How Dark These Edges of Edelweiss

He loved her hair, fragile and ivory, still fair against her eggshell-pale skin. Her fingers, translucent and papery, rested gently against his own icy cheek. No matter how many wrinkles hung in the corner of her eyes, they still remained as clearly and brilliantly silver-white as the first day he saw her, alight in a field of snowy edelweiss at the edge of the sunrise.

“Light fades,” she told him when she became too weak to stand. How he’d raged, never in her sight; Instead, “My opal,” he called her, in hopes it would entice her to stay, “my crystal, my mother-of-pearl.” But she faded still, smiling even as she said goodbye, and his tears were pearlescent against her perfect skin

He burned her on a pyre of cedar and ash. He cursed the empty frost-laced hall. He went quite mad.

Then he saw a girl dancing in the edelweiss, as dark as she was once bright, and knew with terrible clarity that even the darkest coal could be crushed into the most flawless, perfect diamond.

And he smiled, like winter.

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