Spring Fever

If you live in New England, this makes sense to you.Spring never saw it coming. Winter smashed her in the back of the head with a sledgehammer, leaving crushed flowers and sunny thoughts splattered all over the kitchen.

Summer came in, put her arms akimbo, and sighed.

“Was that really necessary?”

“Shut up and start cleaning up,” said Winter as he wiped down the sledge with a rag and placed the hammer lovingly back into the closet. “You know that she’s not welcome around here until late April or early May. If she hadn’t gotten uppity then I wouldn’t have had to bring out old Blue.” He gave the old sledge one more affectionate pat before closing the closet door. Summer was already on her knees with a sponge and ammonia, scrubbing blood off of the linoleum. Winter scratched the wispy gray hair behind his ears for a moment before joining the clean-up work, dragging the body into the cellar for temporary storage.

“I just think it’s a tad much,” said Summer when the old man dragged himself back up the shaky wooden steps. Her voice was a tired breeze, a welcome quiet next to the old man’s angry crackling breath. “Couldn’t we have just given her a few days?”

“Don’t you get uppity too,” Winter slammed a fist down on the countertop and it crackled like an icicle. “I’ve got way too much on my mind as it is and I don’t need to listen to the lectures of someone who won’t even sleep on my side of the bed!”

“Well maybe if you would compliment me once in a while…”

“Stop fighting!” Autumn stood in the doorframe, tears shining in his young eyes as his parents looked up at him. “I can’t stand it when you two are fighting! Why can’t I just have normal parents?” He turned around and dashed up the stairs to his room, locking the deadbolt. Summer and Winter sighed in unison, realizing that it would take some time to coax their son down from the gothic music and stream of consciousness poetry that he thought accurately portrayed the depths of his angst.

“How long do you think he was watching?” asked Summer.

“Who cares? All I know is that we’ll be lucky if we can drag him downstairs by September. This is all your fault, you know.”


“Well he certainly didn’t learn any of this artsy crap from me.”

“Whatever. I guess it’s not important right now. We should be worrying about what the neighbors are going to think.”

Winter looked at the map of New England hanging on the wall and smiled a wide grin that made it look as though a canyon had opened up in his face. “You leave that to me, sweetheart…”


Eric Fielding stood at the bus stop in Burlington, listening to the news on his walkman before work. He stretched out the collar on his suit, stifling in the 80 degree heat. Through the crackle of his aging headphones, the weather lady told him to expect a freezing mix of rain and snow for the next three days. He looked at his watch to check the date. It was May 12th. Typical Vermont weather.


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