In a small town in Europe, where the town is preyed by darkness. Things get to be darker as a little boy name Tristan is found naked in the snow by a man who was driving back to the docks at night, while it was a blizzard outside. Tristan is taken in and is found a home to be taken care of, there is no information about who he is or where he has come from. While everyone feels sympathy for Tristan he carries a dark secret. For in the night he turns into a little monster and sneaks out in the
Children in the Snow Plains
By Jacob Connors
Keep your friends close keep your enemies closer…
November 7th 1985 Europe
When I first saw that little boy, I thought to myself, who would do such a thing to an innocent child? But now, I’m wishing that I never found him.
Just as if things couldn’t get better, it started to snow. Sal bundled up in his puff up Red jacket while sitting in the driver’s seat of his pick up. As usual his heater wasn’t working, which he would slap the dashboard and curse at it to hopefully get some signal out. But for some reason he was having a hard time with it today.
Finally after almost bruising his palm, the whirring of the fan in the heater’s cylinoid started to activate blowing out lukewarm air through the vent. After a few seconds, the fog that had built up on the front windshield had started to show the windshield wiper blades and their repetitive back and forth, right to left motions.
Sal started to shiver feeling his red Scottish beard that had been frozen it began to thaw along with his fading accent as he mumbled to himself while his lungs dried up. After a few minutes of the deathly freeze, the interior of the cab started to get warm as everything around the front of the truck began to clear. It sent a feeling of relief to him knowing that he had another hour drive to go when suddenly, in the corner of his eyes, he saw something lying in the snow on the side of
He quickly stomped on the brake to allow the truck to slide to a stop thinking that he saw a person. He opened the pickup door keeping it running and got out. The wind chill slapped his now plush face causing it to crack as he walked a few feet in the deep snow toward what he thought he saw. As he got closer, he couldn’t believe what it was. Curled up in a ball was a small child.
The child was naked and not shivering like any normal human should be in twelve degree weather. Nor was he blue or purple in color. Instead, he looked normal with peach colored skin.
“My God!” Sal gasped as he ran over and touched the boy’s skin. “Can you hear me? Are you alright? Why you out here, son? Where are your clothes?”
Sal looked around seeing no other lights around him or his truck. He then took off his coat and covered the boy up.
“Let’s get you out of this cold and find your parents.” He said and picked up the unconscious boy. He then carried him to the truck and opened the passenger door. He set him in the seat and closed the door. Once in the driver’s side, he put the truck in reverse and turned around.
Balham was a good sized town with a population of 3500? . It was known for being a mass growth by lot of industry that had rolled into town a few years back. Since then, one wouldn’t believe that it used to be a sleeper community.
Sal drove into the parking lot of Balham’s Police
station and stopped. He got out of the driver’s side seeing lights still on inside and walked to the passenger door opening it up. He then grabbed the bundled up boy and carried him up the steps into the main door.
Sitting in the main receptions desk was ?, red haired and beautiful.
“Hello Sal, what are you up too?”
“I found this kid in the middle of nowhere wearing no clothes.”
“My God?” ? said looking at the boy. “I’ll call for Lieutenant Andrew right away. He’ll be the best one to talk too about this.”
Sal nodded walking over to the row of chairs in the waiting area setting the boy down. After several minutes, Lieutenant Andrew walked over from his office in the back. He was a good looking man with soft brown hair and a mustache that stood out for attention. ? explained too him quick about the situation as Sal Stood up. Lieutenant Andrew then looked to the boy and tried not to make a scene. He then asked for Sal and the boy to come to his office as Sal picked up the boy.
The two proceeded up the stairs taking a left on the second landing. The place was empty as the two headed into an open office door on the left where Lieutenant Andrew took a seat behind the desk.
“Hey wasn’t this…?” Sal started to ask as Andrew cut him off.
“Deputy Marks office, yeah I stole it from him.”
“Okay. It’s nice.”
“Thanks. So what’s the scoop with our little friend here?”
“Don’t know for sure, Lieutenant. I was driving out
to pick up a hay load and get no more than twenty some miles out of town when I see him lying naked in the snow. All curled up.”
“Naked!” Andrew asked looking at the boy whose eyes were now open. They were black as obsidian and looked to Andrew almost frozen.
“Hmmm. Any idea what he was doing out there?”
“No sir. What are you going to do with him?” Sal asked.
“Well first thing we’re gonna do is get him into some decent clothes and then get him something to eat. I’m sure he’s starving. Then we’ll set him up some sleeping arrangements for the night.”
“Is that all?”
“That’s all. Thanks for bringing him in, Sal. You can go on back to your load. I’ll take it from here.”
Sal nodded as he exchanged his coat for Lieutenant Andrews following a request to ? to bring in some extra clothes from downstairs. After she brought it in, Lieutenant Andrew shut the door and looked at the dressed boy sitting quiet. He was now dressed in a white t-shirt, a dark blue sweater, an old pair of brown jeans, finishing off with black/white converse.
“Are you hungry?” the Lieutenant asked as the boy didn’t move. “I am. So let’s go.”
Lieutenant Andrews grabbed his coat putting it on and pointed to the door where the boy stood up. He didn’t say a word and followed Lieutenant Andrew out of the station and across the street to ? Diner.
The Lieutenant opened the door for the boy to walk inside as the waiter, a young nineteen year old set them up at a small table to the right.
“Good evening Lieutenant. What’ll it be tonight, the usual?”
“Well, I’ll get a steak platter with extra mash potatoes and gravy, Jake. What about you, little guy?” Andrew looked to the boy.
“I would like salt water and raw meat with vinegar on the side, thank you.”
Andrew looked to the boy with eyes glued as Jake did the same.
“Are you sure you want that cuz it doesn’t sound very appetizing.” Andrew questioned as the boy continued to stare at the empty table. “Alright,” Andrew nodded to Jake. “You heard the man.”
Jake took the menus and walked away giving a creepy stare to kid while leaving. Once he was gone, Lieutenant Andrew put his hands on the table.
“So you can talk?” he blurted. “So, you got a name?”
“Tristan,” the boy replied quietly. “My name’s Tristan.”
“Okay, Tristan. Do you want to tell me what you were doing out in the middle of nowhere alone?”
“I…. can’t remember.” Tristan replied as Andrew looked at him like he were holding something back. It had been something he had seen in a lot of lost teens where they know and don’t want to say. His first thought was abuse and that he didn’t want to get whoever left him there in trouble. He decided to wait and play the boy out.
“Okay. Is there anything you do remember?”
“Fire,” Tristan said. “and screaming.”
“Where was the fire Tristan? At home?”
“I….It was bad and I was walking in the snow and passed out. I don’t remember anything else.”
Lieutenant Andrew looked to Tristan just as Jake came over with glasses of water and a bread basket. He set it on the table advising food would be out soon. When food finally came out, Tristan didn’t hesitate and started eating the meat right away. He used good table manners and drank the salt water with Lieutenant Andrew watching. He could see that the boy had table manners which he had to learn from somewhere. So far he hadn’t said much but he took it as a good omen that the boy was at least talking. Getting the rest would be a matter of time. What bothered him the most was why he was out in the cold naked. Not only that, why had no one called in regarding a missing child?
That night Tristan stayed at Andrew’s small home on the other side of town. Lieutenant Andrew lived alone and set Tristan up with a bed on the couch. He knew the boy must be tired after his strange ordeal. He read him a story from one of the short stories he had on his book case. Once Tristan fell asleep, Andrew went into the other room on his computors and typed in his security password into the police database, along with Interpol and began a search for missing kids. He checked Tristan’s name and variations cross referencing it with his age. He also looked to the latest police reports on missing children and came up with nothing.
He stayed up all night, frustrated that the fact there’s nothing on him. No identity, no parents, or birth certificate. It was like he just appeared.
After having enough of looking through the computer, Andrew went upstairs to go to sleep. But as he got into his room he felt really cold. It wasn’t
like no other cold, it was like a creepy crawly cold, he felt like someone else was in the room with him when no one was. He went downstairs and saw that all of the windows were open. He quickly closed them and saw that Tristan was fast asleep, lying peacefully. Yet in his heart he felt like something was telling him a warning.
So he just went up stairs fell on to his bed and fell fast asleep, he comes down and all of the windows are open again, he then looks and sees the boy is still
sound asleep. He shuts them and then wakes him up and they then drive back to the station.
As they arrived walking in the crunching snow, swing the creaking door open. They come in and Andrew tells the secretary to call child services.
As a couple hours went passed, they finally arrived wearing their big puffy jackets, mitts and stalking hats.
“Hey Henry.” Andrew smiled.
“Andy, how’s it going?”
“So whose this little guy?” Henry asked looking at Tristan.
“Well that’s just it. There’s nothing on him, no identity no parents and more specific, no home.”
“Has he got a name?”
“Tristan. He likes to be called Tristan.”
“Well as much as I’d like to take him in, I can’t. We’re completely filled.”
“Come on, Henry. There’s gotta be something? This kid’s been through a lot. There has to be someone
who can take him in?”
“Well, there is this one family who’s been wanting a child. I’m sure They’d love to have him.”
“Who’s the family?” Andrew asked curious.
“David and Jessica Charlotte. They’re a religious family but are very loving and caring.”
“I know them, and that sounds perfect. What are we waiting for let’s go…”
Andrew and Henry left the office in separate vehicles’ and headed down the street a few blocks. Henry was in the lead as Andrew watched all of the homes pass by his windows thinking of Tristan living a normal life there.
They finally arrived to a nice small green house with white siding. The two cars stopped as Henry, Tristan, and Lieutenant Andrew got out. They headed up the path to the door with Henry in the lead who knocked twice before stepping back. After a few seconds, the door opened and a beautiful blonde haired woman wearing red lipstick opened the door. She carried with her a contagious smile and was wearing a blue shirt and jeans.
“Officer Andrew, hi” Jessica said to Andrew first and then looked to Henry smiling. “Hi Henry. What an unexpected surprise.”
“Hey Jess” Andrew smiled back as Henry did the rest of the talking.
“May we come in and talk to you?”
“Of course. Just don’t mind the mess” Jess’s eyes glanced down to Tristan who remained still. “Whose this little guy?”
“That’s what we wanted to talk to you about,” Henry added. “Is David here?”
“Yes he is, let me just run upstairs and get him,
Come in, come in.”
Jessica opened the door as Henry, Lieutenant Andrew and Tristan walked inside. The foyer was covered in hardwood and the air smelled of pumpkin spice.
“You can sit in the living room.” Jess said pointing to the room off the foyer. She headed to the stairs following the men’s nods who walked inside.
Lieutenant Andrew watched Tristan look around as Henry took a seat. It was awkward for him to be there under the circumstances, being that he had no clue that David and Jess were thinking of adoption. He had known they lost a child not long ago due to miscarriage and were extremely wonderful people. With Barnham being such a small town, it was no wonder the entire town didn’t hear.
The sound of footsteps above their heads averted their eyes to the stairs as Jess followed David down the stairs.
David Charlotte was an average looking man with dark hair and thick eyebrows. He had heavy bags under his eyes due to the fact he just woke up. He smiled lightly at the sight of Henry and Andrew as Henry stood extending his hand.
“David, hello, how are you? I hope we didn’t wake you.”
“Actually, you did,” David chuckled. He then shook Andrew’s hand and looked to Tristan.
“I am sorry, I intend to do that a lot.”
“Next time just warn me… So what’s going on?”
Henry looked to Andrew before answering. “Will do, will do. David, the reason why we’re here is because of this young man right here. His name is Tristan and he was found by one of our town’s people the other night.”
“Found?” David said first but Jessica was going to follow up with him with the same thing.
“Yes, in the snow actually without any clothes on.”
Jessica held her hand to her mouth looking at Tristan feeling instant concern.
“He had no ID on him and his fingerprints came back empty at the station.” Andrew added as Jessica held David’s hand.
“And no one’s come forward looking for him?” she asked as Andrew shook his head.
“No. He’s obviously not local or finding his folks would be easy. I had Officer (insert last name of a friend or some name you like) check the local hotels and Hostels for any missing kids. So far nothing’s turned up.”
“What do you need from us?” David asked.
“Quite honestly, our facility is full and we can’t take the boy in.” Henry explained sadly. “The boy seems to have nowhere to go and I was hoping you’d be willing to take him?”
David looked to Jessica and then to Tristan. “Gee, I don’t know Henry. I mean, Jess and I have been through a lot since our loss. How long would he be staying?”
“Until his parents are found or until we can find him another home.”
David looked to Jessica whose eyes were welling with tears. He then looked to Henry, Andrew, and finally Tristan then almost shook his head as Jess grabbed his hand.
“David, this might be an answer to our prayers,” she
“I don’t know Jess. I mean, where are we going to put him? How are we going to make room?”
“I’ll make room,” she explained with a cheery smile looking at the others. “I’ll clean out that room upstars that we’ve been trying to clean out for months. Please honey, I need this.”
David looked to her and the desperation in her eyes before finally nodding his head.
“Alright. But just this once.”
“Excellent,” Henry smiled reaching into his coat pocket pulling out an envelope. “If you’ll kindly sign these papers we’ll get you ready.”
Andrew reached out his hand that had his business card in it. “If you folks need anything, just call.”
David took the card as Jessica smiled at Tristan. Andrew then looked at him placing his hand on the young man’s shoulder. “Take care of yourself, Tristan. Maybe when your settled I’ll take you back to that diner for some steak.”
Tristan nodded slightly, then looked at Andrew as though he were going to say something. Andrew leaned in as Tristan whispered “Your favorite color is green, and when you were a child you wanted to kill your father.”
“What?” Andrew asked not believing what he just heard.
“You might have not have done it but you thought about many times in your head. So reap what you sow, Lieutenant Andrew.”
“How did you know about that?”
“Death and hate can’t lie but you have to let it go.”
“Okay,” Andrew nodded not sure what to say. He then walked toward the door keeping what he said in his head and nodded to Jess and David.
After David was done signing papers, Henry left himself leaving behind his phone number in case of any emergencies. David and Jess both looked to Tristan who seemed lost.
“Are you hungry?” Jess offered as Tristan shook his head.
“Guess I’ll get dressed and take him to the store for some clothes.” David offered. “You look like they dressed you on the lost and found.”
Jess gave David a glare as he smiled. “I’ll go get dressed if you want to show him around a bit.”
Jess nodded as David headed to the stairs. Jess looked at Tristan for a good long minute as she began pointing things out in the living room. After twenty minutes, David came down stairs after showering and getting dressed. He kissed Jessica and walked out the front door with Tristan.
Fifteen minutes later, David and Tristan walked into the main doors of the local clothing store when David looked around for the teen boys section. Tristan followed him as he made his way up and down two aisles not really sure what to look for.
“What kind of styles do you like?” David asked glancing over the assortment of different colored shirts, pullovers, and jeans. “Looks like there’s plenty to choose from. Anything you want.”
Tristan looked around not really eyeing anything.
“Are you happy about getting new clothes?” David asked grabbing a long sleeve shirt and holding it next to Tristan as though checking if it will fit.
“So how long were you with Lieutenant Andrew? He’s a really nice guy.”
“He is. But he doesn’t know what’s coming.”
David stopped for a moment while digging through shirts and looked back at Tristan suddenly.
“What was that?”
Tristan looked at David dumbfounded like.
“You just said something? What was it?”
“Oh, I thought you said something.”
After a half hour, they got several shirt, a few pairs of jeans, a new coat and some shoes. David drove them home as they walked inside with a few shopping bags.
“Jess, we’re home!” David called out, expecting Jessica to be finishing with the room for Tristan.
“I’m upstairs. I’m almost finished if you want to bring him up.”
David pointed to the stairs as Tristan followed him. They reached the second floor landing where David pointed to the right down the hallway where a door was open at the end of the hallway. As David and Tristan walked in, they saw Jessica finishing making the bed.
The room was quaint with a double bed and a dresser on the left wall. There was a single coat closet on the right as Jessica looked over. David had several bags in his hands as he looked to her wondering where she wanted it all.
“How was shopping?” she asked as David nodded looking down at Tristan.
“Good, I guess. Got him some nice clothes.”
“Well, here it is.” Jessica smiled looking around the room. “This is where you’ll be sleeping.”
Tristan looked around with a sudden exhilarated feeling coming over him.
“I’ve never had such a nice room before,” he told them while walking inside. Jessica looked to David who set the bags on the dresser.
“Why don’t you help him get these put away,” he said toward Jessica who nodded her head with a smile. Tristan then looked to David and Jessica giving Jessica a hug. Jessica looked to David surprised to get such a huge response.
“Thank you, Mrs. Charlotte.” He said as Jessica hugged him back. “Oh, you’re welcome sweetie. Do you want some help with your clothes?”
“No thank you. I can take care of it.”
“If you need anything we’ll be around. I’ll come get you when dinner is ready.”
“Okay,” Tristan said as David and Jessica left the room.
Tristan waited for a good two minutes before opening the closet door and then the dresser doors to begin putting clothes away. After twenty minutes, everything was done as he sat on the bed and looked around.
An hour later, Jessica called out that dinner was ready as Tristan turned and walked out of his room. He walked downstairs and made a left into the dining room of the house. He had a big smile on his cute face and sat at the table where two candles were lit up with a smell of vanilla filling the air.
The kitchen just beyond the dining room smelled of roast that had been boiling in a pot for the last five hours. Jessica appeared in the doorway with a large bowl full of mashed potatoes which she set on the
table. There was gravy and bread already out as David walked in from a side door. He was wearing glasses which he kept on his face as he sat down at the table next to Tristan.
“Smells good?” he commented as Tristan remained still.
Jessica returned with a plate full of meat setting it on the table. She then filled their glasses full of lemon water and sat at the table across from them. She reached out her hand to David who grabbed onto it clearing his throat then looked to Tristan to do the same.
“We always say a prayer before a meal,” she smiled as Tristan nodded reaching out his hand to her. But as Jessica grabbed it she felt a sudden chill shoot up her arm, like needle tips to her spine, as she shifted a little in place. She felt as though something was inside her, a spirit of something evil, as David led the prayer. He blessed his wife for the meal they were about to eat and how thankful he was to have her in his life. He thanked the Lord for Tristan to be in their home and that whoever his family were would find him soon.
After a quiet Amen it was followed by David digging into the meat. As soon Jessica released Tristan’s hand, the chill went away.
Jessica smiled ignoring the sensation and filled Tristan’s plate with a slice of meat and potatoes.
“No thank you.” He said to the potatoes as Jessica looked to him.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. Just salt please.”
David passed over the salt shaker as Tristan then asked for vinegar.
“Vinegar?” she asked strangely as Tristan nodded. She then got up and walked into the kitchen returning with Vinegar. She set the bottle on the table as Tristan nodded his head. He then poured the salt into the water and the vinegar on his meat. Once done, he grabbed the glass and gulped down the salt water until the glass was empty then ate his meat like a gentlemen as Jessica and David both looked at each other strangely and confused.
Later, Jessica took Tristan to his room and read him a bedtime story. She then wished him a good night sleep and closed the door. She walked downstairs to find David reading a book.
“Did you get him to bed?” he asked as Jessica nodded. He could feel her stare after a minute then called out. “What is it?”
“Something at dinner. The way he ate?”
“So? I’ve never heard of anyone eating like that before.”
“It’s probably a custom that they do where he came from. It’s nothing.”
“Nothing? David, it was strange and it worried me.”
David put down his book and looked over reaching out his hand. He grabbed hers and pulled her close to the couch.
“I’m sure it’s nothing. Really! And I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. He seems like a great kid. Quiet is all and there’s nothing wrong with that. And I’m sure whoever his family is will be looking for him. You heard the Lieutenant. He was found naked in the snow. That means he ran away or something.”
“Or was put there by someone?”
“Either way, someone’s bound to turn up looking for him.”
David then stood and gave her a big hug. He then kissed her as the two closed up the downstairs then went up to bed.
Jessica opened her eyes suddenly looking up at the dark ceiling. She was cold all of a sudden even though her body was covered in a thick blanket. She had instant goose bumps as he she sat up and looked around the room. It felt as though the window was open blowing in the night air. She looked over and saw that David was sleeping like a baby.
She got out of bed putting on a night robe and walked to the door. She felt a draft coming from the direction of Tristan’s room and walked over. The floor underneath her creaked a little startling her as he eyes opened wider. She was now fully awake and just as cold as she was when she woke up.
She could see that Tristan’s door was partly open as she pushed it open slightly. She looked over to see Tristan sound asleep but the window on the other side of the room was wide open blowing in cold air. She walked over and closed it immediately and turned to see Tristan still asleep. She went to check on him being that it was cold in his room and saw that he was actually warm. She then walked away and closed the door. As she did, she heard a quite growling which sent another series of goose bumps up her arms. She turned around and opened the door to see Tristan sound asleep.
Ignoring her imagination, she closed the door and proceeded back to bed. But as she walked, she had a feeling inside her gut wondering if her and David made the right choice in bringing Tristan in.
The next morning, Tristan awoke and looked around his room. It was quiet as he glanced to the window seeing it was closed. He then got up out bed following the smell of bacon in the house.
He soon made his way downstairs to the dining room and saw Jessica in the kitchen. The sound of bacon sizzling on the burner filled his nostrils along with eggs boiling. Tristan closed his eyes taking in the
Aroma and walked into the kitchen to see Jessica looking over. She had a smile for him along with a “how did you sleep”. He nodded his head with a “good” reply and sat at the breakfast bar overlooking the kitchen.
“Hungry?” she asked as he smiled from ear to ear.
Jessica then made a plate and set it in front of him. As she turned to make David a plate, Tristan grabbed the salt and dumped half the bottle in the glass of milk that was near the plate. He then grabbed Vinegar that was on the counter following last nights dinner and poured it on the pancakes that were on the plate as well. He then ate it up like any other kid would as Jessica called over her shoulder.
“So, how is it?”
Tristan took in a big bite of vinegar soaked pancake and smiled heavenly. “It’s delicious, Mrs. Charlotte. So tasty.”
“Tasty?” Jessica laughed. “I’m glad. I made it with my mother’s special recipe.”
“Your mother has good taste,” he smiled taking in another mouthful. “I would like to meet her and thank her.”
“I’m afraid that will be difficult. Mom passed away this last summer.”
Tristan stopped chewing and looked over at her. “I’m sorry. You carry your mother’s heart, Mrs. Charlotte, and she misses you.”
“How do you know that?”
“What I mean is that she misses you as much as you miss her.”
“Thank you,” Jessica smiled. “She had a heart like Christ and lived her life with such mercy, love, and grace. She’s up there right now you know, at the Lord’s side, looking down on us.”
“What about your dad?” Tristan asked. “What was he like?”
“Oh, he wasn’t much of a father to me and didn’t care much for my mother.” There was hurt behind her eyes that Tristan could see as he looked at her caringly all of a sudden.
“I’m sure he misses you,” he smiled as Jessica held back a tear.
“May I go outside and play?” he asked as Jessica shook out of her memories. “Sure, just make sure you dress up nice and warm. It’s cold out.”
“I will. Thank you, Mrs. Charlotte.”
“You know Tristan. You don’t have to keep calling me Mrs. Charlotte. It makes me feel old. Call me Jessica or Mom if you prefer.”
Tristan then left the kitchen for his room to dress as Jessica smiled. The thought of being called Mom warmed her heart as she grabbed the plate. As she did, she smelled the Vinegar and looked to the empty spot that Tristan had just sat.
Bundled up in his new coat, gloves, and stocking cap, Tristan walked outside and took in a breath of fresh air. He looked around the neighborhood seeing snow everywhere. It had dumped another three inches while everyone slept as he walked up the white covered sidewalk.
There were children dressed as he was in their yards building snow forts and snowmen. He seemed to watch everything they did without expressing any kind of emotion. He locked eyes on a cute red head girl who was making an angel out of snow who looked at him wondering who he was. The other children around him looked to him like he was different as he continued up the street.
At the corner, he looked over and saw a playground in the distance. There were monkeybars and a big slide as something inside him lit with excitement, as though a memory had flashed before his eyes. He then made his way to the back of the slide and climbed the steps. He looked at the smooth surface of the metal slide getting his feet in position underneath him. He then sat and pushed himself off feeling the rush of wind against his face. He reached the bottom of the slide and actually flew off because of the ice and landed in a piled of new snow. He laughed as he sat there feeling his body fill with joy and happiness. He looked around and soon got up to do it again. But as he did, something cold, wet, and hard struck the side of his face and temple causing instant pain. He was jolted out of consciousness for just a second feeling his face swell up. He looked down and saw the snow ball that had hit him lying on the ground. He then wiped fragments of snow and ice from his cheek and looked over following footsteps from the distance.
Tristan turned around and saw a boy with short dark brown hair wearing a grey ski jacket and black stalking hat walking toward him.
“Hi,” the boy said as Tristan stood there motionless. “I’m Gideon what’s your name?”
Tristan didn’t respond.
“What cat got your tongue?”
“Tristan, my name is Tristan. And I don’t even like cats.”
Gideon looked at Tristan strangely and started to laugh.
“Did you throw a snowball at me?” Tristan asked as Gideon shook his head.
“A snowball? No. I didn’t. I walked over after I saw you get hit. So what are you doing?”
“Nothing, just sliding.”
“Cool, mind if I join you?”
“No.” Tristan snapped still perturbed about the snowball.
“No, why not?” Gideon persisted.
“I don’t think it’s good that we hangout. Besides, I gotta go.”
Tristan then walks away as Gideon looked over upset.
“GO? Come on, stay.” Seeing that Tristan wasn’t stopping, Gideon became angry. “Fine, leave. I don’t wanna hang out with you anyway, Asshole!”
Tristan approached the Charlotte’s front door out of breath. He had run all the back without stopping. And with the weather around twelve degrees, he couldn’t catch his breath. His nose was bright red as he grabbed the door handle and walked in.
He then kicked off his snow covered boots and ran up the stairs to his bedroom. He shut the door and then walked to the window opening it. He then removed all of his clothes and curled into a ball in the middle of the floor and remained still. He was breathing heavy as he waited for the cold air from the window to touch his skin. As it did, and the room dropped several degrees in a few seconds, he could feel his breathing start to stabilize.
Suddenly, there was a knock on the door followed by David’s voice.
“Tristan, you alright?”
“Yeah,” he called out barely able to get out the syllables.
“Jess had made some lunch if you’re hungry.”
“Okay,” Tristan replied softly.
Suddenly, the door knob turned as Tristan remained still.
“I was going to ask if you….JESUS!” David muttered seeing Tristan lying on the floor. The cold air ripped through him as well as he grabbed the blanket in top of the bed and covered the boy up.
“What are you doing, are you alright?” To David’s surprise, Tristan was not shivering but was instead warm to the touch.
“Jesus, you’re burning up. You have a fever!”
“I’m alright, Mr. Charlotte.” Tristan said.
“Alright? You’re lying naked on the floor with the window open.”
“I know. I was hot but I feel better now. Please don’t tell Mom.”
“Mom?” David asked confused.
“Mrs. Charlotte. She asked me to call her Mom if I wanted. Is that okay?”
David looked to Tristan clearly seeing that he was in fact okay.
“Yeah, I mean, if that’s what Jess asked you to call her. Promise me you won’t do that again, alright?”
Tristan nodded and then smiled. He then explained what happened at the playground but left the part out about Gideon.
“I was, scared.” He said as David touched his shoulder.
“It’s alright now, okay. And we’ll keep this between us.”
Tristan nodded his head.
“Go on and get dressed. Then come downstairs and get something to eat.”
Tristan nods and David gets up and leaves. He then goes downstairs wearing a sweater vest and jeans. He sits at the dining room table where there is a bowl of chicken noodle soup waiting for him. He picks at the food while David and Jessica watch as he soon excuses himself. David and Jessica nod as Tristan goes back upstairs to his room and lies down in his bed not coming out for the rest of the evening.