Oct 28

Frost

     It was cold.
     No one could remember how long winter had stayed. Days and days slipped into the cracks that come with unending darkness, and sometimes it seemed that the nights lasted longer than they should, the sun forgetting to rise from time to time. The people had locked themselves inside their homes, away from the world and away from each other. Everything had slowed to a lull, like water tempted into becoming ice. The flow had stopped.
     It was cold.
     And so Yameh stole fire from the sun.
     Holding that blinding light in their hands, ignoring the burn, they let the new warmth spread throughout the land, pushing at the darkness, pulling the ice back into water. Grass broke the surface of snow, flowers spread bright and wide and full. Yameh walked and walked, and the fire in their hands never wavered, never lessened. Yameh knew it would not, as long as it was not let go.
     But there is a price to pay when one steals from the sky, as mortals are not supposed to touch the matter of gods. And so, though Yameh carried that fire, though it scorched their hands, it could not warm their body.
     The world was returned to life.
     And Yameh continued to freeze.
     The people watched as Yameh grew paler and paler, footsteps becoming stiff and slow, hair frozen white at the ends, burnt hands still holding that little piece of sun. They knew those hands were holding on for them, for their children, for the fields that were their livelihoods and the mountains that were their homes. They felt Yameh’s pain, and they loved Yameh for what they had done. But not enough to take that burden for themselves. Not enough to wish for the fire to be released and the world to return to darkness.
     And so Yameh wandered, hands burning, heart freezing. They walked through valleys, over mountains, through rivers and forests. They smiled at the bright colors that had blossomed across the landscape. They sat by the water and listened to it drip over the rocks. They watched the speckled fish. They watched the swirly, blurring sky.
     Eventually they wandered into a field of flowers. Their heart had slowed, their face was grey, their eyes were glassy. The fire still burned, beautiful and bright.
     This, Yameh thought, is a good place for it to end.

     The day Yameh died, the flowers were the color of the sun. 
     Red, orange, yellow, pink. An aching body collapsed on the ground, limbs succumbing, ragged breath puffing in clouds of white - the white of hair, the white of frozen lips too tired to speak. Lying in a cradle of flowers.
     The flowers watched as Yameh lay, staring at the sun high above. And they felt Yameh’s pain, and they loved Yameh for what they had done. 
     You saved us, the flowers murmured. The frozen lips twitched like a smile.
     You saved us. We can save you.
     Slowly, the flowers grew pale.They pulled the aching cold from Yameh’s body, taking the ice into themselves. They trembled and curled, withered, became soft flakes, cold ghosts, silver shadows. Like the sunset fading into grey, they embraced the silvery hue of the moons. They became the first frost the world had ever seen.
     And still it was not enough.
     We love you, the flowers whispered as they died.
     Yameh knew.
     Let go, the new frost sang sadly.
     All Yameh heard was: Stay. Stay. Stay.

     On cold winter nights, the frost unfurls. 
     It spreads out like feathered petals, frames the world in an eerie light. It folds itself around every leaf, every blade of grass, trying to remember what it was like to grow from those stems. It kills them even as it tries to keep them safe from the cold of winter, freezes them even as it tries to keep them warm.
     And it searches. It searches every crack, slips under every door, filling every hollow and covering every surface.
     The frost is searching for Yameh. It holds a warning.
     The frost is Yameh. The warning is for us.
     Either way it will melt, and when it melts, it will be a reminder. 
     Because after everything, the world still continues to freeze.
About the Author: QueenofDawn
"I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say." -Flannery O'Connor
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