Following my recent negativity, two days ago I started writing a small fiction piece, something I haven’t done for a while. I wanted it to be light, happy and, I suppose, a little seasonal, despite my humbug sentiments which came through in my last couple of (apparent) poems. I wanted it finished for today, for a reason.
A small triangle of light fell across the boy’s face and he opened one eye, squinting. He looked at the gap in the curtains.
He threw the covers back and stuck his head through the gap; pale blue greeted him and not a cloud in sight. A perfect day for playing football in the park or riding his bike, if he wrapped up properly and his mother would see to that. He climbed off the bed, put on his dressing gown and picked up the comic he had been reading the night before, his feet finding his slippers as he shuffled out of the room, ignoring what lay in the corner. His mother was waiting for him, a box of cereal in her hand. The curtains were still drawn.
“Good morning, sunshine. You’ve a face as long as your dressing gown. What’s up?”
She placed the box on the table. Billy was still wondering about the curtains. He sighed.
“It’s meant to be winter, Mum. We still haven’t had any snow, it’s just sunny all the time.”
He didn’t notice her smile that appeared and disappeared while he poured milk on his breakfast.
“You should be happy. You can go out to play.”
“Dad said it was going to snow at Christmas, and it didn’t.”
“He’s not the weatherman, love.”
“Then he said it would on boxing Day.”
“He must have heard it from somewhere, Billy.”
“It’s now New Year’s Day and it’s still sunny.”
She picked the tea-towel from its hanger just as the cat jumped through the cat-flap, shaking herself. Billy didn’t notice.
“So, you looked out of your window?”
He spooned the last of the cereal into his mouth and finished chewing before he answered, to his mother’s delight.
“I do it every morning and it’s always the same.”
“Your little window, in your room at the back of the house?”
He scratched his head and wondered if she’d been at the sherry, like she had on Christmas morning. He opened the comic where he’d finished the night before. She turned the light off.
“Mum. I can’t read in this dark.”
“Open the curtains then, love. I’ve got my hands full.”
He frowned. Well, he supposed she did have a tea-towel in her hand. She was definitely acting strange. He put the comic down, walked over to the window and opened the curtain. His surprise was audible. Grey sky greeted him and the first flakes of snow were already falling.
“It’s been threatening a while but your little window looks out in the opposite direction.”
He stood, hand on the curtain, smiling as the snow became heavier. The grass on the lawn was changing colour.
“Mum, it’s starting to set.”
“You’ll soon be able to throw snowballs and make snowmen.”
Laughing, he left his comic on the table and ran upstairs, throwing open his bedroom door. He looked in the corner where his prize Christmas present, his new wooden sledge, waited for him.