This was written for Daniel B. O’Shea’s contest, which asked for 500 words or less about snow.

I hope you all enjoy; I’m posting this with little editing, and will be re-posting it over at my deviantART account so I can get feedback on it. I’m only posting early to be one of the first ten.

Without any more ado, enjoy.

***

I fucking hate snow. That shouldn’t surprise anyone, considering I was born and raised in Hawaii, but shit. Why did I ever move to Pittsburgh? Aside from, you know, family here, a career, and the love of my life.

I blame the internet. If I’d never have met Caitlyn, damnit, I’d never have moved out here. I’d be sitting out on my lanai, drinking a Mai Tai and eating spam on rice. I wouldn’t be clinging to the oh-shit handle in her car, whimpering with my eyes mostly closed as we drive through a blizzard.

“You wuss,” she says, exasperated. “It’s just a little snow. There hasn’t been a run on toilet paper and bread yet. We’re okay.”

I whimper and close my eyes completely as the sun sets. It looks like we’re traveling at Warp Nine, the way the snow is flying at her red Subaru hatchback. Thank God for All-Wheel Drive.

I let out a little shriek as we skidded on some black ice, and she grit her teeth and kept driving. That’s when I knew how angry she was; Caitlyn never does that unless she’s really upset, and add that she didn’t even make a joke at my expense… yeah, I’m sleeping on the couch tonight.

She parallel parks on our narrow brick street and turns off the car, but doesn’t get out of the vehicle yet. I’m too busy bracing myself for the short, but slippery, walk to the apartment building to notice how quiet she’s being.

“Amanda?” she says softly, and I turn to look at her. Before I can reply, she takes a deep breath and forges on. “This isn’t working.”

I feel my jaw drop, and I begin to stammer nonsense before I get a grasp on this new development. “I knew things were bad, Cait, but… Jesus. Can we work through this? Go to therapy, something?” As soon as I hear the words fall from my lips, I know they won’t help. Her face grows redder, and she begins to cry, deep, hitching sobs that cut me to my core.

“Cait,” I say quietly, not sure what to do, wanting to hold her, but not sure if that’s what she wants. I start to speak-—I don’t even know what I’m going to say—-and my tongue stumbles over meaningless sounds as she unfastens her seat belt and gets out of the car. Suddenly, I’m fumbling, trying to get out of the car, desperate to reach her. I open my door and get out, and she’s holding up a hand.

“Don’t, Amanda. Just-—don’t.” My eyes well with tears as she walks toward the apartment, slipping but not falling on the half-frozen slush covering the brick in her haste. I sigh and follow, slower, looking around at the row-houses and the ice-covered trees.

Fucking snow. I hate it even more, now, as it falls into my hair and lands on my wet cheeks.

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