The Rain Town 
by Hannah Carr 
Snow everywhere, that’s what I see. Not the heavy kind, but the light and fluffy powdery kind just heavy enough to stick to the grass. The second thing I notice is the cold. It’s actually cold! 
Not chilly, or humid, or just misty, but feel it in my bones cold. As in I should be wearing an actual coat, with mittens and a scarf too. I watch as it continues to fall all around like some kind of fairy dust. It brushes up against my skin leaving it cold. I feel energized, like I’m six years old again and there’s nothing I can’t do. Soon though the cold gets to me, the tips of my fingers and toes are growing numb; my feet guide me to the door, backwards so that I don’t have to look away from the glorious sight that is snow. I linger... hesitant to step in and shut the door. Knowing that as soon as I do, all of it will end just like every other time. 
Music and lyrics reach my ears buried under my mountain of covers. “Do you remember ...” My alarm finally reaches my ears under my mountain of covers. I thrust out a hand, beating around 

my nightstand till I hit my mark, silencing the devious alarm intent on waking me up. 
Stumbling, I pull back my curtains to glance outside. Rain. Again. Though I can’t say I’m surprised. It only ever rains around here, always has, always will. I sigh and start my morning routine. 
I find myself waiting on Thatcher, my twin. In every way – excluding gender, of course. 
“Cher, come on I need to get to school!” I yell up the stairs, tugging on my own Arctic blue raincoat and folding my tangerine umbrella under my arm. 
As a second thought, I also grab his cherry umbrella, knowing that he’ll probably forget it. Then again he doesn’t really tend to use it. He gets that from Dad I think, that and not wearing his coat. With those two it’s always one or the other, but never both coat and umbrella. I place it back in our Giraffe umbrella holder. 
Looking up at the sound of his thumping steps, I see his lime coat in one hand and tan bag in the other. 
“How many times do I have to tell you, Lottie, if you shorten my name, do it to Thatch not Cher!” he complains, breezing by me and out the door, not pausing for his umbrella or even to pull up his hood. 
“Mmmhmm ‘kay.” I shut the door carefully behind us, calling out a final goodbye to Mom. I stand under our striped awning to pull up my own hood and open the umbrella in my hand and then hurry after him. 
Despite having checked this morning, I still have to swallow my disappointment that the rain hasn’t turned into snow. Rain is all I’ve ever known in this town. No one really knows why, but here in Holden ... it only ever rains. It’s wonderful of course. There’s noth- ing wrong with the rain, and it’s great for our economy and Holden leads the market in all things dealing with rain ... like umbrellas. Not to mention the lights strewn everywhere. Sharp blues, wild greens, cozy yellows, and soft ambers are draped across every build- ing sprawling like jungle vines. Then there are the awnings over each doorway, some are striped or spotted, and others are made of solids, or crazy patterns that you can’t look at for too long. The 

result is a forever moving art piece of crazy patterns mingling with contrasting solids. We really are a beautiful town. But ever since a few months ago, when my pen pal, Alena from Russia, sent me a picture of her hometown utterly covered in a blanket that she called snow, I can’t help but wonder what our beautiful town would look like if the colors were soft and glowed lazily, not because of rain but because of snow. What would it look like if snowflakes were to fall, and spiral between the umbrellas and swirl down among the lights? 
About a month ago, snow started to invade my dreams. That dream of me standing in the light powdery snowfall has been a recurring one, ending the same way every time. With me closing the door. Driven away by the cold. 
School is the same as ever, the coat room overflowing with coats, boots, and umbrellas, creating such a mash-up of colors that it hurts to look at one spot for too long. 
“Lottiiiee!” A voice sings out, and arms wrap tight around my shoulders as my friend Vanesa greets me. 
“Good morning Vanesa.” 
“Good morning? It’s a glorious morning not merely good,” she states grandly, sniffing her nose and striking a Wonder Woman pose. 
I laugh at her theatrics, and she puffs her chest out more, before collapsing in a fit of giggles herself. She throws an arm around me as we exit the coat room. 
“Christmas, naturally, there’s only like what?” She holds her other hand out in front of us counting off the days, “Today, tomor- row, and then break. Blessed blessed break!” 
“Break is good then?” I question teasingly. 
She stops walking and faces me with a serious expression on her face. “Break especially Christmas break, is always a wonderful moment in the school year and therefore it is better than good, it is fantastic I say, just fantastic.” 
“Fantastic it is then,” I agree. The bell rings then and the way her face falls is pure comedy gold. Not that it’s funny that she’s dis- appointed, it’s more because she faces me with puppy eyes and a pout and asks, 

“Why oh why must math be first hour?” 
I straighten up, shrugging her arm away from me, “Because Ms. Clunger, math is important and the morning is important there- fore math belongs in the morning,” I finish, stopping in front of our lockers, giving a nod to Thatcher who like every other day beat us somehow. I’m pretty sure he found some kind of secret passage- way or something. But I am too busy feeling extremely proud of my impression of our math teacher and the lovely guardian of Vanesa’s first hour, Mrs. Bluer. 
When we get home the mail is waiting for us, well really for everyone. It tends to do that around Christmas. Today though, there is a package for me. Just me, and I know it’s just for me and is not actually the seeds for the Juniper bush I got for my Mom, (crazy botanist), or the tool set for Dad, (already here and sitting buried under stuff in my closet), or even the art set for Thatcher, (he’s a great artist), and I know all this because the return address is to an Alena Nickorovf in St. Petersburg, Russia. 
After the usual ‘Hi, we’re home now’ greetings, I lug myself up the stairs, cradling the package in my arms. 
Once in my room, I carefully set it on my bed. 
“It’s a Christmas present, I should wait to open it because it’s not Christmas yet.” With that in mind I set it under the same pile of stuff hiding Dad’s present and sit at my desk and pull out what little homework I have for the night. 
Five minutes later, I find myself sitting on the floor, the shipping box from Russia in my lap. 
I carefully open it up and find bubble wrap. Lots of bubble wrap. Hesitantly, I fish my arms around the rather small box and stop when I find the surface of something that feels smooth, like glass. No wonder she used so much bubble wrap. Carefully, I work my fingers along the edge of whatever it is, the texture changing from smooth glass to rough and probably patterned clay of some sort. My fingers curve around what must be the edge, and I gently lift it up and out, and almost drop it from surprise. 
“Snow! Alena got me snow for Christmas!” I whisper to my room, elated. 

Of course it’s not actual snow, it’s fake snow in a snow globe. I tilt it down, around and back up. Watching... transfixed, as the white confetti swirls in amongst the little figurines walking on the street with colorful boots and coats and patterned umbrellas. It floats down among the lights dangling across the miniature buildings. I let out a sigh in appreciation of its beauty. It may not be real, and it may not be outside of my window, and in my yard, or touching me with its cold arms. But it’s here. Here in this tiny beautiful replication of our wondrous Holden and that’s enough for now. 
Hannah Carr, 12th Grade Kingsley High School