A short story with a tad bit of fan fiction elements.

Winter’s first flakes begin to fall, huddling together where they land. The temperature has dropped way below freezing, and the musical critters have found warmer homes. Silence. Nothing stirs, no one speaks, all is still outside except the gentle snow flakes. Bright moonlight illuminates the serene cityscape, and lends its own sense of awe reserved for those awake to participate.

In the early hours of this Tuesday morning, Tom is sitting up in his bed and staring out the window. The graceful drifting of the snow helps ease his racing heart over time, as the harsh grays of the city turn to a beautiful white. His tight grip on the sheets slowly relaxes with the realization that it was just another nightmare. A scan around his room further confirms that he is back in reality, away from the images that have haunted him for nearly two decades. With the growing sense of relief comes an awful headache, which he attends to with the pills and water on his nightstand. This preparation has been a part of his nightly routine for quite some time now. Each night was unpredictable, but the headaches were so painful he made the effort to always have something near his bed.

His eyes drift back to the window, the sight of it all helping just as much as the medication. He wipes the sweat off his forehead again and decides to just remove his shirt, throwing off his blankets too in an effort to cool down. Digging up the energy, he slides out of bed and walks to the window. The glass is cool on his face, comforting. Street lamps below intrude on the moonlight with their harsh glow, and they reflect in Tim’s watering eyes. The light gathers at their corners and runs down his cheeks in drops. A caress, from light itself, down his face can’t illuminate what’s hidden behind the shadows in his mind. For this, he cries softly in the quiet of a new Winter, where the old dies.

In time he falls back asleep, collapsing into his bed an hour before the sun springs over the horizon. Orange rays dance across the new frozen crystals, as though it were excited to see an old friend. Outside Tom’s window, trucks carefully pull out of driveways and children cheer from their living rooms as schools are closed. Snow balls are being collected, snow pants strapped on, mugs of hot chocolate are cuddled. Smiles spread like a contagion from house to house, making sure to keep a safe distance from Tom’s, who has taken preventative measures to not catch smiles.

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