Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Moon Topples: Growth Fiction Contest Entry

She stood at the sink washing her hands of the dirt. Drying them on the tea towel, she brushed the hair out of her eyes and looked out the kitchen window. There in the back corner of the yard she could see the seedling she'd just planted, wishing it to grow quicker than she knew it would. Perhaps one day, when it was tall and able to give off shade she could sit underneath it and think about him without feeling the pain. But not today, it was still too soon.

She planted the weeping willow to remind her of the time needed to heal. For a few minutes today she actually forgot about it. The physicality of digging the hole, getting down on her knees to add the fertilizer. Mixing the peat with her bare hands. Taking the cutting of his hair out of her apron pocket and dropping it in the hole. She stood there for a few minutes, looking down before finally placing the seedling on top. This ritual had to mean something, the book said it would.

The book was something she found shortly after it happened. It was almost as if it had been waiting for her. She doesn't remember buying it, but those first couple of days were all a fog. Again she thought about therapy. The stack of pamphlets were still on the counter by the fridge, Dealing With Grief, How To Move On. She just couldn't bring herself to pick up the phone. If she were to seek professional help , then she'd be expected to talk about it. And right now denial was easier.

She went over it again in her head. It wasn't her fault, how could it be? She loved him with all her heart and soul. It was an accident. The hot, stinging tears she cried every night were real. She wouldn't cry if it was her fault would she? Maybe it was the brutality of the investigation that still had her shaken. The way the detective looked at her when he questioned what happened that night. Those questions needed to be asked, it was just routine, the other officer had said as he gently rested his hand on her shoulder.

The tears started again. It seemed so long ago now, that night. That horrible night. She'd get through this with her own strength and she would heal. All she needed was time to forget.

Wiping the tears from her face she walked outside into the back yard to look at the seeding that she'd just planted. Yes time will heal these wounds, she was doing the right thing. She felt the evening sun warm her skin and breathed in the fresh air and she smiled. Next door her neighbour was on the back deck and gave a wave. She waved back and thought - they don't know about the last time. I won't let it happen again.

3 comments:

Jenny Jack said...

makes me want to hear more...

Rob said...

I really enjoyed this. It's hard to make a character come to life in so few words, and I think you did a really good job of that.

Katie said...

Good stuff - keep writing!