Monday Flash Fic: The Patient

Snow family“They exist!” he screamed. “I’ve seen them. They live in the clearing near Breck’s Pond.”

“Calm down, Dennis.” I made a note in his file: schizophrenic. He’d been brought in two days ago, raving about a “family of snow people.” The seemingly endless winters of the last few decades were taking their toll on fragile people like him. It didn’t help he kept going off his meds, and when he did, he eventually showed up here. “Did they speak to you?”

“Not to me, no,” he said in a somewhat quieter voice. “They talked to each other. There’s a mother, a father, and a boy.” He narrowed his eyes at me. He’d been restrained to prevent him from hurting himself or others, and though he almost continually tested the stasis field, I was in no danger.

“And what did they say, Dennis?” He was my last patient of the day. It had been a grueling Monday, and I couldn’t wait to get home to my dinner and a glass of wine.

His near-whisper was harsh. “They’re gonna take over the world, that’s what. They said their time had come, and humans had a big surprise in store for them.”

Well, he was inventive, I’d give him that, but it was a typical paranoid fantasy engendered by the voices in his head. “Does it make sense that snowmen would be plotting our downfall?” I asked. “They’d just get started, then spring would come and melt them.” I cringed internally at how stupid that sounded, but when reasoning with someone chemically off their rocker, one never knew what magic combination of words would show them the way back to reality.

“No more spring,” he hissed. “Winter forever now, and on the rare warm days, they hide in the woods until it’s cold enough again.”

His fantasy was certainly consistent, and it made sense in light of our continuing climate change toward year ’round below freezing temps. More’s the pity; I missed the heat of long-ago summers.

I wrapped up the session, gave instructions to the attendant regarding Dennis’s medicine, donned my heavy coat, hat, and gloves, and left. I lived nearby, and walking to and from work gave me exercise I desperately needed.

The way home took me past Breck’s Pond, and on a whim, I detoured through the woods nearby, taking a little-used path. It started to snow, and I lifted the collar on my coat against the icy wind. It would be dark soon.

As I neared the pond, I struck off toward the clearing Dennis had mentioned and saw through the maples a family of snow people, sitting on chairs around a table. I stopped at the treeline and smiled. The kids had been busy, and I could see how, in Dennis’s fevered mind, they might seem alive. They wore hats, smiles made of twigs, and one had a bright red scarf wound around its neck.

A twig arm moved, and I heard words on the breeze. “It starts tomorrow.”


Almost didn’t do one this week. Got really busy with work, and Sunday, I wrote all afternoon and into the evening. But here it is! 🙂

Check out the other flash fics here.


About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter, Google +, and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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30 Responses to Monday Flash Fic: The Patient

  1. ohhh this was good!!! I loved it

  2. Helena Stone says:

    Oh, nice one. Haunting music started playing in my head on that last line. I’m so glad you found the time to write this. It would have been a shame to miss out on this wonderful tale.

  3. Jaycee Edward says:

    All kinds of joy. This brought me all kinds of joy.

  4. I’m never going to look at a snowman the same again after this week! Love it!

  5. Allison says:

    I kind of want to add Kevin’s picture of the icy light on our porch from last night to this one now. I can see them plotting beneath it. Love it!

  6. I heard 39F here and got all excited – things will thaw and drip!!

  7. AND!!! The Great Blue Heron usually come back sometime during this week. Haven’t been down to the valley to see if they’re here yet or not. I’m assuming they have some internal barometric sensor that tells them it’s not “spring” enough yet regardless of date.

  8. suze294 says:

    Oh yes, lovely twist right at the end!

  9. valjo44 says:

    That’s one of those short little stories you laugh about when you read them but later on its kinda of creepy thinking about evil snow people. 😳

  10. valjo44 says:

    I’m not sure I want to think about it……..I get a weird feeling thinking about this story. I guess whatever levels you’re talking about I must be feeling them on a subliminal level. A lot of kick for a short story.

  11. Sara says:

    Okay this one is creepy Theo. The being restrained part and of course, the ending. I love your writing and you got me on this one!

  12. “They exist!” he screamed. LOL. I’m back to read this again. I really enjoyed this and the first line just kills me because I remember clicking over here, thinking, “Wonder what Theo did with this…” and then reading that line. I totally roared. 😀

  13. I love Kathy Bates. 😀

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