Elmo pays respects

“Just coffee today,” Elmo told his mother at the breakfast table. “You’re too young to drink coffee,” she said. “You’re always playing grownup. Look at you! Dressed all in black. I suppose you’ll keep this up for the next few months.” Elmo finished his coffee. “No, mom, just today,” he said, and headed out, into a day that was cloudy with highs in the 20s. There was a chance of snow. Tomorrow would be the same but a little colder. As he headed to the bus stop, he whistled a cheerful tune to himself. About tulips.