Author : B.York, Staff Writer

Everyone deserves another chance. Sometimes when I look out amongst the white blankets I can conceive of forgiveness, or even a world where people could make mistakes before they were judged. I try to believe in my excess chances that go on further than the eye can see. But then, I am told that no evil man lives here.

The switch keeps those thoughts away from me, though. Rumors abound that the switch was put there to single the guilt out. Many men with many views all know the weight of life on their shoulders. Why put it on a council when you could transfer it to the shoulders of one white-collar Atlas.

It’s my responsibility and perhaps my burden as well. Every year I come inside, I lock up and say goodbye to the people who think I am just going to bundle up for the winter. Looking them in the eye is the challenge. Many men with many views debated over whether or not this was right, this way just. History books won in the end and they decided that the future of our species could take no more.

The sign above me clearly states “Recycle for a Better Tomorrow” in bold red. There is an irony in the fact that only I will get to see whether the sign maker spoke the truth or not. Another day passes and sometimes I don’t keep track of which day it is. It’s the computers’ job to tell me when to flick the switch.

Millions of households all locked up to escape the cold. All of them inside to reminisce about how they came to this planet, and how wonderful prospering has been. Prospering for nine months isn’t prospering; it’s incubation.

To look out on the snow during the day I know the switch has to be flicked is peaceful. Silence is peaceful. Looking out amongst roaming white hills with the flecks of its making still cascading down from the sky is maddening to some and yet comforting to myself. The epoch of the cold times comes in three minutes and forty-three seconds. I used to get nervous during this time but after a while you just understand that the dead leaves hidden beneath the ice coating is something more than just a sign of the seasons. It is a metaphor.

Sipping hot cocoa on a day like this is one of the greatest pleasures any being can experience. With one hand I tip the cup to take in the molten chocolate to my hearts desire. With the other… oh, with the other I flick the switch of course and then…

Well, then I am the only man on this planet enjoying hot cocoa. Then I’m alone again for four more months. No chance for anyone out there to ruin the winter by murdering, stealing or cheating. Everything is pristine white just as the council wanted it to be. Settlers will come in the springtime, joyous of the houses that have been made for them and not one will get a chance to enjoy them enough to ruin them. Not one will ever be an evil man.

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