by nothingness.
Fumbling, she goes for another stick.
Scratch! Another orb of light
To brighten up this cold, silent night.
Now surrounded by a forest of trees;
Sparkling with a rainbow of colors,
Decorated with glass balls of gold, silver, and blue,
She gawks at their beauty.
The warmth of it all
Washing over her shivering, frail form.
Fwooosh! Darkness returns once more; no warmth to be felt.
In her clutched grasp,
With her matches held tight,
She raises her arms towards the foreboding darkness above.
Another smile; the sulfurous fumes still hanging about,
Scratch! A light oh so bright comes forth once again…
Warmth returning life to her numb figure,
Someone long lost steps forth
From the deep darkness into the light.
Somebody very much missed…
“It’s been so long,” she whimpered.
“Please don’t leave me!”
“When this light dies out, please don’t go mother!”
Scratch! Scratch! Scratch!
She hastily went about bringing life to the rest of the dead matches.
Sulfurous smoke engulfed the young child.
A big toothy grin set upon her face;
Suffocating while reunited with her long deceased mother.
A laugh let loose into the frigid night.
Light so bright to be seen as mother and daughter reunite.
Finally, the glow began to fade.
Warmth replaced with bitter winds once more.
Not two, but one happy soul left that little corner of town…
For Black-hooded Death had tricked this innocent soul
With a mirage of the one she yearned for most.
And the Sickle-Wielder had dragged her away to his kingdom;
She belongs solely to him now.
Dawn now approaching, and all was silent.
She lay covered in snow,
Pastel and icy to the touch, but smiling nonetheless…
She froze to death with her bundle of spent matches
Forever stuck into her frosty fists.
She was gone; she wasn’t missed.
“Must’ve tried warmin’ up,” some speculated.
“Those burnt matches tell no lies.”
Nobody turned for another look;
Death was normal,
And it didn’t concern them anyhow.
They would never know of what the young corpse had seen.
That light so bright,
Right before merciful Death snatched her away.