Forever Summer.

This is a piece I’ve entered as part of an application for that Arvon Foundation course I mentioned before… I hope you enjoy it! Feedback is much appreciated xx

The heat spun, dancing along the flagstones and across her olive skin. She could feel it, the friendly feathery touch of a lifelong friend. The girl spun and danced with it, her short sun-bleached hair playfully tousled by the wind. Smiling, she flopped down onto the grass, sighing a satisfied sigh. Glistening at her breast was a golden pocket watch, covered in delicate filigree and hanging from a delicate chain. She twined her fingers through the chain and lifted it thoughtfully. It spun in the breeze. The girl frowned, and the grass around her began to shrink away from her, slowly shrivelling to a crisp brown.

Time passed on too quickly.

It wasn’t fair. She loved this time of year. Hell, everybody loves this time of year. Why did Summer have to end? A tear welled up at the corner of her eye, and the air thickened with it. She flicked open the case of the watch and stared balefully at the hand slowly ticking round. Darkness blotted out the sky as her eyes screwed together, and her tears were the first of the raindrops to hit the ground.

She had seen the clock, and realised that Time, as always, had passed her by again. She wrapped her arms around her knees and cried, the rain intensifying and running down her body in slick, smooth waves. Her body tensed. In the distance, a flash of lightning sparked between the clouds. She screamed out loud, somehow simultaneously the hurt cry of a young girl and the long, rattling boom of thunder.

She saw someone broach the crest of the nearest hill. Stupidly, they had their umbrella up, even though the lightning was flashing and burning dangerously close now. A woman with long, coppery hair. Coppery hair. All reds and rust browns. Deep ochre eyes.


It was too soon! She tugged at the watch around her neck, trembling as she flipped open the casing. The sun began to drop over the horizon, taking the last of the Summer heat with it. A wet chill filled the air, and still her red-headed sister stalked closer.

“Go away!” The girl shouted, the rain sputtering and dying. She shivered. “It’s not time…” she said, pleading.

The woman calmly shook off her umbrella and shook out her hair. “Aesther, why must we go through this same charade every year? All of us must take our turn.” Aesther looked down at the face of the watch. It looked back solemnly, its face telling her all she didn’t want to know. She cried again, quieter this time, and dew grew crystalline on the undersides of the dying grass. Her sister sat beside her, and gently hugged her.

“They will enjoy the Summer even more when they have it to look forward to.” She whispered to her younger sister. Aesther knew, deep inside, that she was right. She smiled, and hugged her back. They sat like that a little while, and the equinox passed quietly. It was the one time of year when they could enjoy each other’s company. Night passed, and morning came. Aesther blinked back more tears as sunbreak arrived.

In silence, she slid the beautiful chain from around her neck and held it before her, the watch spinning gently in the gathering dawn.

“Take care of it.”

The woman smiled. Gently taking the precious timepiece from her, she replied “Of course. Say hello to Father for me.”

The metal bronzed over as it changed hands, so subtly that it could have been a trick of the light. The girl and the woman stood. Between them, a single russet leaf fluttered to the ground. Aesther looked back over her shoulder as she walked away. She was leaving, and Summer was leaving with her.

Time moved on. The woman with the autumnal hair stood and watched her sister walk away. Her Midas touch spread as the last of Summer faded into memory. Leaves curled to gold and floated slowly down, gilding the ground. Small animals began to prepare for the coming winter. The wind grew mischievous, kicking up the single leaf which had fallen between them.

Aesther was gone. She would not know the beauty of the Fall, with its beautiful spectrum of reds and golden browns. Likewise, the woman who stood in the world now would never know the attraction of Winter, nor Spring. She knew that she would not have long to shape the world to her image of perfection. And so, she got to work.


Aesther had gone home. Her sister was right: she would never understand the attraction her siblings brought to the world. To her, Summer alone was perfection. She hugged her Father and sat with him in their garden. Around her knees, flowers blossomed and danced. Butterflies fluttered and swooped around her head. As they talked, she wondered what her sister was doing. She shuddered inwardly at the thought of the endless carpets of dead leaves, the bare trees, the chill air. She would never understand. But this was the way of things.

After all, for her, it was forever Summer.


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'Quintconsequential' is a word of my own invention, despite the definition in the style of the Oxford English Dictionary featured on the site. By all means, use it, whisper it, shout it from the rooftops. But please, remember that you heard it here first!
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