Slowly the man trudged through the snow, with each step becoming more staggered. The winds shrieked at a near deafening volume. He could barely make out the black tree bark surrounding and the white snow as night began to fall. He might as well be wearing nothing, as his thick fur clothing seemed to offer little protection against this bitter cold. The numbness in his limbs continued grow to the point where you could cut them off and he wouldn’t notice. Finally, under assault of the relentless winds, he collapsed by a tree. His vision became cloudy and all feeling left his body neck down. It was over. Jean-Louis, the most feared man in the frontier, was now due to succumb to some cold weather.
It was almost comical to know he’d go down like this. A life full of danger, excitement, and plunder coming to an end due to his own stubbornness. He ignored the warnings of his better judgement and was now destined to freeze out here, for what? He couldn’t even remember. His mental stamina seemed to slip away as fast as his physical feeling. He struggled to think. His vision continued the blurr. He wanted to yell out but his lips were clasped shut by the ice. Then barks the trees began to shift color. From their natural dark brown, to dark green, to blue, pink, red, and on and on.
Then, somehow through screams of the wind, he heard what sounded like voice. At first he brushed it off as nothing, but he heard even closer. It sounded familiar but he still couldn’t be sure. Again the voice repeated itself and he could it began to make out. It was français, feminine but ragged and metallic, as if someone were shaking a box of nails. It sounded… it sounded like his mother. He almost didn’t recognize it at first. The last he spoken to his mother was… maybe 10 years ago? Not since he had left the east. 20 maybe? But then again, his mother had a very distinctive voice; she sounded like was chewing rocks whether she spoke English or French.
His mother was always so good to him; she tried to get him whatever he wanted even with what little they had. It was even worse when papa became ill. He wish he had stayed. He was young and arrogant, wanted adventure, so he left his family to go he west. He made up lies for himself that he would somehow get enough money to go help is father. But it’s too late for that now. Now it’s over. He will die by this tree.