I jingle my car keys. It's still pretty cold, but something in the air is different. I guess spring is coming. Which sounds like something of a cliché, but so does half of English. Even “I'm driving to work” has an inescapable familiarity to it.
I'm supposed to help Mrs. Tate plan her flower garden today – advise on locations and seed sources, that kind of thing. Today, that's my job. Cool, huh?
I'm excited about my job. Not particularly about spring.
Actually, though, I remember I used to like spring. Back when everything would be properly asleep in winter... Spring brought back the song of green things, the hum of grass and trees. Things I hadn't missed, but welcomed back.
I guess this spring won't be much of a change.
The thought hits me. My arm jerks. I almost drive off the road.
As awake as the plant life has been all winter, what if it only gets more active with spring weather? Trees and bushes and begonias griping louder and louder...
Fortunately I'm not far from Mrs. Tate's. I pull myself together and make it to the driveway. As soon as the brake is on, I'm fumbling for my phone.
Eric answers on the second ring.
“What?” he says.
“Have you set up another meeting with the Empath girl?” I demand.
“Look, it's for your own good -”
“I know, I know. I may not agree with your theories, but we need to figure this out.”
You bet we do,” Eric says. “We need front row seats to the end of the world.”
I can't believe it: I'm laughing. “Yeah. Well, I gotta get to work, but, uh...”
My mouth opens and closes. If this is going to be the end of the world, I should say something cool. Something inspiring. Confident, maybe. Heartfelt, even.
“Thanks for ignoring me, icehead.”
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