DAY 4 of the Flashnano Challenge. Flashnano is a challenge that involves writing 30 stories in 30 days throughout the month of November. A new writing prompt every day. As a reminder, at this stage I don’t edit these it’s simply raw, off the top of my head writing. Later, I’ll go through any that have potential and edit them. Thanks for reading.
PROMPT 4: Write a story that takes place in a very hot room.
My mama used to tell me stories about seasons. Summer, winter, spring and fall. She said in the summer it would be hot, but she and her friends would ride their bikes to the beach where it was cooler. She’d fill a Tupperware container with watermelon slices and put it in the basket of her bike. They’d run through the sand to the water’s edge where the sea breeze was coolest and they’d bury their toes in the wet sand. Then they’d eat juicy watermelon and wash their sticky hands in the cool ocean water.
In the spring she would take long walks along dirt trails and take photos of all the wildflowers, they were mama’s favorite. She would describe them to me in such detail sometimes I thought I could reach out and touch one. A smile would play on mama’s lips when she described daisies. She’d say, “I don’t know, baby, you just couldn’t be unhappy around daisies”.
In the fall mama said the weather was perfect, not too hot or too cold. But it definitely let you know winter was coming. She said one time grandma took her to Colorado to see the Fall Colors. She said the trees were bursting with colors; orange, red, yellow and gold. She said it was like a fireworks show and her and grandma kept saying, “ooooo ahhhhh,” and then they’d laugh.
And then there was winter, I liked the stories about winter the best. Mama said in the winter her and her sister would run to their bedroom window each morning to see if it had snowed yet. And when it did, they’d squeal with excitement as they hurriedly put on their snow clothes. Jackets, hats, and scarves. They always shoved their mittens in their pockets and as they ran outside grandma would yell after them, “Put those gloves on!” Mama always laughed at that part. She’d say, “We’d give mama fits.” I always laughed at fits. It’s a funny word, especially how Mama said it. She’d always snort laugh after saying it. I started snort laughing too, but I did it on purpose, mama did it when something was super funny.
Then mama would describe building snowmen. Rolling the snow into huge balls with frozen hands and placing them on top of each other. Then they’d run around gathering rocks and sticks for the face and arms. They’d pull off their own hats and scarves to put on Snowy so he wouldn’t get cold. By the time they were done they could barely feel their fingers. Only then would they put on their gloves. Usually by this time grandma would be at the door calling to them, “Come in here and warm up before your ears fall off!” Then they’d go inside and sit as close to the fireplace as they could stand trying to get warm. Grandma would bring them piping hot cocoa with a heaping handful of puffy marshmallows on top.
I love stories of winter, except I don’t think I’d ever sit by the fireplace. I’ve never been cold, I’d like to feel cold. When mama told me these stories we were laying on the linoleum floor in the kitchen of our tiny apartment. Mama would say, “Lay down here, it’s cooler”, but it wasn’t. I laid down anyway though because I knew mama would tell me stories if I did.
There aren’t seasons anymore, only in the memories of parents. I’ve never seen any of the things mama described. It’s only summer now, it never gets below 120 degrees, usually hotter, even at night. The crops have all died, they’re just empty fields of sun cracked dirt now. There’s no livestock anymore, they couldn’t be fed or cared for. We eat food out of little bags like soldiers used to eat during war. We don’t have soldiers anymore, it’s too hot to fight or even care about anything enough to fight for it.
It’s too hot to do anything now, nobody does anything, but try to survive. We’re not really succeeding at that part, there’s not many of us left. In the beginning we tried to help each other, but it became too hot to care about anyone but ourselves. We became angry and mean. One time when I went to pick up our water ration I kicked a little kid in line in front of me and then I took cuts in front of him. He cried, but I didn’t care. I didn’t want them to run out of water for mama and me. Our water ration was so small we always ran out anyway, but mama would always say, “Here, baby, drink mine”. I would drink it greedily even though I noticed mama getting weaker. Then mama got sick and now all the water is mine, but mama’s gone and I won’t drink it. I don’t want it. I just want my mama and winter.
I’m so tired now and it hurts to breathe. I want to cry, but I can’t make tears anymore. I’m so thirsty, but I won’t drink what little water that’s left. Mama always said I was stubborn. I guess I am because it’s been a few days and I haven’t eaten or drank a thing. I can’t stand up, I just lay on the linoleum floor.
I close my burning eyes, they’re so dry and heavy. When I open them I’m in a snow covered field, it’s cold and I shiver. I take delight in that shiver. In the distance I see mama, she’s building a snowman. She looks up, “Come on, baby, help me build this guy,” she laughs. I run over and drop to my knees in the snow.“Mama! It’s so cold!” I exclaim. “I know, baby, isn’t it heaven?”