A snowy childhood

A hint of the story ~

This short story was written in one night. The cue given was “imagine the story behind why the hat, coat and shoes decided to take revenge on the woman”.

My inspiration for the story started with this imagination of what boots crunching in snow sounded like, along with the vision of tiny boots wading through the snow.

Those uncomfortable with descriptions of violence, blood and gore are advised not to read the story. Minors should definitely not be reading this story. 

Do take your time to read the story!

A snowy childhood

I remember a time, not so long back, but it feels like it has been forever since then – A time when I was carefree and perhaps even joyful.

I remember that day so distinctly. I all snuggled up and warm in the sweaters my mother had made for me, a nice feeling from the unforgiving cold outside. I still remember how curious I used to be, how the snow crunched underneath my feet, the sound still echoes in my ear as I watch how the powdery snow sticks to my boots and at the same time gives way underneath my weight.

I remember my breath frosting before my eyes, how I used to think a fairy resided in my hair that would create those puffs of smoke for my amusement. I suppose, my mother was to blame for that silly notion though, she would often tell me how pretty my hair was and that it was because a fairy resided there.

I remember as I ran out of the house and up the slope, ready to explore the beauty around me. I can almost imagine how wide my eyes were when I got to see the view from the top of the small hill that I had climbed. The suns warmth could barely be felt by my skin, but the ice seemed to feel it.

The winter wonderland that had been created by the snow, was now far more beautiful as it was being destroyed… the ice that had frozen on the trees was slowly dripping and growing smaller, while other trees seemed to rain snow every now and again as the cold wind blew by, caressing my cheeks, making them colder as it passed by, yet playing with my hair as though asking me to play.

I remember how I used to run as far away as I could… far from my parents, where I would never need to see or hear the arguments between my parents. I did not understand my father’s love for my mother… she would often tell me that father loves her differently. Why did she cry then I would ask. I stopped asking when mother simply cried more, a kind soul like hers should not cry after all… she was always smiling… or had been rather.

I remember what I encountered that day as I came back from my excursion, puddles forming around every step that I took as I shook my hair to get the water out, spraying water droplets almost everywhere in the process and surprised that mother had not come.

I remember taking off my sweaters as I grew warmer and warmer, the warmth finally touching my bones soon enough. The further into the house I went though, the more I felt scared… there was only silence, until I heard something like glass breaking and shrieks. Such horrifying shrieks, I had covered my ears, till I realized they were from my mother. As I desperately moved towards the room, screaming mother, the scene I found… was something I no longer wish to remember, yet it haunts me, demands to be told even.

I remember how I looked on confused. The screams had stopped, but something seemed to be wrong with my mother. Not looking at anything else, I stepped forward, surprised when I hear a splashing sound. Looking at the odd red liquid surrounding my feet, I still didn’t understand as I moved to my mother. She looks so tired, yet happy.

I remember asking stupidly… do you hurt mother.

I remember her smiling and shaking her head. So I run up to her, and put my arms around her neck, from where the odd red liquid seemed to be coming. I remember how the odd liquid coated my cheek, how I could almost feel my mother’s bones through her flesh.

I remember how I told her she needed to eat. How I pointed out that it was precisely because she wasn’t eating that her skin and flesh was peeling off… why she couldn’t see and kept groping around me, how she ran her hands all over me, checking for injuries, when she should have been more concerned about herself.

I remember how surprised I was when mother pushed me away and screamed. How everything seemed to go in slow motion as I tried to grab my hat that had fallen off my head, how my silver-ish white hair flew into my face, how horrified I was when I saw something sticking in mother’s hand, how I pushed my hair back and saw father holding the object.

I remember my mother’s pained cries as he tried to pull it out, how I yelled at father that he was hurting mother, how he shook me off, slapped my mother and stepped menacingly towards me. Too afraid to get up, I remember how my mother held his ankle and told me to run and I did.

I remember running, hearing the comforting crunch of snow, the wind that caressed me earlier. Feeling calmer, I stopped running, unable to decide what to do. I wanted to go back to mother, but was too afraid.

I remember how I felt my cheeks sting, and found my tears had turned to ice. I don’t know how long I stood there, but soon, the cold made me seek warmth. Though all I wanted was to go back to mother, I could only think of my father’s kick.

I remember having come by the cave I had played in earlier, how I collapsed in relief as I found warmth. Only once I was warm, did I notice that a part of my dress was completely red. As I lost myself in my tears, I heard snow crunch.

I remember hiding in the bushes, surprised when not my father, but a really pretty lady with ears on her head appeared. She looked at the red stains I had left on the cave floor and tilting her head to the sky, sniffed.

I remember her offering me food, how I finally managed to relax and slept. For the first time, I was sleeping in someone’s lap had been my last sleepy thought.

I remember hearing screams when I woke… the moon was still high. How as I stepped out of the cave, I saw that same red liquid fly and stain the pretty white snow. I watched as the kind lady began clawing at my father.

I remember how I watched entranced, snapping out of my reverie only when I saw her rip flesh off of my father. His screams got louder and I watched horrified as she began to chew on his flesh. Nowhere was safe anymore I thought as I ran once more.

I remember looking back once, only seeing that the pretty lady hadn’t moved. I can still feel the branches that tried to stop me as they scratched me and tore my clothes. Too terrified to stop even though I was crying, I was surprised to have come back to the comfy looking house that mother was in.

Not caring anymore of the danger, I barged in, not bothering to close the door behind myself. I cried for my mother as I curled myself within her embrace.

I remember how I tried to feed her, desperately trying to believe that she was still alive. How I tried to convince myself that mother was just fine. How the smell made me move away from her, yet still stay there.

I remember how some odd men came for me and took me to some place safe. I never told them the truth… when they all asked me what happened. I told them… that my mother was fine… that my father ran away.

I remember having been sent off to my granny, how she tried to help, but couldn’t.

In fact, I still have that hat, that hat that is covered in stains. I never washed it… I was too afraid that I would lose whatever I had left of my mother. But the memories haunted me, so I locked it in a case that even my husband knows nothing about.

My secret will never be revealed… of how I can rarely ever sleep for fear of those red eyes… that that lady will find me. So I hide, I hide myself and my story and the whispers of a song that the wind had sung me that day in the hopes that I will replace those memories and it will be as if nothing happened.

Copyright © Anjali Shibu 2015. All rights reserved.