Winter had been mouthing off a lot lately. Icy talk not yet backed by action. A cold war, if you will.
Spring and Summer decide a sit-down with Winter is in order. Hash it out. “Do I have to be there?” Fall asked. This doesn’t concern you, Summer replied.
Spring was unsure why Summer felt a need to be there.
“Because you’ll always be the opener for me.”
“See, that right there.,” Spring replied. “The cutoff tee, the white sunglasses. That ego. It’s why Winter is so vindictive. Plus you’re two months away still. It’ll be confusing to have you here in April.”
The second he comes in the room, it’s apparent Winter is ready to storm. “You’re both being unseasonable. Seventy degree Christmas? A week of 60s in March? You two totally skipped over me.”
“Well Fall’s not here so we can’t speak for him,” Summer replied.
Spring shot Summer a look. “I’ve got this.”
“Look, Winter, it’s April,” Spring continued. “I can empathize with you. I’m pretty sure you guys skipped me the past two years.”
“Whose fault is that?” Winter fired back.
“Is that rhetorical?”
“What do you two want from me?”
“A bargain. The two winters before this one were great. Remember that, buddy? Broken water pipes. Cars in the ditches. Thousands of flights cancelled. They even gave you a little nickname…Snowzilla, was it?”
“Snowmageddon,” Winter replied with an embarrassed grin.
“See? Man those were great seasons! I even gave you the last two Aprils. Who else among us had such a nickname?”
“Summer Love,” Summer replied.
“Knock it off.”
Winter glared at Summer. Summer leaned into it. “Oh you got something to say, red flannel?”
“Just remember no one’s threatened by Global ‘Cooling’,” Winter rebutted.
“Yeah how’s working out? Phoenix grows while Chicago shrinks. Bravo.” Summer gave his rival a slow clap.
“Okay, enough, dammit!” Spring cut in. “Men! Maybe I should’ve had Fall here. He’s the only other one that knows how to get between you two.” Spring sighed. “Alright, look, Winter. I’ll give you April 2017, 2019, and 2021-23 in exchange for calling off whatever you were gearing up for and letting me do my thing.”
Winter appeared to ponder the concept. She was offering a lot of Aprils. “Fine. But I get to snow at every Opening Day north of Atlanta and east of Denver.”
“North of but-not-including Cincinnati, and east of Kansas City.”
“Deal. Keep the forecasts warm though. I want people getting their hopes up. That’s my fave.”
The seasons all rose in tentative agreement. Spring and Winter shook hands without fanfare. Winter and Summer shook hands like the boyfriend and ex-boyfriend that the girl had desperately talked out of a fight.
Summer smirked and Winter shook his head disapprovingly. “This guy,” Winter added. “You’re too damn much. People sit inside in freezing air-conditioning to get away from you. How about that for irony, you sweaty jackass?”
Winter hobbled away, knowing that he’d have unseasonable misery to come. Gardens to ruin, budding trees to assassinate in bulk.
Spring sighed, knowing she would always have to be that moderator between the two dominant seasons. Just before Winter stepped out to begin his six month vacation, Summer couldn’t help himself:
” ‘Old Man’ Winter, indeed.”
Winter stopped and turned to face his fellow seasons. “You’ll get yours.”
“Wait!” Spring rose with a shriek. “No don’t listen to him. He’s…oh hell, Summer. What are you doing here anyways?”
Spring stormed off to start her work. Summer sauntered behind her, ready to start planning Memorial Day to Labor Day fun. They both walked out into a painfully unseasonable blizzard on April 2nd.
Charlie Monte Verde
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