Night has fallen upon your little town.
With another fire merrily crackling away in the fireplace, the smell of (your favorite food for a cold day) wafts through your entire house. Your stomach emits a sound similar to that of a dying whale in response. “Shhhh,” you tell it. “You’ll be fed soon enough. It’s almost done.”
Out of the corner of your eye, you see what appears to be a person hanging upside down, looking in through your window.
Hunger again, you tell yourself, ignoring the hallucination and putting the food on the table. You take up your utensils and begin to eat, savoring each delicious bite.
You begin to go over the day’s events, just as you always tend to do over dinner. You grin at the snowball chase and the time you spent with the kids. But the smile is wiped off your face when you begin to really notice the oddities of the day.
Where was that laughter coming from? You wonder. It sounded like yesterday’s wind. And the voice…it was the same voice as the laughter, no doubt about that. But…where did it COME from? You shake your head, symbolically shaking off the thoughts about the unsolved mystery. Nothing, you tell yourself. It was all nothing. I’m a perfectly sane person. Though I do read a lot of fantasy books and have an active imagination, I don’t hallucinate or any of that stuff. It was all nothing. It was probably one of the kids’ parents or a local creep.
You continue and finish your meal. Too lazy to wash the dishes, you just toss them in the sink and go sit in front of the fire, grabbing your book from the shelf on the way.
You wake up laying on the floor, the fire dwindled down to nothing but glowing embers and your book held to your page on your chest. When did I fall asleep? I must be really tired from playing all day. Groggily, you get up, your blanket falling from you.
Wait, you think, suddenly a bit more awake. I don’t remember getting a blanket. You pause and rack your memory. Agh, I’m too tired for this. I don’t remember when I fell asleep, I probably got it just before that and just don’t recall it. Putting the blanket and your book away, you shuffle around the house, going through your usual nighttime routine before stepping into your bedroom.
That’s when you see it.
Your window is something straight out of a winter picture book. The entire thing is covered in gorgeous, flowing swirls of frost. Upon closer look, you see that these aren’t just the usual-shaped, more pointed frost swirls that one finds on their window. No…you have lush ice leaves making a picturesque border around your entire window, connecting together beautifully painted frost roses. Branches reached from the foliage to the middle of the window, thinning out the further they reached. Ice snowflakes dotted the window here and there. It was like a picture frame, exquisitely and professionally bordering the view from your window.
You touch your window as if to make sure that someone hasn’t just put up a picture in its place. In complete awe, you trace your fingertips on your side of the glass along the swirls and waves of the leaves and branches.
You remember something from your childhood. A story. About a mischievous winter spirit that nips at people’s noses and makes it snow.
And is responsible for frost phenomena that sprawl across windows when it’s particularly cold out.
You smile to yourself. Wow, he’s really outdone himself here, you think. But it’s probably just normal window frost, nothing too special or elaborate, I’m just really tired. You yawn and get under your covers. He’s not real anyway. It’s just a weather phenomenon…and the tilt of the earth’s axis and stuff determines the weather…not…not… your train of thought trails off as your mind slowly succumbs to sleep.
“See you later”? You remember. Within you, a small curiosity is born. You would kind of like to see whoever promised they’d see you later. You have a feeling that whoever this person is…if they did in fact exist and weren’t a product of hunger or sleep…that they would become someone very important to you.
A light, dreamless sleep overtakes you.
You didn’t notice a small “JF” signed at the bottom right of the window.