This will be a simple story, spawned from a simple prompt of a simple word called snow.
I set my pen down, turn to the window.
Snow is falling.
I open the windows, the white-framed blocks of glass spreading like angel wings into the cold air, and step into the silent storm beyond. The wind catches me from nowhere as holly drips onto the snow beneath me. I remember: glass is not solid. Glass is liquid. Over centuries the windows cry, sagging and wilting in the sunlight, holding out the snow, keeping warm a house uninhabited except for ghosts and phantoms long since remembered by anyone.
In the sky I am flightless, and when I’m placed into the snow by the whispered hands that had caught me, I find my feet are bare and instantly frozen by the wet whiteness I’ve landed on. Pale in the moonlight, I stride forward, forgetting I’m no longer floating, and flitting in and out between the tufts of tall grasses poking up from the frosted ground, darting and dashing between the trees that creep upon me, in and out of the shadows of the full moon above.
This is a simple story, I remind myself, remembering the pen I left lying over the threshold of the wind. There will be no magic, no mystery, no magnanimous moguls making massive mistakes in this miserable tale. I slip further into the coldness, the coolness, the cryptic windswept shapes of snow lying throughout the trees, until at last there are no more trees and merely an open field encrusted with crystalline ice.
I step through the frozen flowers standing waist-high. I feel the breaking shards of ice cracking beneath my feet as I trod forward through this frozen menagerie, and without wonder I disregard the train of red that follows behind me. I slide my finger along the cusp of an ashen leaf, feeling the thin ice cutting apart the skin and simultaneously the blood freezing the wound shut. I forage onward, into the feeble frozen wasteland forming ahead of me.
I remind myself there shall be no magic in this simple tale, yet this land is full of wonderment that cannot be natural. I implore my muse to make me no mystery, yet this place must have origin, is too perfect to be flawless, and anything with flaw is the land of a crime, and crimes must be sought out and amended in story.
I come to an end of the ice, and just as I have asked my muse, there is nothing more. The world has come to a dead halt, ending not even in a cliff, but in a fine mist that is as dense and white as the thickest blizzard one can imagine. I wade through the thrashing winds, my ears deafened as they scream and howl inches from my skull, and too soon I have forgotten the field of ice, the forest of snow, the field of tufted grass protruding into the moonlight, the angel wings of an open window, the warmth of a safeguarded home, the pen left lying inkless on an empty desk.
There is nothing here. Only light and snow and silence.
There is nothing here.