She heard the whistle of the blizzardy wind, and felt a chill.
It was the attic window again. Nothing she did would keep it shut.
In the spring, softly-scented apple blossom breezes flowed through the house. Sound of rain, gentle or lashing, nourishing the earth.
Summer brought prismatic dragon-flies; hint of meadows full of wildflowers. Cracking, zapping lightening electrifying the still air.
Autumn was pulsing with whirls of colour; apple-crisp air dusted with frost. Giggles of children in costume; crunch-kicking through piles of leaves.
Now winter, blustery suffusing of white. Inburst of icy breath. Flowering ice crystals.
Wrapping her unraveling sweater, tighter around her thin frame, thick socked feet shoved into scuffed slippers, she creaked her ancient, grooved wooden table to the other side of the kitchen. Balancing on a chair, she flipped two butterfly clips on the ceiling hatch, then unfolded the ladder, giving her access to the attic.
She pulled the string, bringing a naked light bulb to life. It swayed gently, sending an unsteady glow across the attic. Negotiating boxes, a disassembled bicycle, rusty curtain rods, bins of clothes and minutiae, she clambered towards the open window.
Her breath came in frosted puffs as she slammed the wayward window shut. Within a sliver of time, the window would open again.
A ritual, now, her climbing the narrow staircase, maneuvering through the detritus of life, closing the window.
She didn’t fear this ghostly presence bringing in reminders of the world outside. Benevolent, making her rise from bed, no matter how deep the pain, how close to the edge of the abyss she tottered. Made her look out her dusty kitchen window, pull open screechy front door and step onto the missing-floor-boarded porch.
She closed the window, her life. He reopened both. Once in life, now in death.
A thesaurusical musing on mlmm tale weaver 199: open or shut:
“This week consider the proposition that we are all at times subject to be open or shut.
What does this mean to you?
What are you open to and what are you shut to?
Some people are open to most things and some are very closed, or shut to anything that challenges their every day.”