Ash falls from the ember log in the fireplace, the subtle glow within the sole light. The chill of winter steals through the bare room and creeps upon the lonely figure curled in a single, ratty armchair. Outside the unclothed window, snow drifts in white waves beneath a heavy moon. A barren oak stretches its withered fingers to tap lightly on the dirty glass.
The sound causes the figure to stir from ennui, faded blue eyes blinking slowly in the dim. The weighty redwood arms of the empty mantle look forlorn without pictures to embrace. Echoes of the past ring hollowly through the bleak halls, ghosts of what was and what will never be again.
A black iron poker reaches for the remnants of the fire, attempting to recreate life. But some things are too far gone, and the vestiges of warm memories are all that remain.
Morning casts a shaft of sunlight through the tired window. The poker rests against a cold hearth, the chair and its occupant gone.