Title: Snow Angels
Author: Theresa J
Information: This was written for the VS11
Winter Special. Two weeks exclusively at the
VS11 site, then archiving permission is open.
Just let me know before you do!
Disclaimer: The X-files, Mulder, Scully and
Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen
Productions, etc, etc. I don’t own them, just
borrowing them for a while.
Feedback: Please and thank you!
* * * * * * *
* * * * * * *
December 23, 2003
Edgefield Elementary School
The snow was turning pink. Pink was Emma
Wellner’s favorite color, and the sinking sun
had made the world a warm, rosy tint despite the
cold. After a full day of sledding, Emma’s
waterproof pants were not so waterproof anymore.
She could feel the cold wetness beginning to
seep through to her knees, darker splotches
marking the pants where she kneeled too long in
the snow. A similar feeling was beginning to
make her butt numb. It was almost time to go
But she wanted to do one more run. Most of the
other kids dragged their saucers and sleds up
the hill, leaving one more set of footprints as
they trudged up the already pock-marked slope to
meet their parents in the parking lot nearby.
The best place in town to go sledding on a snow
day was, ironically, at Emma’s school. Right by
the gym, there was a steep hill that bottomed
out into a fairly small field that wasn’t really
used for anything. Sometimes, during the last
weeks of school, Emma’s class would eat lunch
out in that field because it was too warm inside
on a mid-June day. It was lined with trees that
provided wonderful cool shade for picnics, as
well as creating a barrier to the soccer field
beyond. The middle-schoolers played there. It
would be another four years before she would be
attending that school.
Emma grasped the icy string attached to her
saucer through heavily insulated mittens, and
began her ascent to the top of the hill. She
smushed the red plastic saucer down into the
well-packed snow, already feeling round icy
chunks beginning to form beneath as evening came
on. This last run might be a bumpy ride.
As she was about to push off, she heard a car
horn. Behind her, off in the parking lot, was
her father waving through the window of their
station wagon. He pointed at his wrist,
pantomiming that it was time to go.
“One more, Dad!!” she yelled back to him.
He answered with an “okay” sign, then a stern
index finger indicating that this was the
absolute final trip down the hill.
She pushed off. It started off bumpy, as she’d
expected. So many kids sledding in one area
walking through established saucer tracks made
the slide down unpredictable. She hit a big bump
near to the bottom of the hill, and she glided
through the air.
She braced herself for the big thump when
gravity would pull her back down to the earth,
but she felt no hard landing. She continued to
skim across the snow, sprays of powder
glittering across her cheeks and lips. She kept
going and going, until she was travelling
through the copse of trees at the very edge of
the field. This must be the farthest any kid had
gone all day! And darn it, there was no one left
to see it!
The saucer spun and slowly came to a stop. Emma
now sat in the middle of the adjacent soccer
field, admiring the long single track behind her
that ran from her schoolyard, through the trees,
and ending in her present location. The snow
made a creaking noise as she shifted her weight
to get up.
No other kids had been here. The snow was a
wide, perfectly flat expanse of white. Emma felt
like she had found something special. This place
was secret, and she’d found it. Nobody else had
been here except her today.
As small children do, Emma imagined that she was
in a fantasyland for a few moments. This place
was all hers. She threw herself back onto the
powdery snow as if she were plunging back onto
the softest mattress. The thousands of
snowflakes beneath her were like feathers, cool
and light as she swung her arms up and down. She
felt as if she were flying into the darkness
above as the sky turned from pink to orange and
then the deep purplish blue of twilight.
Small pinpricks of light bled through the
darkness to form stars. One star, off to the
left became brighter. Emma knew from her
Columbus Day lessons a few months back that
sailors would use the North Star to guide
themselves across the ocean because it was the
brightest star in the sky. Emma guessed this
must be it.
She remained lying on the ground, swishing her
arms and legs through the snow. Then she
remembered her father, waiting for her in the
parking lot. Sighing heavily, Emma resigned
herself to getting up and going home, reluctant
to leave her secret place in the snow.
It was really dark now. Emma could barely see
the track she had left with her snow saucer, and
wondered if what little light there was from the
stars was enough to guide her through the trees
and up the hill to her waiting father.
A small niggle of worry began to grow inside
her, and she stumbled often as her gait became
faster. The saucer she dragged behind skipped
and bounced on the snow, slowing her down. When
she got to the trees, she couldn’t see anything
beyond the tree trunks. She didn’t even see any
headlights atop the hill she knew was not far
beyond. Where was her father? Now she *was*
“Daddy!” she yelled out toward nothing. “Daddy,
come find me! I’m lost!”
She turned back toward the soccer field in
panic, and saw the North Star glittering above
the horizon. Could the North Star help her find
The thought had barely crossed her mind when the
light from what Emma thought was the North Star
grew brighter. She blinked at it, thinking that
the tears blurring her eyes were just playing
tricks on her.
But the light grew, and grew — brighter and
brighter. And then it began to move towards her.
December 26, 2003
“She came back, Scully. She was taken the day
before Christmas Eve, and she came back in time
to go to midnight mass with her family and open
presents beside the tree.”
Scully gazed through the kitchen pass-through
window into the Wellner’s living room where Emma
dozed in front of the television, hugging the
new Care Bear she’d gotten yesterday morning.
“Mulder, the girl looks fine to me. She’s home
safe, unharmed and enjoying her Christmas
vacation. Whatever happened here is over.” Her
voice was barely above a whisper, kept low so as
not to attract attention from Emma or her
parents, who sat nervously just on the other
side of the wall.
“But she saw a LIGHT in the sky!” Mulder
countered, emphasizing “light” a little too
Scully shushed him silently and touched his arm.
She checked through the window again to see if
anyone had become alarmed. No one had moved, but
Scully was almost positive she could feel the
air becoming electric with tension.
She stood up straight to her full height and
pulled him closer to her. Now she was
whispering, “We have their statements. The
parents told us their story and Emma told us
hers. Now we have to take it from here. They
can’t help us any further.”
Mulder’s cheeks sucked in, tightening the skin
in rebellion against his inner turmoil.
Scully’s hand squeezed his arm tighter, a silent
response that said, ‘I know you’re excited, but
we should leave.’
He nodded and moved past her to thank the
Wellner family, and to leave his card with cell
phone number in case they ever wanted to reach
“Merry Christmas,” Scully said with a polite
smile as the Wellners closed the door behind
The smell of flavorful wood smoke from chimneys
filled the crisp December air. Dried salt
pellets crunched beneath the agents’ feet on the
path as they walked back to their car. The snow
from three days ago had not melted yet, and the
few icy patches left from inefficient shoveling
made Scully glad she was wearing boots with
treads on the soles.
“I want to go see this soccer field,” Mulder
commented to the air. He was watching the sky
for clouds. The weather report had called for
more snow this weekend.
“What do you expect to find?”
“I don’t know yet. Something. Tracks, maybe.
Other markings in the snow, or signs of
radiation left over on the trees. The usual.” He
was extremely nonchalant about his statements,
almost as if he were trying to play it off as
not a big deal.
He inhaled deeply one last time, memorizing the
smell of the air before they had to climb into
the musty pine-scented car, then turned to
finally give his attention to Scully. He raised
his eyebrows in question.
“So what is this, just your normal run-of-the
mill alien abduction? Is that what you think
“A minute ago you were dying to pick that little
girl’s brain for any inkling that it could have
been an abduction. Now its ‘I don’t know?'” She
raised her own eyebrows back at him, but hers
were more incredulous than questioning.
“Yes, okay? I do think this was an alien
abduction, or I hope it is.” He leaned his butt
on the trunk of the car, shoving his hands into
“‘I don’t know,'” he continued, “because it’s
extremely random. Nothing else has happened
surrounding Emma’s disappearance. No sightings
have been reported. She is a little girl, and
she could have just run away for a night, or she
could have hidden out at a friend’s house. There
are a million possibilities. My big question is,
if Mr. Wellner was less than 200 yards away from
his daughter that evening, why didn’t he see
this enormous light or hear his own child’s
“And why,” Scully added, following his train of
thought, “is Emma completely at peace? She says
she doesn’t remember any time lapse, but she’s
not afraid of anything either — no paranoia
like we usually see. Do you find that strange?”
Mulder looked down at her, then back toward the
Wellner’s front porch, decked with multi-colored
lights and a big fresh wreath hanging on the
“Yes, I do.”
December 26, 2003
Edgefield Elementary School
There was a bitter wind at the top of the hill
next to Edgefield Elementary School. Not a sign
of one sledder was out today. Mulder imagined
they’d all been instructed to come home, or were
playing video games in warm cozy family rooms.
A gust of wind kicked up and Scully hissed
through her teeth at the chill. She fumbled in
her pockets for gloves and quickly pulled them
onto her frozen fingers.
“Come on and jump on my back, little lady! You
know, ‘I’m the fastest belly-whoppah in the
Northern Hemisphere!'” Mulder quoted from an old
Frosty the Snowman cartoon.
Scully looked him up and down, judging his
capacity as a “belly-whopper.”
“I think we have enough daylight left to walk
They began their descent, taking careful note of
the sleigh tracks and footprints. Most of the
prints ended at the bottom of the hill clumped
in short arcs where children must have jumped up
at the end of their rides, to run back up the
hill immediately. Past that, the snow was
completely flat, interrupted only by a small
track left by a rabbit or where icicles had
fallen from the tree branches.
They studied the entire field, but only found
their own tracks in the snow as they doubled-
back to their original spot.
“Do you not notice something here, Scully?”
“Yup,” she said, scrutinizing the snow as if she
could invoke Emma’s trail into existence. Then
she blinked against another gust of wind, eyes
tearing from the icy air as she looked to Mulder
for their next move.
“Let’s take a trip over to the soccer field.”
Navigating through the trees was easier than
they had expected. There were several small
trails that cut through the trees for easy
access to both fields. Still, there were no
signs of footprints.
The sun was close to setting at this hour, and
the ground was painted with cool blue shadows
and warm pink streaks of sunlight. Upon emerging
from the trees they found the soccer field to be
a pure, untainted expanse of snow, just as Emma
had a few days ago. They remained at the edge,
unwilling to destroy the beauty of it.
“Nothing,” Mulder stated.
“Wait…” Scully squinted her eyes at the
setting sun, the narrow rays extremely harsh and
bright right before sinking below the horizon.
The edges of the clouds seemed afire with bright
pink light. And on the perfect, smooth surface
of the snow before them, similar vibrant lines
began to glow with just the right angle of the
They both gasped.
In the center of the field were small, about
four-foot long impressions. The edges of the
impressions, the outlines of the holes in the
snow, blazed as if they were edged in delicate
neon lights. They were the shapes left behind by
small children who had made snow angels.
“There were more of them?” Mulder asked.
After a brief moment, her mouth working
noiselessly as she counted, Scully answered.
“There are twelve of them.”
“Magic numbers from the Bible?”
Scully stood silent, staring out at the
“Twelve apostles, 12,000 from each tribe of
Israel, the woman with twelve stars on her crown
facing the dragon…” Mulder rattled off
factoids, theorizing out loud, excited that this
might be some kind of communication from the
“Mulder, please stop,” she said, her breath
nearly taken away. She only half-listened to her
partner, trying desperately to avoid falling
into an intellectual discussion over Catholicism
while facing a completely inexplicable *natural*
anomaly. “It might not be… *that.*”
Mulder inhaled to begin his argument against
her, but stopped himself. He watched her staring
at the field, the moisture dappling her lashes.
It wasn’t just the cold that was making her eyes
tearful. Perhaps it was the influence of the
Christmas season. Perhaps he had gone too far,
too quickly for Scully to handle the idea.
He shut his mouth tightly, took her hand and
squeezed it in reassurance. She looked up into
his eyes, understanding apparent in them.
“You ready to go take a look?” He asked.
She nodded in reply.
They both took the first step together, the
slightest crunch breaking the thin icy coating
atop the snow and the silence.
And the snow angels disappeared.
“No!” Mulder exclaimed in a desperate raspy
He let go of Scully’s hand and ran toward the
center of the field where the impressions had
been. The snow kicked up behind him as he
crashed through the six inches of powder,
completely destroying the unblemished landscape.
Scully lagged behind at a slower pace, but
followed him nonetheless.
“You saw them, didn’t you, Scully?” He turned in
place, searching the snow. Then kneeling down,
he skimmed his hand over the white surface,
hoping to feel what he could not see. His hand
became pink and wet from sifting the snow
through his fingers too long.
Then a gloved hand touched his arm. He got up in
response, facing Scully with a thousand
questions in his head. He fought to pin down
just one, and finally realized that they all
were the same question.
“I don’t know,” she answered lamely, noticing
the mess of footprints they’d left behind them.
The moment was lost. “Maybe we were only meant
to have a glimpse of it.”
Mulder huffed, dissatisfied with that answer. He
could, however, not think of a better one
himself. He looked around them, then.
“Never thought a soccer field could be so
magical.” He returned his gaze toward Scully,
her face solemn, but alive with the frost making
her cheeks a mottled pink. “It is beautiful,
“Yes,” she said, “It is.”
He leaned in, and brushed her cheek with the
backs of his fingers. She smiled at that. It was
a radiant smile that seemed to make her face
glow. Mulder fancied that she was actually
filling herself up with light, just for him. He
could see every hair on her head, every faint
freckle on her nose, every eyelash.
But it was getting dark. The sun had set the
moment they’d walked onto the field. How could
he be seeing all this detail? He realized then,
that there *was* more light. He saw Scully’s
eyes move a fraction of a millimeter away from
his face, just to his left. His reflection shone
in her irises, outlined by a light that glowed
By the time Mulder turned to see the light, it
was all over.
“What was that, Scully?”
She didn’t answer right away.
“What was that?” Mulder asked again.
She shook her head, doubtful of her answer
before she even said it. “It was what Emma saw.
I don’t know how else to explain it.”
“That’s it? But we didn’t even… That can’t be.
There has to be more than this!”
He stood with his hands on his hips, his face
turned up to watch the stars come out above.
They shone with an extra brilliance since the
moon had not risen yet. “What is it that’s out
there? What was this all about?”
She put her arm around his waist and her head
into the little crook between his chest and
shoulder. He took one hand off his hip and
instead used it to cradle Scully’s shoulders.
“Can we just let this one go?” she said in a
quiet, but not timid voice.
Mulder expected himself to argue with the
decision. He would normally have been determined
to come back the next day and see if it would
happen again. An encounter such as this,
something that could have been an encounter with
extra-terrestrials was too good to miss. But he
found himself accepting Scully’s suggestion. He
thought that it was right.
“Yeah,” he said, “okay.”
They made their way back, stepping in the tracks
they had already made in the snow. As they
approached the trees they noticed blue, red and
white lights flashing at the top of the hill
near Edgefield Elementary. The local police had
surrounded their car, and were shining
floodlights down the hill.
Mulder and Scully had to shield the blinding
light as they ran up the slope, curious to find
out what had happened. There were way too many
police cars for it to be a simple parking
“What seems to be the problem, officer,” Mulder
asked the nearest man in uniform who held a
megaphone in one hand, and reached for his
holster with the other. Mulder lifted his hands
up in reaction to the officer’s movements.
“What are you doing here? We’re conducting a
search for–” The officer cut his sentence
abruptly and grabbed the flashlight, instead of
his gun from the holster. He shone it into
Mulder’s face. “It’s you!”
The officer moved the light to Scully’s face,
causing her to squint. “And it’s you, too!”
Mulder looked at Scully, and she looked back at
him. He went to pull his ID out of his pocked
and began to introduce himself. “I’m agent–”
“Fox Mulder and Dana Scully,” the officer
finished for him.
“I didn’t know we had become celebrities in this
town,” Mulder quipped.
The officer put down his flashlight. “We were
called in to begin a search party for you two
last night by an Assistant Director Walter
Skinner. When he couldn’t reach you on your cell
phones or at the motel you had checked into, he
sent out a search party.”
The space between Mulder’s eyebrows contracted
as he filtered this information. “But we’d only
spoken to him this morning.”
“According to A.D. Skinner, you’d spoken to him
two days ago. He’d expected you to report in
“I don’t understand.”
“We’ve been looking for you since Saturday
morning, Agent Mulder.”
“Wait a minute,” Scully interjected. “What’s
“Sunday, the 28th.”
Scully glanced down at her watch, at the little
box that showed the date where the “3” would
have been. “Mulder, he’s right.” It was also
8:12 at night.
The officer left the two agents to go gather up
his men. They heard him call out toward the
field with his megaphone, “It’s all over, boys!
We found them!”
After promising the officer that they’d meet him
at the police station to fill out some
paperwork, Mulder and Scully sat in their car,
waiting for it to warm up. They were not
surprised that it took some time, nor that they
had to brush a few inches of snow off the
windshield that wasnÕt there when they had left
it. There was snow forecasted for this weekend,
The headlights illuminated the tree branches
ahead, the pine scent from the air freshener
became stronger as the hot air from the car’s
heater made it warm.
At length, Mulder asked, “What did we see here,
“I don’t know Mulder. Maybe a little piece of
heaven on earth.”
He grasped her hand gently before pulling the
car into reverse. “Well, if I was lucky enough
to share it with you, then I can accept that
They drove away from the schoolyard, and headed
straight for DC. They didn’t stop by the police
station, nor did they stop by the Wellners, or
their motel. This was one case they both
realized they had to leave behind.