Snow. Short Story.

Derek sat at the window looking out at the snow. It was still falling, large flakes gently drifting down. He looked away, feeling a little dizzy, the snow seemed endless, the entire world was painted in white, he couldn’t even see the shed at the end of the garden. He hated the snow, it was always so difficult to walk through, so cold, melting into his trousers and soaking his legs. Everything became more difficult when it snowed, busses ran late, if they even ran at all, trips to the shop became treacherous on icy paths. No, snow was not something he enjoyed. Even as a boy he hated it, his friends would all be out, running around, throwing snowballs while he sat inside watching, waiting for the day the snow finally melted and went away again.

He was lucky in that snow like this was rare, anything more than a light sprinkling was. He appreciated the beauty that snow brought with it, how nice it looked as it flowed from the sky, he even enjoyed walking around while it snowed, but only on days when it didn’t stick, when it melted almost immediately as it landed on the ground.

With the rate the snow was falling he would be snowed in soon, and the snow showed no signs of stopping. They warned on the news the night before that it might get bad, but Derek had thought it would be like all those other years they predicted lots of snow and nothing happened. He didn’t mind being trapped in the house too much, he was well stocked with food.

Derek moved from the window as the kettle clicked, he poured the hot water into a mug. Tea was just what he needed, something to warm him up. He picked up the mug and brought it back into the sitting room, he was having a lazy day, there was no where to go and there was nothing to do, nothing but catch up on all the TV shows and movies he had wanted to see, but didn’t have time for. Well, the snow brought something good with it, after all work had closed for the day, fearing the predicted snow and lack of customers. He nestled deeper into the couch, sipped his tea and pressed play.

Derek spent the day watching TV, only stopping to get more drinks or snacks. As he did he resolutely ignored the window, what was the point in looking out at it, it was all the same anyway, just pure white outside the window. It made him a little dizzy when he looked at it, all that swirling and twirling, almost like the static on a TV. He had started the fire at around four, when a chill started to creep into the house, the crackling, flickering flames warmed the room and provided just enough light so he could leave the lamps off. His phone was off somewhere, probably in the kitchen. There was no need for it, if his parents needed anything they would ring on the house phone and his friends had already arranged meeting up for the day, going ice skating or something. Derek hadn’t really paid much attention, he only knew he had no interest in going out in the snow if he didn’t have to.

His stomach started grumbling at six and by seven he decided he needed something proper to eat, something more than chocolate biscuits, a packet of crisps and a glass of coke. In the kitchen he rooted through the cupboards and fridge before finally settling on frozen pizza as it required the least amount of effort. He turned on the oven and shoved the pizza in, after setting the timer he glanced out the window, the snow was still coming down hard. How long had it been since it started? Eight, nine hours? He moved closer to the window, squinting to get a better view, it was hard to see properly, he couldn’t really tell how high the snow had gotten. He opened the window slightly and leaned out, looking at the ground. He reached out slowly, his hand hitting the snow. He patted along the top of it, trying to feel where it began to slope away. Obviously the wind had caused the snow to drift in the back garden, it was the only way it could have reached the height of the window. He moved into the hall and opened the window there, he didn’t stick his head out this time, instead he just stuck out his arm, blindly feeling around before his hand struck snow. It was the same height. That couldn’t be right, could it? It had to be shifting winds, no way it could get over three foot high in such a short space of time. He watched for a few minutes, but there was no breeze, the snow was falling straight down. He checked his phone for any messages, then checked the weather, there was nothing about heavy snows. The oven timer went off, Derek went into the kitchen and his stomach grumbled again. He plated the food and sat at the table, while he ate he looked around online for anything about the large amount of snow.

When he finished he texted a few of his friends to see if they were experiencing the same, then he rang his parents. They were getting old and he knew that even small amounts of snow made it difficult for them to get around, with snow this deep they would be trapped, at least he could climb out a window if he needed to. The phone rang out, he redialled and waited but there was no answer again. They could be a little bad with their phones, but he knew that he’d get a call back once one of them saw it.

He finished off the movie he was watching and after checking on the snow again, which was still falling heavily, he went upstairs to go to bed. There was no point in worrying about it now, it was too late for him to go out and buy any last minute supplies and the power was still going, even if the power went out he had enough wood to heat the house for a few weeks at least.

When he woke the next morning the room was dull. He rolled over and checked the time on his phone, then frowned. He rubbed at his eyes, deciding it was probably just cloudy outside. He stretched, then got out of bed, shivering slightly in the cold. He dressed then went to the bathroom to brush his teeth. Once he was done he went back into his room and opened the blinds. He stood, staring at the window, there was a thin line of light coming in the top of the window, the rest of it was blocked by snow. He moved closer, the cold emanating from the window, and looked through the gap. It was still snowing. He checked his phone, no new messages or missed calls. He couldn’t be the only one seeing this. He tried ringing a few people but each time it just rang out. He checked online and there was nothing about snow, other than a brief mention of the heavy snow yesterday and that there might be another flurry later in the day. How was it even possible that that much snow had fallen during the night? He went downstairs and turned on the news, there was no mention of the extremely heavy snowfall, no sign that anyone else was seeing it. He looked at the blocked window and frowned, was it all in his head? Surely that much snow would break the window, the kind of pressure behind it must be immense, but it was fine. He placed his hand on the glass, it was freezing. Even if it was in his head, his body was still reacting to it. He checked his phone and saw no one had tried to contact him. Maybe there was something wrong with it. He picked up his landline and tried ringing a few people again. No answer.

He went upstairs again and into the front room, slowly, carefully he pulled open the window, he reached out, hoping that his hand would just go through the snow, but it didn’t. It felt cold, it felt real. He pulled his hand back in and closed the window, his fingers were damp. He closed the curtain slowly, maybe if he just pretended it wasn’t there things would go back to normal.

In the kitchen he ate breakfast, ignoring the snow packed against the window, leg bouncing up and down. He had checked not too long ago and it was still snowing, the bar of light at the top of the window was getting smaller. He didn’t think it would be much longer until it was gone entirely. He took a deep breath and released it. It would be fine. But still, an idea persisted in the back of his mind, what if it just kept snowing and this was his last chance to escape. What if he woke up the next morning and the snow was still there and the next and the next? Surely it would be smart to climb through the window, climb out onto the fresh snow and see what the rest of the world was like. He shook his head slightly, what if it was just in his head, would that mean he’d fall, right through the snow until he hit the ground? He took another bite of food. No. He wouldn’t risk it. It was better to wait, wait until the snow went away. If it was in his head surely someone would knock on his door sooner or later, besides, he had both phones, even if no one was getting back to him yet, someone would and then he’d know. One way or the other, he’d know.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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