Dark clouds swirled around the snow-capped peaks while the wind-whipped, stinging rain battered my face. It was that time again, when all of us shall be corralled into the one room we all dread, to be picked and chosen or left behind and lost. I mentally prayed that if he stayed behind, I'd stay with him, or maybe we'd both make it through. But luck hasn't been with us.
Luck was never with us.
Something sharp and hard hit my back and I sped up, moving into the center of the group, even though I suffered from a severe fear of suffocation within crowds. It was usually better to fear than to stick up for oneself, I learned. Especially in that time.
A door was opened up ahead, the light from inside the room that illuminated toward us made our futures seem promising and meaningful. But some of us wouldn't make it through the night and because of this we took hold of the bright lie, letting it warm us until were pushed away.
"One at a time." One of them called. He looked kinder than the rest, with softer eyes and relaxed features that welcomed you in. I got one of his beatings once. His appearances fooled me into believing his blows would be easier to take.
I chanced a glance at the peaks in the distance, watching the snow and rain mix into the sleet that stuck to my skin and little clothing I had. I tightened my shawl around my shoulders, breathing in the icy air before stepping into the vast warmth that was known as the room of death. My eyes met his from across the room and when he nodded, his cocky grin absent from his face, I knew something was wrong. His movements should've reassured me, like they usually did but that time they do not.
So I stepped up in line, turned to face the Chooser and prayed harder than I had before.
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