I peered out the bay window at the fresh layer of snow that had fallen over night. A foot, Daddy had said. I wasn’t sure if it was one of his feet or one of mine, because the size of a foot varies a lot from one person to the next you know. Looking at the street, I felt confident he was using someone with rather large feet to measure the depth.
Flakes the size and shape of small cotton balls were drifting down from the steel grey sky and gently landing on the ground. I loved wintertime. Sitting in the warmth of my home and looking out the window at those frozen crystals falling from heaven, well, it almost feels magical.
The sound of the deep latin timbre in his voice made my normally floppy ears perk up. The muscles in my cheeks began to tighten and strain against the smile growing on my face.
“It sure is, Rapi” I said, unable to hide my excitement.
I tore my eyes away from the wonderland outside to meet my friend’s gaze. The big orange cat had taken a seat on the green chair next to me so that he too could see what was happening in the world beyond our comfy home. His eyes were wide with wonder, the brilliance of the snow caused the yellow flecks in his iris’s to almost glow.
“You weren’t kidding!”
The cat’s face lit up with pleasure at the sight of the fluffly white blobs floating in front of the window. The look on his face reminded me of the first time he went out into the snow. What an exciting day that was, but that is another story.
“Kidding about what?”
Rapi and I turned to find a white puppy with a cream-colored zig zag pattern running down the center of his back. The puppy and I shared some physical features because we both had some labrador in us, but it was our floppy ears that everyone brought up.
“About how beautiful it is outside when it snows, Mylo” Rapi answered, a rapturous look ensconced on his face.
I looked at Mylo and nodded in agreement, but the expression the vanilla-colored puppy wore on his face spoke volumes about his feelings on the matter.
“Humpf. You can have it because I sure don’t want it. It’s cold, wet and makes your pee freeze before it even hits the ground.”
“A little bitter isn’t he,” Rapi whispered to me.
I tried my best to not burst out into laughter, managing to simply nod my head in agreement instead.
Mylo tilted his head to his left arched his right eyebrow and glared at us for a second or two before responding.
“Are you guys talking about me?”
The orange cat and I looked at each other and shook our heads. Rapi did an excellent job maintaining diplomacy. I, on the other hand, did not and was forced to cover my mouth with a paw to stifle a laugh.
“Jerks,” the puppy mumbled under his breath before stomping away. He had only gotten a few steps when he stopped dead in his tracks.
Mylo turned to look at us, his expression one of concern.
“What the heck is that” the orange cat stammered.
“I don’t know, but it’s coming from the back,” I answered rising to my feet.
“C’mon, let’s go look,” Mylo howled.
We all took off after him.
“It’s the porch window,” the white puppy bellowed.
Rapi and I rounded the corner in time to hear the last kapow! A ball of packed snow hit the window; the powder exploded then evaporated into the cool air. By the time we reached the bank of windows and looked out into the back yard the assault had ended. The area that had been our lawn was now empty, except for the blanket of white that covered it. The three of us gazed into the back yard, dumbfounded that the culprit had escaped.
“What do you suppose that was about,” the chubby orange cat asked.
Mylo and I looked at each other, speechless. The only sound I heard was the thumping of my own heart hammering away in my chest.
I didn’t like this. Not at all. The fact that Mommy and Daddy were out grocery shopping just served to amplify the fear that was beginning to crawl up my spine.
“Where you pooping in the neighbor’s yard again?”
“I was not, Cindee,” he growled indignantly at me.
I felt bad for asking, but truth be told, it was the only thing that came to my mind. Matters only got worse when the puppy climbed down from the sofa and began to sulk away.
“Mylo,” I called after him.
“I am sorry,” I offered.
He stopped long enough to cast a glance over his shoulder and give me the stink eye.
His head popped up.
“Is that what I think it is,” I asked, checking with Rapi to see if the cat had heard it too.
“It is, Cindee!”
“We are being snow bombed again,” the puppy howled and took off at a sprint for the front of the house.
Rapi and I leapt from down and followed behind him. It was no contest; the puppy was the fastest of this trio. We had barely made it out of the kitchen when we heard him bound up onto one of the green chairs.
“There he is! There he is!”
His howling had reached a fever pitch by the time we had made it to the bay window. I couldn’t wait to see this person. With my nose I shoved the curtain aside a little further and gazed out into the front yard.
I was not prepared for the image that was waiting to confront me. A tall albino creature stood just on the other side of the front porch, his beady black eyes were like coal, boring into our souls from the other side of the window. He stood unblinking, motionless, one twig like arm upraised and the other clutching something. His nose was long and slender and upon his head he wore a weathered brown top hat.
I opened my mouth to curse at him, but nothing came out.
“Is that a sign he is holding?”
“Your right Mylo it is a sign,” the cat answered.
“What does it say,” the puppy asked.
Rapi scrunched up his forehead and focused all of his attention on the placard in the fiends hand.
“It says …”
The silence was killing me.
“What Rapi, what does it say,” Mylo asked, his body bouncing up and down on the chair cushion.
“It says …”
“It says …”
“C’mon already,” I barked at my best friend.
“Sorry Cindee,” that cat apologized.
“It says …”
I let out a deep frustrated breath.
“It says … Hello Cindee!”
My mouth fell open.
“He knows my name. The monster knows my name!”
My body began to tingle then went numb. All I could hear was the whoosh … whoosh … whoosh of blood rushing in my ears.
My eyes locked with the pure white creature.
“What do you want with me you donkey,” I yelled.
Everything went quiet. The air crackled with silence. A thin strip of blackness began to whisk and swirl in front of me. My eyes grew wide and were burning from staring out the window. A dark fuzzy ball began to rise into view from the bottom of the window frame.
The voice called my name with an otherworldly squeal.
“Cindee,” it shrieked.
I broke into a cold sweat, and in an instant, darkness descended over me. I was out like a light.
My eyelids fluttered open. A round face with pudgy cheeks and big brown eyes hiding behind a pair of glasses stared back at me. A surge of adrenaline coursed through my furry body at the sight, but quickly came crashing back to earth when the vision pulled off it’s stocking cap and scarf.
“Yep, it’s me and Jack McGee,” she said nodding in the direction of her well bundled companion.
“It is you,” I exclaimed having sat up and now seeing things they way they ought to be.
“You got here just in time, there is a crazy lunatic monster outside throwing snowballs at us. You will be safe in here,” I said, looking into her eyes.
Friends, Cleopatra Jones didn’t take the situation as seriously as she should have, because she burst out into laughter. Not just any laughter, but joyous laughter, the kind that goes on and on until you start to cry laughter.
“What so funny,” I asked.
“Have a seat, and I will tell you,” she said with a smile and flourish of her hand.
We were all curious, so we did what she asked and plopped down on our butts and stared at her, waiting to hear her tale. Cleopatra Jones cleared her throat, then began.
“So, school was cancelled today because of all the snow,” she began.
Jack stood behind her, nodding in agreement.
“My mother told me I should go out and play, so I did and guess who I found outside?”
“The monster,” Rapi said, putting his best guess forward.
“No silly cat, she found me,” Jack answered with a broad grin.
“Right, Jack. That’s when we saw your Mommy take you and Mylo in the house, then get in the car and drive away,” Cleopatra Jones continued.
I shifted my eyes to the right only to find Mylo staring back at me.
“That’s right they went to the grocery store,” the puppy answered.
The two children looked at each other and grinned knowingly.
“So, we decided to play a prank on your guys. Jack went to the back to throw snowballs, hoping to distract you so I could build a snowman. It is our surprise for you!”
“Snowman?” I asked.
“Yes snowman,” Cleopatra Jones said, pulling back the curtain and motioning out the window with her hand.
“You mean it’s not a dog-eating monster?”
“Silly dog, it is to keep you company when we aren’t here,” Jack answered with a toothless giggle.
“Wowwy, that is the coolest present ever!”
“It is, literally,” Rapy added.
“Well, Jack and I are just happy you are okay Cindee, but we need to go home now before our parents begin to worry about us.”
“Yeah, it’s almost dark,” Jack added.
I leaned forward and gave Cleopatra Jones a big kiss on the cheek, then watched as they closed the door behind them and trudged down the driveway.
It’s a nice gift, but still kind of creepy,” I said, giving the snowman a last once over.
“Definitely creepy,” Mylo said with a shrug.
“For sure,” Rapi added.
“Now that this mystery is solved, lets get a snack and watch television!”
“You are speaking my language, Cindee,” the cat answered with a giggle.
“Right on,” Mylo barked out, then closed the curtain on the creepy snowman and settled in on the sofa between his two best friends.