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Joy at the Top of the Hill

For the Snow Micro Challenge.

By L.C. SchäferPublished 17 days ago Updated 17 days ago 1 min read
Joy at the Top of the Hill
Photo by Robert Thiemann on Unsplash

Chores done, we boys fled into the thick snow. A pack of us bundled up against the cold at our mother's fussing, sleds pulled behind us in mittened hands.

The memory is bright like a sunbeam, every detail crystallised. No rose-tinted spectacles; it really was as glorious as I remember.

Our lives were unrolled before us all like the carpet of untouched snow on that hill. We couldn't wait to plunge down it, faster, faster, shrieking all the way.

Cheeks pink, noses and ears raw, the sharp smell of snow and the sound of it under our boots and sleds... That was the day we flew. Like birds.

I've always liked birds. As a boy, I'd watch them flying until I could tell the species apart, just by watching their flight pattern. I'd wonder what it would be like to swoop and soar as they do. This is it, I remember thinking that day. I'm sure it was, only better, because I was firmly on the ground with no fear of falling from a heartless sky.

Oh, how fast we went! How the wind whistled past me! The exhilaration of it!

Fresh fallen snow covered a rock or root that sent the sled beside me careening off course, unstoppable, into a post. Jamie hit his head in the crash, the woollen hat his mother knitted protection only against chill. He didn't make it.

That was the last time I flew so carefree. Snow was never so smooth and white afterwards.

Short StoryMicrofiction

About the Creator

L.C. Schäfer

Book-baby is available on Kindle Unlimited

Flexing the writing muscle

Never so naked as I am on a page. Subscribe for nudes.

Here be micros

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Sometimes writes under S.E.Holz

"I've read books. Well. Chewed books."

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  1. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (25)

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  • J. Delaney-Howe12 days ago

    I was feeling nostalgic until that twist. Good work.

  • Matthew Fromm12 days ago

    man what a turn.

  • Yusuf Alam12 days ago


  • Caroline Jane14 days ago

    Oh my. That is so tragic and I did not see it coming!

  • Sian N. Clutton15 days ago

    Ah, crap. This was beautiful and harrowing. You're such a master with words. Enjoy your prize money! 😄 😂

  • Phil Flannery15 days ago

    Innocence of youth. Unfortunately some kids have to grow up quicker than others. Great descriptions.

  • Babs Iverson15 days ago

    Nostalgic memories and then your unexpected twist!!! Spectacularly written!!! 💕♥️♥️

  • JBaz16 days ago

    Oh , wow. You had me reliving the excitement of my youth with every descriptive word you wrote. Then you hit me in the end, your final line was so poetic.

  • Holly Pheni16 days ago

    Oh, how sad. I lost a friend in childhood. There isn't a great way to express the feeling of that sudden shock in contrast to the previous naiveté. You found it: The snow was never so white...

  • You wrote this so well. Snow sledding is always a big deal in my house! As anyone who’s seen my Facebook feed knows

  • Minor edit to correct an echo. Thank you everyone for your lovely comments. I will respond individually today!

  • Hannah Moore17 days ago

    This really merits the words tragedy I think.

  • At first I was like "Ha! He died!" Then I read the author's notes. I'm so sorry for your loss 🥺

  • Caroline Craven17 days ago

    Gosh. This was not the ending I was expecting but I can totally imagine it happening - based on my own childhood exploits. Great writing L.C.

  • Daphsam17 days ago

    Ohh, so poignant. You took us on a a very sad dramatic ending.

  • Way to take a turn in such a short piece. Calm…calm…beautiful memories…and cue the childhood trauma! You have to watch out for those hidden rocks and roots, they’re real devils. The fact that you said in the comments that this is based on a true story just takes that emotional shock up a level, too. Overall, well done.

  • Dana Crandell17 days ago

    Now who's making us cry, hmmm? Well done!

  • Randy Baker17 days ago

    Eek! That certainly took a turn. Great job!

  • Lana V Lynx17 days ago

    Oh my, I was happily plunging into my own snow memories and then the end…

  • Oh yikes! That trauma is harsh!

  • Cathy holmes17 days ago

    Oh my. Reminded me of my youth at first. Then, that ending. 🥺

  • Tragically powerful story, L.C.

  • John Cox17 days ago

    Amazingly, this story memorials more than its tragic ending, it remembers the experience and magic of lost childhood at the same time. I especially loved: The memory is bright like a sunbeam, every detail crystallized. No rose-tinted spectacles; it really was as glorious as I remember. Really great storytelling, LC!

  • Author's note: this was based on a true story.

  • Paul Stewart17 days ago

    Oh damn. That was so blissful and carefree until it wasn't. I guess like...acting carefree and blissful in life...until we stop. Well done. Such great use of the word count. Sublimely crafted and all that!

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