Happy New Year! I hope you have a healthy, happy 2021. To kick off the new year, I wanted to share a short fiction I have been working on for you. It’s been a great way to wrap up a chaotic year, and a reminder of the excellent support system I have. Thank you to Jessica DiFabbio, Madi Moore, Rachel Donato, and Andrew Phengvath for your help in the editing process!
Want to listen instead? Here you are:
The snow pelted down on the pool chairs and agave plants. Ronny’s collection of beach balls and boogie boards were almost completely drowned in white. His bedroom window was cold to the touch. He cracked it open just enough to slip his hand out to catch some snowflakes. The small crystals landed on his hand and melted, forming a cold puddle in his palm. A gust of chilly wind whipped against his fingers. Time to bundle up. This was the best day ever.
Ronny dashed to his closet and pulled out every long sleeve shirt he owned and threw them over his head. Nothing in his room resembled a hat or gloves like the kids in the movies. A baseball cap would have to do.
Just as he stepped one foot outside, a tug on his arm pulled him back in.
“You can’t go outside like that, Ronny!” his mom said as she placed her hands on her hips.
“Mom, it’s fine! I have to make an snowman! This is my chance!”
“You’re going to freeze.” She shook her head but a small smile formed on her lips.
“Mommmmm…I’ll be okay, don’t worry about me! I’m eight now, I can handle this!” He pounded his feet on the ground.
She stared out of the window and contemplated her response. “Stay right here,” she finally said, and after a few minutes in the basement, she returned with a jacket and handed it to him. “I wore this years ago before we moved and before you were even born! I never thought it would be used.”
He held the jacket by two fingers and stared at it, crinkling his forehead at the sight of the poofy sleeves and tacky faded red and blue diamond pattern. “I can’t wear this!”
“Then you can’t go outside.”
“Ugh, fine!” he grumbled. He shoved his arms through the sleeves and zipped it shut. The jacket swallowed his body, but his little head poked out of the top. “Oh my gosh, this SMELLS!”
His mom chuckled. “It’s not that bad, just go play.”
Ronny tilted his head back and felt the snowflakes land on his tongue. The cold breeze whipped at his cheeks. Even the air smelled different一like snow, he learned. The usual chatty birds must have hid from the storm. The silence almost made his ears ring.
The kids nextdoor ran out of their house and began to wrestle in the snow, which ripped Ronny’s awareness back to the present. These nextdoor kids were older than him, so they probably knew a lot more about building snowmen. This was his chance to recruit assistance.
He stomped towards them with now soggy shoes. The snow melts cuz it’s ice and when it gets warm, it melts to water, he recited to himself from what he had just learned in school.
When he reached the neighbors, a strong gust of wind crashed into him and sent a sharp shiver through his body. The kids continued to play in the snow, throwing snowballs at each other and even eating it. He picked up some snow and licked it which induced another chill.
The air felt colder now. He wondered where the movie kids got hats and scarves and gloves. There weren’t any on the islands.
“Hey!” he yelled out to his neighbors. They continued to play. He walked closer to them and balled his hands in fists, building up his strength to yell louder. He called to them again but the snow started falling down so hard, he could barely see if they turned in his direction.
“Oh, look who it is!” Feet crunched in the snow as they approached him.
“What are YOU doing?”
Their voices sounded closer now.
“What are you WEARING?”
“Is that your grandma’s jacket?”
They all laughed. There were definitely several kids just feet away but Ronny was still blinded by the raging snowstorm.
“I wanted to know…if you wanted to help me make a huge snowman,” he stated, feeling hesitant now. He chewed the cuff of his jacket sleeve. It tasted like basement dust.
“Why is it so puffy?” one kid asked, pulling at the sleeves.
He peaked from his arm and they smirked at him but were also shivering as the snow continued to pelt down.
“Well, I’m gonna go make a snowman now if you wanna help later,” he said. Before he even had the chance to turn around and run, he felt a tug around his shoulders and then a pull by his jacket collar. His neighbor’s sour breath puffed against Ronny’s face.
“We don’t care about your snowman, kid,” the bully said, and scrunched his nose. His neon orange vest shone brightly against the snow. “Ugh, you smell, too!” He dropped Ronny. The snow cushioned his fall and began to cover him, falling in thick bursts.
By the time Ronny made it back to his house, the snow almost reached the second story. Snow continued to pile and he watched it reach his knees…his waist…his chest.
He gasped. It wouldn’t stop. In any second, he would be completely covered. With a moment to spare, he began to climb up through the snow to keep his head above the surface. His hands felt numb against the snow. His toes froze in his sneakers. Snow fell around his neck and down his jacket. Another chill shot through his body. This was not the snow day he had in mind.
He grunted and continued to climb up through the snow. Up, up, up. Eventually he had a moment where he could look around. Everything was covered in snow一the buildings, the houses, the street lights…nothing could be seen. Just snow.
Now, he looked up, and within arm’s reach were the clouds. All of the clouds.
He lifted himself up onto the closest cloud and before he had a chance to comprehend and take a better look around, a large creature was running towards him.
The creature paused every few steps to pump his fists down and shoot gusts of snow through the clouds. He had a thick body of chiseled snow to form puffed arms, legs, and a torso. A dusting of snow trailed behind him as he grumbled and stomped from one spot to the next.
An actual snow man.
Read or watch part two here!