Please, Lord Vader, put me down now so I can finish the critique.
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Commencement – by Alissa
The boy awoke alone in the snow. It was night out and stars illuminated the vast swaths of white that blanketed the earth all around.
Shivering, he sat up and stared. The stars above darkened with a passing cloud and large flakes began to surge from the heavens. Standing unsteadily, the boy reached down and lifted up two handfuls of snow. He gazed at it, dumbfounded. His breath steamed all around him, and slowly the snow melted and trickled through his fingers before he let the watery mess drop. He took one step and his sneakers sank more than a foot into the white powder. Pausing, he looked around again, trying to understand where he was and what had happened. In the distance, he noticed several hazy lights that shown through the white gloom.
Hugging himself and desperately trying to keep warm, the boy slogged through the drifts of snow. The lights were further away than he realized, but he pressed on, eager to be out of the cold. The flurry continued picking up in intensity and the howling wind drove bits of sleet into his face. His clothes grew wet before freezing into layers of brittle ice that cracked as he moved.
Staggering, the boy reached the source of the lights. His mouth dropped open at the sight of a huge, looming castle. Its parapets rose through the swirls of snow, piercing the sky with towers. The windows were crusted with layers of ice.
The boy stumbled as he went up the stone steps to an arched door. Reaching out with a trembling hand, he gripped the metal ringer and weakly broke it free from an icy film before bringing it down on the door with a boom. Some of his bare skin stuck to the metal and ripped off, yet his hand was so numb he barely felt it. Blood dripped down his palm, warm at first but freezing into tiny drops at the tips of his fingers. He felt so cold…. His eyelids began to droop.
Within a few minutes the door groaned open. A gust of warmth touched the boy’s face and he could smell the rich scent of cooking food. A man stood before him and stared at him with shock. The boy pitched forward—his exhaustion and the cold taking their toll. The man caught him and before he fell unconscious, he heard the man call, “My lord! This is a Cuall!”
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