• The rink was a calamity of falling bodies, music screaming from the speakers, and the screaching grind of skate on ice. It looked like mortal hell: angels of death swooping over the poor lost souls laying upon the ground, trying to grasp the light and failing. Each fall, hit me hard, like a bullet. I winced as an old man slipped and fell, a young girl crashed into the wall and lay in a heap on the ice, a teenager running into another and landing on top of eachother in a pile of cold flesh and bone. I closed my eyes, trying not to think of all this as I stepped out onto the hellish rink, writing out my death sentence as I did so. The first step, I stumbled and fell, crying out as my knee scraped against the hard ice, causing my ankle to twist a little under the pressure of the tight plastic skates. I looked up, weary and broken, feeling like a lost soul myself, waiting, just waiting for death to take me by hand and lead me to my doom. I closed my eyes, again, taking in a deep breathe and trying to get a hold of myself.
    When I opened my eyes, the ice rink seemed different. The music changed from headpounding and gutwrenching to calm and lovely. I saw a girl fly into the air, twirling and was strangely enticed by the beauty of it. Suddenly, the ice rink had another view to be looked at, one of swans flying gracefully, as their chicks struggled and yearned for the chance when they could fly as well. I bit my lip, mesmerized by the quiet stubborn nature of the fallen, always getting back up when they fell, dreaming, truly dreaming of the day they would be in flight. I looked back down at my own weak knees and realized how much I had tried to give up. But giving up wasn't something that would get you anywhere except lying on the icy floor, waiting for death to grab you and take you away. Giving up was the hell, the dreadfulness that haunted me when I first stepped into the chilly arena. So what would it be: give up or stay strong? Hell or paradise? I stood up with all the determination I could muster and took a trembling glide on the ice, my legs quaking but my head taking full control, so stubborn that I could not break away. I took another glide, my stomach churning but my face glinting with fervor that had never graced me before. I wasn't a body limp on the floor. No, I was a chick opening my wings and taking my first steps. I was ready to fly.