The Season by Kim Hutchinson

Fat, lazy snowflakes drifted down, dusting the street like icing sugar. One store window projected a warm glow onto the grey street. Over the window, the sign read Joffrey Russ, Fur Designer. Another read Retirement Sale.

It was a small concession, thought Russ as he looked out. He wasn’t retiring, just giving in. Forty-five earlier, downtown had been full of furriers and upscale shops. Now, his neighbors were a bohemian coffee shop and an Ethiopian restaurant.

Things had changed. In the game of social politics known as fashion, people no longer wore animal skins that were artistically shaped and colored. Instead, they dyed and pierced their own skin.

That was the difference between a man and a fox, he thought while fluffing the display. A fox is always a fox, from one scrounging, sniffing moment to the next. He changes when forced by lack of food, water or habitat. Man often changes because of boredom or because he’s following a notion of progress. A professional woman walked by wearing shoes reminiscent of a child’s patent leather dress-ups and a faux fur coat.

He’d ridden the fickle wave to success and a good life. He would not be bitter about the end of the season. He’d always marveled at the endless variety and characteristics of the skins he worked with, and he now felt the same admiration for his fellow humans.

Today, he thought, would be a good day to order Ethiopian food for lunch.

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “The Season by Kim Hutchinson

  1. i really liked this. it felt much longer that it actually was, which, in flash, is a good thing. it seemed as if you’d distilled a life/a novel into its essence. and you did end it perfectly. great job.

    • Kim Hutchinson

      Thanks, Len. Working with the 52/250 writers has given me a real appreciation for the power of economy. I’m glad you liked this.

  2. I couldn’t agree more with you, Kim- the gifts that the community of 52/250 writers have given are immense, aren’t they? Nice story here, feels really flushed out, like Len says, a longer short. Uses great technique and variety. Love the internal voice used to reveal character.

  3. Sort of the end of an era. I’m glad he can embrace the change, and I loved the comparison between animal and human skins being decorated.

  4. Lovely story, you set it up so well with voice and mood. He reminds me of my mother, pushing himself. I always love to read your words. Peace…

  5. Pingback: Week #26 – Animal behavior | 52|250 A Year of Flash

  6. this i think, one of the best takes on the theme. The vestigial impulse in humans towards shedding one’s skin at the turning of the season, the fable-ish language re: the fox and his skin. A perfect vehicle for the narrative to revolve around. Agree with above…you covered a lot of ground in this.

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