The Scent of Ice

Desolate, the land fatigued under the wind’s constant barrage. Trees scattered themselves distantly, branches barren. Spindly, they leaned away from the monstrous howling, not strong enough to survive should the storm turn its fury upon them.

White suffocated the ground. Occasionally a deadened leaf could be seen collapsed out from underneath in eternal sleep. But eventually it, too, would be buried and forgotten by even the branch from which it fell.

Silence.

Flakes of white fall, noiseless in their descent, stifling everything around them. Brilliant, soft, they breathe in life, and exhale a frozen land. Uncaring, they land as the breezes will. They fly on the whim of the wind, tossed, turned, until finally they are placed in a manner that is almost an apology for their rough voyage.

Then they rest, feeding from the land around them. There they grow, larger, stronger, covering stretches of once bountiful land. The scent of ice permeates.

Even the sun, with all its flame, is not strong enough to chase them away. They reflect each glare with defiance that grows stronger in unity. With brilliance they chase away the sun, and yet the next day it returns again, a perpetual battle.

And then finally one day they begin to quiver. The sun has gained strength, and they droop slightly, weary now. They shiver at the growing heat, shrinking as they curl away from it. Their strength drips from them, angels’ tears.

Then something green spears through them triumphantly, and they sigh away slowly.

A bird’s call sings through the still air.

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