Arts & Culture

Black Snow, Ashen Skies

Raven ran. She didn’t stop, even though the cold wind bit her flushed, red cheeks. Shouts and hate-filled yells lingered behind her. Her crisp, ivy eyes were stark against her ebony locks, which she brushed out her pale visage. She passed by the tall oaks whose huge trunks seemed black against the blinding white snow. Oh Jake, where are you when I need your comforting and protecting arms?

She always was an outcast among the villagers; her gothic appearance appalled them, and she was very quiet. Now they were trying to drive her out, saying she had evil intentions and was a witch due to her looks and actions. True, I’m odd. But I would never . . . She tripped and fell onto the powdery snow, but quickly scrambled up. She had to keep running. She had to, or she would die by their dirty, greedy hands. Until she reached the mist. They would never dare go in there. It’s a risk, but only until Jake and Melissa find me again. I’m an outcast, and I have to use my skills to survive against them.

Raven stopped at the edge. A lone bird call broke the heavy silence as she stared into the promising, silver mist before her. Her dress whipped around her slim legs and the shouts that had been faint grew louder. She slowly turned to face them, the wind picking up her short bangs. They all saw her confident grin as they slowed and halted.

“She wouldn’t dare . . .” they murmured among themselves. She glanced at them once more—pain and hope filled her green iris.

Fools, they can never outwit me or Jake or Melissa. We are too smart and skilled in the ways of the forest. Try if they might, we will win. She heard soft footsteps from behind the hazy veil and exhaled. She stepped forward, then vanished behind the fog.

It was all like a dream to leave the village behind. Raven felt a small voice urging her to go back, but it was snuffed out as a new hope arose in her soul. She stumbled her way through the haze until the pale, cold sunlight broke through the dead branches. Raven stopped to catch her breath. The seemingly cold, lifeless forest showed before the shivering teen’s pale, peeping eyes.

Raven slid down to the ground and wrapped her thin, black-sleeved arms around her bony knees. Raven heard running footsteps and knew Jake and Melissa had arrived. A new life huh? That’s what we promised each other so long ago. Raven inhaled and stood as a boy and girl her age came into view. They stopped, and silence fell over them. They just stood there, smiling at each other. Children of the Dark Forest.



The smell of sweet snow and choking smoke

Who knew?

Raven gazed down silently at the quiet forest. The evergreens were heavily weighted down by piles of plush powdery substance, and the ground was covered in its white cloak. The air was bitterly cold, biting at any exposed skin.

Raven’s dark, shadowy eyes lifted their gaze from the sleeping forest to a pillar of grey cloud rising to the gloomy sky. Sparks and embers flew in-between the haze and screams rose. Heat radiated and clashed heads with the bitter North Wind plowing through the evergreens.

Raven watched the village scurry around like chickens without heads. She shook her head. They never seemed to have heads in the first place. Why didn’t they know a bonfire of that size was bound the destroy them? Raven sighed in annoyance as she thought back to where they had tried to warn the poor, thoughtless villagers.

That ended in chaos. At first, the villagers were frightened when the trio returned to the outskirts of the forest to meet them. It had been a year since Raven left them, so they thought the village was safe. They had forgotten that the teens were free to roam. The village was dead silent as the trio walked towards the square where the Council sat.

Melissa had tried to convince them of the dangers of fire, but they harshly spoke against them. Jake also persisted and again was shot down. Then Raven knew she had to try. Raven took a different approach; she tried to show them how out of control fire was. However, the wind was against them, and he blew out the little flames Raven lit.

So, they had to return to the dark, tall trunks of their forest home. They had agreed not to help the villagers if the bonfires did get out of control. “They don’t listen, we won’t either,” Jake exclaimed. Melissa nodded as did Raven. They never did anyway.

That was yesterday, and now the trio watched with grim faces as the fires ate away homes and livestock. The North Wind blew more life into the fires, and they licked the air with its foul fumes. The cloud cover had thickened, except for a single patch above the ridge. It revealed the full moon above. Melissa looked up and stood, gazing at the bright blue moon. Jake remained where he was, basking in its pale light. Raven felt its pull and grinned.

Raven turned around, starting the pale face with the others. Her wolf tooth necklace began to shake and tremble. Melissa smiled softly, and Jake rubbed his hands together. Raven fell to her knees and gasped. Slowly, claws, large furry ears, and a long furry tail appeared on their black, cloaked bodies. Raven’s grey eyes turned a bright amber color, and her canine teeth grew bigger and stronger. Slowly, the necklace and the moon took over them.

The deed was done. Three wolves sat on the ridge, howling at the blue moon above. The villagers heard their song and stopped, panic rising slowly. “It’s them! Run!” Raven, now a blue wolf, snarled at her companions. They snarled back, and they bounded down the ridge, intent towards the village.

It’s time.


We are free under these ashen skies.


About the Author:

Name: Faith Pawley

Age: 14, almost 15


How many years have you attended TPS?

I’ve attended TPS for 3 years.


What classes are you taking?

I am taking English 2, Chemistry, Geometry and Spanish 1.


What are a few of your hobbies?

Oh, I have tons! Writing is the top one for me with reading a close second. I enjoy dance and cooking as well. Those are to name a few.



  1. Thank you so much! I was honored to have my short story posted here. *grins*

    I have a ton of other stories on my blog so please feel free to email if if you want to access my blog of musings.

  2. Yay Faith this is awesome!

  3. yaaaayy!!!!! This was one of my favorite stories on the old forums!! 😀

  4. Love the description! <3 It's got a dark feeling……good job!