It was supposed to be cold. People had worn long coats and scarves and stockings and had complained in the morning about the frost. They had cursed, or they had marveled at the shapes their breath made in the air and, regardless, the half-tamed wind carried their curses and marvellings out away and over the city. Sometimes they died from it, and sometimes they wrapped their arms around each other and carried on with trying to love.
But now it rained, endless and muggy and yellow-gray. It wasn’t cold, because there was no place to get cold. The clouds slept overhead, static, and they hoarded complaints and joy. If they had moved, fragments of sky would have made people a little colder just to see, like ice splinters in the eyes and heart.
They didn’t move. Nobody knew if they could be moved, or possibly nobody asked. Things were wet.
Things were always wet. Things were the miserable wet of old buildings and stairwells. The damp stuck to shoes and jackets and long, dark hair, and, in a room that would have been sunnier in a film, it slipped into the dreams of a girl.
She had her television on, playing static; it was the way she made herself sleep. There was a special static channel which cost a lot. It played through her earbuds while she slept and the ceiling reflected its furious starlight. She dreamed of rivers. The rain and static slipped together in her head, and sounded like falling.
She woke up shivering and had no idea why.
hannah is submitting this piece here so she can get it published, out from under her nails, and start working on more stuff. she doesn’t have much to show off right now.