Poor little Amelie dances through meadowed snow and calm, soft
lavender. She laughs as diamond dust floats above her hair, and
catches snowflakes on her tongue. Little Amelie plays games by
herself, as other children are scarce in such a village.
Perhaps Father will play? Ponders Amelie, prior to dismissing
such a silly notion. No, Father would not play - not now, not
ever again. Father is often sad - has a face made of stony
concrete - and does not speak. He does not have time for silly
little games. He does not have time for silly little girls
Sometimes, when the night is vast and Amelie is restless, she
will wait outside of Father's door. And she will hear him
crying before he dresses for the day - although, in the eyes
of Amelie, the day has not yet even begun. Amelie worries
that this is the average life of an adult - fearful and
upsetting, with short days and cold, long nights.
One day, Amelie decides to try and live the life of an adult.
She rises at six, as the sun begins to paint the horizon in
streaks of pale silver, and she pulls on her boots.
She does not come back for hours, and Father is livid when
she returns - hours past sunset - and for some time she is
worried he may strike her like Sister Abigail. Instead, he
falls to his knees and grasps her face - so hard it would
hurt if not for the look upon his face, which is cracking
like plaster and becoming rather wet. He pulls her to his
chest, runs a hand down her back, and whispers soft words
into her hair. Amelie is confused, because she had just tried
to be an adult - had succeeded rather well, she thinks - and
yet Father is still sad? She does not know how to make him
not-sad. But still, Father kisses her face all over, looks at
her for some time - he seems tired - and then he smiles,
small and crooked. Amelie startles, because...
Well, because Father is smiling. And Amelie has forgotten
Such a lovely gift, this is, because suddenly Father has
pulled Amelie onto his shoulders, and then they are amongst
fields of virgin snow and poignant lavender. The sky breaks
open and blesses them with frozen rain, and Father smiles
again. He falls into the snow, makes angels with Amelie and
catches snowflakes on his tongue. What a day! They build
snowmen, and Father lends his scarf to a small snowman with a
large carrot for a nose. They retire as the day brightens,
from black to blue, and Sandman sprinkles stardust into their
eyes. She is gone, to Dreamland - with snow and lavenders,
and, best of all, Father smiling. When Amelie wakes, Father
is still asleep, and he does not look quite so sad.