The clouds coiled lazily throughout the sky, their thick and
bulbous bodies trapping the sun behind their very girth as they
moved over a clearing, the sun slowly disappearing, leaving
behind the statue of an angel. The angel, long ago hewn from some
rock now unknown to man, stood in silent watch over the small
clearing it had been erected in. Even as the sun began to
disappear, small snowflakes no bigger than shriveled peas began
to float down into the clearing, their small, cold bodies
lighting on the ground, surrounding trees, and the statue of the
forlorn angel. The snowflakes continued to fall, not too thickly
nor too thinly, covering all about them in a perfect layer of
purest white. The clouds, continuing their implacable advance,
continued to thickly and slowly stream about the sky, the light
of the sun muted, save for a few fledgling rays that broke
through and dimly lit certain parts of the forest. One beam fell
on the lone statue of the angel, its light illuminating the
snowflakes with a soft intensity as a small bird flew through the
trees and landed on the head of the angel. It stood perfectly
still, that blue jay, as it regarded the forest around it, it's
head cocked in examination and its tail fluidly bobbing up and
down as he hopped about the head of the angel, though not
stirring a single snowflake.
A boy, his head now covered in the soft powder from heaven,
wandered through the forest, his ragged shoes and clothes
grudgingly offering him just enough warmth to prevent him from
dying in the cold forest. He brushed a few flakes from his
jacket, a dark green item with small holes and patch marks
randomly decorating it, combined with the similar appearance of
his dark grey pants and black boots, he looked for all the world
like any one of the millions of orphans throughout the war-torn
world. He continued to brush off the snow, slightly stumbling
around the roots and trees of the forest, not really paying
attention to where he was going and occasionally stumbling
against several trees in his absent-minded state. His right foot,
encased within the surprisingly warm, though dilapidated boots,
hooked under a root, and sent him flying forwards. He landed on
the ground a few feet from where he had tripped, his body
remaining prone as he huffed out a shallow breath, sending small
flakes of snow twisting and dancing wildly before his face. He
put his hands beneath himself and slowly stood back up as he
cursed softly, his voice slowly dissipating in the air as surely
as his warm breath did slowly vanish before his eyes. The sun,
hidden up to that point, suddenly streamed out with a vengeance
and struck the clearing, bathing that lone spot within the forest
with its warmth. He looked down at himself, starting to brush off
the dirt that had mixed in with the snow, but then he just
sighed, his breath misting before him as it had been for the past
few weeks. He turned around to see why the light was suddenly
brighter in this part of the forest, having recognized the
pointlessness of brushing off his already, dirty clothes. He was
standing at the edge of a clearing, the ground was completely
covered with snow, and had not been disturbed since its fall. He
turned back to the forest behind him, wondering how he had not
seen the clearing from the trees, and then turned back to the
clearing, just in time to hear the faintest rustle. He looked
about the clearing for the sign of an animal, but all he saw was
the snow and….a statue. The snowflakes around the head of the
statue were gently floating from some disturbance, and were
slowly falling, seeming to from a veil of floating white specks
that danced about in the light. The boy stood at the edge of the
clearing, unable to avert his eyes from the figure of the angel.
"Wh-what is this…this statue?" he whispered to
the trees and the snow.
He moved forward, the light playing about him as he slowly
walked, though he did not notice it for the aura the angel seemed
to possess in the light, each individual snowflake that adorned
its perfectly hewn body glowing softly in the warm brilliance of
the sun. His steps, at first hesitant, became more purposeful as
he neared the angel, but then he stopped as he saw that, what he
had at first thought to be a robe covering its body and forming
the hood over its face, was actually composed of long, thin,
intricately carved strips of cloth. So finely hewn were they that
it seemed as if the angel had been dipped in liquid stone and
then set in the clearing to dry, forever destined to watch the
clearing in which it now resided.
"What a sad, lonely angel, out here in this clearing in the
middle of the forest." The boy looked down at his hands, folding
them together to help keep them warm. "Just like me."
The boy reached a hand out and lightly touched the stone, but
then he pulled it back abruptly with a look of shock on his face
as he looked down at his hand. The stone had been faintly warm
for some reason, as if the heat was resonating from within,
though it was not melting the snow, which puzzled him all the
more. He slowly approached the statue again and laid his hand
fully on its surface, marveling at its inner warmth, and even
running his hand over its surface a few times, dislodging some of
the flakes that had somehow clung to the lateral surface. A
slight breeze escaped from the forest, surprisingly warmer than
the rest of the cursed wind in the country that always threatened
to freeze your bones with even the smallest gust. The boy looked
to the side, his hand falling slightly, and then turned back to
regard the statue. His hand brushed the stone again, and,
suddenly, the statue seemed to explode, or, rather, the stone
seemed to fly off of the figure of the angel, all at once the
stone flew off, as if it had been shocked from the angels very
body, flying off in all one layer and dissipating into a million
tiny snowflakes that fell about the boy and around the clearing.
In place of the once dark stoned angel now stood a girl, her eyes
closed and her chest rising and falling with deep breaths. Her
eyes opened slowly, their chocolate colored orbs locking on to
the boy's dark brown eyes, pinning him in place, freezing him to
his very soul, and stopping his heart. Her eyes were like pools,
infusing him with a necessity for life that he had not known in
all his years, even making him feel as if it had all been worth
it; the trials and tests the world had put him through, even the
inner wars he had been forced to fight with himself. It was as if
everything in his life that had happened to him had been for the
sole purpose of bringing him to this lonely angel in the
His thoughts were nonexistent as he tried to say
something. "Wh……how……." His voice trailed off as she smiled at
him brightly, stopping his heart again. She shook herself
slightly, her eyes sweeping around the clearing again as she
backed away from him and stretched.
"Wow, I have been like that for ages!" She
exclaimed with a soft laugh, her dark brown hair, cut in layers
and not much longer than the back of her neck, fell forward and
curtained her face as she stretched towards the ground. The boy
stared at her, his face a mixture of shock and extreme curiosity.
"How….but you're a statue…" he mumbled, blinking
his eyes rapidly a few times and rubbing the back of his neck as
he continued to regard her.
She whirled around and stared at him, her eyes
flying wide, her mouth hanging slightly open. "Wh…y-you released
me?" her voice was barely more than a whisper, but, when spoken
towards him, the boy could not help but feel calm for the first
time in his life.
"I…only…uh…touched the statue…" He pointed
stupidly at where she had been standing, encased in stone,
moments before, and then blinked again, bringing his gaze back to
her face. "Well, I guess that I….touched you then….?"
She smiled softly to herself as her light brown
wings unfurled and snapped out to her side with the sound of a
thousand stalks blowing in the wind. "Heh….well….bah…" her eyes
snapped up from the ground and met his again, making the boy feek
dizzy again as she studied him. "I can…see why it was you…" he
voice trailed off as she tilted her head back to regard the sky.
"Uhm…you can?" The boy was still looking at her
with awe as she smiled at him, making his knees go weak.
"Yes." She looked around the clearing again, and
then let her eyes fall on the boy one more time, taking in his
appearance. The wind-blown and snow-covered dark brown hair, the
puzzled expression, the ragged clothes, and the way the light
played about his figure. She smiled to herself again as she
slowly approached him.
"Who….who are you?" The boy was looking at her
nervously now, though he did not feel frightened, only unsure.
"I could ask you the same thing."
The boy continues to stare at her, making her
feel a little giddy. "I'm….my name is…Maen."
"Maen" she repeated softly, liking every second
it took her to pronounce his name. "My name is Caera. It is very
nice to meet you Maen." She stopped walking a foot from him, her
eyes penetrating his as she held out her hand. "How are you
"I'm….good?" He shook her hand sheepishly but
firmly, his eyes averted to the ground. "You're shy, aren't you?"
He looked back up into her eyes. "Nah, just in
front of you."
She laughed at that, a joyously rich sound that
made the boy blush, causing her to smile more. "Well Maen, what
are you doing here?"
He thought back to when he fell into the
clearing, "I wondered in here on accident."
"Haha, it looks like that."
Maen laughed, a low sound that had Caera's eyes
dancing in amusement. He was starting to feel more comfortable
around her." So, why were you a…statue?" His eyes were still
slightly large in awe.
"I…well…I'll tell you some other time."
"Some other time?" Maen looked confused.
"Yeah, let's just get out of here for now. This
clearing served its purpose, but, now I can serve mine." She
flashed a smile at him and laid a hand on his arm as she went to
move past him.
He grabbed her arm, gently but firmly. "May I
come with you?" He felt his mental clarity returning with each
passing second as he grew used to her splendor and realized that
he really did not want to be alone in this forest anymore,
contrary to what he had thought before when he had tried to leave
the war behind.
"It would be my distinct pleasure." She took his
hand, making him blush a fiery crimson, and then led him to the
edge of the trees, facing the opposite way from which he had
first entered the clearing. "Which way do you want to go?"
Maen smiled nervously when she looked at him,
though his eyes sparkled with resolve. "Let's take the most
forgotten trail in this world, and see where we end up from
there." He met her gaze, a smile on his face, his hand in hers.
She laughed, tilting her head slightly to the
side. "Ahhh, yes, let's do that."