Friday, April 22, 2016

In Like a Lion

/r/writing contest. The prompt actually came from my mom when I told her about a moth bumping into my window in February.

March 4, 2016

Winter stared out the window, still rimed with frost, and tried to see past the thick shadows. Not even stars were winking tonight.

There was a dull thwack and a scrabbling flutter and Winter jerked back startled by the moth harrying her window.

"How odd," she said, watching the insect. "Much too early for you. My brother isn't due for weeks yet."

But there it was at her icy glass at the end of February. She picked up her Android and swiped it, smiling as the picture of her twin sticking her tongue out, with her blushing cheek squished against Winter's, her eyes squished shut as she snapped the selfie, popped up on her home-screen. She flipped through the contacts and dialed Spring.

As the phone buzzed a ring, she glanced at her window, and now there was only blackness and she felt a twinge of worry. It wasn't often that living things came to the home of Winter.

"Hey, sis! How've you been?" Springs voice was always pleasant to hear, but he seemed to be in rare form - practically buzzing with energy. Also odd.

"Are you in the area, Spring?" she asked.

"No sweetie, I'm not due in for... Gosh, a month at least. Why?"

"One of your harbingers was at my window - I thought it was weird, being the ass-end February and all," said Winter.

"Oh, shit - honey, I meant to tell you. There was a small issue with security. I got some new guys and they're usually pretty cool, but the alarm went off and they just... They opened a couple of the boxes," he said.

"Oh, no... But the lion is out," said Winter, looking at the window again. Still no sign of the moth.

"I know, I should have called. But we got most of it packed away again - and you know how snowdrops are, they'll come back if the sun flirts with them even a little bit," he said. "Look, sis, I love chatting with you, but April showers don't arrange themselves."

"I know, bud. I'll see you at Autumn's party next era, anyway."

She pushed the 'end call' and chewed her lip. She grabbed her favorite coat and slipped into the night.

The lion was cruel and fickle - able to hide, making you think it was safe to come out. Then without a sound, a wind cold as Death's chest freezer would choke out new blossoms, ice over ponds where frogs had started to stir, and completely fuck with the migrating birds.

Technically, the lion was her, but things got a confusing when she anthropomorphized too much. March was a bitch like that.

The darkness was thick and syrupy, but she could hear the lion moving through the shadows, punctuated by a deep, reverberating growl that rattled her teeth. But then she heard something else - the buzzing flutter of velvet wings. Closing her eyes, Winter took a beep breath - and faintly caught the hint of wet mud, pollen, a delicate green.

Reaching forward, her hands sank into the sky blue mane of the lion. She opened her eyes, and saw a single glacial blue eye, the size of a grapefruit, staring into hers, and she laughed. And as she laughed, the lion laughed - and cold wind roared through the land.

On his nose, was the moth. Its wings were pale green, and even in the darkness seemed to shimmer and glow , and where its tiny legs caught on the lion's mane, green tendrils curled out of the frosted fur. She coaxed the bug gently on her fingers - delighted at how soft and oddly warm it was. But everything felt warm to her.

She whispered gently in the insect's ear, though she knew perfectly well, moths had no ears, and it fluttered away. Where the gentle wind of its wings kissed the frozen earth, it would soften.

It winged back to her brother's house. And she knew that despite his plans, he would be early. Which was fine, since it had been awhile since she had slept in.

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