“Oh, shit. Dreary January is here. Prepare yourselves for misery.”
“Hi,” says January, face blank, dead behind the eyes.
“Hello, mate!” says February. “How are you doing?”
“Well, I’m skint. I’ve got nothing to look forward to. I’m freezing fucking cold and I hate everything.”
February grins. “Least you’ve got your health, eh?”
January gives a pointed cough. “Nope. Just getting over the flu.”
“Stop whinging, January. You really are a buzzkill,” December slurs. “Have a drink with me, won’t you?”
“I’m going dry,” January mutters. “Someone needs to make up for your overindulgences.”
“That sounds wonderful, Jan,” says March brightly. “Good for you!”
“I probably won’t stick to it. I never do.”
April wells up and lets out a little sob.
“What are you crying for?” snaps June. “You’re not depressed too, are you?”
“No, no. Just feel bad for January, is all. You know me. April showers. Always crying.”
“Overly emotional you, aren’t you pet?” says February. “Good job you don’t have Valentine’s Day to deal with like me – you’d never cope with all that mushy stuff.”
“Don’t talk about it,” snuffles April. “Thinking of all those loved-up couples is too much. And then there are the ones who don’t have anybody to celebrate with.”
June rolls her eyes. “Oh, here we go. Get a tissue and stop sniffling.”
“Valentine’s Day is a wonderful time,” February says. “You know, there are a lot of people now who celebrate whether they’re coupled up of not. The single ones get together with friends, have a laugh, have a party. It’s nice! Good that folks have something to look forward.”
“I agree,” says March. “And when you’re finished spreading the love, I’m just around the corner to wave in spring. Wonderful.”
“And then along comes April and cries all over everybody,” drones January.
May beams. “But then it’s me and I say hello to summer!”
“Rubbish,” says June. She looks down her nose at May. “You’re kidding yourself if you think you’re anywhere close to summer.”
“I am, too! May Day bank holiday weekend is when the first barbecues of the year take place. And barbecues signal summer.”
“Only because people are kidding themselves as much as you. You can’t claim yourself as summer simply because you have a few days of sunshine.”
“She’s right,” says July. “You’re not one of us.”
“Sorry, babe,” says August. “You’re not quite hot enough. Me and July are officially summer. Hottest months of the year, oh yeah!”
“Summer bros!” screams July. He sticks out his tongue and gives August a high-five amid boyish guffaws.
“Grow up, will you? I’m summer too, you know.” June folds her arms and raises her eyebrows at them. “And a lot classier with it. Garden parties and afternoon tea on the terrace. Far better than your obscene music festivals.”
“Yeah, yeah,” says July. “You think you’re all that, June, but school isn’t out for summer until I come along.”
“And then September waltzes in and ships the kids back to hell,” August scoffs.
“We can’t all be fun and games,” snaps September. “Education is important. And learning is fun! Now will you all keep the noise down? I’m trying to read.”
“What are you reading?” says October, his reddened eyes wide and unblinking.
“Jane Austen,” September says.
“You read any Stephen King?”
“Some. I don’t care for him, personally.”
“He’s good,” says October. “Scary. He does scary stuff. Real good. Creepy. The Shining. It. Carrie. It’s all good. Real scary. Good stuff. Scary stuff. Makes you wanna rip your eyeballs out and scoop out your brain. Scary.”
“We get it, October, chill out, pal.” February leans towards March. “Intense, this guy, isn’t he?”
“You should try living right next to him,” November sighs. “I end up finding bits of cobweb and miniature skeletons all over the place. And it’s the last thing I need when I’m trying to prepare things for this drunken lout.”
December frowns. “What you say about me?”
“You’re an alcoholic, December.” The other months gasp. November lifts his chin. “There. I said it. We were all thinking it. You’re good for nothing but wasting money and harbouring hangovers. And look at the state of January – that’s your doing, that is. He’s a total mess.”
January shrugs. “I’ll get through it. Just feeling a little blue, is all.”Follow Ellie Scott on WordPress.com