Winter was deepening, the air turning dry and biting. The first snow was creeping closer. Every day, it seemed ready to break through by morning, and every day it came closer, but the distance just seemed to stretch. As if the world had decided to run from it. As if the snow had not quite realized it would have to give chase.
Jedda watched the windows as she blew out the lamps for the night. The pitch black outside blew away with the light, until the outside world wasn’t quite locked away behind the glass. The shadows of the trees spilled inside. The wall of her neighbor’s house stood, flat and gray. The clouds, pale and heavy, hung low. The wind-wheel hummed softly, spun lazily.
She caught the spark out of the corner of her eye. Flashed, and gone.
She turned her head, and the cat turned too, faster. His ears were high. His eyes reflected brighter colors than it should have, for just a moment. He kept one paw raised, halfway through his next step before she had startled him. She almost laughed at him.
When he had remembered that Jedda lived there, that she often turned her head, and that there was no danger, he looked away from her. He took another step across the plush rug, and sparks flashed around his feet.
The cat leaped onto the back of the couch, landed with a crackle, and his fur stood on end.
She laughed silently, and kept watching. There was no magic in it, but it was strange enough to enchant anyway.
The snow was coming soon.