#486 It Starts With Snow




the Hyperion Chronicles
"Thumpety Thump Thump, Thumpety Thump Thump...."



#486 It Starts With Snow






It starts with snow.

After the kids have been put to bed, but before they are really asleep the snow cometh. The air is heavy and sharp, and everywhere is silence, as if the world stopped what it was doing to watch the winter ballet.



The kids in bed somehow sense what is happening, and sneak to windows, pressing little noses to panes. The glass is frozen, but they don’t mind, taking in the wonder, hearts filled with joy.

The snowfall continues unabated. This is not some fly-by-night snow, but the real deal, and all but the youngest of kids realize what that means.

They snuggle back into beds, excited and dreaming of tomorrow. For the first time in a long time they will not dread getting up, getting ready, putting on pants and sweatshirts and coats and mittens and boots for that interminable four-house walk to the bus stop, to stand miserable for at least three days until the bus comes and trudges them off to school.

No, tomorrow will be different. Though they have heard no weather report, and could not tell a barometer from a chronometer, they know what the silent snow means.

No school tomorrow.

While all around the city commuters are waking to a winter hell with frozen car locks and even more frozen windshields, missing scrapers and icy roads, the children will be at play. For them tomorrow will not be misery but a little holiday that belongs just to them.



The day breaks cold and hard, crisp and chill, but not the dreaded winds that wreak havoc on play. Breakfasts are devoured and clothes thrown on with abandon, like some sort of Axe Effect in Reverse. Parents wryly comment how their children cannot get this excited about getting dressed for school but their hearts are not in it. Their only real rancor is a spot of jealousy, recognizing a joy they no longer can summon.

Outside truly is a Winter Wonderland, as the entire street—no, the entire world!—is covered with snow. The glorious white velvet is great for packing, and soon a dozen snowball fights are ongoing, friends and enemies being forged for life, plans for castle assaults and frozen moats being drawn with birch sticks in the snow. Norman Rockwell would die of happiness, and even the most jaded would be hard-pressed not to crack a smile.



Lunchtime comes (tomato soup, grilled cheese and hot chocolate with marshmallows, or should that be marshmallows with hot chocolate?), and back out on the fields of white some boys have taken up the cause of a snowman.

Not to be outdone (and mostly ‘cause the boys wouldn’t let them help), the girls have begun their own sculpture for the ages. The girls possess considerably more artistic talent than the boys, and in short order their snow-woman has taken on a curvy outline, with hips to make a belly-dancer proud and—dare we say it?—a bodacious rack.



(Special note: the rack in question was not so much an artistic choice by the girls or some revelation of a Barbie-values-culture gone wild, but rather a determination that all passers-by be able to tell that this particular creation was a snow-woman. Believe me when I say their mission was a success, as even Google Earth would have no trouble figuring out whose snow-door to hold open.)

The boys found wonderful accoutrements for the eyes, nose and mouth, leaving the girls scrambling. Their eyes were two small black rocks, but this was accentuated by a pair of glasses little Shirley donated. They were unable to come up with nose and mouth (someone suggested using more rocks, but they were already pushing it), but then one of the girls got the bright idea to use a black ski-mask/scarf one of the girls (Shirley again) had. (Before you worry about her little ears and throat, Shirley hated the thing. It certainly kept her warm, but messed up her pretty red hair when she tried to take it off.)



The head covering sparked a creative boom in the girls, and soon they had the snow-woman covered head to toe in all black. (It was slimming, one of the girls said, not quite understanding what she meant.) In fact, when they were done, the only things that were visible on the snow-woman were the eyes peering out from underneath the glasses.

The boys had become jealous when they saw how spectacular the girls’ snow-woman was, but some of their swagger returned when they found an old silk hat on the ground. They placed it on their snowman and stood back in pride.

The girls seemed trumped, until one of them (guess who) noticed a red curly wig (also on the ground). “Hey!” Shirley said, “We could put this wig on our snow-woman up underneath the mask, with some of the red hair sticking out!”

The other girls thought this was a wonderful idea, and they were just about to step back and admire their own creation when the boys started hollering up a storm about how their snowman had come to life!

This was surely the most incredible thing the girls had ever heard of, and it immediately captivated them. One does not ordinarily see a snowman begin to dance around, and understandably, all the girls’ and boys’ attention was on the delightful creature. Because of this, they did not notice the other creation begin to stir…..



The Evil Snow-Ninja gained consciousness slowly, as if waking from a dream. She had a banger of a headache, made worse by what sounded like 700 children screaming. Looking around, she saw these kids (it turned out to be only 30 or so, but they sounded like 700) cavorting around another snow creature. The Evil Snow-Ninja recognized him: his name was Lick Renard, and he was a poofter. She would settle for him soon enough.

Casting about for a weapon the Evil Snow-Ninja spied a shovel. It had a long handle, and the edges were sharp; primed for mayhem. The E.S.N. laughed to herself, as she realized that the shovel looked like a giant spoon.



The Evil Snow-Ninja, was a fairy tale they say,
She was made of snow but the children know
How she came to life one day.
And slaughtered the children where they stood.
And gave Lick Renard what-for
You wouldn’t have wanted to see it
She cut the kids and Lick’s heads clean off with her giant spoon
And they went sailing down the street
(Bet little Shirley wishes she had her scarf/mask back now, huh?)


Thumpety Thump Thump
Thumpety Thump Thump….



The Evil Snow-Ninja stood happily, her headache slowly abating in the silent snow. Then a door opened a few houses away and a high-pitched yell. “Shirrrrrrrrrrleeeeeeeeeey. Come in for dinnnnnnnnnerrrrrrrr!”

Somebody needed a tit-punching!

The Evil Snow-Ninja hefted her giant spoon and started off.


Thumpety Thump Thump
Thumpety Thump Thump….




Hyperion
(originally published December 13, 2007)








There isn't a single question you'll get this month that 
wouldn't be better answered with "Evil Snow Ninja."

1 comment:

Kaida said...

Did you know, I'm in possession of a snow ninja's ultimate weapon ....a deadly snowflake ninja star made of gold.