Aydel liked snow the instant she met it.
Winter had been a sharp disappointment until then. She’s spent the first thirteen years of her life buried in the south, and thought she’d known what cold was, after shuddering in wet clothes after a night rain. Then she’d been bitten by a northeast wind, stood dry in the sun and shivered, and learned the meaning of bone ache. Winter was less than enchanting, when she tripped through it on numb toes, no matter what the story books said.
When it started snowing, she sucked in a breath, knowing that wet would make everything worse. She tucked herself under the eaves of the buildings as she walked, and hurried on her way.
The snow slowed her, and the rest of the world. The bleak colors of the city sorted themselves into two: black and white. Every sound drifted to the extremes as well, either snapping into silence or dropping into sturdy, unmissable tones. Everything was clean, clear, reset to simplicity.
Aydel walked in the middle of it, dark hair catching every crystal flake, painted black and white as well. Her breath and footsteps muffled into silence. Her voice clicked clear as she hummed to herself.
She fit in this world.