Jan 10

The Sunny Side

Snowball by ff137 on flickr

Snowball by ff137 on flickr

Winter lasts too damn long, James thought as he pulled on his overcoat, gloves and galoshes just to go get the mail. He looked around as he trudged towards the mailbox — gray. Everything was gray. The sky was gray, the barren trees were gray, the dirty buildings were gray, and the snow under his feet was a filthy gray.

He bent down to dig under the surface to see if there was any white left. A little, near the bottom, close to the ground. He stood back up and automatically began packing the snow in his hands.

A car passed by, and he had to restrain himself from throwing the snowball. He wouldn’t have hesitated as a kid; now, a responsible adult, himself, he knew the damage that grit, small rocks and packed ice could do, and he didn’t need a lawsuit. Instead, he spied a tree about thirty yards away. He wound up, aiming for the middle of the trunk — but then, something caught his eye.

A glimmer, a flash, a sense of movement — later, he wouldn’t be able to say exactly what it was that made him stop and take a closer look. Yet, as he peered past the surface crystal, a scene began to form in the center of the snowball.

He saw a beautiful blonde in a french bikini lounging on a chaise nestled in white sand beneath blue skies. She stretched out her long, tan legs and crossed her feet delicately at the ankles. She held a floral fan and moved her hair away from her neck, tipped her head back, and wafted a forced breeze across her face and chest.

She paused in mid-stroke. The fan dropped to her lap. She removed her sunglasses and looked straight in his direction. She became animated, smiling and waving at him.

James felt a sense of longing, and without thinking, he reached towards the warmth suddenly emanating from the orb in his hands. As his finger touched the glassy surface of the snowball, he felt himself sucked into a vortex, and then he was there, standing before her.

The stifling heat hit him like the blast from a furnace. He looked around himself, but there were no waves lapping gently at the shore, no palm trees swaying in a tropical breeze. There was nothing but desert sand stretching as far as he could see in every direction.

Up close, he could see that the woman’s skin was dry and her lips were cracked.

“No, no, no,” she said, and her voice broke, but no tears moistened her eyes. “I thought you were going to rescue me.”

* * *

Today’s prompt: You discover a world inside a snowball.


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  1. nikki

    Ha! Nice twist.

    1. Shelli Proffitt Howells

      Thanks, Nikki!

  2. Sonia Lal

    Oh nice ending. Two of them trapped now.

    1. Shelli Proffitt Howells

      Thanks, Sonia!

  3. Helen A. Howell

    Hah I never saw that coming Shelli – nice twist!

    1. Shelli Proffitt Howells

      Thanks, Helen. 🙂

  4. Steve Green

    I love a nice unexpected twist at the end of a story. 🙂

    Too bad he couldn’t see the big picture before he stepped into it, maybe he could rescue them both by making a sandball, and stepping back through?

    1. Shelli Proffitt Howells

      Thanks, Steve! I’m sure he saw what he wanted to see. Let’s hope they’re able to find a way to get back!

  5. Safari Kay

    Cool story….literally.

  6. Katherine Hajer

    How the heck are they going to attract a rescuer now that there’s two of them?

    Great premise, great execution!

  7. Icy Sedgwick

    Wow, that was an ending I wasn’t expecting!

  1. » The #FridayFlash Report – Vol 5 Number 33

    […] The Sunny Side by Shelli Proffitt Howells ~ @ShelliHowells ~ Between 100 and 500 words ~ Magical Realism […]

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