Written by Silver
It wasn’t the first time Skyla had seen snow, but it was the most she’d seen in a long time. Her father had been outside for the past hour shovelling it from their drive, working up a sweat in his new winter jacket and dusty work boots. As she sat by the window, Skyla watched her father with disinterest, occasionally adjusting her body warmer and the sleeves on her white Christmas jumper. She was fidgeting more than usual, her fingers twitching. Really, the snow would have been just fine, perhaps even amusing, if her dad wasn’t planning on a trip to Disneyland this weekend. With Skyla turning 12, it was meant to be a surprise for her birthday. But instead of sheer delight, she found the tang of bitterness. It was all around her, in the air, in her bones, in the stupid biscuit jar that she could never reach. And particularly after her mother had left only a couple of weeks ago.
Leanne had told Skyla she was leaving back in October. Ever since the accident, her mother had always blamed herself. Skyla supposed it was due to the fact she was driving at the time. But it was never her mother’s fault, it was the idiotic driver in the white van who wasn’t paying attention. Though Skyla had never voiced her opinions on the accident, Leanne always seemed to know the hidden truth. Skyla had pushed those thoughts far down inside of her. There was always hope that she would be able to walk again; a tiny spark that just needed to be ignited and tended to in the right way.
Her father was still shovelling snow. She desperately wanted to be outside, crunching her feet on the freshly laid powder. Maybe she would be able to one day, but paralysis was something that was very difficult to overcome. Skyla thought about the robotic legs the government was currently testing on paralysis patients; she hoped one day that could be her.
Snapped out of her daydream, Skyla’s father called to her – rather he mouthed her name through the window – and she wheeled over to the front door, skirting around the armchair.
“I’ve been calling you for ages, Sky.” Stephen said, shivering slightly.
“Oh, sorry.” Skyla cast her eyes to the ground.
Stephen scuffed his boots together and crouched to his daughter’s level. Taking off his gloves, he took his large, scraped hands and clasped hers, kissing them.
“Sky, I know it’s hard. And this damn weather is just frustrating as hell. But I’m going to make the most of this time with you.”
She looked up at this point, meeting his eyes. His face flushed, his nose a deep pink from the cold, but his eyes glistened. And there on his eyelash was the tiniest snowflake she’d ever seen.
“Dad, don’t move. Don’t flicker your eyelashes. Just give me a minute.”
The snowflake held its form for less than a second. But before it melted into her skin, Skyla saw the intricate pattern.
“I’ve just realised something, Dad,” she said as Stephen raised his eyebrows and fingered her blonde curls. “No snowflake is the same. They’re all different but eventually they come together to make a bigger picture. I think I’m a snowflake, Dad. My body’s now just a different pattern that’s all. Maybe I’ll get my old pattern back one day, or find a new pattern in electronic limbs. But the thing is, I still have a pattern just like that snowflake. And that’s what matters.”
Stephen smiled, “Well of course, honey, you’re named after the very sky snowflakes are born from.”
As part of the HHC for last month under the theme ‘Spark’, Silver’s short story is a special piece full of hope and determination. As a teenager, she feared she would be paralysed from the waist down following two horrible accidents. But luck was with her and recovered the feeling in her legs. However, not everyone is as lucky as that, with Skyla as a prime example. A heart-warming piece ready in time for Christmas. If you enjoyed Silver’s work, make sure you check out her poem ‘Spirit‘ and short story ‘Fraction‘.
Featured Image // Julie Falk