Marble Horses | Teen Ink

Marble Horses

December 4, 2008
By Anonymous

A combination of frosted air and cigarette smoke emanated into the air as Elise tossed down her cigarette. It then disappeared underneath her shoe. She sat on a fountain at the park, every day after school, to have her ritual smoke. The fountain was of sovereign marble horses galloping. The fountain reminded her of herself, in the sense that she too had longed to run free but was trapped in marble.
It was around 4:30 when it started to snow. She knew her mother was probably wondering where she was by then. Her mother always worried about where she was at all times, where she was going, and for how long. She hadn’t always been like that. Only when Elise's father went to war, did she become uneasy. Then it just got worse when he didn't come home. Eight months had gone by since her father left to fight. Two since the men pounded on the front door saying he wasn't going to come back home.
Elise's toes shivered now as she walked on the hard concrete path to her home, if you could even call it that anymore. She pulled out her pack of cigarettes from the pocket in between the liners of her tattered jacket. She stuck the last one in her mouth, then paused a moment to light it. She thought it funny how inhaling was her release, almost ironic in a way. Nearly the same way she felt it ironic that she was stuck in the same place, like her horses, although she was not composed of marble.
At that instant, with another drag of her cigarette, she turned her body around and started walking back towards the fountain. Slowly, calmly, and with serenity, she glided through the frosted air of Berlin. Nearing her fountain, she first threw her cigarette to the ground next to her, stomped on it, then looked up at the marvelous horses. Still stuck, their eyes met and Elise felt her belt was too tight. She unbuckled it, and wrapped it around the tallest horse's snout. After exhaling warm air into her hands to heat them up, she then started to climb up the frozen statue. Reaching the top of the shortest horse, she stood up straight and tall, and stared at the world with disdain. A tear reached her quivering lip, and she wiped it away quickly. She plucked the hair tie off her wrist and pulled her hair out of her face and to the back of her head. "As of this moment," she shouted "I quit cigarettes, for good!" Then placing her leather studded belt over her head and against her neck, Elise took her last breath of shivering air and lunged herself off the marble marvel that was to be no longer confined.

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