I find myself in something of a writer’s block, not able to get things the way I’d like them to be. There are some parts of the Realm that I have been meaning to explore, some tales I have been hoping to tell. Still, even a short story can have something to say, like how, sometimes, we just need to watch some …
Sometimes the winters are cold.
Sometimes the nights are so very long.
Sometimes, just sometimes, there’s nothing else but the snow.
Sometimes, the snow falls, the flakes of white going about their paths until they are grounded, becoming one with all of the snowflakes that had come before and those that would come to be.
Sometimes one Eternal knows there’s something that’s not right with one’s Eternal.
She stands by the doorway, looking within the room. She sees the pictures of the past, the moments shared, loved, known. The pain of the past winter still hurts, still leaves a mark within her soul that she can’t shake away … not that she really wants to.
He stands by the bay window of their home, looking out at the yard, covered in the snows of the winter that has been. If the prior seasons had been dark, the winter this year was especially so. Mortality is the most terrible of things to confront, more so when that mortality comes in the form of losing one’s mother. That pain remains, not ebbing away, not becoming less. It is a deep cut within, one that won’t ever fully heal … not that he really wants it to.
Outside, the winds blow, throwing about the flurry of white crystals that continued to fall.
She comes closer, knowing the pain that he still feels, the ache that cannot find its way free from within. She is his Eternal after all; there is no hiding away the pain. No wan smile, soft chuckle, or shrug can possibly overcome the truth she knows. He covers it up well, of course, for her sake if not for his own, his own cascade of frozen, luxurious white sheets to drift over the aches and pains, tears and sobs, to muffle away the self-recriminations, the feeling of not being good enough, of not doing enough. There are too many nots and too few dids from what he can see.
Around them both, the snows continued to fall.
He knows she is there, that she worries about him, worries that the pain has gone on too long, worries about the doubts he has pressing within. Like the snows that blanket the pathway to their home, he’d like to shovel them all to the side, pile them up, out of the way, and make a path. But it has been a long winter, the snow is so very deep and doing so seems impossible. So instead of starting, instead of dealing with what’s blocking the path, he just lets things pile on, more and more, just waiting.
All the while, the snow continues to fall.
They are the rulers of the Realm, some would say, not understanding fully. Others might call them a couple, again not seeing the truth. Fewer still would call them lovers, only seeing the barest hint of the love they have for each other. They could do most anything, save the one thing they both wanted, the one thing they wished more than anything could be, but never was.
From far above, the snows continued to fall.
The small, unremarkable home found itself awash in the white snow, the roof covered, the walls turned an off-white, but still blanketed in the powder that came calling. There was sadness within, a guest in the home now for longer than it needed to be. But in spite of the cold, the dark, the ache, and the loss, there was warmth. Nothing can bury the flames of two Eternals; no loss can truly take away the love of family given, held, and shared.
The room wasn’t a barrier between them. Her footfalls were muffled by the carpet beneath them both—a few short steps, in one sense. The crossing through the depths of all that had befallen them both, however, was a greater barrier. He continued to look out the window, thinking about what he’d say to her, how he’d try to comfort her and set his own pains aside. In the same way, she thought about how she’d put her own pain aside, support him, not be concerned about the drifts of loss that surrounded her. But that would mean the plowing away of a barrier between them once more.
There’d been enough of snowfall.
Spooning with him, she looked over his shoulder. For a time, they didn’t say a word. There wasn’t any need to. He knew her, she knew him. The past year had come heavy, the burdens more than either alone could manage, but, together, they did. He looked away from the snowfall when her arms wrapped about his waist, twining her fingers together. Her scent—cherries—wrapped around them both, a reminder of what lurked beneath the snows that hid so much life around them.
Gradually, they saw less and less snow fall.
He squeezed her hand lightly: “It’s going to be a good spring … isn’t it?”
Her tail twined with his own: “Yes, it will.”
Outside, the snows no longer fell.
He turned away from the snow, letting it lie were it was, knowing that, in time, the warmth of spring would come and take the cold away. There would be, he knew, many more moments to be. Yet the first ones were the hardest, and there were many more to come.
The fallen snow lay in wait.
The sun peeked through the clouds above, the light making the snow sparkle and shimmer. The two Eternals turned back to watch as a beam of light broke through the clouds. Their home was bathed in the light from above.
It was a reminder that love never leaves, it is for always.
It was a reminder that in the love of a mother, shared with her family, will be for always.
It was a reminder that there will not always be a snowfall.