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Snow Day – by Shana
The snow was white – whiter than anything Rae could have imagined. She pressed her nose against the cold glass, straining to see further, to bury herself in the sky of flakes, forever falling, forever white, forever –
Dr. Seegar’s voice was sharp, and Rae jumped as it stung her skin. She spun to face her, drawing herself up until she was as tall as she could be as she did so. “Yes?” she asked, knowing full well the answer. The way Dr. Seegar frowned at her made her suspect she knew that as well.
“This is a time for testing, not daydreaming,” Dr. Seegar told her, her voice tight with barely restrained anger. “Get your head out of the clouds, your feet on the ground, and start running.”
“Yes!” Rae squeaked out, saluting after the fashion of the characters in the cartoons their first Director had shown them on Saturday mornings. Setting her sights on the opposite wall, she flung herself forward, feeling her feet leave the ground for one dizzying moment, then hit, vibrations travelling up her legs and spine as she sprinted across the room as fast as she could make herself go. Her hands slapped the wall, she rebounded off the cold stones, and used the momentum to spin and sprint back the way she had come. She skidded to halt in front of Dr. Seegar, her chest heaving as she gasped in air. “How’s that for -” she gulped a lungful of air – “running?”
Dr. Seegar’s face merely sunk into the lines of one who has just unknowingly bit into a lemon.
Alone at last, Rae curled into the cold confines of the window in her room, scowling into the glass. She could just barely make out her reflection superimposed over the falling snow, and the sight of her face, curled into cross lines and wrinkles, only made her scowl harder. She grabbed at her shoulder for her hair, and only caught a few loose strands in her fist. Oh yeah. She still hadn’t adjusted to the haircut Dr. Seegar had given her after she’d caught her chewing her hair. “Stupid doctors,” she muttered crossly. “I did exactly what she told me to! She should have mentioned how she wanted me to run, and when, if she expected me to follow it.” Her breath caught in her throat, and she rubbed furiously at her eyes. “I just wanted to go outside,” she whispered. “And now no one can!” She leaned against the glass again and stared dismally out at the wonderful white world outside – now off limits.
Sudden movement caught her eye, and she squinted through the cloudy glass. “Huh?” Breathing on the frost, she rubbed herself a peephole and peered through. A small girl was running through the white drifts, leaping and sinking until only her pale head remained vaguely visible, then pulling herself up and running again. Behind her, a troop of doctors had poured out of the building, combing the drifts, their hands coming up to cup their mouths as they called back and forth.
Rae pressed herself flat against the glass, her eyes lighting up as she face was stretched with a delighted grin. “Gala!”
As if her name caught her attention, the girl leaned around the tree she was hiding behind, and looked straight up at Rae’s window. Rae pounded on the glass with her palms. “Gala!” she shouted futility. “Gala, how’d you get out?” She fell back on her seat, grinning broadly. “Gala, you genius,” she whispered. She lifted up one hand and pressed it flat on the glass.
Far below, Gala nodded suddenly. She ducked back behind her tree and disappeared back into the drifts. Rae pulled her hand away from the glass and sat up, leaving behind a perfect hand print. She leaned towards the window and frowned out, staring down at the dark blots that were searching the drifts below. “Where’d you go?” she muttered, brow knit in confusion.
Right on cue, a sharp click! echoed around the room, and there was a squealing of hinges as the door swung open. Rae spun around to face the door, swinging her legs out over the edge of the windowsill as she turned. A young girl stood there, barely out of the toddler stage. Her head would barely reach Rae’s chest, and her tiny feet seemed far too small to have moved with such speed.
“Do you want to go build a snowman?” she asked solemnly.
Rae laughed and leapt off the windowsill, landing in a crouch on the floor. “Gala, you brilliant genius,” she said. “I would love to! You should have asked me sooner.”
Somewhere else, far away, a small boy with dark reddish hair was throwing snowballs with his friend in his front yard. A sudden tingle run through him, and he turned his head, staring into the northern sky, where a dark line was creeping through the grey, snow-filled clouds. A snowball smacked into his cheek, and he spun with his hand over the reddening skin. “Hey!” he protested.
“Pay attention, sleepyhead!” His friend smacked his arm lightly in play. “What’re you staring at?”
The boy turned again to gaze out over the distance. “I think there’s a thunderstorm coming in,” he said. “The clouds are all dark.”
His friend laughed. “A thunder-snow-storm? Don’t be silly. C’mon, let’s build a fort! I bet I’ll win if I had a snow fort.”
The boy regarded the distant sky for a moment longer. For an instant, the wind blew through his hair, revealing the bright roots. Then he sighed, and turned to face his friend. “You’re on,” he said with a grin.
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