Sharp Winter

“What’s the big news?” Nancy asked as soon as she opened the door. Melanie smiled broadly and her eyes twinkled as she walked into Nancy’s house. Snow had been falling since January 1st and very few people seemed to notice. Nancy noticed in March, and her waitress happened to be Melanie; someone else that noticed.

Their shared secret helped the two women bond quickly. Melanie introduced Nancy to several other weather-astute friends; and, over time she became part of their group. That evening Melanie attended a meeting that Nancy was unable to make. She called Nancy and said it was “SOMETHING MAJOR”, they had to talk tonight.

“We have an answer now,” Melanie said; she appeared to be vibrating with excitement despite her calm.

“You do!? REALLY? TELL ME!!” Nancy grabbed her friend’s shoulders and gave her a firm shake.

“Someone new showed up to the meeting. She knew what was going on and what we were up to. It was kind of scary at first; she had that kind of ‘mob boss’ vibe with a sexy bodyguard and everything. I thought she was going to have us all killed.

“Well, you’re not dead,” Nancy smiled. The pair of women relocated to Nancy’s kitchen. When Melanie insisted she was on her way, Nancy put a kettle on. “But you will be if you don’t explain the snow to me right now,” she added as they sat at the table and began fixing their cups.

“I will,” Melanie said. “But, it’s complicated…,” she paused for a moment, then reconsidered. “No, not complicated I guess. But pretty unbelievable. It sounds crazy, but I promise you I can prove everything I say; I just need you not to freak out completely when you hear it.”

“I promise I won’t freak out,” Nancy said. Melanie nodded and reached into her purse she set on the table. She pulled a small rectangle of glass from it. It was about the size and thickness of a standard playing card.

“I tried to get you one of these, but Ms. Sharp, that’s the mob boss I told you about, said you had to claim it in person. I’ll take you tomorrow.”

“Yeah, okay. What about the SNOW?” Nancy asked.

“I’m getting to that, hold your horses.” Melanie placed the glass card on the table in front of her. “You like video games, right?” she asked. Nancy only narrowed her eyes in response; then, Melanie made an encouraging motion with her hand. “Humor me,” she said.

“Yeah, I like video games. I need something to distract me from all the SNOW.” Melanie sighed and giggled at the same time.

“Fine, I wanted to ease you into it; but, since you can’t wait, here you go.” Melanie lifted the glass rectangle and tapped it. Nancy saw a clock appear on the screen like a cellphone. Melanie continued tapping and swiping as Nancy watched colorful icons scroll by. When she stopped, Melanie looked back at Nancy and winked.”Life is a game,” she said and tapped the glass one more time. Nancy was surprised when snow started falling in her kitchen. “A real, literal game.” She wiggled the glass at Nancy. “And Ms. Sharp gave us the controller.”

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