Gary the Snowman

This week I’m sharing original flash fiction (500 words or less) inspired by some of my favorite sad Christmas songs. Here’s one based on Frosty the Snowman.

She knew what kinds of things the other kids in her class would say if they saw her running in her yard like this. 

Amelia, you’re gonna cause an earthquake. 

Whales can’t run!

Don’t fall. You’ll break the ground open, and end up in China.    

Little shits, each and every one of them, although Amelia didn’t describe them this way—that’s what her mother called them. Amelia thought of her classmates as bullies or popular people or sheep who went along with whatever everyone else was doing. One or two would make fun of her, and the rest would bah in agreement.  

Now, thanks to Christmas break, she was done with those dumb idiots for two whole weeks, and it was just going to be her and Gary, who she’d brought into existence the weekend before by mounding him up from freshly fallen snow. She’d made him as round as she was, packing on more and more snow, despite the fact that the moisture soaked her knit gloves right away and her hands were numb within minutes. 

Her backyard edged a small wood where she’d found the sticks she needed for Gary’s arms. His necktie she’d swiped from her father’s dresser along with an old pair of heavily rimmed black glasses. She’d found the supplies to make his face in the kitchen—walnuts in their shell for his eyes; a carrot for his nose, the baby kind; and red licorice for his lips, which made him look a like a clown but she took him seriously. 

See, when she made Gary, she’d only been trying to distract herself from her parents’ fight about where they were going to spend Christmas, but then, once she’d created him, it became clear to her: she and Gary were meant to be the lead anchors of the Local Action 7 News. And any self-consciousness Amelia might have felt as a twelve year old playing pretend, she discarded in the privacy of her own backyard, the pine trees their only audience. 

Together they covered a wide range of stories—sports, the weather, local and national politics, the feel good stories of the holiday season, and even an international crisis or two. They bantered. They said, back to you, and closed every show with that’s the way it is. Sure, they bickered off air, but together they were a great news team. 

That day’s broadcast was due to start in twenty minutes and there was a developing story about a mall Santa that Amelia wanted to talk over with Gary, hence her run to the backyard, but as she neared him, the sun shining down on her, she discovered to her horror that Gary was headless—his glasses and necktie crumpled together on the ground in front of his melting torso—his edible facial features in a Picassian disarray. The show would be cancelled. 

Amelia plucked a walnut from Gary’s remains and hurled it into the woods. Sometimes the way it was sure sucked. 

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