Tuesday, May 12, 2015

overturning new roots

The rains ruined their steady routines. The rains wrecked and ravaged and washed away lives and the means of living. Roots were upended and trees washed away. Gardens and fields were swelled and swept down. Even their great shining ship slipped and sank into the sand.

All the superior tools within were withheld from them now. It’s chrome-bright, unbreakable alloy walls and overturned hatch would keep the settlers from their best equipment.

The adults stood in a quiet circle, tense and terse from their long, tight confinements together. Crowded, unwashed, and worried, they felt their thin reserves draining. Only the most untended gardens and fields had survived. The reclaiming weeds and grasses had held fruitful invaders and precious soil in place. The yields from these plots would likely be low, even with forthcoming aid from better gardeners.

There would be enough time for another planting if the rains held off long enough. At best there would only be one or two harvests. Even at the heart of summer, the adults felt the cold weight of looming winter.

For several nights, the children had gotten to sleep in crowded giggling piles with their friends. They had invented games centered upon the overfilled confines of the small community’s best-built shelters. Finally outside, the children capered about and played in the myriad of grass-bottomed makeshift streams. They looked across the rolling fields and laughed at how they wetly sparkled in the sun. The children babbled merrily along with the overburden of brooks. They grabbed at the hundreds of hurried tadpoles wriggling though the glassy waters.

Eventually Ardy Hardgrave snorted with derision at the morose assembly and went to watch his daughter play.

She smiled at him from her gangling crouch on the verdant creek side. He watched the half transparent and wholly innumerable tadpoles for quite some time before he understood what would come next.

The first harvest of the summer would be frogs. The rain had brought them a secret blessing of meat.

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