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Time flew by, and soon the rosy-cheeked summer lay on its deathbed, her green trees slowly turning yellow as people returned to school. But within the winter afternoon that had become their life, nothing changed. There were no screams of "we are late!", there were no screeching of tyres as they drove down the street five minutes too late, and there were no questions of "Can you drive her to school today?" Simply because there were no one to scream at, no one to drive, and nowhere to drive to.

It was all so quiet, quiet, quiet, their voices rarely above a whisper. As if the thin walls of the glasshouse would break if they raised their voices. So their life became a whisper, a murmur of voices, as a scream built up inside of him.

It grew bigger every day, its black fur scratching the inside of his chest while it dug its nails into his throat. It tried to break free, straining the red silk ribbons that bound it until it frayed at the edges. It would soon tear apart, and the scream would come howling out, its ginormous jaws ripping his rips open before it left him on the ground, slowly bleeding out.

The day came. The last red strings were trembling, ready to let go. His body shook, his breath hitched in his throat, he could not do it, he could not do it. Broken nails dug into his palm, messy curls hang in his face, and pearly sweat formed on his brow. He could not do it, he could not do it, he could not do it.

His fingers were cold, icicles hanging from the tips as he paced back and forth, back and forth. He could see the door; it was there, right in front of him. It was white, the dark wood hidden beneath a thick layer of paint. White as snow. Pale as death. He could leave, open it up and be out, out in the dying summer day, out of this winder day. He rested his head against it, white paint against white skin, as he breathed in and out, slowly, carefully. His hand fell to the doorknob, feeling the cold metal against his skin. Cold on the inside, warm on the inside. It was just outside the door, all he had to do was open it.

His fingers cramped, tightening around the knob, and suddenly if flew open. The late summer wind caressed his face, softly kissing his lips, and suddenly he felt tears streaming down his face. It was right in front of him; the blue skies and the yellowing leaves, the green grass and the cherry blossom tree, yet he could not do it. He could not leave.

His knees gave away from beneath him, and the ground came rushing towards him. He clutched his face, tugged at his hair. His breath came in short puffs, in and out, in and out, as he hyperventilated. And suddenly the last red strings let go, and the scream broke free. The mighty beast roared as it climbed up his throat, but by the time it reached his lips it crouched down, whimpering like a wounded animal. For white silk ribbons had softly wrapped around it, whispering gentle words to it as it soundlessly escaped its ivory prison. No ribs were broken, and no lips were bruised, because the white ribbons had shot up from a crumpled envelope with blue words written on it.

"Harry," the words sung, "Harry." The melody of the letters was familiar, for he had heard it before. Once on a note, hidden beneath a tiny tree, and once on a list, now turned to ash.

He read it over and over again, the singing river of her voice echoing in his mind. "Harry, Harry, Harry." He had almost forgot what it sounded like, but the blue letters brought it all back; the old favourite song you recognise by the first tone.

The envelope felt heavy in his hands, as if the whole world was inside it. It felt rough against his skin, the fragile paper creased with adventure, bruised by coffee and dirt. He gripped it tight, the icicles melting as he carried it upstairs.

His mind was a silent chaos as he sat down on the paint stained floor. The sun had been shining at it the whole day, and warmth seeped in under his skin as he opened the envelope. Golden rays of sunshine kissed his head as five postcards fell to the ground like petals from a flower. And suddenly he was no longer covered in black coal, but in dark brown earth.

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