On the screen, tiny people walk to and fro along winding paths. A girl in pink pauses by the lake. A dog runs after a ball.
I’d like to be there. I’d like to sit under the cherry tree; to dig my fingers into the rich earth. I’d like, too, to plant the sweet alyssum that smells like honey and peace; to pick the roses that smell of home; hear a robin singing.
I can’t, of course. I can only watch. The simulation’s different every time. Tomorrow the girl in pink may bring a kite. A child may place a toy boat on the pond. A different dog may sniff a tree trunk. I watch every day, remembering the time when we took all this for granted – grass, flowers, the sound of birds, the smell of alyssum. The time before we lost it all.
A piece of prosery for Sanaa at dVerse: 144 words of flash fiction, incorporating a quotation from a poem. Tonight Sanaa’s given us a line by Katherine Reigel: I’d like, too, to plant the sweet alyssum that smells like honey and peace
I went back to the garden where it all started. The new owner didn’t notice me – too busy drinking tea and pruning the roses.
I preferred it wilder. Do you remember? The way honeysuckle tumbled over the wall? That’s been tamed and trimmed. The way the wide branch of the chestnut tree made a place to sit and read or dream? She’d had it sliced away, leaving a scar. The lichen-covered statue of the winged boy where we had our first kiss? She’d had him carted away.
I could have cried. I would have stroked all those wounds with my fingertips, offered healing – but I’m insubstantial now: I’ve become a memory myself. I could only whisper my stories to the tidy roses, encourage them to rebel, to fling stems up the fences, to throw their scent onto the breeze, to grow thorns, draw blood.
A flash fiction piece for dVerse’s prosery night. I’m hosting. Come and prose with us.
These are the things they don’t tell us:
- Where we’re going.
- How long the journey is
- What we’ll do when we get there
They tell us why we’re being sent. We are misfits, troublemakers, boat-rockers. We are not wanted here. We’re not criminals – oh no – and this is not punishment. This is opportunity.
Gossip, of course, is rampant. One group thinks we’re being trained for extreme cold. One groups thinks we’re being fed birth control pills. Pink haired Jaine thinks we’re going to be saving the planet.
Me? I listen. I watch. I notice who gets the best seat, who takes the first potato, who takes the last slice of cake. Who glances at their neighbour. Who laughs too much. Because I don’t know where we’re going, but I do know that when we get there, I’m going to survive. I’m going to thrive.
A 144 word flash fiction for Jade at dVerse. Prosery is a dVerse form – 144 words including a quotation from a poem. Today, the quotation is “These are the things they don’t tell us” and the poem is “Notes on Uvalde” by Girl du Jour. You can read the poem in full in Jade’s dVerse prompt. It’s immensely powerful and very moving.
I have spent too long in this tower, buried in books and grief. I know the seasons by the need for a fire in the grate, a candle in the morning, the way the light moves across the floor. It’s time, now. I have mourned enough. It’s time to take up my life again, emerge into the light, slow and blinking – for how can I be sure I shall see again?
The world on the first of May is a glowing thing, a green and dancing place. Before I left it, I was a green and dancing girl. Now I’m something else, something cracked and strange – but still the world calls me – the green light through the leaves, the scent of May blossom. I have wept and hidden from the world, and now it is time to dance again.
Bring me my green gown.
A prosery for Merril at dVerse. A prosery is a 144 word flash form, containing a line from a poem. Today, Merril has given us
“For how can I be sure
I shall see again
The world on the first of May”
–From “May Day” by Sara Teasdale
“Mama, what did you do in the Kingdom of the Sky?”
“As a cloud, I was never lonely. Clouds are always clustering together, sharing gossip. The moon is lonely, sometimes. I would visit her and drink pale tea and tell her stories. When I was a star, I spent hours on the phone to my sisters. We would wave to each other across those vast distances.”
“What did you like best?”
“Being a cloud. I was close enough to see what was happening down on the earth. People would look up at me, children would give me shapes and stories. But I liked visiting the moon, too. I liked her sad music and her translucent biscuits. I liked to see her smile”
“Would you go again?”
“No. I’m your mama, my feet are firmly on the ground. Go to sleep now.”
A prosery piece for Lillian at dVerse. 144 words, including the quotation. This one is so famous I’m not going to insult you by picking it out!