Snow Retold: An Austin Story

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    The bus arrived in the evening, creaking to a stop. Doors clanked open to let out a group of people wearing long coats of various colors. The last girl to step out was different. She made her way down the steps her boots clicking the metal until they met the snow on the sidewalk. She wore a dark denim jacket with various iron on patches on the breast pockets, a flannel button up that contrasted the dark denim with red, and boot cut jeans a lighter tint than the jacket. She reached into the breast pocket of her jacket, retrieving a cigarette. She clasped her lips around it.
    Her lips maintained a deep red even in the freezing weather. Her skin was pale, matching the snow, but only complemented the jet black of her hair which was mostly under a knit cap. She sighed heavily her breath clearly seen.
    Finding her lighter she cupped her hand around it, holding it to the paper wrapped stick and flipped the switch creating a flame. After the the cigarette was burnt to her liking she returned the lighter to its pocket and smiled. It had been a long bus ride from the concrete kingdom of Queens, New York where she was placed in the foster system after her parents’ deadly car crash.
    But now she was free. She had saved up money whenever she could, and now was in Austin, Texas. Still, she began to walk away from the bus stop with a little skip in her step. She spent the evening walking around the town. Eventually she found a series of bars and shops and made herself at home in a large box next to a dumpster, having nowhere else to go. She didn’t sleep well throughout the night in the cold and damp box.
    At the break of day Austin began to buzz as stores and eateries opened. The girl was stirred when the door next to the dumpster flung open revealing a stout man carrying bags of trash over his shoulder. The woman rolled around in her box, catching the stout man’s attention. He let out a labored sigh. Waking her up she tensed up and apologized for her residence in his garbage.
    The stout man looked at her, deducing she was no older than 16 and that she very clearly broke, he welcomed her into his bar. As she walked in she looked up to see a chalkboard sign over the taps that read “The Seven Dwarves Bar and Grillin’” Back in the kitchen, the man began to prepare a traditional Texas breakfast. The stout man finished preparing the meal and made two plates for them of the breakfast and moved to the bar to sit and eat. After talking for an hour or so the stout man took the plates and washed them telling the woman that he had a spare bedroom in the apartments upstairs and offered her a job in the bar. The woman very happily accepted this offer.
    Several weeks passed and the woman was enjoying working at the bar. She had made friends and every night she went to bed and slept well. The woman began to go out with friends, enticed by the various pleasures and experiences Austin had to offer.
    After a couple of months, the woman had lost a fair amount of weight. Her skin sunk in and she had a more vacant look behind her eyes. One night she had bought a corset dress. It was a beautiful black with red stitching and lace that complemented her pale complexion, but it was extremely small. One night, upon going out, the woman had tightened it enough that she could barely breathe. After dancing at the club one night she fainted from lack of air.
    Found and carried back by the stout man, he cut the lace of the dress freeing the woman’s lungs to breathe. Upon regaining consciousness, the woman frustrated the stout man had ruined her dress and stormed off to her friend’s house. There her friend offered her a drug she had not heard of. The woman being familiar with drugs, using them to lose weight, gladly accepted the concoction. It was not long after that the woman began to see odd things.
    After a while the woman felt bugs crawling under her skin. In a panic, she looked for anything to dig the out. She grabbed a comb and began to use it to dig the bugs out. She worked on her arm for an hour before her friend called the stout man and his wife to come help. The couple arrived in time to sedate the woman and tend to her wounds before she did any permanent damage to herself.
    Hung over the next day the woman made her way to the house of a boy she had been seeing. He wasn’t kind to her and upon her arriving at his door he began to yell at her for going out without him. The argument continued for an hour before the boy grabbed a nearby apple to throw at the woman. The woman deciding to try and make an escape made it halfway out the door before the boy had picked up the apple and hit her across the back of the head with it. The apple burst and the woman fell down the steps in front of his door.
    The stout couple were walking to the store when they saw this happen. The stout man saw this and immediately ran over and beat the boy senseless before helping the woman to the hospital. Unconscious from the fall the woman lied in the bed as the doctors examined her.
    Every day the stout couple would visit and look at the woman through the glass coffin of the examination room waiting for woman to awake.

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