exposure - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
Melinda's hat was missing, her dark hair plastered wetly against her head. Her clothes were soaking wet, her lips were blue with cold and her teeth chattered. Scratches left by the blackberry canes streaked her young cheeks.
When a loved one was old and sick they would ask for a snow bed. It was the way in those parts. There was no morphine or modern medicine, just the healer and her herbs. Once the request was made it was the law that it must be honoured. The rest of the clan would prepare a feast while the family sung hymns and told stories. They would talk of the afterlife and the sick relative would promise to be waiting for them. Then the feast began, there was music and dance, kisses and hugs. It was a celebration of their life and their passing on out of pain. The community would then walk together into the mountain snow, and carve a bed into a snow drift. There would be many more hugs, more kisses and some tears, then they would be left to die in the cold. They shivered at first, then violently so, then not at all. Their brain shut down as the hypothermia became severe, and then they were gone.
The children had slipped out of doors in the night to build a snowman. They had rushed into the blizzard in only their thin nightdresses and the door had slammed shut behind them. They banged on the door and screamed for help, but none came. There were no neighbours near and their mother was passed out on sleeping pills. They decided to run for the nearest farm, it never seemed that far when they went for Sunday visits. In only minutes they were hypothermic, their lips blue and muscles shaking. It was the local midwife that found them on her way to an emergency call; pale and unconscious. In the emergency room they were warmed slowly, the exposure was severe.
There was a haze around him as every drop of water in the ground fled into the sky. He had been foolish to set off in the midday sun. The heat on his head was making him feel sick and giddy. His lungs felt dry and the sweat that had been pouring down his face had dried up. He could feel the muscles of his legs begin to cramp, the pain brought him to his knees. It was excruciating. He became more dizzy and blacked out onto the side of the road, partially hidden by the yellowing scrub.