Water seeped in long ago, washing away the words. The stories disappeared but their mystery remained. The pages wrinkled as they dried, half-hearted hues clouding the once-bleached paper. Bloodstains of the stories killed in the flood, perhaps.
Glue dissolved, but the charcoal sketches held fast in the book’s embrace. Now they gather dots of mildew like age spots on the hands of couple growing old together.
The pain of losing them is gone now and the lost stories shift into myth. I think I like them best this way, though I’ve switched to waterproof ink.
The forest falls silent as the snowflakes flutter downward. The owl’s wings are muffled beneath the crush of ice crystals stacking mindlessly atop each other, heedless of their collective weight. A branch breaks, a limb is lost. The gnome things hunker down, stuffing their ears with moss against the deafening crash of kamikaze flakes.
I hear nothing and slumber on.
A stoat races across the fallen branch. The owl stretches out her clutching talons as her silent wings beat on. The gnome things cringe as the stoat’s cry penetrates the moss.
I sleep on, mindless in the silence of the snow.
This post was written in response to the Daily Post’s photo challenge “silence” https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/silence-2/