Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Snow Dial

The Snow Dial stands fifty paces before the entrance to the Mansion.  A waist-high column of plaster takes the balance of length between the square slab of concrete on the ground and the Dial itself in front of you.  It is a circle of brass, glass on the face, and a chrome arrow from center to edge.  The glass covers a pie-sliced face of colored sections: white, yellow, blue, brown, orange, red, and black.  The arrow sits amidst the white section.

Await the next snowfall.  Go to the Dial.  Turn the arrow.  See what comes.

When the arrow is set in the yellow section, the snow falls sweet and tart on the tongue, goes down like lemonade.  In blue, the snow evaporates in stinging sparks at the touch of living flesh.  In brown, the clouds shed soil in steady falls that choke and cake.  Giddy phantasms dazzle the mind on smelling snow when the arrow points to orange.  At red, the snow never touches ground; it hovers and swirls from ankle-height to two stories high, makes the shortest paths impassible.

When the arrow of the Snow Dial is set to black, the drifts awake and form hulking shapes of two legs and four.  They lumber and shamble, avoiding large objects, people, trees, houses, you.  The friction of grinding snow in their joints is soft, then grates as Spring arrives and the heat makes their bulk pitiful.


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