"s 2015 Horror Write-off:

" Snowman "

Submitted by ProphetStorm

The snow fell gently on the wasteland. The sunlight that filtered through the clouds gave it a surreal, white glow. It crunched omnipresently beneath my feet, swirled ominously just outside my goggles, and settled on my shoulders with a phantom weight.

"Is this the place?” Sam asked, coming up alongside me. Like me, he was bundled up like an Eskimo, and like me, I suspect he was sweating bullets underneath. “Huh. Must be. Look at the snow…”

“Yeah…it’s all over.”

The snow fell gently, as I’ve said—but it fell quickly. Perhaps it was heavier, or perhaps it was more compact. But something was up with it. It was upward of ninety degrees out, and the snow was ankle-deep.

Sam pointed toward the ruins of an industrial complex, holding up his Geiger. “I think that’s it. Everything snug?”

“Yup,” I replied. “You?”

“Sweating like a stuck pig, but my freshness is sealed in.”

“You sweat like a pig, Sam, you bleed like a stuck pig.”

“Pigs don’t sweat like this unless they’re stuck, Penny.”

I shrugged and we continued down the hill. The snow acted just like normal snow, apart from its surreal existence in the brutal heat. Including how slick it could be. As we walked cautiously, Sam mislaid one foot and it rocketed out from under him, sending him sliding and tumbling down the debris-studded hill. He yelled something, but I couldn’t make it out. I yelled something, but I can’t repeat it. Running haphazardly down the hill, I tried to catch up to him, praying his suit hadn’t been breached. I had no idea what would happen if it was, but the people who told us about the Winter Hills warned us so gravely that it seemed instant death might result. Odd—no extra layers against radiation were necessary, but they were adamant that no skin be exposed.

I caught up to Sam and picked him up. “You okay? Are you exposed?” I spun him around, looking him up and down. Nothing seemed to have been exposed, and the snow didn’t seem too dangerous, but I brushed it off nevertheless.

“I…I dunno…but my head’s fuzzy. I’m a little dizzy from that fall, I guess…no…oh no…Penny, run.”

“What? What is it?”

“RUN. My leg. The pants….”

I looked down. His pants had been cut open by some piece of debris, and now he sported a nasty open wound, plastered with the defiantly unmelted snow. “Oh no,” I whispered, but refused to run, even as I saw the crystals of the snow spreading.

His skin turned blue, then sprouted into a white, fluffy layer. I could hear him moaning in pain, but his mind was going as fast as his body. As I stepped back, his snow suit split open. Soon, there was nothing but a snow man, with black carbon eyes and teeth.

I had wondered what those figures around the ruins were. What I wouldn’t give for an enchanted hat.