On November 4, 2020, P.T. Wyant posted at ptwyant.com a Wednesday Words prompt involving a chime, a young child, and a plant.
This freebie story for Stealing Myself From Shadows about Christopher was the result…
I don’t recall childhood, not clearly. Flashes of a garden, running hand in hand with another boy sometimes come to me. I’m not sure if they’re my memories or someone else’s.
Gabrielle accepted me as her son without question, something which still leaves me choked up with wonder if I stop to consider it. I sometimes like to imagine a past of growing up here at the Navel as her son. I’d play with the wind chimes hanging outside the door until ‘Brie, no, Mother scolded me for it, telling me to stop it. I’d picture a flower pit sitting outside. I’m not sure if there ever was, but I’d try to grow a single flower. Plants have a tendency to wither when I get too close to them, but I was a child, ‘Brie’s son, growing up with her the way children grow up with their mothers, perhaps it wouldn’t die when I reached out a hand to touch its petals. I can lean very close to it and sniff it without harming the tender shoot. I’m not sure if the plant would like the proximity, even if I wasn’t deathly, so I’d talk to it. I’d tell the plant about how I stubbed my toe, the cookie I just ate.
I have trouble eating cookies or anything the way a normal person does. In the imaginary childhood, I gobbled down this cookie just like I’ve seen other children and adults as well devour them in huge, hungry bites.
The plant wouldn’t answer when I talk, but it wouldn’t die. It would thrive and bloom through its short span until it began to wilt, drooping petals as it does.
For that’s the way things are in the real world when they’re untouched by creatures of shadow. Plants live, thrive, and in due time wither and die. They don’t have to shrivel up with a single stray breath.
As for myself as Gabrielle’s child. I’d grow up, maybe grow old. Maybe I’d grow a beard, learn how to shave. For that’s what grown men do, learn how to shave. I had a dim recollection of watching men shave, even though I didn’t recall doing it myself.
There’s so much I have to learn in this world, so much to discover. I’m not sure if I’m terrified or excited.
I just hope Damian is with me when I do these things.