by Antony Paschos

Seasons are a helix, scales on a coiled snake eating its tail, each unique, yet all of them alike; and all you need to know to escape winter is that all seasons are a helix, infinitely succeeding each other; that’s the only way to move on, to liberate yourself; for what is death if not a circle, a beginning so close to the end, monotonous, repetitive, non-existent?

The layer of snow in the playground was dead-skin pale. Acacias were craning anhydrous branches towards the sky, like huge cockroach legs.

I heard a swing creaking. The girl stretched her legs as she moved back and forth; rosy cheeks, a breath of steam.

Back and forth.

Like a pendulum.

A dog; a bark; the creak faded.

Four legs barely supporting a crooked spine. A torn pelt; scab, clots of blood and pus its diseased ornaments.

Under the dog’s belly I could see a string of flesh dangling, inscribing a ruby trail in the snow behind it.

The dog limped towards the little girl. Saliva foamed around a mouth that seemed to be made of tar. I could see its fangs.

I grabbed the shovel and rushed. I raised the shovel just in time to crack the dog’s skull.


The buildings’ shade was suffocating me; I could feel the weight of their cement mass on my shoulders; I was breathing dirt, plaster and asbestos.

I walked. My shoes were sinking in the snow, my feet were getting soaked inside them. I enjoyed the sensation. Cold is good. Cold is life.

I fell face-first.

Snow tasted of mud, pain ignited my forearms, my palms raw, bloody and studded with gravel.

I thought I had stumbled on a bloated trash bag, a common sight in this city. But it was the dog.

Its head squashed. Its body deformed. Its guts a tangled and knotted thread. Like a shiny coiled snake. I was ready to kick it when it moved.

I was speechless.

Jerky, spastic moves.

I no longer paid heed to the pain in my arms. My gaze was transfixed by animal footprints. They were leading back to where I had come from.

How was this possible?

The dog was getting up. The stench of urine invaded my nostrils.

The dog started limping. Towards my starting point.

The playground.


Then I got it.

For the first time.

The weight of the buildings left my shoulders.

Seasons are a helix, infinitely succeeding each other.

My pain faded. The air was clear.

All you need to know to escape winter is this.

I walked in a trance.

That’s the only way to move on.

I passed by the dog, the distant creak guiding me.

The only way to liberate yourself.

Back and forth like a pendulum. The little girl was swinging back and forth like a pendulum.

How many seasons? How many shards of time?

The dog snarled behind me. The tree branches stirred.

For what is death if not a circle?

The little girl glanced at me. Goggled eyes of blue.

A beginning so close to the end.

The dog barked. I heard the thud of its paws on the snow; it was running.

For the last time.

A beginning monotonous, repetitive, non-existent.

The dog passed me by, the little girl screamed.

Seasons are a helix.

I grabbed the shovel.

And the winter will end.

The dog charged. I raised the shovel.

I’ll be the one to end the winter.

I raised the shovel over the little girl’s skull.

March 2022

∼ Read April’s story, “The Overnight” by T.M. Morgan ∼

Blog at

Up ↑