The Tower Journal

  Marja Hagborg


   The Girl with Eyes Grey Like a Mourning Sky

       The girl’s skin was white like the snow she was surrounded by, her hair was dark like the deep woods around her, and her eyes were gray like the mourning and tearful sky above her. Hunger had made her hands tremble while she was pressing a rifle, her only companion and protector, closer to her body. She heard her own intense heartbeat in her head.

       Her family had left her alone, told her to stay in the house in the woods while everybody else tried to escape the evil, not knowing where to go. The enemy could be your neighbor or even your own brother.

       The civil war knew no rules and had no logic; it killed like a rabid dog with a foaming mouth and blind eyes. The only emotions in a war like this were hatred and rage; fear and despair of those who felt God had forsaken them.

       Stream of blood was flowing in the cities and towns; blood was staining the virgin snow in the villages. Cruelty and insanity ruled the country where also innocents were slaughtered like animals.

       The girl, with eyes gray like the mourning sky, barely in her teens, forced by hunger, had killed a hare. The violently red blood stains in the snow and the hare’s soft white fur were symbols for the struggle of the voiceless and powerless. A hungry girl with a rifle had interrupted the hare’s run.

       The sound of the gun shots had pierced the peace and silence of the woods, echoed for a moment, then continued into the eternity. It was quiet again and the only sound a human ear could hear was the wind playing in the treetops.

       A curious raven with black shiny eyes was watching the girl carrying the hare’s lifeless body, walking slowly and laboriously in the deep snow toward the house. The lonely house, with blind and lifeless windows, gave the girl shelter from the cold winter and insanity of the world.

       The girl, shivering and exhausted, made a fire in the fireplace. Then she cried.

Copyright © 2016 Marja Hagborg


Marja Hagborg is a Scandinavian-born writer/artist who received her MFA from University of Gothenburg, Sweden. She studied creative writing at Northwestern University and screenwriting at Chicago Dramatists in Chicago. She lives with a Viking husband and twin cats in Chicago and writes mostly very dark short fiction.

The Tower Journal
Winter 2016