The ground was cold, but she didn't feel it on her bare feet. The tattered dress hung loosely from her thin shoulders, draping a thin body. Wild black hair whipped around her face, carried by the harsh winds of winter.
The trail she'd made in the snow behind her was deep, sinking down at least a foot, but she kept trudging forward, eyes vacant, unaware of her destination. She only had to keep walking and move on.
The sky gradually lightened, but the girl kept walking, not noticing that her toes had frozen, since she could no longer feel them, she did not care.
She shook her arms out a bit and then went back to hugging herself, trying to maintain any body heat that may not have escaped.
Her eyes cut the to the side, movement in the trees beside her had caught her attention. A lone wolf stood to the side of a evergreen, staring back at her.
She stopped for a moment to stare back at him. He snarled at her, sensing the cloud of death around her.
"You know, don't you?" she whispered. Placing her focus back in front of her, she continued to march forward.
The wolf stared at her for a moment longer, then scampered back off into the woods to join up with his pack.
A cold gust blew up around her and she shuddered, clutching her body even tighter. She was so tempted to turn back, back to the warmth of civilization and the hospital.
But it was so close to the end, she could feel the disease eating at her body and the winter wilderness would only speed up her oncoming demise.
She looked down at the dried blood on her arm; the IV had made quite a mess when she'd torn it from her arm. The hospital had been nearly dead at midnight, and she used her opportunity to sneak out.
The lone nurse at the desk had gone on a coffee break and the others were standing in another patient's room while he'd thrown at fit about how cold it was. Her unruly neighbors had often irritated her, but she'd counted on the old man's outbursts for her escape.
So, she tiptoed out into the silent hallway, praying she'd make it to the elevator before anyone noticed.
She pressed the button for the down arrow and held her breath, waiting. The light flashed on and presented her with a loud ding, causing her to wince.
The doors slid open and she let out her breath in a sigh of relief to find that it was empty. Hurrying inside, she pressed the button for the main level and sank back against the wall as the elevator began to carry her down.
They always made her sick to her stomach, and in her current condition, that was not a good thing.
The main level was empty as well, save for a janitor, but she kept her head down, noticing that he'd given her a strange look as she'd passed him.
The lady at the front desk was busy on the phone, but she got down on her hands and knees and crawled around the desk anyway.
She was almost to the doors. She'd have to get up and sprint, since the woman at the desk would look up when they opened.
And that's what she did.
She kept on running, for at least half a block, and stopped to catch her breath.
No one was following her. Good, she told herself, but was also slightly disappointed. It had been easier than she'd thought.
She wasn't going to die in that decrepit old place, she assured herself. She'd die in her favorite place in all of Alaska.
It was a cliff, overlooking a great lake that a glacier must have carved out years ago. She was close, now she could see that she had only a few more miles.
The sun had risen above the horizon, shining down on her with minimal warmth, but it was enough to keep her going. She had to see it one last time…
The lake was breathtakingly beautiful. The blue water shone like diamonds when the ray of sunlight hit it just right. Lush pine and evergreen trees sprung up from around the rocks and sharp cliffs, cloaking the area in green.
Her toes hung off the cliff and she looked down, a content smile on her pale face.
"Maybe they can bury me here," she shrugged, sliding her feet off the ledge. She never reached the ground…