At the Door

Prompt: Who came to the door at midnight? by Rabia Gale. The Heinlein Challenge and the Ficlet o'Clock

A little one-off that made the rounds at various publications and came back again.


Liana Mir

At the Door

She came to the door at midnight. Come with me.

Alyen lost his child, lost his wife long ago to the wind, and now when Winter calls, he answers.


Miscellaneous Fiction Fantasy
Flash Fiction Short Story

She came to the door at midnight, white hair trailing over her long white skirts, mouth wide open, hand raised in supplication, Come with me.

Alyen turned her away and shut the door.

She came to the door at dawn, frost scattered over her brows and dusting her cheeks with snow, lips soft blue, as if all the blood had gone out from the cold. She opened the mouth and he heard no sound, but… Come with me.

Alyen shook his head and shut the door.

She came to the door at noon, her breath as soft and frigid as the coldest night wind, shivers whispering from her pale outstretched fingers to his warm human hand. Come with me.

Helpless, Alyen stared and came. She would never leave him until he did. He took her hand and felt the gentle cold seep deep into his bones. He felt his eyelids droop, but followed hard on numbing foot over the cold, dry earth, dusted with the snow of their passing. She led him over the cobbled bridge away from the town he had lived in and married in and… And they stepped into the sky.

Winter drew him sweetly into her embrace, and Alyen thought he would die from the cold, but she breathed into his mouth, and he found his eyes were opened once more.

Tiny spritelike creatures danced around them, singing in their clear, sweet voices in a tongue he had never heard. Alyen looked closer and knew they were snowflakes, skating upon their icy breezes.

Up, she mouthed.

Winter and Alyen flew up higher into the sky to the Palaces of Snow. They set their feet on the treasuries of frost and gale and sleep. She took his hand and guided him into her kingdom.

They reached the throne room swiftly and there stood a little child, a girl with the same sparkling blue eyes of her mother and the shiny brown hair of her father. Her father who was Alyen.

He stared at her and dropped Winter’s hand. Memory bit him like the cold around him.

“I must go after her, Alyen.” Earnest, pleading blue eyes in his beloved’s anguished face.

“Our daughter is dead.” Like his heart. Like his life.

“The wind stole her, Alyen. We must go after her.”

He had not believed in the wind, that wind could steal, had not believed until his wife had disappeared forever. Then Winter came.

Snowflakes danced around his little girl, and she laughed, a sparkling, cold sound, but with a sharp clap of Winter’s terribly pale white hands, the snowflakes scattered, and the child, his daughter, toddled forward and reached her chubby fingers to his.

He touched her, then lifted her and clutched her to him. She was warm as a heartbeat.

He looked at Winter. She looked at him.

Her return is paid.

“My wife,” his words stumbled on a half-frozen tongue.

Winter looked at the child. The child. Her return is paid.

Alyen grimly brushed the frozen tears from his cheeks and reached for Winter’s hand, and she led him back to earth, back to his door again.

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Miscellaneous Fiction Fantasy

If you liked this story, you may also like Beneath the Icewood Trees. Please consider sharing this story or tipping the author at left.

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3 Responses to At the Door

  1. Esther says:

    This is sort of a cross between a fairy tale and mythology -- very nice. Have you read Karen Joy Fowler? Something about the style or the story reminds me of her work.

    • Liana says:

      I have not. Will have to check her out. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm terribly in love with science fiction, fantasy, fairy tales, and myth—probably in reverse order!

  2. Pingback: The #FridayFlash Report – Vol 4 Number 36 | Friday Flash

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