Snow angels dragged me to hell

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When I was six years old and very impressionable, there was nothing better to do than mix snow with mittens and laughter and climb on it when it made hills. I'd throw snowballs at icicles growing off the side of a gas station for what seemed like hours, and plop my galosh-covered feet in tiny ponds of melted snow and on top of ice surfaces on the sidewalk with those air bubbles trapped just under the surface. The who can you pay to equal the fun of walking really slow on newly fallen snow and hearing the sound of the crunch somehow coming from just under your footsteps? For hours, when I was six, I'd do these things.

Then there were the really deep snows, white flakes coming down so steady that we couldn't wait to put our stuff on and get out into it. You'd sink into it past the galosh, and some would get in there to melt on your ankle. You could pick up whole sections of it to throw at your friends, or make igloos and snowmen and go down to the park to sled on what had to be a ten foot incline that seemed huge, especially when you rolled down it without a sled but by just turning round-and-round holding your arms at your side.

Sometimes when it snowed really deep and the wind blew it around, I'd watch the adults bundled in shiny coats made of strange chemical fabrics, and notice that their adult hats and scarves and gloves sometimes looked shiny and at other times were soft like fur. People would sure dress oddly when snow decides to stay, and it made me giggle when a little bit of wind caused them to tighten-up and either walk slower or faster, seldom in-between. At least once each winter my friends and I would take a chance at upsetting the adults and throw snowballs at their cars. The snowballs would plop plop plop against the metal in a rapid soft scrunch, about half the cars would stop, and we knew exactly which gangway to run down. But we always felt safe and we laughed and laughed, knowing the adult wouldn't leave the car in the middle of the street just to chase us. Unless they were kids at heart themselves, but we didn't know anything about that then - being kids and all ourselves - and luckily we never met up with one of those.

Then there was this one day. My friends and I were just about to run through a big new layer of snow on one of the lot-sized prairies near our homes, ready to kick the snow around and see if it was good packing, when Marlene, a girl my age, instead said that we should make snow angels. That seemed like a great idea, so we all lay down on the snow, flapped our arms and legs criss-cross along the snow, and created about seven snow angels.

Then they attacked. To the flank two of the snow angels grabbed Tom and Joey, sucked the fuck out of them, blood everywhere. Marlene and Debbie tried to run, but two others iced them around the ankle and smothered them under a half-inch of white horror. It was just Wally, Phillip and myself left, and Wally was good for shit. Phillip and I pushed Wally back at the three snow angels chasing us, hoping that would distract them, but only one peeled off. Fuckin' Phillip, he was always faster than me, kicked into third gear and was gone and the two snow angels turned their attention on me and my life flashed before my eyes.

Next thing I knew I was in hell, a snow angel holding onto each of my arms, the bastards leading me down what seemed like a red-basked canyon flanked by not-quite-burning but glowing hills of brimstone. It smelled like chicken or maybe ostrich, and suddenly Wally broke free and tried to get out the way we had come in and only made it about four steps before a snow angel, fast as a cheetah, caught him again, this time around the neck and that must have hurt because he went limp for a few seconds and then they propped him on his feet again and kept us walking. Walking on crunchy tiny not-quite-hot lumps of coal and my galoshes were melting just a little (which is when my brain finally figured out how to tie my own shoes. Stress learning?).

(more to come, I wonder what happens next?????)