The air smells of wood smoke. There's wax paper behind the windows, which are the color of butter. You walk through the snow, slowly dropping your foot with each step and then lifting it carefully out of the impression it makes. Silence is still an impossible dream. As you get closer, you think of crawling, but can't think of a reason why it would help. There's a sliver of brighter light coming through the one on the left. Something moves behind it. Red. You're almost there now. The next step is the important one. But your foot takes too long to hit ground. Then you feel the water beneath the ice you just crunched through. A bucket, maybe. Shit. This is why you should have taken the time to spray that stuff on your boots last winter. The time for regret is over, though. You lean forward, the tips of your fingers coming to rest on the side of the house, slipping a bit as they make contact with the slick surface. They must have the stove going full blast. The sliver is widening to meet your eye. You're about to see what you came for.