Winter’s Wonderland

“So I was telling Robert that we will be settled in by the end of week.” Frank’s stern voice echoed within the moving truck. His gaze was focused on the road ahead but tried to keep a conversation going, as to not fall asleep. His son kept him company and sat right beside him. He wasn’t too fond of the move. But Frank managed to get promoted and was asked to oversee construction of the new building for the hotel.

The icy wind clawed at the windows looking for a way to pierce the awaiting bodies inside the truck. Warmed by the air within the vehicle, heading down the mountain pass. Timothy stared out at the blanket of snow outside. He just let his dad ramble on about all the “blessings” that was going follow.

“Come on, kiddo, I hear the school there is great” Frank gave a short nudge at his son, making sure one of his hands never let released the steering wheel.

“Yea, right, like this weather huh?” Timothy’s response was sarcastic of course. He hated the cold and was used to the warm, hot weather of Florida. He only saw snow on tv or movies. He never thought he would move so far north that he would be enveloped by it til God knows when.

Frank curled his lips in hesitation before he continued. He managed to catch his son’s tone and knew for a fact this wasn’t the best weather. He remembered looking up the town on the internet with his boss’s words constantly repeating in his head, “It is freaking cold there”. He kept his gaze on the road now, he decided to keep quiet for a bit as he neared the crossroad.

The sign on the side of the road read Arcadia, the winter wonderland. It had a picture of what appeared to be a smiling family playing in the snow with Christmas decorations on the house behind them. Timothy rolled his eyes as he couldn’t make out the rest of the billboard. His father kept going straight as they passed the intersection. It had been quite a trip but they were almost close to what everyone else called their new “home”. He could start seeing the dim lights pierce through the storm. You would think that a sane person wouldn’t drive under these conditions and yet his father insisted that this was the weather most of the time year round.
The road seemed to merge into a narrow strip as what appeared to be the last hill leading down to the town began to have them descend. Insanity, Timothy thought to himself as he looked for signs of worry on his father’s face. The man Just continued to rant about how important his work and his new position would not only benefit them but everyone.
Frank didn’t want to give his son any sign of discomfort or worry as he noticed the terrain was literally like a death trap. The road had to have warning signs or something, he thought. He would brush of any fear as he continued to discuss how the company who hired him spoke about the new job opportunities he was bringing in to this town.
The wind continued to pound the moving vehicle. Like a monster trying to devour its prey it clawed at the windows. The snow attaching itself and building up on the front window trying to blind it’s victim. The moving truck still continued its steady descent and as the storm raged on, the town slowly revealed its appeal and wonder.
Timothy was the first to notice it all. The wind seemed to stop after awhile. Snow started to brush off the windshield and he could fully make out what was before them. The town stretched out in between mountains but apart from all of the snow, it appeared to be something of fairytales. What lay before them seemed like one of those towns you see in a snow globe. Trees spawned around and decorated due to the upcoming season. The houses surrounding the various other buildings seemed nice and warm due to the lights that escaped and helped bring the town to life.
Frank gave a quick look at the side mirrors to check if he wasn’t imagining just leaving a blizzard. He blinked 4 times at what he now understood from his wife’s description as a magical place.
Though the town was small as one could see it from the hill from beginning to end, it seemed welcoming. Movement could be seen amongst the town and as dark as it was getting outside, the lights sprawled across gave new life or signs of it.
Frank pointed to the far right of the town where what appeared to be a set of steel beams were erected. “There’s the building”, he then pointed to the otherside of the town near the back, “and that’s where we will be staying.”.
Timothy couldn’t make it out from where they were. As they reached the bottom of the hill he couldn’t see the whole town anymore. It seems he would have to wait.
They drove through the town and everything truly seemed to be from a movie. Of course, people would look at the passing truck in awe as both of them in truck only assumed was natural. For being a small town and the location, it was unlike any visitors or new comers to just come about. This is what Frank and his companions hoped to fix, though it was still a mystery as to why this place.
After what appeared to be never ending minutes of torture, Timothy felt a wave of relief as he neared what appeared to be his new house. He could see his mother complaining to the movers outside.

“Oh boy”, Frank’s worried expression surfaced as the words rolled off his tongue. He knew his wife all too well. “This isn’t good.”.
Timothy chuckled, “Yea, for them that is”. As he said that he looked at his new house. Surrounded by wooden fence and two pine trees on the front yard. It had a driveway to the left and was a two story house. The colors appeared to be a tint of red with brown but was mostly covered in snow. The lights were on what appeared to be the two rooms on the second and he could now make out his sister looking down.
Mary looked back momentarily as she heard the approaching truck and waved at them. She then turned back and faced the two men in front of her on the front porch. “Good, now you will have to hear from my husband!”, They could now make out the words she was saying.
Frank took a deep breath as he put the truck in the driveway. He looked at Timothy, “Well buddy, we’re here.”.

The words scratched in his head and echoed like a nightmare. His dad was removing the keys and signaling that he was going to check what was the big fuss. Timothy started to get ready to get off the truck, he also took a deep breath and looked around. He looked up towards his sister’s room and noticed her eating a strange fruit. She was smiling and waved at him and then disappeared as he thought she was going to greet them.
He looked towards the mountains and noticed a strange green light that appeared to flash. The light seemed to call to him and he felt himself enter a trance. There was something familiar about the light, as if he saw it in a dream.
“Timothy!!”, His mother’s voice awoke him from his trance and he got out of the truth. His feet sank an inch to the ground as he landed. Snow, it was the first time he actually was around it apart from the drive here, he already hated it.
His mother rushed to him and have him a huge hug. “Welcome home, honey.”, the warmth of his mother was truly welcoming. He hugged her back but the words still felt like a stranger. He looked back at the mountain where the light shun only to find there was no light flashing this time. He whispered to himself, “Yea, home…”.

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