The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
She Likes the Snow
by Melissa R. Mendelson
“Claire? Claire? Where are you?”
“I’m here, Grandma.”
She found Claire standing by the opening, watching the white flakes slip in. She held her little hand out, ready to catch them, but then pulled her hand back before one could kiss her skin. Her innocent eyes drifted upward, watching them fall. A moment later, she stuck out her tongue, catching one on the tip, and swallowed it with a small giggle.
“What is it, Grandma?”
“It’s snow. It’s snowing.” She knelt down on the ground and touched the white substance. A long time ago, she used to play in the snow. She used to dance in the snow. It was her favorite season, and it always gave her hope of new beginnings to come. But not anymore.
“Why are you so sad, Grandma? Is it because it’s cold?” Her granddaughter knelt down beside her, gently pulling at one of her gray curls. “Isn’t the world above us covered in snow?”
“Yes,” she answered her, carefully choosing her next words. “Everything above us is covered in white. It’s beautiful but cold.”
“Why don’t we go up there to see it?”
“Nobody has gone up there in a long time, and it shouldn’t be snowing in here.”
“So, why is it snowing in here?” Claire watched her grandmother look away. “Is it safe?”
“Yes, it’s safe.” She stood up from the ground but didn’t look at her. Instead, she looked up at the opening. A month ago, it was a mere crack. Now, it was wide enough for the snow above to slip in. With enough time, the opening would get worse, and this whole place, this sanctuary would come crashing down. And there was no escape. Once they went underground, they knew that they could never go back up.
“Grandma?” Claire waited for her to answer. “Grandma?”
“Why do you look so sad?”
“I’m just thinking. That’s all, Claire.”
“Do you want to dance in the snow like in the stories that you told me?”
Before she could answer her, Claire bolted into the snow, spinning around and laughing. If that opening widened now, she would be killed, but it seemed stationary for the moment. And she didn’t have the heart to tell Claire that this was it. Once the opening widened and more snow fell in, the cold would follow, and it was the cold that they should fear.
“Come on, Grandma. This is fun,” Claire exclaimed, laughing a moment later. “Come on.”
“I’ll watch.” She moved back a little, giving her granddaughter some space.
“Doesn’t she know what that means?” A man stepped out of the shadows, watching Claire dance. “Doesn’t she know that we’re doomed once the cold comes in?”
“Hush. I don’t want her hearing you,” she said. “Let her enjoy herself. She likes the snow.”
Fiction © Copyright Melissa R. Mendelson
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com.
About Author Melissa R. Mendelson:
Melissa R. Mendelson is a Horror, Science-Fiction, and Dystopian Author. Her short stories have been published by Sirens Call Publications, Dark Helix Press, and Transmundane Press. She also has a variety of short stories and poetry available on Medium.