I loved the season of winter and so did the rest of my family. Enduring the harsh cold was only a minor fee to pay in order to enjoy the festivities of the joyful season. Whether speeding down the snowy hill in our backyard, ripping through Christmas presents, or even building a snowman, we always managed to have fun.
I noticed a particular accentuated amount of attention on building snowmen for my family. All of us loved doing it, most likely due to the subconscious reward of bonding it created. I was always in charge of making the first and biggest snowball for the base, while my sister made the other two. Then my parents of course with my newest and youngest sibling would tack on the details such as the carrot nose, the coal eyes, the little buttons, the warming scarf, stick arms, and exclusive to my family, the hay we used for hair.
My family was so into the collaborative effort of building the snowman that we had actually added our own details. I had never before heard of someone adding hair to a snowman, especially not with hay. Regardless, we all enjoyed the time of winter, and nothing was more soothing than a mug of hot chocolate at the end of a freezing day in the cold.
Winter had just started and all the hype for it had lived up to expectations. Already it was snowing at the beginning of the season, but this wasn't anything odd for Minnesota. My friends and I kicked off the start of the season with a massive snowball fight. They all gathered at my house as we pelted each other with the compacts of ice.
I attempted to run to shelter when a ball exploded in my face. I fell down a nearby hill and almost got back up when my peripherals caught something. My heart skipped a beat as I thought I saw a man walking in the woods.
However, my fear soon was proven unjustified as I peered at the figure. It was somewhat hard to make out due to the distance, but it looked to be nothing more than a snowman. I was sure children were just excited about the winter season and couldn't wait to build one. I returned to my friends and we finished off the battle. By the end of the day, I sipped my hot chocolate to the bottom of the mug and headed off to sleep.
I rolled out of bed that morning slightly groggy. I was tangled in my covers almost trapped in them, as I ruffled out of my blankets I hopped off my bed. Making my way to the bathroom, something once again alerted my peripherals. I turned to look out the window and so an eerily familiar sight.
It was a snowman, but it wasn't just any snowman. This snowman was similar to the one I had seen just a day earlier. However, now it stood directly in the center of my backyard. Though I earlier couldn't entirely make out the snowman, I was almost sure for some reason this was the exact same one. I wasn't so much saying the same people built it, or that it was similarly structured, I legitimately believed what stood before my eyes was the exact same figure. Same snow, same nose, same buttons, same scarf, same everything, even the hay hair looked the same.
It was then I realized something; hay hair, something that was signature to my family. It was then I realized one of us must've built it, but I felt excluded in a way that they had left me out.
I stumbled over to my sister's room with the little early morning coordination I had. I asked her about the snowman, and of course she said she had no idea what I was talking about. I chuckled and told her how her pranks were only getting worse and worse. She promised me she hadn't built a thing, but I continued to vest more trust in my original belief that it was a minor prank from her.
Just to assure myself, once making it downstairs, I questioned my parents. Similar to my sister, they promised they hadn't built a thing. Though I had put the blame on my sister previously, I now felt somewhat unsure. After finishing off my breakfast, I called my family to go outside and take a look at the snowman. Once only inches away from the figure, I felt discomforted to see the detail in the creation. It looked no different in any manner to the snowmen my family had built in the past. Every single specificity matched on this snowman.
Rather than sharing my feelings of unsettledness, my mother looked to me in anger stating that we were only to build snowmen as a family. I told her that I had no part in building it, yet she refused to believe me.
I sat in my room for the next couple of hours bounded in my thought process by this odd snowman. I stared at it almost all day, noticing its unordinary size. It stood at nearly seven feet in height; my family never even flirted with that level of stature when we built them.
After hours of thinking, I finally remembered an outstanding fact. When I originally saw the snowman, it was resting in what looked to be someone's yard through the woods connecting our houses. I looked beyond the trees as well as I could from my room and noticed a familiar house. Strangely enough, the snowman that was once there no longer existed.
I went out the backdoor of my house and trekked through the woods. Trailing my way up to the house, I didn't see any cars in the driveway or any lights turned on inside. It appeared that no one was home. I decided to ring the doorbell, but of course heard no answer. My next option was to press my face up against the glass and take a look inside. When gazing into the home, I noticed an open bag of chips on a table and a pantry that looked nearly fully stocked. I would argue that someone had been living there based on the surroundings.
To gain more info I went over to the neighbor’s home and decided to ask a bit about what they knew. An old man greeted me at the door, he carried a cane with him and he struggled to stand. The elderly man gave off a kind vibe and invited me in. I asked about his neighbor, he went into quite a lot of depth.
The man explained that he had lived in his particular home for over forty years and was very insightful about the neighborhood. He said his neighbor was the closest to being an exception. He best described them as mysterious.
"That doesn't surprise me" I said, the man reiterated "Yeah they were an odd bunch son, I'll say that much." I gave him a puzzled look, "Were?" He replied, "Well yes boy, they moved out a couple years back." I didn't shake my confused expression. "If they moved out, who lives there now?" The old man looked at me as if I were ignorant and said "Well no one now, it is abandoned."
I didn't give him much of a reply; I thanked him for his info and nearly headed out. I stopped at the door and fired away with another question "Do you know, by any chance, why they left?" He responded "Hmm I believe it had something to do with them feeling uncomfortable, I'm not really too sure."
I left his house and returned home. I sat up sipping on my hot chocolate. I didn't really sleep much that evening. I just thought of it more and more, I couldn't seem to shake the thought from my head. Finally I lost my fight against sleep and passed out. Of course when I woke up and took a look outside the window I gazed down at that same snowman. I tried my best to ignore and continued on with my day. I went through my usual routines, every now and then allowing the snowman to draw attention. However I, for the most part, drained it from my attention span.
I slept fine that night after a full cup of warming hot chocolate. I indeed was well rested and had a pleasing period of slumber the previous evening, but that morning only greeted me with surprise. I instinctively scanned my backyard for the snowman, but he was nowhere to be found. I couldn't see a trace of him, no carrots, no scarf, no buttons, and no hay. I thought it was a bit peculiar, but I forced myself to ignore it.
The day went on rather slow as I continuously let the snowman eat up my mind. I looked every hour at first to see if he returned, then every half hour, then every fifteen minutes, and before I knew it I checked every minute. I pretty much spent my whole day in front of the glass looking everywhere for the figure, but as much as I looked, it was nowhere to be seen.
I freaked out when I went to make hot chocolate. There was no mixing powder left, that couldn't be possible, there was at least three mugs left this morning. I was overridden with panic and couldn't seem to expel it from my emotions.
Then I thought to myself that it was quite ironic, first I didn't want the snowman here, and now I was almost hoping it would return. I said to myself "Why are you panicking? It was just a pile of snow, just a pile of snow." I laughed a little bit, realizing I was freaking out over nothing. I mean my sister could've easily eaten up all the hot chocolate with my parents help.
I headed to my room only to have my laughter cut short. On my bed was a carrot, two pieces of coal, some buttons, some twigs, and of course some hay. Beside it was a note that read "Hiding in that pile of snow was too cold for me, I like the warmth of your home better." We moved out the next week. We went somewhere much warmer. It has been about a year since then. Florida doesn't have winters, but no one in my family knows who built the seven foot sandcastle that popped up in our yard a couple days ago...
Written by Pacersnation16