Snow Day - 1/11

The editors of Writer's Digest provide a weekly Writing Prompt to get your writing going.
eternoxamante
Private E-1
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:46 am

Re: Snow Day - 1/11

Postby eternoxamante » Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:23 am

My eyes opened at the same time that they do every single day, like clockwork; six o’clock in the morning, and I was snuggled underneath my blankets, blinking from underneath the safety of a blanket. I didn’t want to get up; it was a Wednesday, my least favorite day of the week, and I could feel the cold as my toes poked out from the end of my bed. I curled my toes in a feeble attempt to get them back underneath the sanctity that was the blanket, beckoning sleep just one more time, but the efforts were made in vain; once the cold hit my toes, I was wide awake.

Gingerly, I peaked out from beneath my blanket and at the wall, which I slept facing. The off-white mass of cement taunted me; there was a shadow on the wall that wasn’t mine. “Get up,” the shadow on the wall seemed to scream, “get up; father’s going to yell at you if you don’t get up. Or mother. Whose shadow am I? Roll over and figure it out.” I didn’t want to, though. I snuggled back underneath my blankets and yawned, wiggling my toes.

“Lucian,” My mother’s voice; it was soft; she didn’t sound like she was going to demand that I got out of bed. I listened intently, contrary to her most-probable belief that I was ignoring her presence. “It’s a snow day, sweetheart. Don’t you want to play in the snow?”

“It snowed?” I rolled over and peeked at my mother from underneath the blanket. She had the pajama pants that I had gotten her for Christmas on, along with her favorite matching robe and slippers. There was a cup of coffee cupped delicately in her hands, and I could tell that she wanted nothing more than to go back to bed, herself. “Isn’t it too early to go out and play in the snow?”

She yawned and nodded. “You have a point, sweetie.” She mused.

“Does father have to work?” I sat up and looked around, hearing my father grunt from downstairs. “Is that why he’s downstairs?”

“No. He was just cranky last night, so he didn’t get much sleep.” Mother stated simply, though there was a hint of bitterness in her voice. “I can see your awake now, though. I’m going back to bed. See if your father is ready to go out in the snow.”

I nodded and stood up, going to the closet and pulling on warmer clothes than my pajamas and grabbing my winter coat. I wasn’t particularly excited; it was extremely hard to get me to the point of excitement, but I could pretend if it would make everyone happy. And the snow was nice to be in, anyway. I came down the stairs cautiously, knowing that my father in a bad mood needed extra caution, and as I stepped onto the floor his head shot towards me from the armchair facing the fire place.

“What are you doing up, boy?”

“I always wake up at six.”

“You’re six, Lucian; why don’t you go and enjoy your bed? No school today.”

“I know.” I looked down at my toes and then back up at my father, mustering all of my courage. “I… I wanted to know if you want to come outside with me. I’m too awake to go back to sleep.” My father looked shocked that I was even asking, but he stood up from his chair and nodded.

“I would love to.” He walked over to the coat closet, (where all the coats that my mother and father owned were,) and pulled out the biggest one, putting it on and walking towards the door. We put our shoes on and ventured out into the snow. The whole day, I spent with my father, and he taught me how to build a snow man and make a compact snowball, and regardless of my stupid Anhedonia I did my best to smile and laugh for him. I like to think that he appreciated it; it was, after all, the last snow day that we spent together before everything between us completely fell apart.

Trissa
Private E-2
 
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:38 pm

Re: Snow Day - 1/11

Postby Trissa » Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:42 am

Ooops...sorry I forgot the character was supposed ot be "Tim". But it just seemed right at the time.

loganatr
Private E-1
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:50 pm

RE: Snow Day - 1/11

Postby loganatr » Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:53 pm

I always had the sense that I wasted my snow days. Hollywood led me to believe that magical things happened when school got canceled because the ground was obliterated, but for the most part, it was just me and my two younger siblings getting nagged by my mother about tracking snow through the house.
I never had the initiative to build much in the way of snow forts; I honestly think the physics was beyond me. And it didn't help that I read Calvin and Hobbes religiously; looking at some of the awesome fortresses the two wunderkind could produce (or at least conceptualize; the distinction was generally lost on my eight, nine, ten year old self), I always felt a sense of inspired awe which never materialized into anything beyond a smallish wall of snow which I could hide behind for snowball fights.
Speaking of snowball fights, one of the big problems of my childhood was a lack of enemies. Was I a lonely kid? I don't know, wait, yes I do, yes. I never had any epic moments in the sandlot (save my walk-off grandslam at Matt's ninth birthday baseball game, followed by a half-hearted attempt by my buddies to hoist me onto their shoulders before giving up and a fit of punching breaking out); and I never engineered a brilliant plan of attack against savvy mortal enemies from the neighborhood. I had plenty of triumphs in school, plenty of encouragement for my belief that I was the best there ever was or would be; and even in organized sports, I ruled. But in the murky waters where it's just kids, with no adults to save you when your bacon's in the fire, well, I never glimpsed those waters because I didn't have a lot of kids in my neighborhood.
There was one older kid, who was kind of a hoodlum and took advantage of my dogged friendship, but other than him, it was just me and the fam.
My winter wonderland adventures also leave me with little nostalgia for hot cocoa. This was a personal preference, really, because it took FOREVER for it to cool down enough not to scald. To this day, I have no inclination to drink cocoa, although a good cup of coffee does a lot for me.
Childhood kind of sucked, except for baseball, which isn't as bad as it sounds because I played baseball eight hours a day. I was definitely a child of the summer, so when I look back on winter with a blah, I feel okay with myself. I was meant to be a shortstop.

User avatar
sns3guppy
Private E-2
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:02 pm

Re: Snow Day - 1/11

Postby sns3guppy » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:40 pm

Dad said that when the snow hit six inches, the plows rolled out. When it hit a foot, the back hoes came crawled. When it hit a foot and a half, the salt trucks ran, and when it neared two feet, the schools closed. Grovecrest Elementary closed along with the rest, and with it my prison sentence ended for the fourth of January. I woke up to twenty eight glorious frozen inches of snowball armory and fresh parole. With the snow came an eleven-year-old run on free society, delirious and drunk with the power of playing hooky.

Breakfast on that cold Friday morning never tasted better. I made an ice mash out of cool-aid and snow. Dad stayed home from work too; He couldn’t get the car out of the drive. Mom never got up, but she never did, not before noon. I seem to recall the dark circles under her eyes being just a little lighter that wonderful morning.

Sledding was out of the question; no way to open the garage doors, and the sled runners sunk out of sight. No chance of snowmen; the white stuff wouldn’t stick. It was too dry. Snowballs were out, too. That left snow-angels, which seemed too much a girls’ hobby. We made them anyway, and then colored them with chalk dust. By noon we were too wet to play, too cold to move, and out of dry socks. We slurped chicken noodle soup, and gazed balefully out the big window at the lawn. Boredom replaced elation, and our home of freedom became an ice-locked prison.

For the first time in my young life, I wondered what classmates were doing. Jimmy was a champion snow-baller. Nobody could pack them and throw them like Jimmy could. Elaine could do a snowman face like nobody’s business. Ted was a master at making forts, and Gus did Igloos. Were they staring out their windows too, we wondered? Were they having all the fun, leaving us in subzero hell? If only the school was open, if only we could get the dodge balls, the Frisbees, and the big orange parachute with the cut strings. Then we could do something with this snow. Then we’d really be free.

Clara, Eddy, and I let the dogs out twice, watched them bounce like drooling mink as they porpoised in and out of snow drifts and chased stinks and scents that were long dormant since last spring. I wondered how their noses didn’t freeze, and watching them made mine run, out of sympathy. When the snows slowed and stopped, the wind came, the snow formed a hard crust. Not even the puppy would go near the door again, and we retired from explorers to the role of subarctic refugees.

When three o-clock rolled around, the roads were nearly clear, and Dad broke a shovel freeing the car. Though five miles away, I heard the final school bell ring in my mind, and felt the circadian drive to find a bus and ride. Already home, far from school, my head spun and the world turned upside down. No longer driven with instinct to flee campus, Eddy and I gave birth to the same idea, nearly at the same time. School beckoned us. It called. We answered, begging Mom to take us to school.

In the play ground, jungle gyms and swing sets erupted from urban tundra, beckoning to freeze tongues, and summit alpine ridges of iron and plastic. We played and played, and we didn’t feel the cold. No longer bound by fifteen minutes of recess, not constricted by the bell, we played with abandon, happy to be back at school. How we wished the bell would finally ring and summon us to a pizza lunch, crayon pictures of the Grand Canyon, and a spelling test. Now silent, the bell mocked us without words, and we played on, turning the satire back on the bell.

When dusk fell, Mom put aside her crochet and honked the horn. We clamored back into the car as troopers returning to the mother ship. Only short hours passed us by, but we stopped them, mauled them, and made them ours. Freedom, we learned on that cold snow day, meant going back to school. Only that morning, we blessed our lucky stars to be out, and only that night we begged them to let us back again. The snow went on to melt, of course, but I never forgot how to want to go to school.

Previous

Return to Writing Prompts and Challenges

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests