Saturday, 21 December 2013

Snow Angels

This is a story I wrote as an entry for the Single Dad Laughing Holiday Writing Contest and while I didn't place that's fine with me. I enjoyed reading the finalists and recommend you head on over and check them out when you have a chance.


Christmas. The time of love, the time of giving, the time of warmth.
Trees glowing and beautiful, smoke wafting from chimneys, the carefree laughter of children as they run through the pearlescent snow...
A slight breeze stirs the snow at my feet, and cuts through my threadbare shirt like blades. I shiver and huddle closer to the foot of the chilled green steel dumpster.

Out on the street the children gleefully dive into the snow and wave their arms, giggling.
“Look Mama! I made a snow angel!” A rosy cheeked girl of about 4 years sings out, pointing with an ecstatic grin at the ground.

I watch them play, in their warm clothes and snow boots, until the tantalising smells of Christmas dinner wafts through the street, the air is growing colder and the sky is growing darker, parents begin ushering their kids into their warm, inviting homes, telling stragglers that they'll get frostbite if they stay out too late.

I look down at my bare toe sticking out from the mouthy grin of my shoe, I can't feel it any more, the skin is mottled and purple.

Frostbite. I think bitterly to myself. Sure.

I gingerly pull myself to a standing position as the first notes of the door- to-door carollers reaches my ears.

Silent Night...

Drawn to their angelic voices, I stumble through the snow.

Holy Night...

The door in front of them opens and the rosy cheeked youth stands in the doorway, eyes wide with awe as the cheerily dressed men and women sing on her porch.
All is calm, all is bright,
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child;
Holy Infant so tender and mild...

The snow starts to fall, the wind starts to bite and I've made it into the street. Standing in the glow of the streetlight I look down at the tiny snow angel at my feet.

“Merry Christmas!” The little girl calls out happily as her mother comes and closes the door to keep the breeze out. The carolers move on to the next house.

I take a step forward and tumble into the angel in the snow. A warmth spreads through my body and I'm so sleepy...

It's warm, the wind can't reach me here, it's ok. My mind calls to me sleepily.

This is my 7th Christmas. Last year Mama was still here, this year... I'm alone.

Sleep in heavenly peace...

The night goes on; the snow falls thicker, the wind gets colder, but a dirty little boy slumbers unawares in a snow angel on the road.

“Mama! Look! An angel!” A little voice rings out into the crisp morning.

A woman looks over to the road where her child is pointing at the mound of snow on the road and ushers her daughter inside quickly telling her husband to keep her inside while she calls 911.
The ambulance arrives swiftly, but it's too late, early Christmas morning, the snow claimed another angel.

Sleep in heavenly peace.

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