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The Winter Winds

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In the stillness a single snowflake fell from the black sky above, coming to a stop in the palm of her hand. She smiled slightly at the object, alone in this world, just like her. She supposed she should be able to feel the cold right now. She'd lost that feeling long ago.
Such feelings belonged to her past now.

She let her smile widen, as she stared up into the churning black sky, watching as one by one more little bits of white drifted to the ground, covering the world in an eerie coat of white. She marveled at the snow, just as she had so many times in her very short life. She danced, spinning intricate circles as she watched the colors of the world give way to a monochrome palette of white ground against a black sky. Her dance carved intricate patterns in the freshly fallen snow, until finally with a sigh she fell to the ground, lying on her back to stare once more at the sky above.

As she watched the snowflakes fall like stars escaping the heavens, her mind wandered back in time, thinking of snowfalls in years long since past. She remembered her last snowfall. It all felt so long ago.

She remembered the cold embrace of the winter air, and the roar of the wind as it smashed each flake against the ground, turning the air into a flurry of white. And she remembered how happy she'd been. She remembered how she'd run into the snow with her brother, grinning as he chased her down the street. But it was so cold, she remembered, so very, very cold. And she had run so far to stop her brother hitting her with snowballs. But it was so hard to see. The snow, falling fast and hard, had covered her tracks, and no matter how hard she'd tried she just couldn't see...
Most of all she remembered her father's face when he finally found her that night.

She sat up in the snow, the distant memories too painful to bare. She got to her feet, brushing the white powder from her shoulders, and slowly traced the intricate lines she'd cut in the snow, carefully following each bend and curve. Slowly but surely she retraced each one until finally like bread crumbs they led her back home. From the street she could see the lights inside. Her father sat at his desk, working away, while her brother and mother talked on the couch. From his desk, his father turned to the window. She smiled again, waving from the street.

For that moment time seemed to stand still. The snow now fell so slowly it barely seemed to be moving at all. She stared up at it once more, watching it drift to the ground. She closed her eyes, her smile widening one last time.
Then she vanished back into the cold winter wind.



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