"Wish 1" by Romeo Esparrago
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Shoveling Snow
by Andrew Darling


Excuse me, sir, may I take a look at that magazine? I just can't seem to get to sleep. Too excited, I guess. I probably should have brought a book, but I left in sort of a hurry.

No, I've never been to Hawaii before. It'll be nice to get someplace warm for a change. I checked the weather in Honolulu on the Internet a couple days ago. It's supposed to be in the eighties all week; a tiny slice of heaven in February, huh? So why are you heading to Hawaii?

Your niece is getting married? Congratulations. I was guessing you were on vacation. But a wedding... wow. I imagine it's the perfect place for it. And I guess the couple won't have to go too far for the honeymoon.

Well, yes, I guess you could say I'm going on vacation. I shovel snow for a living, and it's been a long, hard season. Besides, I really had to get out of Wyoming.

Heh, heh. Yeah, I get that a lot. But no, I actually hate the cold. I've lost two toes over the years to frostbite, though, to be honest, the first was when I was only ten in a non-shoveling-related accident. But cold is part of the job, and I've been doing it since I was sixteen. Now, look at me, grizzled and nearly fifty, but believe you me, I know my snow. Heh, heh. But all that's behind me now. I really burned my bridges this time.

No, I don't mind telling you at all. You see, I've brought about the destruction of the United States, and most likely I've caused an ecologicial cataclysm hither toe... heather to... hitherto unknown to man. Guess I should practice that a little more.

I imagine I'm going to have to get used to your reaction. I'm sure I'll be getting it a lot, but I'm not kidding one bit, and if you bear with me for a second I think I can explain. It is a long flight, after all, and it doesn't look like you can sleep anymore than I can.

Excellent. I'll do my best. As I mentioned, I shovel snow. Yellowstone National Park is an amazing place to visit and camp in the summer, but in the winter, it completely shuts down. There's an occasional die-hard rock climber or nature photographer, but, for the most part, the snow drives everyone out. It's not unusual to get two feet in a single night.

With all that snow and no one around, the buildings just can't take it. In a matter of a couple weeks, their roofs would collapse under the weight of the snow. So Yellowstone employs a caretaker, me, to go around to all of the buildings, cabins, and outhouses of the park and shovel the snow off their roofs. Every single day. And I'm never to let a building go more than four days, not even the brick weather station. You know you're in a rut when you're digging out a weather station.

Most of the time, you can't even see the walls of the buildings. You're just standing on a mound of snow taking it on faith and thirty years of memory that there's a roof below you. Well, until you hit the shingles, and then you have to be gentle. But that's what my days were like four months a year for as long as I can remember. Standing on a mound of snow, the wind always finding its way into my coat, me just staring around at the skeletons of trees, white cones that might actually be pines in better weather, about as desolute and blank a landscape as you can find this side of the Sahara. All white, as far as the eye can see. And then you think to yourself, "Gee, I have to shovel most of that." It can drive you a little nutty.

But I was stuck. My resume has consisted of shoveling snow in the winter and working as a handyman in summer for, well, ever. I've tried to get out, to get another job, but the only offer I ever got was as a ditch digger. Somehow I felt that was a step downward from snow in my career, so I stayed, getting a little more bitter every shovelful.

It was just a couple winters ago that I decided to destroy the world, or at least as much of it as I could manage. It was the date I fell off the roof of one of the lake cottages. I knocked myself cold with my own snow shovel when I hit the ground. I lay there unconscious well into the night before a hungry raccoon woke me up. She was a little upset she couldn't nibble on me anymore.

I pulled myself together, drove an hour and a half to the nearest hospital, shivering like mad all the way, and they lopped off my frost-bitten toe for me. It cost me an arm and a leg, too, heh heh, since I wasn't insured. But there was a snow storm the next day, so I was expected to be back on the roofs with my shovel and now two toes short, with only two days of downtime.

Like I said, that was the day I decided to destroy the world.

Now, my cabin wasn't much, but it was the only place I could go to relax... the only place to do anything in the park come winter... so I had had the sense to get satellite TV. And that's how I figured out how to destroy the world, or at least America.

The Joker, Lex Luthor, and all those guys from the comics that try to destroy the world; well, they put so much time and effort into figuring out how to do it, how to build their death machine, and how to beat the hero that they miss the obvious solution. The Discovery Channel. If you just sit down and watch for awhile, eventually there will be a show that tells you how to use your own personal talents to destroy the world. In my case, I shovel snow.

So there I was, sitting in my cold cabin, rubbing this smelly ointment they gave me on the stump that was once my pinky toe... y'know it still itches like hell... when this documentary on volcanoes comes on the Discovery Channel....

Yeah, I know volcanoes don't seem to have much to do with shoveling snow, but bear with me.

Well, as I was saying, this documentary was about volcanoes, and according to it, there are two kinds. There's the big cone-shaped ones like Mt. St. Helens, the ones in Hawaii you're probably going to see, and all the ones around the Pacific and Europe and all that. They're the common ones. But according to the documentary, there are also a bunch of super volcanoes called caldera volcanoes. They're caused by a big bubble of lava underground in an airtight container of really hard stone. As more gas and lava comes in from below, the lava in the bubble becomes carbonated, like cola in a can. There gets to be more and more pressure in the lava until something pops the bubble. Then all the lava comes spewing out like from a shaken bottle of soda. It's supposed to be hundreds of times more powerful than a normal volcano, but no one's ever seen one go off. They only erupt every six-hundred-thousand years or so. And these kind of volcanoes don't even look like normal volcanoes. They're great big valleys and divots in the ground miles and miles across.

At first, I just nodded my head to the TV, like you're doing now, pretending to understand and care but actually just killing time until Baywatch comes on. But then the guy on the documentary mentioned that Yellowstone National Park was one such caldera volcano. All of Yellowstone, the whole three-thousand, four-hundred square miles of it, was the surface divot of a caldera volcano. Evidently the thing erupts every six-hundred-thousand years, right, and it'd been five-hundred-fifty-thousand years since the last eruption. So the whole volcano was getting primed up for another eruption in a few thousand years.

What's that?

No, I didn't know that either. And, boy, was I pissed. Here I was, one of only two or three people who stayed in the park year round, I'd been there for over thirty years, and no one had ever, EVER, told me there was a chance my workplace might erupt beneath my feet. Sure I know about the geysers and hot springs, but none of the signs and explanations around mentioned anything about a super-friggin'-volcano. They just described the area as "geologically active."

Well, there it was, right there on the TV screen. My way to destroy a goodly portion of the world and get vengeance on the National Park establishment and its boss, the United States, which had worked me like a slave but neglected to tell me I was shoveling snow out of an active volcano. I was going to set off the Yellowstone volcano. The documentary gave all these gory details about what would happen if it went off and how far the blast and ash would go. Suffice to say, once I set off the volcano, the US would be destroyed, maybe not through the direct blasting, but from starvation as ash destroyed the farmland and blotted out the sun. Lots of bad things.

No, I'm afraid I can't let you go to the bathroom. You'll just tell the stewardess you're sitting next to a nut and ask for another seat. Just hold it for a few minutes while I finish the story. Your own fault for picking the window seat.

So, anyways, I realize I can't do something like this on my own. I'd need a geologist and probably someone who knows something about drilling. I needed real professional help... no, not that kind, thank you very much.... And it needed to be someone who wanted to destroy the United States. So, I called an angry foreign government, which shall remain nameless. I figured they did a lot of drilling back there in their own land, so they must know what they're doing.

Okay, I admit, I didn't call this nation directly. I watch the news; I know it's impossible to get them a message directly. But I also saw that they use Russia as a go-between when no one will speak to them. So I just called the Russian embassy. I gave them some story about being outraged at the atrocities perpetuated on this other nation, told them I was disgusted with my own country, and I even suggested I might be willing to defect. I'm sure they didn't take me at all seriously, but they gave me an e-mail address, patted me on the head, and sent me on my way.

Well, I wrote to the e-mail address, and lo and behold, it turned out to belong to the angry nation's state department... or ministry of state, or however it translates. I wrote them my entire plan; it took three pages all typed out. I told them how I could get anyone and any equipment they wanted into the park in the winter, and I gave them all the same numbers that had been on the documentary. I basically told them that it may well be a long shot from a crackpot, but that it would be worth their time to ask a geologist if I was right.

You're right. I'm sure the FBI or CIA or NSA or whoever probably saw my e-mail, and they probably did a background check on me. As I may have mentioned, I've been shoveling snow for the past thirty-three years. And I live in Wyoming. Between the two, that tends to ruin your credibility with anyone who can do a background on you. Or maybe they just never read my message because of some international relations or network security thing. Whatever the case, I never saw hide nor hair of the FBI. A shame, too. It might have been nice to have a little press while the population of the US was what it used to be.

Nothing happened for awhile. I figured maybe they thought it was a dumb idea. So I kept researching volcanoes and Yellowstone Park and anything else I thought might help. Everything from drilling equipment to explosives to... well, I even bought a geology textbook. I'm still working my way through it actually. Five pages a night.

But then, in the middle of last summer, I got this phone call from a man who called himself Al. He said he was a geologist from the Middle East, and he had just flown to Cheyenne to speak with me about the special mineral project I had written about. I told him I didn't know anything about a mineral project, but if he wanted to help me blow up the park, he was more than welcome. I could practically hear his jaw drop over the phone. That was pretty much when I discovered Al didn't have a sense of humor.

So I tried to patch things up, and I told him the government had better things to do than listen to a snow shoveler's phone calls. It took a little coddling, and I had to promise never to say anything like that again, but I managed to get him and his friend to come out and take a look.

"Al" turned out to be tall, and his friend "Carl" was squat and burly. They showed up wearing red plaid flannels, and I nearly dropped dead laughing then and there, because their clothes still had the tags sticking out of them. Like I said before, Al didn't have much of a sense of humor.

He made me take him and Carl on a tour of the park. It was mid-August, so there were lots of people about. I tried to show him the best spots to watch bear and buffalo, but he and Carl wanted nothing to do with the touristy crap. Al kept making little scribbles on a geological map of the park he had brought, and Carl asked about my daily shoveling schedules come winter and how much equipment I could sneak into the park aboard my pickup. It became pretty clear what Al was doing. He was marking down the locations of all the houses and cottages and their position compared to all the rocks underneath. Later, he asked me about each and every one of those cabins and specifically how deserted they were in the winter.

When I had answered all of their questions; we were back in my cabin at this point; they took their maps and books and talked in that warbly language of theirs until the cows came home. Evidently they were in disagreement about something. I'm not entirely sure what the arguing and shouting was about. I was in the other room watching ESPN.

But eventually Al came into the room, and he looked down at me in my Lazy Boy like I was some sort of slug. He poked up his wire-rimmed spectacles and said, "I'm sorry. Is not possible."

At first I thought he was talking about Tiger's shot in the back nine, but then I realized he wasn't paying attention to the golf game at all.

"Why isn't it possible?" I asked.

"The least depth to the magma pocket is four kilometers near the lake. American geologists discovered that when the lake changed shape in the 1970s. They used seismographs and microtremors to precisely map the pocket's extent," he said, "There are many cabins there to hide in, as you suggest, and Carl can easily get the equipment to dig a hole that deep, but it would not be wide enough to cause an eruption. And we couldn't get enough explosives here to widen the entire shaft. It'd take a fortune. I did have a more cost-effective idea, but I don't think it would work. Is there a water-pumping station around here?"

I told him there wasn't. Water is turned off almost everywhere and the pipes drained in the park during the winter to keep the lines from freezing.

"Oh well," he said, his last hope faded. "I was hoping we could pump the shaft full of water before igniting a small explosive at the bottom of the shaft. The magma coming up would vaporize the water, and the resulting steam explosion would blow the shaft wide open. If we can't even get a faucet to work, I guess we can't get the water for the job."

Now, Al was a bright enough guy who knew his job, but it seemed he could be a little thick.

"Would snow work?" I asked him.

He looked like I had just laid an egg in front of him.

"Well, yes, I suppose it would, but you couldn't possibly shovel enough snow to fill the kind of shaft we're talking about. We'd need," Al paused a second to scribble out some figures, "The bottom four-thousand feet or so of the shaft filled with a diameter of four feet... that comes to fifty-thousand, two-hundred-and-forty cubic feet of snow. And we'd be losing some in the shaft the whole time we were shoveling it in because it's so hot down there. It's just not possible."

I took his pencil and pad and made him walk me though the volume calculation he did... It'd been a long time since high school math for me, after all. Then I did a calculation of my own and showed him the volume of snow I shovel in an average week in the winter.

"I'll be damned," he said. Actually, I'm only guessing that's what he said, since it was in his language.

Al waved Carl into the room, told him about the snow idea, and then showed him the volume calculation I did. Carl's eyes went wide.

"You can transport this much snow across the park?" he asked me.

"Sure," I said, "I have access to a dump truck. They actually prefer I move around the snow rather than let it drift and kill trees and such. I'll just move around more snow than usual. Might even give me a raise."

So, we talked over some details, and they left that night. They said they'd be back in late November with the first set of equipment for a drilling rig and a vanload of explosives. I said I'd bring my shovel.

Sure as clockwork, the snow started falling with a sense of purpose in early November, and the rangers started whining about the weather. Their patrols of the park grew larger but less intense as the snow grew higher and the smaller roads grew more difficult to plow. Eventually their patrols consisted of a single loop of the park every few days. By Thanksgiving, you couldn't pay most tourists to visit the park. Sure, there were the occasional lunatic rock climbers that wanted to try their hand at every cliff in Yellowstone while it was iced over, but mostly it was just me. Shoveling off roof after roof with no one for miles.

I was a little nervous about Al and Carl, but they turned out to be reliable enough. They arrived at my cabin in a pair of vans in the middle of the night. They looked to me like they were both scared to death and freezing to death, and they couldn't decide which was worse. Poor guys just couldn't take the cold, I guess. Though I once saw on the Discovery Channel that it actually gets pretty cold in deserts at night, too. Due to the lack of humidity, it said, and...

What? The vans? Well, I got to see what was in the vans the next morning, when we unloaded them at the cabin by the lake where they wanted to drill.

The first one was loaded with what looked to me like a big metal bug. It was shaped like a cylinder, but it had this big collection of drills and knobs and sharp mandible-looking things at the front. All along the side it had ridged wheels and prongs, which Carl said were for pushing the drill through the ground. The thing came up to my chest even when it was laying on its side, and it was maybe seven, eight feet long, but what really took up the space in the van was the power plant for the bug. It was the size of a car itself when they finally got it assembled. I still have no idea how they fit all the parts for it in the van with the metal bug. With all that, though, Carl said he'd need another vanful of tubing and struts and such once we got beyond a kilometer down.

As for the other van they brought that day, that was mostly explosives. I didn't think so, at first. It was wound on spools and looked more like power cord than anything else. There were dozens of spools in there, each about fifty pounds. Al told me that the drill would be used to line the inner surface of the drill hole with the explosive cord for the bottom thousand feet of the hole. It would wind up the inside of the tube like a spiral and would blow the rock to smithereens when it went off.

They gave me a lot of numbers, a lot of depths to reach, oil pressures of the big metal bug, amount of water they'd need me to get to cool the drill. I did a lot of nodding and lifting things. This was really their baby now. I would do my part, later, but there was really no need for my special skills yet, or so I thought.

The cabin they had picked was a big two-story one, so they'd have room for the struts and such needed to orient the metal bug. It had five rooms, no heat, no electricity, and no running water, but with the generator for the drill, it could be stocked well enough to support those two for the two weeks they thought it would take to finish the hole. What the cabin didn't have was space to hide two cargo vans.

So I buried the two great big white cargo vans, and I turned them into two great big snowdrifts. And then I went to work. I spent nearly twenty hours that day shoveling snow. You know, it's rough working two jobs.

What? Ah, I see you did the math. Yeah, it was the end of November, and they said they'd be done in two weeks. But now it's February and still no volcano. Well, as my uncle the mechanic always said, "Give some people an automatic transmission, and they'll still find a way to break the clutch." There were problems, lots of them.

When they assembled the big metal bug and power plant, it became obvious that some parts were just plain missing... like the water pump. You see, the power plant was supposed to put pressurized water down a hose to cool the drill head, and without it, the drill could only go very slowly. And while Al and Carl were bright in their ways, neither one of them knew how to build a water pump from scratch. So they had me shovel snow into a tub, melt it, and pour the water down the hose that was supposed to go to the water pump. It may have made the drill work a little faster, but it now seemed to be a big metal turtle, instead of a bug.

And I had to keep those two fed. They said that since I was the only one who could enter and leave the park whenever I wanted, it was my job to stock provisions. I swear, every other day they sent me fifty miles to the nearest gas station to buy Twinkies and soda pop. They went through the stuff like mad; must've been the cold weather, I guess. Or maybe they just have hollow legs in, um, that angry nation of theirs.

So every day I shoveled the park, every night I shoveled snow to cool the drill, and every other night I drove three hours through snowy roads to buy Twinkies for the guys. And all this was before our first geyser.

Hmmm... yes, that's right, I said geyser. Do you know about Old Faithful? It's a geyser in Yellowstone that spits boiling water and steam very reliably. It's not quite clockwork, mind you, but every thirty to ninety minutes or so, BOOM! Whoosh! Well geysers like that work because groundwater fills cracks near the hot spots beneath the park, the same hot rock we were drilling into.

Well, I guess some groundwater was seeping into our hole, because about a month into the drilling, I came into the cabin to find everything soaking wet, and the ceiling over the hole looked like someone had whacked it with a sledgehammer. Al told me that every couple hours, our hole, our own personal geyser, was spewing hot water. Not much, but with enough pressure to damage or jam the drill if we weren't careful. The dent in the ceiling had come from a pipe kicked up by the water pressure.

So, that was the situation. The drill speed was slow because we couldn't pressurize the cooling water, we still had to manually feed the coolant because the groundwater couldn't cool the innards of the drill though it did cool the drill head, and we had to raise the drill out every hour and a half because a geyser was going off in the cabin. That's why we didn't finish until this month.

And that's when things got dangerous.

We had drilled to six kilometers, much deeper than Al had initially thought we would have to. The heat down there was hundreds of degrees, and, based on the shocked, glassy rocks the drill was pulling out of the hole, Al said we were probably only a hundred feet or less from the bubble of lava down there. The geysers were really frequent now, but they weren't much more than scalding mist. Al said the tube was so long now, the boiling water was recondensing in the shaft as it rose.

According to Carl, the drill was on its last legs. It had been drilling the past couple weeks with virtually no coolant. As it was so hot down there that our pouring water down the hose was useless. Still, he said it had enough life left in it to lay the explosives.

Most of it would go right at the bottom of the hole, and then the drill would pull slowly up the shaft, laying a spiral of explosive cord up the hole for a thousand feet. Then the drill would lock in place in the tunnel, and I would fill the hole to the brim with snow. Al said the drill and the snow would stop the geysers for awhile... well until the last big geyser, anyways. Then, the explosives would open up the lava bubble, the lava would evaporate the snow so fast that Al said it would be like an explosion, and the caldera volcano would erupt like a popped balloon.

We were only a few days away from doing it when I was stopped by a ranger. I was driving the dump truck full of snow towards the lake, when I saw his green pickup pull up behind me. It was Jim; he was probably the only ranger who'd volunteer to patrol the park in winter, but not even he would do it often. I stopped at once because even though I knew there was risk, the only three people I had spoken to in weeks were my two guys and a Mini-Mart clerk. I was actually pretty glad to see Jim.

"Heya Jim," I hopped out of the truck and said, "What are you doing this far into the park? Not even on a main drive."

"Good to see you, Bill," he said. I'm Bill, in case I didn't mention it.

Well, he went on, "You know I'd rather not come down here until the thaw, but there was a report from a couple rock climbers that there were a couple squatters in the cabins here, so the higher-ups told me to come down here and check it out. I tried to call you last night and ask about it, but there was no answer. Where were you anyways? Not much to do around here this time of year."

"Shoveling snow," I said, which was true. I didn't mention that I was shoveling snow down a four-mile-deep hole into a volcano.

Jim smiled, "You do earn your pay, don't you? Shoveling into the night -- and you've been using the dump truck more than usual this year, haven't you?"

"I've been shoveling out some of the conifer regrowth on the north slope. Should save a lot of trees come the thaw. Besides, this huge truck is a lot safer to drive in two-foot-thick snow. It would be nice if we could get a few plows in here once in a while. Hint, hint, nudge, nudge."

"I'll put in a good word," said Jim, "So have you seen anyone living in the cabins down by the lake? I know you shovel them off once a week or so."

"No one recently," I lied, "A rock-climber spent a few nights in one of them a couple months back, but I shooed him away as soon as I found him."

"Oh, well, I guess I'll have to check them one by one to be sure," Jim said.

That would have been bad, very bad.

"So, are you expected back tonight, Jim, or will you be spending the night in the park?" I asked.

"Since I have to check ALL the cabins, I'll probably stay up at the tower in the north. I pray to God it's still got heat."

"Well, it's well shoveled. I can tell you that much," I said, "But before you go off, can I show you the rear suspension on the dump truck? I think I'm going to need a mechanic before the season's out, and that sort of requisition goes faster through your office."

"Sure," he said, and we walked over to the truck.

I directed him to the back of the dump truck and pointed towards the rear axle. There was nothing wrong with it, of course, but I just needed to get him to bend down at the back of the truck. As he did so, I leaned nonchalantly on the lever to release the backflap of the truck.

As he peered beneath the truck trying to see the axle, I asked, "So, did you tell the guys at the station this was a two-day job? Is there anyone expecting you to call in tonight?"

"Well, no, I guess not," he said, "But what's that got to do with..."

I didn't let him finish as I threw the lever releasing the backflap of the dumptruck. The bed wasn't inclined, so only a small percentage of the snow came out, but that was hundreds of pounds. Jim was buried instantly. I could see he still had some fight left in him, because the mound was twitching and moving as he was trying to dig himself out.

So I walked to the side of the truck and took the number three spade off the rack there. That's the heavy, pointed shovel I use to dig up compressed ice. Well, I walked back to the pile of snow, drew the shovel back over my shoulder like a baseball bat, and as soon as Jim got his head over the snow....

Oh, please! This whole story is about killing millions of people with a huge super-friggin' volcano, and you're getting upset with me because I beat one guy to death with a shovel. Geez, mister, you have no sense of scale.

Anyways, I took the body off the road to where I was sure the bears would find it. This time of year, they're all hibernated out, and they'd do anything for a good-sized snack. I moved his truck off the road, shoveled over the blood as best I could, and then I drove straight away to the Al and Carl's cabin. They weren't too happy with what I told them.

The tunnel had been packed with explosives, and the drill lodged a thousand feet from the bottom. All that was left was to shovel the snow in. But now, with the ranger dead and people probably coming to look for him by tomorrow afternoon, we had only one night to shovel in all the snow.

Now, it's not as much snow as you might think. Let's say a foot of snow falls overnight. The average person's driveway is what, twelve-feet wide? Well, to fill that bore hole with snow, we had to shovel as much snow as if that driveway were just under three miles long. Now, the average guy can shovel a thirty-foot driveway in fifteen minutes, and I'm a fair sight better than average. I shovel maybe fifty feet worth of driveway in fifteen minutes. So, just on my own, I could do the job in 79 hours, and I had two men to help me do it, a ton of snow-moving equipment, and more shoveling experience than you'd ever want. We didn't fill the hole to the brim, or anything, but Al said we had enough snow in the hole to get the job done at two this afternoon. It was twenty-eight hours of solid shoveling, but I guess it'll be the last shoveling I ever have to do. Sure am sore, though.

Did it work? Don't rightly know. I left Al and Carl there in the cabin to set the timer and such. They said we'd have six hours, but one of them was going to stay just in case the rangers showed up and blow the thing early if there was any trouble. So I made a bee-line for Denver and caught this flight. Got two speeding tickets, but the DMV doesn't scare me much at this point.

The explosion should've been about twenty minutes ago. But I can see how a lot of things might've gone wrong. Al and Carl might have been caught and forced to turn off the bomb. We may have needed more snow or just plain water. We may have needed a bigger hole, or just made more holes. I don't think the rangers could figure out what we were doing or how to disarm the thing if they found the place, but I suppose there is that possibility too.

But, if it worked, there should've been a wave of lava and hot ash from the east side of Oregon all the way to the Mississippi. The Discover Channel called it a pyroclastic flow, I think. And there will be a huge cloud of ash over most of America. It'll probably rain down a foot thick in Chicago and Seattle. There'll be more ash than topsoil in the Midwest. And earthquakes... big monster earthquakes that could set off every other volcano and fault in the country. Or maybe not. Sometimes, I think the Discovery Channel says that sort of stuff just to get ratings.

Anyways, you've been real patient, waiting to go to the bathroom for my whole story. So let me just get out of the way... there ya go. It'll give me a chance to look out the window.

Well, what'd you know?! It's started snowing.

Wait a minute. I don't think that's snow.

"Wish 2" by Romeo Esparrago
(Click picture above to view a larger image.)

Story © 2002 by Andrew Darling anthropod@earthlink.net

Illustration © 2002 by Romeo Esparrago romeo@planetmag.com

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