This was the third of three microfictions I did when I co-hosted a day over at Torquere Press's LiveJournal Community. The prompt was "shrimp po-boy," "kites," and "popcorn." The prompts fit downtown Madison so well, I just had to run with it! This one took almost 45 minutes to write. Enjoy!***
Angela's breath fogged up the window as they headed down John Nolan Drive. Crowds of people stood on the frozen surface of Lake Monona, staring upward just as Angela was at the dipping, swirling, soaring mass of kites.
Grey sky and grey snow and grey trees and grey road, and up there a chaotic rainbow. It's like summer taunting us.
"I forgot it's Kites on Ice day," Tracey grumbled as the traffic crawled down the isthmus.
"You still want that shrimp po-boy? The ramps near the Bayou are bound to be full," Angela murmured, resentfully watching the brightly colored coats and scarves and hats of the crowd. They hardly look like people at all, just walking piles of clothes.
"I'll head down Regent instead, there's bound to be parking over near New Orleans Take-Out." With casual disregard for blind spots Tracey nosed the car over toward the left-hand turn lane, eventually managing to get off John Nolan and pointing them toward Camp Randall.
A few minutes later Tracey found an open meter a couple blocks up Monroe Street, and they started to walk back toward the restaurant. Angela huddled miserably into her heavy wool coat, the wind seeming to slice layers of skin off her cheeks.
"What's up?" Tracey asked softly.
Angela shrugged. "I just hate the winter." They passed a gaggle of pigeons feasting on a dropped bag of popcorn, the waddling fat birds too lazy to fly away. "Even all the damn birds are grey this time of year."
Tracey put an arm around her and hugged her close. "Poor snowbird. I'll show you how to beat the winter blues."
"How's that?" Angela asked doubtfully.
"First, we eat something nice and spicy. Then when we get home we'll get the fireplace going, and I'll wrap you up in your favorite quilt and make you an Irish hot toddy." Tracey grinned. "And then we'll steam the windows up."
The gleam in Tracey's eye sent a shiver through Angela, and this one had nothing to do with the icy wind. So that's why so many people from here are born in September. "I'm feeling warmer already."
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