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Irelands Big Freeze a short story
The Taste Of The Snowflake
After living in Canada last winter, and been in Vancouver during a beautiful snowfall, and with the luck of been in Vancouver when it hadn't snowed like that in 20 years, well, you would want to see the face of this grown up child. Coming from Ireland, the land of saints, scholars, sinners and never ending tap dancing rain, I couldn't believe my luck. I had never seen snow like it, never in my poor old life, not in Ireland, not anywhere.
Like a child in a candy store, I made the most out of it. While Vancouver was falling apart, While the four horsemen of the Apocalypse were reeking havoc on the city, buses breaking down everywhere, shops closed, cars crashing, mass hysteria, people angry and pissed off on buses, I was making snowmen, sliding down hills on plastic, and pissing people off with snowball bashing. Ah the madness of this man possessed, the happiness, the ecstasy of touching snow on my tongue, the taste, the freedom. Like a licked plate after a good dinner, all things must come to an end, and like that, it was gone, and with it, a huge chunk of the child's heart, melted like a lonely ice-cube.
So November 2009 I returned to my homeland, home to the misery of this broke wretched country, jobless, homeless, lost in a vast sea of confusion, and moved whatever things I had to the west of Ireland, Galway, to start from the bottom of the pit, with only a pick-axe and hammer to climb myself back up with, and start a new life, still with a taste of that snowflake memory.
Expecting the usual months of rain, to my surprise, and the countries surprise, in December, we had another ice-age. The big freeze they called it, the country went in to meltdown. Schools closed, shops closed, again mass hysteria. Our salt and sand supplies ran out in a couple of weeks, the moaning and misery of the then already miserable people was frightening, the bitterness of the words, uttered from their thin miserable lips would turn a man to stone Medusa style. Chaos, pure chaos, all from a bit of ice. SNOW!, where was the bloody snow?. Yes the midlands and the south, the north to the east, cold beneath the raging moon, tasted the soft sweet snowflake.
I remember peeking out the window, and seeing the first snowflake, and the beating of the heart, raging like a wild fox. I ran down the steps, probably half naked, my memories were dazed by the sight of the delicious snowflake, and I ran swiftly in to the field with my tongue touching my cheek like a slurping mongrel with outstretched arms, stopped and opened my mouth, and tasted the chilled first bleak Decembers winter snow, and licked away like and anteater at an ant hill, ah! the ecstasy, the joy of a simple crystal piece of frozen rain, the joy, the joy.
But with everything good, like your last piece of candy, soft, sweet and pure, it stopped and headed on east, and standing silently lost in a lonely cold field, I turned and headed back to my new home, And wondered, would people think I’m mad if I lick the ground?