Sometimes flash fiction happens to me.
(c) 2011 Maura Anderson
As the crescent moon sets, shadows deepen to ebon velvet and the relief of dawn seems a lifetime away. The night sky is now decorated only by the faint shimmer of distant stars, their meager light unable to warm the sharp, freezing air.
Slowly gathering in the depressions and hollows, a light mist begins to blanket the land. Icy tendrils flow out and fill the valleys, deepening from silver to grey as the growing fog works to block out even the light of the stars until the very land beneath it seems isolated from the rest of the world.
A place between the worlds of Sun and Moon. A time and place so temporary and so rare it bears no name of its own, yet it’s the only time she can walk the lands of man again.
The fog thickens and roils into a column, then a vague form emerges and solidifies into a tall, gracile female form. Clothed in flowing robes that changed from white to grey to midnight black in a shimmering pattern, her presence makes the very air weigh heavily and the residual warmth of the earth fades into a dusting of frost. Her white hair streams out behind her like tendrils of clouds and glistens with drops of ice.
Released, at least for a short while, from the prison of her own making, she wanders this small part of the land of man. All the life she has missed, all the plants and animals she lost through her own attempts to manipulate others. Slow tears flowed down her face only to drop frozen to the ground, a trail of diamonds to mark her path. A gently caress coats a crocus in glistening frost. A slight brush against a bush freezez tendrils water dripping from its branches into tiny icicles.
The first faint colors of dawn begin to drain away her cloak of fog and she knows her time here is over again. As she fades from the land of man, her last heavy sigh flows out over the branches of a tree and freezes instantly into the lacelike tendrils of her namesake, fragile and delicate. Even that beauty is doomed to disappear at sunrise, leaving only a memory and the faint scent of the wild and regret.
She is Hoarfrost.