The fall of a snowflake.
It landed on her eyelash, so soft it was barely a touch, only noticeable because of the little chill it brought to her face. Cameron blinked open her eyes.
The landscape was white, as if dusted with a fresh layer of powdered sugar. Tiny icicles hung from the tips of the trees, trickles of water frozen in time. A sheet of ice blanketed the forest pond. The air itself was calm and completely still, with nothing and no one to disturb it, only the silent sound of more snowflakes floating down from the grayish sky.
The sun was coming up on the horizon, streaking warm color over the drapes of white. Cameron squinted through the trees as the golden light streamed through them, rising in the east, signaling new beginnings.
That was what this was: a new beginning.
She sat up. Her head hurt from the rocky ground, but at least the snow had softened it a bit. Nothing around her moved. Nothing stirred. Nothing spoke.
Cameron took a deep breath. The chilly air filled her lungs with a cold shock, filtering away the heat of the past as she exhaled. The clearing was deserted. The forest was asleep and at ease with the present.
She could go back to sleep if she wanted to. And she so very, very wanted to. The blissful silence was tempting, peaceful. The snow was coming down softly, and the air posed a quiet morning frost. She could stay here for awhile. She could rest.
The silence was serene.
But it was also hollow, empty, alone…
And others were counting on her.
Cameron got to her feet and ran from the beautiful clearing.