The stones are cold. He knows the story behind them: the sacrifice, pulling the earth away, wresting them from their sleep in warm soil, making the land behave.
Building this castle on earth that resisted and cried out. Damning up the water; cutting away the trees.
But they call him unnatural.
"We built this. One day it may be yours. If you behave."
The stones are cold. Walking around the perimeter, he touches one. And another. And another. Is there warmth still there? Does her touch linger, trying to speak to him?
Wood means warmth.
The chill never really goes. But it is memory, it is heart. Touch the floor. Kneel, pray, cry out to the universe that never seems to hear.
But he hears. She knows it. She listens. He knows it.
Wood means safety. Wood is acceptance and light. Castles aren't built out of wood.
The light filters through windows: daylight, moonlight, sun on snow, moonlight on rain slicked grass.
Warming stones. Reminding wood.
And every night, every season, fingers reach out. Touching glass. Whispered words.
"I miss you."