QuestionsThaddeus walked into the woods and asked the children twisting the heads of owls if they had seen a small girl in yellow pajamas. The three children were sitting against an oak tree with their legs stretched out, the snow stitched to their waists.
Did the yellow pajamas have flowers printed at the hem? asked the middle child.
Yes, said Thaddeus.
Did the little girl have dark hair that smelled of honey and smoke? asked the child to the left.
Thaddeus hesitated then nodded, trying to remember if during all those moments he held her in his arms if she smelled of honey and smoke.
Did the little girl have a drawing of kites on her hands and arms? said the child to the right.
Yes! said Thaddeus. Yes, yes, yes. They are kites her mother painted. When did you see her last? Was she with anyone? Is she safe?
The children went back to concentrating on twisting the heads of the owls. No, I’m afraid we haven’t seen her, they said. Now if you don’t mind sir we are very busy and much enjoying ourselves by playing with these owls. I hope you find the little girl, she sounds very cute and very beautiful.
Selah And Thaddeus Don’t Sleep For Several Days In Whichthey decide that a war against February is needed. They invite over The Solution members who talk several hours on strategy to destroy February. Thaddeus tries not to cry when one of the members of The Solution passes him a list of missing children and asks him to please add Bianca’s name where there is room.
-When can we begin the war, Thaddeus asks.
The Catalog of Missing Children(written on parchment, folded into a small square where it is kept and updated by a war officer)
Evie Rhodes – taken from her bed on February the 127th
Candace Smith – disappeared while feeding birds on February the 175th
Adam Johnston – vanished while playing in a closet on February the 112th
John Smith – also disappeared while feeding birds on February the 175th
Daniel Abrams – considered lost in the woods on February the 212th
Joyce Aikey – drowned while diving for turtles on February the 188th
Joseph Mendler – taken from his bed on February the 139th
Estrella Roberts – vanished during a game of hide and seek on February the 144th
Emily Boyce – drowned during a snowball fight on February 222nd
Sarah Lock – disappeared in a blizzard on February 247th
Bianca Lowe – taken from her bed on February 255th
Peter Jones – never came home from school on February 199th
Jessica Chambers – vanished while walking with her dogs on February 312th
Suzy Peck – taken from her bed on February 322nd
CI was Thad’s number one guy during the war against February. Before the war I thought Thad had gone mad on the account of the kidnapping of his daughter, Bianca. But after I noticed a significant change in the ways of the town during the season of February, I began coming to his home on a weekly basis to listen to him preach about a possible full out thrashing of February. Each week Thad recruited more and more people from the town, a whole mess of us cramped up in his wrecked little home. The one thing that really made me want to be a part of the war, beside the fact that it was damn exciting, was what Thad showed us one night. It was called a mood chart, and it explained how our moods change by the seasons. Now I’m not a scientist, but it was really convincing that something was happening to all of us during the season of February. The “sadness quotient” peaked and Thad would tell us this and point to a chart with an ascending line and a frowning face. And to hear about his poor little girl missing, and to see my own kids starring at the walls all February long, it all just welled up inside me with such a rage that I decided I would do anything for the war effort.
Shane Jones currently lives in Albany New York. His most recent fiction has appeared in Hobart, Monkeybicycle, and Rumble. His collection of poetry, "Maybe Tomorrow" is available from Boneworld Press.