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Lady Winter

"Please bring me back silence from your far away kingdom, where no one wanted to live"

My arms were still hurting from today’s labor and I was already headed for the top of the hill, unable to wait anymore for tonight’s event. There wasn’t anything particular going on today but this was now part of my routine and I was always looking forward to it. I started to ponder what I would do if she decided not to come. Would I still watch the starry sky alone? I didn’t think about it for too long since I saw her from a distance, already lost in her thoughts, leaning back on her arms. I climbed the hill and silently took place next to her, assuming a similar position as her. We waited quietly until the nightfall, I was sometimes rubbing my arms to ease the pain and before the sunset, I could barely feel it anymore, Just as the first star lit the cloudless sky, she slowly opened her eyes and spoke.

“The winter is coming faster this year isn’t it?” she asked. I couldn’t agree more, we barely dived into autumn and we already had signs of an upcoming new season. My father and I have been working all week to make sure that everything would be ready to welcome the winter. “We’ll definitively have an early winter, it’s too bad… I kind of like the color scheme that autumn has. It feels warm even if it’s a bit cold sometimes, the way I like it!” She giggled to herself as she was completing that complicated description of the season we were in.

“Yes, it is for sure coming faster than expected but I think we’ll still be well-prepared for it. Do you think we’ll be getting any snow this year?” I asked, hoping for some spoiler that she could manage to predict. We weren’t really lucky with that, we had freezing winters but uncommon were the years we could even see an ounce of snow so we had a saying that told that if it would snow during the winter, the earth would be happy and grow larger crops when spring came. The immaculate flakes would then rejoice more than one when they fell. It was also some light of hope for those who relied on the earth to feed their families, helping them through this hard and demanding work. Even if it wasn’t true, they believed it so they would feel like they’re were working together with the ground to make things grow. She laughed a bit at my question before replying on a frivolous tone.

“Not if we kill Palsye!” she thought she was funny but she took a semi-serious face when she saw that I didn’t understand or knew what she was referring to. She proceeded to try and explain to me. “There’s a legend that was quite popular when I was young in my hometown. It was the one of a young girl named Palsye, that supposedly lived a few leagues from the place I grew years ago. She had skin white as snow, short pale blue hair and blue eyes. From the outside, she almost looked like a little angel but she wouldn’t talk quite often, she always seemed depressed and sad. The story also says that she would be staying in her room during the day and sometimes wander around in the town during the night, her parents shut her in because everyone felt uneasy in her presence. If you stood in the same room as her, you would feel a deep chill run down your spine and even tough blacksmiths would be shivering. Needless to say that she was lonely in this world where most of the people prefer when it’s warm so it was probably the reason why she was so depressed. As the years passed, people of the village would start to hate her, they blamed the rudeness of the winter on her and said she was a witch or a demon that brings bad luck. To add to her behaviour, people who met her during the night said that they were scared to death when they got stared by Palsye, receiving a glance from her as cold as the cruelest winter. Her parents loved her but didn’t really know what to do with her, she wouldn’t probably ever get married or have children and she might not even want to anyways.” She took a pause, giving me a rest, some time to assimilate what she said and even ask a question if I ever had to. Since I’m a good listener I made her a sign to keep on.

“One year”, she resumed, “the winter was really strong and harsh, it came so early that people from the village didn’t have time to collect food and wood before it began. Everyone was having their own difficulties and they all felt the need to blame someone else for their laziness. They blamed Palsye for the early and violent winter, for the snow drowning their vegetables and the ice covering the lake where the fish was caught. Her parents tried to defend their daughter, telling everyone that she was only a little girl, she couldn’t do such things but the people of the village wouldn’t want to hear anything. They really had a strong hatred towards her and they wanted to let her know. When some of the townsfolk barged in her room, they started yelling at her, they plaid they would all die because of her. Not once the little girl looked at them, not once her mouth opened. Her parents were also being targeted and made accomplices of the town’s foreseen demise so they kept quiet, while being killed deep inside.” She took another pause to breath and immediately started storytelling again.

“I’ll skip the details but the townsfolk decided to kill Palsye in order to save the village. They thought that the winter would stop, that their misery would end by killing this girl. Weeks after, the winter was still raging and many villagers died from famine or cold, it was a terrible year for this little town. It was also the last year this town ever saw snow falling down the sky, the winter would still be cold, as it is here, but many people thought that Palsye’s death was the reason why they wouldn’t get snow anymore. She had many different names through the years, I think the most popular one is Lady Winter, it’s a pretty poetic name and many writers wrote tales of her, being all alone in her kingdom of silence, where no one wanted to live.” As she finished her story she rested a bit in the tall grass as if she was extenuated from talking. I think she was happy to have been able to tell me this story.

“Well that was a pretty interesting story, a sad one for sure, I wonder if it’s also the reason why we rarely get snow too.” I started to think about Palsye, how would have she been if she actually spoke to people and what would have happened if they accepted her even if she was different. I also thought that the cruel winter that fell on them was probably a punishment for them being selfish and blaming someone else for their mistakes, that’s somewhat pathetic. Do people really hate cold that much? I understand from a biological point of view that humans tend to stay at the same body temperature so they can function normally but I think that cold is also part of the nature and of the seasons. Why not try to live with it, I can only see good things happening. She has remained pretty silent so I decided to end it so we could be thinking by ourselves without having the awkward feeling to have to say something.

“I wonder how it would have been if I lived in the same town as her. I would probably try to be friends with her, I kind of like cold and mysterious girls, they’re my type.” on those clever words, we stared at the stars for a good moment without saying a word and then I decided to head back by myself. As I was stepping down the hill I looked behind me to look at her, I think she was looking back at me but I kept on walking down the hill.


Edit : A little bonus, this is what inspired me for the title (and a bit of the story too). It’s a song I wrote, performed by Winterfall (I’m playing the piano!). The name of the song is “Hymn for my dreams” but the former name was “Lady Winter”. Click here to listen to it!

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