The first time Rik did it it was for a dare. His mates had fed him a bottle of White Lighting followed by a good third of the pinkest Watermelon 20/20, so Rik was fully prepared to take on the deed.

The brick had been one discarded by a former building left for too many years to decompose, aided by the odd storm and occasional vandal. It wavered on the edge of the once wall. It was dirty orange with patches of black. Rik didn’t consider where the black had come from. Neither did his teeth as they bit into the sharp clayey edge. His mates laughed, expecting a spluttering of broken mouth appendages, possibly followed by a trip to A&E. But that didn’t happen. They expected a lot of blood, mixed with some gum and bits of yesterday’s dinner. But that didn’t happen. They expected painful cries of why the fuck did I do that, even with a blood alcohol level of numbness. But that didn’t happen. Instead, Rik crunched his way through the unuseful construction material with relative ease, and even a bit of enjoyment. He took another one home for later. A post drinking session snack.

Since then Rik had found it difficult to give up his brick addiction. Building merchants began their regular fortnightly delivery of fresh bricks, wondering how such small batches were being made into nothing at all. Different bricks gave off different flavours. A plethora of tastes and textures. Rik became quite the expert.

As he sat in the green room of the prime time 30 plus market segment chat show, plate of complimentary pebbles next to the other guests’ boring sandwiches, Rik considered his new found fame. You never know what you’re good at unless you have a go, and sometimes going on the piss with your mates is just the place to begin.

1000 Snowflakes

Every night he'd ask his mum if it would snow this winter. His mum always said it depends if the snowflake fairy pays us a visit. But Harry had to be good for the snowflake fairy to visit. So Harry tried very hard to be good. He helped carry his mum's shopping home, he visited nan once a week and gave her a big hug and kiss before he left, he helped his dad sheer the sheep till they were naked of wool. He worked hard. Harry believed.

The nights grew darker and the townsfolk covered themselves in woolly clothes to keep out the chill. But still the snowflakes wouldn't fall. Harry was trying to be good every day. Sometimes he'd try twice as hard. He even shared his sweets with his sister in the hope that the snowflake fairy was watching, somewhere.


Harry's mum had just tucked her boy into bed. She was worried. For once she was wishing the snow would come to the town, just to reward her hopeful boy who'd tried so hard on behalf of the lucid snowflake fairy. She thought, and wondered, and imagined and dreamed.


A few weeks later it was Harry's seventh birthday. He climbed trees and made a den in the woods with his friends. When he got home there was a party with streamers and silly hats, and a cake with seven candles. When he blew out the candles he made a wish. He wished it three times just to make sure the snowflake fairy could hear. That night, after he'd checked through the curtains one last time, his mum tucked him safe and sound into his warm bed. His mum told him that night his dreams would be special.

On their way to the shops the next morning Harry wondered why his dad was with them. He never came shopping when he had the sheep to tend. The town was busy too. But everyone was heading in the same direction, towards Wellgate in the centre of town, and, Harry realised, so were they. His mum didn't answer him when he asked, she just smiled a watery smile.

Harry, his sister, and his mum and dad rounded the corner to Wellgate into a throng of people clogging up the small entrance. When they turned and saw Harry they parted like a drift of snow, all the way to the end where the town well had always stood. Harry's eyes widened at the sight. The well, lacy white, was patterned with snowflakes. 1000 snowflakes. As he got closer he could see they were made of wool. All eyes of the children of Ossett town gaped wondrously at the grand sight before them. The townspeople smiled as Harry gazed at the well, his eyes studying each carefully crafted snowflake, each one made by those watching him, each filled with the joy of a child. Harry's mum gave him the biggest hug he'd ever had and told him how the people of Ossett wanted him and all the children to have their own snowflakes, just for them.



In bed that night Harry smiled into his pillow wrapped in the dreamy day he'd just had. He didn't think of the snowflake fairy. He thought of his mum and his dad and all the nice people he'd met that day who'd made him and his friends such a special present.


The moon shone in the dark swirls of the night and cast a bright beam upon the well in Ossett town. The woollen snowflakes danced, but there was no breeze. From deep in the well something shivered. A flurry of wind carrying shimmering silver dust flowed from the well's opening. Jack Frost rose up into the white woollen flakes made by the people of Ossett. Up he rose, into the eaves, calling to the night, calling to the snowflake fairy.




Harry woke the next morning with his mum's excited voice telling him to look outside. He pulled open his curtains to the scattering of soft white flakes of snow that lay as far as he could see. He shut his eyes and thanked the snowflake fairy for listening to all the people of Ossett. Then he ran downstairs to find his bobble hat and red wellies.