I was in a consignment shop the other day and bought a cheap frame suitable for holding five small pictures. I figured I could write five short-shorts for it, just as soon as I found a theme. Almost immediately, I thought, "Five Seasons," and shortly after that, I asked Marianne how the year could best be divided into five.
Together, we came up with Winterthaw, Greengrowth, Summerdeep, Autumnbright, and Darkwinter. Then, when I got home, I wrote five closely related (but amoral, alas, quite amoral indeed) works of flash fiction. A little fussing with the word processing program, and all was done.
Here's the first season:
I crave thy pardon, mistress, that I did try to eat thee. It were the Darkwinter, when we all do what we must to survive. I understand why thou dost flinch from my touch.
Still. Didst thou not kill thy sister, who did love thee, when the foodstuffs ran low? Not that I disapprove. It were the right thing to do, God wot. Hunger knows no morals. I did the same with my father, poor soul.
Those dire times are behind us. The snows are melting at last. We can scrabble in the mud for last year’s roots, and perhaps a small rodent or three. We keep our knives sharp and close to hand, of course, because we each know what the other is capable of.
Now the ice turns back into pond water. The air is warm. Desperation falls a day, a second day, a third into the past. Now at last – though I grip my blade as firmly as thou dost thine – I am free to say . . .
I do love thee.