Story by Daffodil Bolger

OVERTURE

Frodo watched the snow fall, stark-white to the muted jet of night, blanketing the earth outside the window in silence thick and full. It was beautiful in its feather-light flow, each flake drifting graceful and slow but sharp against its backdrop of ebony canvas, sloughing in a lazy spiral to settle upon the thick-growing accrual that covered the small portion of Buckland he could spy through the frosted panes of the large, round window.

"Frodo!"

He wished he could be out there, packing a handful or two between his palms, pressing and curling fingers just warm enough to mould smooth, because everyone knows the best snowballs are made with one's hands, bared to the bite of ice formed between pinked flesh and pristine snow. He wished he could be out there right now, fingers frozen and nose close enough to it, cheeks ruddy and tingling and toes so numb you think they'll shatter off your feet, but you don't care because you're having far too much fun, taking your aim and ducking another's.

"Frodo?"

He wished he could see the River from this window. It always looked so perfectly beautiful in the winter months, its amber waters turned black and silver beneath Moon and stars, kissing branch and bracken with diamond mist, frozen facets reflecting the River back on itself in frosted sparks along its banks.

"Frodo!"

He wished he could kick Bilbo's arse.