Like at night, talking at the table, and glancing outside to see the snow falling. Like forgetting and awakening; again the clear magic. Like the blackthorn’s spindle branches and grass turned bronze and the endless white sky. And the snow that came like confetti first, and clung to the birches and the oaks, and settled like a warm robe across the woods. Like the gleeful shouts that crack the morning still, the scrape of shovels and crunch of boots. Like the water’s edge with its icy hem and the stealthy strut of a curlew. Like coffee. Like my lover’s eyes.
The ice is melting round us all. The winds are breaking it apart. Soon its great mass will be shattered into fragile crystalline flakes that look like trees. And the wind will raise great fires from the earth and blow them through the trees and the trees will turn to ash. And the wind will lift the ash to the heavens and rain it down on us. And the ash will fall into rivers and kill the fish and the rivers will be swallowed by the seas which will rise up against us, for they know what we have done.
The kid was in the water, gasping for help. The brother jumped in. It was freezing. He reached the kid and put an arm round him. He looked and saw a channel where the ice had broken. The kid was lifeless. He had to be quick. The cold was forcing his lungs shut. He surged for the bank and rolled the kid onto the grass where the friends wrapped him in their jackets. The kid let out a moan and started to cry. He was looking at the water and shaking his head. The brother’s body slipped beneath the surface.