Winter

Winter was the only season we could be together. At the first hint of frost, the lawn’s dew frozen along each blade, I awakened with the sunrise and raced outside to greet the dawn. I heard the hoofbeats from a mile away, and as she rounded the curve, auburn hair billowing out behind her, a calm always settled deep within my chest, a knowing that we were whole once more.

It was a simple curse, we were told. Certain mages needed to be kept in line, so an example was to be made. 

At winter’s end, as the days lengthened, and we could no longer ignore time’s inescapable march, she’d hold me a little tighter through the night, our bodies shuddering in anticipation of our assured separation. She never spoke of the other seasons, of what she would suffer in the coming months. I never asked. And when the time came, she held her head high, eyelids brimming with tears as she pushed her mare into a gallop, my gaze never straying until she vanished from sight, promising once more that I would wait, that I would be here come next winter.

But now, decades gone by, summer drags on for much of the year, the heat suffocating as our lush lawn morphs into a burnt wasteland. Though still I wait, straining to hear her steed’s thunderous approach, I know our time came to an end as soon as winter gasped her final breath and conceded to summer’s fiery reign. 

**Winter was written for YeahWrite‘s January 26 Spontaneous Writing Challenge. The prompt: Tell a story in 250 words or less with the line “Winter was the only season we could be together.” Join us on Discord for more writing challenges like this!

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