Flash Fiction Month 2020 Day 22 (The Birthday Story)

Every year my wife’s birthday is during Flash Fiction Month and every year I write a story to celebrate. Here is this year’s tale.

The Forgotten Season

The Forgotten Season was not like other divisions of the year, clustered around days and weather. Instead, it was hidden in the angle of sunlight and the glitter of leaves. Moments disguised amongst the slide of other seasons.

Annie knew where to look. Each day she searched the hours for The Forgotten Season. When she sipped hot chocolate after a frosted walk she collected the moment and clasped it close. Finding a fragment of The Forgotten Season in the glitter of blue in sleepy eyes just after storytime and just before lights out, she caught it in her palm and slid it into her bag.

In the early hours of a summer morning, she sat on the balcony with a book and cup of tea, reached out and let the sliver of Forgotten Season settle on her hand, watching it curl around her fingers.

As the projector flickered and the pawns clacked across the board, she reached out for the Forgotten Season moment and placed it with the others, delicate and fragile.

Over the rest of the year, that damaged and fractured year, she searched for minutes and seconds adrift from the time she lived in.

Sometimes she found moments of the Forgotten Season in slices of cake or glasses of rum. These she placed upon her tongue, savouring their flavours before adding them to her collection

When the deepest winter arrived, with its frost and darkness and isolation, Annie took out her collection of the Forgotten Season. She placed the sound of peaceful sleep next to a midnight hug. Stitched them together with the steam from a fresh mug of tea, and coated them in laughter, and a hard fought for half smile. When the gloom and the night threatened she dressed herself in the Forgotten Season and revelled in the joy she’d found in the most hidden of places.

The Forgotten Season was not a time of high suns or blossoms, of patchwork leaves or snowdrifts. The Forgotten Season was a time of whispered kisses and whiskey, of Hygge and Gemütlichkeit. A time of laughter and restful sighs, and Annie treasured every single moment.

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