by C.L. Thomas
This is a piece of short fiction I wrote for a recent creative writing course.
|Terry shifted into park and hurried to gather her things. As the engine quieted, she paused in reaching for her purse on the passenger side, then settled back into her seat listening. She breathed deeply and in the silence that surrounded her the sound of her breathing seemed surprisingly loud. These moments were rare and she had learned long ago the importance of recognizing and savoring them.
Terry peered through the windshield and watched the snow's frantic swirl in the light of a street lamp. Her eyes tried to discern patterns to that chaos, but recognition remained elusive, like a shadow at the edge of her vision. She turned away as the image began to bear too much similarity to the hospital she had just left after a 10-hour shift, ruining this moment of peace. Constant motion, suggesting but never quite coalescing into order. Not at all unlike the environment she would encounter when she finally went inside, where children would have to be roused and readied for school before she could finally close her eyes and surrender to the chaos of dreamful sleep.
She watched flakes land on the still hot hood of the car. They survived for the briefest of moments before surrendering to their inevitable transition into droplets. But that moment became less and less brief as those very droplets stole heat from the car even more effectively than the frigid early morning air. One by one, flakes began surviving contact and the snow that whispered around the car accumulated.