"I made it snow in Burgess today. It was nothing big, just a flurry. I think you would've liked it. I mean, I don't know if you still liked snow after, you know, the accident. I hear accidents can be, uh, what's the word? Traumatizing? Something like that. It must've been tough after... after I left.
I hope you still learned to skate.
Maybe Pa taught you. He taught me, did you know? You know, huh? I must've told you that story a thousand times. He just clapped on those skates and dropped me on the ice. Didn't tell me nothing, just told me to skate. He probably wouldn't have been that rough on you, on account of your a girl. Wouldn't want to ruin that pretty face.
I bet you grew up beautiful.
I think I saw you. I mean, I didn't remember it was you. Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn't. Maybe it's all wishful thinking on my part. Maybe I saw you sitting by the window, reading or sewing. Maybe I saw you walking home or going out. Maybe we even walked passed each other or you walked through me. You didn't know, I didn't know. It could've happened.
But that's sad, I think. It's very sad isn't it? I probably saw my nephews and nieces too. Oh man, I was an uncle, wasn't I? That's... That's really something. I hope I threw snowballs at them. I hope I gave them the best sled rides of their lives. I've palled around with so many kids. It's possible, you know.
I wonder - I wonder if they came home with stories about snowmen and skating? Did you laugh at all the best parts? Or did you worry? You were always such a nag. You worried worse than... worse than Mom. That's what they're called now, 'Mom'. 'Mother' got too stiff, too formal, you know? I like 'Mom'. It sounds nice and soft. It reminds me of pillows and clouds, fluffy things.
She's with you now, isn't she? Well, she always liked you best. You were sensible and practical. I was a headache. I caused nothing but trouble. Hey, remember that time I tricked old man Willows? I got him thinking the wolves were after his flock. I took to howling right outside his bedroom window. Oh man, he locked himself in the barn with them sheep, didn't dare leave for a week. Mom gave me the scolding of my life. Boxed my ears, she did. I couldn't have supper for a week. But that's alright. It was one of the bad seasons, I remember. We didn't have much food back then, huh? The soil weren't too rich, not good for the crops. That was a pain. Farming? All that tilling and plowing, yeah, I don't miss that. That's more Bunnymund's alley.
Oh yeah, I'm friends with the Easter Bilby - no, sorry, I meant the Bunny , and the Sandmand, and the Tooth Fairy, and Santa. Yep, that Santa. The Santa. I'm running with the Big Four now. Me, Jack Frost!
So, don't you worry about me. And don't lie. You and I both know you worried your little head over me. I always made you worry. I guess some things don't change. That's good because our house is now a parking lot and the old church got burned down some years back. Not me. I'll always be trouble, your trouble, your troublesome brother. But don't get your skirts all ruffled. I'm fine, really I am. I'm happy. They take care of me, you know? It's not you or Mom or Pa and they're never taking your place. But they take good care of me. So, don't you worry. I'm happy now.
I mean, I'm not gonna lie. I wasn't in a good place awhile back. You probably saw, didn't you? I wasn't very, I guess you could say, content. That's putting it lightly. You probably saw my, uh, attempts. I'm sorry. That must've been hard to watch. If I had known, I wouldn't have. Or maybe I would've. I probably would've tried harder. So I could be with you again. With you, Mom, and Pa.
Did you think you'd see me again? You know, when you went up there, when you left. Did Mom and Pa think they'd see me again? You got your hopes up for nothing then. Sorry about that. I didn't exactly plan for this to happen. I never - I never wanted to stay.
I never wanted to be left behind.
No one asked me what I wanted. No one ever asked me what I wanted. It's a load of steaming horse shit. You'll have to pardon my French. Mom must be giving me the stink eye right about now. I mean, if she's there. And if she's listening.
Can you hear me when I talk to you? It's a little hard to tell, heh. I hope... I hope you do. But that's probably wishful thinking on my part. They say if you believe in something, it makes it real. It makes it real and tangible and visible. I mean, obviously, I can't just believe you back to life. But I can believe you can hear me, right? That I'm not just talking to myself. I've done enough of that, thanks.
Can you hear me when I talk to you? Because I'd give anything if I just knew."
Jack stares at the barren plot of land he cleared before him. It stood on the edges of his lake. He died in that lake. He has a right to it more than everybody else. It's his final resting place, his tombstone, since the one with his name has long been lost. The same could be said for the rest of his family. He just thought if the lake was to be his grave marker, it would be appropriate to make it his family's too. If they weren't together in life, then they'd be together in death. Sort of.
He put crosses because he is fairly sure they were Christian. He remembers learning his letters by the Bible. And there was church and sunday sermons. That meant they were Christian, so crosses it is. They were awkward crosses, made from crisscrossing sticks tied together by twine. He laid flowers around them, he could manage that at least. They deserved alabaster and marble and pretty, little angels to weep at their graves. Also, to actually have their bones in their graves. But 300 years is a long time and a lot has happened since. He is pretty sure bone doesn't last that long. His family has long dissolved into the earth, fed to the roots of saplings, and blossomed into trees. Probably even one of the trees Jack likes to sleep in. He smiles at that thought. It would almost be like he's sleeping in his family's embrace. Even if it probably isn't true.
The wind rustles through the branches and curls about his hair. Jack likens it to fingers and closes his eyes. He could almost smell the harsh scent of his mother's soap, feel the faint tint of his sister's hair, hear the deep belly rumble of his father's laugh. Almost. A tear rolls down his cheek and lands a frozen, clear marble a top the makeshift gave.
"I miss you."
More than words could say.