A winter wind sprang up. Nothing more than a zephyr at first, it whipped through grey streets stripping away at cornerstones, lampposts, fire hydrants.

Amy selected a dream to keep her warm as she slept. It was the dream she returned to most often, of the one who’d been the only good thing about school.

He walked like John Wayne, talked like Clarke Gable and leant against the world like James Dean. She tried to remember his name but it didn’t come to her. It never did.

Amy dreamt him real again. More real than the memories she never trusted—her unforgiving mother, the years at St Brigid’s, the marriages, the neglect. At her age she could make up her history if she wanted. No one would question her.

She dreamt prom nights and yearbooks; sweet words in long curvaceous script with hearts for dots on every ‘i’ and ‘j’. She dreamt the warmth of summery romance. His gentle touch coming down on her. Covering her. Making her comfortable. Making it so she almost forgot to breathe. She dreamt his kiss.

The snow that had fallen soaked through her blanket. It piled on top of her. It covered her like it covered the empty crates outside Donut Palace.

Until she disappeared in it.


2011-Richard Holt / small stories about love (