You stand there for a few minutes in complete shock.
It looks like a tornado has hit your kitchen.
After you told Jack your name and watched him fly off into the distance, you closed the door and leaned against it, smiling widely for reasons that you couldn’t quite figure out. Needing something to preoccupy yourself with while you waited for his return, you caught sight of your dirty mug and figured that you should wash it. So off you went to your kitchen.
And that’s when you saw the chaos lying in wait for you.
Dishes are piled high in the sink. Unused tools are put away without care. Drawers are half-open because they were too full with untidiness to shut properly. Pots and pans galore are stacked on the stove. Ingredients dot the countertops. Plates and bowls are set up in a line as if he had spent quite some time deciding which one to put your food on.
How could someone make such a gigantic mess in making one measly dish??
I guess he only learned how to cook in 300 years, not how to keep his kitchen clean like a good chef. I knew that meal was a little too good to be true.
You sigh. It’s late and you really don’t feel like cleaning all of this up.
Nevertheless, you begin to tackle it.
A lot of soap and reorganization later, your kitchen looks spotless. Feeling absolutely exhausted, you leave and go through your pre-bedtime routine, picking your comforter up from the living room somewhere in there. You couldn’t wait up for Jack even if you wanted to at this point. You doubt he’d be back that night anyway.
You fall asleep the moment your head hits the pillow.
A cold draft wakes you up.
You open your eyes to see an arrow made of ice on the ceiling above you, sparkling slightly in the morning sun.
You smile, realizing what this means.
You get up as fast as you can, slipping on socks and a sweatshirt, and follow the arrow’s direction out of your bedroom. Another arrow on the wall points you further into the house. The wall on your kitchen is decorated with thin ice letters reading “Look in here!”
You do so to see that the window is frosted over. A message is written through the frost in the same handwriting as on the wall. “Sorry about the mess,” it says. You take the apology, not minding that it’s a little too late.
You turn back around to see another ice arrow pointing towards the back door. You walk over to it, heart racing from excitement. “Open me!” it says. You’re reminded momentarily of Alice in Wonderland. Expectations high, you swing the door open.
There’s nothing out of the ordinary here as far as you can see. You take a few steps outside, looking around you for something, anything, that you may be supposed to be looking at. You can’t find any more arrows or messages telling you what to do. Looking up at the sky, you step out onto the freshly-fallen snow.
“Hey, careful with that!” you hear a voice say from above and behind you.
Before you can turn around, a blast of wind envelops you, sending you flying up into the sky.
When you’re about fifteen feet high, you feel a pair of cold hands grab you under your armpits and fly you higher. You see the hook of a staff out of the corner of your right eye.
Fighting back tickle-inspired laughter, you try to turn around and properly greet your partner in flight.
“Don’t look at me! Look down,” he tells you softly into your ear. You can practically hear him grinning.
You look down at your snow-laden backyard.
“Oh my…Jack…” you manage to say, completely awestruck.
You are looking down at your own portrait. Crisp white snow is mounded into carefully-made lines and curves, the sun casting a natural shadow where an artist would have shaded with pencil to show light and depth. It is as if someone has taken your picture and replicated it precisely in the snow.
“My apology gift,” he informs you. “I had meant to clean that kitchen up when I got back. You just couldn’t be patient, or be good and get more rest like you needed to.”
“Thank you,” you say as the two of you land on your porch. You turn to face him and smile. “You’re quite the artist.”
“Ah, it’s nothing,” he replies as he shrugs. He’s obviously honored by the compliment, though, because a light blush is spreading across his pale cheeks. “I just like to do stuff like that, its fun, and you really seem like someone who can appreciate a little art.”
“I suppose so,” you say, giggling. “That frost art that you left on my window a couple nights ago was really something else, too.”
His blush begins to get worse. You think you hear him mumble something along the lines of “just trying to get you to believe,” which of course worked, since it eventually led you to really think about Jack Frost being real and going outside for a breath on that fateful day.
Suddenly, something black darts across your backyard a few feet from where the two of you are standing.
The two of you turn to look at it, but it's gone in a flash.
You look back at each other, eyebrows raised in a mutual question.
What was THAT?