Page 14

MICHAEL KELLY

T

he snow spoke to me today. It wasn’t a soft, conspiratorial whisper chiming in my ears, but rather a harsh, raspy sound, like fingernails scraping a chalkboard. Soon, the snow said. It is winter and I have not left the house in a very long time. Mother will be home soon, I know. She promised. Soon, Rebecca, mother had said. I’ll be back soon. The same words father had spoken weeks before, as if he was going into town for diapers or a loaf of bread. White bread. It all comes down to white. It’s getting cold now. I used the last of the firewood yesterday. So today I lay in my bed, buried under a mound of blankets. And still I shiver, my teeth clinking like ice cubes in a glass. I am very tired today. It was difficult to wake up, get out of bed. And oh so easy to just close my eyes and drift off, to sleep forever and ever, dreaming of the vast beautiful white. When I finally went downstairs more snow had gotten into the house. I first noticed it yesterday. Or was it a week ago? It’s hard to keep track of the days. No bother, mother’ll be back soon. As I passed by the living room window I saw the snow on the inside ledge, a fine white dusting like the bleached ashes in Gramma’s inky urn. Black and white. Sackcloth and ashes. The window is covered in thick ice. Peering through it the world is white, a wall of virgin snow pressed tight against the glass, yet somehow it has found its way onto the inside sill. It’s a trickster, the snow is. There was some small amount of snow there yesterday, but today it was higher and some of it had spilled onto the floor. The small drift by the front door had also swelled, moving forward off the welcome mat -- as if it were welcome -- and intruding on the living room. And as I turned and looked around me it was everywhere, small but growing, no crack or seam impervious to its hunger. I sighed, rubbed my hands together for warmth and went to the kitchen. Yesterday my stomach twisted and cramped painfully, doubling me over, but I saved some small amount of food for today. Breakfast consisted of two unsalted crackers and a soft, uncooked potato. - 12 -

Estronomicon Christmas 2008  

The eZine of fantasy, sci-fi and horror

Estronomicon Christmas 2008  

The eZine of fantasy, sci-fi and horror

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