Fiction: The Months Project (January)

Here’s the short story for the month!  It’s the start of a series of twelve flash pieces that will come once a month, so hopefully you dig it.  If you like this story and you want to support me, feel free to go pledge to Patreon.  If you just want read the story and tell me you liked it, that’s dandy and, if you just want to consume the stuff I’m tossing out there, I’m good with that too.

Thank you for reading, whoever you may be.

January // 749 words

January rises, shaking the last remnants of the previous year from her body.  She’s bright and shining, every part of her glowing with the possibility she holds; she’s barely five feet tall and as thin as the bare tree branches around her, but she’s got a strong face and determined eyes.

She turns her head towards the sky, looking up at the thick clouds and their promise of snow.  One hand moves, gesturing in a circle and the snow starts to fall, raining down upon her, dusting everything in white. She smiles, bright and cheerful.

That’s how it’s going to be for her time here; snowy and cold, white and glittering.  She’s pleased by the idea, and there’s a spring in her step and a song on her lips.  She is utterly delighted to be back, to have the world unfolding at her feet for a while.  It’s been too long; she’s been asleep for ages, and it’s time to shake things up again.

January moves through the trees like she owns them, as if the world was created just for her.  She sings as she walks, old songs from years and years ago, before she was even a concept, nonetheless a creature that had breath and bone.  She holds the memories, even though she was never there to have them; she holds the whole of the world in her head and she cares for it with every part of her being.

She walks home, singing louder as the sprawling estate comes into view. She loves the place; it feels like a part of the family. She’s as excited to see it as she is to see Monday sitting on the porch, eyes drooping and feet propped up on the railing

“Hey you,” she greets, tipping her hat and grinning.  Even though she appears nonchalant, January knows better.  Monday is sharp as a knife and ready to strike at any moment.  She has a bite worse than any dog and she’s got no issue showing that off. But that’s with those who aren’t family, who aren’t part of the group that they’ve made together and fallen in love with.

Because that’s the thing, if January is honest with herself.  She loves all of them, February and March, Tuesday and Thursday.  She loves the lot of them with all her heart, with everything she has within her.  She loves them with the clouds in the sky, with the ticking of the clock.  She loves and loves and loves. They are children sprung from the same mother, they are siblings and cousins. It’s hard to resist the pull of family, all of them who came from the same place and one day, maybe, will all return to her as well.

Monday is giving her a look, one of those ‘you’re lost in your head again’ expressions that she’s very good at.  Monday isn’t a dreamer, not a dweller or a romantic.  She’s straightforward and brisk but that’s all right.  She lets January have her reflections all the same.

“Come on,” Monday says, beckoning January up the rest of the stairs and inside.  “We’ve been waiting for you to get here.”

And when she enters, there they are, the whole bunch of them, her sisters and brothers, her cousins too.  Even Twilight and Dawn sit in a corner, a cup of coffee between them.

“Welcome home,” Thursday says, cutting through the crowd to give her a hug.  “It’s great to see you, dear!”

January smiles, hugging Thursday back and giving her a quick kiss on the cheek.  “It’s good to be here.  Has December…”

“He’s already asleep,” Tuesday says from beside her.  She hadn’t even noticed him but there he was, bright-eyed and smiling at her.

“Damn.”  She shakes her head.  “One day I’ll catch him before he goes.”

Thursday laughs.  “You say that every year, you know.”

January grins.  “I’m a creature of habit, what do you want from me?”

“To have this,” Friday says as she comes up to them, shoving a drink into her hand.  

So, January drinks as her family mills about her, their warmth melting away the chill she carried from outside.  She knows she’ll never catch December, that he’ll be as elusive to her as the stars are to the sun.  

Then again, as she looks out on all of this, at the impossible lives they’ve created for themselves here, she remind herself that the sun is also a star, and impossible things happen every day.

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