#223 When Life Hands You Snow

by Jonathan Riley

When it snowed, we made snowmen. Clara and I.

“Yours looks like you,” I said.

“Yours looks like Mr. Potato Head,” Clara said, and he did.

She took off her wig and stood next to her “snowwoman.” “She does look like me, doesn’t she?” Clara said, and we laughed until our stomachs hurt.

“Are you crying?” she asked.

“No! A snowflake landed in my eyeball,” I lied.

“I’ve got an idea.” Clara opened our sack full of snowman decor and pulled out two cups and Kool-Aid packets. “Snow-cones?”

I nodded.

She kept cherry and handed me blue raspberry. We packed our cups with snow and poured the colored sugar into quarter-full water bottles and shook real hard. We trickled our potions into the cups of snow, letting it soak up the syrup.

“Your snowman looks sad,” she said, pointing at his black olive mouth, her cherry lips scooping up red snow.

“What’s he got to smile for?” my blue lips asked. “I made him today and he’s already melting.”

“Mine’s happy,” Clara said, draping her arm around my neck. “She has her best friend to watch over her.”

Another snowflake fell in my eye.

***

That was the last time we played together. Day by day I watched the sun reduce my snowman. Squirrels scurried off with his mouth and nose. Soon, nothing but a brown lump remained.

Clara’s snowwoman thrived under the shade of a live oak. That plastic ruby mouth smiled, and after a while, I smiled too.

7 comments:

Leah said...

So pretty, Jonathan. Pretty and sad. Well done. :)

Lauren S said...

This was heart wrenching and lovely. Your interpretation of the painting is wonderful as well. Good work!

JRVogt said...

Great ending line!

Dino Parenti said...

So soulful and sweet and sad. I friggin' love the sack of snowman accessories!

Emily Clark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily Clark said...

Sorry! Accidentally deleted my comment...

I wish I'd written this! The colors are so vivid I can almost feel them, and I love that you fit a conversation into such a short story. And I agree with Dino on the snowman accessories.
THIS is the line that makes the piece, for me:
"Another snowflake fell in my eye."
xo

JiltedGeneration said...

I'm a fan. This story captivated such feeling in so little words.