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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Winter (the season) (08/13/09)

TITLE: The Frozen Page
By Yvette Roelofse
08/20/09


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A mocking bird has caught my song, and is echoing it endlessly through the night. It is the song of failure and frustration: the sound of paper being twisted and tormented, of words being broken and bent by impatient human hands.

My study has become a winter wasteland of discarded words and frozen imagination. Books lean like fallen trees against drifts of blank pages, and baskets of origami snowballs spill across scarred wooden floor. Carefully curled into an old typewriter, a single page waits for inspiration to thaw the frozen keys, to sow the seeds of a deeper world in shallow rows across its bleak expanse.

Beyond my window, Godís earthly desk is nothing like my own. It is a vision of paper and ink: dark skies and shadows flowing fluidly across snow-bleached fields; a story of mystery and beauty unfolding beneath a sickle moon.

How easily God writes upon His creation.

My sigh spirals up the frozen window pane like smoke on ice, mercifully obscuring natureís subtle mockery. She slumbers in sublime oblivion to my despair, her story already written: Spring will come. I long for her certainty; for the surety that dormancy will end and life begin, but my words remain trapped within the frozen soil of my mind. There may never be another Spring.

Behind me I hear the slow creaking sweep of door across floor, the steady splinter of discarded pages beneathe your feet. Your reflection stands in a pool of hallway light, arms crossed against the chill of the room, eyes fixed on the night beyond the pane. Eventually, I know, our eyes will meet in the glass.

"The words will come," you'll say.

Your breath will stir my hair, but your words will stir my soul. Something in your eyes, in your hands upon my shoulders, will bring the security of Spring. It is but a moment away...

My eyes stray to the soft sifting of snow beyond your reflection. So fragile, so light and insubstantial, and yet...the drifts are deepening, and gates and doorways are silently suffocating in shadows.

"The words will come," you finally say, and for one brief moment, I believe you.

But we have watched the snow for too long, and the drifts are too deep. Our eyes never meet in the glass; your breath never touches me; your hands never warm me. It is an empty ritual now, a cold memory buried beneath a steady fall of forgetfulness and neglect.

For a long while we watch the snow and let winter deepen around us, and when at last your reflection slips silently from the room, my eyes rest again on the dormant page before me. How long, I wonder, has its barren promise held me here? Hesitantly, I trace its blank surface with my fingers, and then, with careful hands, uncurl it from the typewriter, and plant it in a drawer.

I don't look back at my reflection as the door handle turns beneath my fingers, and the room is flooded with warmth and light. Beyond the window, the snow has stopped and a nightingale has replaced the mocking bird; and deep within the recesses of the drawer, the frozen page has begun to thaw.


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This article has been read 491 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Valarie Sullivan08/21/09
Great imagery! I could feel the coldness and the desperation! How often, we as writers, have faced this very same thing?
Joy Bach 08/21/09
Such detailed imagery. I was that writer...waiting for the words. This is great writing.
Charla Diehl 08/21/09
Oh, what writer could not relate to the frustration of your MC. This is alive with emotion and imagery. Loved it.
Pam Ford Davis 08/24/09
Great description of frustration. It's amazing that those who are gifted with words are at times at a loss for words.
JoAnne Potter08/25/09
Common wisdom tells us not to write about the act of writing, but this is lovely. I live in Wisconsin, and the imagery of interminable winter especially poignant in August. I had to gasp to be reminded of the feeling so common in February here that winter will never end.
Dave Wagner08/26/09
Awesome writing. Loved the word choices. Rich, rich, rich. The symbolism of the stark, suffocating snow and the way her obsessing over her writing was suffocating her marriage was very well done IMHO. Nice to see the break in the end there, with her getting up from the typewriter. A touch of Spring. Excellent piece, thanks for writing it.
Chely Roach08/27/09
Simply amazing writing...
Sonya Leigh08/27/09
Thawed, indeed! I am THRILLED that you have returned, thrilled about your writing--again--which inspires me more than I can adequately express. WONDERFUL PIECE.