Inktober 2019 – Snow

It’s beautiful, isn’t it? The way it drifts down, great fat clumps of it sifting slowly past the window, and it you open the door you can hear it, almost fizzing, a more festive sound than rain’s hiss.

The world closes in when it snows like this. You can hardly see across the street, and you want to hug your family, all huddled together on the couch with mugs of hot chocolate, just enjoying the fact that you’re all together and warm. Even when it’s time for bed, the glow of the city trapped in the flakes means it’s never quite dark

And then, the next day, when the snowfall has stopped and the sun has just come up, everything shining brilliant white in those first minutes of the day. There’s a real sense of newness, as if the whole world had just been shipped, new and wrapped up against bumps in transit, all the familiar sights in front of the house obscured and waiting to be revealed, waiting to delight you with details forgotten during that brief concealment.

Of course, one can’t just stare out at it. Eventually, boots have to go on, shovels have to be taken up, and doors opened. Then you get to breath in the brisk, bright air, as sparkling as the smooth surface of the snow, and it feels like your lungs are being cleaned.

But then, there’s those footprints in the snow, the only ones laid down since the snow stopped. They come all the way along from the farthest corner of the block on the city sidewalk, turning at the path up to your front door, and covering half the distance from street to house. And there they stop, as if the walking person just vanished mid-stride.

Just the same as last year, and the year before, and as far back as memory stretches. And every year, just for a moment, you wonder why no one ever comes looking for the owner of those footprints, just before you scrape them out of existence.

“Inktober 2019 – Snow” ©2019 Dirck de Lint.

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Fountain pen fancier and repairer, intermittent intellectual, underfunded anarcho-dandyist, and self-admitted writer of fiction, who's given to frequently wishing everything he wrote of a nonfictional sort was being read aloud by Stephen Fry, and everything else by either Vincent Price or Christopher Lee.

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