The year that Tiffany Aching danced with the Wintersmith, there was a hard frost in Ankh-Morpork the night of May the 19th.
For the most part, it went unnoticed. There was no snow, and, unlike on the surrounding plains, people didn’t grow many things in the city. That was part of the problem, Sam Vimes learned as he sat through meeting after interminable meeting. Anhk-Morpork imported its food, and at the moment the crops that were supposed to be feeding the city in a few months were out freezing in their fields. He listened to Lord Vetinari and the Guild leaders and some panicked representatives from the Sto Plains talk about supply chains and international imports and which crops could still be re-sown until his ears ached.
As he marched home that night, he didn’t notice that every lilac he passed was shedding, green buds that had just been beginning to swell when the frost hit littering the ground at his feet. He didn’t notice until he woke up on the 25th of May and realized with a jolt that he hadn’t smelled a single lilac the previous day. Normally, the city was thick with the scent and he did his best to ignore it until the day when he couldn’t.