She could barely make out the maple only 20 feet away.
She began to pace and time wore on, one agonizingly slow minute after the next, and the white world darkened, closing in.
The snow-burdened wind gathered up across broad prairies to the west and then stormed across the dirty brown expanse of Lake Erie, slamming with incredible ferocity into the decaying city on the shore. The wind raced down streets, rattling old warehouses and empty mills, across parks and fields, snapping branches and piling up great snowdrifts, and now buffeted the quiet suburban house, which moaned painfully in response.
The girl, kneeling on the small gray love seat, hands clasped, peered through the large paned window. A thick white shroud lay on the front lawn, sidewalk, driveway, and street. The dirty gray snow mounds that edged the driveway that morning were now almost invisible, no more than indeterminate lumps. In the twilight air, an opaque shimmering scarf, spangled with tiny needles of snowflakes…