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The Day Hell Froze Over

A short story about a man who had no choice the day hell froze over.

By E.AmaliaPublished 9 months ago 7 min read
1
The Day Hell Froze Over
Photo by Amr Taha™ on Unsplash

Dear reader,

I have a story to tell you. I wrote it all down when I went..down. Also, I have a message for you to give to the misses. A little favor if you don't mind. Will you stick around and listen to my story? This also comes as a warning.

The warning is this: Do not trust the man in the fur coat and big black hat. You got that? Do what everyone else did — run.

This is the story, and at the end is the message. I gotta say, dear reader, you're much appreciated.

_____________

This winter was warmer than I remembered. The sun was shining brighter and hotter. I don’t think I had ever sweated like that before. Not that time of year. The birds were even outside — singing.

Have they not heard of migration? I was all out of whack, you know? I mean, the warnings were as plain as day, but I don’t know that I paid much attention to the rage factory that is the news.

I couldn't remember a winter like this. God, it’s hot outside. I couldn't focus on anything. Ever since I came across that old lady who pointed her finger in my face, screaming

He’s coming for you, son, and he won’t take no for an answer!

There are usually people like that on the tram. You know, the kind of people that shout for no reason at no one in particular. This woman, though, seemed to seek me out. She wore a fur coat and dragged one foot as she walked. Something was off about the way she said those words. You know? Like it got into my bone marrow.

Haunting. That's the word I was looking for. The way her voice screeched inside me was haunting.

_____________

Sleep. What is that? I woke up too early — I wanted to stay in bed with the misses. I didn't want to go to work, but I knew what the day had for me. Something good, I hoped.

At least, I thought I knew what the day had for me.

Something good…

It’s not going to be draining. That was my hope.

“It’s probably going to be draining,” I huffed aloud to myself. My reflection in the mirror nodded back.

Welcome to the poem of a gentleman’s day. I muttered to myself in hopes of inspiring that one brilliant idea. That one that would land me on the map and out of the hell hole of a career I was in.

A poet, can you believe that? That was my dream — in college, while sitting in my Econ class, I just wrote poetry to my girl.

The day I gave my soul away. That is the title of one of my best poems. I’ll never forget it. It was the poem that caught her heart, and then she became mine forever, or until death did us part.

These days, I don’t know where I am, but I know that winter is almost over. I muttered some more. No, not over. Sorry, my brain is all over. Just started. Late, that is. Maybe I lost my poetic spark.

My head swam with thoughts, and I hadn't looked out the window yet. Have you seen outside, dear reader? Is it beautiful? Is it normal? Is it city? Is it industry?

I knew where I lived. I wasn’t born yesterday. You know? I lived in a big city, much like New York, but cleaner. I guess it was sufficable. What were we talking about? Right...

Like I said, dear reader, my head swam with all the thoughts. It was full to the brim. It was time to go to work, and I couldn't wake the misses. She was up late. She had me up late. You know?

So off I went with her sound asleep in the sheets. God, I wished I could be there with her all day long. The curse of my career. Out of the house, I went, and this time, I decided to walk to work.

Sometimes, I walked to work. That day was worth it, as I was not sure about running into more shouting old ladies wearing heavy fur coats. I can still hear her in my head. Almost audible.

He’s coming for you, son, and he won’t take no for an answer.

There weren't many smiles around the city anymore. I think they once thought smiles showed too many teeth. Something about it being unhealthy and making one age faster. The misses read about it in The New Yorker. I never followed all those health fads, but apparently, it was backed by science, you know, research and all that.

Were they so sure, though? Winter came early in our hearts, but not so much in this hemisphere. They forgot how to laugh as well. You couldn't do much joking in those days. It was something beyond interesting to be in a comedy club. It all sounded like the jokes and laughter were coming out of brick walls. On deaf ears, their jokes fell. At least, that’s how I saw it. No one asked me, though. I don’t even think you did, to be fair.

I'm sorry, dear reader, I've taken you on a train of thought you probably didn't intend to ride. Monologue? Or whatever this is. I had to go places and see people, meetings, work, and money. All the important stuff.

The misses, yeah, of course, I missed her. Time is of the essence, or whatever we say. This winter was warmer than I remembered. I thought I could even smell some flowers. Flowers? There are flowers out in winter, right? Maybe I don't know as much about the world as I thought. Does that mean allergies? Oh god, I hate allergies.

As I walked to work, the atmosphere around me seemed to shrink. My breathing grew heavy, and then there were the people. There were crowds of people around me.

We were not headed in the same direction at all. I walked in one direction, and they all walked in the opposite. Like they were running from something.

From someone.

He’s coming for you, son. The screech in my head shook my rib cage. I suddenly felt ill. It had to be the winter heat — that's what I kept telling myself.

While they were all going that other way, I continued on my own way. The right and only way to work. Knowing me. Of course, I’d run into it. Whatever it was. Whoever it was. The thing to avoid was usually the thing I was attracted to. Everyone else seemed dressed like it was full-swing spring. No scarves, gloves, or hats. They must be crazy. Or at least that's what I had thought. That's what I had hoped.

That's when I saw him. At a distance, a tall figure leaning against the bus shelter. When he came into view, the air in my lungs grew thinner. There stood the man in a fur winter coat and a big black hat.

*Refer back to the warning at the top.

The large hat cast a shadow over his face. In that moment I really felt a chill — nearly ill. It wasn't the kind of winter chill I had been missing. It was a quick freeze, and then my body began to burn a little. Profuse perspiration on my skin. My bones felt brittle — that woman's words felt like they got into my bone marrow. Ah, yes this must be why. She met him too.

My heart pounded in my chest like a sledgehammer.

He won’t take no for an answer. Screech.

He was looking down while flipping open a small black notebook. I figured I’d be polite, you know? Whatever he's asking for couldn't be much. At least that's what I thought. The misses always said I was too soft.

“Warm for the winter,” I said to the gentlemen. My words came out like melted ice cream. I couldn't feel my mouth.

He nodded. “Hell’s frozen over.”

“Strange winter indeed,” I say.

That’s when my soul sold over. I had no choice. There wasn't even a deal to be made. I mean I had heard it in songs and read about it in books, but I wasn't ready for it.

So, dear reader, that's the day my soul sold over.

To the man in a fur coat and the big black hat.

So they were dear reader.

So they were running.

From someone.

Tell the misses I love her.

Tell her I loved her even on the day hell froze over.

And don't forget that when you see the man in the fur coat and the big black hat you must run.

By Andrew Dunstan on Unsplash

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Author's Note

Many of you who have been reading my work know that I have been exercising creative writing muscles that I haven't used in a while or ones that I always found intimidating.

This story was inspired by a story I read in a similar style, where it almost felt like the narrator and I were having a conversation. It was so well done that I thought I'd give it a try myself.

Some call it First Person Direct Address, and one famous example is Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe.

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Who has been inspiring you lately? Also, I've been growing tired of the selection on Unsplash. If you have an alternative that you go to for your story images, let me know in the comments below!

By 𝓴𝓘𝓡𝓚 𝕝𝔸𝕀 on Unsplash

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About the Creator

E.Amalia

Hola! I'm E.Amalia. I've got a penchant for the macabre, weird, and spine chilling genres. Also I write poetry, also I'm a dragon for books.

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  • Alex H Mittelman 9 months ago

    Wow! I’m impressed! Great work! ❤️🩷

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