An extraordinary surprise

Submitted into Contest #77 in response to: Write a story set in the summer, when suddenly it starts to snow.... view prompt



Deep in the heart of the tropical mountains, where the greenery of the hills and the valleys stood out and the roads bends and forks in to different corners, until you approach the flat service and beyond that, lay a quaint cottage, surrounded by rows of plants, followed by exotic flowers and rows of fruit trees. Martha and Joe Bradshaw lived happily together along with their two children, Josh and Jodie. It was paradise for them, being self sufficient in everything.

The cottage was single story with four bedrooms, a fair size kitchen diner, living room and hidden at the back of the cottage was a logged cabin, in case any guest wanted to stay over. In view from the kitchen area, were the mountains, each morning the mist would fill the air covering the tops and as the day wore it would reveal a clear blue sky, this would last for the whole day.

Martha would normally be the first to wake up, preparing breakfast, collecting the eggs from the chicken coup, and fresh milk from their one and only prize cow. As she busied her self in the kitchen, the sweet smell would linger into the rooms, there was no need to call out, for all three would come out sleepy eyed and excited with breakfast. Joe would come out first and kiss his wife on the cheek,

"Thank you for this beautiful day."

The children would come out soon after, Jodie first then Josh, and sitting at the table,

"Thanks Ma."

It always made her day to see how they appreciated her hard work, for it was not easy to wake up and then to wait patiently for the hens to lay and then to walk a bit further to the their cow, which they name Maisie, and then finally to coaxed the milk from her heavy udders was a tremendous task. She felt proud.

Each day would be the same as any other, Josh and Jodie would attend the local school which was half a mile down the hill, they would walk together, Joe worked the land, toiling the crops, for the lorry load which would be waiting for the cultivation. Martha would be busying her self preparing lunch and sewing.

By the week end, it was time for the family to get together for a pick nick, they would walk higher up where there was a flat grass area, and the two mountains were in full view, they had two pedigree dogs, Flo and Sid, and the children would run and frolic with them until they got tired would sit and eat the packed lunch prepared so delicately by Martha.

It was on Friday afternoon, the children were not back from school, Joe was still in the land and the dogs were with him, Martha was busying getting the washing done, and finally putting them on the clothes line, it was a hot day as usual, not a single cloud in the sky not even on the mountain tops. As soon as she hung out the last sheet, she went in side to prepare lunch, within a few minutes of her going inside, she heard a holler from one of the neighbours', Martha went back out to take a look, to see one of the neighbours in a bit of a terror, so, Martha escorted her to her kitchen and put the kettle on to make a brew,

"Now, what is the matter?" she asked.

The woman began to explain the things that were happening around her. She lived further up the road to Martha, and as she spoke, she kept pointing to the sky,

"Someone is doing something up there!"

"What do you mean?"

"I saw it when I went to feed the animals, I looked up and it appeared."

"What! what appeared?"

"Did you see it?"

"See what!"

With that, Martha looked out side and then up into the sky, she saw a roll of clouds forming very thick and moving quickly, the clouds were fluffy white with a tinge of grey and it was moving spontaneously. Then she noticed the children were not home yet and wondered if they were aware, Joe was still in the land too far away from the cottage, so she put her shoes on and tied a scarf around her long curly hair and spoke to the women,

"Betty, stay here while I go and look for the children...Joe would soon be here...tell him I will not be long."

Within minutes, Martha was already down the road rushing towards the local school, it was when she turned the first bend she saw both of them in hysterics,

"Ma! have you seen the sky?" shrieked Jodie.

It was then Martha looked at the sky again and the roll of cloud she saw before was getting wider and longer, she grabbed her two children by each hand and all three hurried home, Betty was there opening the door quickly and closing it, but there was no sign of Joe and the dogs.

"Where could he be?" Martha was beginning to get worried, for they have never experienced anything like this before. She hurried around the house closing all of the windows and then she remembered Maisie was still in the field, so she rushed out to get her and struggling to pull her into the garage near the house.

"Jodie, Josh go in to the bedroom and stay there...Betty you better stay here with us until we know it is o k for you to go back... where could Joe have got to?"

Martha continued to finish the cooking, not that anyone was hungry and as she finished she stored them in tight containers. The weather had changed, it started to get cold, luckily, she had covers in the basement and took them out and put on to the bed,

"I want you two to wrap yourselves around these...Betty here is one for you...we will have to wait for Joe, I am sure he should be on his way."

The clouds grew thicker and darker and stayed still for while, they were all in the larger of the bed rooms, huddled together, no one spoke until, a loud knock came to the door, it was Joe, he was shouting,

"Martha! Martha! let me in."

Martha hurried to the door, when Joe entered, he was covered in white stuff,

"What is that on you!" she shrieked.

Joe brushed off the white stuff quickly and the Josh gasped out,

"Ma! there's white stuff falling from the sky...look!"

Martha went to the main window of the living room and opened the curtains to see heavy white stuff falling and settling on to the ground, the hill top the fields in the distance. Joe came to her side, wiping himself with a towel and asked,

"What is happening to our island?"

"I don't know but I am sure someone knows."

January 20, 2021 17:34

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