[Story] Winter Veil Postcards – Maerista

Maerista peered into the shop windows as she passed. It was proving more difficult to find a sweater than she had imagined. Probably because few people in the city had to stay outdoors like Gaelardrim did, not to mention that the Ghostlands were colder than Eversong. She saw a few in one shop, but they were thin and not warm enough at all, more for looks than warmth. As the other girls had suggested, she had better luck down in the bazaar among the stalls. Every evening when Gael came home, he was cold and his fingers as cold as ice. A thick wooly sweater would be perfect, and maybe some mittens to go along with. Des had suggested a hat as well, which she had to admit was a very good idea. It would be nice if she could find someone who sold them all together as a set, so they’d match.

Under her arm was tucked the robe she had already bought, wrapped up in bright paper. She was a little embarrassed to have to buy a special robe just for the ball, but none of her old ones fit properly anymore. This one was specially cut to be loose around her belly, but it otherwise looked like a normal robe. She had to admit that it looked — and felt — much better than trying to stuff herself into one of her old ones. She had no idea they had a special shop for robes like that, but she supposed it made sense. There was also a little lacy night-dress, one that she certainly wouldn’t wear for quite a while. That would have to wait until the spring, after the baby was born. But she hoped that Gael would appreciate the gift anyway.

Rounding a corner in the bazaar, she saw exactly what she was looking for — a stall piled high with fuzzy, wooly sweaters. It seemed that every single one was knitted in a different pattern; many of them were stripes but there were diamonds, checks, bands of color, and some even seemed to have little animals in neat geometric patterns. She wasn’t sure what color Gael would like best, but she liked one with little red and green hawkstriders arranged in a row across the chest. They held a ribbon between their beaks, and the background was sprinkled with snowflakes. She reached out to touch it, and it was even softer than it looked. She imagined cuddling next to him in front of the fire while he was wearing it, and smiled. The man behind the stall didn’t have mittens that matched exactly, but she found some that used the same colors of yarn, at least. Then the man showed her a hat as well. The top of it was knitted of wool, but inside it was lined with animal fur, and it had flaps that came down on either side to keep the wearer’s ears warm. Mae bought all of them and had the man wrap them up in paper. She hoped her gift would keep Gael warm and thinking of her while he was out in the cold, dark forest.

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