“Winter” she whispered, but his eyes were already shuttered in his face, lids fragile and fluttering. His lips were blue.
She leaned over and kissed him gently, tasted ice tinged with cold decay, forgotten shards of frost, and frozen silence.
His name drifted away on the breeze as she rose, foregoing good-byes in favor of donning her simple white shift, instead. She took one step forward, brave toes bared in the cool grass. Then she took another.
Soon she was running, hair flying behind her with blissful abandon, cheeks pink-tinged, eyes bright. The children were the first to spot her, as they ventured sleeve-and-shoe-less away from the hearth, but soon others felt her presence as well.
Even the earth blushed wherever she walked, leaving trails of buttercups and berry flowers in her wake. She loved the harebells best, and they loved her back, but the sun loved her most of all, and welcomed her arrival with arms wide open.