A Long Night by Daniel Shifflet

“I think I popped a nut,” cried Jasin as he rolled off the sled. If it wasn’t for the moon, we’d both be completely blind as we stumbled through the snow. I was wearing a T-shirt, jeans, and boots that were too large for me to wear comfortably. Unlike me, Jasin was prepared for the snow wearing a coverall snowsuit and was in no rush to get back home. We made it to the treeline- “My balls still hurt” 

“Well maybe you shouldn’t have rode down on your stomach” I retorted with an exhausted exhale before I trip and fall face first into the snow.

“Haha, that’s karma” Jasin laughed as I tried to pull myself out of the snow. Frustrated and cold, I hastily made a snowball and threw it at Jasin; If only I was good at throwing because Jasin had made a snowball quicker than I threw mine and chucked it at my face. Thankfully, I dodged it but lost my footing and fell into the snow once more. The cold snow didn’t bother me until the snow started to melt on my jeans, and I felt a new wave of urgency to get back inside. I pulled myself up and looked around for Jasin who already made his way to the summit of the hill. 

The dead silence of the snow filled me with an unexplainable fear; maybe it was the fear of the dark or maybe just the woods itself. I knew I wanted out of there though. Time felt slower in this moment, and I was calm but also hyper aware of my surroundings. Snow on a branch behind me fell, and a chill ran down my spine. I bolted up the hill without looking back and felt relieved when I reached the summit. I was tired, and my night was almost over.

“Dude, you’re bleeding,”Jasin pointed to my hand ”Oh nice, good to know” I looked down at my hand and felt a chill as I opened my palm; The gash in my hand must have happened  when I fell and tried to catch myself- cutting my hand on a broken piece of glass in the process. It was no trouble to me other than the fact that I got blood on my clothes, this fact made Jasin a little worried about my mental health. I clenched my hand to stop some of the bleeding and made my way to the door. 

Jasin sprinted to the door before me “I gotta Shit!” He unzipped his snowsuit but got his leg stuck, and in his panic, tripped onto the floor. He flopped around, trying to get his foot out of the suit’s leg. I felt the need to point out the irony of this situation but I had to dumb it down to “Haha, that’s karma” 

“Dude it’s not funny I really gotta shit!” We were both laughing at this point, and after Jasin freed himself from the suit leg, he sprinted to the bathroom. I went to the kitchen sink and treated my wound like I had received it in a life or death battle between good and evil, ”Good thing we have band-aids” I laughed.

Jasin went in to take a quick shower, so while I waited, I walked outside again, except this time on the raised deck connected to the upper level of the house. I had brought a flashlight with me and shined it into the woods and then at the sledding path. The path started on the summit of the hill and sloped down going straight into the woods on a trail that me and Jasin would walk through during the summer. “Stupid kids” I muttered to myself before turning around and going back inside to sit on the couch.

I was still waiting for Jasin to get out of the shower, and I was running out of patience; I wanted to go first in the shower but decided not to since the bathroom still smelled like crap from Jasin. Jasin and I were friends, but we were close enough to be brothers, so we often had nights like these where we would make fools of ourselves. I was older than Jasin by two years, but he was always the lead wherever we’d go and get ourselves into whatever mischief we could find. Some like to point fingers and say I was a bad influence, but even Jasin himself says he is a bad influence. 

I followed Jasin everywhere; So when Jasin asked if I wanted to go sledding as soon as I came over, I hesitantly said yes. I even had no intention of going sledding today, much less at night, but I trudged out into the snow with him. My boots were too big for me, and I knew they were gonna chafe easily, “You could have said no” I repeated in my head every time I was going to complain about something. We reached the summit of the hill and stood there for a minute, trying to see down into the woods. “I forgot my flashlight” 

“It’s okay we don’t need it anyway” “How are we supposed to see?”

“Ya’ gotta live a little” Jasin said while handing me a cheap foam penguin sled,”I’ll go first.” Jasin could tell I was nervous so he graciously went first, which shocked me because Jasin is usually twisted. With his foam sled, he sat down on the fluffy snow and scooted to the edge,”Hi, I’m Jasin and welcome to Jacka-” He slid down the hill but managed to stop himself halfway by rolling off into the snow. He looked up at me and grinned with his cheeky smile that irked every nerve in my body.”It’s your turn Danny-boy”
“Oh God no” I started to play the martyr but Jasin had none of it, insisting that it was my turn to freeze in the cold snow.

I dragged my pitiful foam sled to the start of the path Jasin had made in the snow and sat down. I scooted less than an inch before plummeting down the hill, passing Jasin, and reaching the edge of the treeline. I managed to stop myself, but got covered in snow in the process. My jeans were already caked in snow, but that didn’t bother me as much as the snow against my arms which numbed them almost instantly. I look up to the summit of the hill to see Jasin on his foam sled, but this time he was laying on his stomach, “Come push me dude” 

“Nah, push yourself” He listened to my advice and slid down the hill, passing me and the treeline. When he passed the treeline, he went over a log causing him to go into the air for a split second,”My balls!” he yelled out in pain as he went tumbling over himself.

I had to make sure he was okay, so I ran into the woods after him. I could hardly walk, and my ankles were already raw from my boots. When I caught up to him, he was sprawled out in the snow clutching his sides and rolling back and forth- Jasin interrupted me while I was recalling what happened by slapping me on the back of the head,”It’s your turn dude”

“It’s about time.” I went to take a quick shower, and when I was finished, Jasin was already asleep. My night was finally over.

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