NCLA New Writing: A extract from ‘The Christmas Fawn’ by Gavin Hetherington
Snow laminated the horizon. I watched as the sky mourned white tears and left my neighbourhood frozen in time. Shards of light reflected from the gleaming glass surfaces of car windows. It created a spectacle of dancing light free from inhibition and judgement over the river of ice that formed a new road. I wished I were a river.
It was my favourite time of year. Snow. Carols. Delicately decorating the house with counterfeit perfection as if hiding something beneath. Everything always looks plain and boring until you put some tinsel on top of it. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple; like the rainbow found its way into the living room and infected the very fabric of the things my family hold dear. At least that’s how my family treat it; like an unwanted infection. If they come too close, they just might catch it.
As I kept an eye on the street outside, I noticed some of the people of the village hurry toward their homes as if they heard my innermost thoughts. If I could, I would unburden myself of my clothes, run outside, scream at the top of my lungs and dance in the snow. How freeing would that feel? I’d have to be courageous. I’d have to stop caring about what the world thinks of me and just let it go.
Sparkling gems continued to fall harshly as I placed my hand on the glass of the living room window. I pressed hard, allowing the cold to seep through my skin, sending shockwaves of shivers around my entire body. It was nice to feel something, to contrast the burning heat from the fire within the house with the calm quiet beauty of the cold outside.
Lines of hostile houses lay confined in their boundaries, separating each family with a fence and an unspoken rule – you are not welcome on my property. Further down the street the edge of a forest is visible, allowing future escape to a more welcoming town beyond the riot of deeply rooted trees. They all looked the same – tall, emotionless and far too daunting to pass. Again, I would need to be courageous to even consider freeing myself to pass through the crowd without getting punched and pounded. They stood proud and obnoxious, ignorant and strong. At that moment, the light that managed to escape the bloated clouds shone on the bare trees as if even God approved.
A happy couple were the first to break the serenity of the scene. Walking hand in hand, they laughed and kissed, unafraid of the frost and welcoming to the clean air. They possessed everything I ever wished for. The longer I spend in this house, the more my dreams and aspirations will freeze. Out there I’ll be free to be me. All I would have to do is open the door and walk out.
About the author:
Gavin Hetherington is a Readers’ Favourite Book Award-winning author of ‘Abyssal Sanctuary: Remnants of the Damned’, published in 2013, and a journalist for SpoilerTV. Gavin currently studies English Literature with Creative Writing at Newcastle University.