Day 1: Styrofoam Cups

2016 is the year of stories. Kicking off my new year’s resolution. A note this has not been edited, so it’s very raw right now. I’ll probably go back and edit it at some point. My goal is 365 days of stories. The form in which these stories take will change. My goal is to tell stories in general, in hopes to create some good narratives by the end of the year. I aim to change my medium based on the way I want to tell the story. Sometimes it’ll be in the form of a short story, parts of a novel, animation, photographs,…etc. I really want to develop my sense of narration this year.

So here’s the first story. These will improve as time goes on. Hope you enjoy.

Styrofoam Cups

It was a colder winter than ever before in Nortwella. The snowflakes fell steadily from the sky upon the town and drenching the citizens in cold. Fennir, the town mayor, frequently drove through the streets making sure the homeless population was keeping warm. Handing out blankets and clothes to the men and women huddled together. The town was small, but not so small that every man and woman had a place to live in. Fennir frowned, upset as he rounded a corner in his small red Beetle, and spotted two teenagers.

They were huddled together on the bridge, staring out into the frozen river. It was a girl and boy barely 16 or 17 huddled together. The boy continued staring out as Fennir rolled to a stop and lowered his window.

“Hello kids,” Fennir yelled out in his cheery voice. The girl turned her head toward him. Her lips were a pale blue from the cold and her brown eyes stared deep into him, in a way that made him uncomfortable. She didn’t say anything. “Weather is so cold. Can I offer you a hot coco or anything else?” Fennir asked trying to smile despite her stare.

The girl turned back to the boy and tugged on his shoulder a bit. He turned his head to glance back at the mayor. Fennir blinked a moment realizing that the two were brother and sister. They had the same brown eyes and nose shape. The boy glanced at his sister and nodded gently, pursing his lips as he did. Fennir smiled, parking the car and grasping the large thermos he had full of hot coco. He grabbed the cups and poured the coco in before getting out of the car.

To his surprise the boy had disappeared. The girl remained, smiling weakly as Fennir handed her the coco. “Where’s your brother?”

The girl didn’t answer, sipping the coco and staring out into the river.

“Do you need a jacket or blanket? You look mighty cold. I can drive you to the youth center in town?” Fennir offered as he noticed how thin the coat she wore was. There were a few holes in it. “It’s suppose to get even colder than the past few days, and I don’t want anyone freezing to death this winter. Do you have a place to stay?”

The girl didn’t respond. Fennir rocked back on his heels, adjusting his scarf in concern.

“What’s your name?”

“His name was Abel. We use to watch the river when we got scared,” the girl whispered, as she leaned on the rail. “Once a year I come up here to watch the river with him.”

“Excuse me?” Fennir asked, “is that your brother? Where he’d go off to?”

The girl glanced back. “Thank you for the coco Fennir. I’ll make sure that Abel drinks his share,” she said taking the other cup from the mayor. The mayor blinked confused as she poured it over the side of the river. It dripped from the styrofoam slowly and hit the icy river gently with a rise of steam. The girl smiled happily and handed the cup back to Fennir.

“What happened?” whispered the mayor. He could feel his hand trembling a bit as he grasped the cup in his hands. Staring at the girl as he did.

“It was snowing. A beautiful snow storm, just like tonight. Did you know every snowflake is unique?” she whispered. “Sometimes if I stand out here, during snow storms, I can curl up into his embrace. Like the wind has taken his spirit.”

Fennir rocked back on his heels, uncomfortable again. He felt a tap on his shoulder and turned to see Abel standing there. His brown eyes staring at him. He smiled at the mayor with comforting eyes.

“Tell my sister to stop telling ghost stories about herself,” he said with a smile. Fennir turned to look back at the girl but she had vanished. “Thanks for the coco Fennir. I’ll make sure my sister drinks every drop of it.”

Fennir looked back at Abel, confused. “Wait–” he started but the boy had already begun walking away. Disappearing into the air as a gust of cold wind hit him. He dissolved into flakes in front of Fennir’s eyes. Leaving the mayor confused and holding two empty styrofoam cups.


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