Welcome to WiP Wednesday.
As I sit here snug at my desk with a blanket across my lap and the heating on, England is in the grip of winter. I know, I know… wrong time of year. Especially since I had been wittering on previously that spring was on the way.
Well, the weather gods have different ideas. It’s sub-zero even in the daytime, and snow flurries are becoming something rather commonplace. Other parts of the country are already blanketed in white, though my garden has only a rather delicate layer to show for the several falls we’ve had today.
Our Tiger hates the weather. His water dish is frozen and he really doesn’t want to set a foot outside unless he really has to. Since I don’t have a litter tray in the house – he’s always refused to use one – he’s got to wander outside whether he wants to or not.
Though if we do get a blizzard – and we’re supposed to tonight and tomorrow – he may change his mind on that. Last time we had that much snow, he was bunny hopping across the garden since the snow came up to his shoulders. His little face – so totally disgusted with the white stuff – was priceless.
You can probably tell that I actually like winter. And snow. And the gloriously blue skies you only get when it’s really cold. The thing I hate about the season are the wet, dreary days when you have to have lights on from getting up to going to bed. Oh, and black ice isn’t on my list of favourites, either.
Apart from that… let it snow!
It rarely does snow properly in England. Which is probably why I I decided a long time ago that Jack and Gareth would need a winter adventure. That the adventure turned into a mystery was… not planned, but maybe expected. But telling you about that in detail would be spoiling the story. So instead I’ll share some winter fun for my WiP Wednesday snippet.
Now… how about a bit of a wild ride and Jack teasing Gareth? As usual… your WiP Wednesday treat is under the picture!
From Swings & Roundabouts
Thick snow smoothed all the edges and draped every branch and sign. Jack couldn’t tell whether they were on a tarmac road or a country lane, but he remembered the incline and the path opening out in front of him onto a highway of pure white.
A right then completely empty highway of pure white.
Jack opened the throttle and the snowmobile shot forward, leaving Gareth behind him as if he was standing still. This… exactly this was why he’d wanted to come back here.
He raced down the endless white, eased off a little to let Gareth catch up, only to shoot off again. He didn’t manage it so well this time. Gareth expected his attack and didn’t let him open too big a gap. The rumble and roar of the skidoos’ engines almost drowned out the crunch of snow and susurration of wind. They played like a couple of kids, created plumes of snow spray on the turns, looped back and around and headed each other off. Light cut across their path, and sudden blades of shadow. The snow glittered brighter than snow ever did in England, and the sky was a stunning clear blue with only a few clouds moving in along the horizon. They could see for miles on their wide, white highway, and it felt as if no other soul was anywhere near.
The day was bright, the air cold, and the temperature dropped further as the sun slipped behind the trees.
“Any idea of what we’ll do for dinner?” Gareth queried when they stopped to clear the frost from their visors. “Can’t see the local curry house delivering out here. If there is a local curry house, of course.”
“I’m told there’s plenty of fish in the lake.”
“It’ll be dark in a bit. Have you ever fished in the dark?”
“If I have it wasn’t a memorable event.” The only time he’d done any foraging that didn’t involve stealing what he needed to stop himself from starving had been while he served in the army. He hadn’t cared much about it then, knowing too well what it felt like to be cold and hungry to make a game of it.
“The lake’s gonna be frozen. You don’t wanna start cutting holes into large areas of frozen water without seeing what you’re doing.”
Gareth was still fixated on dinner and Jack didn’t bother with an answer. Stupid memories aside, he had such a hard time not to laugh; if he opened his mouth he would give the game away. And that was not on the agenda.
This was supposed to be a surprise and he’d make sure it was one.
Gareth had taken his helmet off to adjust the balaclava he wore underneath, and Jack followed suit. Just so he could lean over and treat himself to a kiss veering between sweet and toe-curling hot. “It’s weird,” he chuffed, when he drew away.
“What is? Me risking frostbite for a taste of you?”
“Nah.” Jack replaced his helmet. Kissing Gareth was worth the risk of frost bite any day. He had no issue with it. “What’s weird is that we’re standing in the middle of the river.”
“Yep. This raceway we’ve been riding is the Torne River.”
Gareth turned his head first one way then the other as he contemplated their route. Overhead, the bright blue darkened to cobalt and the first stars glittered along the eastern horizon. “How thick is the ice?”