One day summer came and never left again.
At first, the people were okay with this. They liked this. After all, the winter had been harsh. Cruel. So dark, so cold, filled with the calls of wolves both plaintive and hungry. The people had always liked summer better. Summer was bright, and cheerful, and so full of bounty that when the days did not shorten and the evenings did not become so cool and the leaves did not begin to turn and fall they were happy, and threw joyous celebrations every week it lasted.
For a long while they still loved it. They did not know for how long, because without the turning of the seasons it became hard to track time. This did not seem like a reason to worry, though. Soon, they built new calendars, marking off the days on the wall or particularly large trees. This new summer was bringing challenges, yes, but nothing the clever people could not fix with their ingenuity.
After their calendars marked over a thousand days of summer, enthusiasm began to wane. It was always growing season, which was a good thing because it meant they did not have to worry about starving the way they had done in those brutal winters. But…it was always growing season. There was always work to be done. The people soon realized that winters had been a sort of respite to the hard work in the hot days, and now that respite was gone.
And the hot days! Oh, how the hot days marched on. Strong sun, small breezes, close air. The heat marched on and on into the night, leaving barely any of the cool hours left in the darkest parts of the night. Warmth would start creeping in again before the sky was even light to the east. Soon, even that was gone. It was warm all the time.
Then hot all the time.
Except, of course, for the storms.
Savage summer storms that rolled across plains and mountains and crops as though none of it could slow them down or stand in their way. Pelted their precious rows of corn and wheat and leafy greens with hail the size of apples, punching through leaves and knocking down stems. The people did not want to admit it to each other except when they were mostly alone, groups of two or three, hidden in the middle of otherwise empty fields or down in root cellars:
The storms were getting worse.
It’s funny, the things that start slow and end fast. Within another hundred days of summer the people were begging for winter. The darkness to give their eyes rest, the cold so they could cuddle up with each other for warmth, even the plaintive calls of the wolves were missed.
Fall, the people would say, we would settle for a fall.
But even fall was out of reach.
Eventually, the people left. Searching for winter. And if they found it, the lands of eternal summer couldn’t say.