‘Do you think it is warm up there ?’, Peter asked his dad.
‘I do not know son. It could be very cold.’, his father replied as he moved a case from one side of the room to the other.
‘Could we go and see. It’s too cold down here.’
‘It is no colder than yesterday, or last week. You know it could be too hot up there.’
‘I think I would prefer too hot.’
Peter’s father stopped pushing the case and sat on it. ‘We’ve spoken about this before son. If it is too hot, we will die.’
Peter crossed his arms and put on his best sulking face. ‘I wont die, I know I can take the heat. Please can’t we go and see.’
Peter’s father sighed, ‘Not yet. I will look out in a week or two. Then I will be able to tell you how much longer we need to wait.’
‘I hate waiting.’, Peter said as he stamped his foot,’ I’m sure we did not wait this long last year.’
‘I’m afraid we did. And this year we may have to wait a little longer.’
Peter sighed and sat down, ‘But I don’t want to wait any longer. I want to go up top now. I want to see the world when the sun is high in the sky and heating up the ground.  I want to see all the summery plants and animals. Grandfather went to see them last year.’
‘And he never came back. When we get old and grey we all go to the top in summer. We take a look at the summer world and remember it as we die.’, Peter’s father shifted on the case, ‘I do not want you to see the summer world yet. I don’t want you to die young.’
Peter looked worried, he did not want to die either, but he did not believe he would die. Surely you could not die from just seeing the sun, surely the heat would not kill him off. It would be much nicer than the cold. Peter knew he was different.
‘Father my toes feel numb, surely I should warm them.’
His father gave him a puzzled look, he had never heard anyone have numb toes before or anyone want to go up into the sun so much. It was too hot outside for their kind, they just would have to wait until winter. It would be cold then. Just right for them.
‘It is time for bed now.’, the father said.
Peter sighed and curled up on his ledge in the corner of their room. His father smiled at him as Peter closed his eyes. Father then went and laid down on his own ledge and quickly went to sleep.
Peter looked across at his father, he was definitely asleep. Peter could now take a peek outside. He moved from his sleeping ledge and made his way to the ladder. He looked over at his father to make sure he was still asleep, then made his way up to the trap door. Peter slowly opened the trap door, the warm air from above blew in. Peter smiled this was much better than the cold of his home. He pushed the trap door completely open and climbed out. The air was much warmer than inside, Peter’s fingers and toes began to tingle with the warmth. Peter knew this was wrong, but it felt so right. He closed the trap door and shook. The warmth was flowing through his body he could feel the ends of his fingers beginning to melt. Maybe this was wrong, he thought. Maybe it was still too warm to come outside. Peter began to shiver as his cold ice skin began to melt. He still felt good, as more of his skin melted he felt warmer, more alive than ever before.
Peter brushed the ice skin away from his arms. They felt different underneath, there was still something there. He was not melting away. Peter was puzzled and happy. He was not all ice, as his father had told him.  He was something more. He brushed more of the ice away from his body, he felt fur underneath. He felt muscle and bone. He felt good.
Peter noticed the sky begin to lighten, the day would be warmer still. He would not feel the cold any longer, his fur would dry in the sun. Peter knew now his father had always been wrong, the weather was never too warm. It was just right, for the furry creature he was.
Peter just stood and took in the warmth of the day as the sun rose. Moving around just enough so he could warm another part of himself more in the sun.  A roar of pain came from the ground below. It was Peter’s father. He knew where Peter had gone, there was only one place he would go.  Peter looked over at the hatch as it opened, his father’s head looked out then stared in disbelief at Peter.  Confusion spread of his fathers face, he obviously did not understand how Peter could be different.  It was not normal.  Peter’s father sighed, stepped back down the ladder and closed the door. He knew he was not different, he knew he was normal, he would melt. It was a shame he had lost his son, but life went on.
Peter knew it was time to walk away, start his new life in his new body. His father would not accept him back, he sighed and looked off towards the road ahead of him.  He smiled as he noticed something behind the trees, he focused his eyes and looked again. Standing in the trees were two other furry creatures watching him. Watching and waiting, waiting to become his friends.

Tagged with: