Thursday, 10 January 2013

Chihuahua preparing for snow

She was lying on her hot-water bottle, watching the net curtains.  They were moving very gently because the window they guarded was very slightly ajar.  Thankfully the breeze didn't reach her, but even if had, her hot-water bottle was freshly refilled and keeping her toasty-warm.
There had been talk of snow again, and she was wondering if she was going to have an opinion on that.  The last time she'd seen the snow it had been fleeting, clearly scared away when she barked at it.  She'd let it know that it was too cold and became wet when she tried to deal with it.  That had been very satisfying, though perhaps not as satisfying as lying here on her hot-water bottle.  She considered stretching, and decided that that ran the risk of not being so comfortable after her stretch.
There were noises in the background somewhere, and she listened to them, checking if they were too close, or too loud, or the wrong kind of noise.  She had a mental checklist of what was acceptable and what wasn't, and despite the warmth and comfort she would leap up and deal ruthlessly and quickly with anyone who didn't tick the right boxes.  The noises at the moment sounded like typical human noises, and so she waited for them to get interesting, or be joined by smells of cooking.
"Chihuahua," said a voice like the filigree spreading of frost on a window-pane.  "I have been looking for you."
Jack Frost, she thought, and lifted her head very slightly, turning it to see where he was.  He was perched on a chair across from her, his alabaster skin shimmering slightly in the light, and his breath clouding in the air.
"I need to you find the snow for me again," said Jack Frost.  "It is here somewhere, but it is hidden, and you did an excellent job last time."
She laid her head back down again, secure in the knowledge that on her hot-water bottle she was too warm for Jack to get any closer.  Hunting for snow had not, in her opinion, been either fun or worth the price he'd paid.
"I can pay more,"  he said, his words like icicles, hanging briefly in the air and then evaporating away to nothing.  It was hard to remember what he'd said after he finished speaking.  "I can pay... in flesh."
She lifted her head again and looked back at him.  That sounded rather more interesting.
"Two weeks," he said, holding up both his hands for emphasis.  She noted with only mild curiosity that he had six fingers and a thumb on each hand; clearly he meant two calendar weeks and not two working weeks.  That was a shame, as she worked only three days a week, and for about an hour and a half a day.  Sleeping and eating were the big entries in her diary.  "Two weeks to find me the snow."
She barked, a gentle little bark that meant "OK, now go away," and Jack Frost grinned like a gleeful manaic and disappeared in a tiny snowstorm that glittered in the air for an entire minute.

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