‘Matty,’ Dad calls. I’m out back, chopping wood. Helps me stay calm. Dad and I get on a lot better since I’ve taken charge of the firewood.
‘Matt, Dad. I’m not a little kid anymore.’
‘Don’t I know it,’ he grumbles. He holds out an envelope.
‘A letter? What century is this?’
Dad’s frowning. I put down the axe and take the letter. It’s my name alright. In Mom’s handwriting. I hand it back.
‘Snow’s on its way. I’d better finish with the logs.’
‘Don’t you want to know?’
‘No. She’s about four years too late. I’ll be a while.’
Todd’s about to go looking for Matty when the door opens.
‘Where’s the firewood?’
‘I got thinking, Dad.’
The sun’s out and meltwater’s dripping off the roof.
‘It’s the drive. We’re not snowed in anymore.’
‘How d’you know?’
‘I walked down to the road.’
Todd nods. He knows what’s coming. He’s had all winter to find the right words. All winter wasn’t long enough.
‘Mom’ll come home now, right?’
Todd told Matty that Helen got stuck in civilisation with the roads closed for winter. He shouldn’t have lied. But Helen shouldn’t have left them without telling Matty she won’t return.
Friday Fictioneers time. You can spend the whole weekend reading stories if you like.