Winter Wonderland

Mix stretched his arms skyward, extending each vertebra. He opened his lips into a round flat O, scrunched up his eyes, and yawned the yawn of the bone-weary. It had been a very long night.

He looked around pleased with himself. The world was elegant, blanketed in her new downy white coat, wearing her finest crystals, ready for the grand Winter ball.

Melanie stretched her arms skyward, extending each vertebra. She opened her lips into a round flat O, scrunched up her eyes, and yawned the yawn of the freshly woken. It had been a very long night.

She looked around at the chaos of her room, gingerly swung her legs out of the bed and padded her feet around the floor. The cold wood sent needles of shock up through her toes.

Success! She slid her feet snugly into the welcoming coziness of her slippers, dragged on her thick chenille housecoat and shuffled to the kitchen for her morning tea.

Mug down on the countertop. Kettle on. Tea bag retrieved and pitched unceremoniously into the mug. Kettle boiled. Water in. First relieved breath for the morning. Aahhh.

Now she could brave grabbing the paper. Melanie cracked open the door.

When did the world transform into this Winter wonderland? Yesterday’s sludge along the garden path and wilting plants, had transformed into shiny, tinkling crystals hanging from every leaf, catching the light and splitting it into a million hues of the rainbow colours.

Every tree was decorated with the baubles of Christmas, lit delicately by a muted winter sun.

Birds loitered dejectedly on the edge of the birdbath, now an ice rink for fairies.

Rigor mortis stiff leaves stood on parade waiting to be dismissed in Autumn.

Rain that had flowed in rivulets from the roof, had now solidified into icy fingers, scratching the air and grasping towards the earth.

“Huhh. Isn’t mother nature glorious?” she mumbled. “The world was so grubby yesterday. It’s exquisite. White and gleaming”, and she smiled contentedly to herself.

At the base of the gardenia bush, under its lowest leaf, Mix turned puce with indignation.

“Mother nature? MOTHER nature?” he huffed. His fists shot to his hips, and he stomped his foot. “Why do people always assume that only women can produce beautiful things?” he pouted. Everyone underestimated his talent. Well, he was not standing for it another second.

He stepped bravely out of his hideaway. With every intent of righting the wrong, he raised his hand, index finger pointing accusingly, mouth open, ready to argue his point. Before the first objection could escape his lips, a heavy foot descended upon him.

“Ugh! Cockroaches. I hate cockroaches.” Melanie shuddered melodramatically, turned and went indoors with her tea, her paper and her misconceptions.

©Asha Rajan

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