Thursday, 16 March 2017


Quietly, she wakes, a grey sun veiled from her eyes, filtered by imperfect curtains. She scrunches her toes and uses them like fingers to remove her cotton socks. She is too hot, but the outside world is too cold.

Downstairs, a clatter of dishes, a dropped knife force open her sleepy eyes. She realises that she doesn't much want to be awake, but there is nothing she can do. Someone else thought it was okay to make noise at such a time. She rises, and leaves her white duvet in a crumple. It looks like melting whipped cream.

Underfoot, the carpet is not so bad, though it feels rough. It shelters her from the whisping cold, all the way to the bathroom where icy tiles sting and insist. She looks into the mirror. Her sleepy eyes tell of a different world, one much softer, of grass and the colour blue. Her face looks full and wears deep pink signs of the pillow on which she slept. Her lips are split and her eyebrows wild from tossing and turning.

She can feel her arms prickle with goosebumps. All of her pale hairs are alert, and she thinks of how someone plucked out all the feathers of a goose, and made each one exit so violently that little bumps erupted from the goose’s skin. She rubs her arms to make them smooth and warm.

She steps in a wet puddle and is grateful that she isn't wearing socks anymore.

She glides downstairs and counts all twenty-four steps, but whoever was unloading the dishwasher is gone. She thinks she might like some pancakes, but remembers that there are no more eggs, and slides a slice of white bread into the toaster in their stead. She decides to spread it with raspberry jam. She doesn't want milk or orange juice, but it feels too early for water. She cuts off the crusts and leaves them for the birds. She sits at the kitchen table and slowly begins to eat. Her toast doesn’t taste of much.

In the very centre of her brain, a snowflake falls. It shouldn't be there: it is springtime. Snowflakes usually do not fall alone. It is odd. She doesn't like it. It is just one twinge, and then it is gone.

She takes another bite out of her toast. She tells herself that the snowflake was just a strange accident that no one could ever explain. It doesn't matter. It is still springtime.

The next morning, when she wakes up, she realises that the heavens have opened. Ice crystals pierce her brain. Somehow, it is winter.

anna o'c

updated 28 january 2018

1 comment

Thank you for your words x

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