“It’s starting to snow!” And, it starts with episode 1 of “Flakes.” Here, we met a young man, with very floppy hair, who finds himself lost and wandering through a snowstorm–without friends or even a memory! What will happen to young Cristoforo? And, why, despite his loss of memory, is he still afraid? “Flakes” is a bl/yaoi inspired novel.
“Flakes” is fully drafted, meaning it is already written. There are at least 15 episodes. As I tweak the story’s style, I will be posting “Flakes” here as a free read episode by episode, and once a new one is posted, the previous episode will link to it.
Readers are very welcome to read and offer helpful edits and comments as the story takes on its final polish and shine. It all begins here, so please be sure to share and post with friends that might have interest, for “It’s starting to snow!” Here is the debut episode:
Flakes, episode 1
“It’s starting to snow!” A floppy-haired, young man noticed with surprise. It was like he was seeing snow for the first time. He looked for somewhere to take shelter, but the city street appeared to be empty and quiet. Its dark storefronts were shuttered up, and there were closed signs in every entryway window. Was it evening already? Pushing the locks of hair hanging over his eyes to the side, he looked around, so he might ask the time, but there was no one else on the street. It was deserted. By this time of night, much less on a stormy one, all the decent, hardworking folk were already home with their families close, their curtains drawn, and their kettles on. Nothing moved anywhere on the street, except for the snow falling steadily and silently through the air and the young man, whose head appeared to hang lower with each next step. The length of his hair swung through the air before him as he walked.
The sky glowed over the street with a twilight hue that was brighter than the dark silhouettes of the buildings that lined each side of the street. Their dark tops towered over the street, and the dusky glow behind them was not bright enough to illuminate the street. Whether this illumination meant the approach of evening or dawn, the young man was not exactly sure which. He felt fairly certain it was the end of the day, but then again, he could not be sure, for he was uncertain about everything right now, except his own name. He said it aloud to reassure himself that he still existed. He half worried he was more a phantasm of the snow than an actual person: “Cristoforo! My name is Cristoforo!”
Gathering his arms before his chest and hunching further over, his slight body shook violently with a chill as the snow continued falling around him. It quickly began accumulating where several inches already lay like a thick blanket over storefront awnings, the sidewalk, and the paved area for cars in between. This blanket bunched up before his feet as he slid more than stepped forward through the street. “My mind is like this snow. Blank.”
He wondered when he had first realized he had no memory. Did that happen just minutes or was that hours ago? He could not even remember this. Either way, his feet were already cold. So was the rest of him, for he was not even wearing a jacket, and he could not remember why, where it was now, or if he even owned one—ever. “The only thing I remember is my name.”
He worried that he might never know anything more about himself again. He wondered what it would be like to be forced to create a new life. Could someone really start over with no memory of who they were or the things they had done? He thought this would be quite convenient if someone had done bad things in their past, and it would be especially so if someone had discovered something bad about themselves. For this kind of person, his situation might not be so bad then. Either way, this might be a fresh, new start, but a fresh start from what—who was he and where was he before this moment, this street, and this storm?
Perhaps, he thought, he should consider himself lucky. For while he could not remember anything, he remembered being afraid, very afraid, and quite recently. He did not have to remember why, for the echo of fear’s shivers still rippled over his skin. And, he felt this fear in his mind. He still felt it in his very soul. Since he was still afraid, he figured that whatever had frightened him must have been very scary. This made him suddenly glad to be wandering aimlessly through the empty, snowy streets for whatever lay ahead could not be any more frightening than what he had already experienced. So, maybe, this was his chance to begin again, but he still worried about everything—and everyone—he might be leaving behind: “Without a memory, I am just like one of these snowflakes.”
He reached for a snowflake that was floating just before his face, but as he reached for it, the breeze caught it, swirled it over and under his hand, and within moments, it disappeared in the wake of snowflakes falling all around him. “Like that snowflake, I have disappeared in this storm.”
As if to prove its disregard for his predicament, the winds slapped a wall of snow against his body. He raised his hand before his face to protect it from the hard snow pelting his face. This made it very difficult to see the street directly before him, which was already lost beneath the snow. “My past is as blank as this snow-covered street.”
Shielding his eyes, he strained to see the stretch of pavement that lay, at one time, before his feet: “These streets are strange to me, so I will need to see where I am going, if I am to get anywhere at all.” Recoiling before a particularly strong gust, Cristoforo held both his hands before his face. “I am freezing, and the storm is getting worse by the moment.”
As the wind continued to blow, he began having trouble walking against it. His body leaned backward as he fought to move it forward. “I can hardly walk.” Another gust of wind threatened to push him off his feet: “I can barely sand up straight.” The next gust was too much, and with its force, he fell backwards onto the snowy street.
He lay there stunned for several seconds. At first, he enjoyed the sudden silence and the unexpected escape from the storm. He could hear it all around him, and he could see the winds forcefully blowing sheets of snow above him, but from down here, he could only see and hear it. He could not feel it. This unexpected reprieve from the storm’s force made him gleeful, and he stretched out his arms and legs. He fluttered them like wings through the snow, and he laughed until he noticed something warm and wet beneath his right hand.
Through the whirling dervish of snow, nothing could be seen, but then in the wake of a strong gust, the air above him momentarily stilled. Within this small window, the snow fell more slowly while the details of the street became suddenly visible through the storm. The street remained empty: a nearby street lamp glowed, several cars slept beneath mounds of snow, as did several trashcans and newsstand, and there in the center of the street lay the outlines of a perfectly formed snow angel. Apparently, this angel had hurt its right wing, for there along the outer edge of its wingspan was a warm, wet trail where the pure white snow had been dyed blood red.
Sensing there was something wrong, Cristoforo pulled his hand before his face. His face contorted with a sickened expression as he looked at it. It was wet with blood: “Oh, I hate the sight of . . . ” And, before a single drop of blood could fall on his face, he passed out.
After the sounds of his protest and the muffled thud of his arm falling back upon the snow faded, the street once again became silent and still. Within moments, as it had everywhere and with everything else, the snow began collecting on the unconscious body, which was now truly at-risk of disappearing in the storm, possibly to be collected by the cold, hard, steel blades of the city’s massive and unforgiving street plows, which had just been started on the edge of the city. Tall broad-shouldered men with rough voices and rougher hands were gathering there now to begin liberating the city from the snowfall, which once again swirled over and under itself obliterating the entire street behind a wall of pure white.
A slender hand emerged from the swirling wall of snow. Its thin, long fingers reached first for the pockets of the unconscious body, but as the young man sniffed or snorted slightly in his deep snooze, the hand moved and began reaching for his neck!
The long fingers grabbed the unconscious boy’s shirt collar. This prompted him to wake up. His eyes and mouth popped open with shock, surprise, and fear. “Leave me alone! I’m hurt. I don’t know you! I don’t remember anything!”
The hand pulled Cristoforo to his feet, where he found himself face to face with what he would have thought was a snowy mirage, if not for the physical reality and reminder of the fist holding tightly onto his collar. Within moments, this hand moved to his shoulder and another hand appeared to already be holding his other shoulder. They stood face to face. Cristoforo stood looking fearsomely toward the taller figure standing directly before him, whom, for a moment, he mistook for a girl. This figure was tall yet narrow with angular features, almond shaped eyes, long eyelashes, and even longer hair that may have flowed out behind him with each next gust of wind. There was so much to look at and take in Cristoforo could not tell if this was her—or rather—his hair or just more swirls of snow, for everything around this figure seemed to be moving and flowing. So, too, was Cristoforo’s head, for having stood too quickly, he was now quite dizzy. He no sooner realized this before his knees began buckling, and he was soon falling backwards once again.
The tall figure looked curiously then concernedly at Cristoforo. “My name is Angelo. I will help you. I will not hurt you.” He then grabbed Cristoforo’s bleeding hand to look at it. Cristoforo winced in pain as his hand was raised. A drop of blood fell from the fingers and stained the snow beneath as Angelo held it up. “You’re bleeding.”
Looking at his own hand, Cristoforo’s already buckling knees gave way, and he began collapsing into the outline of the snow angel he had made. Grabbing him harder by the shoulders, Angelo held him up as Cristoforo fainted.
Angelo caught Cristoforo in his long, outstretched arms with the hint of a smile upon his face: “You can barely stand on your own. Let’s get you out of this storm.” He had no sooner said this before he picked Cristoforo up and laid him over his shoulder. Settling the weight on his shoulder, he then turned and disappeared, carrying Cristoforo directly into the storm.
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“Flakes” © MJ Isola
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