By Aeswyn OR
First published in OR Briefing 211, Spring 2259

I gazed in awe at the beautiful landscape before me, a delicate forest of silver white trees. The topmost branches heavy and bent under the weight of curling and intertwined foliage. Shaped so by some long departed and forgotten gale.

Nothing moved in this enchanted and enchanting scene.

No bird flew among the treetops.

No creature ran and played.

No wind stirred the still and crystalline foliage.

No rays of sunlight played upon this sparkling spectacle.

No rain or snow was falling.

It was a place where elves and unicorns should dwell, but none appeared. A pristine white and virginal prospect, an exquisite wonder, and unseen by all but me.

A delicate woodland, which surrounded a lake of milk white crystal, thinning at the centre to reveal a pool of unfathomable blackness. Surely in the dark depths of such a pool must dwell unseen water spirits and strange wonderful beasts beneath the obsidian surface.

Wonderstruck, I traced the edge of the crystal lake with my finger. Gazing into the depths of dark pool I hoped to glimpse another world. No ripple disturbed the shining surface but the edge of the lake vanished where my finger touched, to become part of the ebony pool.

Then, with the first rays of sunlight, I glimpsed, not another world but my own garden within the pool. My finger became as cold as the ice, which formed this lovely landscape as it clothed my window with frost.