Friday, February 26, 2010

Snow, oh Glorious Snow

Yes, that is a snowfilled balcony on the topmost floor!
And yes, the first floor balcony is supposed to be some feet above ground.

I love winter. Real winter. Not the wishywash thing we usually get, but this kind of winter. 2 feet of snow - that lasts! - and crisp days.

I should make a snow dragon. Some years back, I did a huge chinese dragon out of snow. Perhaps it's time to repeat the feat? Just because I'm a legal adult since several years back doesn't make it look weird, right? Right.

After all, a colleague told me she had dug her way out on her balcony, making a snow cave out of the heap to make the task less task-like.

One should never be too old to be childish.

Mr Simmons and the Black Cat

As a first post, claiming to be a writer and all, I figured I should present to you one of my flash fic stories. It was inspired by an artwork called Mr Simmons by Axel Fridell.

Mr Simmons and the Black Cat

Mr Simmons was comfortable sitting in the worn armchair reading the newspaper. The library was still quiet and peaceful, but Mr Simmons knew that in forty-five minutes the tranquillity would be broken by a rowdy school class, as it was every Tuesday. Yet, he wasn’t worried, for he knew very well that he would finish the paper before that, as he did every day and had for quite some time.
Mr Simmons was a handsome man although already five and thirty. He was tall and always dressed very fashionable and correct. He was known for his gentlemen ways and everyone thought well of him. Some years earlier, he had been married with a woman of important relations and gentle temperament. It had been a fortunate match for both purse and heart. She had died in childbirth and Mr Simmons had not had it in him to remarry.
On this day, five to ten in the morning, he folded the newspaper and rose from the chair. He returned the paper to its place, straightened his top hat and left. As he walked out of the door, a sudden shadow startled him. He looked up and, from upon a brick wall, a black cat was watching him.
The yellow eyes of the cat held his gaze with a peculiarly human expression. Mr Simmons shuddered suddenly, as if by a cold wind. Annoyed at his own silliness, he scolded himself for being so superstitious. He continued his way down the street, determined not to think more of the strange encounter. The day was clear and cold, as often it was in March. Mr Simmons pulled his white scarf firmer around his long neck and strode homewards. A few minutes later, he had indeed forgotten about the cat.
But as he turned the corner, he was yet again reminded of it. The yellow eyes watched him intently, the sleek black body stretched out across the narrow alley. Mr Simmons stopped. He watched the cat, perplexed and uneasy. The cat looked back, unfazed. It must indeed be the same cat, although Mr Simmons didn’t like to acknowledge it. Again, he felt cold, although he told himself it was not strange in the spring weather. He played nervously with his cane and thought about taking another road. After all, the cat could have rabies and attack him as he passed. A blush appeared on his cheeks as he saw the cowardice in the notion. Mr Simmons was far from being an exceedingly arrogant man but to be frightened by a cat was below the limit of his pride.
He gripped his cane firmly and cautiously approached the black cat. The yellow eyes followed him. Mr Simmons walked as close to the building on his left as he possibly could without brushing against the sooty wall. The cat didn’t move nor looked like it had any inclination to do so. Mr Simmons carefully inched around it. When he had passed unscathed, Mr Simmons quickened his pace to be away from the odd beast. But at the end of the alley, he couldn’t help to turn around to see if the cat was still there.
A rainy and windy winter had scuffed and torn at the old buildings hovering over the alley. The hail of the day before had been the last assault that one of the withering houses had been able to resist. As a harsh wind whipped over the sky, the building lost its desperate grip of an already loose roofing tile. It fell and hit Mr Simmons squarely in the head. The pitiable man, but five and thirty and without any heirs, fell dead to the ground.
The black cat, who still kept its yellow eyes on the corpse of Mr Simmons, sighed and shook its head.