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When The North Wind Blows ©

Josephine Duthie
Aberdeen, Scotland

The smell of ice
came with the North Wind
and gripped his hot breath.
He looked across the frozen sea
and saw a vast vista of whites,
a whiteness that stung his eyes
and numbed his senses.
Blades of sunlight
cut through cotton-wool mists
and blurred his vision.
In the cold distance
jagged peaks devoured all horizons.
These rime-encrusted rocks
stood like broken monoliths
eating at the sky.
He knew his time was running out,
the North Wind was waiting.
His crucial test was yet to come,
to fight against this enemy,
to meet it headfirst.
He could hear a high-pitched whistling.
The all-pervading wind
clawed at his hood and crawled into his skin.
The bleak world of the North Plateau
reached out to claim him,
to weave him into its landscape,
to feed on his warmth
and turn him into ice crystals.
All night he fought this losing fight.
The wind danced with him
and the cold ate him.
His breath froze inside him.
He lay down in the frost-bright dawn.
His body a giant snowflake,
melted into the whiteness.
A pillar rose above him,
and called to the North Wind,
and the North Wind blew on.

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