excerpt ::

Sunninghill Snow

“Follow me, woman and I’ll show you to the perfect long and gradual hill to have a proper slide.” Grabbing
her hand once more, he made a quick detour back to the house to seize the saucer. He wedged it under one arm and held her hand tightly while they headed out into the vacant field across from the neighbor’s cottage.

“I don’t see any good hill, Bryce,” she said in a laughing voice. “Patience, Katie.” He began to jog with her
and sled in tow, to the top of the rise. What had appeared to be just a blip in the horizon of the terrain, was in fact the crest of a long downhill tumble of ground leading to a meandering tree-lined stream. Two more cottages were visible half-mile away, smoke curling from their chimneys, snow hugging them in the midst of a bordering oasis of trees. As they topped the rise, and this pastoral scene spread before them, Kay gasped.

“God, it’s beautiful. Currier and Ives couldn’t have painted anything prettier.”

“I wrapped it up, just for you.” He dropped the sled to the ground, banded his arms around her from behind and lowered them both onto the saucer.

“Whoa…I didn’t say I was ready for this, yet.” Giving a push with his powerful thighs, they were propelled off the edge of the rise and careened downward towards the stream. Kay screamed as they picked up speed and turned so that she was facing backwards. “Where’s the controls on this thing?” she squealed. He held onto her tightly as they spun in haphazard trajectory down the hill.

“That’s the fun of a saucer. No control,” he screeched in glee.

They struck a mound hidden by snow and flew over it in air, spun around once and plummeted off the saucer in a pile of arms and legs. The saucer, freed from its encumbrance of human cargo, skittered the rest of the way down the hill and plopped into the swift stream. By the time they had stopped roaring in laughter at the shear childish joy of being tossed to the wind and dashed in a tumble, the saucer had spun across the water and gotten caught in a rush of reeds on the opposite side.

Bryce sat on his arse, legs spread, leaning back on his locked arms. He laughed at Kay’s snow tussled hair and petulant grin.

“No, no…don’t move. I’ll get it.” Kay chided. She pushed herself to standing and stumbled down the hill towards the stream.

Bryce continued to laugh. “It’s not worth the effort, Katie,” he yelled after her. She reached the stretch of
ground that leveled out and led to the bank. “No, Katie. Don’t go after it. It’s not safe, love.” His expression and voice turned from humor to concern. He stood and began to negotiate the descent. She plodded
toward the edge of the water. “Katie. You can’t tell where the land ends and ice begins” His voice strained to reach her with an edge of escalating urgency. He now took long bounds downhill.

“Katie, stop!”

“I’m not a wimp, Bryce. I can do this.” She took two more steps towards the water, turned to look at him and disappeared.


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