It’s too hot. It’s too cold. The world stands in perfect balance and the southern hemisphere welcomes winter. The northern hemisphere readies for spring. And Finlandia University can’t regulate its boilers.
The pond outside my front step is four inches deep with a skim of ice. The hulking banks of what was snow wither into gravelly carcasses four feet tall, seeping water from beneath. It’s chilly enough to wear a coat but once inside the corridors of the university where I teach and tutor, I’m sweating.
Students are wearing sundresses and shorts. It’s a confusing time of year on the Keweenaw Peninsula because it can be any weather at any given time. The boilers kick out heat because of the cold mornings but soon feel like a sauna (pronounced sow-na, in the Finnish dialect) by noon. The snowbanks outside melt in unison with us humans inside.
The melt came on fast. Monday, I appreciated the hulking snow sculptures peeking over rooftops and by Tuesday I saw they were gone. Some witnessed moments of release. A colleague told me he pulled into his driveway after work just in time to see the packed snow on his roof let go with a whoosh and wallop. He couldn’t pull into his garage and the pile was too deep to shovel. He has to wait for it to melt further.
A friend had her entire vehicle buried in snow when the rooftop of her apartment complex dump all its snow. All the signs posted around town that read, “Beware of falling snow and ice” are intended for this time of year. The strangest thing that happened because of the swift melt was when two faculty cars collided — both vehicles had been parked when the ice beneath broke up like glaciers and one slab slid into the other.
The equinox has me ready for a change. I wonder what it will be?
March 21, 2022, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story to reflect the theme, “ready for a change.” Who is ready and why? How does the change unfold? What happened to initiate the change? Go where the prompt leads!
- Submit by March 26, 2022. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form. The Collection publishes on the Wednesday following the next Challenge. Rules & Guidelines.
- Carrot Ranch only accepts stories through the form below. Accepted stories will be published in a weekly collection. Writers retain all copyrights.
- Your blog or social media link will be included in your title when the Collection publishes.
- Please include your byline which is the name or persona you attribute to your writing.
- Please include the hashtag #99Word Stories when sharing either the Challenge or Collection posts in social media.
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