#61 Winter Warmth

by Sylvia Crane

The small-town streets are desolate and windy, the cold air—bluish-gray. Some would call it a dull winter day but to me it is perfect. The chill endows the air with crispness; the barren streets reverberate with the chant of the wind.

Delicate webs of snowflakes shroud me as I peer through a frost-glazed window. An elderly woman in a rocking chair is staring at the photos on the mantelpiece. Her drawn face tells a tale of rejection and heartbreak. The overwhelming feeling of emptiness forms a lump in my throat and I earnestly wish I could make her happy, at least for a little while.

Hours later, she looks out the window. As her sorrowful eyes rest on mine, we connect. She comes out of the house and, after a moment of hesitation, puts her arms around me and we are no longer lonely or desperate. The blizzard devours all colors in its blinding-white wintry stranglehold. We stand in silence listening to the hollow thump of snow on the iced earth.


On Christmas Eve, a group of chirpy carolers walk by the house of a recluse neighbor. They find the old woman lying under her lilac shrub now ladden with powdery snow. Her arms are clasped around the remains of a snowman. Her warmth must have thawed the gelid sculpture whereas he must have warmed her solitary heart for she has died with a smile on her face.

Link to author's book: In-Between Worlds: Smithereens


John C. Mannone said...

Intriguing. Original. Good job.

JRVogt said...

Love the scene details and the warm ending.

Jane Michaels said...

What a lovely interpretation of the prompt - warmth enveloped in coldness.

Martin said...

An astonishingly deep and chilling walk through the warmth of a winter's tale.

Laura Howe said...

Love the imagery of the cold winter day and the warmth of souls.