It came to him while hunting. Deep in the woods, he sat on a log listening for deer. And in that calm windless valley, the snow produced a peculiar silence. A silence so complete it spoke.
It was a sound akin to static but less… there. Still, he felt it gave precise instructions.
So he took his vacation time. He built walls out there in the woods. He built a spiral staircase, towers, gargoyles. He built an ice castle.
The silence was louder inside the walls. It told him to make a table and two chairs.
And it told him to bring Melinda. He had her wear her warmest clothes and walk into the forest at night. The castle glowed with candles. There were caterers with an elaborate meal. She sat in her throne draped with the skin of a deer he’d killed. They traversed five courses of food and drink. She smiled, glowed to rival the candle-dabbled ice.
Then he requested, “listen.”
“Listen?” She expected something. The caterers, in fact, waited in an anteroom with a sorbet dessert, with a diamond ring on the dish.
“Yes. The snow told me it’d tell you what you want to hear.”
She smiled coyly. Indulged him.
Her face went from glow to mysterious spiral of smoke.
“You hear something?” he cautiously asked.
“It says go to pharmacy school?”
He closed his eyes to listen. She was right.