Snowflakes by Ruth Ware

Snowflakes by Ruth Ware

Author:Ruth Ware [Ware, Ruth]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9781542022163
Published: 2020-07-29T16:00:00+00:00

It was May who saw them first. I woke in the predawn, and she was not beside me. When I turned, I saw her standing at the window, looking out through the morning mist to something far across the ocean. Woof was beside her.

“Birds,” she said and pointed. But the noise was like no bird I had ever heard.

I got out of bed and stood beside her, shivering with cold, and that’s when I saw them.

Not birds.


“Jacob,” I whispered, pushing him with my foot, and he stirred on the floor and flung out an arm, but he did not wake. “Jacob.”

I shook him, and this time he blinked and raised his head. My heart hurt, he looked so tired, and there were shadows beneath his cheekbones that had not been there a month ago.

“Wha?” he said, yawning.


He sat up.

“Going to the mainland? Bombing?”

“No, coming here. Two of them. Little ones.”

He was out of bed before I had finished the words, peering out across the silvery sea.

“Fuck,” he said, and May laughed and put her hand over her mouth.

“Go tell Father,” I whispered to Jacob, and he nodded and pulled on his shirt and trousers, then ran silently next door.

When he came back, it was with Father. He stood for a long time at the window, staring out, and then he turned without a word and clattered down the wooden stairs. I looked at Jacob, and then we followed, Woof shadowing anxiously at our heels.

Down in the kitchen, Father pulled back the rug in front of the fire and lifted an iron ring that I had never really noticed before. The ring was stiff and crusted with dirt, but it came up, and with it a section of the boarded floor, dust and crumbs falling into a dark hole beneath.

Father swung himself down into the hole. It wasn’t much of a cellar, only a waist-deep pit with an earthen floor, but it was stacked full of crates and cardboard boxes, gone soft with damp. He passed out the first box, and as Jacob lifted it onto the kitchen table, the bottom gave way. The contents tumbled out, clattering onto the table and from there to the floor. The big box was full of smaller ones, brightly colored and heavy—9mm, it said on the side of each one, 100 rounds.

A cold feeling started in the pit of my stomach, and as Father passed out another box, it began to spread until the whole of my upper body felt numb. Where had he got all this from? It was not the same ammunition he used for the old shotgun hanging above the door. I knew by sight the shells for that and where Father kept them, locked in a tin in the dresser drawer.

We had learned to shoot with that old shotgun, aiming first at empty tins and then at rabbits that we skinned and stewed over the fire.

But these bullets were different. And something told me they were not meant for animals.



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