The rain froze along the length of the wisteria pod, casting the one remaining seed in ice. More rain fell, rounding the transparent seed like a pearl, until the morning came and the temperature rose and the casting slipped from its base and fell against a lower branch.
There, the cast of the seed lingered.
Across the driveway, a small stone pine in a large ceramic pot wore the ice along its needles like the kind of jewelry that makes you droop and swan through the room. One of the branches ended in a rounded point now smooth and reflecting the shifting the clouds. The reflection darkened along the length of the branch, and it trembled.
Water slid around the circumference of the seed and was suddenly absorbed into the ice. The seed grew more transparent, the surface less visible.
A breeze pushed through the yard, waving the stiff ice wand formed at the peak of the pine’s outermost branch. A chill sizzled through the air and the seed popped. A rill of ice cracked through the air, as a cold, an external cold, flowed into the yard.
Iced branches that had been bowed to the ground grew flexible in the rain and the new chill and twirled upward, catching each other and braiding themselves into a stiff wattle fence. The wisteria wasn’t large enough to enclose the entire yard, but the rose bush that the homeowner had been too lazy to arbor began to weave itself together as well.
Breath sighed from the crack as the binding the ice seed had held twined up and joined the rose and the wisteria into a thick wall that ran around the house. Low laughter issued from just beside the front bumper of a car now covered in a thick layer of ice. “Sleep. My favorite poison.”