This week’s prompt from Sara over at Mum turned Mom is the word “Winter”. I think I have made my feelings on winter pretty clear up to now. I’m not much of a winter person. This time of year in particular is my least favourite. I don’t even really want to talk about it. So instead I have taken up the gauntlet and written another piece of flash fiction. The first piece I wrote was triggered by another of Sara’s prompts: the word ‘Smoke’ so I’ve called this one ‘Ice’. The two stories have some similarities…
It happened in the winter when the ice was lying compound on the ground. The pavements were treacherous and wheeling the pram five minutes along the road had been like venturing into the foothills of the Himalayas. She had thrown together an eclectic mix of garments, not having had the foresight to colour co-ordinate an ‘ice wardrobe’. In the ski resorts of the French or Italian Alps she would have been shunned for sure. But what she looked like was the furthest from her mind.
The baby was four months old. It had been four months of hell – the hardest four months of her life. Tears had been shed every single day as each nerve-jangling scream cut a swathe into her soul. Baby groups had become her life line – family was far away and her partner had returned to work what seemed like a lifetime ago, leaving her to navigate her way through endless days not dissimilar to the movie Groundhog Day but without any of the laughs.
She knew it was probably wiser to stay indoors at home but she had to get out and risk the slippery paths that would take her down to the (ironically named) Healthy Happy Mum’s group where a friendly face would bring her a cuppa and others would provide a shoulder to cry on and a reminder that she wasn’t actually alone with a little alien being for 8 hours a day. It hadn’t even occurred to her that a snow day is a snow day and, at the very least, health and safety would rule out the possibility of finding the lights on and doors open.
Sure enough as she turned into the car park of the village hall she could see the big padlock hanging from the door handles and momentarily stopped in her tracks feeling thoroughly wretched and abandoned. It was on the slow, despondent walk home that she was awakened from her dark teatime of the soul as, without any warning a dark coloured car careered towards her, and the last thing she remembered was the thud of the impact and the light fading.
When she awoke the first thing she noticed was the vase of golden daffodils at her bedside. The second thing was the beautiful sound of a crying baby. The tears in her eyes spoke of joy not sorrow for once and she knew that whatever the doctor was about to tell her it didn’t matter because winter was finally over.