Lilith watched as he pulled the sled through the knee-deep snow. He had wanted to head back the direction he had originally come from, but she had wailed that going north was the quickest way to the road. He was struggling with the rope on the sled. Maybe it was time. She had never had this much difficulty changing someone but he was different. His circumstances were different.
Shifting in the tight blankets he had wrapped around her, she concentrated on his thoughts. He was exasperating, always thinking about the silly book he was writing. She needed to know more about him, not the story he was writing. Funny how his thoughts drift so much, now he is thinking about her and her wounds. Why does he care?
Then with a sharp clarity, she began to see deep within him, beyond the book. Like a twisting maze, his life began to unravel in front of her. The cloud that had hid his thoughts from her began to clear, and she could see the profound love for his parents and the childhood, full of warmth and security, spent at the family farm in a small town.
There was the large, white home with its wraparound farmer’s porch, and a two person swing gently rocking in the breeze. Acres and acres of land spread out to left and right of the home while cows grazed unobtrusively among the horses. Behind the house, the woods reached far up the mountain. Syrup buckets and taps could be seen scattered throughout the trees. A large red barn and sugar shack were down the path towards the right fields. A long twisted driveway led away from the home towards another thicket of trees.
Three women held baskets, full of raspberries, in their arms as they meandered up the path towards the house. The older woman, whom he called Gran, swatted the bugs from her basket. His mother, in the middle adjusted the basket on her right arm and with the left wrapped her arm around the younger woman’s shoulders. A beauty, this one was. With her long blond hair swaying to and fro as she walked. Her dark brown, eyes lit up as she smiled towards his mother. She said something and the three women laughed in harmonious unison.
When she concentrated on the younger woman she could feel the dull stab of pain cross his heart. The pain of someone who had loved then lost that love very abruptly. The woman’s name was Leslie and she remembered her. Lilith remembered her from the car crash several years back. The young woman had died instantly, and with no remorse, had gone on to her final destination. She and John had been sweethearts through high school and college. They had been engaged to be married when the accident occurred.
At once, Lilith realized that she had struck gold. She had found the way and it would be so easy. John had stopped pulling the sled and turned to look at her. She feigned sleep and he once again tightened his grip on the ropes and continued the trudge through the snow.
It must be an easy transition, not this awkward footslogging. She checked to make sure that John was watching the woods ahead then she thought about spring. The melting of the snows that filled the brooks and lakes, the warming of the earth as trees and everything around them began to come alive again. She thought about the animals coming out of hibernation and preparing to bring forth new life. She thought about the lovely little insects busily trying to pollinate all the newly bursting flowers and spread the wondrous colors throughout the fields. She worked hard to bring this closer with each of his steps, not as hard as forming the storm, but it had always been easier for her to procure more destructive powers, then creating beauty.