Fiction Writing Friday: Snow in July

Originally posted 2015-12-04 08:00:50.

For years I never believed in climate change. I thought it was a load of nonsense if I’m honest. But today, well it snowed  in July! Snow in July. I couldn’t believe it. I said to my husband, “Look at that, it’s snowing.” But he just smiled and floated through the wall into the next room. He’s done that a lot since he passed away. And he’s always playing a big drum, you know the ones they play in marching bands. Doesn’t make much sense. He never played any instrument when he was alive. And the bangs don’t have to give me a headache. I said this to my daughter Janey when she visited (which she doesn’t do that often these days I’m afraid) but she just gave me a funny look so I changed the subject.

Anyway I tried to go outside to see the snow but the door was really stiff and I couldn’t open it. Harold hovered behind me but he can’t do anything with those see-through hands of his. Couldn’t do much when he was alive too to be honest. The amount of jam I had to throw away because neither of us could open the jar. Such a waste.

So I gave up on the door and went back to look at the snow through the window. It was lovely to see all the kiddies playing and building snowmen. They were having so much fun. It made me smile, it really did. And I’ve not smiled in so long. Well not since Harold started floating through walls banging his drum to be honest.

Then I saw something else that made me start. Janey was playing in the snow. She looked about 8. She was wearing that woollen hat and gloves that Harold and I bought her the year we got that real cold snap. She always looked so cute in that hat and gloves. So cute. It didn’t make sense though. Janey was in her 40s now and living far away. I hardly saw her. Not even at Christmas. And we’d always loved Christmas. But there she was, large as life (well not large at all, she was always a tiny thing). Just 8 years old and cute as a button in her hat and gloves.

“Look Harold,” I said turning around, but he wasn’t behind me. He often disappeared like that. He’d done it when he was alive too. Off to the shed he’d go to check his tomatoes. He’d be out there for hours while I watched my soaps.

I looked back. Janey was at the window now, smiling in at me. I reached out my hand and touched the glass. I wanted to stroke her face and touch her button nose. My heart ached for her, as it always did these days.

“Back to your seat,” said Nurse Johnson. I sighed. When I didn’t move she put her hand on my arm and started leading me away from the window. “What are you looking at out there?” she asked.

“Snow,” I said.

“Snow!” she laughed. “Snow in July! I think we need to get your eyes checked my love. Those cataracts are getting worse aren’t they.”

I looked back at the window. “Janey,” I whispered.

Nurse Johnson heard me and frowned. “Are you seeing Janey again?”

“Yes,” I said, “She’s playing in the snow.” She smiled at me but she had that look Janey gets when I tell her about floating Harold and his drum. Then the tablets and water came, as they always do. And I fell asleep in front of the TV, the soaps quietly playing in the background.