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Bleep…bleep!

I reach out of my bed and turn off the high-pitched alarm clock before it wakes anyone else up. Jerking the blankets off of me before I can fall back asleep, I sit up and dangle my feet off of my bed.

I blink a few times to clear my mind and wash the sleep from my eyes. Glancing at the clock, I note that it is almost time.

The cold snakes its way up my legs and arms, and settles into my skin, making me shiver. After popping my toes, I stand and cross the room to my window. I lift the blinds and stare out. In the pale predawn light I can see that the weatherman was correct, it did indeed snow.

Smiling, I whisper, “Perfect.”

Shivering again, I move away from the window, flip on my light, and open up my dresser. Quickly, I change into some clean, warm clothes.

Quiet as a cat, I leave my room, turning the light out as I close the door behind me. Through the shadows, I creep down the hallway on my way to the front door.

I pause in the entry room to pull on my snow boots, sweater, and coat. I take my mittens out of my pockets and set them on the table. After I zip up my coat, I pull my sweater’s hood out from the coat and stuff my long brown hair into it as I place it over my head. My standard point-and-shoot digital camera sits on the table near my mittens. I pick it up and put it in my pocket. The teeth of the pocket’s zipper click into place to protect my camera from a potential three-foot drop into a sea of ice crystals. Lastly, I pull on my mittens and step up to the front door.

The gold colored deadlock clicks and I turn the handle. The chilly air surrounds me the moment the door opens. Slipping out the door silently, I slowly close the door while holding down the handle so it does not click too loudly.

Looking around the large front yard, I realize it seems to be getting lighter by the second. Breathing out, my breath forms a huge cloud of mist. Carefully, I step down from the tiny porch and began to wade through the ankle deep snow. The snow cracks and sinks under my feet, leaving a trail behind me.

The world around me is almost silent. Any birds that have stayed to brave out the winter are not fully awake yet and only the occasional birdcall echoes from nearby trees. The only additional noise is the crunching of the snow beneath my feet and the soft sound of my breathing.

Finally, after passing a tall oak, I stand on the side of the snow-laden road. Pointlessly, I look both ways up and down the street, but the few people that are awake are not yet driving. Walking up the middle of the road, I make my way to the best position for my plan. When the snow melts it will once more reveal the gravel and dust of a country road, but for now it is hidden in a white blanket.

A quarter mile down the street, I stop and walk to the side of the road opposite the one I came from. On this side, there is a fence with an empty field on the other side. To the left of the field is a small forest filled with winter bare trees.

Gazing across the field, I watch as the top of the sun peaks over the horizon. The sun is pale pink and orange, and the surrounding clouds soon reflect the bold colors.

Carefully, I remove my camera from my fur-lined pocket and lift it to eye level. I adjust the camera, taking in most of the field and part of the forest, using the sun as a focal point. My mitten enclosed finger hovers over the silver button and then I press down, capturing the moment. Zooming in, I take another picture. Then, changing the color scheme to black and white and zooming back out, I take another.

Lowering and turning off my camera, I continue to stare across the field in awe, taking in the beauty. I will wait until the sun has risen higher into the light blue-gray sky before taking some more photos.

The sun causes the field to sparkle as if thousands on diamonds had been laced with the fallen snow. The snow flows perfectly across the landscape, untouched by life.

Once the sun is completely above the horizon, I turn on the camera once more and click away, taking pictures of the sea of glittering snow.

Just as I’m about to turn away and retreat to the warm house, I hear a twig snap from the closest portion of forest. I quickly turn my head in the direct of the noise. Out of the shadows steps a bright-eyed doe. She stands on the fringe of the trees and stares directly at me. With each breath, a puff of smoke surrounds her face.

Slowly, so as not to scare her, I turn on my camera and point it at her. She stays frozen, allowing me to capture her image. I click once, twice, three times, zooming in more and more each time, before she finally decides to move on.

Bubbles of joy form deep in my stomach as I watch the deer take a few hesitant steps until she is just outside of the woods. With each step she leaves another print on the fresh snow in the field. Soon she disappears back into the trees and I turn to head back home feeling completely satisfied.





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