Stories

SPLASH OF COLOUR

I sit beside a fallen tree, looking down into my field that has been transformed, these past few months. My once lush emerald pasture has been replaced with a patchwork of myriad browns. My once proud trees lie twisted and broken, like so much mangled machinery. Spread without any thought or care, refuse spoils the once manicured ground. Timber frames and mangled steel, cause ghostly silhouettes to dance across the uneven ground, by the diffused sunlight. Water, which fills the pits and troughs, reflects the dull colourless sky, adding to my sombre mood. My heart feels heavy. Nothing moves. Nothing lives.

But, suddenly, there is clarity. The droplets from the fine rain, acting like a lens, focus my attention. Amongst the refuse, at the edge of the field, do my eyes deceive? Is there movement? Is that colour? I resist blinking, trying to focus on the mirage before me. Finally, I blink and the mirage has taken shape. A figure stares up at me. My body aches as I rise to my feet, the figure watching me closely, as I make my way down into the field, if can still be called that.

My progress is hindered by the thick mud, which sucks at my boots, threatening to pull me into the bowels of the Earth. The figure before me turns, heading toward the centre of the quagmire, seeming to float across the surface. My breath becomes laboured, as my ageing body fights to keep me moving forward. As we get closer to the centre, the figure seems to undulate in-and-out of focus. A wave of nausea sweeps through me as the figure turns and holds my gaze. Tears fill his eyes as he dips his head. With a last great effort I step forward, throwing my arms around him. But he disappears and I topple into the mud. As I push myself up and out of the mud, I notice a flower, swaying in the gentle breeze, exactly where the figure had stood. At this moment the sun breaks through the clouds and illuminates this splash of colour. Somehow, against all the odds, surviving in the mud and detriment… a Poppy.

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