I've been encouraged by SaintPain to post some short stories on a blog. They originally began as presents for him when he expressed interest in my description of putting the season Autumn in a bottle. I've since written three short stories about the Bottles, and plan on writing the others, Spring and Summer, when the time comes.
So, with minor modifications, the Season Bottles of Autumn and Winter:
There is a light knock at your door, and you head to the door and open it. No one is there. What is going on? As you close the door, you see that there is a brown velvet satchel sitting on the doorstep. Overwhelmed with curiosity, you carefully bring it inside and shut the door. The velvet seems to sparkle on its own, and there is gold embroidery in the center of the satchel in the pattern of a gushing fountain. Tenderly holding the sack, you withdraw a brown translucent bottle. On the inside you see a warm glow, and there are some shimmers swirling around in there. The golden label reads in brown script: Autumn. Wondering what it could mean, you examine the cork. It looks easy enough to pop out, and there is decorative gold swirls painted on the sides and top of it. Grasping it firmly, you pop the cork and hold the bottle upright. Instantly, there is the faint sounds of birds singing, and a fountain of light and golden shimmers erupts from within the bottle. There is the scent of wildflowers and fresh hay. As you watch in amazement, the light engulfs the room, and there is a soft breeze blowing. Bewildered, you watch as the light makes its way outside from your open window and miraculously changes the temperature and lighting of the day. As you run out to better see what is happening, you notice that the leaves on the trees change color, becoming the oranges and reds of Autumn. The sounds of birds continues, and Bluebirds appear on the branches singing about the weather. Goldenrod blooms, and the sun tilts to give pleasant rays. More and more birds appear on the trees, and orange leaves begin to flutter down from them. As the golden shimmer from the bottle fades away, some clouds appear on the horizon, and the beauty of the sunset through the clouds is mesmerizing. Then you remember that you have the bottle still firmly grasped in you hand. Wanting to know if the bottle can be used again, you examine it more carefully. Just at the bottom of the bottle is a carefully written note: "One time use. Have fun with it my friend."
Hearing a light knocking at your door, you get up from your desk to see whom it might be. As you open the door, you see that no one is there. How could it be? Puzzled, you start to close the door, but then see a battered crate at the doorstep. It looks old, and the wood is a very dark fine grain and highly polished. The lid appears to have no lock, so it should be able to be opened easily. Bringing it inside, you set it on your desk. You also now see the there are fantastical patterns carved into the wood. You would like to examine them further, but your curiosity about what could be within the box prevents you from doing so. Holding the lid in your hands, you open the lid and set it back on its hinges. Amazed, you see that the box contains 6 brown bottles, carefully packaged in individual brown velvet satchels. You carefully lift one satchel from the crate, and on closer examination realize that it is an exact duplicate of the magical bottle you had opened earlier. Quickly looking over the other bottles reveals that they are all the same. How could this be? Now, you start to wonder who gifted these wonderful items to you. Who could it be? Just as you are closing the lid, you notice a lovely golden note on the underside of the lid you had overlooked earlier. Leaning in for a closer look, the pretty script says: "Since I have seen you love the first bottle, I have gifted you six more. For use when the weight of the world seems to be on your shoulders, the days are gloomy, and the people of the world are mean and cruel. Be happy and healthy, my good friend."
Coming home, you see a cornflower blue velvet satchel sitting on your doorstep. You're instantly excited; could this be another Bottle? Carefully, you take the sack out into better light to examine it in more detail. The velvet seems to shimmer from within the weave of the fabric, and there is gorgeous navy embroidery in the center of the satchel. The pattern of the embroidery resembles a gushing fountain. Tenderly holding the sack, you withdraw the Bottle. It is a sight to behold. The Bottle is crafted from translucent white glass, revealing the contents within. It's as if thick white smoke was trapped inside, but there is suddenly a burst of light and silver shimmers around within as the Bottle reacts to your touch. The slate gray label reads in script: Winter. The black cork has wonderful sliver swirls painted around the sides and top.
Eager to see what the Winter Bottle can do, you take it to an open place in the yard and pull the cork out. Instantly, the contents erupt from the mouth of the Bottle and out into the air. In the sky, suddenly clouds form, and light-as-air snowflakes drift down. A gentle breeze blows, and Cardinal birds appear on the branches of the trees, looking exactly like picture cards. Its starting to get a little chilly, and you realize you need a coat. As you are about to go get your coat, suddenly you feel warm and toasty, another gift from the Bottle. As the snow builds up, you see that snowmen are building themselves, as well as snow angels. Frost delicately encrusts the bushes and tree branches, and as the shimmer from the Bottle lifts upward into the sky, the clouds dissipate, and the rays of the sun makes the frost sparkle and glitter like so many tiny diamonds. Holly branches are studded with bright red berries, and the contrast with the snow is lovely. As the shimmer from the Bottle starts to fade, it gathers on each thing created and the snow dissipates like fog upon sunrise. The frost diamonds fade away, and the air warms around you. You look down at the Bottle still in your hand, wishing you had more. On closer inspection, it appears that there is a paper note inside the Bottle. As you shake the Bottle upside-down, the note falls into your hand. The paper seems to be handmade, as it is heavy and has uneven edges. On the paper, in gorgeous script, is written: "I held true to my promise, I did not make a Winter Bottle until it was time. Hopefully I have captured the magical moments of Winter without the terrible ones. Have a wonderful day, my good friend."