The Day it Snowed Forever

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

We have a simple relationship with the snow: it falls, we move it out of our way. Whether we shovel, blow, plow, or throw it around, this relationship holds.

Sometimes the snow is dry. Sometimes it’s wet. Sometimes only a little bit falls, and sometimes a lot.

Sure, there are days where the snowfall goes on and on, a seemingly never-ending static on our view of the real world. But it has to stop at some point. Right?

It started falling in our city last week, which isn’t too strange. It’s winter, after all. But it hasn’t stopped falling. The constant, relentless, quiet attack of snowflakes has been going for nine days and thirteen hours, give or take a few minutes. It hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down.

On the first day, it was great for families. Kids love playing in the snow, and their rosy cheeks said it all. On the second day, it was so deep only the bigger kids could trudge through it. On the third day all the kids stopped coming, the parents likely exhausted from dealing with the preparation and the aftermath of these daily adventures. I guess people stopped traveling much by then, because you couldn't hear cars or planes zooming about. It got very quiet then.

Local news channels became all weather, all the time. Weather reports didn’t see it coming and everyone scrambled to explain it. They couldn’t even show us radar images because this snow didn’t show up on their fancy machines, but you couldn’t deny it was there. I got a good laugh watching some of those folks on the news standing in the falling snow with a weather forecast showing nothing but sun and a radar map showing clear skies. It was hilarious.

My TV stopped working on the fourth day, and I stopped laughing.

In any other situation, you would look outside and think how peaceful it was. Maybe you’d be bundled up, snuggled with your family, drinking hot chocolate and marshmallows, enjoying the special type of quiet that comes with snowfall.

That’s not the case this time.

I shoveled twice a day. The snow kept coming. It’s not particularly heavy to lift and my back doesn't protest too much. I’ve been bored since I retired last month, so I don’t mind the activity. It keeps me busy and God knows I could stand to lose a pound or ten, but the piles on my lawn are nearly my height and soon I won’t have anywhere left to put the stuff. Sometimes I find snow in places I just shoveled, and I like to imagine it’s reaching out to me. I assume it’s just fallen off the pile because it had nowhere else to go. There’s no wind to blow it around. Just calm, constant snow.

I haven’t seen any snow plows come by since the fifth day. The last one was so badly maintained it looked like it was falling apart, shaking and rattling as it pushed fluffy mountains aside. If I didn’t know better, I would have said it was deteriorating in real time. The driver seemed stressed. His face was beet red and he was yelling, likely frustrated at having to go over the same roads, day after day, hour after hour, only to look back and see the unrelenting force of nature filling the void he created. Must be a hard job. I don’t blame him for taking some time off.

My shoveling schedule finally aligned with my neighbor’s on the sixth day, and we ran into each other. Young guy, in his late twenties. Lives by himself in that big house. Acts like a bit of a hotshot sometimes, but he’s usually nice. He came out to shovel wearing shorts and a t-shirt, making me look ridiculous in my full-body snowsuit. We talked a bit, mostly about the weather, but we focused on getting the snow off of our respective driveways and sidewalks. By the time he was done his arms and legs were beet red, probably from the cold air and trying to be a hero. When he wiped his forehead, I swear the same red color spread exactly where his hands made contact.

I saw Hotshot again on the seventh day. I was shoveling, as usual. He came out to get the mail, walking calmly through the sea of powder in the same shorts and t-shirt he wore the day before. I’m not sure how he moved so easily through the stuff. He looked incredibly pale, almost paper-white, and the red marks on his body were gone. The smile on his face was so wide it might have ripped at the seams if it were any bigger. I greeted him, but his only reply was to stare off into the sky and somehow smile even harder.

I haven’t seen him since, and he hasn’t bothered coming out to clean. The snow is most of the way up his front door. I worry that much snow on a house would damage something. I tried calling him, but he hasn’t answered. Reception has been spotty these days. I hope he’s OK.

The snow kept falling, as it has been. I’ve run out of space to put the stuff, other than to push the snow onto my neighbor’s driveway. He doesn’t seem to mind.

Day eight was quite warm, but it didn’t seem like the snow was melting. It kept falling and appeared dry and powdery. I went out to shovel, but I wore shorts and a t-shirt, snow be damned. Hotshot would have been proud of me.

As I was clearing my driveway, I tripped over myself and spilled my body into a pile on my neighbor’s driveway. I hadn’t felt Snow at all until then because of my getup. Strangely, it didn’t feel cold at all. It felt warm to the touch, only slightly higher than my body temperature. It was a hug from a close friend, a gentle embrace from your broken-in chair, welcoming and protective at the same time.

It rolled off my body like a dry powder. I cupped some into my hand and it started shimmering, almost like it was moving. It looked nice, like a billion little diamonds sparkling in the sunlight.

My arms and legs became warmer, and my skin started to turn bright red. It doesn’t feel like a cold burn, the way you would expect frostbite to be. It’s more of a cozy blanket wrapped around you. I can’t believe I waited so long to touch Snow, to feel its embrace.

I’ve stopped shoveling, and Snow keeps falling. The plows have stopped completely and a few other neighbors look like they’ve embraced Snow and stopped cleaning, which is great. I think everything looks better now with Snow on it. My arms and legs aren’t red anymore. My whole body is white, just like Snow, and I can see my skin moving around. It feels like a loving, soft, warm massage.

My front door is almost entirely covered in Snow. It’ll be great when the house is covered. Things will be so beautiful then! I understand now why Hotshot didn’t want to come out anymore. It’s so cozy in here.

For those of you still out there “battling the elements”, think about it. Wouldn’t you rather be inside, cozy and warm, with the peace and quiet that Snow brings when it covers the outside world? It’s very nice.

Before you settle in, go outside and play.

Submitted: March 26, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Mister Skulk. All rights reserved.

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