at nighttime we’d all walk down to the rock overlooking the mountain valleys. as we stepped over tumbling stones and loose dirt on our way to the rock hill, we’d whisper about dreamtime monsters hiding in the trees. all was pitch dark but the curling trails of incense smoke and lit lanterns. everything was deathly still but our breath. we’d wrap ourselves in blankets to keep warm but the cold would still lick at our lips and fingers.
we’d walk home and light the fireplace so that everything was alight and warm, and we’d toast marshmallows or eat hot soup. one night after our walk to the rock it began to snow and the balcony was painted white. i’ve never seen snow before so i ran out like i was ten years old again, in just a dress and stuck my tongue out to taste falling snowflakes. me, penny lane and another pretty girl named hannah jumped around in it and made little snowmen and snowballs and everyone around could hear our excitement.
snow in autumn. i thought it was like magic.
but then one day she had to leave, so we took her to the train station and said sad goodbyes and our home was quiet again.