THE FOUR SEASONS by Trent England

She was sixty-nine, he was seventy. In the kitchen she baked two halves of an apple sprinkled with cinnamon. He drank iced coffee and did his Sean Connery impression. She pulled down a shoebox from a shelf in the closet and read her old journals. He took photos of their Pontiac and tapped on his phone and in a few minutes it was officially for sale, online, a part of their history up for grabs. She got a root canal that cost more than three mortgage payments, back when they had a mortgage. He bought a new phone that cost more than his first car. She received another brochure in the mail about twin cemetery plots and headstones. He wondered if, when people looked at him, they thought he was still in his sixties. She watched the neighborhood kids wait at the curb for the school bus. He scraped the dead skin off his heels. She stopped watering the house plants. He didn’t notice. She watched 7 Eyewitness News at Noon while dust particles danced in the light. He stalked his great-niece’s Instagram looking for photos of his estranged brother. She bought an old typewriter and displayed it on the mantle. He planted broad beans in the garden. She took the cordless phone into the bathroom and called back interested buyers and said the car was no longer for sale. He voted straight-ticket Democrat. She watched liver spots appear overnight like crop circles. He quit red meat, cold turkey. She read the newspaper and told him she was glad she never had to be a reporter in this economy. He said he kind of wished he were still teaching, just to have something to do. In bed she paused the movie they were watching and said that adult children seemed like the worst, don’t they, just the most ungrateful people. He nodded toward the TV and said he liked that Kristen Wiig, and is it pronounced wig or weeg. She dreamed that a tiger was always walking away from her. He read the comments. She watched the snow melt and wash away winter’s brown slush. He watched the flowers bloom and the grass grow. She sat in the Bonneville and inhaled the scent of its interior, still impossibly cinnamon. He wondered if it was too late to father a child.

She suggested they try something new and sleep on different sides of the bed. He rinsed with blue mouthwash and said yes. She settled into his spot and wondered if, by doing this, she would learn how his mind had been working all these years. He cleared his throat. She thought he sounded like he was going to say something. He rolled over and looked at her. She looked back. And in the dark they knew each other again as ageless, pre-human things.


Trent England is a playwright and author of short fiction. His most recent play, Solitaire Suite, premiered in February of 2021. Since 2009, his stories have appeared at The Masters ReviewHobart, and Conjunctions, among other places. He has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and he was named a Best Microfiction 2020 winner. He lives in Boston and can be found online at tengland.com.

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