Finally the last stone had been placed in the crevice, crudely shaped as an eye. One was darker than the other, adding an almost ominous feeling to the creation.
The boy was dressed as his mother had taught him; hat on top, jacket zipped up with a heavy striped scarf wrapped around his face, snow pants with the overall straps that, against his best efforts, were just a little uneven, and boots that had seen a few too many winters.
He looked at the carrot nose and chuckled to himself, having not been able to resist a mid-work snack.
His only worry was that his mother would discover whose gloves, hat, and scarf he had used for the snowman…they were hers.
“I’m going to call you Watcher,” he said to the still figure standing against the starry sky just a head above his own height. The boy would have told anyone who would hear him that he was an impressive 4 feet 9 inches; pretty tall for a 10 year old boy. He was in fact 4 foot 5 inches, and was just now able to reach the kitchen sink by himself.
The boy heard the front door fly open and the lights from inside the house lighting up most of the front yard in the darkness.
“ANTHONY PRIDWELL YOU GET IN HERE THIS INSTANT!” said a distinctly displeased sounding voice.
“Great,” mumbled Anthony. “Now you’ve gotten me in trouble, Watcher.” He turned and trudged through the snow towards the lighted opening where certain doom awaited him. “She’s never gonna let me be out this late again.”
From behind him, Anthony thought he heard movement and spun around.
Nothing. Just his snowman and his mismatched eyes, one with a reddish hue and the other pitch black, looking back at the house.
Anthony turned back around and ran inside. The door slammed behind him.
“In trouble you say?” An icy voice floated by on the breeze. “I’ll show you trouble.”
Anthony woke up the next morning to a cloudy sky outside his window. His mother used to tell him stories about Jack Frost visiting in the night, leaving his paintings of ice crystals in the corners of the windows. Anthony was grown up now so he knew better. Ice had gathered on his window in the night and was peeking through the slightly open window shade. Anthony stretched and rose from his bed. He pulled down on the shade with a slight jerk and released, expecting to see his front yard covered in snow with Watcher standing where Anthony had left him.
He jumped back and yelled,“MOOOMM!”
She came running, “What is it?”
“LOOK AT MY W-WINDOW!”
She looked out and scoffed, “After taking my winter clothes you had to put icing on the cake with this? I’ll admit the writing is pretty clever, but I’m still mad and you are still grounded.”
“NO!” said his mom, “I don’t want to hear you again until your chores are done and you’ve done your homework!”
Anthony responded in a quiet voice, “But I didn’t take your stuff, I just found it outside.”
“I’ll have no more lies, Anthony,” she responded as she shut the door to his bedroom.
Anthony looked back out his window. Watcher’s unsettling eyes looked back at him through the window with the writing in frost, “I’m always watching.”
17 years later, Anthony stood at his mother’s grave, fresh earth being slowly covered in snow.
He was shaking but not from the cold.
“If she hadn’t grabbed the wheel this wouldn’t have happened,” he thought spitefully to himself. “I’ve been driving for years. On my phone and off. Never a problem.” He turned and slowly walked back to his car. As he reached for the ignition he paused and glanced in the rearview mirror. “I could have sworn… Ah it’s been a long day.” He plugged his phone into the radio and pulled out of the graveyard. Even through his gloves, his hands were still cold. He let out a sigh, appearing as steam in the air. He turned the heat up.
His phone went off. He answered.
“Hello?” Anthony said. “Yah I just got on the highway, I’ll be home in a f-” As he merged onto the interstate he looked in his rearview and there was the writing. ‘I’m always watching.’ He looked back at the road and then again at the mirror. No writing.
“Hello?” Anthony heard in his ear.“Hey sorry, I thought I saw-”
In front of him he saw a glint of red and a leering smile. “OH GOD!” He swerved. His car slid and spun out, crashing into the guardrail and over the edge of the road, connecting hard with a great oak. Smoke rose from the car.
“Hello?” Anthony’s phone said but with no reply.
Behind the wreckage there came a cold voice. “You blamed me and never learned. I have watched. I have waited. 17 years and you have never learned.”
Anthony’s eyes closed for the last time.
Sebastien Mehegan can be contacted at