(quadruple hyphen madness!)
Continuing my relentless pursuit of all largely arbitrary and ego-padding awards on this site, like a small child religiously collecting all the YuGiOh cards to construct an exact replica of Yugi’s deck from the anime using only booster packs and not the character starter deck, I have been nominated for that hyphen-riddled award in the title that I won’t mention again because honestly it’s a hard habit to get out of, following each typed word with a space when a dash would be more appropriate. First, I’ll thank Sam O. Bscure for the nomination, and show my gratitude by running a daily blog yet not replying to her encouragement to participate in this award until like three days – and three posts – later. So cheers buddy! Now the rules:
1) Nominate five blogs and notify them by leaving links on their sites (yay – I’m good at pestering people on social media!)
2) Pick a title from one of their recent posts and make it into a short story (less yay – because of sickness and business I’ve not written anything for about a month now)
– Thoughts Of A Curly-Haired Essex Bird (or Kathryn Player – I’m not too sure :/)
Story: ‘Before I go’, said the longest Winter ever
‘Before I go’, said the longest Winter ever, ‘I’d like to make a few changes to the way things are run around here.’ There was an audible sigh around the conference room, as the other attendees slumped a little deeper into their high-backed leather chairs, and slipped their fingers from the smooth wooden desk in front of them to their laps, a sign of despair and tediousness so universal it was used and understood by the personification of seasons.
‘Why?’ burst in Spring, her words biting as her winds, and icy as her showers.
‘I just think Winter is underrepresented these days in international weather systems,’ replied Winter slowly, shaking out his grey, frost-hemmed overcoat as if he were cold; at the other end of the table, Summer fanned herself as if warm, and between them Autumn indulged in some improbable mannerism that somehow mirrors the falling of leaves.
‘But why?!’ cried Spring again, banging a slender hand on the table, sending vibrations down to the roots of its legs, ‘Already have Winter in northern places! Brits complain about you all the time!’
‘Actually, that’s more my doing,’ sighed Autumn, now finished his improbably mannerism, and tugging the brim of his auburn hat down further over his green eyes, ‘the winds, the slow decay, the frigidity that never boils over into outright it’s-cold-enough-for-a-scarf weather; I’m the plague of these people.’
‘But cold! Winter!’ continued Spring, gesturing at the great stoic being in the frozen coat at the end of the table.
‘But decay. Loss. Harshness,’ a sigh, ‘Autumn,’ finished Autumn, and closed his gnarled, heavily-fingernailed hands in his lap.
‘Guys! Guys! Listen to me for a sec. Guys!’ This was Summer, having successfully navigated the arduous task of fanning herself, and was now fully ready to engage with a conversation with her fellow seasons. ‘What if, right, we take Winter and, hear me out on this,’ she defended herself against interruptions that weren’t coming, ‘we take it, and put it somewhere else!’
‘Somewhere else?’ asked Winter himself, raising a blue-tinged white eyebrow and gesturing for his warm companion to continue.
‘Well, basically, right, guys,’ replied Summer, tossing her head as she spoke with as many commas as words, ‘if we’re, like, unhappy with how long Winter is, it’s because we notice it, right? Like if we were all happy with it, we’d not care about it and let it do its own thing, yeah? So if us noticing it is the problem, we just need to, like, put it where we can’t notice it, and we’ll forget about it!’ She closed, and a bright smile stretched across her face.
There was silence for a few minutes, as the other seasons pondered her proposal.
‘Would be an awful shame to change something so entrenched in our world,’ mused Autumn, before being interrupted by Spring.
‘Sounds good! Let’s do!’
‘That sounds like two out of three, you know,’ continued Autumn, plodding along with his slow, whispered speech, ‘what say you, Winter?’ The Lord of the Cold stretched himself up in his seat, rendering it throne-like with his presence alone; he was the tallest and mightiest of the seasons, the terror of humanity from their first days clinging to ice-battered rocks outside of their warm primordial ooze, to their modern attempts to explore and conquer their world by making the geopolitical circumstances around the ownership of Antarctica really bloody complicated. A grimace cracked across his worn face, and his frostbitten fingertips drummed on the table, in thought and anticipation.
‘Screw it, I’ll take what I can get,’ he said, with a small sigh that was met by Summer and Spring with a daft grin and a whoop respectively; ‘but I get to choose what we call this new Winter!’
‘Fair enough, my friend,’ said Autumn, closing his eyes and bowing his head over the table.
‘And what a name it’ll have,‘ finished the proud owner of a whole new point in time.