The Silent & The Secret, Before the Snow

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A preamble to tomorrow’s Holiday Card reveal – a selection from Conrad Aiken’s “Silent Snow, Secret Snow” which goes with the theme quite beautifully:

It was gentler here, softer, its seethe the quietest of whispers, as if, in deference to a drawing room, it had quite deliberately put on its ‘manners’; it kept itself out of sight, obliterated itself, but distinctly with an air of saying, ‘Ah, but just wait! Wait till we are alone together! Then I will begin to tell you something new! Something white! something cold! something sleepy! something of cease, and peace, and the long bright curve of space! Tell them to go away. Banish them. Refuse to speak. Leave them, go upstairs to your room, turn out the light and get into bed – I will go with you, I will be waiting for you, I will tell you a better story than Little Kay of the Skates, or The Snow Ghost – I will surround your bed, I will close the windows, pile a deep drift against the door, so that none will ever again be able to enter. Speak to them!…’ It seemed as if the little hissing voice came from a slow white spiral of falling flakes in the corner by the front window – but he could not be sure.

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