Chapter 5

            “I don’t care what Autumn says,” Summer growled, pacing her sisters bedroom, “the plan is going ahead, we need to stop Winter’s storms, before anyone else gets hurt.”
            Spring sighed inwardly, avoiding eye contact with her sister, who gave her a weird look, before continuing to pace the room.
            “We’ll do it tomorrow night,” Summer continued, “when everyone’s asleep. I’ll do it, I don’t want you to get involved, I know you probably don’t want to get involved anyway, and this is my plan, I want to take the credit for it. Just, don’t you dare go all righteous on me and stop this. This is something I have to do, we have to stop her.”
            Spring stood up, moving to the centre of the room. “Please, don’t do this. Don’t involve me if you do but please don’t do it. It’s not fair on Winter.” Spring strutted over to the door, pulling it open and motioning for her sister to leave. Summer made a ‘tut’ noise and moved slowly to the door.
            “Your choice, I guess. But I’m not going to not do it. She needs to learn.” Summer left her sisters bedroom and made her way towards her own. Spring slammed the door on her sister and made her way back to the bed. She peeled the duvet back and dived underneath, before pulling the duvet up to her knees. She pulled open the top drawer of her bedside cabinet and plunged her hand inside, moving it around inside until it came into contact with the thing she was looking for.
            She pulled the thick book carefully out of the draw, so as not to lose any of the precious pieces of paper which it contained. She opened the book and spread it across her lap, flicking through the pages in search of the photo she longed to see. After a while, Spring turned a page and noticed the exact article she was searching for. She slid the faded photograph out of the book and closed the book, replacing it in the drawer. She returned her attention to the photograph in her hand. Using the sleeve of her jumper, she wiped tiny bits of dust and fluff off of the photograph until the picture was clearer.
The photograph was of the four sisters as babies, all lying together on a pure white sheet.
             They all had confused expressions plastered across their faces; this world was so new and unreal to them and they had been shoved, literally head first, into it. Of course, the birth of the Seasons was not all the same as the birth of any normal being on this earth. Mother Nature had, just as with other babies, sewn them together in the living room, by the fire, but then, instead of being delivered by stork, the Seasons were delivered by various other creatures. A phoenix had majestically swooped in to deliver Summer, a snow leopard had sauntered into the living room for Winter, a scurry of squirrels had hopped their way into the house and collected Autumn and a warren of rabbits had bounded in to deliver the sister who was looking at the first photo of the Seasons with tears streaming down her face. The girls had all been delivered to ‘surrogate’ mothers and born, just as any other child. They had then spent three years with their surrogate families before returning to Mother Nature, ready to learn what they would spend a quarter of each year, every year doing.
            Spring wiped her face with her sleeve, preventing the tear that had dribbled down to her chin from getting onto her precious photo. Spring smiled at her own stupidity, she could always be brought to tears by a photo of her and her sisters all together. This particular photo was her favourite, mainly due to the fact that she did not know who took it, how they got all four sisters together and the exact reason for the photo. The mystery of the photo both intrigued and confused her. She had always suspected Mother Nature’s involvement in the photo, but Mother Nature had always denied knowing anything about the photo, or meeting any of the girls before they were three.
            Another thing that was a mystery to Spring was the location of the surrogate families that had taken the girls as babies and thought them to be their own. She had, for as long as she could remember, wanted to meet her birth mother, and perhaps even a birth father or siblings. Every dream she had ever had, that she remembered, involved her meeting them again, running into the arms of a loving mother who had dreamt about her every night too, who had spent the last fifteen years hoping and wishing for her little girl to come back. Spring loved Mother Nature with all her heart, but she would never be her true mother, and part of Spring resented her for that fact, the fact that she had stolen a child from four loving families and that she had stolen a loving family from a young child. Spring also felt that Mother Nature had stolen the sisters’ childhoods by forcing them to start with the weather control at just four years old. She enjoyed her time, so, so much, but she also kind of wished that they had had a longer time to be children; to grow up the ‘normal’ way, just like the inhabitants of this world; to make friends with the people and go to school with them; to have boyfriends and feel love, heartbreak and jealousy.
            The only friends Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter had were each other. They had acquaintances living in the world, but they could never uphold true friendships, due to the time they had to spend in control. Friendships usually didn’t survive when one half disappeared for 3 months, and when the other person is not ever allowed to visit their friend’s house. Spring used to spend 9 months building friendships and then, once she had returned from her duties, they would have forgotten her, or would hate her for disappearing. She remembered one year in which she had formed an immensely meaningful friendship with a girl called Amber, and, when her duties were finished, she had found out that her dear friend had passed away from leukaemia, too lately diagnosed to have anything done about it, and all this time, Spring had been told, Amber had been asking for her, needing her. Amber had a whole section inside of Spring’s notebook, the first death she had ever experienced. After that, Spring had never let herself get close to any person, for fear that something just as terrible and tragic happened to them, and that she could not be there for them when they most needed her. She couldn’t stand putting someone through that, or being put through that. After Amber, Spring cried for days on end, wishing she could just see her one more time. Amber started to appear in the dreams, playing the ‘other daughter’ of her ‘mother’, or just being there with Spring when they ‘met’. Spring had awoken from many of these dreams with a wet pillow and a salty face, where emotions had permeated her dreams and come to the surface.
            Spring sighed and re-opened the bedside cabinet. Again, she removed the book and flicked through the pages, finding the place that she had originally removed the photo from. She closed the book with another sigh; wondering whether or not Summer had calmed down and decided to drop the plan. She guessed that she probably hadn’t; of all four sisters, Summer was the most stubborn and determined. Sometimes, she could also be the cruellest and the meanest, and this seemed to be one of those days.

The End

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