posted on Apr, 29 2007 @ 12:49 PM
Cat Stevens was playing on the radio, the vegetables were simmering on the hob, and the turkey was slowly browning in the oven.
Sheila's husband was down at the local with her brother Ken, and her mother snoozed in the front room with an empty sherry glass resting on her
Christmas, a time of merriment and joy, a time when Sheila brought all the slender threads of organization together, the meals, the presents and the
Sheila sipped at her gin and tonic, the rosewater smell reminding her of other times, a time when her figure was different and a time when her world
was bigger, not the other way around. The plastic clock on the wall ticked away to the beat of the Cat Steven's dirge and Sheila looked out at the
It had finally happened, the bookies had lowered the odds and the T.V had made a big deal of it. It had started snowing on Christmas eve morning, the
steady fall whitening the roads and the gardens, deadening sounds and slowing the world. Sheila squinted and focused on the snowman standing,
sentinel-like, in the garden. The kids, Jen, Peter and Ken's twins, Jimmy and Jemima, had set about yesterday afternoon, creating the rotund man of
Sheila refilled her glass and thought about setting the table, her husband, Bill, would sit at the head of the table, Sheila at the right of him, and
then Ken and then the kids, and finally, mother. She had bought the champagne from Asda, and had received the tall glasses from the catalogue two
Sheila missed Patsy. She often wondered how Ken coped without her. He seemed to 'soldier on', but still, It was a shock when she had left him.
A loud thump sounded from upstairs, the kids were busy with their toys, and Sheila wondered how far into January they would get this time, before Jen
would break something. Sheila refilled her glass. The radio reminded her to be jolly, and she raised her glass to the DJ.
Sheila passed the kitchen window, on her way to the cutlery drawer, it was then she saw the snowman move. Gin, yeah, mother's ruin, that was it,
Sheila smiled to herself and moved the lace curtain to see the white world outside. The snowman waved.
There have, or will be, times in everybody's life when reality punches you in the throat, when the world becomes real, when smells have taste, when
touch as sight, when God, regardless whether your male or female, roughly grabs your nuts and winks at you. This was Sheila's time.
The snowman waved again, and then as an afterthought, put two fingers up.
Sheila breathed in deeply, her glass had fallen into the sink, and the potatoes needed turning down. She looked around the kitchen as if to seek
reassurance from the flowered wallpaper, then again, she peeked out the window.
The snowman was pissing on the budlia.
Sheila moved towards the backdoor, if this surreal world was here, then by God, she would meet it, Hell, she had been to Glastonbury when it had meant
She stepped into the powdered world and immediately slipped on the soft blanket around the kitchen door, and created a dark, damp patch on the butt of
her skirt. "Damn" she muttered and got to her feet, the cold wrapping upon her like a cape. She shuffled towards the back garden, the snow muffling
any sound from the busy road at the front.
The snowman was reading his newspaper and whistling to himself, but Sheila knew he was aware of her storming towards him, and she also knew that
within a few minutes he would wish the kids had built him in another garden.
" Well, you took your time" the snowman said, he folded his paper and tucked it under is icy arm. Sheila stopped, placed her hands on her hips and
said "What the hell do you think you're doing?" The snowman smiled, " Sod off pet!" he hissed, "It's Christmas, and it's my day off". Sheila
looked into the face of the snowman, the kids had done a good job, two pebbles for the eyes and a carrot from the fridge, for the nose. The snowman
leaned forward, "Heh missy, you and I could have a good time while your hubby's down the pub" he sneered.
Bill and Ken discussed the trials and tribulations of the oncoming football season as they washed the dishes, the kids were outside in the snow, and
her mother, once again, slept off the heavy meal.
Sheila sat in the front room and listened with a dull ear to the Queen's speech. Occasionally she looked over at her mother, and smiled at the soft
snoring sound that came from the old woman.
Sheila sipped her drink, and wondered what state she would be in when they all went out tonight.
The children rushed into the kitchen, bringing a cold draught with them. " Heh dad, the weather must be gettin' warmer" Peter said, "The
snowman's meltin'" said Jen, quickly on the heels on her brother. Bill looked out the window as Sheila entered the kitchen for a top up. "Look at
this Ken" Bill said, and Ken joined him at the window. The snowman seemed slumped forward, across the distance, his face seemed pained, it looked as
if he had both hands on his privates.
" Weird huh?" said Ken, and looked back at Sheila. She looked over her shoulder at both men, and went back into the front room, sat back into the
armchair and hummed a Cat Steven's tune she remembered from her school days.
Occasionally she rattled the two large spheres of ice in her glass.