The winter had been a son of a bitch, colder than a well digger’s ass and the snow just never seemed to melt. The snow was pretty, for about a week, then it got old quick. I never was a fan of winter; I prefer summer cookouts and beaches myself.
On this day Maybell Abernathy couldn’t wait to get home. She cautiously maneuvered the vehicle in icy terrain, snow falling all around her. It had started out heavy, but it was slowing down. Still, the commute was horrendous, and the roads were death traps. Maybell wanted nothing more than to get inside where it was warm, kick her feet up and watch some television.
Slowly, she pulled into her long driveway, snow crunching beneath her tires. Although the snow was a pain in the ass, it sure made her house pretty. All around her were trees, not a neighbor close enough to walk to, and that’s what she loved about her home, privacy.
The car rolled to a stop and Maybell killed the engine. She looked out the windshield. The snow was certainly letting up, but it was frigid, and she dreaded the short walk from the car to her front door.
The car door swung open as she kicked her legs out and stood up. The wind ripped through her soul as she made the short journey. Once inside, she took off her scarf, coat and lastly her boots.
Was it a wine night? Why yes it was. She poured herself a glass before cranking the heat up. Once on her couch, she swore it would be an act of God to get her off it.
“The goddamn pope could be at the door, and I’d just ignore him,” she laughed to herself.
Maybell lived alone, but she wasn’t lonely. She loved the isolation, the solitude of her home. After a long day of working with people, it just felt good to be alone. So, she reached for her remote but before she could turn on the TV, she heard her car alarm going off.
Placing the remote on the coffee table, she quickly ran to the door and hit the switch on her key fob. Once the alarm was taken care of she sat back down, but before she could do anything else the alarm went off again.
She ran to the door, pushed the button, turned away and nearly jumped out of her skin when it went off again. Maybell was aggravated that her relaxing time was being interrupted by such a nuisance thing. Reluctantly, she threw on her boots and jacket and stepped back outside.
Did it get colder since she got home.? It sure felt like it. She pressed the button again to silence the car before investigating what could be setting it off. First, she checked the driver’s door to see if it was ajar. It wasn’t. There were no trees overhead to drop anything onto the car. It was bizarre. Cold and annoyed, she turned to go back inside but stopped.
In the fresh snow were footprints all around the car. How did she not notice them at first? There were dozens of them going in all directions, circling the car. Maybell raised her head to look over the hood and noticed a trail of footprints leading toward the car. She followed the path with her eyes and when she saw it led to the trees nearby, a shiver ran down her spine.
If someone, or what looked like a group of people, came out of the woods, and circled her car, where did they go? There were no footprints leading away from the vehicle. On closer inspection, the prints were much too small to be an adults. Suddenly, she felt like she was being watched and knew it was time to go inside.
It took her half an hour to calm down, but now there she was, drinking hot tea and watching her streaming services. Then, from outside, she heard the loud blare of a trumpet. It played a few notes and then all was silent again. Then she heard a drum. The beat was low, slow, and eerie. The trumpet played and then there was a banjo. There was a concert playing outside her house in the snow and she lived in the middle of nowhere.
Maybell shot up and rushed to the door, but before she could get to it, the music had stopped. She peaked outside. It was dusk and would be dark soon. A part of her wanted to call the police, but the whole thing was just so crazy, she felt like she was losing her mind. She turned to walk back to the couch when three loud knocks at the door nearly made her leap out of her skin.
“Ok, someone is at the door. Nothing creepy, maybe just someone who got lost. And the music. Maybe it was their car stereo.” As she got closer to the door, she peaked out the window but saw nobody. She hesitated, turned away, and began to return to the couch when the knocking resumed.
Quickly she reached for the door handle and swung it open. Standing on her porch were three giant frogs, the size of toddlers and standing upright. They wore winter clothes, and each one carried an instrument; a trumpet, a banjo and a drum.
She felt like she was losing her mind. This couldn’t be real; it must be a prank. These have to be costumes, but they looked so real. That’s when the trumpet player spoke in a soft voice.
“Good evening, Maybell Abernathy.”
It talked. She stood in disbelief, frozen with terror, but curious, nonetheless. Then the drummer spoke up.
“You are Maybell Abernathy, correct?”
“I… I… yes, I am.” The frogs all looked at each other then back to Maybell. The banjo player spoke up next.
“It sure is cold out here. Would it be rude of me to ask permission to warm our bodies in your home? We are nearly frozen. And besides, we are here to see you.”
“See me? What are you?”
“I’m Bip” said the drummer.
“And I’m Tip” chimed in the trumpet player.
“And you can call me Rip.” said the banjo player finally.
Maybell stood in total disbelief. What a surreal sequence of events, and here she was, talking to child sized frogs. Truth was they seemed harmless and it would be cruel to leave them out there. It would get especially cold once the sun sets.
“Come in I guess.”
“Hooray!” all three shouted. Rip gave a little leap for joy, and the frogs made their way inside.
They placed their instruments on the ground and with wide-eyed astonishment they took in the sight of her house.
“This place is neat.” Said Bip. Maybell just couldn’t break her stare. How was this even possible?
“What are you doing outside my house?”
“Forgive my manner.” Said Tip. “We have been sent here to keep you company.”
“Sent by who?”
“We aren’t at liberty to say,” Bip spoke up, “but we are here to show you a good time.”
“A real good time.” Said Rip.
The frogs returned to their instruments and began to play an upbeat song. Strangely it had an intoxicating effect on her and before she knew it, she was dancing. At first it was slow, but within seconds she was twirling around the living room like a ballerina.
The faster the frogs played, the faster she danced. When they stopped, so did she, but once they started again, she was swinging her hips and spinning in circles. The whole thing was making her dizzy. Suddenly she felt sick.
The frogs stopped. They looked at her, confused.
“You want us to stop?” Asked Rip.
“Yes, I can’t handle the dancing and that racket any longer. I think you’ve overstayed your welcome.”
“Well, that’s sad to hear.” Said Tip.
“Why is that sad?”
“Because we were tasked with cheering you up but instead, we aggravated you.”
The frogs put their instruments down and turned toward Maybell. The look on their faces was suddenly very menacing. With each step they took forward, she took one back until she felt the wall behind her.
“I guess we have no choice but to punish the ingrate.”
They opened their mouths and inside were rows and rows of sharp fangs that weren’t there before. Their eyes turned red, and their skin seemed to glow. They moved closer. Maybell was pinned against the wall without any way to escape. The frightening frogs stop only a foot away.
“Please don’t- “
The frogs all leapt toward the terrified women, sinking their teeth into her body. They ripped off chunks of meat as blood sprayed in all directions. They tore at her helpless body like a pack of wolves. They continued to bite off pieces of her until she finally dropped to the floor.
Maybell was crying, pleading for her life. The frogs paid no mind. Instead, they pounced on her, biting her face, breasts and neck. After a few seconds of blood-curdling screams, she went limp, and all was silent.
The fangs in the frog’s mouths began to retract. They picked up their instruments and headed out the door and into the cold night.