Today’s story starter (in the beginning of the story below in bold) was sent in by S.B. Stewart-Laing and the photo came in from Rae Weaver. The minute I read the prompt, the picture fitted in as a natural and I let it be.
Quiet– thick, absolute quiet– was so rare in the neighborhood it felt like a noise unto itself.
This is what woke her up, this cessation of sound in her dreams, as if a blanket of snow, soft and heavy, had fallen, muting everything and everyone around her.
She creaked out of bed, surprised her old limbs had given her enough respite to fall asleep. In the semi-darkness of the morning, she stumbled not just on her feet but in her thoughts.
I wish it snows this year before Christmas. Christmas in two days. Maybe they would come this year–their kids piled in the backseat, their colors and voices filling up her wooden home, and bring another new wreath for the door.
She thought of the old one, the one from three years ago, with its red satin sash which hung on, despite the elements, despite the withering leaves and wood-apples on the the rest of the wreath.
She parted the curtains and looked out– nothing but the bare cherry trees in her garden. She huffed, and closing the curtains back, hobbled back to her bed. They wouldn’t come—they had plans, they’d said– vacation in the tropics, Christmas on the beach after a day of sand and surf.
She went back to sleep and dreams.
Outside, the silence continued, and soon became the silence of snow, as a flake became a flurry, and the flurry a fall.
In her trance, the cherry trees stood, patiently, in their new white garb, waiting for her to wake up. There would be a new Christmas this year, they whispered, there would be noise and cheer, a new wreath. And if you live long enough, there would be spring.
She slept on. The snow continued to fall– silent, thick, and soft, in the absolute quiet of her dreams.
If you liked this story you might like some of the stories I wrote for my A to Z last year.
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