“Wake up! Are you alive? Please, move!”
Jimmy’s eyes flickered open. He couldn’t feel anything. Just white. He felt like he was falling; falling through a silent heavenly abyss. He could feel the gentle wind push against his face. Falling, falling, falling…
A scuffling enveloped his ears, he was being propped up. A black shadow enveloped his white vision. Within moments, the blackness formed features, and Miles emerged from the smoke.
“How long have you been lying here for?” His brother’s pale face questioned, the fringe of his hair being narrowly blown from his eyes.
Creaking his numbed jaw to life, he whispered: “Where…Where am I?”
The moment Jimmy looked over behind his brother; he was stuck with a bolt of terror. The memory came flashing back and Jimmy screamed as he was again pierced by the dead stare from the frozen head. For there, behind Miles, it still sat. He clamped his eyes closed again.
“What? What’s wrong?!” His brother yelped.
“It’s the...” He stuttered. “The…”
He opened his eyes. There was nothing. Nothing nestled at the base of the snowman behind his Miles, nothing but icy carpet.
“The what? If you mean the snowmen then you’ve had a harder bang on the head then I thought.” He quipped, unsmiling.
He was wrong, of course. But Jimmy had, almost, forgotten about the mysterious snowmen. They were coming into vision now, around the figure of his brother, and the question of what he was leaning against was immediately solved.
His hands sunk an inch into the snow as he padded his hands firmly to his sides before the snow moaned beneath him as he was helped to his feet.
He stood erect, shaking and weak, but comforted by the presence of his brother. He brushed some speckled snow off his face and turned to look at Miles. All of a sudden he was reminded of the snowball fight. The few moments lost in juvenile joy and magic. This brought a smile to his face, and the pain inside him started to ease. The hope he thought lost flickered in a warm, energising glow within him. These snowmen, wherever they came from, were no match for him now. Nothing was. He beamed at Miles, the wind moaned, and Jimmy watched his brothers face rise into a shared grin behind the grit of spitting snow between them. That moment, they basked in each other’s elation. They stood perfectly still, a few feet between them, the two human figures lost in a chess board of snowmen.
Then it happened. It happened slowly, but before Jimmy could break the grin he was sharing with his brother, it happened; Miles’ smile quivered. That was it. But it was enough for Jimmy’s beam to drop into a frown. The feeling of ecstasy drained from him, and as it did, so did his brother’s expression. Jimmy felt cold again. He was still looking at his brother, except the expression Miles bore was now completely different. The comforting gaze had changed to something so unsettling; Jimmy was chilled to the bone. His brother was scared. He was petrified. And the sparkle that had danced in his brother’s pupil had gone. He removed his gaze from the black eyes and looked around. The snow was growling, and so dense Jimmy was having trouble seeing right in front of him. The snow cut against his skin now. It grated against his face, burning with every gust.
Jimmy screwed his eyes into a squint, and began to make out what was in front of him. With a tug he pulled off his thick gloves, and reached out to the darkened shape forming before him. His fingers made contact. And a sickening, ice-cold beam of sheer despair shot through his body from the finger tip. He knew he was going to die. As his mind fell apart, he pieced it together.
Ghostly eyes pushed into sight. Jimmy knew he had died a long time ago.