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By ThatOne_GirlPublished 29 days ago 3 min read
Photo by Dario Brönnimann on Unsplash

I shiver as I pull open the heavy glass door and step out onto the frost-riddled porch.

My breath rises like smoke in the cold, and the rushing of the creek fills my ears. Nearby, as I walk toward the gate, I hear the beavers splash in alarm as they sense my presence. I bury my hands deep in the pockets of my thin hoodie, and hunch my shoulders up protectively against my ears. The cold air bites at my cheeks and nose, and the tips of my ears already hurt. It’s barely 30° out, and beneath my foolishly bare toes, the dead brown grass twinkles with frost. The sky is too overcast to see the stars there, but with so many ice-stars beneath my feet, I am satisfied.

The ground is hard, and I can smell its cold, a slightly sweet, gentle smell that keeps me well awake even without the frigid temperatures. The thin sheet of ice at the edge of the overflowing creek stops me. Beyond this there is water, and cold immeasurable. The rushing noise of the quick-flowing, ice- laden creek drowns most other sounds, and the faint light of the obscured moon casts little clarity on the dim grey world around me. The water’s ripples sparkle and flash, and the bubbling noise as it flows over the beaver dam makes me smile. I shiver again. My thin sweatshirt and my thinner sweats are not sufficient in this weather, and my core is beginning to feel the cold. I can feel the hairs rising on my arms and neck as goosebumps riddle my skin, and my eyes water in the cold. My nose stings with the ice in the air I’m breathing, each exhale condensing before my very eyes and rising in a cloud into the dark sky above. I shiver again. It is beautiful here, but very, very cold. Nature can turn some of its greatest beauties into some of its most painful torments.

I could stay here for hours, soaking in the dim and derelict beauty of a dead world around me, but the cold drives me back, donning its own type of persona as a cloaked and masked old man, his icy staff forming ice wherever it touches. He blows a cold wind at me and I step back uncomfortably, drawing my arms tight against my body. It is cold. Very, very cold.

This is what winters are like where I live; cold and dry and biting, but with an entrancing beauty that's hard to resist. I hate the cold. I say I'm built for the heat; I loved the hot, thick, humid air of the south when we visited, and everyone I tell that to says I'm insane. I don't care. I love it. And the cold here is a bane to me. Not that I'd leave of my own volition without a very, very good reason; the summers make up for the frozen beauty with a lovely palette of greens and golds and bright yellows of canola fields. The trees spring out into full cloaks and robes of deep emerald and lime and jade green, and the willows grow heavy beneath their feather-shaped leaves. Thunderstorms roll up from the south of the city, their deep, round-bellied clouds looming ominously over the horizon, promising an evening of entertainment that would rival Handel's finest orchestra. Birds spend the days twittering in the trees and chasing each other above my head, clinging to our window screens and picking fibers from the edges of the frayed holes to make their nests. Ducks and beavers and muskrats glide idly along in the creek, surrounded by buzzing Idaho cicadas and acrobatic dragonflies and strange midges that fill the air in localized disgusting clumps. There are good sides to all seasons, and bad sides too -- summer's bad side is the disgusting gnats and black flies that eat my elbows raw and leave them pockmarked for months.

But for now, I am free of the insects, lost in a harsher, darker, clearer beauty of navy shadows and electric blue flakes of ice beneath my toes. My toes are wet, cold, and hurt badly from the cold. I listen to their pleas and turn back.

I am driven inside by the gentle dangers of Nature, and inside I find an opposite, a contrast, an oxymoron to the frozen hostility I just left. A fire whispers softly behind its glass window, and flickering yellow light fills the simple room. An old piano, a bookshelf, two desks side-by-side fill the space. Simple rectangles but with so much welcoming, comforting memory packed into their basic forms. These are the colors and feelings brought with the summer.

I love this place, where such harsh and dangerous beauty is contrasted with such warm, soft loveliness.

Stream of ConsciousnessShort StoryMicrofiction

About the Creator


I write anything from microfiction to novelettes, and they can be based on anything from songs to dreams to poems. I'm also pretty good at 'slice of life' type journalistic pieces. It goes anywhere and everywhere, really.

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