I haven't posted any writing in awhile, and this received Kim approval, so it must be good:
Snow fell softly on the desert, coating with pristine gentility the idle, swooping dunes, a still ocean. Marcia was inside, attending to her son, and I was alone in the calmness.
I thought I would enjoy the calmness. I thought it would be like when I was a child, and the days were lazy and soft, and the oncoming storm meant nothing. I thought it would be like the music of my mother, who sang when she thought we couldn’t hear; songs of sadness, loss, but lovely as a lullaby; Marcia and I would crush our ears to the pale door of our mother’s study when she sang, and then scamper off in a flurry of hushed giggles when we heard Father coming up the stairs. It was later, after we had moved from the country, that we realized that our mother’s voice was off-key, and coarse, and the magic of her quiet singing was lost.
The drifts and the waves of the whitening sand reminded me, in a contrary sort of way, to the thrashing rush of the city; we were cramped there, so much so that Marcia and I shared a bedroom. Father was always out, always working, and our mother would never tell us at what; for a long time, we assumed it was just his job—just a poor man’s effort to feed his family—but then whispers started coming in. A war was on the horizon, they said; phrases like ‘water deficiency’ and ‘changing climate’ became commonplace. Things changed quickly. My mother stopped singing, but by then, we no longer wanted to hear it.
After the war, when everything was unfamiliar and terrifying, and the world could reach out and wrench your heart from your chest, we had escaped. It was too much for us—for me. I needed the peace of my childhood, the peace of the time before the war, peace at all. Marcia followed me willingly, as she always did. Sometimes that weighed heavily on my mind, as it did now. Who knew what Marcia wanted? She wanted what I wanted, and I didn’t know what I wanted anymore. I thought it had been this. I thought wrong.
She was huddled inside the tent, singing softly to her darling child. She stopped when I came in. I stared at the toddler for a moment, wondering how something so innocent and beautiful could have possibly come about the way it did, and then told Marcia the truth.
“In the middle of a desert?” She shook her head, smiling sadly; her gentle curls fell in waves. They reminded me of the rolling sands, of the gentle way the snow twirled and floated from the sky. It was too much.
“I guess so.”