The Winds Whispering Among the Trees

“Fucking winter.” Billy spat. “Fuck you.” With every footfall his boots slipped in the snow. He was walking up the hill behind the house with the snow falling even now in the late days of February. “Fuck you.” Billy said to himself. “I hate you,” he said to himself.

He stopped to catch his breath. A couple of years earlier this effort would have been laughable to him, but now, he needed to rest. He stopped and put the dog down in the snow and sat down in the snow and looked around.

The waxing moon was gaining strength and lit up the valley. It shone against the treed and stepped flank of Mount Laidlaw, and shone all down the highway through the Marron Valley and down to Kaleden. And against that lighted moon and the shadows that it cast, the forest around Billy was as dark as pitch, a gentle sway of the trees that towered above, no bird song, no sound at all. He sat alone in a vacuum, and the body of his dog laid beside him and he began to cry.

He cried and drew his knees up and planted his boots in the snow and wrapped his arms around his knees and put his head down and wept. And he wept and he wept. And once he raised his head and saw the moon presenting still in the spinning sky. He looked around him through the forest with his eyes adjusted to the darkness and he saw the trees, still as the dead, and he heard the winds whispering among the trees, and he saw the sagebrush next to him move just so slightly, and he caught the whiff of it, it’s sweet scent on the air.

Billy looked over at the body of his dog, tears still on his face and his lip still quivering, and he stood up and picked up the dog and walked deeper into the forest, deeper against the slipping snow, and deeper again into the dark forest. “Fucking winter,” he said to himself. “Fuck you.”

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