TITLE: WINTER ON BRIMSTONE HILL
GENRE: YA LGBT Contemporary
I roll over to check if the milk is frozen. Neatly stacked in three crates of glass bottles, it’s solid. That probably means the apples and potatoes are frozen, too.
The omen of a bad day.
I could pray that the bottles won’t break as my bedroom warms with daylight. I could pray, but I won’t. If it’s going to get cold, it’s going to get cold, and all things—milk among them—freeze. There’s a life lesson for you.
My folded clothes lay on my nightstand, and I pull them into the warmth of the sleeping bag.
I am the salamander that once lived in the cellar. Joseph and I used to amuse ourselves by enticing it with earth- or mealworms. It would shoot from under the stone long enough to bite down before retreating. The salamander couldn’t guess we weren’t going to hurt it. It didn’t need to move fast, but I do. Otherwise, my body heat will escape. The chill will never leave me then.
In middle school, I slept in my clothes, the extra layer providing what the wood stove in the dining room can’t. But it took only one overheard conversation during that petrifying first week of high school before I stopped.
“Did you see Sarah’s shirt? It’s so wrinkly it looks like she slept in it.”
That was the last time I did.