To flush or not to flush, that is the question Robin thought. She glanced at her watch and saw the hour hand creeping slowly towards five. Still too early, don’t flush. Robin could never sleep on her birthday. Much like Christmas Day, she had never managed to shake the childlike excitement brewing inside of her.
Robin crept back to her bedroom, turning on the fairy lights that draped over the curtain pole above her window. She pulled back the curtain slightly, checking for any sign that the still gleaming moon was ready to depart. Her mouth gaped open as she rubbed at her eyes, wondering momentarily if they were beginning to malfunction now she had hit the grand old age of eighteen. The lush grass of the lawn below was nowhere to be seen, instead Robin was looking down at the perfectly smooth blanket of snow in its place.
Robin dropped the curtain and raced to her sister's room next door, bursting in with a force strong enough to shake the lamp next to Holly’s bed.
‘Holly!’ she shrieked at her, pulling her thin blanket from the bed ‘Holly, wake up!!’
‘Bloody hell Robin, calm down’ she replied, rubbing her drowsy eyes. Holly took a deep breath before rolling over and turning to face Robin. 'Oh, Happy Birthday! Is it morning already?' Holly croaked, as she leant to pick up her phone.
'Five,' Robin answered abruptly, 'but you need to get up.'
'FIVE! No, I will not get up. Come back when it’s actually a human hour, bloody hell'. Holly then dramatically flopped back onto her side and yanked the blanket out of Robin's hand, covering her entire body with it in one very impressive movement.
'Just please come downstairs, you can come straight back to bed if you want to. It’s snowing Holly, you need to co-'
'Snowing?' Holly repeated 'In July? Nah, surely not.' she mused doubtfully, as she found the strength to depart from her snug bed.
Holly rushed downstairs and to the front door. Without hesitation she removed the rusting chain and opened the door wide, the watery freshness of the newly laid snow washed over her. The dim street lights reflected in her eyes as she looked out at the dazzling street. She spun around and shoved her feet into the nearest flip-flops she could find and looked back at Robin, her lips curling at the edges.
They marched in harmony out into the road, the crunch of the snow sending waves of wistfulness through Robin's body. Robin made her way to the middle of the road and lay down in the unscathed sheet of snow. Her hands caressed the fluffy snow as it melted into her tepid
skin, she began to move her limbs slowly, forming a snow angel in the middle of their suburban street. Her face was glowing with a little moonlight and a lot of joy.
Holly had started writing 'Happy Birthday' onto the bonnets and windows of their neighbour’s car, her index finger throbbing with the icy pain of a familiar winter.
'I can’t believe this,' Holly laughed, turning to her sister, 'it’s your 18th Birthday…. In July, and we’re out in the snow!' Robin smiled back at her as she lay contently in the frosty puddle forming around her.
An eerie creek echoed in the dark as a door near to them opened, startling them. Their neighbour Noel craned his head and stared at them. 'What the hell do you think you two are doing?' he called, his crooked finger tapping aggressively on the plastic door as he spoke. 'This commotion at this ungodly hour, I've half a mind to call the...' his voice began to trail off, muffled into the wind as it blew over him, something about noise pollution.
Robin said nothing as she steadied herself on the sleeted asphalt. Holly shouted back at Noel, her voice echoing throughout the street.
'Have you even noticed Noel, that the street’s covered in snow. In July, Noel. IN JULY!'. Her arms waved manically at the scene around her, and she watched with amused curiosity as the awareness washed over his face. Noel disappeared out of view for a few moments, as Holly and Robin smirked at each other. When they looked back over to the open doorway of number seventy-two, Noel was back, now wrapped in a baggy, tweed jumper that looked like it had seen better days. He bent down slowly to pull his disintegrating loafers over the heel of his foot, before bravely stepping out into the arctic conditions. He crouched down and clawed at the snow, forming a snowball in his shaking hands. He twisted his body awkwardly as he aimed his arm, launching the snowball at his bedroom window. It landed with a thump. Loud enough, perhaps, to wake up his sleeping wife.