by Roger Drouin
Two snowballs zoomed over my head, just before another two came over, nailing me in the leg and back. The one in the back stung.
Then I was down behind the wall, in position.
My sister started the volley. She threw them one after the other. I joined in. Two snowballs hit the tallest boy in the chest, and another hit the fat one as he winded up. The third boy fired one at us like a baseball pitcher. The snowball landed on her neck, and some of the snow went into her coat. She brushed the remaining snow off her coat and kept throwing.
She was trying to hide it, but I could tell how cold she was. Once the snow gets inside your coat and shirts, touching your skin, the coldness keeps spreading.
She looked at the other fort.
“I’m not leaving you out here with those punks.”
It’s nice to have a true ally on your side, especially when the sides don’t match up.
We heard the boys in the other fort talking about throwing snowballs at cars. Footsteps scurrying in the snow, the group runs off, like chickens about to be fed.
My sister heads inside. I sit down in the fort, leaning my back against the high snow wall. The noise of the morning disappears. Smoke twists from a chimney. Inside an empty, well-built snow fort can be the quietest place in the world.
A hawk flies above me, heading into the woods.
(Roger Real Drouin is a first-year MFA student in creative writing/fiction at Florida Atlantic University. His short stories have been published, or are forthcoming, in the print journals The Litchfield Review and Leaf Garden and online at Canopic Jar, Offcourse Literary Journal, and Because We Write. He was a journalist for seven years before coming to FAU in Fall 2009. His Web site is www.rogerdrouin.com.)