A short story by [Madame Black]
Rubbing my hands together vigorously as I walked, I hailed the train station just ahead. I had trudged through the already piling snow for perhaps an hour, taking the field rather than the roadways. It was a cold January afternoon, and large snowflakes had been falling for some time. I preferred to walk on days like this, for no other reason than to enjoy the beauty of the silent world of winter. The earth was hushed as if it were awaiting some sort of doom, holding its breath as it awaits its fate. I was the only creature stirring at that time, hastily crunching in the snow.
I was on an errand, of utmost import. For you see, I was to be reunited with the woman I loved in just a half of an hour. The months in waiting had been cruel, for it had been years since we had been together, some sort of tragedy keeping us apart. I do not recollect just now what it was, for it was so long ago, a death perhaps, some old relative, someone dear. I had let her go, my one true love, unknowing that we should be separated so long. Each year I trudged to the train station, awaiting her arrival, but every year she did not arrive. This year would be different, I vowed, for I had received her letter.
The snow began to fall more heavily as I approached the small station. I nodded cordially to the man behind the counter, helping others with their tickets. A friend of mine for many years now, he smiled and gave a wave. I nodded in return and paused a moment, then studied him, never having took the time, and to my surprise I noted things I had not before. His skin was pale, more pale than most, and his eyes were distant, in an almost empty way. He almost seemed a lonely ghost, helping those amongst the living if only for a while. My head gave a shake as a cold wind blew, and I turned to face the trees. I stepped up to the tracks and expectantly looked both ways, straining my eyes to see what I desired, but nothing came.
To stay my nervous excitement, I turned my thoughts to her. My heart had leapt for joy when her letter came to me, for it was quite unexpected, you see. I remembered her smile, how it lit up her face, and her eyes, her eyes were like an icy blue, which when angered turned a lively green. I chuckled to myself, full of memory and of thought. Surely the time must be soon, I said out loud as I looked at the watch on my side. Just another five minutes and her train would arrive.
I then moved to pace the lengthy bit of the station that ran along the tracks, hoping to warm my blood and gain a bit of patience. My boots sank into the few inches of snow that had covered the wooden boards of the station, leaving deep prints as I walked, and within no time I had made for myself a trail. I peered once or twice more down the track, listening eagerly for the train’s whistle, or looking for a distant light coming from the mountains. There was still nothing, and now I was alone.
Oh! The utter loneliness I had felt! I mused then to myself. Like a blade through the heart, or rather, the icy wind that pierces the skin and penetrates to the marrow. I had been alone for so long, bereft of the one I adored. She had been gone for years, and was unable to return. But that was soon to change, indeed, she was due to arrive.
One hour. Two hours. Three and soon four.
What could cause my love to linger? Perhaps the weather made for delay. I asked the man behind the counter but he only shrugged and sighed. There’s no delay for certain and her train must have arrived. Most assuredly she was not there, I paced then to and fro. The snow began to fall with purpose, as the evening swiftly drew upon me. I knew not what to do, my body frozen to the core, when suddenly I had felt a tap upon my back. A solemn man stood there beside me, a letter in his hand. He bowed his head and turned to leave as I curiously opened the page, unable to think of who would write at such a time. Reading silently there at dusk, I must have fallen to my knees. Not a single sound could be heard unless the snowflakes softly moaned. It was this way for some time, the sky a bright orange, glowing softly as the night fell. A pitch-black raven in a tree cawed once or twice - my only witness.
She would not be coming, for never she had. Another year alone.