I woke up to a small earthquake around 1 a.m.

As I lay in bed, waiting to see if there were going to be aftershocks, I realised it was unusually bright outside for the time of night. It was the kind of cold, flat light that tells you it is snowing.

Earlier, it had been blowing hard, the wind whistling in the rooftops and occasional flurries of hail beating in salvos against the corrugated iron and window panes, but now I realised the harsh wind had died down.

The city was faintly visible through a cover of light, dusty snow that was being blown slowly and thickly back and forth between the apartment buildings, borne on a gentle wind. It was drifting so slowly that it almost seemed to hang in the air like fog.

More than that, however, the city was silent. Totally, utterly silent. The usual muted roar you don't hear except when you come back after a few days in the country wasn't there. Even the house seemed to have fallen into silence. No flushing drains, no creaking doors, no gurgling in the heating system. Just silence.

It was almost scary. But also beautiful.


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