Peppermint Winter – Part 2

Last week, I posted part 1 of my Owl City fanfiction, Peppermint Winter. This week we get to find out if Arden has a snowball fight or not. 🙂 Enjoy!

“There’s only a fresh inch or two on the ground, Arden. We should probably wait until a little more snow has fallen,” I recommended, finally warm, and content to watch the snow from inside.

She settled her hat down on her hair and tossed me my blue coat. “Come on!” I hustled into my things and was dragged outside in classic Arden style. She left me on the porch and started running around the yard shouting, “Snow, snow, snow, SNOW!”

I winced as the pristine snow was trampled on. I much preferred to walk around the edges, so as not to disturb the unmarred whiteness. Suddenly, a blizzard of snowflakes hit me in the face. I blinked and wiped my face of the powdery snow. I saw a repentant, giggling Arden sheepishly grinning at me, another snowball in hand. “Oops! I meant to hit your coat.”

I leaned down and scooped up a pile of snow and threw it at her, nailing her shoulder. She shrieked, pretending to be injured, and then shot her snowball at me, hitting my back as I tried to dodge out of the way. I rolled another and chucked it at her, but she retreated behind the car, and I missed. Soon, we had the snowball fight of the century going. My yard was my territory to defend and her yard, her territory. Intruders were sure to be shot with our snowy ammunition.

I’d never really cared much for playing in the snow, but Arden made everything fun. She was a good aim, too. I found myself running for fear of getting hit, in a chase that went around our houses a few times. “Time out, Arden!” I begged, trying to catch my breath.

She nodded, collapsing in the snow. “Feel free to cross the border!” she called over.

I crossed the driveway and flopped down next to her, still panting. We lay silently letting our breathing slow for a few minutes, and then Arden jumped back up. She spun around and around until she fell back down into the snow with a giggle. Standing up again, she started twirling down her driveway. “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!” she sang.

I pushed myself up on my elbow and watched. It kind of looked like fun. I decided to try it. I twirled through the driveway with angelic grace, until I met the sidewalk. I slipped on the slick sidewalk, and BOOM, I fell on my face. My head ached, and I thought I saw stars. Or maybe it was snowflakes.

The first thing I heard was, “Are you okay?” I slowly rolled over and blinked a few times. Arden was standing over me, just staring. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen somebody fall on their face before, ” she commented. “At least there is a nice layer of snow that cushioned your fall.”

“My face hurts,” I moaned, not convinced of any cushion. Maybe Arden should call an ambulance, and they should bring a backboard in case I had a spinal injury. Arden reached down, grabbed my hand, and started hauling me up. I realized the ambulance wouldn’t be necessary.  

“You okay?” Arden asked me again.

“Yeah,” I rubbed my sore nose. “Can we not twirl anymore?”

She grinned, “Sure. Want some hot chocolate?” I agreed, and we trooped inside.

Arden left a trail of coat, gloves, hat, and scarf behind her as I followed her into the kitchen. Opening a cabinet door, she started rifling through it until she found what she wanted. “Here it is! Peppermint Winter! This is my favorite hot chocolate.” She found two mugs and filled them to the brim with milk and stuck the first one into the microwave. The microwave dinged, and I watched as she stirred the powder into the steaming mug and sat it before me.

“Thanks.” I said. I didn’t need to taste to believe. The wonderful, warm minty scent filled my nose as I lifted the cup in front of my face. I finally took a sip. This Peppermint Winter was so sugar sweet.

“Good?” asked Arden.

I nodded.

“Awesome!” She sat, taking the stool beside me, and we drank our hot chocolates in companionable silence.

“I wish we could go on a sleigh ride,” sighed Arden wistfully.

“Sounds chilly.”

“It’d be sooooooooooooo great!” she dreamed. “We could pretend we’re taking a sleigh ride,” she suggested.

“We could,” I agreed half-heartedly. I wasn’t big on pretending. I tended to prefer reality.

I looked over and saw that Arden’s seat was unoccupied. Turning around, I found her already dressed in her coat, and making motions for the door. “Come on!”

I barely had enough time to scramble back into my coat before I was dragged out the door. I stood on the front porch for the third time that day, this time feeling a bit confused. I heard her garage slowly creak open, and wondered about what could be coming out of that door. If she had a hot air balloon in her basement, I thought, remembering our adventure in the spring, what might she have in the garage. Arden emerged, not with a sleigh, but with a plastic sled.

“Our sleigh has arrived!” Arden announced.

I stared at it. It was red, as I’d always seen sleighs pictured, and, strangely enough, it had bells hanging all around the edge. It was lacking a few things, though. “You need a horse, and runners, and …”

She cut me off, “Use your imagination, Ben!”

I looked at it, and tried to picture what it would look like with a horse hitched to the front. I even shut my eyes super tight. It didn’t work. “I don’t see it.”

Arden just stared at me. “How can you not see it, Ben?”

“I…I…” I started to say. “I don’t know what to say. I mean there is no sleigh here. There’s definitely no horse.”

“What! You don’t see Sugar?” She grabbed the sled rope, and made a clicking sound. “C’mon, Sugar.”

“Sugar? Who’s Sugar?” I looked blankly around for “Sugar.”

“The horse, silly. I was helping complete your mental picture.”

“Oh,” I said, not sure what else to say. It really hadn’t helped my mental picture at all.

“What are you waiting for?” cried Arden, and she trotted down the driveway.

“Um, Arden, where are you going?” I asked, realizing she was leaving me.

Arden didn’t respond, but continued trotting down the street, occasionally nickering like a horse. I started down the driveway after her, yelling, “Arden! Where are you going? Arden!”

“Sugar” was a fast horse, and I had to run down the street after her to keep up. “Arden!” I called again, but got no response from her. I hoped no one saw me. “Arden!”

I still got no response from her as she turned a corner at the end of the street. “Arden!” I paused for a second to catch my breath, and wondered why she wouldn’t answer. I suddenly realized what I was doing wrong. “Sugar!” I called at the top of my lungs, recalling the horse’s name. “Sugar!” I REALLY hoped no one saw- or heard- me. “Sugar” stopped in front of the park just down the street. This park had a huge hill that everyone used for sledding.

“Sugar?” I gasped, running up to the “horse.”

She turned and neighed. “Did I complete your mental picture yet, Ben?” Arden questioned, turning back into a human for the moment.

The only mental picture I had was of the embarrassment I would face if anyone had seen me running down the street calling Arden, “Sugar.” However, I thought it better just to nod.

Walking through the park to where the big sledding hill was, she continued. “Oh, good, because Sugar,” she paused for a moment, patting the air as if it was a horse’s side, “is ready to take us on a sleigh ride! So, hop in the sleigh and we’ll glide away!”

Arden sat down in the front of the sled and patted the seat behind her. “C’mon, Ben!” I sighed, and complied, taking a seat behind her. She leaned out of the sled and pushed along the ground, slowly approaching the edge of the hill. The sled teetered at the top for a moment, then tipped forward, and we sped away.

“Go,  Sugar, go!” Arden screamed at the top of her lungs as we sailed down the hill.

Thanks for reading. Come back next week to see what happens to these two!

~ Kayla

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