Winter Wonderland 2018-2019 Writing Contest: Cozy Comforts
Ren had been repairing a little house for his good friend for well over an hour, and the weather started to get to him.
Before, when he had lived in Oceandome, it wasn’t so hard. The dome had a rather temperate climate and if he had to swim, he had his diver’s suit. But here, none of it provided enough warmth for the cold-blooded dragon. Even though he was a snow dragon, he was also quite the snowbird. He would opt for hot weather any day, and often he did. A group of his friends had decided to spend winter vacation here, and he was just dragged along. He shook violently as the snow started to fall even faster.
A young manokit quickly waddled out to Ren, and put a paw on his shoulder.
“Inside with you,” he said, “you’re freezing!”
“Well, but I’ve got to finish Akira’s house-”
“Nonsense!” The manokit shook his head. “That can wait, Ren. You won’t want to catch a cold.”
“Oh, Xylan. You’re scared of a little hard work!” The dragon knew what Xylan said was true, but wouldn’t go down without giving a little guff. Regardless, he allowed the manokit to tug him towards his house.
As Ren walked into the large igloo-shaped house, he sighed in relief at the warmth. Xylan followed behind him, and both walked towards the fireplace, where a deer was seated on a pillow wearing a large white coat.
“Hey, Akira,” Ren said, setting down his tools on a small table. “Xylan won’t let me finish your house. Sorry. But you know, maybe you should try putting so much wear and tear on it…!”
“You know running a fireplace for so long is bound to make even the thickest ice melt eventually! Don’t worry about my house. Your well-being is more important. I reckon we might get a little blizzard.” The deer, with her usual sunhat replaced by a warmer beanie, got up and headed towards the kitchen to put a kettle of water on. It wasn’t long before the scent of hot cocoa filled the air, mixing with the ashy smell of the fireplace.
Ren and Xylan settled down on the floor next to each other, talking quietly about the weather. Steam from the kettle drifted through the room, bringing with it a sweet chocolatey smell.
When Akira came back with the cups of cocoa, the other two were already drifting asleep under a blanket. Ren was smiling, something very rare, and Akira set the mugs down lightly to sit across from them and doze off herself.
Xylan awoke, with Akira asleep closeby and Ren cuddled up to him. The young manokit could sense that the fire needed tending to, but he couldn’t move without waking them. The warmth under blankets was enough to lull him back to sleep, despite knowing that they would be rudely awoken by the cold soon. He could hear the wind howling outside, and was more than grateful that he was so lucky to have companions to keep him cozy while the snow would swirl and twirl out there. His friends’ breathing was so steady, and their faces so peaceful, that Xylan didn’t have to see well to know it. This would be a comfort that he would cherish forever.