While they replaced oil and wiper blades at the oil exchange, lo and behold I found myself reading a story that juggled all those elements.
The color white is used to make things eerie and ultimately redemptive in The Wish, a bit more upbeat variation of the Monkey's Paw set on a snowy Christmas Eve.
It begins with two writers in a huge, old, creaking house talking over life, death and miracles as they share wine and popcorn while the window is swept by "a whisper of snow."
The imagery continues with many wonderful poetic Bradbury touches:
- "It was a proper night for ghosts of whiteness to visit windows and wander off."
- "Is there a language of night and time and snow?"
- "A gust of snow rattled the window, clung like a shroud, unraveled away."
- "The graveyard resembled the scattered ruins of an ancient fort, blown up lifetimes ago, its monuments buried deep in some new Ice Age."
Tom, the narrator's Christmas Eve wish is to see his long-dead father again and the story unfolds from there, a story of the undead that's ghostly and touching, creating that magical Bradbury blend.
Variations of snow and white are mentioned repeatedly, like Howard's black--as Charles noted-- there without being noticed unless you're a bit primed for it.
I wish I'd discovered the tale for my pre-Christmas reading, but given the week we've had in