The Poppy

The Poppy

A Story by girlandpen

Every Sunday afternoon for as long as Eva could remember, she and Batya walked together to the flowers.

Eva would skip down the dusty path carved into the forest which separated the flower-filled meadow from her home, loudly whistling random notes as if imitating the song of the light breezes spinning through the intermingled branches of the surrounding trees. Batya, watching her granddaughter leap with joy to the flowers, would follow slowly behind, taking care to avoid any stray branches that littered the path.

Last Sunday, upon reaching the old swinging rope, Eva realized she could no longer hear Batya’s feet shuffling behind her on the dusty path, and she paused, looking back for her grandmother who seemed to follow at a much more leisurely pace than normal. Rule in place that Eva could not travel beyond the sight of Batya, she called for her grandmother to hurry and waited near the edge of the trickling river, impatiently twirling in circles.

The river used to be Eva and Batya’s first stop on their way to the meadow. Batya would wade into the water while Eva swung in, holding tightly to the rope fashioned to the tree branch overhead. However, the old, frayed rope now hung far above the surface of the receded river, and recently, the trickle of water only existed as a trail marker for the pair’s weekly journey to the flowers.

Eva, dizzy from spinning and looking to busy herself while waiting for her grandmother, dipped her toe into the cool stream which ran slowly over the now-visible pebbles. She waded into the light trickle, mimicking Batya’s old habit of holding onto a nearby tree limb as she stepped down from the forest floor into the water. Batya would look up, letting the sun warm her face; Eva turned her head to the sky, staring up at the mesh of green and brown overhead, tree branches woven together as if holding hands.

She stood there, looking at the leaves fluttering slowly in the wind, so immersed into that old memory that she did not hear her grandmother approach from behind.

Batya quietly watched the little girl clothed in her lacy, white Sunday dress, a dress which now hit above Eva’s knee and seemed to be shrinking as quickly as Batya herself. Standing back on the path, Batya observed how intently her granddaughter studied the sky above, and her heart swelled with pride.

It was not until a squirrel scampered across, crunching leaves noisily under its feet, that Eva was brought back to the forest, realized her grandmother had caught up, and sprung from the stream, eager to get to the flowery meadow.

Wide-eyed and carefree, Eva skipped ahead, loving the wind on her face and the dirt under her feet and the rainbow-colored field she could see in the distance. The flowers, as if expecting the pair, waved to the red-headed young girl flying through the meadow and the grayed woman who followed behind.

Among the flowers, Eva could sit for hours, sharing her deepest secrets and greatest wishes, whispering to the wind and worshiping the open sky. Batya always sat off to the side, eyes smiling, watching her young granddaughter spill the contents of her heart to the quiet, attentive meadow. As the sun began to fall in the sky and Eva’s meditative monologue drew to a close, Batya would clear her throat to remind her granddaughter that dusk was nearing. Eva would then stand, scour the meadow, and choose one flower to take home with her before leaving.

She would always choose the prettiest flower.

Eva would pluck it from the earth and carefully carry her chosen wildflower back home. There, Batya would help her place it inside a black-leathered book, drying out the flower to save it from becoming wilted and lifeless like the ones left in the field. Eva kept all her pressed flowers tacked to her bedroom wall to create her own little garden. The flowers, although slightly faded, maintained their beauty, each preserving a memory, each patiently waiting to meet the weekly addition to the Eva’s flower family.

Last Sunday, towards the edge of the meadow, Eva found her perfect new flower. Growing beside a fallen tree and surrounded by browning daisies, the bright red, unscathed petals shone like the setting sun. Batya smiled gently at Eva, content with her granddaughter’s selection.

As if in a hurry for something--as if trying to edge Eva and Batya out of the meadow and back home--darkness rapidly painted the sky, and the song of crickets filled the otherwise still night air. Eva reached out and slid her small hand inside her grandmother’s. Last Sunday, they strolled together down the dusty path carved into the forest which separated the flower-filled meadow from their home, Eva’s left hand embracing her grandmother’s and her right holding tight to the fiery-red poppy.

But now, Eva returned to the meadow alone.

She walked somberly through the field, one small seed pressed tightly into the palm of her right hand. The flowers, waving in the breeze, welcomed the barefooted young girl clothed in a new, and slightly too large, white Sunday dress. Eva gently made her way to the edge of the meadow near the fallen tree. Kneeling beside the ring of wilted daisies, Eva dug a small hole with her fingers, placing the lone seed inside and covering it over with a handful of earth.

The poppy, Eva knew, would grow, and in the later years, she could bring it home to join her little bedroom garden, preserved forever alongside the bright red poppy she chose to pick last Sunday.


© 2017 girlandpen



Author's Note

girlandpen
any comments/suggestions help!! (also, is the whole death/god/heaven allegory easy to see or should i make it more apparent?) thanks!

My Review

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Featured Review

I loved your story. Your words are filled with emotion and simple care. The piece creates a film inside my head, which brings great sorrow to my eyes. It is the simple journeys that impact us the most- the ones we usually take for granted. Your characters were made perfectly, and I believe each description was made with great detail and understanding. Your story is one, which will remain in my head for several days.
By the way, the whole dead/god/heaven allegory, is quite easy to see.

See you in your next piece of art!


Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I love how you only need to say a few words to show emotion. That's the right way to do it. Some people use more and it can be a little to much. You make it short and simple and even though this was a short story you could easily make a novel with this type a writing.

Posted 3 Months Ago


I think the allegory is well done. A light touch is best. I enjoyed the story and hope you will write more. I see no need for explanation. The writing allows the reader some latitude while still keeping focus.

Posted 3 Months Ago


I very much enjoyed reading this! I quickly fell in love with the characters, as simple as they are. But I feel simple characters are much nicer to see then some demon princess from the seventh dimensional portal. Um, anyway. I liked the the picture you painted in my mind as I read the words to sentences to paragraphs. I could easily walk the dirt trail with Eva, and watch her pick the flower of her choice.
It's a fun read, quick and well written. Something I'd like to see more of!

Posted 3 Months Ago


I loved your story. Your words are filled with emotion and simple care. The piece creates a film inside my head, which brings great sorrow to my eyes. It is the simple journeys that impact us the most- the ones we usually take for granted. Your characters were made perfectly, and I believe each description was made with great detail and understanding. Your story is one, which will remain in my head for several days.
By the way, the whole dead/god/heaven allegory, is quite easy to see.

See you in your next piece of art!


Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on December 23, 2017
Last Updated on December 23, 2017
Tags: flowers, journey, poppy, god, death, paradise, heaven, home, symbolism, allegory, grief, life, acceptance, growth

Author

girlandpen
girlandpen

About
just an 18 year old trying to find herself through writing... thanks for taking the time to read my random thoughts and venture through the jungle of my mind :) more..

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