Friday, July 17, 2009


Grace Tenderstitch stepped outside in to the morning light and glanced toward the Hemlocks covered in snow. The sunlight filtered through the ice crystals and pooled in color at the base of the trees, darkly grey. Here and there the forest was illuminated with light that was neither blue nor green, but a faded and collided color of both. You know that color I is also the color of water at times or beach glass, or Ball jars. Aquamarine, I guess would be the best description. Grace stopped for a moment to look deeply into this color as it stretched out into the dark parts of the woods that was covered in snow. For a few moments she thought that she could hear the cry of the gulls at the beach as the blue-green color of the Light filled her memory with a vision of the beach, a far away memory of the wind and the placid water becoming a storm. As she was filled with this vision, she could not help but wonder what it meant.

She turned to assess the scene and search for any evidence of the Pie-Rats. None. Ernie the weasel hustled up to her and began his report. "No sign of them Grace. I think they must be held up at Prunella's House, I guess they is happy now, got a warm spot to rest and food and all. And they got the Thread-Pusher..." he signed mournfully.

"They may have the Thread-Pusher Ernie, "Grace replied but they will not be doing much sewing, I have the cord, The power cord." added Grace.

"All that fighting, all that effort and they left the one thing that makes it all go," laughed Ernie.

"Not too smart." Ernie Finished.

Prunella Fig-Pink emerged from the house, bundled in her own coat and a scarf of Grace's with Mittens and hat to match. Despite the change in clothing and shower, her face was waxen, flat and withdrawn. She bore the mask-like expression of a mannequin. Grace watched her guardedly. Prunella moved slowly, mechanically.

"Have you ever made a snow angel Prunella?" asked Grace, waving towards the snow. It lay before them in great stretches that bore tracks from tiny feet, as varied in size as the number of animals that went about the yard.

"I have as a child many years ago, but not recently Grace."

Grace breathed in. The cool air froze in her nose, and smelled crisp and clean. The scent of an evergreen bough was on the air, the wind moved about her hair and lifted the ends playfully, blowing tears from the eyes of Grace, stinging with the its icy breath. There were sounds. She bent her head to listen to the chirping of the winter birds. A pair of grosbeaks tussled a pine cone that refused to give up its seeds. Grace was aware that she was cold and warm at the same time. There was a momentary thought of the Holidays coming before Grace walked over to a nearby drift and fell over backward in the snow, waving her arms up and down, to create a snow angel. Her face was full of delight. She lay for a time in the icy powder, feeling the cold sneaking into her joints, and gradually becoming chilled.

Prunella watched without interest. She was somewhere far away, unable or unwilling to be a part of the Present.


By Way of Salem said...

What happens next? Why is Prunella so distant?

Jennifer Hutchings said...

ooooh, I love that particular aqua-trick-of-the-light! It doesn't happen very often, but I know just what you mean - it DOES feel like being underwater!

And I made snow angels once - it was fun while it lasted, but you get all WET! lol