Go Home and Start a Fire

This is a short piece I wrote looking for a positive side to this long and brutal winter. Enjoy!

He fell to the ground and waved his arms and legs back and forth. Laughing, he stood up, admiring the perfect snow angel he’d made.

“I’ve never done that before,” he said. “Sixty years old, and I’ve never made a snow angel.” He smiled at his companions. “I didn’t know snow could be so much fun.”

He started to walk along the wooded road, kicking at the snow, savoring the refreshing coldness of the air, jumping when a snowball hit him in the back. He scooped up a handful of snow and compressed it, tossing in the direction of his friends.

That started a snowball fight that ended when one of the women called a halt. “I’m too old for this!” she said. The last snowballs fell to the ground unused, joining the other snowflakes untouched by human hands.

Silently, they walked along the road, following its white surface further into the woods, listening the scrunch of their boots on the snow.

“Do you think you could live here?” he asked his wife.

“Of course,” she replied. “You know I grew up in this kind of weather.”

“But to leave Arizona? All that sunshine?”

“And what’s this? Moonlight?” She waved her hands at the glint of sunlight on the snow, as blinding as the sun on the desert sand. “There’d be no danger of baking to death here.”

They let their two friends pass them as they turned to face each other. “I’m just not sure,” he said. “It’s not so bad today. But what if it’s really cold? We’d freeze to death just walking to the mailbox.”

She stroked his cheek with one gloved finger, then gave him a tiny smile, the smile he always associated with a promise. “Do what everyone else does,” she said. “Go home and start a fire.”

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