Written by Ksenía Seín
4 min read
I woke up in the middle of a summer night, teeth chattering from an unbearable cold. How strange! I wrapped myself in a blanket and walked over to the window. A foot of fresh snow covered the ground in our yard. But how can this be? It’s July, for mercy’s sake!
The house wasn’t heated, and all the windows were open overnight to let in the breeze. The kids! They will get sick. I have to wake them up. I hurried to wake up my three sleeping children who were oblivious to what was going on.
“Kids! Wake up. Put on your winter clothes. Quick!”
Without wasting a second, I pulled out a bunch of warm underwear, socks, pants, and wool sweaters from the wardrobe and helped my three sleepy children put them on. I dragged all our mattresses to the living room and lit up the fireplace. The kids must have thought they were playing a game because they happily jumped on the pile and buried themselves under the blankets. I was just about to join them when a giant shadow slowly crept across the wall.
There is someone in the yard! I felt like my soul froze. I really hoped I was wrong. With bated breath, I crawled off the mattress, wrapped myself in a throw, and started creeping toward the window. My chaotic thoughts stopped just shy of an apocalyptic destruction of the world. I have never been so scared in my life.
I stood at the edge of the window, careful not to be seen. All around was covered in snow. All, except for a set of giant footprints. I realized I was holding my breath so I forced myself to take in some air.
Suddenly, there was movement. I followed the footprints with my eyes to a big white mass. Who the hell is this? A terrifying creature was slowly moving across our yard. You’ve got to be kidding me! A giant snowman!? I blinked hard a few times to make sure it was real. The snowman was real. My God, is this really the end? I was beginning to fear the worst.
I looked back at my children and, trying not to scare them, whispered: “Kids, listen to me. Don’t fall asleep. Move closer to the fireplace and stay warm. But try not to fall asleep. And… don’t look out the window.” All three of them moved closer to the fire, still hidden under the blankets up to their big trusting eyes. I knew they were scared, so I smiled at them to assure them that everything will be fine. Will everything be fine?
I looked outside again. The creature was gone. Without moving a muscle, I let my eyes scan the yard, then the walls of the house. Everything in sight was covered by intricate frost patterns. I wondered if the snowman was the artist responsible for this winter art. Why the hell did he have to choose MY house? Why us? Is this good or bad? Oh God, what am I supposed to do?!
Without any warning, the snowman’s face appeared right in front of me. There was nothing but two thin sheets of glass between us. It appeared so suddenly that I nearly jumped. I forced myself to stay calm. The snowman’s face lacked any emotion, but his snowflake-shaped irises were both beautiful and ice cold. His piercing gaze penetrated deep into my body, into my very soul.
A few seconds have passed. But maybe it was minutes. I was suddenly aware that I had somehow fallen asleep standing up. My hands and feet were numb. My eyelids were so cold, I could feel them on my eyeballs. The snowman was still there, looking right at me. I won’t let you separate me from my children. I won’t let you destroy us! I will fight you till my dying breath.
I couldn’t move my frozen body, but somehow I forced my iced eyelids to close. I thought of my love for my children. I let it fill my chest and furiously fight the intruding frost. My children are my art, my creations. They were born of love that burns like everlasting fire in my heart. They need my love and I need theirs. Now more than ever!
“Mommy! Mommy! He left,“ I heard a trembling voice of my youngest child and raised my heavy eyelids.
I looked out the window. The sun was rising over the horizon. Its rays felt warm on my skin. The summer was returning to our yard. As if being awoken from a long sleep, I rubbed my eyes and looked at my lovely children, grateful that I didn’t let the deadly chill and a vision of an icy future freeze me and my beautiful creations to death.
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A Giant Snowman was first published in Illumination on June 1, 2020. Written by Ksenía Seín © 2020 All rights reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the author. Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Similarities to real people, places, and events are purely coincidental.
Read my published books, including a novelette in verse ‘Agape and Ares’, on Amazon Kindle Unlimited.