What a mess! What an absolute mess, that’s all Tim could think about as he trudged through the snow clutching his coat about him in an attempt to keep the bone chilling wind at bay. All he wanted was to play a little baseball with his friends like any other 11 year old kid, was that too much to ask? It most certainly was not! He said to himself. Spring should have arrived long ago he thought as he kicked his way through a small snow drift; Old man winter had no right to deny a kid his outdoor fun this time of year. That’s how he found himself outside in a sudden snow flurry that made him regret his steadfast resolve to make it to the baseball diamond behind his school no matter what. Now it seemed to be growing even colder, the wind had noticeably picked up, and it was much darker than it was just a moment before. Fear and despair started creeping into the back of Tim’s mind as his imagination picked up speed. Thoughts of young boys found frozen like popsicles popped into his head. At that point he realized that he would rather be anywhere but where he was right then.
The snow covered terrain had blurred once easily identifiable landmarks and he came to the conclusion that he was quite lost. “Helllllllllllllllllp Meeeeeeeeeeeee!” He desperately called out but the wind carried his words away, he tried to squint through the blizzard but the snow made it all but impossible to see. He spun about frantically, desperate for some shelter against the torrent of ice and snow that had swiftly reached epic proportions. Through the snow Tim could barely make out the dark shape of a large building across a large expanse of white snow, “Could it be” he thought, I hadn’t’t realized I made it this far. With a resolve fueled by fear of becoming the first ever little boy flavored popsicle he stumbled off on frozen feet towards what he prayed was the concrete dugout at the baseball field behind his school. With each step the wind and snow grew in strength, he soon felt as if he was walking directly into the lair of Old Man winter himself. He had long since given up trying to hold his jacket closed, and his jeans were as stiff as cardboard from the snow and ice. For once, he wished he had listened to his mother and grabbed his gloves and scarf. His ears stung in the freezing wind and he feared to touch them else they fall off completely frozen into his hands, he had heard tales of things like that happening in extreme conditions such as the one he found himself in now. He was certain, now that he had gotten a little closer that he was indeed at the baseball field, he didn’t’t bother looking for any of his friends, they were probably at home, warm and dry watching the blizzard from the safe confines of their bedrooms, “Boy what I wouldn’t’t give for some hot chocolate right this moment,” Tim thought to himself. After what seemed like an eternity he reached the walls of the dugout and scrambled around to the front to slip inside and out of onslaught of the storm. Tim’s heart sank as he yanked on the door to the dugout, glistening in the storm was a heavy chain locking the door and dashing all hope Tim had of escaping the worst of the elements.
Finally for the first time Tim felt real fear, he knew it wouldn’t’t be long before he really did turn into an ice cube. He couldn’t’t feel his feet, his hands, his ears or nose for that matter. Pictures of the frostbite victims his teacher showed them during science were fresh in his mind and he knew that on Monday all of his classmates would be looking at pictures of Timothy J. McStinson the first boy to ever be frozen in ice just for wanting to play a little baseball! Tim knew he had reached the end of the line, he could hear old man winter calling out to him through the storm. Timmmmmmmmmmmmm-eeeeeeeeeeeeee the storm seemed to howl. As he sank down to the ground against the wall of the dugout he heard his name again on the wind TIIIMMMMMMM-EEEEEEEE, it was closer that time, Tim covered his head with his coat refusing to look at what most certainly was the last thing he would ever see. He felt a cold hand grip his shoulder, the hand of Old Man winter come to claim his spirit, could this really be the end for Tim, taken at an early age with some many baseballs left un-hit. Unable to bear it any longer, Tim let loose a shout and his eyes popped open, he stared up at an Old Man Winter that looked surprisingly like his mother! He looked around and couldn’t’t find a speck of ice or snow, not a single snow flake. He looked back at his mom who was standing at the foot of his bed looking quite startled.
TIIIIIIMMMMMMMM-EEEEEEEE! Suddenly afraid again he jumped off his bed and ran to his bedroom window and looked out, could old man winter be there to claim his spirit after all? What he saw brought a smile to his face and warmth to his heart. All of his friends were assembled below, Sam, Doug, Tim number two, who insisted on being called the big timber, Kevin along with his twin brother Keith, and Michelle who had a pretty good throwing arm for a girl. All of his friends with their bikes, mitts, and bats were apparently waiting on him. He looked over to his mother who had been chattering away for some time now and caught the end of her rant, “Really Timmy your friends have been yelling for you outside my kitchen window for about 10 Minutes now and I’ve had just about enough of it! What are you doing up here asleep on a beautiful spring day anyway? A young kid such as you should be out playing baseball and having fun not laying about all day in dreamland! Now I expect you up and out of the house this instant!” And with that she exited the room.
Looking around his bedroom Tim scrambled over to his desk to snatch up his glove, spun on one foot and opened the closet to grab his bat, he noticed as he turned around that the date was April 16th and it was a Saturday. Going back over to the window he paused a moment to let the sun shine over him as he waved in acknowledgment to his friends. The breeze was warm and soothing and it carried the scent of spring that any 11 year old boy could instantly recognize. What a glorious day it was indeed. Not a cloud in the sky, the wildflowers in the garden beneath his window were vibrant and healthy beneath a warm spring sun. Feeling relieved he turned from the window and headed towards his bedroom door. He remembered the nightmare vividly and despite the temperature in the room he could still feel the cold of the howling wind on his face. With one hand on the doorknob he looked back at his bed, and shivered.