Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Strawberry Kingdom

To be read from the perspective of a snail living in a strawberry garden:

A scant sunray slid over the patch, warning us that the darkest part of the day would soon be upon us. Quickly, we gathered our small wares and retreated into the depths of the brush. The rays intensified, causing the shadows to pull into themselves and our hearts to beat faster. It wouldn’t be long before the eerie red glow would encompass us. “Be silent. Be still. Be small. Be silent. Be still. Be small.” The mantra looped through my mind like the tender roots linked to each other ran below our community. We needed both to survive, although I would have gladly shed the previous if it wouldn’t lead to my immediate demise.

I could hear the familiar beating of my heart being accompanied by a much slower beating. I didn’t need to look to know that dark shadows were streaking madly above us. I could see the shapes change from a large soft grey cloud to the deep black bullet that would ultimately end another life even with my eyes closed. It would only be a matter of time, probably a few seconds, before they alighted. With luck, the earth they kicked up would provide us extra shelter.

Luck was hard to come by though. Like chance, it was finicky and refused to be held to any measurable pattern. The earth would save some of us while sacrificing others. I couldn’t remember a day passing that I hadn’t lost a loved one or that a friend didn’t commiserate over the loss of a cousin or father or friend. I felt the ground give way. They were upon us. “Be silent. Be still. Be small,” I thought. “Be silent. Be still. Be small.”
*** Daily Writing Practice*** 

April 24, 2012 11:49 AM

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