A thrilling winter short story!

Winter cabin | Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


I always despised the colors of winter, a desaturated pigmentation of life. There was a complete absence of beauty and nature. The birds have flown to the south and the insects are now hibernating. The idea of escaping snow to be in more snow is a thought I could never comprehend. “Dad, why can’t we just go somewhere else? Look at my hands.” The frostnip began to numb the palms of my hands, triggering an innocent shade of red. “You’re fine. Sit inside and let it heal. I think we’re all good for today – we have a snowstorm coming.” I walk through the front entrance of the cabin and grab a Diet Pepsi. “Put that down – it’s 5:30. I don’t need you jumping around all night.” He says in a strict tone. “Fine.” I toss the half empty bottle back into the refrigerator and sit down on the couch, where the brown taxidermied bear is standing. “Why did they stuff the bear? It looks stupid. Plus, they didn’t do a good job with the skin – look at the legs. It’s all scuffed up.” My father approaches me with a cold look on his face. “The bear is a beast, like me. Tough and strong. No beast believes their children’s bull.” The tension, once again, began to rise as the expected storm was starting to form. “Has the bruise healed yet?” “It’s frostnip, Dad. Not a bruise.” The snow begins to fall faster by the second. I sigh. “I’m going to take a nap.” I walk to the bedroom, with the walls painted in a dark tint of brown, the color of coffee with creamer in it. The marks on my palms still haven’t been healed. I despise this season, and him. I approach my windows, where the inches of snow have grown faster than expected. I begin to yawn and walk over to my bed. I finally put my body at rest, while curling up to fetal position. 

The animals, all with human smiles, creep over the bed as I am in my weakest state. They have taken away the ability to move, yet I feel awake. The living room bear, leans over my helpless body, and whispers gently into my ear, “Frostnip.” I am awakened by the sound of a window beginning to crack. Out of panic, I ran to my father’s room. “Dad! Dad, the window!” I begin panicking even more as he gives no response. “Open the door! Look!” I begin banging on the door and shaking the knob. “Dang it!” I ran to the kitchen to grab a bobby pin to pick the lock on the door. The utensils, pins, napkins, everything is gone. The door begins to rattle with a scratching at the door, like a dog’s desperate attempt to open it. There is pure darkness dominating the cabin. The absence of light and the company of objects and family frighten me. There are claw marks on the floors, creating an image of a baby bear. The marks lead to the living room. I walk slowly into the archway where the fireplace is lit. From a distance, I am able to see long sheets of paper and items sticking out. Receipts, prescriptions, forks and knives. Take 2 capsules a day: one in the morning and one at night. I look up to see the revealing surprise: my stuffed father. There is a sudden relief in my emotion, almost a lift from agony. I grab the only thing left in the fridge – my half empty diet coke and sit down in the living room. The sun has completely melted the snow, displaying the beautiful desaturated colors of winter. In the distance, the bear, with the scuffed legs, attacks a young fawn. I continue to sip the soda while watching his movements. Once the young animal is killed, we gaze into each other’s eyes for a moment, until he walks away. I walk away from the window, sit on the floor against the couch, and itch my healed skin. I now began to like the colors of winter; a beautiful desaturation of life. An extremely beautiful desaturation.


The Merionite Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest news in your inbox, every issue.