The Price, Part 1

The Price, Part 1

A Story by Runo N. Savel

This is just Part 1 of the story. More to come!


There is something truly beautiful about a nighttime snowfall in the city. As you look up into the sky, you can see the artificial lights all around reflect on each natural snowflake. It is almost as if each snowflake rejects the light that we make. They know better than to allow our light, the artificial light of man, to overcome them. I have to applaud the snowflake for its efforts. To defy the piercing interests of man and stay faithful to nature is a difficult task. We tell ourselves we strive to be natural, to rid ourselves of that which is artificial or fake. Most of us, however, fail. We do not reflect the light of the city as the snowflake does. We absorb the artificial light. It becomes a part of us. Thus, we reflect no light. The light stays within us, not to be shown to anyone. We, then, appear dark and barren. We are, then, forced to watch as the snowflakes among us show their reward for defending their natural beauty.

I collected my things and prepared to leave the office for the night so I could appreciate the beauty of the snowfall as I walked home. I turned off my computer, left my office, and closed the door. I looked back at the brazen plate on my door: L. Felix Colobert, Esquire. Every time I looked at my name upon the door, I would remember just how lucky I was. I had a very well-paying job with a lot of success as a corporate attorney. I seemed to make most of my clients happy, which is difficult to do in the corporate world. Everybody sues everybody, really, so it is difficult to make anybody happy. Nonetheless, I seemed to manage. I was gracious for the work I did, and the success that I had in my life. Thinking about my successes made the walk home enjoyable. That night, too, was the added enjoyment of a light snowfall. I left the building amidst laical complaints about the snow and commutes that just about everybody left in the office made.

I stepped out into the night, gazed at the snowfall for a moment, and then proceeded down Aurelius Street towards my home on Swapnil Street. I found myself more amazed at the beauty of the snowflakes that night. I really had no idea what was any different about this particular snowfall, but the snowflakes that were falling seemed to be of a higher degree of beauty than had produced any snowfall that I had previously witnessed. When I arrived at my apartment, I stood outside for a minute or two, still gazing at the falling snowflakes. I smiled, and walked into my apartment.

Silence. If there were nothing else my apartment could provide me, it was silence. I had lived alone for twenty or so years, so I had become accustomed to the silence my home provided me. I encountered a lot of miscellaneous noises in the office, some more pleasant than others. Occasionally,  the utterance of a “thank you” from a client would be of the more pleasant variety. Nonetheless, it was nice to come home and hear nothing but the background noise of the urban environment. It allowed me to relax. It was nice to come home from work, make my dinner, attend to a few household duties, and eventually head to sleep, all in silence and in solitude. I did wonder every now and then what it would have been like to not live alone, but I found solace in the silence every time those thoughts would come.

That night, though, I felt something different. The silence did not feel as comforting as it usually would. I turned on the radio to try to create some additional background noise. This felt alright for a few minutes, but soon I again felt slightly unsettled. Despite this, I went about my usual nightly activities around the apartment, until I started hearing a tapping sound. It sounded almost like raindrops. I looked outside the window to see if perhaps the snow had switched to rain, but I still saw only snowflakes. The tapping grew louder. I walked to the door to see if anyone was there, but that was not the source of the tapping. The tapping now turned into almost banging. The banging happened more and more rapidly and with more and more volume each second. I stood in the middle of my living room blocking my ears, looking around frantically. I ran to my bedroom and shoved my head between the pillows while facing up. I looked to the skylight above my bed, and could see the snow falling. Each time a snowflake would hit my skylight, there would be a piercing banging noise erupting from the skylight. I lay there in fear. I turned to my side with the pillows still covering my ears, and attempted to fall asleep. This is some crazy dream thing, I thought. There was really no way I could make any sense out of what was happening, so that thought was the only one that made close to any real sense. The banging eventually faded in both volume and in tempo, and I was able to fall asleep.

© 2014 Runo N. Savel

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Added on August 6, 2014
Last Updated on August 6, 2014


Runo N. Savel
Runo N. Savel

Manchester, NH

"What words do you not yet have? What do you need to say?" -Audre Lorde more..