'A Little Snow' by Angela Readman
My wife didn’t make a meal of it when she became snow. One day, she was ordinary, maybe getting a little squishy in the belly and cushioned in the seat, then she was snow.
‘Coke?’ she said.
I looked up from Survivor, the word glittered, frosted to her lips.
‘Better turn the heating off,’ she said.
It was teatime. I fancied chips, but cooking was out. It was salads all the way.
‘Should we do something?’ I said.
She spread out white hands. ‘What’s to do?’
Her fingertip dripped. I wiped the laminate when she left the room and opened the window to keep things cool.
It wasn’t summer, that was something, I said. She agreed it was. I moved the mattress to the kitchen and we slept on the floor with the freezer open, she curled towards it like a polar bear wobbling on a bit of ice. I suppose I could have slept in the bedroom and left her to it, but I always got to sleep to the sound of her breathing. Without it, my dreams were stifling, lacking a breeze.
Come morning, I opened my eyes and saw my hand had migrated to her breast in the night. The snow there was lacy, full of dark holes, melted to the shape of my palm. A clump fell like a bird on a trembling branch.
‘Does it hurt?’ I said.
My wife looked down, one side of her chest melting, the other firm as snowballs pressed by red hands.
‘It really came down in the night,’ she said.
She looked out the window, clouds shaved off flakes of snow like dead skin. Big flakes hid in the white carpet on the ground. I walked into the back yard. My wife stood at the door watching me scoop, feathers of cold at her mouth.
‘Can I?’ I said.
She nodded. I patted her chest in the doorway, taking an hour to make one mound of snow the same as the other. I was harder than I thought. A little more snow here, a little less there. She looked up and out.
‘Looks like its going to be a hell of a winter.’
‘I hope so,’ I said.