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Snow (for Mobile_ALH) - Laura Wise

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January 1st, 2011


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03:18 pm - Snow (for Mobile_ALH)
A new year! It has brought a request for a vignette (which should have been written in 2010, but we brush that aside ;-)), and so I offer it here.

mobile_alh , for her recent birthday, asked for the Stonewoods and 'snow.' This is perhaps more somber than requested, but it's what came to mind. Hope it pleases!
...............


Morgan is taking out a fresh sheet of paper when the silence hits him. Alice must have ventured outside, into the evening snow fresh and expansive and blank as the linen he holds. She only does that when.... Ah, Alice, he thinks, and it is love and grief and still a drop of bitterness.

Cursing under his breath, he leaps up from his desk, all but runs to their bedroom, throws open the wardrobe door.

Yes, the boots he made for her all those years ago are gone.

Curses become pleas, still on the edge of breath. He saves the rest of his breath for a quick rummage for his own ancient boots. Then he collects a dull, shining-dark blade of oak and the cloak from their old life: one warms, one hides.

When he closes the front door behind him, the cold hits him like a fist. The snow, fresh and expansive and blank, stretches between him and their open hedge-gate.

Lightly he leaps down, lightly he runs, on the path and then out into the flurries of light and dark. His feet leave no impression.

The charm still works.

As he runs, he remembers the first time he had fled through a snowstorm. The new Queen had shown her hand; Alice, his beloved Alice, was perceived as a threat and would be harried and hunted as such. Although he knew that she was stronger than her bloody aunt, the recent loss (murder) of her mother had hurt her too deeply. She wanted and needed a life outside the old hedges.

But the new Queen would follow, he had feared then, and so he had enspelled her boots and his so that their passing into the world would leave no trace, even on that snowy night.

He runs on. There are no cars out, not in this snow, and lights appear and disappear like charmed footsteps as he goes.

She has left no traces, but he knows where she is.

And indeed, when he goes through one last arm-linked pair of ashes on the river path, he sees her ahead. Only Morgan would see her, of course; she too wears her old cloak, the one for hiding. Yet she has left herself open for him, left off that last twist of glamour that would shield her even from his love.

When he sees this, he whispers thanks to an unknown giver, and runs faster.

She is gazing into the ice-slowed current of the River Deep, just as she did that long-ago night at the riverbank where they had said goodbye to her mother. She doesn't look up, but she whispers his name and puts out her hand for his.

"My heart," he says hoarsely, and then brings her cold fingers to his lips, and breathes on them. Her finger extends to touch his mouth, and then retreats.

Head turned away, she gazes into the river. But he knows where her mind is.

With his other hand, he brushes away the traces of frozen tears on her lashes. There is no other charm he can offer.

"Morgan," she says softly, and then with a warrior's rush turns into his arms.

Snow falls on river, on stones, on woods. They have left no footprints to get back. They need none.


..................

And a happy end of the weekend to you all, regardless of old years' memories and new year's weather.

(18 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:paratti
Date:January 1st, 2011 09:00 pm (UTC)
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Loved it.
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From:laurawise
Date:January 1st, 2011 10:40 pm (UTC)
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Thank you thank you, L! A good end-of-Saturday beginning-of-Sunday to you! :-)
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From:headrush100
Date:January 1st, 2011 09:25 pm (UTC)
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Beautiful. Very sad, but also warm somehow.
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From:laurawise
Date:January 1st, 2011 10:39 pm (UTC)
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Thank you thank you, A! I send warmth and gratitude your way. :-)
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From:anne_d
Date:January 1st, 2011 09:31 pm (UTC)
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What a treat, and what a lovely story.

Anne, taking day off from usefuls slayage due to sniffles
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From:anne_d
Date:January 1st, 2011 09:33 pm (UTC)
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Forgot to say that it is somber, but also hopeful, like the winter solstice.

I should just break down and get a paid account so I can edit comments, really I should.
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From:laurawise
Date:January 1st, 2011 10:39 pm (UTC)
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What a kind and lovely thing to say (regardless of ability to edit comments [grin])! Thank you, A!
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From:laurawise
Date:January 1st, 2011 10:38 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, A, thank you!

(And feel better soon, too. Have some tea!)
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From:janus_74
Date:January 1st, 2011 10:19 pm (UTC)
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Very nice.
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From:laurawise
Date:January 1st, 2011 10:38 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, T! And happy Saturday.
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From:mamculuna
Date:January 2nd, 2011 04:17 am (UTC)
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Sad, but very full of love.
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From:laurawise
Date:January 2nd, 2011 12:53 pm (UTC)
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Thank you thank you for your kind comment, and for reading. I'm glad both emotions were there in the vignette!
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From:stateless82
Date:January 2nd, 2011 05:13 am (UTC)
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Oh- I love '...thanks to an unknown giver.'
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From:laurawise
Date:January 2nd, 2011 12:54 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, S! Thank you for liking that line, and for reading and commenting in general. :-)
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From:stevie_carroll
Date:January 2nd, 2011 04:58 pm (UTC)
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Lovely, as always.
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From:laurawise
Date:January 2nd, 2011 08:29 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, Stevie, as always. :-))

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From:mobile_alh
Date:January 2nd, 2011 06:49 pm (UTC)
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I'm ashamed to be so late with my thanks but oh, this is everything I hoped for (and more) when I gave you the prompt!

And so appropriate to the New Year. Thank you and blessings on us all....

{hugs and more hugs}
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From:laurawise
Date:January 2nd, 2011 08:30 pm (UTC)
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Oh, ALH, I'm so glad it was what you wanted! :-)

Happy (belated) birthday, and happy New Year too. [hugs]

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