The atmosphere has changed. It is neither heavy nor light, neither joyous nor sorrowful, most days. The sun's light has trouble piercing through the clouds. Even today I cannot see it, but the air is brighter. I can feel the sun beyond the chilled horizon. The south winds blow bitter and coldly, but there is solace in the light. The concrete city, painted white by ash, gleams with an unfamiliar warmness - a warmness that was, perhaps, familiar once; the fires blazing in the midst of a slow and peaceful winter. The coldness itself is what is warm, for the memories of warmness that it brings. The atmosphere has changed. There is warmth found in an endless sea of grey. The winter itself is a beacon of comfort. But just for today.
The ash falls like memory; for a second I see snowflakes, floating timidly down, light glimmering on their white-rendered fractal designs, hand-crafted crystals falling like dryad's tears onto the grey concrete. But it has always been ash - cold, coarse ash - and