Spoilers: A Girl's Life, Pulp Turkey, Disco Inferno
This is my very first fan-fiction. Comments are greatly appreciated. This is dedicated to all of us on the East coast.
Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!
Heather Wiseman moaned out loud as she rolled onto her other side. How could it be 6:45 already? She had just fallen asleep, and now she had to get up. That history project she had stayed up to finish until 1:00 the night before better have been worth it. Heather hit her alarm clock a few times before she managed to switch it to the radio.
"And the trains are reporting at least 40 minute delays on this cold and snowy winter's morning. Now back to Bob with the forecast," the radio responded to Heather's continuous groans as she pulled the covers off her legs. She wasn't paying attention to anything, not her radio, not the snow piling up outside her window, none of it.
She sat up in bed, her feet dangling off the sides. She just sat there for a few moments; she closed her eyes and swayed back and forth. She did NOT want to get up!
Her Winnie the Pooh slippers warmed her bare feet and brought her into the bathroom. She stared at her reflection as she rubbed her left eye. While she was splashing some water on her face, she thought she heard someone on the radio mutter the words "no school" and "day off." She raced back into her room.
"I repeat, all area schools are closed due to the high accumulation of snow we've already had this morning. So, go back to bed, kids! The weekend has come a little earlier! How much snow can we expect to get, Bob?" Heather kissed her radio and dropped it on her bed.
"Mo-om! I don't have to go to school today! It's snowing! Isn't it wonderful?" she twirled into her mother's room, feeling oh, so happy and free. She was surprised to find the bed empty and the sheets in disarray.
"Mom? Where are you, Mom?"
"Right behind you, dear," came Lisa Wiseman's hoarse reply.
"Mom, did you hear? No school!" Heather turned toward the direction of the bathroom. Her mom was standing in the doorway, thermometer in mouth.
"Mom? You look terrible."
"Thank you, Heather. That is exactly what I want to hear in my condition." Lisa attempted to pull her hair into place.
"Sorry," her daughter squeaked. "I didn't mean terrible terrible, just "
"Terrible," Lisa finished for her. "I know."
"It's snowing," Heather smiled. "It hasn't snowed in almost a year. The first snowfall of winter. Ah, yes," she sighed contently. "Of course, it's not going to be like the blizzard we had a couple of years ago, but still snow. It's a good thing," she quoted her mother's least favorite homemaker guru.
After staring out the window a little while longer, she turned back to her mom who was under the covers again. She picked up the tissue box and brought it over to the nightstand.
"Do you need to go to the doctor? What about the emergency room? Some of those young docs at the hospital I was in were kind of cute. They should make you feel better. They could start an I.V. drip and check your vitals before incubating. Then they'd give you two liters of O-neg and a thousand milligrams of "
"What?" she said innocently. "ER was on last night. Someone came in with symptoms like yours, albeit, he also had a gunshot wound to the chest, I think."
"Sweetheart, no one will be giving me a thousand milligrams of anything at any time. I'm fine really. I just really need to stay in bed today. I'll call the office in another hour to let them know I won't be coming in, though I doubt any one would come in on a day like today."
"Okay, sounds great." Heather bounded out of the room then popped her head back in. "Uh, Mom? Can I get you anything?"
"Oh, how sweet of you to ask," said Lisa, with forced sincerity. "Tea would be lovely."
"Tea I can definitely do," Heather agreed. "Tea," she repeated, on her way down the stairs.
"With honey," her mother's voice cracked with her request.
"With honey, okay. Yes," Heather said to herself. She filled up the kettle and turned the gas on. She took out the saucer and cup and began rummaging through the cabinets looking for tea bags and honey.
"Mom!" she shouted in the direction of the upstairs. "We don't have any honey. We do, however," she opened the small drawer by the refrigerator. "We do have some honey-flavored cough drops. Should I drop some in with the tea? I'm not sure how old they are. Or if they're even digestible," she said more quietly. She tried to break a few that were stuck together in a hard mound. They wouldn't dislodge.
"Oh, Heather. I don't care," Lisa mumbled under her pillows.
"What was that, Mom?" Heather said, coming into the foyer. "And how much sugar do you want? Do you want regular tea or do you want the fancy ones Uncle Roger and Aunt Ruth got you for Christmas? There's orange-flavored, Irish breakfast, darjeeling, mint, apple, apple and cinnamon, Earl something. Which one do you want?"
Lisa appeared on the landing in her bathrobe.
"Mom, what are you doing out of bed?"
"I'm getting some tea for myself. I just want tea. Plain and simple tea. That's it."
"And I can get it for you. Just give me a minute. Go back to bed."
Lisa began descending the steps. "No, I can't. Someone has to shovel the walkway and the sidewalk."
"And that someone will be me. What kind of a daughter would I be if I let my poor, invalid mother go outside to do manual labor in this sort of weather? Now, shoo. Back upstairs," she ordered, waving her hands to her mother.
"Poor, invalid?" Lisa questioned over her shoulder on her way up.
But Heather was already at the top of the basement steps, turning on the light. She wasn't quite sure where they kept the shovel and salt. Her dad always did stuff like that. Usually, when it snowed this hard, he would take the day off from work, too. He'd tip-toe into her bedroom and turn off her alarm before clearing the driveways and sidewalks for half of the block. The older neighbors were always so grateful to him for that.
Heather found the shovel behind a broom and a rake in the closet. The salt was hidden behind the outside Christmas lights that weren't put up this year.
Back upstairs, Heather put on her coat over her pajamas. She traded her own fuzzy slippers for her mother's work boots and retrieved her gloves and hat from the pockets of the coat. As she was about to close the front door behind her, she ran back inside and turned off the boiling water. There was not much left anyway.
The snow was heavy, and Heather had a tough time pushing it all to the sides. Her cheeks were red, and her breath became more and more visible as she worked on. As she started to clear the sidewalk in front of the house, she looked back at the driveway. She didn't think she'd be able to do all of it, but she felt she could at least wipe some of the snow off of the recently fixed station wagon's hood and windows.
Pushing the snow off with her gloves only made her hands cold. She rubbed a spot clean on the driver's side window and peered in at the long brush with the scraper at the end that lay leaning across the passenger's seat. Right where it's supposed to be, thought Heather.
She laughed to herself and thought back to the snowball fights she and her dad used to have around the car when she was younger. Even though her throw was completely off, she was always able to pelt her dad with as many snowballs as her little hands could make.
Heather resumed shoveling the front sidewalk. The two kids who lived right across the street were out already and trying to find the perfect spot for their snowman. Heather remembered pleading with her dad to use a real carrot for her snowman's nose instead of the broken stick her father suggested. He eventually gave in, like he usually did. And while she made snow angels, her dad used to sing parts of the only song he could recall about snow that didn't mention Christmas. "Oh, it doesn't show signs of stopping " he would croon, somewhat off key. Heather had always teased him about his singing voice.
At that moment, hot tears that had been collecting in her eyes quickly ran down her cheeks, leaving watery streaks. With the accident being almost a year ago, Heather thought that something like shoveling snow alone wouldn't affect her like this. But it was always those little things that got to her, like the spicy pecans or that stupid song. She only cried now when she knew her mom wasn't around.
Heather sniffled once more and began spreading salt on the pavement. She reached into her pocket and counted the loose change and dollar bills she felt inside. She put the remainder of the salt next to the door and left the shovel on top of some newspapers inside the house. When she got back, she would shovel by Mr. Henderson and Miss Colby. But first she had to go to the store.
She had to get her mother some honey.
As she watched Heather disappear down the street from the upstairs window, Lisa wiped the corners of her eyes with a tissue and began to sing softly, "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!"
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