Winter had bitten. Mitchell walked to work across the frost. In the deep cold of early mornings it was stubborn and pervasive, singeing glass and metal with its creeping whiteness. He became fascinated by the larger patterns it created over the wide surfaces of the Court— the window panes of the swimming pool, the metal of the breakwater— as though these chaotic and intricate swirls were capable of illustrating the characteristics of the constituent materials: the fault-lines of minuscule flaws, the deeper patterns of atomic circulation. Sometimes, he’d stop and place a finger against the frost, leaving a smeared print in white. This was his first ever winter by the sea.
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