Once in a while, I like to take a crack at a writing contest. It’s a perfect way to practice writing while having fun at the same time.

In December 2011, Radio Canada’s Zone d’écriture had an online flash fiction contest (in french). Each entry had to be about a winter-related memory of some sort. The length had to be between 400 and 500 words only. I took a swing at it, but I didn’t quite follow the rules… I did write a story about winter… However, the story is told from a special character’s viewpoint!  I translated the original story I submitted (“Mon grand frère”) below. Happy reading!

by Martin Dugas

I was pouting. Because of what he did to me last year. It was not yet his turn; nevertheless, my big brother pushed me aside and took my place.

Furious, I literally dropped my paint brushes and left. Without telling him one single word.

Who did he think he was all of a sudden? Showing up hastily, just like that, without any warning. It was really not his style. I assure you, I did not see him coming. You neither, I bet.

As soon as he arrived, he froze your bones. In the wink of an eye, he wrapped you all with his thick white coat. After that, he kicked into full gear: snow storm, blowing snow, freezing temperatures and black ice. He got you good, heh? Your shovels were not out yet. Your snow blowers were not tuned up. A lot of you were still wearing your shoes outside! You didn’t deserve this. At the very least, not before my turn was officially over. From my hideout, I heard your deep sighs.

You know, when we were just kids, Mother Nature kept saying, “No fighting, boys, to each his turn!”

Of course, we all wanted to be the first one. But Mother made us promise to always follow the order. Spring, the youngest, is the first one. He’s a deep sleeper; he always wakes up late. After, it’s Summer; he is likely the one everybody loves the most. I am the third; the artist. And Winter is the one that closes the loop. It’s not fair. Even though he’s the strongest one of us four, we wish so much that his turn wouldn’t last so long!

When I think back at last year, I’m still mad! My thousands of minuscule paintings, ornamented with my best colour schemes, still hung onto the big easels. I didn’t even have time to gently blow them over and make them twirl around majestically in the wind! My marvellous spectacle was cancelled because of my big brother who monopolized the scene with his stupid meteorological back flips!

I am still very much frustrated about it. My turn is already short as it is; Winter should refrain from shortening it further. He shocks my fans when he does that.

I know, I know; I groan. Even if my big brother has a nasty temper sometimes, I still love him. He just loves catching everybody off guard. He can’t help himself. We shouldn’t hold it against him.

To be forgiven, he promised he would show up tardily and be mild this year.

Copyright © 2012 Martin Dugas