May 1, 2015: Rites

She breaks out of the two circles, pushes her way through the old men, and storms off down the street.

The crowd runs after her. Flowers and streamers trailing behind them.
They’re calling to her, calling for her, pleading with her to come back.

The play-battle has been done for hours. Everyone is exhausted and no one can keep up with her.

Children begin crying as the clouds gather.
Dark clouds followed by a cold wind.
It’s going to snow.

I run after her, calling what might be her name.
She stops and turns around to look at me.
She pulls the crown of flowers from her hair and crushes them under her foot.

The crowd stands behind me, watching, waiting for her to speak, to come back.

She extends her middle finger at them, smiles.

Fuck Spring.

With that, she turns and walks slowly away.
The crowd, in a collective gasp, begins weeping.

The snow falls slowly.
She reaches the end of the street, turns the corner, and is gone.

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