Short story: 31 Dec. 2017

(204 words) 31 Dec. 2017

by S.R.A. Markin

Negative 36-degree wind-chill.
I pet a cat, and her fur is cold. I open and turn on the oven upstairs. She goes close and places her paws on the open door.
The clear duct tape around the windows is frosted. A thin layer of frost thickens the windows.
The snow piles high outside. Footprints lead to an area of bird seeds that is patted down with many small imprints.
A nailed container to a tree trunk and a rock holds inside a hole to keep food in.
A blue jay eats then fly’s upward.
I check the floor heaters, and they are merely warm. The water pump makes a humming noise.
A draft of cold air breezes through the taped garbage bag on the fireplace. A stack of wood sits next to it. It has sat there for two years.
The floors squeak as I walk around the house in shoes.
Downstairs in my room, I sit on a nearly inflated stability ball sewing a pair of faded Levi’s, but the needle is hard to thread with cold fingers. I wear a toque, scarf, and gloves, and I drink bitter coffee.
I get to see her tonight. She is coming over.