It has been a long, cold winter. Nothing but white as far as you could see. Even the birds were hiding. The pantries were full. The cabin was warm but that didn't keep the walls from closing in on them.
Yahtzee, five card stud poker, caramel pop corn, roasted marshmallows were all fun the first four days. They pulled out the Sorry game, Chest, Checkers, Dominoes and the S'mores.
Through the windows all they could see were growing drifts of snow. Relentlessly it fell along with the camp fire fun.
After seven days each has chosen their own corner to read, to pout, to mourn the winter. The vast collection of family fun games had lost their appeal. It was no longer an opportunity for quality time and was quickly becoming a volatile mix of boredom, claustrophobia, and frustration.
Chopping the veggies and meat for a inside out warming stew for the evening meal the idea flickered through her thoughts and blinked out as quickly as it came.
As each day passed the idea grew stronger and visited more often even though she fought it. She fought it with the love of a mother, with the love of a wife and with the love of KNOWING spring would come again. She just wanted quiet. No more games. No more "Let's make the best of this".
She snapped. The cleaver rose and fell amid screams of disbelief and horror. Chop! Chop! The Chess was the first to go. The checkers followed into the fire place. The Trivia game was slashed and chopped and burned. As the Yahtzee dice bubbled in the roaring fireplace, she turned to her family, cleaver in hand.
Speechless, horrified, they clung to each other wondering, fearing what would happen next. There was no getting through to her.
She turned away opening the pantry and continued the same meticulous cleaving with the condiments that she had previously done with the "Snowed In" must haves.
Was the family next? The dog? Where would it stop? No one thought to wrestle the cleaver from her iron fist...you don't mess with Mamma!
As the cleaver sliced through a jumbo size jar of ketchup, she crumbled, sliding slowly to floor. Cleaver still in hand, covered in blood red, she began to rock back and forth. At first she mumbled but her voice grew stronger. She chanted wildly, "NO MORE CHUTES AND LADDERS! NO MORE CHUTES AND LADDERS!"
Outside the snow began to melt.