Every time Susanna Leonard Hill holds a writing contest, I think, “Oh geez, that sounds fun, but I’m so busy and I have no idea what I would write about,” and then two hours later I have an idea, and then of course I have to write it. So there you go.
This week kicks off her 4th annual Holiday Contest, which is all about weather. As she says:
Write a children’s story (children here defined as approximately age 12 and under) in which wild weather impacts the holidays! Your story may be poetry or prose, silly or serious or sweet, religious or not, based on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate, but is not to exceed 350 words.
And so this, in my slightly quirky fashion, is what I came up with (at 267 words), inspired by my time living in South Florida. Enjoy — and by all means enter the contest!
Zinnia glared at the palm trees and people in shorts. She scuffed her sneakers on the hot sidewalk.
“It’s not real snow,” she said.
The worst part of moving to Florida was no white Christmas. No snowman. No snowball fights. No snow angels.
The best her town could do was a snow machine. “It’s just going to melt,” Zinnia grumbled, feeling sweaty.
“Happy Christmas Eve!” boomed the mayor. “Everyone ready?”
The other children in the park nodded, bouncing with excitement.
The men turned on the snow machine. Whirr spat spurt, little blobs of snow sailed out onto the ground.
Everyone except Zinnia cheered.
A man in a red suit, walking past, stopped and bent down. “What’s wrong, sweetie?”
Zinnia said, “I wish this was real snow.”
The snow machine RUMBLED.
Pow! A river of snow shot out of the tube.
It sprayed the trees. It spattered the people. It blew everywhere.
“Run!” yelped the mayor. Everyone ran.
WHOOSH, the snow kept coming. It swirled and blew in great white gusts.
Lizards skittered away. Crabs hid under their claws. Birds flew north for the winter.
Finally, the machine sputtered to a stop.
Everything was white. Everyone was cold.
“This is a catastrophe!” the mayor cried.
“Yaaaaaaayyyyy!” Zinnia flung herself onto the ground and made snow angels. “This is the best snowstorm ever!”
The other children looked at each other, shrugged and made snow angels too.
They had an epic snowball battle.
They built the only snowman in Florida.
“Thanks for my white Christmas, Santa,” Zinnia whispered to the man in the red suit.
Santa winked. “Anytime.”