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sleep and dream of me and mine

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He never shivers here, in spite of everything.

He strolls slowly on through the wood he loves so well, watching birds fly up from winter-bared branches, taking wing against a sky so white, at the crunching of his steps in the dead-leaf mast of December.

He can almost, almost feel the windchill that whips between the trees, but not quite. Not quite.

His mind doesn't chase the reasons for that, and he never tries to push it, when he's dreaming of winter.


Her hands reach out of their own accord, sometimes. She wants to have contact with everything, her fingertips brushing the rough bark of oaks and sycamores as she moves forward. Always forward, never back.

She watches a red-breasted robin flutter down to a nearby branch, puffing out his chest to sing his little heart out just for her, but no sound results, and he hops away before her hand can stretch to touch him. A sudden pang of loss leaves her aching a little, strangely hurt by the bird's refusal to remain for her.

It reminds her of something else, of someone, but her mind refuses to pursue the thought.

She inhales the scent of the forest, of loam and leaves left to rot down, but something isn't right.

It's not until she wakes that she remembers the scent was from the wrong season. That she can never smell summer in person.