Wherein I take a band name from Scalzi’s Next Band Name list, and spend no more than 20 minutes writing the story with the band name as a title.
“Can not!” Nicky yelled.
“Can, too!” Danny yelled back.
The two boys were locked in a screaming match that had been going on for a while now, neither one wanting to concede.
“Can not! Can not! Can not!”
“Can too! Can too! Can too!”
The arguments hadn’t changed very much, if at all, and, well, there was only so much a dad could take before he had to do something to stop two young boys from going hoarse at the age of eight. Craig pushed himself up from his desk, and went to rap on the window.
“Hey! You two!”
The boys were too busy screaming at each other to notice Craig. After failing to catch their attention, he stepped away from the window and walked to the back door. After pulling on his coat and boots, he opened the door and walked outside. A stiff breeze blew up, tousled his hair and caught his breath in the cold of it. Shivering slightly, Craig pulled his jacket closed, and stomped down the stairs and around the side of the house.
Calls of “Can not!” and “Can too!” greeted him.
“HEY!” Craig yelled.
The boys finally stopped.
“What are you two arguing about?”
Speaking over each other, Craig couldn’t figure out what was going on, so held up a hand. “Wait,” both boys stopped talking. “One at a time. Danny?” Quietly, he muttered to himself, “Yeah, that was diplomatic, let the neighbor’s kid go first.”
“Nicky doesn’t think snowmen can fly.”
“Because they can’t!” Nicky cried out.
“Can, too!” Danny responded.
“BOYS!” Craig boomed. They fell silent again, looking up at him. “Why don’t you find out?” The boys continued to be quiet, continued to look at him, but now with puzzled expressions on their faces.
“You could build a snowman, then see if you can help it to fly.”
The two boys looked at each other, then turned almost as one, and went to build a snowman. They had built enough snowmen for Craig to know that, well, they knew how to build snowmen. “That should keep them busy for a while,” he said, turning to go back into the house.
An hour later, he heard cries of “DaaaaaaAAAAAAAaaaaaAAAaad!” and went to look out the window. Nicky was waving his hands, gesturing for Craig to come outside. Bundled up better than he had the previous time, Craig wandered out into the cold and over to the side yard. To his surprise, a giant snowman sat on the end of a long board, which was tilted over a log one of the boys must have dragged from the woods behind the house.
“A seesaw, boys?”
“Yes,” Nicky said.
“We want you to jump on the other end,” Danny said, pointing to the end of the board up in the air.
Craig looked at what they had and realized immediately what the boys were trying to do. “The board will break if I jump on it.”
“We already tried jumping on it,” Danny said.
“He didn’t move,” Nicky said.
“What else have you tried?” Craig asked.
“Just that,” Danny said.
The three of them stood out there for a bit before Craig suggested, “How about you both come inside? I’ll make hot chocolate and we can figure out if we can get the snowman to fly or if snowmen can’t fly.”
Both boys agreed, and the three of them went into the house.
Craig turned into the kitchen to start the hot chocolate, and heard the boys turn into the mud room, then head up the back stairs a few minutes later. The “FWUMP!” from outside didn’t disturb his conentration as he stirred the heating milk on the stove, the back door opening did.
Nicky and Danny walked into the house, still fully dressed in their winter coats, hats, gloves and scarves. Craig looked at the boys, a bit puzzled.
“Weren’t you just upstairs?”
“Yes,” they answered in unison, and turned to go into the mud room, then up the back stairs. Realizing they hadn’t removed their boots before heading upstairs, Craig turned off the stove and was about to go to the stairs when dropping shadow caught his attention outside the window. He heard the second “FWUMP!”
When he looked out the window, he saw a giant snowman heading straight for the window.
The house echoed with a “BOOM!” then was quiet.
“SEE?” Craig heard Danny cry out from outside. “Snowmen can fly.”
“Yeah,” Nicky said, sitting with Danny in the snow next to the now empty board lying by the log, “into the house.”