The Cold (A Short Story)

“Alexa, what’s the temperature right now?” I ask the small speaker on my nightstand.

“Right now, it’s 32 degrees,” She replies.

I sigh and glare at the open window before sliding it shut. It’s freezing in my room and I know crawling into bed is going to be a nightmare.

I do a few quick jumping jacks to raise my body temperature, then strip down, throw back the sheets and dive into bed.

“Hoooolllllyyyy sssnnickers!” I manage to refrain from squealing, but I still mutter a few obscenities under my breath. It feels like I crawled between two thin sheets of solid ice! Every inch of me breaks out in goosebumps. I clutch desperately at the useless comforter, wrapping myself in it as though I expect it to be any warmer.

My whole body begins to shiver and I start squirming, moving my arms and legs across the sheets like I’m creating a snow angel, hoping that the friction will create some heat. At this point, I wouldn’t be opposed to the sheets catching fire.

It is all in vain, though, as only time allows the sheets to leech the heat from my body enough to warm them to a more bearable state. Minutes pass as my teeth chatter. Finally, the sheets begin to reach a temperature capable of supporting human life.

Then the spouse walks in. They pause in the doorway to the room and offer me an amused expression. They look from me to the empty space beside me, then back to me.

“Why are you on my side of the bed?” They ask.

“Because, I love you,” I say. I then raise the blankets and crawl into the wild tundra on the other side of the bed to begin the whole process again.

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