Lights in the Snow

He didn't know where it started. It could have been back at the light, where the moron almost hit him with a car. It could have been across the street from Peggy's Diner, where the two drunks were arguing over who was the bigger idiot. It might have even been back at his apartment, where he slipped down the stairs and broke his cell phone.

Well, he didn't know where it started, but he knew where it ended.

It was ten minutes after getting off the train when he saw her. Sitting on the curb, bags surrounding her, and hands pressed to her face. Shoulders shaking, face turned toward the ground, she looked utterly miserable.

Much more than he, admittedly. A smack to the face on the levels of despair.

"Ma'am?" he asked, cautiously stepping closer. Even if she was a woman, it wouldn't be the first time one tried to stab him. Startled, brown eyes dart to look at him, blinking rapidly. Confusion warps her dirty face, and her hoarse voice shows it easily as well.

"Do you need help?" she asks the man, and it's his turn to feel unsure. That's what he wanted to ask her. He takes a step back, but she smiles and pats the ground next to her.

"Come, watch the lights with me," she offers. He stands next to her, looking in the direction she's watching.

There are no lights.

"Sit down," she insists, touching the curb. Unsure, he sits down, feeling the damp snow soak into the denim. He continues to look for the lights, but still sees nothing.

"Watch the snow," she gently tells him, her voice low and soothing. "Watch how the street lights, the city lights, the moonlight, plays on the flakes."

He can see it. The faint glimmers, flickers, dancing between the heaven and the earth.

Two children, across the road, chase each other down the sidewalk. Their laughter mingles in with the traffic. A smiling mother walks behind them, burdened with bags.

They seem to glow in the lights of the night.

"Can you see them?" she asks him. He nods, and they continue to watch.

When the ambulance pulled away from the curb, two frozen bodies held in the back, the lights flashing red and blue mingled with the others in the snow.


  1. That was a pretty neat little story. I was interested to see how it ended. Quite nice.


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