The Snowman

The tiny village of Sundial never seemed to get very cold. Even during winter nights, Andy could walk down Mainstreet without a jacket and still stay warm. In the ten short years of his life, Andy had only ever seen snow on three occasions. During summer, temperatures in the village seldom fell to bearable ranges. Due to the extreme heat, the townsfolk of Sundial were rather surprised when a Snowman walked down from the mountains and into their tiny village.

The Snowman wore a thick white coat and a large blue stocking cap over his round head. These garments kept the Snowman cool despite the warm air of Sundial. Still, as he trudged through the village’s streets, beads of melted slush dripped down his face, rushing past his coal eyes and carrot nose before falling to the ground.

The villagers gawked at the man made of snow. They whispered amongst themselves, asking each other “What is he?” and “Is he a monster?” The Snowman paid no mind to these people as he walked to the village’s library.

Andy, ever a curious child, watched as the Snowman grabbed a stack of books and carried them to a table. The Snowman sat there, reading for several hours until the heat became unbearable. With a tip of his hat, the Snowman returned his books and left the library. As the sun set, the Snowman left Sundial and returned to the mountains.

Over the next week, the people of Sundial talked of little else than the Snowman. Some proclaimed that the Snowman wasn’t real. They argued that he was nothing more than a hallucination, or perhaps a prank pulled on the townsfolk by some bored teenagers. Others were fearful of the Snowman. They locked their doors at night, afraid that he would return and take their children.

Andy’s father, the pastor at the local church, doubted the Snowman’s existence. He had been in his study preparing his next sermon when the Snowman came to town and hadn’t seen the man made of snow. On Sunday, Andy’s father chastised the people of Sundial for succumbing to hysteria.

But, one week after the snowman came to town, he returned once more. This time, the townspeople cleared the street and locked their doors. As the Snowman trudged down main street, the people of Sundial watched, patiently waiting for him to attack them. The Snowman waltzed into the library, grabbed some books, and began reading.

Andy walked up to the Snowman. “Why are you wearing such thick clothes? Are you cold?”  he asked.

The snowman shook his head. “Wanna go play?” Andy asked.

The snowman nodded and he and Andy spent the day running through the woods, playing tag and hide and go seek. As the sun set the Snowman waved goodbye to Andy and left Sundial, passing by the local church on his way back to the mountains.

As he looked out the church window at the setting sun, Andy’s father saw the Snowman. Cold sweat dripped down his face as he signed a cross over his heart. The following Sunday, he gave a very different sermon.

“I’m sorry for doubting you all,” he said. “In my arrogance, I allowed myself to become blind to the fear you all felt. I do not know what this Snowman is. I do not know if he is a demon, or a monster, or something else entirely. But, I do know one thing. This creature is an abomination.”

The next time the Snowman came to town, the people of Sundial were ready. They stood at the edge of town, armed with torches and pitchforks, waiting for the Snowman to return. Early in the morning, a week after his second visit, the Snowman trudged into town for the third time.

The beatdown was brutal. Pitchforks plunged into the Snowman’s chest and sharp rocks collided with his head. One of his coal eyes was gouged out, rolling down into the sewer. His carrot nose was broken in two. As the Snowman frantically tried to flee, Andy’s father struck him with a little torch, setting his coat ablaze.

The melting snowman rolled around, trying desperately to put out the blazing inferno. As his melting body extinguished the flames, the Snowman fled the town of Sundial. “Let him go,” Andy’s father said. “If he’s smart, he won’t come back.”

Andy’s father turned around to find his son on his knees, crying. “It’s alright son,” he said, “He won’t bother us again.”

That night, Andy didn’t come home for supper. As the last rays of sunlight turned to darkness, Andy’s father called a town meeting. “My son is missing,” he told the townsfolk, pitchfork in hand. “The Snowman must have taken him!”

Unbeknownst to his father, Andy had left town two hours after the Snowman did. Andy followed the trail of melted slush up into the mountains, looking for his friend. As he walked further into the mountains, the trail disappeared, hidden under actual snow.

Andy spent hours walking through the icy mountain, searching for his friend, before collapsing from the cold. As he fell into unconsciousness, he felt someone pick him up. Any opened his eyes to see the Snowman, carrying him in his wooden arms. “I’m sorry about the others,” Andy said. “They’re jerks.”

The Snowman trudged into Sundial once more, Andy’s limp body held in his wooden arms. Wrapped around Andy were the Snowman’s coat and hat, given to the boy in an attempt to keep him warm. The Snowman placed Andy at the feet of the villagers.

Andy’s father threw down his pitchfork and ran to his boy. He hugged his son and cried. Then Andy spoke. I’m cold, Papa, he said. Andy’s father looked at the Snowman, tears in his eyes. Thank you, he said.

The Snowman walked away without saying another word. Free from his hat and coat, he began to melt, turning to slush as he returned home. The villagers wondered amongst one another if the Snowman would survive his journey back to the mountains.

The Snowman never returned to Sundial.

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