The Winter Deal
Secret Pornography says: "This is rated T for mild language at this point. Hope you enjoy. I originally didn't want to break this up into chapter, but it happened. : I hope there's not any big, like, grammar errors or word repeats that I didn't intend or anything. I wrote this late. Oh well. Hope you enjoy it. Reviews would be superspecialawesome!"
Nobody ever calls upon Jack Frost. When December rolls around and the snow comes down, people don't cheer for Jack Frost. They do for Rudolph and Santa, Baby Jesus and Frosty the Snowman, but Jack Frost is seldom celebrated. Its quite the opposite. People curse Jack Frost. They are enraged by the ice, inconvenienced by snow, they hate winter, they despise the cold.
People, also, very seldom wonder about him. In their day-to-day lives, the last thing in a person's mind would be a thought pertaining to whether or not they're hurting somebody's feelings when they cuss at the flakes falling from the sky.
Cursing or no cursing, if you yell someone's name loud enough, they're going to hear it.
"I'm sorry to tell you this, hun, but you're going to be out for at least the rest of the season.", Doctor Anglia gave the teenager sitting on her table a sympathetic look.
"What?! It's barely a dent. I'm sure I could be back in a few weeks..." he responded.
"Look, Jay, I know basketball is your everything but a compound fracture is not an injury you can bounce back from quickly. And its certainly not an injury you can have if you're a point guard." she told him as soothingly as she could.
Jay knew she was right. She'd gone through years of college and med school, of course she knew what she was talking about. That didn't help the fact that he was incredibly mad about it.
The story is neither long, nor complicated. One teenage boy, falling off of one bench, on one ski lift, down about 25 feet, equals one injury. Actually, it would normally mean many injuries, but some people are just lucky enough to plummet into large mounds of mostly soft snow. Jay knew he was going to be out for the week.
"I didn't know I'd be out for the season!" Jay howled. "I thought it'd just... get better."
"I'm sorry sweetie. Alright, thanks Dr. A, we'll see ya soon for flu shots." Mrs. Whick told Dr. Anglia. She squeezed Jay's shoulder apologetically and walked her son out of the Doctor's office, his arm in sling.
Jay was big on basketball. Jay was very big on basketball. Jay was huge on basketball. He started at age 6 and being 17, he hasn't stopped. Without basketball in his life, Jay learned for the first time that he hated winter. He hated it with a passion. He abhorred the cold and the ice. Driving was a pain and you had to wear an absurd amount of layers in order to not gain frost bite. Not being able to play basketball didn't help his inevitable winter rage.
Upon his arrival home that night, he huffed up the stairs to his room without a word to his dad or either of his two siblings. It was actually rather early to go to sleep, Jay's mother always told him that if he went to bed before nine o'clock he'd just wake up a few hours later and get no sleep. He didn't care. Jay closed his eyes.
~BZZZZZZZZZ~ ~BZZZZZZZZZZ~ his eyes shot open in a frenzied panic at the suddenness of the sound. He jumped up and darted around his room until he realized the source was his phone vibrating. "God, I'm a dumbass..." he muttered to himself. He grabbed it with his good arm.
The bright screen illuminated his dark room "New Message Received? View now. View later." He chose to view now. IT was a text from his best girl friend and neighbor Rebecca. The text read "Wats the verdict? R u alright??". It was a simple, compassionate gesture to text him, but this only made Jay more irritated. Deciding throwing the phone wasn't a good idea, he turned it off and put it down on his nightstand. Rebecca had been living in the house next to him for about eight years, she'd understand. She understood just about everything about him they'd shared secrets and desires. He just hoped she wouldn't march over to his house and knock on his door demanding an answer, something that wasn't against her nature. Rebecca would have to wait, though. Jay got into his bed and closed his eyes, thoughts swimming through his head. "Fuckin'.... fuckin' Mr. Winter or whateverhisnameis…" he babbled as he went into a shallow sleep.
"Fuck." was the first word Jay muttered as the cold roused him from his sleep. "Fuck." he said again. He sat up in his bed. Shivers ran from the bottom of his spine to the tip of his nose.
"It's f-freezing. Jesus Christ. Did dad try saving money by turning off the heat again," Jay's head throbbed, "Wh-what time is it?" He glanced at his clock which served little help. For some reason the face of the red LED digital alarm clock which sat on his nightstand seemed foggy. Jay squinted his eyes, the clock remained unreadable. He held it closer to his face. A slight frost formed over the face of the clock, ornate crystalline shapes could barely be seen on the numbers.
"Are you fucken' serious?" he muttered, shivering. He lumbered to his closet and pulled out a hoodie and clumsily donned it, taking a considerable amount of time trying to get his injured arm into it.
~skritch~ ~skriiiiiiiitch~ An odd sound filled the room, alarming Jay further. A veil of sleep still draped itself over Jay's careful, rational thinking process. ~skriiiiiiiitch~ the sound came from outside the window. A cold sweat caused Jay's brown hair to cling to his forehead as he searched his room for some miraculous answer to what was happening.
"What the hell." he murmured, his breath condensing in the air. Dazed, Jay processed his current situation for a moment.
The sound resonated throughout his room, causing his eardrums to tingle. He felt another fit of chills come on, his body trembling. "F-fuck this. I bet its warmer outside."
For no thoroughly thought out reason, Jay tiptoed down his stairs, slipped on a pair of sneakers that had seen better days and grabbed his house keys. He slipped his jacket over his shoulders (not wanting to bother with his bad arm) and crept out his door.
Tremors ran through Jay's body as he breathed in the crisp winter night air. Snow decorated the streets and trees of the suburb like frosting on a cake. The night was crisp and clear. Not a cloud drifted across the sky to block the full, bright moon. The beams reflected off of every surface in the community.
The cold air penetrated Jay's layers and made contact with his skin, he continued shaking.
"Damn winter cold." he said, his breath condensing. "Fuckin' hate this. Why the frig am I out here?" Jay sighed. Rather than going back home, he decided to walk. His footsteps made a soft crunching noise as he trudged down the sidewalk, headed nowhere specific. Walking outside at some ungodly hours seemed incredibly unintelligent, but Jay didn't care. It was no warmer in his bedroom and at least walking could occupy him. He could sort things out.
Not being able to play basketball was one thing, but other things ate away at Jay. People in his school had expectations of athletes, expectations he didn't always want to live up to. Then there was the constant paranoia of people finding out about him, his secrets, his desires. People expected way to much of athletes, it pissed him off to no end. He felt like he needed to be this person... He didn't know what to do if he wasn't. All high school guy athletes are supposed to fit the definition of being "the man". But Jay felt like he was broken. He felt as if he was made wrong. He had a terminal flaw, but he'd never let anyone know what those were. Yes, the perils of high school Jay were vexing, but nothing so irked him so much as the fact that he was freezing his ass off.
"Fuck." he mumbled, "Fuck, fuck, fuck. Its so friggin' cold." Jay plodded down the sidewalk, his feet crunching in the fresh dusting of snow.
Jay's head snapped to the source of the sound. After walking so far from his house, he got to the community park of the suburb. Past the jungle-jims and swing sets, the woods which lined the backs of all the houses on that side of the street began.
Jay surveyed the area. There was not a single creature, not even a mouse.
Jay entered the gates of the park. He could tell he was getting closer to the sound. He cursed under his breath as his body shivered.
Following the sound, Jay treaded past the playground, into the woods. Moonlight filtered beneath the bare branches of trees, casting dancing shadows on the diamond white ground. Jay's eyes darted around.
The sound assailed Jay's ears from every angle, corner, and direction. Confused, all the teenage boy could manage to do was turn around as each sound pounded into his ears. Panicked, he broke out into a heedless run.
Jay didn't register much until he figured out he slipped on ice and fell face first into snow. God knows how far he was into the woods. He sat on his butt and dusted himself off, seething. The icy cold of the snow seemed to sink into his skin. The crippled boy quaked, freezing.
"What am I doing here?" Jay asked, referring to his current situation. He looked at the sky, the silver moon shining down.
"What am I doing? What am I doing at life?!" Jay hugged his knees trying to keep warm. He rested his forehead on his knees and looked down, like his crotch might have the answers.
"What am I going to do with myself. The one thing I'm good for, basketball, I can't do." he sighed and continued mumbling to himself, "My grades are decent... Average, I guess. I just have to play it cool..." He sighed again, "But, no matter what I do... I'm broken." He clenched his hands, "There's nothing I can do to fix me. Ugh... God damn...."
Jay was sure he could feel frost starting to form at the tip of his nose. "F-fuck. Why is it so cold? Gods, I really do hate winter. I hate everything about it." his voice grew louder, "Why does it have to be so cold?" Jay's temper grew. In the midst of the woods, he started peeling back layers, letting off pent up aggression.
"Screw this. Screw everything! Screw you! F-fucking trees! And screw you snow!" he stood up, "I hate this. Fuck. God dammit! Fuck you December! Fuck you! I hate everything about you." he wailed. His voice rung out clear in the woods, echoing in the distance.
Jay stood up and continued in his rant, roaring "I hate my life. I'm like a broken friggin' toy! Take my to the stupid Island of Misfit Toys! Fuckin' dammit! Fuck snow! Fuck ice! Screw the ice. I hate it. I hate winter. I hate December. I hate you. I hate you Winter. Friggin' Mother Nature, you're a friggin' bitch. Fuck it. Fuck all of it. Fuck you snow! Fuck you icicles! Fuck you Jack Frost! I hate winter."
"…Hate winter." the woods echoed back. Breathing heavily, Jay plopped back onto the frozen ground, still breathing heavily. "…Hate winter." the woods still echoed.
"Yes I hate winter." he groaned. "…Hate winter." the voice still responded. Jay stopped talking, he was done. He thought he was hallucinating, he still heard a faint "…Hate winter." resound in the woods.
"…Hate winter." he heard it again. Instead of a fading echo, it grew louder and more clear. Jay sat at alert. He scoured the woods. "…Hate winter." He surveyed the woods. No sign of anything, not a soul, yet the sound grew and formed a sentence, "…You hate winter." Jay became flustered,"Wh-what? Who's there? What the?!"
"How could you hate winter?" the voice said.
"Wh-what the hell? Who's there? Who is that? Who's there? What did you say?!" Jay freaked out. His head turned in every which direction, trying to find the root of the voice.
"I asked, how could you hate winter?" the voice said again, it was audible and distinct.
On the brink of hysterics, Jay asked "Wh-what? Who are you? What are you ta-" Jay turned his head.
"I said, How could you hate winter?" The source of the voice was now apparent to Jay. The source of the voice was now standing right next to where Jay sat. The source of the voice was the oddest man you'd ever seen.
Jay scooted away, which was futile. The man just followed. It wasn't until Jay scooted into a spot of bright moonlight that he could clearly see the man. Jay ogled at the figure before him. He had gone from panic into disbelief. He could no longer think of anything other than "What the fuck?"
The tall figure belonged to a young man, no older than 19. He was no ordinary man. His skin and hair was silver, the tip of his nose and his cheeks were tinged with blue, where normal humans would have red. His ears were pointed just slightly and he donned a rather ridiculous outfit which seemed rather impractical for the cold weather. If you looked beyond all the oddities, he was indeed a handsome young man. All Jay could do was gape at this young man. The man had a crooked, almost idiotic smile on his face as he watched Jay.
The man spoke, "Well, geez, its just a question. Its a rather simple one at that. I mean, you'd think someone could tell you why they hate something. If you can't even tell me that, than perhaps you don't really hate it that much at all... Are you getting me here?" His voice was frolicsome, lively, and amiable. That didn't make things process any better on Jay's side.
Jay wasn't sure what to say. He attempted to carefully calculate something to say to this odd creature of a man, but words failed him. The stranger leaned up against a tree, looking down at Jay with a manner of amusement. Jay looked up at the stranger, slightly embarrassed, slightly distraught, and huffed. He wasn't sure why the stranger was entertained, but he didn't like the stranger eying him like he was something to be made fun of.
"Wh-who are you?" Jay finally questioned.
"Who am I? Who am I? Why, you should know! You're the one who called me here in the first place!" the stranger told him, a laugh in his voice.
"What are you talking about? Answer my question!" Jay tried sounding authoritative, but his question came out as more of an involuntary squeal.
"You yelled my name to the high heavens. They prolly could've heard it in Asia." the stranger said. Jay just looked at him in wonder. The stranger took a deep breath and announced "I'm Jack Frost."
"W-wait. What?" Jay was baffled. Jay was cold. Jay was baffled and cold. Jay didn't like his current situation, especially since baffled and cold are two of his least favorite things.
The man declared, "I'm Jack Frost, Mr. Winter, the guy that makes the snow and the ice and the cold. Which, you strongly abhor, if I recall correctly."
Jay decided that he would suffer much less agony if he gave up and went with whatever he saw happening in front of him. He nodded, agreeing with the man's last statement.
"So may I ask, who are you, to have called me at this time?" asked Jack. He stretched his hand out and helped Jay stand up.
"M-my name is Jay. I'm s-seventeen and I used to play basketball. I'm a junior and uh, I like sports and stuff. Uh I also like the color teal and I love Will Ferrell movies and the Pittsburgh Steelers." Jay said with a shiver.
"Is that it?" Jack mused, "That's all you are, seventeen and sports and dumb movies. There's nothing else to ya? Nothing at all?"
Jack startled Jay with his tone. Jay couldn't remember the last time anyone so forwardly demanded himself to dig deeper. Jay couldn't remember because nobody bothered to probe beyond shallow interests. He wasn't sure he liked this guy. "Well I... Why is that any of your business?" Jay challenged.
Jack shrugged, "Well why don't we get back to the original question. Why on earth do you hate winter? Its such a wonderful time of year."
"Its the worst," Jay protested, "Its cold and icy. Snow and ice make getting places harder. The cold makes being outside unbearable. Th-there's nothing good about it."
"Nothing? Nothing?" Jack looked at Jay and snickered, "Tell ya what. How's about I show you a good, winter time! Let's make a deal. If by the end of the night, you haven't changed your thoughts of winter, I'll owe you a favor. Since I'm Mr. Winter, that's not too bad a deal, see. If by the end of the night, you're thoughts change, which they will, I get something from you."
Jay looked up at the slightly taller silver man before him. It didn't make sense. What was happening didn't make sense. Of all the things and feelings this made Jay have, sense was not one of those things. Despite the completely unreasonable nature of the situation, Jay played with the idea.
"But what if I just lie and say I still hate winter?" Jay asked. Jack shook his head, "You think I'm that easy to fool? I'd be able to tell if you were lyin'! And trust me by the end of tonight, you're gonna be in love with winter." Jack flashed a dimpled grin at Jay.
The brunette stuck his hand out, "Deal."
"I thought you'd see things my way." Jack shook hands with Jay. At that moment everything faded to darkness.