Winter Wings

Hey look, a finished story! :)

The cold window draws the warmth from his body through his thin pajamas. His small feet are bare on the windowsill while the warm slippers lie untouched where his aunt had left them—at the foot of the over-sized bed where the scent of unfamiliar perfume and moth balls is most sickly. He refuses to sit where the stagnant warmth can surround him, desiring instead the cool affirming presence of the window.

The window is like ice to soothe his burns, but his heart can never be numbed. The view of the snowy courtyard below is the only presence that seems to understand his emptiness, and his eyes gaze with hopeless longing into the endless swirl of snowflakes.

His aunt and uncle are like strangers, and their countless gifts of toys and trinkets, clothes and stuffed bears are all empty and emotionless. How could the soft fur of a fake and smiling bear every truly touch him? How could frills and furs ever give this castle the comfort of a home? And how could he ever replace his own home?

Tears still shine on his stinging face as he feels his mother’s presence tucking him in for the night. The spicy ginger on her breath lingers just on the other side of the window where the snowflakes drift and the winter air brushes the fallen snow, lifting it into a spiral high over the towers and into the starry sky. That is where his mother is; surely, she must be with the stars.

He can see her hands in the gnarled boughs of the oak trees that line the manor wall. She would rub her hands over the cooking fire every evening, but they would always remain so cold! But it was a cold that tickled his bare skin while he lay snug beneath his covers, and she, sitting on the edge of his bed.

He pulls his knees close against his chest and squeezes tight. He lays his head on his knees and lets his spirit enter the snow storm beyond the window. The snowflakes weave a spell of peace that draws him in tight. They do not resist the bitter winds, and they do not care for what has passed or what is yet to come. They fall where they will, and when they land, they join something so much more than themselves. He admires their peace. There they fall, judging no one and feeling nothing.

His senses are buried in the deepening snow, and with each new snowflake, his mind grows lighter until his body is forgotten. The wind pushes the snow into drifts, and whenever it breathes, the stars glitter and the snowflakes dance and billow into the shapes of angels. Soft white feathers begin to grow on the naked branches, and soon they form wings and begin to fly.

He joins the flight with shining wings of his own, and he begins to glow with each new angel that surrounds him. He is lost in wonder for these winged beings, but before he can see their faces, his brilliance transforms everything into a piercing white light. He drifts until the light is so intense that he can no longer feel his wings. And then everything turns to gold.

The End

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