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The Future Isn’t Written

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It’s snowing. 

He’s so excited, rushes toward the window and presses his face to the glass, wiggling excitedly in his jammies. 

Momma Regina said it was s’posed to snow. She told him that the weatherman said so, and sometimes the weatherman is wrong, but sometimes he’s right, and this time, he’s right. There’s pretty white flakes falling from the sky, landing on the ground and covering their front yard in snow and it’s so pretty. 

The light in his room is still glowing red— that means he’s gotta stay in his room until Papa and Momma Regina are awake. His magic light tells him when he’s allowed to get up and play. When it’s red, he’s s’posed to go back to sleep, but when it’s green, that means Momma Regina and Papa are awake, and then one of them will get Henry, and the other will get him, and then they can go play. 

But that’s so far from now, and maybe if he can go get Henry, then they can go outside and play in the snow together. 

He sneaks across the room, grabs his blanket off of the top of his bed and wraps himself up into it, tugging the soft fabric over his ears. It’s extra cold inside, Papa likes sleepin’ in the cold cause it reminds him of the forest, but Momma Regina always sneaks into his room before bed and uses her magic to build him his own little fire so he can be cozy at night. 

The hallway is dark, so he turns to grab his flashlight, tugs the chair out from beneath his desk and scrambles up to search for the light. He finds it with an excited, “ha!” and hops down from the chair. His footsteps are loud, and it’s extra quiet in the house, so he tip toes down the hallway, past Papa and Momma Regina’s room and into Henry’s. 

Henry’s not sleepin’, just laying in his bed with his Gator— it's not big like his bed, but he doesn’t have those bars on it like he used to. 

“Pssssst, Henry,” he whispers, shining the flashlight up into his brother's eyes. “It’s snowin’.” 

Henry sits up quick, whispering, “realllllllllly?” and wiggles out of his bed. His feet stick to the wood floor from his footie jammies, but he still runs across his room to the window. Roland runs off behind him, wraps his arms around his little brother and lifts him up so Henry can peek out the window. 

“Wow,” Henry whispers, wiggling til he puts him back down. “Light’s red,” Henry says, pouting. “I wanna go play.” 

“Let’s go!” he tells him. “The sky’s awake, so we’re awake. That means I can get our snow jackets, and we can build a snowman!” 

Henry looks at him, then back out the window again, before looking back to him one more time. “O’tay!” He runs to his drawers, pulls open the bottom one and pulls out his snow pants. “Help?” 

He drops his blankie and runs over, helps Henry sit down so they can get his snow pants on. He’s got to get his own pants, but they have to be extra quiet— they’re not s’posed to go outside by themselves. But, what if all the sun melts all the snow? Then they can’t play in it, or get hot cocoa, or cuddle up in blankies later and watch a movie when their ears are all cold and red. 

When Henry’s pants are on, he helps his brother up and they go back to his room so he can get his pants on too. All the jackets and mittens are downstairs with their hats so after his pants are on, they sneak downstairs extra quiet and go to the closet. The jackets are a little high up so he pushes the chair from the kitchen table all the way over, climbs up onto the seat and pulls both of them down. They’re stuck though, and then another jacket falls, and then another one, and then Henry pulls down the box of hats off the shelf and he knows they’re not being so quiet now. 

“Shhhhhh,” he whispers, climbing off the chair. “Papa’s gonna wake up. You gots to be extra quiet.” 

“Sor’y,” Henry whispers, pulling his hat on. 

They get their boots on next, and he’s super careful to make sure the velcro straps are tight, so no snow gets into their boots. Henry looks dressed and ready to go with his jacket zipped up, and then he does the same to himself, so they can go outside. 

“We’re gonna have the most fun,” he tells Henry, taking his hand and walking with him to the door. It’s hard to walk in their snow pants. “When we get outside we can push all the snow into a big ball. I’ll show you how. And then, we can pat it together with our mittens so it's all round and smooth. Momma showed me how to. And then when it’s done, we can give our snowman a name and its own mittens and a nose and eyes!” 

He lets go of Henry’s hand, takes his mitten off and stretches up on his tippy toes and turns the little lock on the door that Papa turns when he goes to work in the morning. It takes him three whole tries, but he finally gets it open, and then twists the door handle and pulls it back. 

And then, the house starts beeping so loud. 

Henry covers his ears and yells and starts to cry. It’s so, so loud and he covers his own ears, too, and pushes the door back shut with his butt, but the beeping still comes. 

He heard a big thump and then Momma Regina is running down the stairs, way faster than Papa. Papa almost slides down the stairs in his socks, he grabs the railing extra tight and holds himself up while Momma pushes buttons on the glowing box next to the door, and then the beeping stops. 

Henry’s crying extra loud now, so Papa picks him up and holds the back of his head, bounces him and tells him that it’s all okay, that he’s alright. He moves his hands from his own ears, sniffles a couple times before he starts to cry, his bottom lip shaking. 

Momma looks so scared, but she kneels down and wraps him up in a tight hug, presses a bunch of kisses to his head, and then he gets really, really sad. 

“I’m s—so—sorry,” he cries, hiding his face in her shoulder. “It’s s—snowing and I wanna m—make a snowman before it all goes away.” 

“Oh, Roland, honey you can’t go outside without your me or your papa, you know that.” She picks him up and carries him, then he feels her bounce a little when she sits on the couch. He cuddles into her lap and sniffles, wiping the tears with his hands. Cuddles make him feel better. “You know that we can make a snowman later today, right? You don’t need to go out so early honey, it’s wintertime. We’ll have plenty of snow today.” 

“But what if it’s all melted? Then we would have no fun snow day, and Henry’s big enough to make a snowman with me now. He has to learn how to do it right.” 

Momma Regina giggles, unzips his jacket and pulls the hat from his head. He’s warm now, cuddled up in her lap. 

“I’m sure that we can teach Henry about all of the proper ways to build a snowman, but 3:45 in the morning isn’t quite the time to do so. We can go out after breakfast though, and your Papa and I will get all bundled up with you boys and go out. I know that you’re excited for the snow Roland, but we cannot go outside without an adult. You’re the best big brother, you don’t want to teach Henry that he can go out either. I don’t want anything bad to happen to either of you boys.” 

“Sor’y, Momma,” he whispers, giving her a tight hug. “When we go out after brea’fast, can you make a live snowman? That we can play with?” 

She looks at him, scrunches her eyebrows up and it makes him giggle. “I suppose I could make something like that happen.” 

.::.

After breakfast they get zipped back up in their snowsuits. He had gotten his mittens all tangled up in his sleeves, but Papa fixed them, made the string all straight so that they hang down from his sleeves. He waves his arms around while he’s waiting for Momma Regina to zip Henry into his suit, swings his mittens back and forth, up and down until one of them boops him in the nose, and he giggles. 

“Ready, lad?” Papa asks, kneeling down and tugging his zipper all the way up until it bumps his chin. 

“Yep!” he shouts, waddling toward the door. 

The snow’s not falling anymore but there’s more snow on the ground than there was this morning, and he is so extra excited. He runs out onto the porch, stops at the edge and squats down, gets all the energy he can before jumping right off the porch, landing with a loud giggle into the pile of snow below. 

Henry falls down into the snow right behind him and he helps his little brother up, excitedly tugging on his hand to pull him out into the yard. 

Momma Regina comes out behind them, her purple cap pulled down safe over her ears, and her and Papa start pushing the snow into a big pile. 

“Look, Henry! It’s snowman time!” 

Momma Regina walks over, holds tight onto his hand and picks Henry up, while Papa finishes putting the snow into the pile. They teach Henry how to pat the snow, and he shows him how to run his hands over it extra smooth so all the edges are flat and round. Once their snowman is perfect, Papa picks him up and together, he and Henry put the eyes and the carrot nose onto their snowman’s face and sticks for arms. 

“He needs a name,” he says, wiggling in Papa’s arms, watching as Henry pushes the last rock in to give him a mouth. 

“Olaf!” Henry shouts, clapping his hands. “He’s Olaf!” 

“Olaf,” Momma repeats, her lips turning up in a smile. “I think that’s a perfect name, Henry. Now, let’s see what we can do about helping this little guy along with some magic. Roland, come here, darling,” she says, and he wiggles out of Papa’s arms and runs over. She kneels down, with Henry in her arms, too, and she pulls him in close and gives him a kiss on the forehead. “Now, you two lean in close, and put your hands right here,” she says, taking his hand and Henry’s and putting them on Olaf’s middle circle. 

She tucks them all in close into a hug and leans forward, whispering something in a funny language. “Now, I need you boys to both close your eyes and count to three. Can you do that for me?” 

“Yeah!” he whispers, and Henry nods. 

“One.” 

“Two.”

“Three!” 

Roland opens his eyes fast and in front of him, Olaf blinks once, then again, and then he starts talking. 

“Hi! I’m Olaf, and I like warm hugs!” 

With that, Roland cannot stop the excitement rushing through him, the absolute joy at the new friend he and Henry have.  

“This is the best snow day ever.”


Written for OQ Prompt Party 2020 - 209. Roland wants an Olaf