The Ballad of Brian (draft)

Prince Brian was taking a moment to himself in the gardens. The snow around him was soft and powdery, yet it was clumping, so Brian worked it gently into a snowman. Two feet had fallen in less than one hour the previous afternoon, and continued falling for many more hours into the night. The end result left a white ocean swallowing his legs with each step he took.

The night before had been dedicated to its arrival. His grandfather, King Alvar; as well as Brian’s theology teachers, said that each snowflake was handcrafted by Bliza herself. The first snow of the year was her way of communicating that the earth needed to rest, and so too, should the Elves. The Feast of the First Snow celebrated {all the work done throughout the year} [? feels very capitalistic in its current wording]

In the previous seasons, Brian had overseen the gardens. But with only the indoor gardens to oversee at the moment, Brian currently had much more free time on his hands. So he decided to ply his hand at sculpting. To enjoy the materials of winter.

He rolled each ball carefully. Too rough a hand would chunk off more than it added. He narrowed his eyes as he circled the sculpture, adding more and brushing off excess until he had a three-sphere snowman before him.

The snowman was small enough to rest its head on Brian’s chest, if it could do such a thing.

Brian blushed. Where had that thought come from?

He thumbed some snow off its cheek, rounding it out like its twin.

Afterwards, he set about adding a face.

He used stones that glittered with grains for the mouth, so that the snowman’s teeth would shine. He used stones swirling with color for the eyes, to give it a depth of thought.

Brian thought he was being ridiculous.

[whoever decided on the spelling of ridiculous was ridiculous themself :U]

He supposed his mother would be proud of him. While Vice-Queen Lorraine did not often use people as subjects in her paintings, she had once told him that every piece of art, to her, felt like its own entity. The artist’s job, not matter what medium, was to invite that entity into the world.

It was fascinating to hear her talk about art, even if Brian didn’t always agree with her.

Brian would come to agree with her, at least about this artwork in particular.

With the face constructed, Brian stepped back. Different angles revealed different information. That was true whether one was an artist, a gardener, a hunter, or a ruler.

The juncture between the snowman’s head and chest seemed empty to him.

He wrapped his scarf around the snowman.

“That’s a very good color on you, Mister Handsome,” Brian smiled.

Indeed, the blue-green of the thick fabric laid against the white background well.

Brian smooched the snowman’s forehead.

And when he realized what he’d done, he ran away, flooded with embarrassment.

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