A/N: My first 100-word attempt. With apologies to Neil Simon for stealing his title.

Same Time, Next Year
Memory is fiendishly cruel, whether it comes or whether it hides.


For some time now – more than days, less than weeks – he'd not been able to put his finger on it. Why can't I remember? It was on the tip of his mind, just out of reach, tantalizingly close.

And it was important – something he must recall before it was too late.

This morning he stood at the open shoji: the softly falling snow, the crisp smell of the trees, the color of the sky.

Oh … Oh, no … Now he remembered. He fell to one knee with the weight of the memory. Of winter. Of this particular winter's day.


Reviewer Responses: Several of you said you thought you couldn't write something in 100 words; really, you should try it! I usually sketch out what I want to write, then get a word count using Word's "word count" tool. Then I start fiddling with wording, phrasing, etc.

But the thing is, trying to fit it all in makes you focus on exactly what's important, what's the right word, what's just chaff, etc. Even if you were to decide not to publish, it's a great writing exercise!

Some specifics: Omasu, I'm glad you thought the fall to his knees worked--and especially thanks for the advice about the paragraph breaks--it really made a difference, I think. Keishiko, you caught the "urgency" thing--great! Chibi, you hate Tomoe? sweatdrops :D Sirius, I worried that it took you a couple of readings! I didn't mean to be THAT oblique! But then, you DID say "great job"--whew! Mir, your review itself is a piece of literature! Thanks so much for r&r'ing!

Specifics, take 2: Skenshimgumi, I like your take on this, although, for me, this piece was less about him actually "forgetting" and more about the tricks grief plays on your consciousness. My husband died in late autumn, and, so far, every year since then, I find myself slightly restless starting around September. It takes a couple of weeks before I figure out that the feel of the air, the smell of the trees and earth, the length of the days, are working on me again. It's quite eerie, and is completely separate from the rest of my "grief journey". It's as though, whatever memory is happening in my head is irrelevant to what's in my heart, where the real pain is. Terry-McElrath, if you have even the hint that you'd be interested in this form, please do try it! The effort required to do exactly 100 words is great fun, and wonderfully rewarding!