Mother Snowman (2, 491)
Amy runs into her bedroom and slams the door shut. A loudbang echoes through the corridors of the house. She hears the sound of steps thumping upstairs. Amy panics. She breathes fast and looks around. Quickly working out what to do next. She heaves a chest of drawers from the side of the room and shoves it in front of the door. Surely he can’t come in now. A dizzying sensation overwhelms her as she desperately pushes a few more objects in front of the door. A pot of flowers, two side cupboards and finally ends it with a wooden desk. Amy squeezes her eyes shut hoping that that’s enough. The sound of Gareth heaving his body full force over the door startles her too soon. He heaves again. Thump! Thump!
“You know you can’t hide in there forever!” he shouts. “I’m gonna get you good.” He tries again, heaving his body a couple of times more, inching the room’s objects forward. Amy pushes back with all her might and holds her breath. A few attempts more and Gareth has enough. There’s a silence. Amy hears the sound of wooden footsteps retreating. Then the sound of silence. Relieved, she lets out a breath.
She makes her way toward her bed and collapses on her soft duvet cover. She whimpers in exhaustion. He’s right. She can’t hide in here forever. He’d get her soon. Or get her toys is what he means.
She gazes around her room downhearted. She doesn’t even mind that her board-game collections aren’t complete. The Guess Who game lacks all the faces. The Ludo’s missing counters. The Monopoly set’s got no houses. Her Twister game has no mat. Her Connect 4 has no coins. Or that one of her pretty pink roller-skates is missing. He likes to harass her toys but if only that was it. What matters most is that her Fireman Sam’s lost an arm. Barbie doll has had her hair pulled out. Millie the china doll has its face smashed. Elsa her princess doll has an eye missing. Heavy tears form in her eyes. She wipes them away with fury. And even more frustratingly, Tiddles has been coughed out of the tumble dryer. She stares deep into his sorrowful eyes. He looks so unhappy, she can’t bare it.
“I’m sorry Tiddles,” she says hugging her bear close. “I promised I’d protect you. I failed.”
Now Gareth wants to get to what’s left of her toys. To destroy them. To rip them into shreds so she won’t recognise them anymore. A whimper escapes her lips. He wants to kill them.
There’s nothing she can do about it. She can’t stay inside her room for long and she would need supper soon. He knows that.
Carefully, Amy makes her way toward her toy box, she opens the chest and takes out her doctor’s kit. She puts on the stethoscope and places it on Tiddle’s heart.
“Don’t worry, Tiddles, it’s not that bad,” she says. “Take a spoon of this medicine every day and you’ll get better soon.” She kisses his furry forehead. “I promise.”
She makes her way round the other dolls and delicately nurses them.
“I’ll get you a good arm soon, Sam,” she says. She sighs. Just as long as she could keep Gareth away.
Amy looks out the window at the cold December day. A ladder stands beside her window sill. The window cleaners will be coming soon to wipe the snow off the window. She rubs her hands together. Light flakes of snow fall gently down and consume the ground. Amy has an idea. Why not escape down the ladder? Surely she can leave the bedroom now and still keep the door jammed so that her dolls should stay safe. Yes.
Amy goes into her wardrobe and pulls out a thick coat, a scarf and some mittens. She dresses warmly. She opens the window and makes her way down the ladder cautiously. She holds on tight and descends slowly making careful of each step.
Out in the fresh, frosty air, a laugh escapes Amy’s lips. She runs around the garden, picking up snow and throwing it over her. What a gorgeous time to build a snowman. The perfect time.
Amy begins by piling together mounds of snow. She wants the snowman to be taller than her. That won’t be difficult since she has long arms.
Amy pulls out two brown buttons from her coat pocket to use for the snowman’s eyes. She runs quietly into the kitchen and brings out a carrot to form its nose. She wants the snowman’s lips red and uses a red apple peel to achieve this. Finally, she snatches a curly black wig from her father’s collection. She wraps a warm cloak around it. One at the front and one at the back so the Snowman will be extra warm. She gives it arms, feet and adds gloves, shoes and a scarf. When she finishes, Amy steps back a moment to admire her creation. Oh, what a surprise. This is the prettiest snowman she has ever seen. The way her cherry-red lips frame her face with those sultrychocolate-coloured eyes and felt-tip lashes that Amy adds as an afterthought. Her creation is a woman. Oh, what a most beautiful Snowwoman.
As Amy stares deep into the snowman’s button-brown eyesshe senses a connection with it she doesn’t understand and it stirs her. Amy reaches up to plume its curly hair and as she reaches up to define the lashes, the snowman suddenly blinks. Is she seeing this right? Did the snowman just do that? The snowman blinks again and smiles. Amy trembles slightly in confusion.
“Hail,” says the snowman. “I am your mother snowman.” Amy gasps. “Don’t be afraid, child,” says the snowman. “You may call me Mother Snowman.” Amy’s heart leaps. She runs forwards and hugs her. “I’m here to make all your Christmas wishes come true.”
“Oh, Mother Snowman,” says Amy. “Can you do that?”
“Of course I can, sweetie,” she says. “Now where would you like to start?”
“Oh, Mother Snowman,” says Amy. ” I’ve got a bunch of toys. But they’re not quite well. It breaks my heart to see them like that. Can you heal them?” Says Amy.
“Is that your wish?” says Mother Snowman. “Yes, oh,please!” says Amy.
“Then it shall be done.”
“First it’s Sam,” Amy says leading Mother Snowman up the ladder back into her room. “You see, he has no arm.” Mother Snowman reaches out a cold puffy hand and touches Samlightly. His broken toy arm is magically replaced with a new one. Sam beams proudly.
“Then there’s Millie,” says Amy leading her to the broken china doll. “She needs a new face.”
“Oh, we can’t have that,” says Mother Snowman reaching out and healing Millie.
“Elsa’s blind in one eye,” says Amy. “Look at the state of Barbie Doll’s hair.” Then after a pause, “And Tiddles too, please.” Mother Snowman heals them all. Amy’s particularly joyous that Tiddles’ fur is looking so new and fresh. Oh, would you look at her dolls. Now all looking so healthy and vibrant. Amy is about to thank Mother Snowman from the bottom of her heart when suddenly all her dolls chime:
“Thanks for healing us, Mother Snowman!” Amy gasps.
“Oh, they are better than ever!” she says. “I always knew they can talk. I mean, I did used to talk to them before they were unwell. But ever since Gareth made them ill.. I suppose I forgot they knew how.”
“Of course they can,” says Mother Snowman.
“Well said, Mother Snowman,” says Tiddles. “Do remember. It’s that boy Gareth who hurt us, Mother Snowman. You mustbeware of him.” Mother Snowman hugs him warmly with a considered expression on her bright, glowing face. After a moment:
“But what a selfless young lady you are,” she says. “Putting your dolls before yourself. As a reward for this…” she waves a cold arm around the room. Suddenly all Amy’s board-games are whole again. The Connect 4 has all its coins back. Her Twister has a mat again. Her roller-skates are a pair!
“Oh, thank you Mother Snowman!” says Amy.
“Now come with me,” says Mother Snowman. “Our work isall but done yet.”
She scoops Amy into her arms and whooshes her out of the window. Amy has never flown before or seen anything from this high up but the experience is so exhilarating. “Oh, Mother Snowman,” she says. “This is extra-ordinary. But where are we going?” Mother Snowman laughs a silvery laugh that makes Amy tingle. “You’ll see!” she says.
Hovering overhead, Amy spots a wooden-brown grotto. Spaces and spaces beside the grotto, Amy sees hundreds and thousands of little baby snowmen from overhead. They make up miles and miles of the empty snow space ahead. Amy gasps.
“Why, there are hundreds and thousands of them!” she says. “Who are they?”
“Each and every one of them are my children,” says Mother Snowman. “They are my babies.”
“But they are all so small,” says Amy.
“They are very adorable, aren’t they?” says Mother Snowman. She and Amy hover over the grotto and then shelands them both gently inside of it. “They’re all here to make a wish for Christmas.”
“And is that a wish-list that they each hold?” says Amy. “That it is,” Mother Snowman says, her bright eyes twinkling.
“Mother, we’ve been waiting for ages,” fires one of her little snowmen, “Surely you cannot get through us all?”
Mother Snowman gives Amy a side-glance and winks:
“Oh, that I will,” she says.
Mother Snowman gets through all her baby snowmen and as they each all make a different wish, Amy realises that she’s never had more fun. True to her word each and every baby snowman has their wish come true. Amy knows that those babies will never forget her but even more so, Amy has had her wish come true and she knows Mother Snowman’s given her more than she’ s asked for.
After the day is over and the last little snowman makes his wish and leaves the grotto, Mother Snowman and Amy make their way back home. This time rather than fly, they take a walk.
When they reach the house, Amy realises that the ladder is gone. Oh no, there’s no way of going up to her room now. As Amy makes her way toward the house, the door suddenly breaks open and Gareth storms out. Amy looks behind her noticing that Mother Snowman has suddenly frozen still and stands in the centre of the garden remaining motionless.
“I see you’ve made a snowman,” Gareth grins. “Hey, it’s got hair! What is this freak job?” he says. “Hey, isn’t that dad’s wig?”
Before Amy could protest, he raises a huge arm and smashes it into Mother Snowman’s head. The wig falls on to the floor. He breaks two big arms through the rest of its head and chopsthrough her neck.
“No, Gareth stop!” shouts Amy. “Stop! Please, Gareth, no!”
The head falls on to the floor and he stomps over it, breaking it into the snow. He karate kicks his legs through her cloak. The body falls hard. By the time he finishes, there is nothing of the snowman left but a mound. Mother Snowman’s dead.
Gareth takes a step back admiring his handiwork as Amy collapses on the floor and releases her bitter tears. She doesn’t even glance at him.
“It’s about time you got over your fancy toys,” he screams He makes his way back into the house.
Amy cries all day. Even when her father calls her in for supper, Amy doesn’t leave Mother Snowman’s side.
“Darling, what’s wrong?” asks her father. “Whatever it is I’m sure we can sort it out. Now come into the warmth, supper’s getting cold.”
When Amy wakes up the next morning, she looks out of the window and there’s a joy to see. Hundreds of thousands of baby snowmen outside the garden.
“Hey, what’s going on?” Amy shouts through the window.
“We’ve come to avenge our mother,” they chime.
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” says Amy. Her eyes well up again. “I’ve tried everything.”
Gareth soon runs out of the house.
“Amy!” he shouts. “Who are you talking to?” Amy looks away from the snowmen to look at Gareth. He’s got something in his hands which he waves up in the air. “Guess who I’ve got!” he says. Oh no! It’s Tiddles. Amy breaks down into tears.
“Shut up! You cry-baby,” he says.
“Oi you!” someone shouts from behind him. Gareth turns around perplexed. He hadn’t noticed before but now..” hey is that snowmen?” he says.
“You’re darn right it is!” the baby snowman calls out. “Gently put the teddy bear down. I don’t want to have to pull the trigger.”
As the snowman steps forward, Gareth notices to his horror that he holds one of those toy pistol holsters. Anyone fired by one of those knows exactly how bad it bruises. “How about a taste of your own medicine?” says the baby snowman clearly unafraid to use it.
“No stop!” shouts Gareth. “I’m putting the bear down.”
“He has a name!” shouts the snowman.
“Tiddles,” cries Gareth. “I’ve put down Tiddles.” Had the baby snowman been on his own, Gareth might have considered him easy to handle but with a pack of hundreds and thousands of snowmen on his case, he has to think again. Gareth runs into the house screaming in horror.
“Nobody treats our Mother this way and gets away with it,” shouts the baby snowmen and they all chase after him. “We’re going to make your life a nightmare!” they rage.
Amy laughs like she’s never laughed before. “Oh, Mother Snowman. I’ll never forget you.” she says. “But fear not, for I shall resurrect you. I will build you up again.”
And so, not just that day, but for every year on Christmas month, Amy brings Mother Snowman back to life all over again. The process of building her is by no means easy, butshe celebrates the festive season first with her father and then (when she gets older) with her husband and children too. Gareth, having been chased by hundreds and thousands of raging snowmen, never forgot the experience and never would he hurt a toy or a snowman ever again. He truly had learnt his lesson. And every year for the rest of her life would Amy enjoys resurrecting Mother Snowman and even more so helping her to make everyone’s Christmas wishes comes true. Next time you see a toy, you make sure you treat it properly or else the baby snowmen will be after you too. Now season’s greetings everyone and with hopes that this Christmas, you get everything that you deserve. Just like Amy and just like the baby snowmen.