When Elizabeth Winterfield awoke, she got up
immediately, and floated down the white marble
staircase; just at the bottom, turned left, and
went through a small doorway, into a small kitchen,
also of white marble.
She was dressed in a full-length nightgown
of silvery gossamer; her long hair, the color of
winter clouds, fell down her back and over her
shoulders; her skin was like the first snow.
She made espresso in a stainless steel pot,
gazing into the gas jets with eyes of the same
She poured out the thick coffee, black, no
sugar, and her morning-pink lips took tiny sips
of it from a grey china cup.
As she drank, she pondered, as was her habit,
the mysteries of her existence, and, indeed, of
existence in general, in the universe she inhabited.
Who was she? why? where? -all the usual, obvious
questions, she thought, that kept coming back to
haunt her, despite her profound belief in their
fundamental stupidity and ultimate futility.
Light filled the kitchen and made the marble
luminous, as if from within, like her own translucence.
What star had died, just then, she wondered.
As she brooded, deep in the minutes, a wren
lit on the windowsill, not two feet from her,
and cocked its head back and forth, looking straight
at her. It burst, of a sudden, into a long trill;
then flew off quickly and dissolved like a breath
into the cold blue air.
Well then, thought Elizabeth Winterfield.
That IS that, isn't it.
She finished her coffee, savoring its rich
bitterness, then set the cup, with a small clink,
onto the counter: one elegant, grey artefact of
her life, at rest-on the white marble; naught
else in the kitchen.
She walked, slowly, with feline grace and
silence, back up the stairs.
She slid between the great grey comforter
and the grey linen sheet, and rested her head on
the billowy grey pillow.
Her hair fell all about her like a cloud.
Her skin glowed like first snow.
Elizabeth Winterfield fell back into sleep,
and there was no troubling thought in her mind.
This time, she wouldn't waken, and she would
become the greyness and the whiteness, the marble
and silence and the elegance she had always hoped
to achieve in her life, but never had.