Dustless | Volume 18 | The Lover in the Snow [iii]

It is the easiest thing in the world to deviate from the pure Way * It is a glance, a yawn, a moment of inattention * It is the easiest thing in the world • to break a world * But it is hard, once you have left the Way, to return

They have not died, but to society outside the gates, they may as well be dead, and their home a form of Underworld.

Yet, even to the Underworld, visitors come: some, very welcome — some, perhaps, less so.

Representatives of a broken family, dwelling in a forgotten state, draw still on ancestral power, and garner influence from surprising sources.

Repair will be hard: the damage is so extensive — a building reduced to ruins, and then the ruins themselves subject to a neglect of years.

Yet, slowly, repair begins. Where there had only been a past, now there is a future. Where there was the silence of ghosts, now there are the voices of children. There is teaching: there are texts.

After great hardship, comfort, of a sort, is found.

Time to glance out of a window, to yawn, to not pay attention…