After the fourth time reading it, I folded the letter up and stuck it under my pillow. It felt like something was missing. I’d expected to cry, laugh, or maybe a little of both. I couldn’t muster anything. All I really thought was that it might be the last time I ever heard from my mother. And I wasn’t sure what to think. I sat in bed for a time. With no Callista or sprites in my room, I wasn’t sure what to do with my morning. As the sun rose, my bedroom windows paled and the vast woodland beyond the glass came into focus. I hadn’t really paid attention to the fact that winter had settled over the mountains. The deep greens and dark umbers were gone, replaced by armies of leafless, skeletal trees standing on battlefields of snow. It was so unlike our valley outside Donva. It didn’t matter. I still thought it was beautiful. Maybe I suspected I’d never see home again, or maybe I dreamed of escaping into the deep, dark forest, but either way it hurt to look out the windows and know I’d probably never go outside.
–Darkness Between the Stars (Eaters of the Light Book 1) by J Edward Neill