My prompt is: It was a cloudy cold day in December...
It was submitted by: https://cognitivescript.blogspot.com/
It was submitted by: https://cognitivescript.blogspot.com/
Two pair of pattering feet hit the hallway floor seemingly going from 0 to 60 mph in the blink of an eye. The twins were up again. Of course. They never managed to stay in bed the entire night no matter how often they stayed with her, and they so rarely got to stay (at least in her opinion) that she couldn't help indulging their every whim.
"Memaw, can you tell us the story again?"
"Meeeemaaaaaaw," Lucy giggling, "you KNOW the story."
"I don't have the slightest idea, sweetheart. To which story are you referring?"
Leo rolled his eyes and sighed, "ME. MAW. You do know. You're just being starcastic. "
"I think the word you're looking for is 'sarcastic.'"
"That's what I said, starcastic."
Lucy nodded in agreement, her little curls bouncing with the movement. "Memaw, you know. We can't say his name."
The older woman, known as Estelle to pretty much everyone but these two, smiled to herself but feigned shock. "Oooooh you mean--she lowered her voice conspiratorially--you want the story of how I met Krampus."
"MEMAW!!! YOU CANT SAY HIS NAME OR HE WILL SHOW UP TO TAKE US AWAY. THAT'S WHAT YOU SAID."
"Hush now. I told you *I* can say his name since I saw him and lived to tell it, but you two cannot."
In unison, an exaggerated "oooooohhhhhh" caressed the air in that half whisper of relief. It was the same every time she told it like some sort of ritual. If they asked every time, maybe it would help keep him away.
Estelle gave them a moment to get settled, grab their respective blankets and snuggle in beside her while she sipped her hot cider.
"It was a cloudy, cold day in December..."
"How old were you then, Memaw?"
Lucy. That child was always full of questions.
"I told you I was not much older than you two. You're how old now? 34?"
A ruckus of giggles delighted her ears. "MEMAW! You know we're 7. Boths of us. We're twins!"
"Oh yes that's right! 7! I must have been 9 or 10 at the time. We lived in North Dakota then..."
"Is that near the North Pole?" Lucy again.
She smiled as she feigned a scolding, "do you want to hear the story or ask questions?"
"BOTHS!" she shouted in her little chipmunk squeak giggling all the while. No surprises there. No book could be read, song sung, or story told without Lucy asking her questions. Leo was the quiet one usually pondering over it all and never letting anyone know what was really on his mind until it was absolutely made up about things. The two of them could not be more different.
Estelle began her story again, "It was a snow day that day like the day before it. There had been a snowstorm, and we'd gotten a couple feet of snow overnight, but it was finally slowing down just after lunch, so my mother sent us out..."
"What's a snow day again?" Leo, this time actually.
"It's when it snows so much traveling to school is dangerous or when people are snowed in. You don't have those here in Florida really."
He nodded looking wise well above his years, so she continued. "We went out all bundled up with our sled to the middle school a few blocks from our house so we could take a few turns going down the hill behind it. It wasn't the biggest, but we still had fun and got to stay close to home to be back in time for dinner."
"Wait, you just go down a hill on snow? Do dogs pull you like in White Fang? How do you stop? What if you crash?"
"Whoa there! Are you practicing for your future career as a game show host, Luce? Are we in the lightning round?!"
"Memaw! It's not storming!!"
"One of these days you'll get my jokes, sweeties."
Leo, bless him, studied her for a moment all too seriously. "Jokes are supposed to be funny, Memaw."
"Touché, kiddo. Now, where were we? Yes, sledding means sliding down a hill on a sled, but it's different than a dog sled. There are no brakes on these kinds of sleds, so you have to pick a good spot, know what you're doing, and be very careful not to get hurt."
Two little chipmunk voices in unison, "WE WANT TO GO!"
"Of course you do. What about this story first?" They settled back in beside her snuggling in close. It was cool out for a December night in Florida. She didn't have much in the way of a heating system--just a couple of small space heaters. It never really got so cold she needed more, but on this particular night they were hardly keeping them comfortable. She might have to bring them all into the living room and sleep in here with the kids just to make sure they didn't get too cold.
"Pete, that's my brother, and I got tired of sledding pretty quickly. It being such a small hill really didn't give us the action we needed after being cooped up all day the day before, so we decided to have a snowball fight. Now, our mom was deadset against them. She just knew one of us would accidentally roll up a rock or worse and really nail the other one, so that element of taboo added to the fun..."
"MEMAW YOU GOTS A TATTOO?!"
"Lucy, these questions! Heavens sake. No, no, no. 'Ta-Boo' not 'tat-Too." Taboo means something you're not supposed to do or someone you're not supposed to be around."
"So like how Mommy doesn't want us playing with James across the street?"
"Right. Sort of. But James is an asshole, so you not being allowed would not make it more fun to play at his house."
"MEMAWWWWW YOU SAID A BAD WOOOOOORD OOOOOOO. I'M TELLING YOUR MOM!"
"My mom passed a long time ago, honey. But I will tell you like I told your mom when she was your age. Those words are not *bad.* They're just for adults. Adults know when to say them sorta like adults are better at driving."
"So you need a lishentz to say asshole?"
"LUCILLE KALINDA MORRISON. Watch yourself! And no you don't need a LICENSE. You need to be an adult. Let's get back to this story before I fall asleep telling it. Where were we?"
"Snowball fight, Memaw." Leo, the angel.
"Right. So we went to the two buses in the parking lot. They were a few spaces apart with small snow drifts all around, so it was a perfect spot to take cover and have plenty of ammunition. I hid behind my bus and started putting together my stack of snowballs. I'd made maybe 5 when I heard something on top of the bus, a clanging sound with weight. I thought it was Pete though I have no idea how he would have gotten on the bus, so I yelled out calling him a cheater. He yelled back from across the way right about the time the Krampus jumped from above and landed a few feet from where I sat. I took one look at him and was too scared to even scream. He had black hooves shining like leather boots, a furry body with goat legs, and two massive horns coming out of his head. He was dressed on a weird old coat that split in the back to make room for the weirdest tail I have ever seen in my life."
Estelle paused to take a sip of her cider and looked down. She had fully expected more questions by now. Both of them were passed out holding hands across her lap. She hadn't made it to the end once.
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