When it Snowed - flash fiction by Claire Doll
I always loved winter. Many argued against me, boasting about how spring brought flowers flecked with notes of gold and scarlet, or how autumn made the trees look like a sunrise captured in leaves; the one magical thing that winter did, however, was use the simplest color – white – and paint the world in elaborate ways. It would always amaze me, each February morning, to draw my curtains and see the amount of snow piled on dead grass or the coiled doodles of frost on the window pane. The world was dead in winter, but the season always arrived with sharp coldness and flurries twinkling in the night like stars.
It was during a blizzard years ago when I experienced my first love with snow. I woke up on a Tuesday morning to the sound of silence. The highway behind my house was no longer whirring with morning traffic, so for once, I could finally hear the wind breathe rhythmically through my window. Unusually bright light seeped through my curtains, casting white onto my wall, and once I pushed them aside, I was blinded. All I could see was white; the field, the trees, the deck, and every detail in between glimmered with snow so much that the only three colors that existed in this moment were tree bark brown, sky blue, and sparkling white.
“Margaret, let’s go outside!” I said to my sister, and after eating homemade pancakes baked by my mother, we bundled up in winter jackets and pants. Outside, a sharp feeling of coldness greeted me, but I liked it. I breathed, watching the air that was once in my lungs spiral into the real world in the form of a puff. As Margaret grabbed her sled and took off down a hill, I walked gently down the sidewalk, watching my boots form imprints on the snow. On our mailbox, an array of icicles hung, and sunlight filtered through each one, lighting them up like stained glass. I lifted my hand and touched one, analyzing its crystalline smoothness through my
Margaret’s bubbly laughter echoed across the front yard, where she slid down the hill, leaving a path behind her. Individual snowflakes braided themselves in her hair, each one twinkling with her bright brown eyes. Though her skin was pale, she glowed. “Aren’t you gonna go sledding with me?”
I nodded. “Yeah, I’ll be right there.” I watched her smile as she paved yet another path in the snow. As much as I wanted to experience the exhilaration of sledding and riding with the flow of the wind, the art of winter was much more breathtaking to me. It was as if overnight, someone dipped a paintbrush in white and adorned the fields, the trees, the roads with glimmering frost. Silence captivated the world; only during a blizzard could you hear your thoughts echo in your head with the murmur of wind singing along. Against my skin, the chilled air felt refreshing, painting my cheeks a rosy red. Each piece of winter was so delicate, so artistic.
That was when I was younger, when it snowed.
Now, in the depths of February, the world is warm and soggy. It rains every day; the mornings arrive with a drizzle of spit from the sky, followed by afternoon downpours, and then concluded with the gentle kind of rain that patters against your window and lulls you to sleep. Darkness soaks the sky; blue, a combination of turquoise and sunlight, is absent, buried underneath black clouds. Warmth oddly protrudes through the air, making February not like the February I once knew.
“I’m glad winter isn’t a season anymore.” I can already hear people say this in the future when global warming takes over, drying the world. I can already feel the constant season of warmth, wringing the air of its frosty crispness. I can already smell the decay of flowers when it gets cold, but not too cold to snow. I can already see the months of December, January, and February deplete of the simple yet artistic touch of iciness. The icicles like jewels, the doodles of frost, the articulate flurries are all remnants of winter, of the season that brought a taste of perfection when it snowed.
Claire Doll is a 12th grader who plans to attend university in the fall to study elementary education. She enjoys drinking coffee, writing stories, and sitting outside on sunny days. Claire hopes to further her writing career by one day getting published, all while inspiring her future young students to love learning like she does.