A cruel month

February is cruel, but nowadays it’s from lack of light and not from snow or ice.

“Here was once a bridge”, Jack points at the rotting stumps extruding through fermenting mulch.

“In winter we would skate. In summer we could bathe.”

“Grandpa, what’s skating?”

“I can’t explain it any longer, Selma.”


His skin, stuck to latex, longs for air, it longs to be whipped by icy winds, it longs for snow.

“Can we go back inside? I don’t like my safesuit.”

Jack takes his granddaughter’s hand. Together they head back to the decontamination chamber.

Every month is cruel now.

I don’t think I’m the only one who will see something dystopian in the picture. I see what once was a beautiful bay with a wonderful bridge overgrown. I see a winter way too warm. I wonder of we would ever be just visitors to our own soil.

Friday Fictioneers is a blogging community where we write stories to the same picture every week. Rochelle selects the same picture and set the bar with her own writing, and we often strive in vain to meet the high standards.

February 3, 2016

60 responses to “A cruel month

  1. So sad to have to live like that now and can not share the joys he use to, and watch his granddaughter enjoying them also. The last line sums it up. Great story.

  2. Brilliant story. The tone and voice are perfect, and the lifeless scene you paint is heartbreaking. I share your distaste for winter, although for me it’s June-August, (and here in Australia it’s really very mild). I couldn’t bear for every month to feel so dismal.

  3. Dear Björn,

    You’ve painted a dismal dystopian picture. But the upside is you’ve done it well. As always, it’s not what you’re looking at, but what you see. Your take embodies that principal. Good job.



  4. February and November, they are difficult to go through. The mood of the story meets the mood of the month perfectly, and your dystopian world could easily come true if we continue as we do. Well told, as always.

  5. That picture reminded me of a lake here that’s covered with water hyacinth. It can’t be eaten even by animals because the water it grows in is so contaminated. Your powerful story took contamination into a sad and scary future. Well done, Bjorn. —- Suzanne.

  6. A sad tale – told expertly. I too wonder what the price would be for our warm winters. It’s 50 F degrees here in the Northeast US when last year it was in the 20s.

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