Gather around friends and let me tell you a tale of how things once were, how they were supposed to be and how they went horribly wrong.
Once upon a time when things were stable, there were two forces of nature, Mother Earth, and Father Time. They got along swimmingly, went out to eat, saw movies, took long walks on the beach and had picnics in the sun. All was well, and they were happy.
Then one day, during one of their long strolls, they saw some birds, then some bees. Needless to say, this gave them an idea, and the next thing you know they were married. And as luck would have it, had quadruplets, and they were all girls. As time went on, things were peaches and cream, but now the daughters have come into their own, and turned into teenagers. The peaceful, serene, homeostatic order that Mother Earth and Father Time once enjoyed is now in turmoil, because each daughter has decided to no longer work together, but to go their own way, because, as teenage girls, they “know better.”
Spring is the wild one, throwing storms about and wearing too much perfume which will irritate the eyes of most. But she is also popular among the boys. Perhaps that’s why they call her “the mating season.”
Summer is the hot one. She is the one people want to be around all the time, and will do pretty much anything to see that happen. But don’t let her know that, because she is increasingly playing hard to get.
Autumn is the underrated one. She is the one you bring home to Mom. She never hangs out long, but when she does, she is calm, collected and when she finally show’s her true colors, the most beautiful of all. And when she leaves all too soon, you realize what you have missed, and wish you appreciated her more.
Then there is Winter, the ice queen. Nobody likes Winter. She’s cold, heartless and ugly. In fact, her nickname growing up was “old-man Winter.” Yes, kids can be cruel, and she couldn’t help being born with a beard, but part of growing up is learning that everyone is not going to like you and that you should just ignore them. Not winter though. She turned into an ice queen, and reaps her vengeance upon the masses with unchecked vigor at every opportunity.
As things were getting out of hand, Mother Earth and Father Time, being the good parents they are, stepped in.
“Girls, it’s time to grow up.” said Father Time with the authority he continually demanded. “I haven’t missed a second since the beginning of time. It can be hard, but people are counting on you.”
Autumn, being the wonderful daughter she is, agreed and has come back to where she belonged. Winter, the ice queen, agreed too, but for far more sinister reasons. You see, she knew Spring and Summer would rebel, and she saw this as her time to take over their seasons. To extend her icy grip on all who talked ill about her, made fun of her and her, admittedly, luxurious beard. It was the first step in her ultimate goal of taking over all the seasons, and making everyone miserable.
Winter was right. Summer and Spring heard their father’s plea, and subsequently stormed out, saying they could do things better themselves, that the rest were just jealous that they got all the attention.
With Spring and Summer gone, Winter’s icy grip on the entire year is nearly complete. At the end of his rope, Father Time was running out of ideas and, well, time. Spring and Summer needed to come back, and that is when Autumn stepped up.
“There is still time for me, I’ll go out into the great wide open and find them, talk to them, bring them back, and set things right,” she said.
Knowing it was a last option, because Winter was no longer shy about her ambitions, Father Time granted leave of Autumn, to go find and bring back her sisters.
Would she be successful? Will Winter, the ice queen, take over all the seasons? Are old timey newspaper serials out of date? Find out next week, with our stunning conclusion!
Chris Hamble is a freelance writer and humor columnist serving newspapers in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and is a lifelong Stillwater resident.