Winter Heat, Summer Snow

Submitted for Contest #45 in response to: Write a story about change.... view prompt

109 comments

In Ivy Tree, there was only Winter and Summer. Autumn and Spring had passed away more than four years ago.

In the days of Winter, the leftover summer bits of leaves and flowers grew cold and stiff and fell apart on the road. The sky turned from sunset orange to icy blue, and the winds went from lazy to a strong, mighty roar. The flowers that hadn't been plucked out of the ground were laid dead, drowned in the fierce snow that covered the ground with rocks. There was famine. There was pain.

It was said that Winter behaved with immaturity because it wanted something. There was a mysterious gap though because no one knew what that thing was. What on earth did Winter want? Not even the clouds knew. They suffered with us. They faded away. If they weren't gone the next day, they would vanish until Summer had taken over.

Now, Summer was a very sweet thing. She gave us rain and love, showering us with beauty. We trees have leaves that we care for like a baby, and she understood. She understood the humans too when they thrive for food, she gave. When Summer sensed pain, she soothed. She was our mother.

β€œWinter will not leave us alone,” the tree next to me hissed. β€œWhat will you do about it?” My eyes were wrinkled and tired; I didn’t have the energy to look up. She kept nudging me, though, with her stupid old branch, so I raised my head.

β€œYou shut your stupid mouth right there, Savannah,” I muttered.

Savannah is the one who always started a fight. I just lowered my head, the urge in me wanting to sleep.

β€œMolly. Molly. Molly. Molly—”

She didn’t have the chance to finish her sentence. Winter fell from the moonlight, into the sky next to one of my best friends, Cynthia, a cloud. She looked away in fear.

Winter didn’t speak much, but he was powerful. When he was near, I felt a cold-hearted tingle stab me in the heart. He peeked right at us, and my branch felt numb. No one dared to speak directly at him. No one.

β€œSavannah.” Winter’s voice was low but frightening.

β€œY-yes, sir?”

β€œDo not ever speak again.” There was a loud thump.

She was silent. As if nothing happened, Winter left, followed by another deafening roar in the distance.

Β 

Β 

Willow was a very wise tree. Often, Cynthia, Savannah, and I asked to talk to her. She always offered useful answers, which was a helpful thing in this case.

β€œWillow?” I asked. My roots suddenly got itchy.

Willow turned her head around. She seemed pleased to see me because her weak eyes became bright. β€œHello, dear. What brings you here?”

β€œI have a few questions. Again.”

β€œGo ahead, Molly! Anything for you.”

I hesitated, my throat tightening. No one has ever let out this question, but I felt like I was the one who should.

β€œWhat does Winter want?”

Immediately, Willow’s branch became tense and hardened. Clutching her jaw, she replied, β€œI have a feeling I should tell you the whole story. You know, you are a brave little fella. No one has the confidence to let out something like that, especially when Winter might be watching.”

I stayed quiet, waiting for the story.

β€œDon’t make a peep, alright? You know I don’t like it when I’m interrupted.” She winked and cleared her throat. β€œLet’s see. Four and a half years ago, Winter became selfish. He became greedy. He wanted Summer all to himself and didn’t want anyone else in the way. He killed Autumn and Spring. They are long gone.

β€œWhen Winter told Summer, she was very angry. Now, you know Summer never gets angry. So Winter was terrified. He felt ashamed. He couldn’t undo what he did though, of course. Summer never spoke to him since then, and now Winter’s all cranky. Probably this is the reason why he’s acting like this.”

I let it all sink in. β€œThis is the most stupid story I have ever heard. And I can’t believe you called Winter selfish.” I added the last part with a soft whisper.

She just chuckled. β€œWinter never will punish me. I’m an old tree. He’ll just let me be.”

β€˜And why is Savannah so quiet?” I asked her, changing the subject.

β€œIt is likely that Winter has temporarily muted her. It is well deserved.” She grinned slyly. I thanked her and waved, as I turned around with an understanding that filled inside of me. All the pieces of the puzzle have indeed come together.

Summer never comes out when Winter is, and I think it has to do with the story Willow shared. I pleaded she would come out tonight.

I lingered for hours. A few leaves that had clung on me for years fell and rested on the subtle ground. I can’t blame them. I have been so busy with all the information inside of me that I haven’t really cared about what will happen to my leaves. I glanced at them. Their color faded which I learned that meant they were overwhelmed. I’m sorry. I just need some time. I’ll take care of you later.

Even though it was nighttime, there was a slight streak of heat that loitered for a few seconds. Is that Winter? I thought nervously, beginning to tremble. What is he doing in the late evening?

β€œShh,” I heard a tender voice say. β€œShh. I’m here.”

I recognized that voice.

β€œShh,” she repeated. β€œIt’s me, Summer.” I could sense her arms reaching out for me, even though she doesn’t have any. She’s just a spirit.

β€œS-Summer,” I croaked. β€œPlease. I need to tell you something.”

She waited.

β€œWhen will you forgive Winter?” I asked. I thought she would be furious or upset that I brought him up. I just thought that Winter needed a second chance.

β€œWinter?” She didn’t seem mad at all. β€œHe was very lovely. I don’t know what changed him.”

β€œYou.”

β€œExcuse me?”

β€œYou,” I repeated. β€œYou’re the one that changed him. He likes you.”

β€œYes, I know, Molly.”

β€œWhy won’t you give him another chance? If you do, he won’t be that cold anymore to us.”

β€œI don’t understand. Is this about me with Winter or Winter to you? I wish I can stop his harsh actions. But I have no power to do that. My only job is to protect you and the world. Winter is the same. But I shall consider your words with Winter.”

β€œReally?” I was astonished she would give in so quickly.

β€œYes, really.”

β€œThank you.”

β€œMhm. My pleasure.”

Β 

When I woke up, everyone else was already awake. The ground filled with white, pearly flowers and beautiful daylight that shadowed us. The clouds sang a cheery song, and Cynthia patched a huge smile on her face. Her eyes were twinkly, and so were everyone else’s. Wonder why everyone is so happy today. Is it already summer, or what?

β€œHurry up!” Savannah screamed at me. β€œC’mon, Molly!” She kept jumping with excitement.

I guess Savannah became unmuted. But it was nice hearing her voice again.

I followed them, and there stood Winter and Summer with pride, while everyone crowded around them. Cynthia flashed a smile at me, and Summer stayed calm.

β€œHello, all,” Summer said kindly. β€œI have called everyone for something truly special. And,” her eyes met mine. β€œI would like to thank Molly for it.”

I blushed. At least, I got hotter and felt warmer. Can trees blush?

Β β€œI think,” she began slowly. β€œWe shouldn’t have to separate from each other when Winter takes over half the year, and I take care of the other half. It is too much stress to face the harsh snow for six months, and fresh flowers with the other. Don’t you think so, Winter?”

Winter didn’t say a word.

β€œAh, I’m pretty sure he agrees. There will no longer be things such as seasons, for there is only one season that we rule together. None of us shall be separated, though we may have made a few wrong choices in our lives.

β€œRemember, there is no such thing as seasons. It is called Season, for that means Winter and I are tendering the world. There will no longer be days of ice, for it will replace it with flowers. There will no longer be days of strengthened heat, for it will be replaced by small bits of beautiful snow falling from the sky. There will no longer be days of famine, for Winter and I will spread food among everyone.”

For a very long time, everyone was silent. β€œAnd there will be no droughts, for I will put Cynthia in charge of getting the trees what they need.” I heard Cynthia squeal. I felt a trickle of rain fall from the sky. The rain was from excitement.

β€œThank you, Summer,” Winter started. β€œI apologize for my actions. I shall never do it again.” He sighed deeply as I watched a small part of the ground turn cold, then back to normal. β€œYes, we will be having one season only.”

I didn’t have this in mind, from the way beginning. From what I expected, I thought they were going to fall in love. But sometimes, things take step by step before it gets bigger. So I won’t lose hope.

β€œMolly. Thank you.”

I whipped around, to see Summer standing there with tears in her eyes. β€œYou are very welcome,” I answered brightly. I felt a couple of tears for myself.

β€œYou’re right. Everyone deserves a second chance.”

β€œI’m glad everyone is okay.”

She stared at me for a moment. β€œYou,” she said. β€œAre the best part of nature there is. I owe you a huge thank you.”

I watched as the sun fell out of the sky, and the moon came to take its place. I watched the stars twinkle as they stare back at us with mysterious eyes. I watched the leaves turn emerald green with happiness. I watched the clouds dance in the dark blue, with Cynthia in the middle. I watched as the flowers began to blossom around the glossy, green grass.

Β 

And I watched Summer and Winter, looking the brightest they could ever be.

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

109 comments

Hi Kendra, I thought I'd drop by for a minute, to check in...seeing as I haven't left feedback on your stories for quite a while now. Hope you don't mind... I loved how you incorporated personification in this story. Well done and looking forward to reading more!

Reply

It's fine, really. Thank you! I'm sorry I haven't been able to post in a while. Thanks for understanding :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Shirley Medhurst
13:48 Jun 22, 2020

Fascinating concept. I love the way you personify the seasons and the trees.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Jesper Jee
23:39 Jun 10, 2020

Very sweet story! Thank you!

Reply

Thanks a lot! Glad you liked it! πŸ’•

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Lori Colt
21:50 Jun 09, 2020

Cool story. It's a novel idea and I enjoyed the personification of the seasons and trees.

Reply

Thanks! Glad you liked it 😊

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Talia M
22:54 Jun 16, 2020

Wow, what a beautiful moving story and very unique take! Well done!!

Reply

Show 0 replies
12:42 Jun 12, 2020

What a delightful idea – to personify the seasons. Fabulous. There are some errors in tense eg. β€˜the flowers that haven’t’ should be β€˜the flowers that hadn’t’ because the rest of that sentence is in the past tense - and the verb β€˜have’ is missing in this sentence β€˜I got a few questions’. But I have no power of doing that. I think the preposition in this sentence should be β€˜to’ not β€˜of’ because β€˜to’ indicates movement. β€˜If they aren’t gone the next day,’ That whole sentence should be in the past tense to fit in with the rest of the pa...

Reply

Thanks a whole lot! I'm really glad that you gave some feedback to my story! I will definitely edit my story. You really helped! Thanks for being honest ^^

Reply

Emily Nghiem
18:20 Jul 12, 2020

Dear Kendra : I noticed a strange error on a lot of your comments here that say Thank you. Someone accidentally marked -1 on a lot of them, like 10-12. When I marked +1 they now show as 0 instead of 2. Can you ask the Moderators who was mismarking them? I only found a couple of other stories where only 1 happened, but this is like 10 of them!

Reply

That's kind of strange, and I don't really know how to help with this. I'll try my best! Thanks for letting me know.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Ollie Octopus
17:23 Jun 09, 2020

Wow! Amazing story!

Reply

Ollie Octopus
18:12 Jun 09, 2020

You're welcome!!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Laiba M
14:55 Jul 07, 2020

Hi, Kendra! I am currently dedicating my upcoming stories to my followers, do you mind being mentioned as a character in my story? Thanks!

Reply

I don't mind at all! :) Your welcome!

Reply

Laiba M
14:04 Jul 08, 2020

Thank you, Kendra :D

Reply

No problem! Excited for your story !

Reply

Laiba M
16:54 Jul 08, 2020

Back at you~

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Eric Smiley
06:55 Jul 07, 2020

Was the pronoun "he" used for Molly once? Good story, lots of room for back story and plot development :-]

Reply

Oof, did I? Sorry for the mistakes πŸ˜… Thanks :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Bella K
16:09 Jul 05, 2020

Hi Kendra! I absolutely loved this story! So much detail and it was so sweet! I am new to writing and you seem very experienced! If you wouldn't mind checking out my first story and giving me some feedback, I would love that!

Reply

Of course! Your words mean a lot to me, I would be happy to read your story! :)

Reply

Bella K
16:31 Jul 05, 2020

Thank you so much! You are so kind!

Reply

No problem! I left a comment on your story just now :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Talia M
15:43 Jul 03, 2020

Beautiful story!!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Reagan B.
01:03 Jul 03, 2020

I really liked this story concept. The unique point of view was very interesting and intriguing to read.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Harken Void
09:21 Jul 02, 2020

I love that concept of the Seasons being real characters and you've done an interesting new take on them (killing autumn and spring). I also loved the personification of trees and clouds, giving them a personality (I laughed when I read that Savanah jumped up and down - how does a tree jump?) A lovely story with beautiful description. Well done!

Reply

Thank you! And for the jumping part, I kind of think it as a little bounce, because they can't jump with their roots. It seems funny to me too, haha. Again, thank you very much! It means a lot to me :)

Reply

Harken Void
18:23 Jul 02, 2020

Haha, that's exactly how I imagined it! Like they want to jump and even get an inch off the ground, but their roots pull them back down. Adorable. You're most welcome :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Daryl Gravesande
21:07 Jul 01, 2020

Heyyy, GREAT STORY!!! By the way, I'm back with a new one too, so SPREAD THE WORD!!! :)

Reply

Thank you lots!! Yay, new submission, can't wait to check it out!!! I will! πŸ˜„

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Courtney Stuart
21:49 Jun 30, 2020

this was such a cool story! your descriptions were very well-done, and i especially loved all of the personification! great job! :)

Reply

Thank you! This is lovely to hear, glad you enjoyed! :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Imane Sah.
18:28 Jun 28, 2020

Good story. Keep going! πŸ‘πŸ‘

Reply

Imane Sah.
09:26 Jun 29, 2020

No problem 🌸🌸

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Matthew Gregory
20:07 Jun 26, 2020

Thanks for the story. As everyone else has said it is a beautiful personification of all aspects of the seasons, trees, clouds, etc. Your characterisation comes through well, and the idea is generally well-executed. If I could be picky, the voice of the narrator seems to change occasionally. At the start, it felt like a very adult piece of literature, but in the middle, and when he speaks, it becomes a more child-like narration. Also, the narrator seemed to me to sound and act more female than male. The protagonist's voice and the langua...

Reply

Thanks for your honesty and advice. I think everything you said was reasonable, except the narrator of the story is Molly, one of the trees. So it is female :) Thanks!

Reply

Matthew Gregory
21:24 Jun 27, 2020

Sorry, my mistake. I misread a passage that was talking about winter and thought it was about the narrator. Good thing that the voice sounded female then.

Reply

No, it's fine! I like your idea of the narrator's voice :) I'll be sure to keep that in mind!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply

This story was so beautifully descriptive, wow! Also, love the font you use in your username... where can I get one??? lol. Sincerely, A.

Reply

Thank you! I got the font from a website :) But the exact website I got it from is called fancygurutext.com (Hope that helped, lol). Again, thank you!

Reply

Welcome and now I'll look as snazzy as you do! Sincerely, A.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Ken Coomes
17:38 Jun 25, 2020

Beautiful moral, great story. I loved the imagination and the journey. I believe there were a couple of mistakes regarding commas, but only to a jaded eye. Nothing that took away from the pleasant read. I look forward to more.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply