My steps grow shorter. A cloak of snow longer than my imagination can muster weighs upon weary bones. Polite silence; awaiting an interjection. A word. An utterance. A sign of resilience. Gasps do not count.
No longer a chill or a cold, instead, a paralysis that winds itself from my toes—tightening as it twists my empty stomach. Taking hold of my heart and weaving a noose around my collar.
I’m embarrassed to taint this pristine alabaster landscape, but I’ll request grace when I meet the mountain’s maker. The dazzling cinnamon sun waves goodbye one last time, and the mountain embraces me as the snowdrifts gather pace around this perfect place to rest.
A chrysalis dissolves—